Around this time, for seven books now… about a month out, the anxiety dreams begin.
That’s when I know, as I’ve said before, that publication is really imminent. Last night’s was a
doozy. In recurring dreams, I am living, usually in one of several places: a wet gym locker (i invite anyone to amateur or professionally analyze these btw), my old apartment in Park Slope circa 1998, my old house on Franklin in Hollywood, at Bennington College long after I’ve graduated or (classically) my childhood bedroom on Long Island. This is where the “Mia Farrow” dream took place. My book, Twee does not discuss Mia Farrow very much, save her Rosemary’s Baby haircut and the film itself’s place among fetishized, eternally cool 60s cinema but for some reason in the dream itself I was writing a large biography of Farrow for a major publisher. I was discussing her range (from Rosemary to say Broadway Danny Rose to how she deferred all the flashier bits to her co stars in Hannah… and made them look great and win Oscars, etc.) and I guess for a dream book chapter it was pretty good. ONLY i was not typing it or word processing it, i was writing it longhand in pencil on various things that I could find – bits of newspaper, ripped up pieces of quilt, that bloody shirt the Zodiac killer sent the San Francisco Chronicle, toilet paper, wax paper that someone had used to wrap ham, i mean it was catch as catch can, like Geoffrey Rush in Quills, I would write on or with anything just to finish it. Only I knew what I was writing was great. I was really nailing it. I was getting Mia down (now I know in real life she has her own memoir and I’ve read it and it is very good and there’s really no need to get her down). Then my mother came in and saw what I was doing and said, “Marc, there is absolutely no way you are going to be able to deliver that to your publisher.” And I looked at this chaotic spread all over my bed and immediately began to start to make sense of it and protest. “Sure I can,” but slowly it dawned on me that she was right and I should have written it on my computer. It’s funny, the theme of losing one’s novel is a recurring one in many Woody Allen movies. In Celebrity Famke Jansen throws Kenneth Branaugh’s off a ferry. In Husbands and Wives, Juliette Lewis leaves his in a cab. I knew even as I was dreaming that i had to retrieve all those thoughts somehow. I woke up quickly with a gasp and knew even more quickly that I was not under contract to write this book, and that the book I was hired to write was finished and almost ready for the shops, but even as I type this, I’m shaken. Anxiety dreams. Once, before the release of How Soon is Never, I had them every night AND waking. Before Poseur, my memoir of last year, they were bad as well. I always say the worse the dream the better the book. I got out of bed and made coffee, then the devil fucked me and I had its baby. More soon.