Joker Hysterical Face

The dream begins with the revelation that Tom’s brother Steven, and his wife Wendy are spending the night here at the apartment, which is a curious development, since they have a house of their own less than an hour’s drive away. The impact of the sleep-over effects Gabrielle and I to a great degree, however, as we are both exhausted from the long trip back from Martha’s Vineyard, where we had just the day before participated in a go-kart competition followed by a terrible meal at an Indian restaurant in which the owner forced his young children, 8 and 5, to work as bussers, instead of being in bed at such a late hour. So, the long and the short of it was that Stephen and Wendy were in our bed, and additionally, Wendy was up using our laptop to surf the web. Occasionally, she would send out an IM to Tom’s computer, in the living room where the four of us, myself, Brie, Tom, and Katie, sat watching, or in my case scowling, at a movie on the Hallmark channel starring Peter Falk. One of the IM’s Wendy sends forth to us references a message board detailing people’s reaction to Barack Obama’s victory in the primary, and to take my mind away from the shit on TV, I begin to browse some of the reactions and commentary on this board. One writer catches my attention, and the reason is not so much what is written, but how it is written, in kind of sentence fragments mixed with intricate hieroglyphics inside of ovals depicting the oddest scenarios I could have ever imagined. One in particular caught my attention. It illustrated a group of penguins dressed in diving gear, goggles, oxygen tank, etc., racing down a river on motorized surf boards. I clicked on the illustration and was immediately whisked away from the scene in the living room, and was instead up to my neck in river water, as these same penguins came flying past my head at incredible speeds. The current quickly picked me up and carried me to the bank where there was a number of spectator’s come out to watch the race. It was a race, an annual race, and I was somewhere outside of Montreal on a strange expanse that housed many statues and figures, works of art, from the minuscule, to the enormous. I began to walk down one of the paths, selected at random, as there were many to choose from, and I eventually found myself walking along a seemingly endless ranch-style fence. Gradually some activity began to come into focus up ahead. On the other side of the fence there was a massive steel birdcage with the logo PEZ on top of it, acting as the handle, I suppose, and a man appeared to be inside of it, lecturing to a large group that sat in the surrounding grass. On my side of the fence, there was a single man sitting on a log stump tossing something into the cage. As I edged closer to this man I began to see a resemblance to someone I knew many years earlier. It was Dr. John Dolan. He sat on this stump tossing individually wrapped candies into the lecturers cage on the other side of the fence, and otherwise appeared to be enraptured by the detainees words, as was true of most everyone else. The person in the cage, who I can’t say I recognized thoroughly, yet who I don’t doubt was an acquaintance from sometime or another would pick up the pieces of candy and unwrap them, all very casually, place the pieces into his mouth and mumble through that part of the lecture. In other words, as he would eat the candies, the lecture became unintelligible. And yet, when he would finish one piece, Dr. Dolan would toss another into the cage. It was impossible to distinguish the exact subject of the lecture, but it undoubtedly revolved around art. I moved slowly past Dr. Dolan, who only winked at me without giving any other sign of acknowledgement, which was out of character for him, and I nodded and kept moving. When I was approx. 50 yards from the scene the man in the birdcage raised his voice, demanding–IS THAT PHILLIP!? at which point I turned around and made eye contact with the man in the birdcage, he realizing that I realized who he was, before pointing at me and breaking into hysterical laughter, inciting the rest of the group to mumble among themselves as Dr. Dolan sat on his stump waving maniacally at me, shouting Hey Phil over and over again. I turned and continued down the path and soon found myself in a cafeteria.

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