Patrick Coleman


They're playing it.




I had a dream tonight—not a sleepy, dreamy dream, but a dream while waking, in which passion takes over the senses and gets them, insensibly, perceiving the unperceived. And it was this, friends: I want to turn my kids’ geodesic climbing structure into a scale model of Biodome. I’d populate it with little mouse Bud and Doyle, trying to grow their own food, throwing destructive parties, making air filters from head-sized cigarette butts to erase their mistakes. Capitalize on the available! It exists for you—two truths and a lie (truth and dare) in one statement, dude. And what else was Biodome but Pauly Shore capitalizing on a little bit of fame, and Encino Man? Of course capital would factor in. He’s gotta make hay while the sun shines. Make it rain. Rhythms of nature, buuuu-ddy—riding the waves. But doing it in the closed system of a biodome—the water cycle of moneymakers making money. Nature and her metaphors, what a joke—contained, constrained, and so bulging out the sides like balls in a swimmer’s Speedo. (Grapesmugglers, Pauly calls them, ruining grapes, smuggling, European swimwear, fruit salad). Bi-O-Dome. Does that mean they go both ways? There’s always outside influence, always a leak in the system. Isolation is a bigger fantasy than hobbits, bigger than the idea that the 1950s were a golden age (only if you were white, middle class, and American, and even then—if you were happy, you were corrupt). My dreams may be ridiculous. Not may be. Are. But they are the lubed slip-and-slide between animal urge and rational thought—between fucking a tree and transmogrifying every forest into currency—and, greased often and well, they make anything possible, as far as our minds blindly can tell. So we stop for an emergency bathroom break, step into a world, fuck it up, and try to fix it again. There’s no escape from catastrophe, the news tells us. Lock the door. Swallow the key. Let’s build something ridiculous, something that might save you, might do something usefully unusual to me.




Oh child of mine, this life is not the life of the lion tamer. No wild thing out there for you to master. No gnashing maw through which, with an extended neck, you prove your self. No, it is the life of the lion. The trick is in what you do not do. And that includes everything I do for and to you.