Concerning Dreams

My dream last night consisted of watching three storms join from across a lake to form a super cell and then turn their attention on me, sitting on a dock with my feet in the water. The sky went dark, I closed my eyes, smiled and could feel the rain start to sting when I woke up.

MONDAY

I’m doing an interview and I’m asked if I had ever considered another career, like athlete.  I marinate in the compliment briefly, then…

You ever watch an athlete at a press conference announcing his retirement?  The athlete starts crying and the people you’re watching with start making fun of the guy, saying ‘Boo hoo, take your millions and cry at home.’  Can you imagine training to be an actor since birth, at 18 you get a dump truck full of money to act in the biggest movies, then at 40 you’re told you can never act again?  Everything that you have dreamed about and made real is taken away from you forever.  Acting is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken.  There’s a high percentage this will end badly.  But with athletics…100% guaranteed broken heart.  I’m sorry, what was the question?

The interviewer reminds me of the question, I pause before answering “athlete”, and we move on.

TUESDAY

I keep myself busy, making work, chasing creativity.  I produced a short film a number of weeks back and make many phone calls today to the director and DOP, discussing artistic things once done and those yet to be completed.  My cousin asks for dating advice, so I puff out my chest & and give guidance I have never taken myself, but feel strong and confident in the giving.  I call my agent, chit chat about the upcoming uncertainties, arrange vague schedules and make plans for bigger things.  I take a suit to the dry cleaners, buy propane for the BBQ, make a healthy lunch…all before noon.

While eating I receive a text message from my friend Amy.  Her job, as an actual Ghost Hunter, takes her all over the U.S., and one never knows where she is or what she’s doing…

PatrickWhat’s on your agenda today?

AmyInvestigation tonight.  Seems this guy thinks he has a portal to hell in his basement.  I wish I was kidding. You?

Patrick…um, I may nap.

The conversation ends and I crawl into bed, where I stay for the remainder of the day.

WEDNESDAY

On my 44th day of coffee sobriety I go to my old Starbucks to sit for an hour.  I buy a tea and find a seat.  In the past month they have completely renovated the interior.  It was a cold, pre-fab Starbucks when, for years, I would spend 3 hours everyday consuming latte after latte.  And now, the decorating seems to be inspired by log cabins. Cedar shakes on the walls, stone slate tables. Warm, welcoming, a place you’d want to spend 3 hours at a time and drink latte after latte. And the staff is completely different.  No longer am I greeted with, “Hello Patrick! What size today?”

In my attempt to better myself I have cut away the simple pleasures of community and vice.  I sip my tea, stare at the strangers, and ponder what my next step to perfection will be, and what that may cost me.

I notice that today I’m merely a spectator.  I’m not partaking in the world. I’m observing & waiting for something.  I reread my favorite Douglas Coupland passage from his book ‘Life After God’,

“Every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments…And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection – certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether….”

I think I’ve been trying too hard.  Earlier today I said to a friend, “TRYING to have a good day is like nervously wooing a girl you really like. The more you TRY to make it work the more the universe rapes your face.”

THURSDAY

I bought two season tickets to a local theater here in Vancouver.  I’m always desperate & disheartened when it comes time to find someone to take the second ticket.  So tonight I take my friend Ivon to a musical.  Next year I’ll only buy one season pass.  No need to go through this again.

I’m distracted throughout the show.  I stare at the ceiling, adjust in my seat, and then try to focus on why I’m here.  I lean over to Ivon and whisper a smug prediction about the plot, “Notice the mother’s the only one who talks to the son? I betcha he’s dead and that’s why this family’s so fucked up.”  Ivon shoots me a look, I wink and tap the side of my nose.  Within minutes the audience gasps at the revelation that the mother was in fact hallucinating the dead son.  I assume Ivon is impressed, but these type of predictions are always anticlimactic.  It never happens the way I want…My viewing brethren pause the show, stand, turn to me and say “How the HELL did you know that was coming?” I humbly shake my head, indicating that it’s a gift and a burden.  I motion for the performance to renew, but everyone is just too damned spooked by my trick, and the night becomes a round table discussion concerning what else is awesome about me.

Instead, the play continues, I look disappointed, adjust in my seat, stare at the ceiling and think about sleep.  I had assumed my abundant napping this week was just indulging in something I enjoy, but I have a sense it’s something else, maybe a cold coming on, or forced time travel.  I’ve decided to take tomorrow off of “work”.  I’ll spend the weekend justifying this.  My greatest talent is excusing my lifestyle.

This all reminds me of another conversation I had earlier this week with my friend Amy.  In a blatant attempt to incite an “Awwww” reaction from my twitter followers, I tweeted a picture of me feeding ice cream to my 7yr old niece. I’m manipulative that way.  In response, Amy texted me:

AmyI spoil my niece and nephew too. I consider it an investment in my future. If I don’t have kids, at least one of them will make sure I don’t end up in an old folks home.

PatrickNo joke.  I think about that too.

AmyI may as well put them through college, just in case.

PatrickBut if they’re professionals they won’t have the time to take care of you.

AmyYou’re right. I’ll encourage them to follow their “dreams” instead.

-PG-

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12 Responses to Concerning Dreams

  1. BillieO says:

    I really like your blog but gee, you sound so sad… Maybe this will cheer you up! http://twitpic.com/6lx3j9

  2. No no, not sad! Just creative writing 😉

  3. I find it interesting you re-read a book about experiencing the world and it’s moments and I re-read a book that contains passages of how some one else experiences it.
    To the Ends of the Earth: The Selected Travels of Paul Theroux

  4. Stephani says:

    First of all – why why why give up coffee? 🙂 It is my little morning cup of joy…

    Second – I’m going to check out that Life After God book. Sounds intriguing…love a good book, especially one worth reading more than once.

  5. imwebgurl says:

    Man you’re a gifted writer Patrick. If ever you doubt that, go back and read this blog post. I could actually imagine you narrating this…several script scenes jumped out at me…have you ever considered writing a screenplay for a short film based on Amy’s job and your friendship? I could even imagine you narrating it.

    I think while your trick to guessing the plot of the play may seem like magic to some it stems from the time you spend people-watching. You notice the little things others don’t. As a writer you also think a few steps ahead..it’s probably what you would have written if the play was yours….although I can imagine it must suck the fun out of films and theatre for you.

    Anyhoo, I’m blabbering on….have an awesome weekend PG…manipulate away…I don’t mind in the slightest.

    Cheers, webgurl

    p.s. Surprisingly I’m loving the ginger look…do women chat you up more as a red-head?

  6. Marty Thompson says:

    Wow, lakes or bodies of water usually mean reflecting on ones self or life
    storms usually mean an inner turmoil
    rain usually indicates spirituality
    and the number three can represent life creativity and self exploration
    to venture a guess: you have some turmoil or difficult decisions coming or in process
    the fact that you watch the rain come until feeling it sting your face could be that you don’t fear or run from these decisions but face them
    are you reflecting decisively on some creative process in your life?

  7. Emmy Maher says:

    Most enjoyable read of my day… And I highly praise your respect for the great institution that is Naptime.

    Patrick, please don’t ever stop blogging.

  8. cherluvya says:

    *smiles* Nice to know that you take the time to notice that “time” moves forward…whether we do or not. I love to hear from you what I only think.

    I think thee brave Mr. Gilmore. YOU are following a dream…how many can say that?

  9. Zed of Earth says:

    Hurrah! You’re back!
    Did you have a nice summer? Hope so!

    [note to non-masochistic readers: tedious rant follows; feel free to skip to end, go make a cup of tea, do some yoga, whatever…]

    Interesting point you make about athletes. I’ve never had much sympathy for them because they get obscenely well-paid for doing something that adds nothing to the sum of human knowledge or well-being, and the funding they get at school, uni, etc usually comes at the expense of funding to the arts and sciences – things which do give benefits to others, even if it’s ‘only’ the pleasure of escapism that a book or a film offers.

    Sure, many people take great pleasure in watching sport, but how enduring are such things? Will people be watching and discussing [insert sporty thing here] 500 or even 50 years after the event, as they do with a book, a film, or a play? Doubtful. And if they are, it will probably be because of some cheating scandal or political controversy, and not the [insert sporty thing here] itself.

    Sportspeople are venerated and rewarded as heroes, while true heroes (doctors, nurses, vets, firemen & women, volunteers, etc) struggle to achieve their more selfless aims without anything approaching the same financial benefits and recognition. And sportspeople far too often fail as ‘role models’ to the young, despite all the support they have around them.

    Then, at the end of their career, they walk away with barowloads of cash and guaranteed employment in TV, films, advertising…regardless, oftentimes, of how well or how badly their careers ended – as long as they are famous.

    As for ‘broken dreams’ – yes, they’ve trained hard, painfully hard, for long hours and long years; but it’s all been for themselves, their own benefit. And they could always have walked away, no? They’re lucky (and talented enough) that they got to pursue their dreams, earn well from it, have guaranteed revenue at the end of it, and still at a young enough age to forge a new career. Most people should be so lucky. I recently heard a famous, now retired, tennis player (can’t recall his name) saying how much he had always hated tennis – hated practising, hated the endless tournaments, the publicity duties, hated all of it (if I remember correctly – don’t quote me!); so I think for some professional sportspeople at least, it’s not so much a matter of ‘living the dream’, as ‘working in a sucky job you hate because it pays well’. And I guess most of us can relate to that.

    At least, the ‘sucky job’ not the ‘pays well’ part.

    Well, haven’t I gone on and on…sorry, but it’s a pet peeve of mine. I won’t do it again, promise!

    [here endeth the tedious rant..welcome back, gentle reader]

    So, anyway…Did you have a nice summer?

  10. Simon Ahern says:

    Where have you gone Patrick?

    My twitterfeed isn’t the same without you this past month.
    Hope you’re enjoying the holidays.

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