Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream within a Dream

I had the weirdest dream last night, and well, since it was extremely weird and disturbing, I can’t really tell my girlfriends about the dream.

Okay, this was the dream, and it is a bit confusing because I dreamt that I woke up (it reminds me of stories within stories, like some old Indian fables):

I woke up, then made my way into my bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror – tousled hair, sans makeup, sleepy eyes. I looked lovely. I smiled, improving the image significantly, and made my way to the toilet.

I sat myself down, sleepily staring straight, and I began to pee. And it burned, like there was some sort of microbial battle occurring within my ureter. Or is it urethra? Darned high school biology. I think urethra is the one in this case – both are kidney tubes, so to speak. Anyway, first thought is STI, and in the dream, in my mind, I recall the last sexual encounter I had.

And the encounter, in my sleeping mind’s eye, was part of the dream as well. I remember the encounter well, me wanting him so bad and in such an anti-Leesa way that I did not want him to use a condom. Completely out-of-character, but that’s probably why I was dreaming the experience.

Then I woke up (in real life, not in the dream). The first thing I did was check the sheets, knowing that dreaming of peeing may have had some unintended consequences. My 600-count sheets were bone dry (pun intended), and I relaxed.

Then I went to the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror. I smiled and made my way to the toilet and was almost afraid to pee. No burning – but no sex either. Just a real surreal morning. After getting back to the bedroom, the morning sun dancing in the clouds looked more like a sunset than a sunrise, and momentarily, I thought perhaps I slept through the day.

I spent the next hour searching through the Internet, wondering about how I should interpret this dream. Some things are better left alone, I suppose.

It should not surprise me that so many authors make videos. Meg Cabot was the latest I found. I have three books in my mind right now, and I am working on them. Next step is getting them down on paper. One will take me so much time to write (non-fiction), one is half-of-a-story, and one may write itself if I have the right mixture of time, rest, wine, and inspiration.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fifth Business

The first real post I wrote in three years concerned, of all things, opera. Of all of the subjects, I have thought about opera twice in the last 20 years of my life. Then all of a sudden, I am reading a book by Robertson Davies. Well, to be quite honest, it is the reason non-intellectuals like me know his name. It was one of the most celebrated novels of the early 70s. Yeah, before Harry Potter there was s All the President's Men and Love Story.

Anyway, the novel centers about Dunstan Ramsey, a retiring history at an exclusive Canadian school after 45 years. The present headmaster published a tribute to the teacher, and this novel is the teacher’s conversation with the headmaster to set the record straight writing what amounts to a defense of his life.

It is actually late in the novel when the character, Lisle explains to Dunstan who he really is, namely fifth business.

"Who are you? Where do you fit into poetry and myth? Do you know who I think you are, Ramsay? I think you are Fifth Business. Here are Mr. Davies wonderful words:

"You don't know what that is? Well, in opera in a permanent company of the kind we keep up in Europe you must have a prima donna --always a soprano, always the heroine, often a fool; and a tenor who always plays the lover to her; and then you must have a contralto, who is a rival to the soprano, or a sorceress or something; and a basso, who is the villain or the rival or whatever threatens the tenor.

"So far, so good. But you cannot make a plot work without another man, and he is usually a baritone, and he is called in the profession Fifth Business, because he is the odd man out, the person who has no opposite of the other sex. And you must have Fifth Business because he is the one who knows the secret of the hero's birth, or comes to the assistance of the heroine when she thinks all is lost, or keeps the hermitess in her cell, or may even be the cause of somebody's death if that is part of the plot. The prima donna and the tenor, the contralto and the basso, get all the best music and do all the spectacular things, but you cannot manage the plot without Fifth Business! It is not spectacular, but it is a good line of work, I can tell you, and those who play it sometimes have a career that outlasts the golden voices. Are you Fifth Business? You had better find out."

I look at my life - nearly divorced, not really wanting to date - and I wonder if I am a fifth business. I am not sure I want to be the heroine, the sorceress, the lover. Maybe I am the one who keeps the story together for others. I am the fun aunt, half girl, half woman. The one adult who will kick off her shoes and play in sprinklers. The one who tells stories of their parents; how their parents were not always all knowing and perfect. Love the saucer-unbelieving eyes.

Fifth business can be lonely business, even if it is a good line of work.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Die Walküre

The Metropolitan Opera has these “live events” where they simulcast a production nearly monthly, and in mid-May, I attended my first live event. It was an . . . opera. I am not a big opera fan - I have only seen one opera live, and that was something of a field trip from elementary school. If I tell you the name of the opera, several of you (who am I kidding; this is an abandoned blog – no one will read it anyway) will discount the opera. Peter and the Wolf. Anyway, the opera this weekend was Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) by Richard Wagner. I was going to pretentiously write the name in German throughout the blog post, but let’s face it, cutting and pasting the umlaut is a pain-in-the-ass, and I like simple.

I knew the opera was in German (the title sort of gives it away), and most people have actually heard at least 8 minutes of the opera (Ride of the Valkyries). Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny introduced me to this piece of music, Fudd repeating the words “Kill the Wabbit” to this familiar tune. What I did not know could fill a book, but the two most important pieces of information were: (1) the production is actually the second of four epic operas which are part of the Ring Cycle, and (2) the Met’s production today was scheduled to last 5-1/2 hours (it took nearly 6 because of a technical problem with the stage).

I tripped upon this information as I was looking for a synopsis of the opera. I know a bit of German, but unless Brünnhilde is going to be singing about getting directions to the train station, or Siegfried about asking for the check after ordering in a restaurant, my German was going to be a bit limited. I mean, German is tough enough for me to get when it is spoken by people enunciating correctly. Have a rotund soprano belt out the words accompanied by a loud brass section, and I am a bit out of my league.

I really wanted to see this for a couple of reasons: (1) purely for the experience; (2) I doubt anyone I want to date would actually want to accompany me (most men are more interested with 300-pound linebackers, not opera singers with the same stature); (3) I could not imagine me having 5-1/2 hours of free time consecutively in the near future; and (4) lasting through the whole performance would be a challenge - sort of like waxing my legs, when I did not know the rules.

I won’t go through my entire experience, but I was shocked at the number of people who were at the theater. Ninety percent of the patrons were at least 20 years older than me, most people were either in a large group or were coupled up with someone, and nearly everyone in attendance probably knew more than I do about opera. I was surprised but a bit relieved to see subtitles during the live simulcast, as I could actually follow the story.

I am not entirely sure why I wrote this blog entry; I have not written in years, and this subject is not really something that I would normally have tackled. And I don’t think it is fair to say that I will be writing blog entries in the future. I saw that a friend started a new blog entry, and I felt encouraged to write myself. I am waiting for this feeling to pass.