Anonymity Trap

This afternoon, whilst attempting to put dinner on the table, I was engaging in two of my favorite pastimes: text yelling at My Parasitic twin while also text yelling at her husband. It was some varsity level millennial shit.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

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First MPT and I were text yelling at each other over who gets to make the bird at Thanksgiving since we decided to fake family it up this year. It’s almost as good as screaming at her in-person over coffee but less sweaty.

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And I was yelling at Gofer (I don’t really call him that anymore but I have yet to come up with a name for him) about song lyrics from some show we went to a while back.


I wrote that blog. See, here it is.

It took a while to find because I had to scroll back over a year, but there it was. In doing so I realized that I am blogging AT MOST once a month but when I do, they are pretty good … sometimes. I mean, they amuse me and aside from a couple folks (HI DAD! HI JUDY!) I’m writing them mostly for myself. I miss writing. And pottery. And my pottery friends. But I’ll get back to those things soon enough.

I have been kicking around doing a completely analogue version of my blog. You would have to walk up to a place and sit there and read a handwritten letter. The content would be unedited because I wouldn’t have to worry about someone looking up my name and bingo, all the random shit that makes up 25% of my life is out there for relatives and work related people to see.

As if this kind of stuff is totally okay.

People could reply by leaving a letter, not for me per se but just releasing something into the wild.

Is there anything better than a handwritten letter? It’s a dying art and one I’m pretty good at because I’m old. I’ve been practicing lately but I need to be careful that it doesn’t get too dark. That’s my anonymity trap, sometimes when you are certain you won’t be identified, you do horrible things.  I don’t want to go there.

But it might be fun. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go on an evening walk, sit down next to some fuzzy chickens (or in a repurposed phone booth?) and hold paper in your hands and just plug into someone else’s existence? And then just walk away, leaving it there for someone else to find.

It reminds me of a term Stan Brakhage liked to throw around in film school: meat ineffable.

I was Stan’s film student, his secretary, for a very short time I was his muse and subject, and I stood up to his legendary rages. He was mercurial and brilliant and such a bully. He was the definition of an abusive relationship. He would tower over me and shout at me one day over something trivial and the next day he would shower me with gifts.

He talked about meat ineffable as it pertained to film, the fact that film emulsion was derived from Sicilian cow ears, and how the “meat” gave it that ineffable thing, that je ne sais quoi that digital could never replace. Oh how I’ve listened to endless, tedious conversations about film grain, 24 frames per second, persistence of vision, blah blah.

I don’t think meat ineffability pertains only to film emulsion, or only film for that matter. It’s the thing that was made by a person, the meat of them holding the pen or instrument or tool. It’s the thing that programmers and engineers try to recreate with A.I. but end up falling into the uncanny valley that makes everyone feel so uncomfortable.

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This is uncanny valley.

But I digress with the sex robots and film emulsion and cow ears. Back to handwritten letters. Greg called me today to wish me a happy birthday, I haven’t heard from him in ages. He launched into an apology for not calling/writing in so long and I was like, “Just stop. You don’t have to do that with me.”

I've known Greg since I was 13, such a dear friend

I’ve known him since I was 13 and he and I have very similar writing styles because back when I was in a cult, I passed the time by working on my penmanship.

I’m not kidding. Click the link to read all about it.

Greg had/has the most beautiful handwriting so instead of taking notes on whatever crazy process shit was happening in front of me, I cribbed the things about his writing that I liked the most.

He called me today and I was telling him about all this – which he claimed to have no knowledge of – when right in the middle of me saying, “I wrote you a letter in that light blue Varsity ink we both liked …” he said, “Hey Viv, my battery is about to run out, I’m going to plug in …” and the call dropped.

No big deal, I figured he’d call me back, which he did 3 seconds later. I didn’t bother to say hi or anything, I just picked up the thread.

“I put the letter in those small envelopes we both used and sent it to you with my return address and then the next day I got a letter from you addressed to me, we had crossed in the mail. But since it was in the same ink and same sized envelope with the same addresses and in very similar handwriting, for a moment I actually thought that I had written myself a letter from another dimension.”

Silence on the other line.

“Hello? Greg?”

“Um, this is Sage. I was calling about that email sent out last night.”

Fuuuuuu. A work associate. Fortunately one of my creative work contacts that hopefully can appreciate some Haruki Murakami-esque surrealism.

What are the chances? I must start looking at my caller ID before I get all crazy on the phone although it could have been worse. Pick any moment of any of my convos with MPT.

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It’s like ignorant porn and we’re just talking about turkey gravy. Just.

The other night I had the craziest dream ever and  I immediately called June and told her all about it because it was her dream.

Juniper is actually the blonde dog next to Chief, I haven’t found a name for her person yet, but she’s a person I forced myself on at the park when our dogs were just puppies. I’ll call her June.

We’ve become fast friends. So much that she’s in my subconscious and I woke up absolutely positive that I was channeling her dreams. I guess you had to be there, or me. You could dream for me if you want, I’d love to hear all about it. Write me a letter.

Have you ever dreamt someone else’s dreams? It happens to me occasionally and I am always completely certain of it, even in the middle of it. Once I ran my hands through my hair and I was 100% sure it wasn’t mine, it was my friend Alan’s. My/his hair is thick and short and brushy. I felt it running between my fingers. And I was him, I knew it. To be clear, I have never run my hands through his hair IRL so it wasn’t a memory.

But last night I dreamt I was in my home (but not my house, because that’s how dreams work) and someone slipped in the shower. I helped him to the couch and looked for some blankets to cover him up because he was cold and hurt, then I went back into the bathroom to find it flooded. Water is the stuff of any homeowner’s nightmares.

I pulled up the drain (which was huge, natch) and it was caked with long, dark hair, like mine when I was young, but there was a ton of it and the water wasn’t going anywhere so I used a small glass to bail it out. It’s the same kind of glass that Lonny and I drink scotch out of IRL.

(That’s In Real Life, Dad.)

I returned to the man and was tending to him when Màrion came up to me and said the most horrible thing had happened, she could barely get the words out. My mind first went to more water damage, did it seep into the floor beneath? No, she said, it was the chickens, they got free and it was dusk and the wolves were running.

I ran outside and I saw my chickens running into the forest with a pack of wolves in hot pursuit. One would pick up a hen and then drop her, she would keep running. I shouted for help but people just stood by, resigned that the the girls were goners. I ran into the woods, gathering chickens into my arms, pulling some out of the mouths of wolves. My running felt free, I wasn’t at all tired but the wolves were all over me, waiting for me to drop a bird.

That dream is all me. It has all the hallmarks: bathroom, water damage, chickens, running without tiring … the only thing missing is I was fully clothed so I didn’t have that particular element of mortification. Tomorrow, for sure.

I tried to tell Loony about it but he glazed over immediately so I’m torturing you.








2 thoughts on “Anonymity Trap

  1. Did you mention something about a birthday! A work associate? I can’t believe you have such vivid dreams! Sooo interesting.

    • It’s coming up on the 13th. I’m going to be in Puerto Vallarta with Steven, basking in his golden glory and enjoying some much needed downtime. He says he often dreams about my house which is so sweet. I am looking forward to being in his home and enjoying Mexico with a local. It’s wonderful to hear from you. I hope all is well in Indianola.

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