[Originally written in a private journal. Back-posted in 2011]
It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around. Yesterday being Monday, a business day, I finally went all-out and took the page Frau Giesecke had given me from the yellow pages listing all of the language schools in town, and called six of them in the morning before my hair had even dried. Of the six, one told me to wait until October 6 when the person who could help me returned from vacation, three told me to just send my resume and wait, and two actually scheduled me for a next-day interview. This morning I had an interview with the Carl Duisberg language school, which is almost exactly like Inlingua in their method of operations except that they pay 17 euros a lesson instead of 14, and they don’t have their own textbooks. The good news is that I’m pretty much hired—they’ll start offering me lessons just like Inlingua as soon as they can. The bad news is they can’t offer me any lessons until I’ve got a work permit, which means it can’t be right away. I still need to wait for my medical insurance, at which point I can head back to the Ordnungsamt and apply for a work permit, which hopefully won’t take long to clear. Worst case scenario I’ve got to wait another month. Best case, I get it all taken care of this week and start getting lessons next week. These lessons would be mostly intensive one-on-one training for 4 hours a day, and at 17 euros a lesson (a lesson being 45 minutes) that adds up to a lot more money than I’ve been making by Inlingua. But whether it takes a week or a month is not as important as the fact that the deal is pretty much sealed, and I can expect a newer and bigger source of income in the near future.
Not to mention I’ve still got five other options pending, including another interview this afternoon. Something tells me I’ll probably need a work permit for any of these places and that Inlingua was just a weird exception, but again it doesn’t matter. It’s just a matter of saying, “Mom, I just need one more check for x amount and after that I should be on my own.” Going back to the states in shame doesn’t seem all that likely anymore.
On the Inlingua front, I finally asked Frau Giesecke yesterday about why they said they could guarantee me 80 lessons per month. I felt like such an asshole doing it because she’s so fucking nice and my question clearly caught her off guard and put her on the defensive, and she just started talking about the crash-course I’d be giving in October for lack of a clear answer, and then said she would ask the other woman, Frau Barova-Loeffel about it. After my lesson with Ms. Weiß (who finally actually showed up) Frau Giesecke was able to tell me that the person who had wrote that to me, Frau Lehman, had just been guessing, and then she really had no idea that 80 lessons was way more than the typical amount each teacher receives. I don’t know why the word “guarantee” was used but apparently she hadn’t been lying, she just didn’t know what she was talking about. Oh well, I only moved all the way across the Atlantic with the impression that I’d be able to afford to live here with just this job. No big deal. But Frau Giesecke was of course extremely nice and sweet about it and let me use the computer to print copies of my resume, and she wished me luck with my interviews and everything.
I also got the details of my crash-course with Ms. Dunsing (or something like that) which will be four days a week for two weeks starting October 13. Apparently this girl is just finishing high-school (or “Gymnasium” as they call it) and they all have to take an exam to graduate and I guess English is a part of it because she wants my help to prepare for it. So…in two weeks I’ll be meeting an 18 or 19 year old girl and working with her for two weeks.
I want to mention my dreams last night because they totally kicked ass. There was one in which I was back in the states visiting friends at some weird tropical cape-cod-shaped place that was supposed to be Long Island. There was lots of swimming around and breathing underwater and fun stuff like that, but nothing worth mentioning until evening fell and we went into a bar and I spotted Krissi who was bartending and for some reason I knew then that it was a dream. But it wasn’t like a sudden realisation for anything—it was just kind of like acknowledging what I’d known all along. “Krissi!” I yelled and she spotted me, quite happy to see me. I told her to sit next to me and not to worry about work because it wasn’t real anyway. “So, James Dudek,” I began (calling her by the name on her e-mail account, the name of a kid we knew in high school who went from total loser to folk-legend thanks to the acid-induced creativity of the ‘cool’ crowd), “you’ve made it into one of my dreams. What do you want to do? I don’t have any preference, but we can do just about anything. But you’d better choose fast because I’m probably going to wake up again soon. This dream has already been going on for a long time.” She didn’t pick anything, we just started talking. Then I woke up.
But when I was already lucid when I went into my next dream, and having no clear objective I just went along with the flow but constantly aware that I could control whatever I wanted. It was great. The basic plot of the dream was a class-trip to the planetarium, but we never quite made it there because stuff kept happening along the way. When we reached a cool spot by the water I just said we should stop and hang out here because we were obviously never going to make it to the planetarium—I know how dreams like this work. So we chilled out by the water. There was a kid who dunked a big toy pick-up truck underneath the water and you could see the surface of the water in the back of the toy truck still underneath the water. Bubbles started rising to the top, and we all started doing things like dunking cups underwater and watching the same thing happen. The bubbles felt really good and I remarked about the possibilities in terms of sexual pleasure. The “teacher” told me to watch it but I said “Who cares? It’s not real anyway” pointing out how real bubbles form from air and would never just continuously form like that.
Knowing my alarm was set for 9:00, and that the last time I woke up my clock had said 8:07, I figured we didn’t have much time left so we might as well head back to the school. It had felt like way more than an hour had past, but judging by the ratio of dream-time to waking-time we were still probably nearing the end. We got back to the school very quickly and rather than go inside I invited some of the people there to fly around with me. I’m usually the only one who can fly in lucid dreams but this time I was able to explain the process and get a couple of others, including Charisma who had been in my under-water dream a few weeks ago (and whom I got back in contact with in real life the day after). I just said to picture yourself swimming through the air, and soon enough three of us were breast-stroking through the air until we landed on the top of the school. “I should be waking up any minute,” I thought, and saw that the clock on the school read 8:59. “Let’s see if we can fly to the ocean before my alarm goes off,” I said, and we took off and flew away, soon enough reaching the water’s edge. As we were approaching I heard the sound of an alarm, but I said to just ignore it, let’s dive into the water before I wake up. So I flew out to sea a bit further as the sound of the alarm grew louder, then plunged into the water and woke up.
Hitting the alarm on my phone I was shocked to see it was already 9:37. I was going to be late for my interview. But another clock said with was only 8:32, and another said it was 10:26. But the time on all these displays were flickering like the clocks in the movie Waking Life. Ironically this didn’t even clue me in, and I was just about to call the language school to let them know I’d be late when I woke up for real, checked my phone and saw that the actual time was 8:55.
It was just so fucking striking, in a very good way, just how incredible the mind is. I don’t know if dreams are something spiritual, consciousness detached from bodily existence, or whether they’re just the product of a complex process of neurons firing all over the place, but they sure are fucking fascinating sometimes. And to be totally aware while you’re dreaming, to be able to consciously study the phenomenon while you’re still technically unconscious, is just mind-bogglingly awesome.
So anyway, between the kick-ass dreams and the interview this morning, I’m finally in a good mood again.