waking life

Here are my latest ideas for making it big.

1. Write in to Reader’s Digest from many different locations with made-up “true life jokes.” I make up pretty funny jokes, and what I can’t make up I’ll steal from funny stories people tell me. It’s like 200 dollars per joke that they print.

2. Stay excellent friends with smart, funny people and piggyback to wealth and fame and fortune and even better looks. Also smart funny people will help with Idea #1.

3. Write in Iris’s story to Oprah and accompany her to the show (not on it, of course, unless Oprah sees me and is consumed with curiosity to hear my story, such as it is, and then we are equally featured on her show and she breaks down at the bit in Iris’s story where she and her true Pie are separated by American red tape the day after their wedding– and Oprah brokenly offers her a mansion on Easter Island which we graciously, tearfully accept.

4. I had some pretty fantastic ideas for inventions but they’ve already been invented. The biggest blow was when I learned that in Japan they’ve got washers that also dry your clothes. The point was, you don’t have to take them out. I also had an idea for a great invention where a machine changes your baby’s diaper, but I haven’t the slightest clue as to how that would work. I just know it’d be a hit.

5. Write a novel. Or short stories. I’m seriously considering a pen name. An Indian pen name. A Booker or a Penn/Hemingway would be within my grasp if only I had an Indian pen name. Or a collection of short stories or a novel. Those would also help.


I just had a minor hiccup– the thermostat was at 58, which I thought meant we’d run out of propane. But the registers are blowing sweet nothings again, and I am cozy in the knowledge I was wrong.

Last night I dreamed that I was explaining to someone how Dickensian romance was never sappy, and I wish, in waking life, that my dream-dialogue was more eloquent. It’s academic, for sure, just not eloquent. I bet Rebecca’s is. Ooof. I can’t imagine. That reminds me of when Briana and I were at India Palace one sunny day, gorging on thaali, and I think it was Chris with us– anyway, they were talking about Rudyard Kipling and I mentioned that I’d met his granddaughter. They were very impressed. All the natural questions followed. And I, remembering, said slowly, “In a … moat. We were floating in a moat.” I looked up guiltily, confusedly. Briana put her head to one side chidingly. “Are you sure, Elizabeth? Are you sure you didn’t dream this?” Well anyway I guess it was a good dream. I remember liking her. The big deal in the dream, though, was what else was going on. We were floating to somewhere. The significance of Rudyard Kipling’s granddaughter was merely that she was a good floating companion with a lucky heritage.

What gets me real mad is when Ashley accuses me of dreaming things. I often confuse reality with dreams, but nothing horrendous. The real bad dreams you realize are just that. It’s just the little ones that make minor hiccups in your day. Like when you see someone and you’re like, omg I totally saved you from Loch Ness last night, wasn’t that fantastic? That was a dream earlier this week about Iris. That’s a joke, sort of. I didn’t really think Loch Ness was real.

Iris was telling me (in waking life) about this guy whose image is a recurring theme worldwide. Some people have nightmares about him, and others recount his angelic doings. Apparently somebody sketched his face after a nightmare and showed the picture to the psychologist. The next client saw the image and recognized it from her dreams. Lots of people knew this face from their own dreams. A collective consciousness, I think it’s called. The face is of a man with a unibrow and a receding hairline. Just your average Joe, Iris said, but then I couldn’t summon up anyone I’d seen with those two features. (A good unibrow is hard to find, a la F.O’Connor.) I said it’d be a pretty hard life if you were that poor dude. Imagine? Everywhere you go, people would either be screaming or broken with gratitude.  What a mindboggle. You’d have the shakiest self-esteem. Plus it gets annoying to other people when you go up to them and start recounting something that didn’t actually happen. I like to act on my dreams, though, and call or write when I dream something big about the person. In that sense, dreams become real. (I’ve stopped telling people that they were ghosts in my dreams, though, because it does nothing but worry a body.)

Annie’s still sleeping. I love when she sleeps in. (It’s 8.13 am.) I get to drink coffee without a spill and write about the things in my head and I also get to neti-pot without her playing in the dribble from the other side. That bugs me. All apologies to those who think neti-pots are gross and weird. I’m so with you! I just like the feeling. But I’m terrified of becoming crunchy. It just feels like you went to the ocean and exercised and swallowed a wave. That feeling. The feeling you get afterwards, I mean. No one likes the feeling of swallowing a wave. The first couple times I used it I put in loads of salt. It’s pretty dumb because I was very careful about the temperature of the water. I tested it on my wrist and everything. Plus it was the coarse sea salt and I didn’t stir it or anything. It burned like the saltiest wave you ever snorted. It burned like you’d inhaled a salty sand dune. Lombardo said I was doing it the Git’mo way, which is true. After the second day of sputtering and clutching my poker-red temples and shrieking and cursing, I googled “neti pot dangers” and realized the bit about the exact amount of salt to put in. (The idea is to approximate the salinity of your body. I considered just using my contact solution but that would be a waste of money. Can you believe how expensive saline soln is?? I wanted to make my own but Ashley dissuaded me. I’m glad. I don’t want to know how that coarse sea salt would have felt in my eye sockets. Probably damage my picturesque optic nerves.)

Annie’s awoken from her slumberous slumbers. I’d give a lot to know what she dreams about. Probably dogs and towels and smoothies. I met a little girl on the train last month who said she dreamed the night before about how beautiful her mommy was. Come on, Annie!

One Comment

  • Emily Wimbish wrote:

    You could invent diapers that dissolve in water…..dip your baby’s bottom into the toilet bowl to get rid of everything in one go. Dry. Apply new diaper. Repeat.

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