Tokyo Damage Report



Part One:
Me and Pieter (an old art school pal) are at this incredibly elaborate, multi-story Goth club with all black walls, and flashing lights, and many levels. Pieter is my guide, like Virgil, leading me continually down. But he’s not dressed Goth: he has on this weird version of a Civil War Confederate uniform: Gray flannel with a big coat and collar and matching pants but way too many loops and buckles and buttons and pouches and things on it, and he’s wearing it with these totally inappropriate, futuristic mid-calf plastic Japanese platform boots like from Fruits magazine. I’m trying to see if the other Goths are tripping off Pieter’s costume or if they’re impressed enough with the overdone quality of it to let it go, and he’s taking me down to the lowest level, explaining things as we go in a voice so low I can’t hear a word. I can’t hear any of the music either, in fact I am deaf throughout the whole dream.

At the bottom level there’s a very low black ceiling and I finally hear something: a screeching noise. There’s someone– not clear if it’s a person or a mannequin– strapped to a old-fashioned straight backed wooden chair, which is up on a dais, and in between the person’s spread thighs is a 2×2 foot block of wood, and some robed, ritually garbed dudes are pulling a diaper-wearing chimpanzee out of the front panel of the block. The chimpanzee has lost much of its fur and it’s screeching loudly. Then one of the hooded, ritualistic-type figures breaks character and very unsomberly announces in a carnival-barker type voice: "Step right up folks, you’re about to witness a once in a lifetime 3 way bestiality act which you won’t believe!!! See a man, a chimpanzee and a platypus all get it on!!" etc. etc. But when they bring out the platypus it’s just another, smaller chimp. They don’t even bother to disguise it with a fake ‘bill’ or anything. I think, "What a rip-off!" and boredly head back upstairs.

As I am climbing towards the top, I feel a rumble which only grows stronger the farther up I get. At first I assume it’s just bass from the dance floor, but when I exit the stairwell, I realize this is an earthquake we’re having, and we’re all doomed. The top floor is a fairly brightly lit (one whole wall is windows) upscale Goth bar in what’s clearly a skyscraper, with views of other skyscrapers, The club owner, who’s also the bartender, and looks like the crusty bearded old guy that edits the SF Bay Guardian says, "Everybody get into the fire escape!" and suddenly the whole dream becomes a cliché, 70’s disaster film, with me cast in the lead role.(I think the lead in Towering Inferno was Steve McQueen, if so this dream is even gayer than I thought) … I start shouting "Wait! I have a rope ladder with me! It’s 70 feet! It’s a much better plan!!" And even as I’m shouting over the rumble in this very authoritative voice it occurs to me that I have absolutely no fucking clue how far up we are, and if it’s over 70 feet, I will have doomed us all even more than we are now. But so what. I demand, and get, a 2×4 to hold one end of the ladder braced against the window, leap outside and climb down, instructing the other Goths in the burning building to wait a ridiculously long time before following me.

Part Two:
Tim Yohannan is holding some kind of rally or consciousness-raising group, but the theme isn’t politics or punk; it’s S&M. It’s held in a dance studio where the lighting is really good, and one whole wall is mirrors, and there’s an elevated ‘stage’ of polished wood about one foot high by 15′ deep by 45′ wide. Around the stage a crowd of 20something kids sits on the floor. Tim stands up front and says "The way this works is, I’m going to need a bunch of volunteers to come up here and pair off for this S&M demonstration."
Then he leaves the stage , and nobody comes up for a long time. Eventually this really skinny, socially retarded, nerdy, tall Asian guy gets up, totally nervous, not even quite believing that he’s doing it but so hard-up that by this point he’ll try anything. Inspired by him, other nerdy kids, most also Asian but both sexes, start hesitantly getting up. As they get up, some lose their nerve and leave the stage, but eventually a critical mass is reached and the kids that left feel a surge of pride and come back up. There’s this gray-haired, stubbley, middle aged white guy in jeans with one leg that gets up too.

It becomes apparent that the Asian nerds have sort of appropriated this S&M event for their own purposes, and I guess Tim is yelling about that, the unfair takeover of his event, cus by the time my attention returns to the stage, the nerds have all paired off and are standing against the mirror, looking deeply and sensitively into one another’s eyes. Clearly they’ve waited long for just this moment, and it’s just so un-S&M. I notice the old white guy has paired up with this buxom Asian teenage girl and I start kicking myself for having been distracted by Tim’s "Don’t take over my event!" speech. Clearly in this short span of time while I was distracted, a pecking order had emerged, and the sociologist in me wanted desperately to know what the pecking order had been based on. Dammit!

Then Tim says, "Every couple has to chain themselves to one of these little dozen or so platforms." Said platforms emerge from the mirror at chest height. The platforms are semicircles about a foot in diameter with manacles attached to them and a urinal puck on some china on them. "After you cuff your partner’s arm, you must feed them the urinal puck with guacamole. Then you tell the crowd if you liked the ‘flavor’ heh heh…" I get the feeling that one of the dozen pucks has been in a urinal and been pissed on by a bunch of guys and the rest are pristine. The guacamole looks like a series of green packets like soy sauce, held together at the sides, which you are supposed to tear off and then squeeze the contents out of, and the color is wrong too, more of a matte, palm-frond green. But people are just putting the whole packet on their puck. But lots of kids are just ignoring the S&M part of it entirely, and just being all touchy-feely with their new true love.

I figure it’s time I made my move, and so I jump on stage and get paired off, not sure how, with some really tall, skinny, Asian dude, holding a switchblade, but not the first tall skinny Asian dude: my guy is more suave. He glides across the hardwood floors like a figure skater. I grip his knife-holding hand and we start twirling around the knife, going faster and faster. It’s not like I’m afraid of getting stabbed or that he’s aggressive, it’s more like this is a ‘trust exercise’ where if either one of us lets go or falls down, the knife will cut that person. I realize that the urinal puck exercise was also more of a ‘trust exercise’ than an S&M thing as well. As we twirl I become able to ‘skate’ on the floor and we speed up, and go into this more and more elaborate couples’ skating routine, almost running into the other couples or off the edge of the stage but never quite falling.

Then Tim announces the demonstration is over and it’s time to discuss what happened. The medium-sized dance studio has turned into a big ole lecture hall, with polished hardwood bleacher seats. He’s talking about what we can learn from this, when some girl with a strident voice and a red bob stands up and denounces him and leads fully half the ‘class’ to an adjoining room where they can listen to her version. Tim is sitting on a ledge on the side of the room, in shorts, legs dangling, as he helplessly watches his authority disintegrate. I’m feeling a compulsion to go into the other room as well, which prompts me to think, "Why?" I don’t know what they’ll be talking about or if it’ll be any good, but because I’m a social ape I’m genetically programmed to conform and obey whomever seems to be the next leader, and wondering what percent of the audience has to leave in order to generate such an irresistible response in me, and other sociological thoughts. So I start gathering my shoes up, and putting them on so as to leave. Tim meanwhile is trying to have a discussion with the remaining students but even this is pre-empted as his time has run out and the students for the next class are filing in.

The next class is composed of really, really gay guys, really emo-femmey, cardigan-wearing, lisping guys, and they’re all wearing the same shoes as I: blue suede hipster shoes, like Pumas or something but really gay, baby-blue. I’m somehow unable to decide which one goes on what foot so I still haven’t left yet. Two guys sit down next to me and say, "Oh, where’d you get those shoes?" like since I was in the S&M class I shouldn’t have been cool enough to have ’em. I look at them and snort, "Dude! I’ve had these for Hours!!"

Part Three:
So I get a glossy, larger-than-letter-size mailer, with my address on the back, and the front is a picture of an ugly-ass, topless drag queen, pasty silicone breasts with fake painful 360 degree cleavage, face twisted in a nasty beauty-queen rictus, pale arms over her head like she’s jumping out of a cake striking some glamour pose, and her legs are stuck inside what I think is a sheath dress but upon closer inspection turns out to be a 6 foot seed pod for this giant dandelion seed costume she’s wearing. There’s a big rod behind her back that extends above her head , terminating in a parachute-sized dandelion ‘puff.’

She’s very close up and in the background I see a huge, flat meadow with faraway, barely visible trees dotting the edges. Puffs of smoke ring the edge of the field also and I realize it’s from cannons too small to be seen, all discharging simultaneously. Glancing up at the right upper corner I notice suddenly there’s literally hundreds of these drag queen dandelion parachutes, which have been shot brutally high in the air by these cannons, and they’re in formation, clinging together like actual dandelion clumps, and so faraway that I didn’t even notice them, they seemed like a mist against the background sky. I note that the composition of the picture is very well done, as it took me several minutes of looking at the foreground to even notice the much more important background. I also admire the composition of the picture cus it cleverly depicts the line between glamour and brutality– after all these ladies are getting shot about a mile in the air by these cannons and then plummeting to earth without even a proper parachute, but still they can do these elaborate formations in spite of the insane g-forces involved.

Inside the mailer there’s an article elaborating on the history of this event (it’s like a sort of aerial gay pride parade) and it says that a lot of the gals were badly hurt afterwards because of the insane logistics involved. Then there’s a quote from the (bearded, short, non-transvestite) guy that set up the whole thing and he’s totally unrepentant. He says, "Well, some of those girls just weren’t experienced enough in this kind of thing. they had no business being up there in the first place.!"

I decide I have to talk to this guy, but I’d better do some research first so I start looking at this video of dandelions in flight over the same meadow which the transvestites were flying, and then the dandelions turn into a swarm of midges which retain the clustered formations of dandelions, but the midges are going like 100 mph, and being pursued by an angry mob of birds. Now I’m inside the video, watching this parade of predation take these tight turns at insane speeds, and suddenly the whole column turns again and heads right for me. I flatten myself in the tall grass but I’m almost over-run by a series of falcons and other raptors pursuing the midges, so I grab a big stick and start waving it at the onrushing waves of other birds which follow: owls, and seagulls, and something else. I find I have to mimic the noises the birds make to get them to get out of the way, almost like I’m warning them in their own tongue.

Finally the birds go away and I wander off to the edge of the meadow where it becomes a dense forest, and wander in the forest till I come to the home of the guy I want to interview. He lives in this old log cabin with an uncharacteristically modern, electric buzzer by the door. I press the buzzer and a mossy, foot-high coo-coo-clock-looking structure to the right of the door at about chest height goes off. But instead of the door opening and a bird coming out and coo-cooing, a stuffed monkey comes out and says "Whaddaya want? Gimme money!" etc. Apparently it’s the guy poking fun at himself in his role as grumpy old gay-pride activist, fund-raiser guy. Then the monkey goes back in. Then it comes out again and makes the Woody Woodpecker laugh, and then goes back in and the actual guy comes out. He’s a 50 year old, barrel-chested, short bear-looking guy with the buzz cut, and matching beard and little glasses. He says "Now that you’ve heard my monkey, we doubtless understand each other" and shoots me a meaningful look and I follow him downstairs. Then I wake up.

Part Four: I dream that I have woken and need to record all the previous three dreams on my dream-recorder which I keep on the bed beside me. I find it but can’t start recording right away cus there’s vital dream information that I haven’t typed up yet, and I have to fast-forward past it . The longer it takes me to fast forward, the more data I forget! And the more I forget the more desperate I am to fast forward, the more desperate I get, the more often I stop the tape to check if it’s there yet, which make it take even longer…and it’s a vicious circle. Then I actually wake up.


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