Trivial Pursuits {?} - Chapter 10, Part 1

I read somewhere once that when a baby is learning something new, like how to roll from front to back, or crawl, or how to stand up, so this baby might have troubles sleeping at those nights. If I can remember myself right, this has to do with revisiting in its mind the new thing it’s practicing during the days. Maybe this isn’t something that’s only happening to the babies. Maybe this also happens to teenagers or even adults because the night that followed the first day with the interviews in Pan Pacific Park, basically I wasn’t sleeping very well.

I usually sleep right through the night, and sometimes even past the alarm clock. But that night I woke many times. First, it was like the babies and I was practicing locking my elbows to my stomach to prevent Eos from getting seasick. When we were making test films of the coat rack, this wasn’t a problem. But real people in a big park are not coat racks. They are moving often, and also there was the sun and my wet underarm pits to be contending with. And even though at the end of the shooting, when we came back to the apartment and watched all the films on her TV, Eos said she was very impressed from how well I did and how many good interviews we captured, I was able to see what she’d meant by seasick and I wanted to do better at the next day.

But this wasn’t the only reason I wasn’t sleeping that night. Around three in the morning I remember waking up with soiled underwears. Of course, from all my books, I had read about the dream boys sometimes get at my age and also my father was always warning me that one day it would happen. But this was the first time, and I found myself in shock from the peculiar odor and the stickiness of it. Maybe I was thinking it would be more like peeing in my pants. Anyway, it happened that night and as I was changing my underwears, I suddenly remembered some few parts of the dream that was causing the mess.

Eos and I were in Pan Pacific Park stopping for lunch in the shady area next to some nice magnolia trees. In the middle of eating, she started hugging me and I could feel with my hands the nice veins that she had popping out from her toned, black arms. And then we were laying there side to side and kind of hugging and I was feeling her skin and how soft, but also how firm it was. My arms are hairy and more fatty and you definitely wouldn’t find any veins in them, except maybe one on the top of my hand only going toward my index finger knuckle. Eos has sensual, strong arms, like a dancer, and when we are together, I often find myself staring at them, wanting to touch them. So in the dream I was, and then basically the big moment arrived when she was putting her hand inside my jeans and holding my penis in her fingers.

In real life, nobody has ever been holding my penis. One time, I was visiting a friend who was living in Jerusalem, and had to take the bus from his house to the university at Mount Scopus to check some few facts in a book at the library there. If you don’t know Mount Scopus, this is a beautiful point some 800 meters high with a view of the entire Old City. You’ve probably read about the Romans destroying the Jew’s Holy Temple in 70 CE. Or maybe you have been to Rome and maybe saw the Arch of Titus which shows the Roman soldiers carrying off some few spoils from the sacking. Well, Mount Scopus is where the legions supposedly camped during the war with the Jews.

After I had been at the library at the university, I was standing at the bus stop waiting to return to my friend’s house when a very round, happy-looking orthodox Jewish man approached me. In Israel, there are many different types of orthodox people. Some only wear the yarmulke on their head and are going around in blue jeans like everyone else. Some wear special black suits with a long coat and big black hat on their heads. Maybe you have seen them here in America too because I did one day when driving around in the Winnebago. Anyway, this very large orthodox man who was approaching me was the one in the black hat. When he steps into the bus stop, he looks at the map of where the bus is going, which sometimes you find there on the bus stop wall. And then he gets a confused look on his happy face and waves to me with his round hand to come over and explain the route that the bus is traveling.

So I go to stand with the map and am pointing the direction of the bus when all of a sudden I feel his hand moving on my pants in front of my penis. I get a shock from this and sort of move back thinking he made some mistake. The man says nothing about it, so I’m now thinking it must have been a mistake movement from his hand and when he asks to me to return to the map, I do. And now basically I’m showing him the route again when there is the feeling of his hand trying to hold my penis on top of my jeans again. So this time, I said something not very nice to him about his mother in Russian, which I wasn’t sure he understood, but also maybe he did because he kind of walked quickly away from there.

When I told my father about this crazy man, he explained how there are men who like boys, especially in Greece. Well, I thought I knew a lot about Greeks and Pythagoras and Homer and the Parthenon and all kind of interesting facts about their mythological gods and even some cool Olympics trivia, like how they used to do sports without their clothing on. But this was a new one and I didn’t like it.

And I thought about it that night while trying to go back to sleep after the dream about Eos and basically I came to the conclusion that the orthodox man trying to hold my penis did not count. First, because it was on top of my pants, not under—so there was no skin contacting me. And second, because it didn’t feel good. I wanted Eos to hold my penis because it would feel good and maybe that was the meaning to take from the dream if, like Freud was saying, all dreams have a bigger meaning.

Last year, I went through some weeks of trying to read all of Carl Jung’s writings on the symbols in dreams and I have a book that I sometimes am going to for his analysis when I wake up in the morning remembering some few facts from a strange dream. Like, did you know that water in a dream represent the unconscious? And maybe drowning in the pool, which is a bad dream I have from time to time, is like the fear of getting swallowed up by the unconscious.

At my house, where I was growing up, we had a small pool but usually there was no water in it because in Israel there is often not enough water to pour into it. Also, I am sometimes lazy and don’t like to clean around the bottom of the pool after winter, so it’s dirty and that’s another reason we don’t fill it. But in the dreams where I am drowning, it’s not this pool anyway, it’s always a bigger pool that I’ve never seen in my waking life and the drowning is happening at night.

After the Eos dream, I eventually fell back to sleep after some counting goats walking on the road, which is what my father told me he does when he can’t sleep, which is what his father used to do, and his father used to do, and so on and so on. It’s like a tradition with the men in our family.

But some few hours later, I was up again just before the sun’s light was starting to come in through the slats of wood hanging over the window. I had been dreaming a bad dream this time and my whole body was moist from it. It was a strange dream that, if I can remember myself right, started with me washing my teeth.

I always wash my teeth right before going to bed and also after aruchat boker—that’s how we call breakfast in Israel. So in the dream, it was just before going to bed and my mom was standing in the bathroom with me, watching me. And she closes the top on the toilet and goes to sit and starts crying and telling me in a soft voice that she doesn’t want to fight the cancer. She tells me that two of her friends and one of her sisters both fought the long war with breast cancer and lost, and for her she’d rather live out her last days enjoying from life, rather than fighting with the chemo, the mastectomy, some radiation and maybe the treatments that would come after. She looks at me with very wet eyes and says the hospital is no place to live out the end of a life and that even in a best situation, where she’s only fighting for six months or so and has a full recovery, that’s six months she’d rather be living her life like normal and going to the markets and making dinners and all kind of stuff like this that she usually does.

Check out previous chapters of Trivial Pursuits {?} right here.

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