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QRD #28, January 2005
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John Ostrander interview
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John O'Brien & My Car
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Earthworm
In my dreams Iím an earthworm.  I still play guitar, strumming with my tail while I sing.  I canít make chords, so the only way to change the notes is by hitting the strings so hard they change their tuning.  This is roughly identical to my real life technique.  The girls love my music.  They drag their boyfriends out to see me (the antithesis of indie rock).  They keep asking me about my lyrics, which I make up every night; but maybe Iím starting to make up the same thing every night, because it always feels familiar.

Road Trip
Iíve been up for almost 40 hours.  I drove for 24 hours just to get here.  My friendís son was born ten days ago & for some reason (presumably religious) today is the day his son will be given a name.  The house is crowded, both parents come from large families & the house is filled with children & married couples.  Iím sitting on the couch & despite the volume (from others conversation) I can feel that Iím about to pass out.  A girl sits next to me & I can tell by her facial structure that she must be the new motherís cousin.  In the middle of her giving me a long monolog introduction of herself, I get the feeling that this house really needs to have a cat.  I should get the son a cat.  She asks me to describe myself & I try to say, ďIíve been up a very long time & I want to pass out,Ē but when it comes out of my mouth it sounds more like, ďAvisha lon jara misan for negata somanasa.Ē  I blink & feel my head fall & Iím unconscious & all my dreams are a pure black void.

BEEEEP
I keep hearing these un-natural beeps.  I can make them out, they sound like sign waves used to tell when the action & audio should start.  I hear them most often when Iím driving my car, but I canít piece together what itís caused by or what it relates to.  Iím scared it has something to do with someone re-editing my life.  I need to know what Iím missing from my life.  I need to find out what theyíre stealing from me.  I think theyíre using my time in the car because itís a time when I stop paying attention & go on automatic pilot.  I need to find a way to stay aware 24 hours a day.  Itís the only way Iíll be able to catch whoever it is doing this to me.
 It only takes three days without sleep to catch them.  I can hear the programming in the back of my head urging me to do what they want after the beep sequence.  I follow the instructions to see where they want me to go & what they want me to do.  I find myself pulling up to a warehouse, but inside it is a shining sterile laboratory.  Iím sitting on a table in a lab room & when a scientist comes in I pull my knife out of my pocket & stab him in the neck.  He puts his hands up to cover the wound & starts choking on the blood.  He collapses & I canít tell if he bled to death or suffocated.  Iím covered in his blood & I realize I didnít plan this too well.  I put my knife away & get back on the table & wait to see if there are any beeps or programming to get me out of this mess.