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September 03, 2004 - 3:53 pm

MISS STRANGE

Did I mention how I hate to get wet? Well, the other night I had another weird dream where I was swimming in some wide, muddy, jungle-type river, like I imagine the Amazon to be; only I wasn’t just swimming – I was holding onto Jimi Hendrix’s ankle and he was kind of leading me along. We rounded a dock or something and all of a sudden, there was a crocodile coming straight at us. Jimi turned around fast and hoisted me up on the dock (yes, Jimi Hendrix hoisted me onto a dock in the Amazon) and then I was pulling on him trying to help him out of the water, but he couldn’t get himself out in time, and the crocodile bit him in half. No more Jimi.

Then I had this other dream where I was an Israeli soldier. I was torn – although not in half like Jimi was – because, while I thought I was on the right side, I really felt I should be fighting with the Palestinians. Coincidentally, this dream was just two days before the most recent bombing, and ordinarily I might consider that significant, but since bombings seem to happen every week or so in the Middle East, it’s hardly a remarkable dream. Anyway, I ultimately decided to go and join the ragged Palestinian troops after coming across some of my daughter’s baby dresses. I broke down sobbing with nostalgia at the sight of her little dresses, remembering my baby’s happy infancy and thinking of all the little Israeli and Palestinian children who never had that, and, even worse, their parents who had to mourn their deaths. I actually woke up sobbing.

I’ve always had an overdeveloped sense of worry about huge things that are out of my control: nuclear war, car accidents, death of loved ones, being eaten by crocodiles – all that irrational stuff. John asked me the other day if it seemed like the world was going crazy lately or if he was just now noticing. I answered that the world has always been crazy and I have noticed all my life. I remember when I was nine or ten years old and we were in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis. I’d come home from school every day to check the news to see if they’d been released yet. One day, my friend Melinda called me before I had turned on the television and said, “Did you hear? The hostages were released today!” I was so relieved. I said, “Oh my god. Really?” And she said, “No! I’m just kidding!” At that point in my young life, I thought that was the worst thing anyone could ever do to me. Boy was I wrong.

There is this spider that spins a web over our back door every day. And every day I open the door and go through it and get web stuck in my eyelashes. Every single time I walk through that web I imagine a whole spider civilization rallying around this effort of trapping me. They have established a bi-partisan, multi-disciplined think-tank comprised of the most intelligent and creative spiders sitting around hatching up new ways to improve the tensile strength of their webbing and perfect their spinning strategies so they can one day capture me and eat like kings. And their rival spider group and its elite think-tank are simultaneously racing to come up with the secret formula/ultimate strategy first. In my imagination, they even have little spider spies and wage little spider wars because each group believes they are the ones entitled to the bounty of the human body that goes out that door before the crack of dawn every day.

The tragic humor of the Spider Land epic is that they will never succeed. They will try and try and even create complete economic and political structures around trying, but they will never trap a whole human being in that web, no matter how long they go on killing each other. Now that’s got the makings of a truly great comedy.

Jimi knows what I’m talkin’ about.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -It Came From the Far Side by Gary Larson
viewing - Eight Legged Freaks
listening -"Little Miss Strange" by Jimi Hendrix

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