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Added: 21 November 2007

Hemingway's Toilet


I had a dream I was roommates with Ernest Hemingway. It was some sort of temporary arrangement. He was friendly enough. Our beds were at 90 degree angles to each other; his was a bunk bed and he slept in the top bunk. Mine was a regular bed. Nobody slept in Ernie's lower bunk. Nobody.

In any case, it was nighttime, and neither of us was sleeping very well. I got up to take a piss, putting the seat back down when I finished and flushing the toilet. Later on, Ernie had to go too. After he returned and climbed back into his bunk bed with a little nod in my direction, I found I had to go again. I went back to the bathroom and saw that the toilet seat was up, and Ernie hadn't flushed.

I wasn't going to chastise Ernest Hemingway for leaving the seat up on a toilet. I forgave him for that immediately, although the truth is he went down a notch or two in my book because of it, even though it was totally to be expected. I didn't like seeing his piss in there though, especially with the seat up, but I felt bad because I figured maybe he didn't flush because he thought the sound of it would disturb me. He seemed pretty courteous and the two of us were both having trouble sleeping as it was. In other words I felt bad because maybe my earlier flush had disturbed and annoyed him. I felt a bit of a boor all of a sudden. I pissed on top of his piss and left the two pisses mingling there unflushed, mine and his. I wanted to put the seat down but on the other hand now I didn't want to touch the toilet at all, not with all those pisses in there. I left it up. I guessed I'd need rubber gloves to get that seat down eventually, unless Ernie needed a poop. In that case he'd probably just put it down with his bare hands.

By the time I got back to our room the faint faint light of earliest dawn could be seen through the window, just beginning to dilute the edges of the darkness. "Thank god the night is over," said Ernie, getting up and pulling on a pair of trousers right up underneath the nightshirt he was wearing. It was clear he was heading to the writing table to get in his famous hour of writing.

"Yeah?" I said to him. "Well I'm going back to bed."

I didn't really think of him as Ernie in the dream. I thought of him as Ernest Hemingway.

I had another dream in which I had a haircut. When I looked in the mirror, I found that the haircut had changed my entire head. Somehow it had made my hair yellow, curly, and unkempt -- what a terrible haircut, first of all. Plus there were a lot of very thin patches where my hair just seemed worn out. Even worse, the haircut had revealed that I had a completely bald spot right on the top of my head that I had never noticed before -- a huge one. Shiny. A bald pate. Man, with longer hair I had never noticed that at all, but I don't know how I could have missed it. But the worst thing was that the top of my head, the bald bit, was completely flat. Flat like the top of Frankenstein's monster's head. I had a flat, bald, shiny-topped head with random scraggly yellow curls sticking out on the sides. Plus my face was totally different. I looked like Art Garfunkel.

There were a few other people around, I can't remember who, or whether I even knew them, or where we were, but we were fairly comfortable with each other. They agreed with me I looked like shit, but everyone was jovial about it. I played it off like I didn't care. I told them "hey, whatever." I figured there's nothing you can do about going bald, and ultimately it's your personality -- who you are -- that makes you attractive or not. I figured there's nothing you can do about the shape of your head once it goes flat. What bothered me was I never noticed it. How long had I been going around like that?