What dream do you remember most vividly? What message do you think it bears?

Well there was the one that came true for somebody else.  I dreamed that I woke up and the bed was full of my blood.  I actually checked for blood – there wasn't any – but the feeling stayed with me all day. That night, my mom told me that my aunt's oldest friend was found in her bed that morning.  She had bled to death.

So there's that one.

Then there's a dream I've had more than once where I’m on a ferry, headed toward an island.  I can see it – we're maybe 500 yards offshore. And the thought occurs to me that when the boat docks, I am going to die. No escaping it.  No dinghy.  No swimming away.

So there's that one too.


Why don’t you listen to what the universe or your mind or your body or your god whispers ever more closely to you?

What makes you think I don't?  I keep trying.  Sometimes a person learns by fucking up, ya know?  Maybe the missed signs and signals on small things are helping me fine-tune my reactions and my trust, so I can catch the signs on important matters.


If you could, what gift that is impossible for you to give would you offer and to whom? Why this specific gift to this specific person or persons?

Now didn't you read that Ray Bradbury story where the dude goes back to the age of the dinosaurs & accidentally stomps on the butterfly, and when he returns to his present-day, there has been a huge, horrible political shift in the dude's civilization?

If I give gifts, I make my intent as simple as possible: to make someone laugh, to make a connection.


Describe a person you love. How would you know them without their face?

I would know her voice anywhere.  I would know her smell.  I would know her from her language and her laugh and the way her brain works.

She's smart and caring and funny.  She's ambitious, but in a good way.  She wants to change people's minds about their behavior, encourage them to care more about how they interact with each other and how they use earth's resources.

And did I mention, she's funny?


How did you first know you were in love and what makes you unsure of it?

Amazing sex.  Love's a funny thing.  On & off like a lightswitch. One night of good sex and nothing else matters.

But you probably don't mean that.

Unsure?  I’m not unsure.  I think love grows and changes over time.  I don't think there's any guarantee behind it.

I guess I knew I  was in love with her when I knew a big fight was coming and I decided to not be afraid and to engage with her in a fair, if loud, disagreement.  I’m not good at fights.  But I’m starting to value them, and I’m starting to get better at them.  I think we both are.


What besides love do you doubt and what makes you doubt it?

Are you serious?  I doubt everything.  I was raised by Catholics.  I have to doubt everything as a matter of principle.  Doubting is how I know I’m still thinking, still making my own choices.


In what way have you betrayed or disappointed yourself or others? In what way have you been betrayed or disappointed?

Oh Christ, Tod.  You've met people, right?  People are inherently unreliable and shitty, myself included.  Sorry but I can't be as candid on this topic as I have on the others.  Not only to hide the depth of my own cruelty, but to hide the ways in which I have let myself be a victim.

I try to lower my expectations about people.  I realize that sometimes my expectations are unfair to them and sometimes I’m being lazy about the work I have to complete on my own.


What are the parameters of your small world? How do you decide where to draw the line, where to focus your energies, what to give your attention and time to? What, if anything, do you do to enlarge it? If nothing, why not?

Sometimes I make the same mistake over and over, force against force, until sometimes, something shifts.  Then if you wait a bit, you can see that something shift some more.  Sometimes in the same direction, and sometimes it goes back the other way.

I try to engage with strangers.  I try to make new friends.  I try to maintain authentic relationships with a few people, but o god people are just so disappointing and self-serving.  I can see it in myself.  It's exhausting.  So I have crazy enthusiasms.  TV shows.  Authors.  Musicians. They're sort of mini-crushes on new experiences.  Something to give me hope, get me out of bed.

I try to give money to organizations which I think are doing "good work", as I would define it.  The Unitarian Universalist service committee.
People where I live who are working to fight AIDS.  Sometimes when I’m despairing over a sad news event, i'll try to make a donation to counter it.  Historically, I have been a sucker for most panhandlers.

I’m a total NPR-head, and I try to see larger patterns in world events and not get sucked into the fads of modern U.S. media (Facebook be damned!  Local news be damned!)

Sometimes I try to write.


Why aren’t you more involved in trying to better the world of others?

What, with all this loving of an other, and with all this hating and victimization going on?  Who has the time?

I’m joking, you goofball.  One does what one can.  I try to do a little.  Then I look at the little, and I try to do a little more.



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