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So I'm hanging out with my mom and she mentions that she's taken some peyote she's gotten from so-and-so, and it's really good. I'm envious. Later, though, the frat boys are hosting a hallucinogen party in a garage full of big restaurant sinks. They're all full, seemingly of water, and the one I'm closest to looks like it's about to overflow, so I drain it, only to be chastened for wasting good acid.

Now we're outside and it's a garden party and one of the frat boys brings over a newfangled coffee brewing device which he says has failed in its mission; another assures him that is because the grind is too fine. This makes me realize the device is actually introduced years in the future and that the wrong-grind problem is near universal at first when people start using it. I tell the frat boys this: "I know it sounds weird, but I was there when these were introduced--rather when these ARE introduced..." The frat boys think I'm crazy. So does Heather. So I begin to wonder: I'm absolutely sure about my time traveling, but could it be delusional? (Cf. Twelve Monkeys; Head's reference to the mind's "inability to distinguish between the real and the vividly imagined experience".)

While I'm wondering this I meander into the house where a bunch of kids are running around like banshees. One of them gives me a hair smoother appliance, which looks like a single electric buffer brush on a 3-foot handle, with nine settings. I don't know how the settings can be more than speed of brush rotation, but I dutifully turn it up to the highest setting, "Smoothing", and start smoothing the hair of one of the little girls, who appears to be ethnic Chinese, with lustrous, jet black hair. She dances while her hair is smoothed. Then I make the mistake of offering a hair-smoothing to an adult male elder, who, it turns out, is some sort of mikado or satrap or mandarin. In slow, ultra-dignified response, he calls for a telephone and makes a very confusing call to a woman from down the D.P. list. In an initially deceptive, parabolic way, he reveals her husband's philandering in order to aggrieve her; but this is all somehow a preface to his eventual operatic rage at my having dared to extend the hair smoother to him. An insult borne of gender dissonance.

Later: Friday night's performance is over; I have found it nerve-wracking and am trepidatious about having to perform the same play twice on Saturday. I fret over my acting talent--the old question about acting v. lying--Mr. Paul and Ms. ? criticizing my take as Nicely-Nicely Johnson: "You're not really doing anything on stage; you're just being yourself." Maybe I really can't act. Or maybe I just haven't found my character yet or learned how to make him funny. Tangentially, a troupe of vaudevillians [not-quite-Three Stooges, not-quite-Marx Brothers, not-quite-Laurel-and-Hardy but somehow representative of all three] climb down from the door of a house, destroyed and on its side, to the ground and walk past single-file. One of them, all smiles like Harpo, kisses another on the cheek, on cue, over and over.

Maybe the same house before it was wrecked, but in any case a haunted house. A fortune-telling holographic gadget shows all the former owners and the horrible ends they met; then shows the current owners, who until now have been presumed living and seen as normal people, walking around, being homeowners. In order to figure out the mystery of the house, I have to get into a large-scale manual pinball machine and work the flippers by hand as the (stereotypical, green, warty) witch at the center tries to defeat me. I ask Roze if she has a quarter to play, then remember I have one in my pocket. If I win (and I will) I will be given the clue, which I need to take to the basement for the next (non-pinball) contest.

In other news, I met my father's other son Gordon, my half-brother, who's seemingly half my age or less. Lots of family are piled up and lounging on day beds or couches in Grandmom's house. Gordon #2 is scruffy and goofy and wearing dirty clothes; beyond that, however, he looks nothing like me, or Dad, that I can tell. He ends an initial spell of stand-offishness with a rhetorical flourish and makes to embrace me; but ends up being really straight-boy perfunctory about it. He wanders off. Bob suggests playing a game if we can get a fourth with Bob, John, and me. What's this game? I ask him, and he pulls out a box that's clearly reminiscent of the Po-Ke-No game Grandmom used to have, but in fact is some hybrid of cribbage and Parcheesi. Don't even ask me how. It is clear from Bob's demeanor that he's expecting me to be thrilled by this proposition, but I tell him I don't know the game. He insists I've played it with him and John many times. John agrees. I search memory but come up blank. "I know memory's a tricky and unreliable thing, but..."


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February 2015

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