Chapter 10 – Bering Dreams Part 3
Snow covered ghosts of long dead volcanos dot the horizon.
I remember driving south on the 101 early on a late October morning and exiting onto Sunset Blvd and driving up and down the strip until the traffic picked up and became too unbearable and then turning and parking somewhere on the west end of Hollywood Blvd, thinking, this looks like a nice place to live and getting out and walking up and down the street with a spiral notebook writing down phone numbers from signs in the windows of apartment buildings. And then later that afternoon and it was much hotter, standing in the parking lot of a Denny’s because it was the only pay phone I could find and going down my list and calling each number methodically with a pocketful of nickels and dimes and quarters and only getting one or two answers and the rest were machines and I couldn’t leave a message because I didn’t have a phone for someone to call me back at. And I remember thinking I shoulda thought this through a little better.
But I had dreams then. And where are those dreams now? Or more importantly, what are those dreams now….
I could measure myself in this place but I won’t. I haven’t. But I keep coming back like countless other men have over countless years. Eons maybe. Not to be measured or compared or tested but because somehow they belong here. Somehow I belong here too. There is comfort here. There is beauty here amongst the chaos and violence. Monochrome days and nights, color only in the time of passing between the two. Explosions of reds and blues and greens and purples and other colors less common who’s names I will never know or exact hues I will never be able to recall. Only passing between is there change. Break in the constant. There is comfort here. Rhythm and flow if you can find it. If it’s already inside you. And I’ve felt at home in this place since the first moment. I’ve felt a deep understanding and perfection and belonging and peace that I could never explain.
But this time I can’t sleep. I find no solace or comfort or reason or belonging. And no dreams that I can understand or interpret or even remember. And I know immediately that this place has not changed, that it’s incapable of change that could ever be measured or quantified. I know that the change is in me and that I am somehow less of something this time. Something inside me is gone. Gone far away. Perhaps to return, perhaps not and I won’t know until or unless it does return.
But there are forces here. From above and below and places both seen and unseen and felt and realized and comprehended but not by any sense you are ever aware of. There are forces here and you can’t see any of them because your watching your television or your internet or your fucking smartphone. And they can’t be seen anyway. They can only be felt. Some deep vibration or rumble or hum or gunshot crack deep in your belly or whispered behind your eyes. Tides and currents and winds and atmospheric pressures and oceans of solid rock grinding together and burning hot hot like the very sun itself. Colliding forces. Smashed against each other and turned over and over and upside down and around and forged into some division or barrier or anti space between one world and another. A space that perhaps existed long long before any world ever did.
And you can search for understanding or comprehension or maybe you won’t but it won’t matter anyway because you’ll never understand or comprehend and the most you’ll ever hear or feel is a faint whisper behind your eyes. Or in your belly. Or your chest or fingertips or up and down the skin stretched tight across your spine.
You will move through these forces and they move through you. Unseen and silent they dash you against the rocks again and again and hold you tightly, hold you down, down, way down under the sea and all of it. Down where its cold so cold that the cold loses all meaning. And then lifts you up up where the rocks and stones grind together for millennium over and over pressing together and burning and melting and passing through you again and again.
Divisions and barriers and lines of stone and water and ice and molten rock, hot like the sun itself and tides and currents and winds and pressures and forces.
You might dream of these things but you won’t know them or understand them and even if you pretend you do your pretending will not make it any more possible or real or true.
I remember looking out the window and down to the sea, the black sea and white waves and there is a ship and I see no color in the ship either. Everything monochrome. It’s far below and steaming an identical trajectory, north, northwest, and I see it for only a second or two and then it’s swallowed by a cloud and gone forever.
The next evening finds me in a basement, dark with a low ceiling. Hot. Humid. I should be tired but I’m not. Hundreds of people pressed tightly together, moving, dancing, throbbing together and separately to music and sounds unlike almost anything I’ve ever heard. But I have. And looking across the dark room if I squint my eyes and unfocus them I can see that these people and this music and the black sea with white waves are all the same thing. Chaos and beauty and violence and imperfections and compositions infinitely complex and never to be repeated or seen again but duplicated over and over and over since long before time was invented or passes away and will to longer matter.
I turn and she is there and hugs me and I bury my face in her shoulder and in this room and all these people and music and sweat I begin to weep and I push my face deeper into her as if my face is a wound and I just need pressure to halt the bleeding. But nothing will stop it now and I am no longer in any kind if control. It comes like a wave and flows out of me, wracking my body over and over. Wave after wave for what seems like hours. I seem to live lifetimes in each breath. I seem to understand now what is gone inside of me. I seem to understand now in a way, previously unarticulated or possible, just what it is exactly that is missing inside me. And somehow there is healing and comfort in this understanding and purging. And when it passes I am empty and slowly lift my head and the music is still there, hundreds of people still there, all moving and flowing and all separate but all the same thing in every separate moment, chaotic and violent and beautiful. Something eternal and ancient and constant, new and reborn in each new moment, never to be repeated until the end of all time and all things.
And all along the horizon, long dead volcanoes, white and gleaming and melding with the sea below and the clouds above like the long forgotten bones of some ancient race of titans who forged the very world itself.