No hot water. No shower yet. 12 noon. This hasn’t happened in a long time, save for the annual boiler cleaning, when a planned lack of hot water is announced days ahead of time. My daily shower, sometimes showers, became an important part of my day when I decided to start sitting. It seemed so obvious to me that standing was awkward and at times a little clumsy, so why not just sit on my ass instead? I procured a 6-foot long shower hose to accommodate the extra distance between the old shower head and my body. It is the single best fundamental change to my diurnal routine I think I’ve ever made.

I also talk in the shower, into an audio recording device with binaural mics. I’ve long intended to turn those audio recordings into another Shoutcast radio stream, or something like that, and in fact I did set up a preliminary version of a radio called, perfunctorily, “Shower Thoughts.” I can’t think of a more clever name for it, but maybe cleverness is not always needed.

I can be pretty boring and pedantic in these morning mental exhausts, but it is about as close to meditation as anything I’ve ever done. So many people have told me I should meditate but I just don’t have the mental serenity to do it. Something always ignites, a lightning tic or a sense that my consciousness had been smacked by a sheet of plywood.

I had a lucid dream last week. I believe it to be my first such experience ever. I’ve had extremely vivid dreams from which I wake up screaming, and from which I have trouble breaking into consciousness. At those times I can feel the pull, the conflict of nocturnal rigor mortis and a conscious desire to snap out of the stiffness which trapped me in an unpleasant mental and emotional experience.

But this lucid dream was different. I was awake enough to feel and maintain control of my body movements but asleep enough to see in full and even terrifying clarity a range of things which, for all their atypical high-definition clarity, all came from the garbage of the day, as dreams almost always do.

There was a feral squirrel, 10 feet long, with an erect penis that reached a length three or four times its body size. This derived from an article I read about a feral squirrel attacking humans in Rego Park, and from the state of my own painful tumescence, which brought another element of physical discomfort and lunacy to this lucid dream experience. The hardon would not go away unless I snapped into full consciousness, but I wanted to continue seeing the bizarre images before me, which felt like I’d put on a 360° 8K virtual reality headset.

Two children’s faces, drawn in black ink, had no eyes but were nonetheless able to see me and comment on my condition, implying it was permanent. They pursed their lips and made gestures with their tongues. This strange image derived from a memory I’d had the day before of the last woman I slept with.

Then appeared thousands of clones of my mother, skating with earnest determination at the Rockefeller Center skating rink. Hundreds of fresh clones of my mother kept emerging from an invisible spigot on the floor of the rink until the rink filled to capacity with millions of copies of my mother. They all flew into the air, a swarm of millions, disappearing into the firmament.

The dreams went on but I don’t need to share the rest. other people’s dreams are boring to most anyone. I don’t ascribe to the belief that dreams are a source of things profound, or that any one person’s dreams are more amazing than those of anyone else.

One dream I often recount, however, is the one about sausages.

I was at a party on a boat where the adults were on deck and the kids were in a back room, where the bathroom was located. I went through that room and heard a little 8 year old girl say “Mark, look at what I did in the bathroom.”

I went in a lo, found the toilet filled to the brim with big, fat, long turds. All I could ask was how such a little kid cranked out so much of it. I flushed the toilet. The turds went down the drain but promptly came back up. I couldn’t seem t o flush them but I kept trying, realizing after 7 or 8 flushes that with every flush the turds had been gradually turning into sausages. After a couple dozen flushes I was looking at a toilet filled with perfect 6-foot kielbasa, bratwurst, chorizo, and other varieties. My last thought in this dreams was “So, that’s how they make sausages.” I woke up laughing.

I recounted this dream to a friend who was a waiter at a restaurant. Any time a customer ordered their sausage dish he’d think “Time to put the girls to work,” referring to the little girl in my dream whose turds were the base material for gourmet sausages.

In other stream of consciousness text splatter I’ve been having a lot of fun over on my YouTube channel posting documentary-type videos of New York’s last payphones. So many of those phones are in derelict states of decrepitude and disrepair. The payphones of New York City today cut a craggy, hoary, derelict profile against an ever-gentrifying landscape that leaves few elements of character intact.

This phone, among many others, looks like it’s been deliberately dissected and surgically dismembered. When you think of all the things normal people can get ticketed for you can’t help ask how CityBridge, the company that owns these things, gets away with littering our curbs with this crap.

I’ve made other videos as well, and decided the ACDsee Luxea video software just not cutting it. I went for the far more robust CyberDirector instead, though not without reservations. I don’t like a “monthly” payment model that requires payment up from for an entire year. That is what kept me with Luxea as long as it did. The monthly rate really paid monthly, not yearly.

But Luxea had too many traces of immaturity as a product, and based on the quantity of customer support forum postings there appear to be very few people using it. I’m not sure what drew me in to begin with but it was probably the price.

I don’t post as much to this site as in years past, nor to the payphone site, even though i really should. I’m just too impatient and restless to sit in one spot and type all day when I don’t know if anyone will read any of this. I also fall into the time-suck trap of thinking I must be out in t he world accumulating more video, more photos, more content.

Truth be told, though, now is a time like no other to collect those payphone videos, as they are disappearing fast. I got footage of the payphones of Chinatown just in time. I returned to Canal Street about three weeks later to find them all or mostly gone.

So I should be away from my desk in the interest of this pursuit but I know full well it leads to hours and hours of wasted time.

It is cold as hell in here.