Well, I could have spent my morning more profitably, it has to be said, starting shortly before 3 AM, when I awoke from a restless sleep.
It’s been that way since the election: the dreams have turned dark and anxious. Two days ago, I dreamt I was back working the job I held four years ago, in a town 20 miles or so from San Juan. Getting there in the morning was a breeze: it was returning that held the terror. After all, if for some reason the little público (or minivan) didn’t come in the morning, it was a sure sign that I was meant to go home, call my supervisor, leave a message on her machine, and then return to the pleasures of bed and sleep.
But getting back to Old San Juan from the country outside of Caguas was a dicey affair. There was the yellow bus, the last one of which was supposed to depart at 5:30 from Caguas. But it was never quite that simple: at times, the bus suffered a mishap. It could be anything: a flat tire, a mysterious engine fire, ennui, or a chronic feeling of being misunderstood and underappreciated. Or maybe it had rained, which could be troublesome, since the bus leaked from the roof. And that meant that those not-in-the know would sit down in a very wet seat, and then have steady drips fall upon you.
So it was my habit to catch the second to last bus. That meant sneaking out of the building before five PM (management was supposed to leave at 5:30) and then standing at the bus stop—should have been easy, right? In fact, it was unnerving, since I was standing essentially on the shoulder of a highway. It induced a sort of melancholy terror: I stood craning my head, peering for the flash of yellow to appear around the bend. The cars roared past me, in good weather it was only the constant, seemingly-amplified, whoosh and the fog of exhaust that I breathed in. But in bad weather, there was always the likelihood that I would be splashed, usually by someone driving a Mercedes-Benz minivan. So rainy days involved a complex scanning for the bus, scrutinizing which driver was likely to be indifferent to or perhaps enjoy drenching a gringo waiting for the bus, and jumping back when necessary. It wasn’t uncommon for the bus to be arriving right behind the speeding Mercedes-Benz minivan, which meant that everyone on the bus then enjoyed the sight of me getting drenched. I would step into the bus accompanied by gales of laughter, commentary, the odd sympathetic comment, and suggestions. I would bow sheepishly: the driver would turn up the air conditioning.
I tell you all this because two nights ago, I dreamt that I was back there, at that bus stop and did the bus come? It may have, but it wasn’t the right bus, or I got off at the wrong stop, and then I had to try to get back, so I took another bus, which of course got me further off track…..
I woke in a sweat, since I had determined to get off at some stop or other, and then had my bag spill out all of its contents, which rolled under seats. And so there I was, trying to collect things, on my knees, and shouting to the bus driver—a deaf-mute—to wait until I could get out….
Right—so I told all this to Jeanne, my sister-in-law, who told me that my brother, too, is having bad dreams. In fact, everybody is having lousy dreams, since Donald Trump is wasting no time putting his boot-stamp on the nation. We now have a white supremacist leading the transition team, and the promise of an anti-abortion Supreme Court justice. Oh, and then we’ll get right down to the business of overturning Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, lowering taxes on the rich, and turning what used to be a democracy into a police state.
So my sister-in-law had 14 people over on the night of the election, and there they were, chilling the champagne, when….
…so everybody was in shock, and now is probably a great time for me to visit New York, since there must be quite a lot of very good champagne at my brother’s house.
Both my brother and sister-in-law are in shock: they also joined 15,000 like-minded souls in protesting a few days later. They did it because they read The New York Times, and so they can ponder curious policy statement, such as the fact that a substantial portion of the American public hates Obamacare. And that’s strange, because a large majority of that same American public strongly supports the Affordable Care Act. And given the fact that the two things are the same….
So they missed the big story, and I might have too, if a very nice woman who was very good to me at that job I lost hadn’t posted it in Facebook. So had my brother bothered to call me before that march, I could have told him: yes, Hillary is a Satanist. At least, that’s what my friend’s post said, though curiously, the mainstream news…. But that’s hardly surprising, since we know that The New York Times is also infested by Satanists, so you can be sure that my friend’s post was the real deal.
Well, well—terrible news, but at least Satanism doesn’t run on party lines, since George H. W. Bush is also a Satanist. Or at least a pederast, and how far away can that be from Satanism?
I could tell you this all definitively if I weren’t in the Internet-darkest corner of the café, since the corner is also the Pandora-deafest. And since Pandora’s box has opened to Puerto Rican Christmas carols—I’ve chosen silence over Internet. But it really doesn’t matter, because you, Dear Reader, can easily travel down those conspiracy lanes.
And who’s to know, since I myself may unwittingly have gone down a few of those highways myself. A friend posted on Facebook that the exit polls in a number of states—including my home state of Wisconsin—reported immediately after the voters left the polling stations reported a Clinton win. But then, the exit polls got changed, to reflect the “actual” results. And those results, need I tell you? Well, if you believe them, then you’d believe anything! Such as Hillary being a Satanist!
So I’m really not doing so well, since my sleep is filled with missing busses, and my mornings are filled with nightmares more real and also more terrifying. Which is why I had to turn to Marina Abramovich, about whom I knew nothing, but you know the odd thing about YouTube? Like the most seasoned teacher, like the most trusted friend, YouTube reads your mood and your inclinations, and always gives you the clip you need to watch. And though I knew I wasn’t doing well—I mean, how bad is it if you can’t get off a bus?—I really didn’t think I was that far gone.
So here she is, in her Russian mystic best, and what did I need to learn?
Well, it was the only thing I did all morning, but now I know! Whee! And so will you, if you care to delve into the ultimate reality, the reality so much more real, lasting, eternal, luminescent, sublime, ethereal and visceral and spiritual and materialist…
Yes, you too can know….
…how to drink a glass of water!