Saturday, November 15, 2003

Plowed through most of "The Cosmic Puppets"; this one is extremely creepy. Dick takes an almost absurdly simple premise -- a guy revisits his home town only to find that the place is utterly alien and that no one remembers him -- and creates a wrenchingly paranoid story out of it. And this was written in the 1950s, before the words "virtual reality" had been uttered and the guys who conceived "The Matrix" hadn't even been born.

I came home from the coffeeshop racked by a headache and ate left-over Vietnamese. I have a mild, senseless crush on one of the baristas. It's so much easier for me to be attracted to women I don't know. And since I really don't know any women, I find myself speculating on a near-constant basis. I realize this portrait isn't flattering; it makes me sound like some skittish, socially impoverished creature living on the margins of human existence -- which isn't true. I'm actually pretty amiable and emotionally articulate. I suppose I'm simply a "work in progress," a postmodern installation piece.

Is it mere coincidence that I'm entranced by simulacra and the idea of the "alien"?

"When the wind turns on the shores lies another day
I cannot ask for more
And when the time bell blows my heart and I have scored a better day
Well nobody made this war of mine

"And the moments that I enjoy
A place of love and mystery
I'll be there anytime."

--Beth Gibbons, "Mysteries"

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