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Dream Journal

Mayan Motif, Feelings of Early Winter

A racing game set on a semi-oval course laid out in an office store. Speeding above the aisles, like a trainset hung from the ceiling of a dentist’s office. Tall narrow windows flood in color like a sunset. The brown tones and amber light give it a nostalgic mid-century aura.

I descend from the track after I am intrigued to notice a seated Drew Carey. I thank him for his show I enjoyed as a teenager, and he mentions another Drew Carey Show actor — I’m embarrassed I can’t continue the conversation, as I don’t know if that’s the blond or the brunet guy, as I don’t remember their names.

I take it upon myself to advance the next part of the game, headed up to a sunny Mayan temple level on the outdoor mezzanine. There, power-ups transform the player/POV character into a multi-legged mythical beast, a praying mantis centaur that rampages across the chessboard-like lawn outside the gates. Mayan revival architecture is a motif running through all these dreams.

My household spends a long time trying to leave our house to start a weeks-long cross-country journey. It’s winter and we’re packing a boxy car, maybe an SUV. We eventually get out the door, but by then it’s so late that we have to turn back — there’s not enough time to reach a safe stopping point. So we leave the house the next day, too.

Back in an office workplace, an unexpected meeting is called at the of end of day. It’s an unusually chummy workplace, and as part of the culture I snuggle my coworkers in a big dumpster/dent in the white floor. At first I’m warmly pressed against a girl I like, but a shuffle later I’m left with either a single other guy or no one. It’s simply the flip side of this arrangement, so I kill time standing near a fence and fiddling with a drawer.

Back in our apartment again. Asking our neighbors Dolly and Candida for to-go container (I say “greenbean box”) as they’re rushing out the door. They’re actually former neighbors but in the dream they still live next to us. I peek inside — their apartment is a mirror of ours, having the same long narrow hallway which unfortunately consumes so much space. In the dream it slopes upward and is supported by thin columns, and I’ve decorated ours with hanging art. Since I realize both neighbors are gone I’m tempted to visit the hidden upper levels of the building; I’ve discovered a blocked-off stairway passage in our kitchen, which leads to a forgotten door (technically part of the neighbors place). Even though supposedly we live on the top floor, I’ve previously accessed a roof level where there is a park-like garden and commercial vendors. I’ve been to it in a dream before, and I find myself gazing up at the obfuscated structures wondering if they survived the pandemic.

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Dream Journal

Dental Office / Photo Box Date

In two days, I have two dates at a dental office. It’s with my friend Dara (whom I used to go out with). I’m obviously more touchy-feely compared to the other patients — it’s a strange situation as I wouldn’t announce we were dating (Dara never thought of it like that anyway) and who goes on a date with a dentist multiple occasions to work on one’s teeth? I can’t remember if we made out at all, what with all the work being done on mouths there. Weird thought.

Inside a white office drawer under a counter, I find a drawer full of photos. I make it my task to clean them out. Unclaimed property and all that. I almost disrespect the person by default for leaving all their memories for someone else to deal with — then again, I don’t know the circumstances of how they were left.

I’ve been dealing with photos for awhile when I find one taken by Dara, one that was mentioned. It was taken at a seashore with craggy spikes, flamingoes, a 1950s wood-sided family car. Different areas of the photo are shown as I turn it in the colored lights — the flamingoes in the corner only show with the pink, for example. This is how I know it was the one mentioned, taken by Dara.

After doing the work with the photos I come into possession of an old blue suitcase. Not by my own choice, in fact — it was practically thrown at me. There’s a small group who are plainly coordinating with one another, trying to pull a scam of some kind. With feigned nonchalance, I’m asked to read aloud the address handwritten on the inside of the suitcase. It’s in Chicago with a zip code that someone insists “checks out”. Though I’ve been aware of there’s some scam, I’m starting to suspect it’s an actual curse — something that has to be passed on to an unwitting host.

I perceive, beyond just the curse-related suitcase, that the layer of fabric lining a nearby fence is named Malcolm (a very human name for fabric, isn’t it…).

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Dream Journal

House of Ukraine

Escaping a house which represents Ukraine, as besieged by the Russians. I was a journalist and accidentally became stuck there, making the most of it going from room to room. Noticing near the end they finally changed everything and cleaned up all the rooms, and are dragging away my big metal box. Yank it away and flee through the front hayloft door. I manage to warn incoming friends about a girl with a vagina between her digits (middle and ring finger), that she secretly works for the Russians. The paper topper for my box detaches and blows across street — I walk to retrieve it, thinking about the image of the Angelic Sword of Michael.

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Dream Journal

Old Man Spills My Plants

An old man has been taking care of my plants while I’ve been on a journey abroad. He’s a Swiss scientist, and perhaps also my friend Autumn’s dad. When I come to retrieve my plants, he releases a linchpin connecting the corner of an L-shaped wall which was constructed to hold them. They spill out across the ground, destroying several that are fruiting and could’ve been food. I want to be angry, to complain, asking why he did such a thing, but he took care of my plants the whole time I was gone — only to do this. I’m flabbergasted and I reason it would be too embarrassing in front of my friends to get mad, and still probably not get a decent answer.

As I leave I pass my Aunt Carol, who I see is the only one awake on the second floor of a roofless house. “Tell my story…”, I jokingly implore. But I have to repeat it and get up close to the house because I insist on saying it in a funny voice. Also, perhaps for nostalgia toward some of the peppers I lost when they spilled on the ground, “remember to pepper your food…”

“Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — I manage to remember to say this, just as I step out of bed for what I know will be a long day.

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Dream Journal

Hawaiian Accidental Theft, Groundskeeper Accomplice

Stealing stuff from Hawaii by accident because I’m think I’m going to come back. Bored with dates for November and student activities.

A mafioso guido-type guy significantly under ranks me… by several bosses. To teach him a lesson I pawn him off on the old groundskeeper. He rambles on a tour all day long, finally grasping the importance of the orange liquid on display in its original vial. This is the actual vial of stuff that helped discover something way back in the ’50s. The old groundskeeper passes by and I throw a small hex nut pliers at him to assist in something. At sunset he allows a Thanos-looking guy to touch it. Who promptly goes mad and has visions of his brain dissolving into orbs.

Talking on the street, I admit to my dad that I have to pay to mail back the Hawaiian stuff I accidentally stole, lamenting that I wasn’t thinking when I packed and really thought I’d be coming back sooner.

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Dream Journal

New Home from Drawing, Same View

Measuring the dimensions of a house by drawing on paper using a pencil, which then becomes the house.

Play a little minigame of hacking the door on the side of the garage to pass the time. Angry that I’ve created a new backyard that — quite unintentionally — matches a plain, unadorned version of my childhood home, with the exact same view of the mountains. In the distance too, I see an abandoned Sears Tower.

A weird snippet of the future: Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott’s child turning 18 and getting 8 billion dollars.

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Dream Journal

Dream on the Last Night Spent in New York

Making our way to a tiled subway station in Brooklyn. We arrive, and one can choose an exceptional person (matched with a color) on a pendant to be placed on the entrance of the station. The entire rectangle is covered in a single small portrait, the reddish color of bentonite clay.

I think perhaps the entire subway station changes to the portrait you pick. But I don’t know, I only visited just the once.

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Dream Journal

Three Doors Down, and Autumn in New York

Parents finally trying to get themselves together to move into their new house, which they’ve owned for awhile. It stands on a corner — tall, narrow, empty, and pristinely white on every surface. Inconveniently, the squat modern apartment my parents rented for me to stay near them is three plots down. Not having adjacent backyards means we can’t spend time together but be in our own spaces. Going through the charming sideyard, with loungers and decorations of flickering tiny pumpkins, I understand better that we’re really using it as an Airbnb.

A streak of trees and sky filtered through some distortion, like glass, but treated by my mind’s eye as a real object. A striking impression of autumn in New York.

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Dream Journal

Dinosaur Footprints and Thrift Store Gift

Viewed from above, I can see that my childhood friend Robbie T.’s house on Desert Inn road is only a few hundred feet, by air, from a dinosaur excavation exhibit/museum. The several blocks in between are separated by a main thoroughfare but it’s still surprising that we never realized when we were kids.

My wife and I take the subway there (a short trip) and while exiting the station on a short connecting dirt path, with scrubby but pretty green nature on the side, I momentarily think we’ve angered a guy walking behind us. He’s muttering something loudly and it takes an anxious second to realize he’s talking to his directions via headset.

The museum is outdoors, the ground muddy under a sky of brisk blue. There’s preserved dinosaur footprints and maybe puddles. I prod downward with a stick as to measure depth. A detectable but unidentifiable smell is then on the stick, a nearby elder volunteers the information that they smell like The Devil (like the tarot card, not anything recognizably satanic or evil).

A sizable chunk of my back molar comes out and I sigh, looking at it in my hand. It’s been going on awhile without being addressed, falling away in pieces so it’s down to nub. No one around me seems to care or notice.

We set our pet rats to free roam loose in our home, halfway hoping they can find some wild ones. (Yesterday I saw a whole group of rats in the New York subway.)

In a thrift store I run, I prevent an old friend from buying my warm comfy German army jacket for $4. I actually chase her off, hoping she isn’t too upset despite appearances. The friend is either Meg from college (who played Columbia in Rocky Horror) or Amy Pollard from middle school (whose birthday was on Christmas). Soon I reveal a surprise gift for her — the jacket, which had a hole in the lining around the armpit, I completely repaired. Now I can give a perfectly functional jacket to her for free! Which might even make up for how I treated her in the store before. (The large atrium room reminds me of the Temple of Dendur in The Met, which I didn’t visit until today. And hadn’t even planned on seeing today.)

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Dream Journal

A Nice Victorian Space to Fix Things and Learn

I’m being shown around a pale yellow Victorian house, with a complicated and extensive layout that is home for many. I’m considering moving in or helping folks who live there. I peer out a window in the upper floor and am confused for a moment by the jarring blank modern walls, but realize it’s the building next door. Shame… would be a beautiful view of the curved glowing sky above (is this Victorian housing complex in space?). While inspecting a niche and one of the rooms, examining how a tiny hand wash sink has been built into the alcove, I realized there’s a small gap in the baseboard that I can reach through. Probably no person has realized the space exists in many decades.

A map of the island of Hispaniola shows an exaggerated elevation relief, showing the stark vertical east-west border line. The obvious inconvenience really shows how Haiti and the Dominican Republic have been harmed by such an artificial imposed border, even one from hundreds of years ago.

In a wide-open top floor attic lounge space I take it upon myself to repair three stylish pianos. They’re arranged elegantly back-to-back in a triangle, the base ends tilted to be slightly larger. Guests of the lounge are starting to come in for the evening. I’m pleased to find that each piano has a different sound, one has a delightful 1960s electric organ tone.