Northern Exposure Pastry Contest Goes Very Much Awry in Germany (Nap Dream)

Don’t ask me what was going on in this one.  I suppose I was just minding my own business living in my apartment here in St. Louis only it wasn’t St. Louis of course it was Germany.

I put a packet of ketchup outside one of the doors upstairs on Level 3.  Some guys with guns invaded my apartment and maybe I wasn’t even in it at the time but Ed Chigliak and especially Joel Fleischman were in the apartment and one thing led to another.

My apartment unfolded and unfolded, giving rise to whole new levels, gymnasia full of books.  Joel and I followed the fighting up and up and at some point we were following a trail of cookbooks (some shredded) telling people how to make great pies.

They were Marilyn’s of course.  She had just had a contest about who could make the best pies.  “The Republicans were making pies last night,” she tells us.  Indeed they were, we recall it.

We come to this main level and I don’t even know if I’m with Joel anymore but I’m armed with this long spear, only it’s not sharp on the end: it’s an exaggerated version of my favorite pen, the Parker pen.

I couldn’t have killed anyone with it if I’d have tried.  There was a huge gun battle up here and at one point I got fucking targeted and the guy had all day to kill me point blank but only just shot me in the shoulder.   He still could have killed me then but somebody swooped in and killed him with a pistol—was it Brian Ebel?  I picked up a tiny, gold-plated pistol that at some point had come flying out of nowhere.  But it was jammed or locked and it wouldn’t fire.

From the point of fighting I somehow ended up on this miserable barbed wire-lined train that was slowly trekking across Germany and I knew that I had been on the losing side of that battle.  Somehow I had been snatched from the safety of my home—because I had put a packet of Heinz ketchup in front of the wrong person’s door?—and I had been forced to fight for my life with a huge pen for a spear and a jammed, tiny, gold-plated pistol.  Despite Marilyn’s tasty pastries, we fucking lost and here I was on this train going nowhere.

At about this point the whole thing has a Student Life feel to it.  I can’t remember any specific people with me on the train—maybe Taylor, other SL crew—until we saw Allison Barrett outside the train and someone must have invited her on board because I turned around and she was there.  She had been playing soccer or something on green grass so who knows why she jumped aboard the death train.

Our next stop was a Hilton Hotel somewhere, might’ve been Germany still.  Our train stopped there and everyone was excited because we all thought the death train and its barbed wire, the dirtiness, the firefight might’ve all been separate components of an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke—or something like the plot that engulfed Michael Douglas’s character in “The Game”—i.e. designed to teach us all a lesson about suffering and race and The Holocaust. 

But someone got off at the Hilton while we stayed put and the train eventually started to move along.  Excited once about the Hilton—How many nights will we have? What an experience this has been, can’t wait to talk about it in hindsight!—and then the train starts moving again and we are all suddenly uneasy all over again about where the hell it was we were and where me might be going.

The next thing I remember is I’m basically by myself first in some place that could have been Germany or Alaska—and then I’m on the streets of a German town (just north of Panama!)  Some people are speaking English but I don’t know where the hell I am. 

I run into Nick Adams and Phil Williams, maybe upstairs somewhere in an apartment of theirs and they’re planning to drink or maybe are drinking already.  Phil Hong Barco is mentioned.  I tell them about the Holocaust lesson/field trip I had been on.  So I guess the awful part was over but I was still in Germany.

I wandered around not knowing what to do, not knowing where I was.  I stopped in at a shop to look at some notebooks they had, decent stuff, and there were people speaking English there, a parent and his rowdy kids.  But a man about a year or two younger than me befriended me first, spoke English, told me where I was at (south Germany, just north of Panama—this made sense to me in the dream).  And then he said that if I needed a place to sleep… he held his keys in front of him and jangled them… he pointed to the window that was his but I thought twice and thought better, fighting the urge to ask him if he had any bud.

Something about him frightened me even though he looked small and harmless and I had very little money.  Somehow I ended up running into Brook Haley.  She had a room and she gave me some Deutschmarks and… we walked around her apartment building (a hostel?) … there weren’t any real walls on some of the lower rooms.

I don’t know what became of this.  We might’ve had sex in her room; I told her about my trip, my dream, whatever it was, the firefight with Fleischman. 

“Fleischman!” she said.  “This room is named Fleischman.”


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