Friday, May 24, 2013

Letter Against Fear (unsent)

I don't quite know how to say this. A couple of  nights ago I had some kind of terrible dream. I don't remember anything about it, not the narrative, not anything, just a sense of black beating wings at the centre of, well, everything. Perhaps there was no narrative, or rather, only the flipside, as if I was hanging from it, from all the threads and unrevealed disclosures, the nets of place dangling, a sublime matrix I was, well, choking inside. The Surrealists were wrong, obviously: there's no “marvelous” in the dream, it runs diagonally through your body, like that lightning rod that spears Patrick Troughton in The Omen. You know the bit, yeh. He's running through the churchyard, some kind of storm, some kind of panic weather - I don't remember very clearly, I haven't seen it since I was a kid. Anyway, just as he reaches the church, his workplace, whatever, the lightning rod at the top of the spire, or is it a weather-vane, I dunno, it plummets forward, snaps off, and it spears him. Rivets him to the ground, and to time. That's what a dream is. That's what it signals, some kind of policed rift, some kind of brutal radio wave, where everything you've ever feared or loved or both is compressed into one infinitely dense anti-magnetic spike, an anti-magnetic barricade, and you are left there, fixed into place, dangling there, trapped, like some kind of imaginary animal. Sorry. That's pretty depressing. But I woke up out of it at 3 that morning, and I haven't been able to sleep since. I got up and paced around in horrible circles, couldn't stop. I haven't felt like that since, you remember, we mainlined all of that ridiculous speed, and it wasn't fun, all of our talk shattered into spirals of dust, and we decided we could see the “world spirit”, and, well, I dunno. Like a perfumed rapture turned inside out: the city as rat-trap, as unreconciled bondage and chicken-wire. Anyway, thanks for your letter. I think your ideas about psychogeography are idiotic, actually. I can't believe you ever took that shit seriously. I mean, yeh, obviously, the city is a giant clock, but still, I would have thought the recent explosions, the networks of racist attacks and so forth, would have made you adjust your interpretations just a little. How the hell do you think we can read the silent workings of the city's risible little head via slightly exotic walking tours, table-tapping and ghost stories. Like, we're the fucking ghosts, yeh. It's the signals from the future I'm interested in. I dunno, maybe its different for you. The fact you get paid, I guess, the fact that you're on a salary, does give you a point of entry that, for the time being at least, I don't really have access to. To be unemployed is to be a stowaway, at best. From where I'm sitting, all I can hear is a dull metronomic beating, sentimental rants about extermination and terror and the like. What are the psychogeographical signals set off by a fascist mob, for example, what galaxies and rhythmic swarms are they colliding with. Absolute magnetic compressions. History as a separable particle, a damp electric rag shoved down our kidnapped throats. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong. I wish you'd tell me. I wish you were capable of saying just one word that would convince me all narrative structures - including those of the so-called avant garde - haven't been reduced to something as basic as a crowbar, a massive memory lapse, a constellation of chemical dirt and bizarre melodies that no-one is dancing to. Sorry, I can't get to whatever it is I'm trying to say. I daren't, in fact. Every day I leave the house at least once, to go for a walk. Usually its just to the supermarket, but sometimes I go as far as the railway tracks. Its all overgrown down there, its kind of peaceful. A damp landscape of rust and brambles, where the signal-towers and voices can begin to seem like the components of some barely remembered dream. And actually, now I can remember, that was the dream I was trying to tell you about, that was its structure, that was all it was. I was in an abandoned station house. The silence was endless. And then I woke up. There was some kind of ticking in the corner of the room. I couldn't tell what it was. I couldn't see to switch on the light. What was that ticking. Why did it sound like it was coming from the centre of my chest. Why was I so helpless and afraid.

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