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↑ Vantage pt for Jay Levine at tippity top of crow's nest before he jumped.

Das Boot: the first and perhaps most profound of the Dreamscape categories in that it describes not only the day-to-day adventures of a Caribbean escape, but also a moment that was much of a fulcrum or a rubicon for everyone involved, both a gathering and a dispersal. They were all twenty-four or twenty-five years old, an age where everything in the past seems like prologue and the next turned page is where the story really begins. There was a lot of debate about what comes next: plans hatched, destinies reconsidered. And soon after: Sebastian heading for Brazil, Christoph to Argentina, Helene to New Zealand, our pal Jayson and Natalie both to New York City. And the more we studied these pages, the stronger the urge became to apply allegory and deeper significance to everything that was written. And although 'reality' strongly resists such neat and tidy structuring, nonetheless here it is.

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Das Boot i (24/33)

December 21, 1990

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Home we have returned: Troumaka Bay, St. Vincent after what we all agreed (numerous times) was a hellish glimpse of Kingstown. It’s all there, and not even really a miniature. Just as much greed, desire, pain + fire as Any City, USA. Still, contrary to our collective common sense, I am NYC bound, still. And not too far in the future…

… So pushed through a market square choked w/merchants selling peanuts, belts, wind-up toys, shirts, knives + knives + knives… to finally pop out in the farmer’s market: stalls and booths and smokey smells of dirt and fish and fruit drying in the sun. “You buy some of this. You. Buy something from me.” That was the most direct coercion I encountered. I almost relented to that one. But Nattie + I pushed past, back through the thronging street, tarps + blankets w/stacks of mangos, oranges, breadfruit, grapefruit… back to the street along the wharf w/the sun heating the boats and the waves and the fish on the boats arriving at the port that services the fish market, and dodging cars driving on the right side, the wrong side, both sides, all honking and swerving and scraping past the walls and the women carrying baskets of food on their heads and the children watching w/dark eyes w/finger firmly held between wet lips and the cars all honking, gunning, braking, honking some more, just like any market square on market day anywhere in Mexico or Greece or, I imagine, any one of the somewhat poor, somewhat squalid, bravely sadly innocent 3rd world nations the world over… 

So popped out again, Nattie and I, and pushed w/the current back toward the St. Alamé but retaining enough nerve + verve + gusto to detour into the town supermarket where the throng thickened, breathing all together, all around us, pushing, pacing, lines at the checkouts stretching to the back of the store, even, no joke, the express (12 items or less) lane. But Nattie grabbed a bucket, I grabbed another bottle of genuine St. Vincent hot sauce for my bro and with the help of a white expat from somewhere who seemed to be managing the whole frothing madhouse, achieved a remarkably rapid exit. Back into the heat and the sun and dirt and dust sticking to our eyes, gritty between our teeth, and 3 doors down detour, again, into ice cream haven.

Ah. Sitting in the cool dark posterior of the long narrow room, we spoon various flavors from plastic cups with wooden spoons. Rum raisin, coconut, Guinness. At the door and around the display the madness continues. But in our corner, nothing can touch us. We spoon ice cream and discuss the past, and the future. The Guinness tasted like, yes it’s true: Guinness beer. 

And back to the boat. 

We stocked up on diesel, gasoline, kerosine, food, water (4¢ E.C. per gallon). We are self sufficient. We need nothing and nobody. We beat a hasty retreat. Back, through cool swells, to Troumaka Bay and St. Alamé.


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