My updated review of Gary Lippman’s novel, Set the Controls for the Heart of Sharon Tate:
Set the Controls for the Heart of Sharon Tate is a haunting mind trip through the carnival ride of obsession, fame, and objectification. A fanboy’s lifelong fixation on his one true love, Sharon Tate, brings him face-to-face with the horror and madness that drives a person to murder. Hilarious, twisted, terrifying, and tragic – Gary Lippman shatters cultural compulsion with celebrity by flipping the polarity of innocent infatuation to full-blown alienation and dehumanization. What a freak show!
@garylippmanofficial – thanks for the trip!
A few weeks ago, a little after midway through the book, I had complete deja vu. The hairs on my arms prickled up and I felt like I was sliding through temporal/imaginal reality. No kidding, it was like I experienced the story/conversation before, even though the book is fiction and I am not a character.
Maybe I dreamed it? Maybe time is slipping? I’m off on some dimensional twist? The book is a time portal?
The trippy deja vu experience was so visceral I made a video. After seeing the video, one of my friends texted me, “Are you ok?” I responded, “Trippin’ ballz! just kidding.” This experience is all drug-free.
I used to have three or four books going at a time when I lived in New York City and would often finish that many books each week. Subways and cafes are great places for reading. I used to think of books as palm-sized time machines – reading several books at once was like zigzagging across the universe!
William S Burroughs felt similarly, he said collage and cut-up techniques were forms of time travel.
For the last several months, I have been writing down my dreams every morning. I considered my dreams could be affecting the way I experience time. Years ago, the most vivid dream I had connected with a current event was the Boxing Day Tsunami. I dreamt New York City was underwater, and only the tops of the tallest buildings were above water. I was in one of those tall buildings, living in the top few floors with other survivors.
The next morning, I was on the phone telling my mom about the dream when she asked if I’d heard about the tidal wave. I had not, but I distinctly remember momentarily seeing a wall of green-blue all around me.
One of my friends, a Buddhist, suggested I might be reincarnated from 60s Hollywood – which may be why I was having such a strong response to the the story. She asked, “When did Sharon Tate die?” R.I.P. 1969. “Maybe there is a reason you have so much ambivalence toward fame.” Who knows? My friend’s suggestion made me feel a little creepy and dark – slightly spooked.
I do love a good deja vu happening – but it has been a weird summer. Four years of Trump and an insurrection, the pandemic, massive forest fires and ashes falling from the sky (the day I filmed the video the air was full of smoke and ash) – it might be no wonder I’m feeling a little out of phase.
How have you been experiencing time lately?
July 15, 2021