Friday, May 13, 2005

Dream Houses

For many years, I’ve had a dream in which my house has no roof and I can see the stars and moon from my bed. There is always an element of anxiety in the exposure, and sometimes it’s really scary, the result of a skirmish or war. Mostly, though, I discover the public nature of my private space by accident. I turn a corner and realize my rooms aren’t enclosed, as I believed, but extend through hallways into a fuzzy area, like the lobby of a hotel. Strangers are floating around, in front of me or without my knowing, right there, outside and yet inside.

In a way, my house at Flux Factory is that dream come to life. My walls are translucent. When the lights are on, it glows. Shapes ghost by, beast or person, unclear. You can see the objects inside my house from outside, the closer the form is to the wall, the more distinct its outlines and colors. A barge of wood floats my bed high off the ground, and set underneath the mattress is a window spectators can look into and through which I can see them crouching along in a tunnel that clefts my domicile into two lobes of a brain. Sweeping up from my bed is a steep, carpeted slope that projects the inside of my house outside, through the kind of gaping, roofless opening I dream about. I sleep well. Granted, I know my neighbors, and the three of us have observed the quiet rule in our space. So far, I’m sleeping in the material form of my anxiety dream with less anxiety than in my apartment, with its solid, impermeable walls, where I have solitude. Maybe that’s how it always is with fear.

Though it’s far more elegant, Ranbir’s house reminds me of the forts I made in abandoned lots in childhood, out of crates and bricks and stuff, and it summons the houses under construction I used to play in when I was older in Lido Beach, where speculators went crazy building alongside the dunes. They were dangerous and irresistible: framed, but floorless in places, and open to the sky. We’d dare each other to leap from the second story into sand and soil mounded near two-by-fours. I jumped, because I was afraid, and the spaces became sexy. I didn’t break anything. There were early kisses in those lawless rooms.

Grant’s house is sprouting, and he reports he’s on a tear, producing “the freest writing I’ve ever done.” On Saturday when we moved in, the seed beds that cover the roof panels and create a garden in the front had the merest stubble. Now they are velvety fields of rye, clover, wheat grass, and vetch, tufting in patterns, like mini hedges in a maze. The lushness of the plantings combines with the rough but exacting carpentry to form a vibrating hub for our space. I once wrote a weird little fairy tale about a man turning into a tree. It wasn’t so nice for the man. I’ve had dreams, too, about floors made of grass—the outside and inside jumbled again but with different architectural elements. These dreams aren’t scary. They’re erotic, bodies plunked into growing aliveness, feeling the house as an extension of the flesh and vice versa, contained and uncontained, protected and unprotected. At the end of the movie Secretary, lovers who devote their lives to their sexual fantasies fling their naked bodies onto a marriage bed made of grass.

Last night was Flux Thursday, a weekly supper cooked by valiant and generous donors, followed by a presentation by a guest . . . a reading, a video, a slide show, a performance of an artwork in progress. This celebration was for Morgan, who successfully defended his philosophy dissertation at New School University and can now be addressed as Dr. outerborough fringe artspace macher terrible. The spread was plentiful and veg-centric. Nothing with a face or lips was served, unless you count an image of the Holy Virgin that appeared on top of one of the shitakes.

In my dream shared space, labor is divided equally between the penis people, the vagina people, and those with alternative genitalia. At Flux Factory, where everyone came of age in the grow light of feminism and other progressive rights movements, on paper chores aren’t parceled out according to gender. Everyone does a share of what’s required and also tolerates mess. Eighteen bodies plus their mates and friends and visitors carpet bathrooms with hair, track puddles from showers, fill garbage bags to overflowing, pile dishes with stuck food in sinks. Still, attempts are made, kudzu is hacked with machetes.

Sort of. There was all this food, platter after platter of sliced, oily veg dishes, cheese, fruit, pasta and mushrooms, bruschettas, a strawberry shortcake warship, I mean counters and tables covered with food, plus a zillion mismatched plates and pieces of flatware, glasses, and bottles of beer and wine. There were maybe thirty-five people max in and out, and after a couple of hours around fifteen were in the kitchen. The scene was a cyclone, a zoo. It was time to get in there scraping plates, covering leftovers, finding fridge space for them, emptying beer bottles, carrying stuff to the sink, setting up stations for washing, drying, and restocking. The women started to work. The men did not. The men needed to be asked to help, and then they did, some with more initiative and sense of purpose, others needing remedial instruction in the technologies of the sponge and paper towel. What the hell?

28 Comments:

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Mariya said...

i'm enjoying this writing!

"I've had a dream in which my house has no roof and I can see the stars and moon from my bed."

- i've had that dream too.

"Grant's house is sprouting,"

- was wondering what this would look like - thank you for the picture.

"Nothing with a face or lips was served, unless you count an image of the Holy Virgin that appeared on top of one of the shitakes."

- here's where i laughed outloud.

"The men needed to be asked to help, and then they did, some with more initiative and sense of purpose, others needing remedial instruction on use of the paper towel and sponge."

- isn't this always the way? %-)

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurie,

I like your starry night, roofless childhood dream house. What you describe of your flux flat is Plato's Cave with all the shifting shapes.

I am trying to visualize the actual spatial dimensions that comprise your living quarters. Are you in your own space adjacent to another's? And are these spaces divided equally in terms of square feet? I guess there is a communal room with kitchen and dining area.

Architectural spaces are so hard to describe verbally. Are you able to post jpegs taken with a digital camera?

Mark

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Laurie Stone said...

Our houses are separate, each covering around the same square footage. They are deeply strange and beautiful . . . you will have to see. I'm sure photos will be posted as the show evolves, thanks for your interest. --Laurie

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger 99llamas said...

Laurie,
It was wonderful meeting you earlier today. I am looking forward to coming back to "Novel" and encourage everyone to come by, check out this artistic endeavor and support the Flux Facotry.

Good luck with your latest novel.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger imnotcocteau said...

The Upper West Side seems empty without Miss Laurie nestling among its bricks. Just went for a walk to purchase artificial sugar and tooth whitener at Duane Reade's. It was a sad amble knowing there was no chance of running into to the Queen of Leotards. Maybe I'll traipse over to The Flux with my brighter molars.

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Laurie Stone said...

Darling Cocteau, We gave our first readings tonight. It is more fun to speak to people intrepid and curious enough to visit us than to perform, since I can do that any night I like in the bathroom mirror. A filmmaker came and three art curators. Part of the pleasure of this outing for me is mixing in the world of visual artists, even if to do that I have to become a lab rat. I look forward to playing with you in my dream house. Much love, L

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurie,

I saw the photo images of your space that were taken by the NY Times. I like the idea of the translucent walls. I am reminded of the Japanese movable rice paper and bamboo walls that lend a feeling of light and openness to enclosed spaces.

I don't think that writers put enough physical demands on their living and working spaces the way visual artists do.

Mark

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous mlcs wood working said...

Hi Laurie Stone, your blog is informative. While out blog surfing today for specific info on mlcs wood working, I ended up on your page. Your this post shows that I ended up a little off base, but I am certainly glad I stopped by. I will bookmark your site for a future read, and should you ever need it, there is plenty of information on this
site about mlcs wood working.

 
At 6:42 AM, Anonymous carpentry wood working said...

Hi Laurie Stone, I liked your blog. Just out blog surfing looking for info on simple wood working projects when I ended up on your page. Obviously I ended up a little off base, but I am certainly glad I found it. I would like to post your link on my "favorites" page for future reference and reading. Should you ever need it, you can get specific information about simple wood working projects at the site above.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of our modern drugs have harsh side-affects and cost the “earth”, so the next time you come down with a cold or the flu or separation anxiety, why not try a gentle alternative that costs next to nothing?

Instead of immediately forking over large amounts of money for over-the-counter drugs, go to the kitchen cupboard and see what you can find to relieve your symptoms including separation anxiety.

Here are some helpful hints for separation anxiety …

A simple hot compress applied to the face is very soothing to those throbbing aches and pains of a blocked sinus, while a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief can provide welcome relief for similar conditions. While supplements of vitamin C, D and zinc will shorten the lifespan of a common cold, a hot lemon drink is also extremely good. And be sure to cuddle-up in bed when you have a cold, as it will make the body sweat out the germs.

Cool lemon juice and honey are a great soother for a sore throat and gives the body much-needed vitamin C at the same time The juice of one lemon in a glass of water is sufficient. Melt the honey in a little hot water for ease of mixing.

A smear of Vaseline or petroleum jelly will do wonders for those sore lips and nose that often accompany a cold.

A 'streaming cold' where the nose and eyes water profusely, can respond to drinking onion water. Simply dip a slice of onion into a glass of hot water for two seconds, then sip the cooled water throughout the day. Half an onion on the bedside table also alleviates cold symptoms because its odor is inhaled while you sleep.

People prone to catarrh may find that chewing the buds from a pine or larch throughout the day will clear up their condition in just a few days.

Do you suffer from sore eyes? If your eyes are sore from lengthy exposure to the sun, try beating the white of an egg and then spread it over a cloth and bandage the eyes with it. Leave the preparation on overnight. Soft cheese (quark) is also a good remedy for this condition.

For those unpleasant times when you suffer from diarrhea, two tablespoons of brown vinegar will usually fix the problem. Vinegar can be rather horrible to take, but who cares! The problem is more horrible. Vinegar can usually be found in most people's cupboards, so you don't need to worry about finding someone to run to the shop for you in an emergency.

Sleepless? Instead of reaching for sleeping pills, which can quickly become addictive, try this: Drink only caffeine free tea or coffee starting late in the afternoon.. Go to bed earlier rather than later, as being overtired tends to keep people awake. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet. Use only pure wool or cotton sheets and blankets. Polyester materials can cause sweat and make you thirsty (if your child constantly asks for water throughout the night, this could be the reason).

And don't watch those scary movies just before retiring! If you still can't sleep, make a tea of lemongrass or drink a nightcap of herbal tea containing chamomile. It's easy to grow lemongrass in your garden or start a flower pot on the balcony for ease of picking. Simply steep a handful in boiling water for five minutes. Honey may be added for a sweetener.

Of course there will be times when you do need modern drugs, so if these simple remedies don't have the required affect, be sure to see a health care professional.


separation anxiety

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous shaker furniture wood working plans said...

Hi Laurie Stone, your blog is excellent. As I was surfing around today looking for detailed info on beginner wood working projects I ended up on your page. As your this post is not exactly related to my search, I am certainly glad I stopped by. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to post your link on my "favorites" page. Should you ever need
information about beginner wood working projects, then stop by for a look. Thanks for the post.

 
At 6:55 PM, Anonymous carpentry wood working said...

Hi there, a real useful blog. I was just out blog surfing for detailed info on carpentry wood working when I ended up on your page. Obviously this post is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for carpentry wood working.
Should the need ever arise where you need information on carpentry wood working then drop by for a look.

 
At 12:21 AM, Anonymous wood working bench plan said...

Hi Laurie Stone, your blog is excellent. As I was surfing around today looking for detailed info on mlcs wood working I ended up on your page. As your this post is not exactly related to my search, I am certainly glad I stopped by. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to post your link on my "favorites" page. Should you ever need
information about mlcs wood working, then stop by for a look. Thanks for the post.

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous shaker furniture wood working plans said...

Hi Laurie Stone, your blog is excellent. As I was surfing around today looking for detailed info on wood working bench plan I ended up on your page. As your this post is not exactly related to my search, I am certainly glad I stopped by. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to post your link on my "favorites" page. Should you ever need
information about wood working bench plan, then stop by for a look. Thanks for the post.

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous wood working bench plan said...

Hi there, a real useful blog. I was just out blog surfing for detailed info on simple wood working projects when I ended up on your page. Obviously this post is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for simple wood working projects.
Should the need ever arise where you need information on simple wood working projects then drop by for a look.

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous wood working for kids said...

Hi there, a real useful blog. I was just out blog surfing for detailed info on wood working for kids when I ended up on your page. Obviously this post is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for wood working for kids.
Should the need ever arise where you need information on wood working for kids then drop by for a look.

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous wood working shop plan said...

Hi there Laurie Stone, a real useful blog. Can you believe it? When blog surfing for detailed info on wood working kit I ended up on your page. Obviously your site is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for wood working kit. Should the need ever arise where you need information on wood working kit then drop by for a look.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Blog World said...

Faith is spiritualized imagination.
Henry Ward Beecher- Posters.

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous sexy making out said...

Laurie Stone, I am truly impressed and glad I found your blog. I'm in Alaska right now of all places, and I was lucky enough to find an internet connection on this horrifying trip to see the grandparents. Landing on your blog was just what I needed. It warmed me up with it's curious topic, helped me escape the family madness, and gave me some great ideas for my sexy kiss website. If you have time I could use some tips from a pro on my sexy kiss site, but no pressure.

Thanks for the relief... :)

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous dream interpretation said...

Greetings Laurie Stone I was looking for dream interpretation information and I landed on your pages. While this post was not excatly what I was looking for , I like your blog Great Stuff. I'll bookmark it for future visits. If you have time check out dream interpretation , Ok thanks for the read , take care.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous wood working vise said...

Hi there Laurie Stone, a real useful blog. Can you believe it? When blog surfing for detailed info on wood working project plan I ended up on your page. Obviously your site is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for wood working project plan. Should the need ever arise where you need information on wood working project plan then drop by for a look.

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous sexy french kissing tips said...

Aloha Laurie Stone,
I'm a visitor from Hawaii and just found your post this post. I like it... it's interesting so I decided to read and say hi. Although my interests are mostly about sexy kiss related information right now, your blog got my attention and was a nice change. Thanks for your nice blog Laurie Stone, I think I'll tell my cousin to stop by if that's okay.
~ Aloha ~

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous nailers power tool wood working said...

Hi there Laurie Stone, a real useful blog. Can you believe it? When blog surfing for detailed info on nailers power tool wood working I ended up on your page. Obviously your site is not exactly what I was searching for, but your site caught my interest. Just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your blog...now to move on and continue my search for nailers power tool wood working. Should the need ever arise where you need information on nailers power tool wood working then drop by for a look.

 
At 2:33 AM, Anonymous wood working jig said...

Hi Laurie Stone, I found your blog informative. While out blog surfing today for specific info on nailers power tool wood working, I ended up on your page. Your site shows that I ended up a little off base, but I am certainly glad I stopped by. I will bookmark your site for a future visit, and should you ever need it, there is plenty of information on this site about nailers power tool wood working.

 
At 9:12 PM, Anonymous dream dictionary said...

I was out searching for dreams related information, when I landed on your page. Laurie Stone you have some good stuff there. While this post wasn't exactly what I was looking for I enjoyed the read Thanks. So I'll continue on looking for dreams, see you again some time.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous dreams said...

Greetings Laurie Stone I was looking for dream information and I landed on your pages. While this post was not excatly what I was looking for , I like your blog Great Stuff. I'll bookmark it for future visits. If you have time check out dream , Ok thanks for the read , take care.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Greg said...

http://2relico.comdome home and dome home Ideas for Home Construction projects. If you own a home and need to work on dome home then al I want to say is Yea.... I wood love to let you in on a secret about home repairs... People ask me all the time about dome home and they want to know simple ways to solve ther problems ...well I have the answers and If you go to http://2relico.com dome home and go through the site you will find what you are looking for... what can I say butt get going ...

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger rldgahMg said...

Delta Power Tools is a topic covered on this site. Your readers might be interested in checking it out further.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home