Mimesis and Violence

night tremors
August 22, 2007, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Friends, Humor, Rants

The capstone of my otherwise great Friday night was an post-apocalyptic dream/vision.

It was Josh’s birthday. I had a much too big dinner and a little too much wine with Diana and Kassi at a cheap but delicious Indian restaurant in the east village. We met Josh&Co at a bar called Lolita. Seemed an unfortunate name for a place of imbibition to release inhibition. Fortunately no children were present. Hopefully no pedophiles either. Too many SoCo and Kamikaze shots later I decided karaoke was absolutely necessary. I thought I knew more of the lyrics to “Let’s Get It On,” but I’m sure Josh appreciated the gesture nonetheless.

3:45 AM. Lights on, I pass out on Josh’s couch. Leigh graciously left me the larger one and it is comfy. My subconscious steps outside the prophetic tradition: a lucid post-apocalyptic dream world Ezekiel could never have invented; newer New York, cleaner, shinier, without character. New York as it would be if it were built anew in a California suburb. Everyone’s white. Even the black people. Well, not the Dominicans, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans, but they live in the boroughs.

It’s not one of those cool lucid dreams where I control the world. I can’t fly. I can’t wish things into existence. I only control myself, and even so I have a sudden tugging, uncontrolable hankering for a bagel (with cream cheese, smoked sable, maybe some onion, tomato? capers?). I wander the Upper West Side searching for H&H or a close approximation thereof, but all I find is

California Bagel Kitchen

The chain, it seems, has taken Starbucks’ place on every corner and in every heart. White people of all colors pour in and out of the double doors. “It can’t be that bad, it’s a bagel in New York after all,” I think. I walk in. There’s free wifi, bookcases painted on the colorful wallpaper, and a women’s bathroom length line at the register. It is that bad. Panera bad. Worse. Terrible. Unspeakably so. Organic blueberry cream cheese bad. Avocado-jalapeƱo and mango-lingonberry bagels awful. Not a side of salmon in sight, nor a sesame seed do I see.

7:12 AM. I wake in a cold sweat, forehead wetter than wet. I look out the apartment windows. 5 floors up on 35th and park. Decent, proper, real bagels surround me like a down duvet. But for how long? Blueberry cream cheese is already encroaching, staining the blanket. Strawberry fat-free tofutti disgustingness can’t be far behind.