November 10th, 2003


Windsor Shag Pile

I'm not entirely convinced that the reappearance of a bikini wearing Miss Afghanistan is particularly strong evidence for the emergence of a new civil society in Afghanistan. And then this distinctly unfunny site I came across, which annoys the hell out of me for one simple reason - the Afghanis are NOT Arabs, so why play that tacky bit of sandance music when you open the page up? I repeat NOT Arabs. Just like the Iranians, also NOT Arabs. Afghani music, which suffered tremendously under the Taliban ban on all instruments except the drum, isn't therefore Arabic either. Well, as if it matters, you might think, except that's the kind of crass arrogance that causes the world to increasingly want to take up arms against America. Ignorance of world geography is unforgivable post-Magellan, never mind 9/11. They could have used these wonderful Afghani midi files. On seconds thoughts, please don't. They sound like outtakes for a Residents album. You could try Aziz Herawi, an acknowledged master of the dutar. The tragedy is the destruction of these wonderful cultures, the world will be a poorer place for it. We are most certainly DEVO.

Of course, there is a second reason for the annoyance - absolutely no coffee in the house and instead I am typing under the influence of Assam. It's not really cutting through the fug of an extended dream state.

Enough time has passed to forget most of these many dreams (one of which was clearly the result of half-hearing a lengthy radio interview program about Russian oligarchs. I awoke - ah, that's why everyone has got these thick accents all of a sudden). There was a woman in one who was dying from cancer. We were living in an underground bunker style building that was filled with sand. There was a feeling in the dream, that particular dream atmosphere that eludes description but can still hang around you upon waking. For me, it's generally a profound sense of loss, or what might more correctly be defined as absence with a hefty nod towards Rilke.

In the dream, I am aware that I am in love with her. This doesn't take any time at all in a dream, although you often only recognise it upon waking. My dreams would appear to fall into two distinct categories: overly vivid scenes of torture and abuse intercut with desperate escape attempts (You wake up feeling relieved that you are awake) or overly distressing sensations of longing intercut with fruitless searches for the object of desire (You wake up feeling sad and incomplete). This morning's was the latter of the two. I can remember, or rather how my current mind chooses to reinterpret the abstract, that her death was quite inevitable and I was filled with a desire to care for her from this time on. Most of her hair had fallen out in large clumps and these large blotches and scabs had started to disfigure her face. It seemed impossible not to be won over by her great courage in the sight of death, but as soon as we had this conversation, she more or less vanished. At the end of this section (before it turned into a rather routine escape from black clad riot police), I was alone underground and wrapped myself in her blanket and lay down to sleep on the sand floor, hoping that I wouldn't be discovered draping herself around me.

Yet the dream was far more than these very slight recollections, delicate scents that your nostrils could tear apart upon breathing. It was a long and fairly busy weekend, but I was very aware that had I not had any working commitments, I would have just collapsed onto the bed and tried to sleep through as much of it as I could. Autumn is very melancholy and this can be quite welcome, but then there's melancholy on top of yet more melancholy and it becomes like some obscenely rich sundae that you can't really stomach. There was a whole set of thoughts I felt were going to hatch out at some point. They were not new ones. Oh, that record again. Fortunately I was tired enough to fall asleep at ten and avoid having them. I shall have to try and avoid them today also.
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