Sunday, March 21, 2010

Forty Days of Lent: Day Thirty Three

Oh damn, it's happened again. The thin line between my real world and my fictional map of the same momentarily dissolved.

Today's post was intended to be a passage from Jim Woodring's late 1980's comic Jim. Jim was a collection of automatic writing, strange drawings and comic stories. One of my favorite pieces from the comic, a piece that exists, God as my witness, was a fake PSA warning people about praying while drunk. It was very funny and was never reprinted in any of the Jim anthologies that followed. However, i could not find the piece in question, despite going through all my old issues several times.

However, one thing I did find was a story in which Jim sees something in a book that disturbs him so much that he sets the book aside. Later, when he is compelled to look at it again, he's mystified because he can't find it...similar to what I was experiencing. "That's funny" Jim concludes "it's not here at all." No, not funny at all.

I've had this sort of experience before. Much of the worst excesses of the Bush years felt like my paranoid story ideas from years before. As I watch my worst thoughts come to pass, I began to wonder if maybe I should just not think some things for everyone's sake.

The clearest example of this phenomena occurred a number of years ago. For a while I had carried a story I called "The Flood" around in my head. One of the elements of this story is that the main character is haunted by an image of a woman sitting on a man's back that causes either catatonia or seizures each time he sees it. One Sunday afternoon, I was in the gift shop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw a postcard of the image I had been imagining. Not the exact image, but close enough to make me seriously uncomfortable. It was like assuming a role in a story I had invented. There was nothing I could do except accept it, calm myself and try not to freak out over the weird coincidence.

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