In Search of Lost Time- 3 Musketeers

So I’m a bit behind on the whole Netflix thing and it’s only been about a month since I got started watching “Stranger Things.”

In S2 there’s some close-ups of a white 3 Musketeers bar wrapper with a picture of the Musketeers on it.

When I saw it I swore I had seen that style of logo in the very early 90s but unless they carried on using it for the fun size versions a little longer, best evidence I have is that it wasn’t used after 1988. By 89 they seem to have gone to a chrome wrapper without the Musketeers on it.

I would have been 4. I don’t know if I would have been allowed a whole candy bar at that age.

I think I do remember this commercial from that year though. I remember it because the 57 Chevy was one of the first classic cars I could recognize.

Memory Fragment from childhood

I haven’t been updating much because I haven’t been remembering anything from past lives, nor have I been keen on allowing myself to believe in such things. I tend to bury any thoughts or feelings or memory fragments from before 1984 because it’s just too painful to think about. I would rather believe, at this stage of my life, that it was all self-deception.

But I do occasionally throw memory fragments from my present life, from the mid 80s to the early 90s, a time period that’s becoming more and more distant as we lurch into the 2020s.

So I will start recording memories of my present life prior to 9/11/01 in hopes that I will keep this blog useful for something.

I won’t spill my whole life story though. If anything it will be full of little stabs of nostalgia and anamnesis of small things. A Proustian project.

Maybe the reader might understand who I am presently and how that relates to who I might have been. Alternatively, it might shed light on little things that helped me unknowingly confabulate past lives.

So let’s start with something innocuous on our search for lost time. A vacuum cleaner. Specifically, a dark blue Eureka Princess canister vacuum probably bought for my parents as a wedding gift in 1983. We took it with us to Torrejon, Spain. I remember riding it as a toddler. I remember the noise it made when you covered the inlet. I remember, as an older child, learning what the word “eureka” meant from a conversation with Mom started by this vacuum. I remember it being relegated to garage duty when Mom bought a gray plastic upright vacuum in the 90s. It finally died and was discarded in the mid to late 90s, little more than a rusty shell.

I had forgotten it, until by free association in a conversation with a dear friend, I remembered it spontaneously today. A memory fragment from childhood, a minor but constant background prop from my formative years.

Here’s one that cheated the years. Ours was the same color.

Dream About Boston

Last night I dreamed I was living in an old house in Boston. In addition to my cat I also had an adorable African bat-eared fox as a pet who curled up in a fluffy ball and purred when I petted him (yes, foxes do purr).

But this pleasant dream took a weird turn. I went into one particular room, a small parlor with a door opening out to a narrow cobblestone street. It had the sort of modern modifications you would expect, a bricked-up fireplace, white paint replacing the once rich colors of times past, and the hardwood floor had been completely redone. But I instantly recognized it as a room I had known in another life in the late 18th Century and it filled me with panic. There were other people in the room, asking if I was alright and of course I was playing off the eerie feelings with the usual “yeah, I’m fine,” etc.

I find it strange to have such a vivid dream about this. First of all I haven’t had a dream related to past lives in quite a while. Second I have serious doubts about the 18th Century Boston life as the narrative I thought my memories represented fell apart with research.

I don’t know. It was strange enough to warrant logging here I suppose.

Checking In

Just checking in though not much to report. The security job is going well. I have almost $2000 saved. After another year or two I might have enough saved for a down payment on a house.

As for past lives I’m in a doubting trough. It feels far away, which is good in a way because I feel like I have a “normal life.” Full time at the plant, a decent used car and my husband and cat to come home to. I don’t need much else.

Still haven’t published my fifth novel and my expectations for it have diminished quite a bit. I tried to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear and all I got was a purse that smells like pork. I am currently trying to salvage what I can of it though I won’t lie, it feels like an ungainly mess and I am completely out of love with the project. This was supposed to be the book born of my experiences in 2011-2013 but it’s hokey and boring and I’m almost embarrassed to publish it now.

September

This past month was the coldest September in Oregon in 71 years.

The weather is reminding me of autumns long ago. My thoughts have turned to Jack’s life again, and with it the urge to travel again to places he loved, fought, lived, and died in.

I am employed full-time now and recovered from the worst of the breakdown that led to these memories breaking in the first place, but I don’t know how much I can save. $25k a year doesn’t buy you much these days. A shared apartment, some new clothes, slightly better food, and enough cash to pay for vet bills or emergency car repairs. Luxuries like travel to Europe seems like a distant goal. But maybe I can convince family to help me now that I no longer need their help to keep a roof over my head. My father was at least sympathetic to the idea of going though as a military history buff he’s wanted to go to Flanders for a while now anyway.

Meanwhile, as I guard construction yards on lonely posts from dusk to dawn, the cold is beginning to haunt me and the ghosts of the past feel closer now than they have in many long months.

Confession Time

Part of why I have renounced my claim for having been Philip K. Dick is because I got disgusted with a large portion of his fanbase. Some of them definitely got it, that the Empire is “might makes right” and the spirit of “might makes right” is at the heart of what the serpent of right-wing politics stands for. Others defintiely didn’t get it, and were projecting views that ranged from stale enlightenment absolutist understandings of the gnostic subtexts of his work to outright cheering for the abusive practices of ICE, the disenfranchisement of minorities, and the spread of racism in the form of a false gnosis. A dark, Himmleresque shadow has been projected over his gnosis and I felt gross claiming to have been him. I met a few cool people but the ones deep into toxic far right politics eventually took over the discussion, and some of them had been closer to Phil than I’m comfortable discussing.

It’s pushed me away from gnosticism too. I had begun to feel like my involvement in the gnostic church was just a distraction from facing the fact that we live in a bleak world. They were always so uninvolved in politics that nobody thought it necessary to have a serious discussion about what we’d do if we were approached by someone seeking sanctuary. Shouldn’t every church at least know where they stand on THAT in a society that’s gone haywire!? And moreover it never once entered into the discourse how we would reckon for a very unhappy history with racism in the 20th century gnostic revival. We just didn’t talk about it.

At any rate, I’m not thrilled with how human frailty and stupidity have failed utterly to make a useful system of values out of anything mystical. I’m burned out with it. I don’t want to be associated with a mystic or be thought of as a mystic myself because I don’t see any good coming of it. Lofty ideas don’t save the world; organizing and cooperating with others in your community does.