Driving a semi truck: the first time I’ve done so. Not as hard as expected. My wife rides beside me as passenger, and it’s fine… mostly. We have a close call while making a left turn when there’s an unexpected red light on the other face of greenlit intersection. I yell at my wife to stop talking, trying to tell her not to go to the cab’s toilet right now, and I manage to stop the semi with zero inches to spare. It’s hard to tell actually. But it looks like my front just barely contacted the black bumper of a large pickup ahead. I suppose it’s up to that driver whether that’s acceptable, but I’m certainly thankful. I realize later that one reason I’ve been having the stressful troubles that I have is that the bulky reverse-forward switch is wedged way under my seat — and that lever unpredictably comes loose and flips! BAD SEMI.
During night I seem to wake up naturally, sometime after this dream. I’ve really been wanting to catch up on normal natural sleep. I’m suspicious of how long I’ve slept — so when I roll over and the dawn sun is directly in my eyes, I know this mere provocation is the reason I’m awake. Pfft, don’t let no morning sun tell me my dreams are finished. So, I grab my sleep mask and make an attempt. When I pull that mask off again and dare to glance at the clock — really I had no idea — the clock reads 10:28 am. This is so much good sleep. Perfect sleep. I immediately ramble off a whole victorious rant without even trying. A moment of pure joy and contentment.
What follow are dreams from that penultimate duration, between the masking and unmasking.
Sleep study program. It’s covered by insurance; that’s nice. I pick out a vintage shirt that a bit stretchy and wear it around the crowded store. When I go to check out, the two volunteers make a big fuss between themselves over how much a book I picked out is. I seem to remember being one that was taught from during my school days, a standard collection of poetry. This copy is very different though. Someone, probably an old lady by the looks of it, performed a ton of scrapbooking on it decades ago. The thing is so thick it can’t be closed. I flip the book open to a poem I remember specifically, a gothic scary-tale about a lone red-eyed coachman who might be a demon, entitled “Croach”. While the two nattering nitwits behind the counter (sorry, chatty volunteers who take their sales responsibility seriously) are going on about the price, I decide I don’t want the poem book that much, anyway. I wander off wearing the colorful stretchy shirt. If they want to confront me about it someday, I’ll be back for more treatment as part of the sleep study.
Another place nearby. A late-night talk show’s long prep-time, where as one of the first there I choose to sit in the back right corner of the audience bleachers. There’s a metal washer wedged under there (couldn’t tell ya why, but I remember it), and this rubber horn that I honk. Did I bring the horn? I dunno. But I’m just sitting there waiting, and I observing the risers, the room, the idling crowd. Periodically I’ll squeeze this horn, make maybe one honk or a dozen as it pleases me. Whatever comes out; just killing time. For me it’s nearly absentminded. The horn is doing it. So this is my improvised pastime. And while it continues solely for my own purposes, of that I assure you — (I always like having something to do with my hands) — it’s easy to notice a weird approval grow and grow among the audience. The horn always feigns disinterest when people react to its song, but it sure knows how to play along with what I happen to observe — which is the whole room. Sure, it is annoying. Who wouldn’t inevitably think: WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THE HONKING THOUGH?But it’s also been going on the whole time; no one here wants to be the asshole to yell at horn guy. It’s also just like, fascinating? Funny but why? No one even turns to look for someone with a horn. No one breaks the spell. So that sound is the uninvited goofy little mascot for the whole lot of us, for Team People-Waiting-a-Show, for our shared evening. Everyone starts a bit confused, and most people try to not acknowledge it for awhile, but everyone sooner or later is having feelings about my longform improv horn performance. Some people crack up with laughter and a few (very few) leave… I wasn’t carefully monitoring though. For everyone still there, they’re just sharing an unusual experience and chatting, excited for the show. Maybe wondering if this is supposed to be part of it? Me, I’m still just waiting. I don’t have a plan for where this is going. We’re all just hanging out with the strange squeaky stylings… of The Honk.
Finally, finally the host appears. Shortly afterwards he begins the show. I don’t want to say it was Jay Leno, but he sure didn’t remind me of Craig Ferguson. During most of this time he’s been backstage and apparently clued into tonight’s audience performance. There’s one honk made with good timing that gets another round of laughs, after one of his intro jokes. His move is to makes a strong passive-aggressive comment, on-air, quick as he can, that “we” should maybe cut back on that joke with the horn for the rest of the night. So, wow, that’s how that ended. An additional complication: I had handed off the honk-horn to a short-haired black woman, some friend I trust (no reference to a waking-person though, she was a pure dream construct). So now my friend has gotten to honk the horn… once. Her first and last honk. I hope she didn’t feel bad as if she ended my performance. Wow, I do not know how I should feel. Not mad at her, and not positive about the host I’d say.
And that brings me to why I was interested in this host and his doings in the first place. I’ve been patient. I’m suspicious of his interest in a young girl-child. So after the show (which I have no memories of, probably skipped over that part of the dream narrative) I follow the trail of where the guy, JayLenoHost, might be alone with the girl. I enter a high-ceilinged brick room with many open flames, unattended and apparently unused. I holler at and chide the person outside the door about it, assuming they are the person who did that… I count off 2 furnaces, 3 crucibles, 3 ovens, 20 candles, etc. So many flames that it ought to be roasting me while I’m in the (strangely dark) room, but my only concern is that they’re using lots of oxygen.
In that room, among those many open flames, I find one of my current pet rats. Rusty nests cozily atop some very warm (perhaps even hot) material, wedged in a metal half-basket. One side of his face is smooth and eyeless — just like my pet rat who’s now gone, Xolito. Maybe Rusty’s eye infection ran its course and it’s closed up, normalized. He seems fine.
A dream of Jada and Will Smith having a married-couple discussion on a small luxurious island. I’m sitting low in the water, and have the perspective of a janky wooden boat or floating platform. The Pinkett-Smiths are discussing some financial problems and their options for them. I assumed they had mounds of celebrity money, even Fuck You money. But I’m here to observe or maybe even film and although I’m like, RIGHT in front of them you’d never know based on how they acted. If this was indeed my job, as I now suspect, I might be getting paid to document Rich People Problems. So that’s fun. Eventually, when a pointed anti-papparazzi comment is made, I take what I can only think of as the cue. The boat powers up it’s concealed outboard motor and zips off noisily. The two movie stars put on a show of acting like they didn’t expect this from my innocent piece of flotsam which has been bobbing in place directly in front of them (with a guy, a camera, or a guy with a camera on it) for the last hour. I’m almost convinced. They are pretty good actors.
The scene pans smoothly to the right. I get to watch a recording of Jada (or at least I think it’s supposed to be Jada P-S) doing a dance. Supposededly it’s pretty popular. It opens with a closeup centered on her hips. Decently high production values, it would appear. So far so good. As the wiggling dance proceeds, the view stays framed on her pelvis. Looking at it the costume, I’m trying to make sense of a design choice. Maybe I’m just visually confused or I’m the only one who would see this. Right at her crotch there are lines as if her labia could be seen through a hole torn in the fabric. The choice is bold but hard to account for. They know what people will thank that is, won’t they? And finally figure out what I’m looking at. I’m looking at a woman’s hips dancing while her labia are in full view through a purpose-made window in her clothing. I’m less shocked than I am confused: where are they gonna broadcast this? TV?
A small, highly efficient snack shop that’s just a sideramp of a major route (i.e. an offramp, a drivethru, then an onramp). This chain has a deal where if you happen to be arriving when their replenishment robot is arriving from the opposite direction, you get a free meal. I find that out the first time I visit one, when it happens to me. These booths strike me as so efficiently automated, yet I can perceive active human labor in all the organization. I pick quickly before a line forms. Actually I go to the checkout counter (I thought it wasn’t separate? Maybe this was just for the meal deal, whenever the robot needs to do it’s work. I am invited to exit the way the human employees do: crawling through the square tunnel behind this secondary worker’s desk. The secretary nods politely and covers the mouthpiece of the phone she’s holding as I hop the counter.