Dream Journal

Too Long at the Library

As I’m about to wake up, I get my nipple piercing caught on the blanket while rolling over in bed. Though it’s quite painful I don’t call out. I don’t even know how I suppressed it — but perhaps a decent amount of dreams were lost due to that accident.

I’ve spent days or weeks at a library. Spacious oblique concrete-walled rooms, though the order of the shelves never makes sense. I remember in particular three shelves contained in a box of rectangle, lined up diagonal. There’s a stage show put on where the stage is level with the audience floor. As I’m finally hoping to leave I locate several Deep Space Nine station model kits that you can check out and build. Fair to expect my wife to be thrilled by this discovery.

Not long after I finally leave the library I set up a booth on the sidewalk. I pour myself a beer and start drinking, because that’s what I set up this booth for. On a wintry sandy curved road, I sit at the booth, and I drink beer. Anyone who wants to come can join me.

Dream Journal

from Words of Russian Sympathy, an Alarm

On a post, two lone words commemorate a very sad Russian situation. I don’t know more about it. But I come across these words on a walk around my neighborhood, maybe walking my dog.

I leave sympathetic comments below, maybe on paper or maybe as part of a website. I feel a buzzing which comes across as an alert responding the comments I’ve left. Perhaps a portal which opens to defend the viewing of whoever that Russian tragedy happened to, that misunderstood my sentiment. But it’s actually my phone alarm. I need to wake up for yoga.

Dream Journal

Spelunk into Demo Space

Wandering at the terminus of a rainy street, the edge of a neighborhood I don’t visit often anymore. Looking to see a movie there, unusual for me at this hour. There’s a premiere or re-release of some culturally important film (y’know, Jurassic Park just had it’s 30th). I’m leaning toward choosing the chain cinema, nestled in a dark alley with its line of pinpoint bulbs glaring in the night. I don’t want to choose the wrong place for the sake of the kids around here — this movie seems to be having a moment in youth culture. I want to avoid disappointing them, and also avoid getting shivved.

A naked pet rat (one I can’t recognize in retrospect) the next in our lineage after Xolito. A chubby cute older little bugger, with a port wine stain on the side of his stomach. Went by the cute name of Spool.

Old Man So-and-so has a horse pasture next to the town river. Flat little idyllic island, it was. The old farmer has worked skillfully to get the flowing nearby water still enough, but it happens that there’s a certain stillness that horses find provocative. They’ll horses try to flatten it with their hooves and jump in, maybe thinking it’s a puddle. This time the horses swim to a rocky outcrop with waves cresting just over it.

Falling into an elaborate funeral structure (I think of it like a palace tomb) that is accessible by falling through from a graveyard. Reminds me of a creepy spelunking cave I heard about in Australia (where divers are easily disoriented) called The Shaft. But this strangely expansive and elaborate artificial cavern is a demonstration space left by the developers. Developers of whatever video game is the reality I’m inside. I remember a long curved Wall with unique frames, each of which holds a preserved doll that was once alive. Inside a cubic hollow I observe renderings of 3D shapes which change their shading logic as a move my viewpoint side-to-side. I seem to remember a redwood Grand Hall that I step outside, looking up through openings at its immense spiral stairway.

Harder to finish these as there wasn’t as strong a story as some dreams from past week. But focusing on them as I go to bed brought strange feelings of familiarity, other dreams I know I’ve written but that weren’t “finished” with publication. Those are harder to search through.

There was one, where I may have been living in a trailer somewhere tropical, behind a picket fence, defending my home and community…

Dream Journal

Drafting Letter to Old Man

Writing a letter to an old man regarding a recent experience. Maybe our trip to Mexico. As I’m editing I’m figuring out what I want and should be saying. There’s an opener which references the controversial incident obliquely — possibly rather too clever — and I try to dance around insulting the other actors involved, the greater context, or really spelling things out. I need to avoid giving the impression of a promise, or an admission of guilt. But I want to seem like the good guy. This is a creative way of cleaning up from overly-complicated events.

This is becoming a bit meta to me, the person who dreamt it and the person who’s writing it. Perhaps it seems that way to you too, dear reader. That may be because the way it’s being written appears to be auto-descriptive. Best I can give my own analysis. Take it with a grain of salt, though.

The old man was kind of a Walt Disney or John Waters type. But his moustache was not important.

Dream Journal


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.

Dream Journal

Away & Again, Round th’ Healing Isles of Coumbernauld

It was more than 27 hours since I slept last. And bad sleep at that. My wife helpfully let me sleep on our couch, in our living room, in the center of our home. There were many dreams — I seem to remember more than usual given my slow luxurious wakeup in the wee hours of the morning.

A clubhouse place. Like a giant orange mushroom formed of plastic, something very 70s in design, but made as a skill-building project by one of a close group of friends who all live nearby. Their social atmosphere is perfect: intimate, congenial, familiar yet inviting, a shifting and easy mix of people. I think it was like a commune of folks who all shared a single professional background expertise but many different disciplines. Perhaps botany. My friends Phoenix & Shalaco might among them.

An end of season or end of semester party with the clan of Ms. Fitz., my high school creative writing teacher. From out of a long metal block building, I pull Mint cc ice cream and share with street kids and refugee Indian women. Knocking it out of the container and they grab it grabbily

Sent to Recovering in the Coumbernauld isles of Scotland. Round little bumps of land, with a characteristic flat divot off the side. That Might be the shape of the islands or even a symbol they’ve gained over the years. They’re quite small and clustered together in a narrow channel near the town of Coumbernauld or Cumbernald. You could row between them all by dingy. But the round grass covered domes with comfortable well-made and reassuringly traditional structures give off almost a generic olde British isles vibe. It comforts me through all the dreams. This is the frame dream: it is here in the middle, but rests behind the others.

Encountering a small girl, maybe 5 or 6, at an outdoor bookstore. She’s looking for Euripides, which I thoughtlessly pronounce the proper Greek way. That doesn’t confuse her at all though, and I locate on the rough-hewn shelves the scratched and dirty name from ancient Greek. It’s clear The Bacchae ought to be here, but maybe it’s sold out, or… I try to see if the little kid would like to search more, or is interested in something else, but while we’re talking it seems like the precocious bookworm wanders off elsewhere.

There’s more store to look though. It might even be cited around the hill at the base of the Parthenon. Unfamiliar but sight, but famed. The windows behind the shelves (which are really just frames, as it’s all outside) look out on a mysterious creek. I find the store has a good collection of scented items: incense sticks, candles, etc. They’ve set up a display particularly for Christmas smells, since that’s a very distinct and large category of smells that people might be interested in buying. They’ve used it as an excuse really to set up all their Christmas stuff. Without realizing, everyone seems to have slipping into acting as though it’s almost Christmas, that the year is almost over, and we must spend and stress for the season like always. But I’m confused. I could swear I never had a September, or fall, the year has skipped to the end. I start a protest chant against Christmas, “it’s still June!”

My wife and I are alone in a home that is like a sparsely furnished version of my teenage home. It’s sometimes second home (mostly vacation home) of one of our family. But this is a different time we aren’t husband and wife. Or the same name, appearance. Only are insides are the same. I make sure to grab towels and place them near the bed for afterwards. But the bed sits in full view of the front door. No one but us is home. We don’t know if or when anyone else may come. The afternoon is what it is, and it’s for us. The dream ends here.

Closing note at 12:02 am, 20 hrs later: a full day. I looked and listened and stayed in motion. Flow like water. Flow like a rapper. Today’s tarot: the emperor. So worn out. Soothing myself to sleep by hitting publish at the bottom of this form.

Dream Journal

Bad Sleep: Sutra of BigBlueBirds

Repeatedly throughout the night, I startle myself into wakefulness. I seem to unerringly repeat a cycle of soothing myself and finding at the end of that process that I’ve now fully pieced together an abstract but alarming self-truth — a truth which worries me enough to rouse myself. Perhaps in fewer words, I keep just getting to sleep but then thinking I’m probably just a big loser. Even fewer words: the sleep? Real bad.

But with diligence, once my “morning-like” arising becomes inevitable and imminent, I manage to establish: well, I must’ve slept a little, because I can remember at least a few different scraps from my dream. Or was it two dreams? Note: how long have I been writing these, and I never worried myself about dream plurals? I captured a little dreamtime, from the other side, and here that just means I really went there.

The ledge of a steep, scenic, tropical vista. I’m on a bus, riding up a road to a zoo. Bit like the road up to the Oakland Zoo, where I went not long ago with a few friends and their babies. The bus is moving toward the left (relative to my view out the window). Finally, I spot what I came here to see: giant birds nesting on the edge of the cliff, the same cliff on whose ledge our bus is driving up, with the cliff’s face behind us. It sounds silly but these birds look like… like giant puffy bluebirds. I’ll never get this across to anyone but myself (no one else has seen this, unless I’m mistaken) so this part is only for future me: dude those fuckers were fucking majestic.

I had a brief moment of surprise at how impressive they were. I mean, I came all this way for them but I couldn’t know till I was really there. And I called out impulsively like a kid, “It’s Marahute! Just like Marahute in the movie!” It immediately occurred to me that the other passengers on the bus, mostly young kids under ten, probably had no idea what I meant. It’s from when I was a kid. So for those kids: Marahute was the name of a gigantic eagle who was in a cartoon movie called Rescuers Down Under. I liked it as a kid. I mean, I still like it, but I liked it then too. Marahute had this great nest on a steep cliff that seemed surprisingly cozy (well, cozy for a giant eagle). So she really was kinda like these birds. Giant bluebirds nesting right in front of me, and me riding comfortably past so many different ones all in a long row. Man, that still sounds so cool. It kinda was.

The other dream parts were less spectacular. Once off the bus, someone took my hammock (or chair?) and put it as part of an exclusive luxury area of parked buses. I wasn’t supposed to go there necessarily; everything about the situation was confusing. So I’m processing this annoying tiny dilemma instead of seeing stuff at this cool zoo. Well I assume it’s cool; those BigBlueBirds were all I saw of it as far as I remember. Hey, does anyone know if the people in charge of this bus area, this area, that people know that hammock there is just being borrowed? Would it be possible for someone, preferably with authority to — sorry I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t, I’m having a hard time sorting out my understanding here, I didn’t mean… just, do you think someone could please make sure the private renters know I should get that hammock back? I can come back later if I know when.

This transitions somehow. If I’m guessing, I went back on a bus and the interior of the bus became the interior of a narrow apartment living room. A new apartment, my apartment, an apartment which specifically is not the one I’m living in now in non-dreamtime. But it had the same name. And we got it through some kind of arrangement, a swap or deal or something, giving up the old one. That old one is where I’m currently writing this dream down in bed. And I’m crying. Big pitiful tears, crying in my own living room, sad because I feel like this place is so, so much worse. Worse for me. Because I had the old one, once. The room here has smaller windows that nevertheless look out from every corner. A robust table, some generic vases. I think of it not as a living room, my living room, but the room with the mural. The bottom half of every wall is painted with a repeating design, of tropical leaves with each leaf a different color — but it just strikes me as amateurish, or incomplete, maybe abandoned. I feel like it should spark joy but it doesn’t. Coincidentally the mural was painted by this Jewish musician here in SF, somebody cool who I used to think I could be friends with, but our lives have since drifted so far apart I simply know: “friends” isn’t in the cards.

Jascha, that guy was you. I think you’re still in the city. Is this weird? I’m sorry if I made it weird, Jascha. I suddenly got too intimate with myself so pivoted by talking to you for a bit if that’s all good. To my knowledge you’ve never even done any murals. “Jascha needs mural-painting like a fish needs a bicycle”, that’s what I always say. Which is a terrible thing to say if you’re a full-time muralist instead of a musician now, eep. I’m sorry I never got the chance to perform my due diligence before I used your actual name this way. I hope that never causes you an issue; it’s just that I took an intentional detour as I wanted to avoid wallowing again just now exactly as I did in that dream. Maybe I said that before; I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself here. This just feels important so thank you for understanding. This conversation wasn’t your idea and I’m trying not to repeat myself — I’m sorry again — (keep it together, man) — it seems obvious that your involvement in this narrative was always rather incidental until I needed a, a, aaaaa device that’s the word and your name was right there, ready, when I reached for one. I hope that’s a decent way to treat a real person.

I really do remember such a dude (if anyone besides him is reading this).

A curiosity then, that since I happen to know he painted that boring mural (in my dream, this is about my dream last night remember?), that I also know that Jascha had once been in that same room, in that new place, painting what became a plant mural that some acquaintance would later find merely mediocre, while this (this to you, Jascha) rando indulgently wracked the depths of his self-contemptible despair. It’s not even a coincidence, your involvement in this story Jascha, as our times in that place didn’t co-incide. We both merely existed in that less-good place with its mere similarities, that place which reminded us of better places. The tropics, maybe, but that stretches belief doesn’t it. That “new” living room and that “new” apartment. Probably, it wasn’t even all that worse for you or for me. Maybe it was almost not bad. But I wouldn’t know, because the truth is I just missed the old place and was powerless to do anything about it — except go ahead and miss it, miss it so %#&{@!!! much, in privacy, alone. Alone but willfully haunted. So many ghosts yet feeling never enough.

And that was when I was sitting crying in that (tinier) living room; sad, but also sad about being sad. Because that’s something I could do. Centered among all those household things with which I was newly familiar, that I had no want to ever touch, all that innocent garbage, I simply sat with and experienced that feeling of missing my old things which were gone, which I could never again see or smell or hold or be inside, but which I still wanted with me as however I imagined. Such a terrible power. I lied to myself to make it feel worse on purpose. I wanted to intensify everything and thereby use it all up. Maybe I only hoped I was lying, that it was just such wallowing, not real at all, and I instinctively circled around actual release because I knew it would mean I’d lose one more thing. The last thing, maybe keeping me alive, because here I am.

I was piteous then, and all this is piteous now tbh, yet how incredible and how startling, that even my own pity I never wanted. I never did accept it. My pity.

I think we can be correct when we do that. Some people don’t do that. People are able to take in every other misfortune and regret and pile of shit they’ve trodden upon in their lives and say, it’s ok for me to be sad about this, and oh btw all those once-happy things. But the sadness itself, accepting our own regrets for who we were all along: it’s possible to just nope out at the last second and say “don’t give me my own pity — I’m not giving up hope — I’m not writing that down — I’m not interested in making a dream journal about this one.” What is that, some cheat code? What’s it supposed to do, keep the pity you don’t want? We do the wrong thing, the wrongest wrong thing in some situation, but weirdly because it could be the best right thing to do? Right and wrong aren’t opposites. Wait they’re not? When we define them as only opposites we miss the edge cases like this, which says to me: right and wrong aren’t opposites. You don’t always have to choose one. Maybe they’re irrelevant, or maybe you get both (which is more unusual). So maybe do what you fucking want and want what you do. Or some other confusing justification that only I seem to view as valid. None of this makes sense anymore to you dear Jascha, I sure do hope. Language is limiting, and it’s-ain’t-no-fault-a-mined.

So Jascha you’re are a musician, huh. Do you remember that song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and how it goes? It’s an old one, yeah. Do you still like singing it?

Here I’ll add the little nugget of wisdom which has helped so much of my own insight over previous years: you are the room you’re in. Whatever that means. If it seems important, try to remember it. Repeat it if you have to.

You are the room you’re in.

Fuck this. Fuck him. That poor fucker… sorry, not you Jascha. I refer to whatever fellow might feel like he still needs to be in that private misery room. Get your fucking shit together or keep crying: those are some options my guy. Really have my sympathies dude, but I’m also not sure what to do about this situation and so I think it’s best for us both if we just stop here.

Yikes. Um, that’s sounds like the end. Well then. The dream did not have a proper ending anyway, as I recall.

Ok wait. To the real Jascha: hello again ???? I was inspired to include in the title here the word “Sutra”, both because it just felt so chill and righteous and apropos, and I’m like from California — can you tell? — and because it obviously jibes with what I can guess is (how I’m gonna put this?) your whole Buddhism deal. I’m not usually this weird I don’t think. I dunno. Still feel weird though. Thank you for letting me borrow your name. It was unexpected for me also.

Maybe this is one of those dreams I can remember long afterwards. Honestly though, maybe not. I get flashes and impressions from past dreams a lot, more since I started writing them down. It’s hardly a predictable pattern though. I’m glad this one got inscribed, you know. I’m really surprised I was able to remember it as well as I did — right now it’s 24 hours later as I’m finishing this up. Might’ve even been good writing for once [future Orin will make that evaluation at such-and-such time].

But who cares. Trying to make this exercise for something? I personally haven’t found much success with that. If I do it though, usually something somewhere in my life gets affected in interesting small ways (not so randomly), and I’ve generally liked the way it affects things. There are always exceptions. Just something to do.

Hopefully this motivates me to write down more dreams in future. Those bluebirds were cool.

Dream Journal

Mall Empty, Different Owners

Over visiting someone else’s place, a rental. I run across the landlord in the downstairs garage, with his tools out, fixing some old Victorian equipment. I quickly get buddy-buddy with Mr. Landlord since I seem to understand what he’s working on. The light in the garage / front room has a gauzy look from being filtered through dusty windows.

An aquarium sits on its side such that I can dip my fingers through where the front glass would be. Working out how to get a filter to work, I flip it back and forth over different surfaces of the water. The water remains cloudy and dirty, despite that I’m confident the filter is now working. It will just take a while to clear.

I walk all the way down the ramp of a mall lined with storefronts. Then back up. During the time I walked down many stores have closed, and the place feels much emptier. Maybe like SF’s Chinatown.

Across a mall parking lot (different from above, I suppose) there’s an abandoned store which is poorly renovated. The owners perception was it just seemed any good buyer would consider it dated. I think it looked fine, warm and nostalgic even, but they insisted on renovating it for whatever fad they imagine business owners want this year.

Dream Journal

June means Bright Desert

While watching an old video from my collection, I notice it appears to have new weird AI-based compression. Letters on signs in a Palm Springs parking lot in are hard to discern. Makes me sad, because I realize this is probably how companies will be encoding our stuff now (whether we like it or not) and I ca no longer use it as a reference. The names are squashed down so much they turn out as gibberish.

Across the street from the parking lot is a line of brushy sand dunes. Like the bare desert across from my old middle school when I was a student, once upon a time. Looking at them is almost painful as everything has an * * extra bright * * overexposed look, which I recognize as the look of June. Today, not uncoincidentally, marks June 1st.

As I’m staring into space, down a hallway at a slight angle, an unpleasantly familiar face appears. Plarvolia peeks forward from a booth at a table. She now fully embodies my avatar of rejection and loneliness. Who knows why she’s here. It’s not important, except that now I have to deal with this reminder of her. (My wife is leaving for a trip today, and I tell her how seeing old Plarvolia made me feel.)

Because of Plarvolia I find out about a new rising artist named Margaret Gerulo in Indianapolis. Her schtick is that she cries as performance art, giving ritual catharsis to the entire community that witnesses the act. She’s become a very successful streamer (it works over the internet, apparently). But there are a few curious conditions: the day before, she needs to visit a haunted place of some kind. And the day after, she needs to receive presents from people. Those presents, and the haunted house, determine what trauma and catharsis she can process for her community of viewers.

Dream Journal

The Old Hostel, a New Boat

Early in the morning I have two thematically-linked dreams that I think I’ll remember — but they’re missing now, overwritten. They were from first light perhaps 6AM (when I put on my eye mask that helps provide darkness. They feel like fruit which has been torn from the branch and had the scars crust over.

A visit the the Financial District of our town with it’s smooth asphalt roads for fancy expensive electric cars. I don’t go here often but my wife and I met here, at the old hostel. Strange to visit now. It hasn’t changed, really, but I have. Though it does have a different name — “Desert Inn ” — but the vibe of everyone there is so startlingly familiar. There’s such a strong nostalgic pain as I look over the young people socializing around the pool and courtyard. The same types of people; the kind of person I was once, in my early twenties. It’s the openness and energy, a kind of power without knowing you have power. I notice my old mentor Chicken John leaning against a wall nearby the entrance, waiting on some of his boat crew.

I haven’t seen his new boat, a big sailing ship he’s been aggressively working on for months (if social media is to be believed). I follow him onto the tall ship. This has been his new project since after we separated. He likes to keep busy. Though feigning for a moment to treat with respect, he quickly finds an excuse to demand something from his crew of lackeys — the kind of person I used to be — and leaves me as if I’m not there. The status quo. Fine for me, as I go about investigating the more interesting nooks and crannies. I end up on the lower deck of the white-painted hull, and then in an outer room that could be a sunlit dining hall with a roof of gauzy plastic sheeting. I realize the ship isn’t on water, or even docked, but set into the center of a grassy disused common. I recognized his cleverness, managing to convince some functionaries to have it permanently parked as if it were the town’s, when it’s really his private property. It looks like just any other strange vintage ship turned into a building, if you can believe it.

I head away and find a jumble of rocks artfully rolled up against what acts like a gate at the end of the common. Mossy and landscaped, I jump from tip to tip on each rock’s point… upon recollection, not unlike how I visited Point Emery in the East Bay for sunset yesterday. Although in the dream, I also do this on a bicycle.

There’s an extended sequence where I care for Chris Farley (or a very Farley-like figure). He’s a great guy but a terrible mess of a life, drugs but also personal choices, and it’s an intense job. I do this perhaps twice. I realize I won’t know how to relate this to someone who’s not done something similar. Here, writing now, I suppose I really don’t. Seemed important to remember at the time.