T the Head

The other night I had a dream in which I encountered a woman who I once knew as a child. I’ll call her T. T also went to my mother's nursery school and lived in our neighborhood. I probably had play dates with her as a toddler, and I'm pretty sure I attended a birthday party of hers and vice versa. We were in the same classes quite often through sixth grade, and I think we were fairly friendly in school. But we were never friends. The last time I probably ever saw T was in junior high because I went to high school for one year in NYC and then moved to Holmdel and continued school there.

T was blonde with blue eyes. I never had a crush on her like I did with so many of the other girls. (My crushes all had brown/dark hair.) Still I felt connected to her somehow. Maybe it was because I don’t think she truly fit in with all the other girls. I remember one time in third grade when T had what appeared to be a booger on her arm. Another girl said, “Ew, you have a booger on your arm!” T just calmly flicked it off with her finger and said matter-of-factly, “It’s a disease.” Well this made me and the other girl laugh hysterically. Obviously a disease doesn’t look like a booger and can’t be simply flung off your skin without leaving a mark. Even a third-grader knows that. T didn’t seem to be bothered by our laughing or teasing. Or at least she didn’t show it.

It’s strange how this tiny incident has somehow been affixed in my memory for all this time. How many other insignificant moments were there, day after day in school, that did not make an imprint? For me it was a humorous anecdote, and I guess that is why I have allowed it to stay with me all these years. Perhaps I have subconsciously repeatedly revisited that moment for a light-hearted cerebral tickle. Maybe my brain replayed it because it was a bonding moment with the other girl (of course, dark-haired), who I knew would never include me as one of her friends, even though she basically lived right behind my house on the other side of the woods.

It never really occurred to me until now, but maybe that memory never left T either. And, if so, from her perspective, it was likely a source of pain. I certainly can recall a dozen, if not more, memories of being teased and bullied in school. I don’t often choose to relive those moments, and I rarely talk about them.

When I joined Facebook about 11 years ago, I looked T up. I didn’t send a friend request. I just stalked as much information as I could from her public profile. She was (is?) married with kids. Part of me was hoping that wouldn’t be the case. From what I could gather about her husband, it was a high-school romance. I can’t imagine having fallen in love with someone from my school days and still having that person in my life (married or otherwise). That’s a long-ass time. Almost goes as far back as my booger memory. Unlike me, though, T has a physical being from her past that she has held onto, with whom she has created a family and and continues to create new experiences and memories every day. I have a snot story.

I never really thought about T much throughout my adult years. Not consciously, anyway. I wonder if she remembers me at all? Throughout my life, certain women have reminded me of her. Most recently, two women in two different improv classes seem to have triggered thoughts of T. They both had those physical attributes that for some reason have always and only been associated with her in my mind. A scattering of freckles, slightly dirty blonde hair, somewhere between curls and frizz, and eyes that sparkled like cold blue Christmas.

So back to this dream I had.

T was just a head. Something tragic had happened to her. Miraculously, she was still able to live, but as a head. No torso, no neck, no nothing. No life-support system attached to her. It wasn’t a head floating in large glass laboratory tube. Just a head.

T the Head didn’t seem to remember me, or if she did she didn’t let on. She didn’t show any of her emotions except for a slight bitchiness, and who could blame her for that? Still, I was hoping for some kind of acknowledgement of our shared history, no matter how insignificant it might have been to her. But just like she did with the booger, she played it cool.

Maybe that’s how she had to be with people. After all, she could only get around if people carried her. She let me carry her for a while, albeit in a begrudging way. T the Head wasn’t too heavy, but there was enough weight that my arms would get tired and cramp after a while. I felt bad that I wasn’t stronger, and I worried that would drop her if my muscles suddenly gave out.

Setting her down was a tricky matter. T the Head didn’t stay upright unless you balanced her just so. She could easily just topple to the side, or worse, do a literal face plant. My deepest fear was that she would suffocate if I didn’t keep an eye on her. T the Head was like a baby with the mind, experiences and personality of a full-grown adult who had lived a life -- now helpless and completely reliant on others.

Eventually I found a spot on a lawn where the grass wasn’t too high. The ground was soft enough that T the Head would sit perfectly upright and level without any need for a hand or additional props to keep her stable. It might have been the big field with the swings and jungle gym in front of Lafayette Mills School, which was walking distance from T’s childhood home. It wasn’t something I questioned at the time. It was a dream. It was dark -- nighttime in a dream kind of dark, so while the light on the ground was bright enough to see the freshly mowed green turf, nothing in the distance was visible. A horizon of blackness.

I left T the Head there and walked away, certain that she would be safe. Her gaze fixed in one direction. Permanently, perhaps, staring forever into nothingness. Unless someone stumbles upon her in a dream and offers to carry her around for a while.


The KING is Dead! Long Live, the Hawk King!

*Please read out loud or to yourself in your best robot voice*
So I read these news articles pointing out that now dead guy Stephen Hawking was an atheist AND apparently he was also this super smart guy in the field of PHYSICS. I assume that this is supposed to convince us that only stupid people believe in GOD. Well, fuck him. I hope he IS gone forever and not enjoying an afterlife. Meanwhile I am going to get back to praying and working on breaking the mental constructs that hinder me from seeing GOD in everyone and everything. I don't believe in GOD. I know that GOD is a word. A concept. All I know is that there is the MYSTERY. The mystery of a universe that even SMARTYPANTS Hawking couldn't figure out. Maybe I'll get around to reading some of his books and even the BIBLE (1 & 2) one day before I die. Although I did see that movie with the Danish Girl playing him and thought it was an entertaining and strange love story. I liked the Danish Girl movie a lot better. Oh, and is isn't ironic that he dies on 3/14 otherwise known as "PIE DAY" because 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 . . . . . . is a transcendental number?!?! In other words INFINITE!! Coincidence?! I think not. The universe was undoubtedly making a point that only others like me can see. I would say RIP Stephen Hawking, but he wouldn't want that, so instead I will say BYE BYE! SEE YA! DON"T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS ON YOUR WAY OUT!


Cloud City Phantom

The lack of Lando in the new Star Wars and comments about race in another facebook post triggered an old memory. This is absolutely true.
I had two Star Wars Bespin Guard action figures, one was white and one was black (not African-American, as neither of those places exist in that galaxy). They both had the same mustache as Lando, as this was regulation in Cloud City. As far as I know, they were the only figures Kenner made that were the exactly the same, except for their race.
One time when I was playing with my figures, I placed the black guard, gun in hand, on the Death Star elevator shaft near the tractor beam controls. While I was turned away, the gun flew out of his hand and hit me in the face. Scared the shit out of me. I never played with that figure again. I swear he didn't like me.

UPDATE: My memory seems to have played tricks on me. In researching images for this post (my figures were in storage), I found that only the white guard had the Lando 'stache. I'm leaving the above as written, though, because I find my childhood memories to be more fascinating as memories than actual fact because it's the memories that I've lived with for my whole life. 


Shirtless shoeless man with tattoos spotted outside the former Circus of Books porn den turned hipster marijuana dispensary. Not sketchy at all. I love LA!


Where yeohman has gone before

I've been rewatching a lot of the original Star Trek episodes lately, and I think I have developed a crush on Yeohman Tamura. She was played by the actress Miko Mayama and only appeared in one episode.

Before she went on a voyage of discovery in outer space, she was "discovered" by Burt Reynolds, as this post on her IMDB page states. Hollywood had already discovered her as by the time they met, she had already been on Star Trek and about 10 other TV shows.
According to Burt Reynolds autobiography, "But Enough About Me", Miko Mayama started as a Kabuki Theater player. They met when he stopped in Japan on his way to the Philippines to do the movie, "Impasse." Miko moved with Reynolds to the United States and learned to speak English by watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. Her first words to him in English were, "What's Up, Doc?" They lived together for 4 years before he left her for Dinah Shore.

Embed from Getty Images

Read the whole excerpt from Reynold's book here:

In 1973 she appeared in the Blaxplotation film "That Man Bolt." In this scene, Bolt, played by Fred Williamson, checks out the woman who wooed Burt with bunny talk.


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The Great American Blindness Challenge 2017

Braincelljupiter stares at the eclipse in Madras, Oregon

First I noticed my shadow looked 3D and colors started to become saturated. I felt like I was wearing sunglasses. It felt like I was going blind. It got cold. Then darkness started closing in from the distance. Mount Jefferson on the horizon disappeared. I got colder. Then it was night. People gasped and cheered. Totality. For a little more than two minutes I stared at the fingers of the sun. A man nearby told his toddler daughter, "you have to remember this." And when it was over she said she wanted to do it again. I felt the same way. Do it again. Make me feel small. Remind me we are floating and rotating in the blackness of space. Remind me of how we only exist because of your warmth and the distance you keep from us.


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