Aaron Schmidt, Enghien les Bains, 2002 Aaron Schmidt, New York, 1998 Aaron Schmidt, Paris, 2002 Aaron Schmidt, Atlanta, 2001 Aaron Schmidt, Atlanta, 2001 Aaron Schmidt, Epinay sur Seine, 2003 Aaron Schmidt, Enghien les Bains, 2002 Aaron Schmidt, Sancerre, 2002

Thoughts and Dreams of Aaron Schmidt

This is the online journal of Aaron Schmidt where he records his thoughts (when they seem relevant) and his dreams (when he can remember them).

22 June 2005 Creeping with Kravitz

I've been having a lot of strange and weird dreams ever since I've moved to New Zealand. I suppose changing cultures will do that to you. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to remember these dreams since upon waking I'll think of the other 50 things I have to do that day.

But here's one I remembered from this morning:

My mother and I creep into a large, abandoned house. The house has been in my dreams often. It has many rooms and many different ways to get from one room to another. A perfect place for hide and seek. If I had to guess, I'd say the house is a representation of what I thought my home looked like when I was a child.

As we move slowly from room to room, up ladders, down tunnels, we realize that someone else is in the house. My mom starts whispering things, "We're over here...", "This way..." and the person starts to follow us, trying to find the source of these ghostly sounds.

I look back and realize it's my friend, Jason Kravitz.

Each time Jason comes running into the room, my mom and I manage to get around the corner just in time. My heart is pounding and I don't want to be caught. But my mom is not as stealthy as me and she keeps bumping into things, producing noises and making it easy for Jason to follow us to the next room.

Jason finally catches up with us. He doesn't seem to surprised to see that it's me and my mother. Jason catches his breath and asks us if we'd like to join the ceremony. I agree.

Alone, I follow Jason through the maze into a room I have never seen before but one that's no more remarkable than the rest of this crazy house. It's lit with blue lights with bright orange-red candles in the middle.

Sitting on the floor is a group of women who Jason explains are his step-mothers (but they look more like step-sisters as they can be no older than myself).

An old man enters the room holding a black book in his hand. He sits down on a small pillow, immediately capturing the attention of Jason and his step-moms.

I remember that I haven't taken a shower this morning and all the room-creeping combined with the stress of being caught has produced some serious odors. I become very aware of how close I'm sitting to all these women. Should I leave and come back? I could clean myself quick and be back in 5 minutes. Yah, I'll just go and do that quick.

"WHO HERE IS UNPURE?" The silence is shattered by the old man who screams these words into the air. My heart stops beating. Can he smell me? Or worse, can he read my thoughts?

The women start to rock back and forth, humming softly. Kravitz looks terrified, his eyes are bulging. I need to get out of here. I need to escape. I am not pure!

And then I wake up.

20 April 2005 Turnbull sandals

As I step out of the coffee shop I see my old friend, Silks, from ISS standing beside a car with a little person. They let me know that they're in Paris for the next few days, staying at the Turnbull.

The Turnbull is a small, cheap hostel in the heart of Paris, the same one that Aurélie has booked for our final days before we fly back to New Zealand.

Silks and the midget ask if I want to come back for a drink and I agree, taking the oppurtunity to visit the Turnbull. When we arrive, everything feels vaguely familiar like I've stayed here before. Inside the doors, the hostel resembles a small, grungy pub and there's a number of young travellers hanging about, having a few drinks and playing pool. Stairs in the back lead to the dorm rooms.

I'm invited to sit down and when the waitress arrives I order a sandwich and a pint of beer. One of the younger boys at my table asks me if we can trade shoes. I say sure and kick off my sandles.

When my food arrives, I start eating but I'm having troubles chewing. Everything is paste. I turn away from the table to hide my shaking mouth as I desperately try to swallow the sandwich.

Lionel and Nadége (two colleagues from MEGA) tell me they're leaving and ask if I want a ride home. I jump at the oppurtunity to leave this freaky bar and nod my head vigorously (being still unable to speak).

My beer is untouched so I give it away. I leave $15 on the table, thinking this should more than cover my expenses. When I walk outside I realize that I don't have my sandles on so I turn around but back inside the bar everyone's gone. How could they disappear so quickly?!

I go to the back and walk up the stairs, moving through a very thin corridor banked by small dorm rooms. I peak inside each room as I pass, figuring that I should be able to recognize at least one of the people that I was sitting with.

Room after room but I can't find the damn kid who took my sandles! I run back downstairs and see Silks and the midget standing by the washing machines. I demand to know where my sandles has gone. Silks tells me to calm down. Speaking in french, the midget explains that the group went down to the beach. To find them I need to go out the side door, a droite quinze fois et tout droite (turn right 15 times then straight ahead). 15 times? Maybe I misunderstood but I don't have time to argue.

I briefly consider trying to find Lionel to inform him of the situation but I'm in a panic and things are falling apart. I step outside and turn towards the beach but when I try to run, my legs freeze up, slowing down so that I'm barely moving and I know I'll never find my sandals again.

11 April 2005 Coffee shop robbery

Aurélie and I are standing in line at a local coffee shop. Things seem to be taking longer than normal so we take off our backpacks and sit down on the floor to wait.

The people behind the counter appear nervous. As I watch them more closely I notice that they are moving frequently between the counter and the drive-through window, whispering secretively.

After 10 minutes of waiting in line I look up to realize that all the coffee shop employees have the left the store. I stand up and move past the other customers to find out what's going on but when I lean against the counter it falls away like cardboard. The entire back wall collapses to reveal the employees making off in a getaway car. It was all a setup.

One of the fake employees is a deadly assassin and he's driving an old pickup truck painted light-blue and green. An old man is tied to the back of the truck with an old piece of rope. As the assassin drives off, the old man is forced to run behind the truck to keep from being dragged.

I immediately associated the old man as being a church pastor although there was nothing he was wearing or doing to imply this distinction.

After a few miles, the assassin pulls into a gas station and brings the truck around to the back. The pastor is exhausted and begs to be released. The assassin steps out of the truck and moves towards the pastor, bringing out a knife from his belt. Without a word, he cuts the rope and turns the old man around. The assassin brings his arm around the old man's shoulder, covering the mouth with his hand.

I am now within the body of the pastor. The assassin stabs his knife into the old man's stomach. I feel shock. The assassin pulls out his knife and stabs into the old man's heart. I can feel the pain: a sharp sensation of warmth and the world fades to black.