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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dave @ 24, Part 2

Continuing from the previous entry, the next entry covers a conversation between me and my sister (Leah). I've redacted large chunks of the entry, simply because the level of bile on display is fairly embarrassing. Suffice it to say that my sister and I have always had a somewhat combative relationship - much less so, now, thank God - borne out of classic sibling rivalry (she's three years older) and continuing well into our twenties.

A pretty clear source of that friction is on display in the below excerpt, even in edited form:


11/14/94

Tired, all the time and unmotivated. Sometimes bursts of confidence and energy, but it's totally clear that visual art defeats me. More on lis this later.

Had conversation with Leah yesterday, driving her down to Ma's at Midnight last night - we were on very different wavelengths, which happens with us sometimes.

(Janet rubs pen and book as I write)1

[...] I tried telling her the story to the "Dark Muse" as I drove, eating whoppers between words ([from a bag] with a Silence = Death sticker on it that she'd been plastering on toll booths) and the waves of restrained sarcasm and disdain rolling off of her were so palpable I just felt like a total schmuck. I really couldn't wait to drop her off. It makes me feel more than ever that there's very little that I could ever do to win her respect - our values systems are so different. - But I guess I've learned to hold my tongue with her and just play stupid. - I drift and I can't even bring myself fully into reality when I get in situations like that - not really listening, not really responding - not all the way on - (It was kind of hilarious because I was driving and was sort of drifting close to cars and in and out of lanes.)

So I say that Katie2 and I are thinking of going to Amsterdam and Leah just thinks of it as this big drug city - in her my mind, why else go there - Literally! "All my friends who've been there say that" she says. I say, "well, Kate and I really don't do drugs3 - Pot has no effect on me4"

Never say shit like that to a diehard Pothead [...] because then you have to deal with all the "oh, you don't inhale right" or "you haven't tried it enough" shit [...] she lectured that the reason Kate and I (or indeed, any of my close friends) aren't into Pot is because we "came of age in a conservative administration."

[...]

Hairbat cover coming along well - at some point have to get cracking on Dark Muse, though... Music is currently stagnant, haven't written, really, in about a month - must buy guitar strings on mon friday and rectify that. Goodnight, 1:50 am.

================

Dream:

Dreampt I spent the night at Lancourts house5 - Asle Ansley called saying "Where'd you go? We wanted to jam." So I go but we don't jam. I pick up my coat to put it on (to leave their house) - The stuffing is all styrofoam popcorn6 - the lining has ripped and its slowly spilling out as I walk. their aunt Gayle sees the popcorn and says "whoever is doing this has to leave now" I walk up to Gayle in the hallway and scream "Fuck You, Bitch" at the top of my lungs right in her face7 - she reacts in that weird, nervous smiley Gayle way. Nobody else seems to notice or care. I go outside and there's snow all over the place - I go to my car, worried now because I have to be at work in a little while - the passengers door was accidentally left open all night (It's still dark out) and snow has gotten in the car. I get in the drivers side and try to start it - I notice the hood is open a little too... I'm pretty sure that somebody broke in. After much forcing and pumping the gas pedal, the car starts - I'm afraid I've burned out the engine as I pull up the hill, though.

For some reason - the temperature gauge is all the way over on the right hand side of the car

========

Woke up and called in late so that I could stay home and work on Hairbat cover. Another hour of sleep first, tho.

========

Dream:

At an old English hotel for some blind persons convention with Bran or Dave, maybe. In the main auditorium I met meet a young blind girl, age Eleven or so - I have a book of piano exercises or something - she apparently went blind at the age of three or so, so she remembers colors and things - There's a chart of notes and their corresponding colors - I play a "C" which she says is "Purple" + she's right! I'm very impressed with her perfect pitch and I'm also becoming attracted to her8 - but she's getting older - by the time she gets onstage to address the convention, she's a long, brown haired twenty year old. As she talks, she gets possessed by some malevolent spirit, and she starts to look like an old Asian harridan. She works up the crowd into a fury against sighted people - and then they go on a rampage, determined to blind everybody - I panic, but keep my head enough to know that if they can't hear me they can't find me - but then Bubba9 leans over my shoulder and loudly asks "what's going on." We run outside and it's a fucking free-for-all. Blind people attacking sighted people on a beautiful meadow spring afternoon.

Later I run back inside and get into a race up the stairs with someone in an elevator to the contents of an office on the third floor. At this point, I think I may have become Leslie Nielsen.


1) Janet was our childhood cat, and one who outlived our childhoods by quite a bit. She was over 18 by the time she finally died, meaning that she went from me being in fifth grade to lasting long enough to be around for the first year that Yesenia and I dated. Terrorized as a kitten and young cat by my stepsisters' 'playing' and skittish for years as a result, by the mid-90's she'd mellowed and become surprisingly affectionate. She's laid to rest by the chimney, next to a rose bush that Yesenia planted later on. On the day that we buried her, Edz and I were jamming with (a lame) guitar player, and we launched into a memorial version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. My father says of Janet - named after the Joyce DeWitt character due to her black fur - that she raised the kids, but by the end she really was my father's cat after all, an I think there's some deep sentimentality in his quip.

2) College semi-girlfriend Kate TenEyck - our relationship was always too complex and aggravating to be 'boyfriend and girlfriend.' Kate was in the Sculpture Department at RISD and had risen to the top, and was spending the year in Rome as part of RISD's European Honors Program. This was after being named All-State on trumpet in high school and only really turning to the visual arts after a summer at Interlochen. As you can see, she excelled at excelling in these things. I was planning to visit her in December of '94, some of which turns up in later entries.

3) Obviously, this statement is paper thin at best for myself today, and I have no idea as to its accuracy in the period regarding Kate. At the time, it was true enough for me - but it does serve well to illustrate a difference in approach to the topic between Leah and myself.

4) Having gone to RISD, I'd had more than enough experiences with it to say truthfully that it didn't have an affect on me. But I'm guessing that I projected an image of being uptight about it to more than just my sister, based on what people have told me since.

5) The Lancourts refers to Ansley and Bran (also referred to as 'the twins'), and the house in question is the one they spent the bulk of their childhood, adolescence and early 20's in, a split-level ranch on Ash Street in Piermont. Much time was spent there by myself, Bubba and Rich Clarke, usually doing nothing, to the point of distraction. To this day, I have never been able to get into the rhythms of the Lancourt life - spending the night over there was like an experiment in CIA sleep deprivation, as every member of the household slept with their own televisions (one in each room!) on at full volume, and all the lights in the house shining mercilessly down. Something of that vibe is here in this dream.

6) I worked at Barnes & Noble in Nanuet at the time, in the shipping and receiving department. Still my favorite job! We had large bins of packing popcorn, my favorite of which was the proprietary brand, which was made from potato starch. Tasted good, and the mice loved it, too.

7) My dreams often featured Lynchian explosions of anger and almost manifest violence. Less so now, which I hope means that I'm less angry than I was.

8) It's a dream. I cannot be held responsible for things like this.

9) The erstwhile Christopher Jeremy Yacopino, nicknamed 'Bubba' around the age of 12 by a classmate and it stuck so well that even his father calls him that. I had known of Bubba for a long time, as his class had been brought into our school due to one of the many school closings in the 1970's. I believe he came to William O. Schaeffer School (mine) from Tappan Elementary, which was sold and later became some seriously nice apartments. My first awareness of Bubba (still just 'Chris') came in first grade, when someone told me not to drink out of a particular water fountain because Bubba had sipped from it earlier. Tainting it with cooties, I suppose.

I think I drank.

I became friends with Bubba through Jim Doller in high school, although Bubba seems to have been independently friends with pretty much all of my friends over the years. Not really surprising, as he's had early-onset avuncularity since high school. He and the twins met doing time at RCC, and hung out for a long period in the mid-90's when I was largely absent.

Bubba, Dave Zapanta and I made a completely off-the-wall take off of the first Batman movie in 1992, and I'd swear there are bits in there that are comedy gold. I was Batman (the straight man, as always), Dave was the Joker, and Bran turns up in the Jack Palance role, turning it into a running gag on his hosting Ripley's Believe it Or Not.

D.

5 comments:

John said...

So when did you leave Providence? Mid '94? I believe I exited February of that year? You graduated a semester before me? God, I can't remembr nothin'...

Dave Kopperman said...

I think I came back in April or May of 1994. I actually graduated in June of '93, and stuck around for a year in Providence, lacking a better plan.

D.

shaunian said...

Your footnotes are as entertaining as the things they describe. One can only hope to be a footnote in a dream of Dave's.

Christine said...

I need to see your Batman tape.
(Greg played "Batguy" in a spoof he did with his friends, but he has since hidden the tape from me, so I regretfully cannot share.)
(This legendary performance lead to the "BATGUY" vanity plate his car sported until last year, when we found it was complicated to transfer vanity plates to a leased vehicle. I am still campaigning for its return.)

Dave Kopperman said...

The only person who may have a copy of it is Bubba - I've been meaning to ask him about it.

D/