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Dream Journal

Third Trip back to Australia

My wife and I manage to cobble together enough money to take a 6-day vacation to Melbourne, Australia. It’s now my third trip to the continent, also the shortest (I must be counting some other dream I’ve had in the past, perhaps I can even remember which one). I relish showing my wife around some of the old places I used to go, but it’s difficult to remember exactly where they are now as it’s been so long — if they’re still there at all. The Friendlies Hostel somewhere in the CBD comes to mind. So does Mt. Helen, which somehow seems like one single pioneer-era street.

In the far back of a long narrow resort, I help myself to the cups in the back storeroom. Service cups for the on-site restaurant, that is. I run into my friend Oz and we do some opportunistic kissing.

Seen from resting position on a couch (but not my couch) I spot my rat Bertie. Also a checkerboard pattern rat, some rattie associate which somehow doesn’t strike me as odd.

I tale bounding leaps across a courtyard up to the grid-pane windows of a Victorian house. In that brief moment, I spot two old cats keeping watch.

In our apartment, I have to distract my wife to keep her from looking in our bathroom. I just saw that her girlfriend has left an N64 cartridge which is supposed to be a surprise present.

I do a double-take at a drinking fountain after I notice that someone (maybe me) put a discarded penis in the drainage hole up top. You can just make out the glans. Shortly after, I meet a cute femme enby named MidJourney who is riding bike. Reminds me of a very put-together clean new Tilde Ann (someone I knew and shared a hot tub with long ago. I ride along behind her. She’s notably meaner than most people I’d consider being around, but we converse and make fun repartee. An unusually caustic friendship but it seems we do like each other.

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Dream Journal

Australia is My Backyard

Where I live, we have a large and expansive backyard. It’s shaped like Australia, split into sections much like the various states, with the back of the house where the Great Australian Bight would be. But also: the backyard is Australia. It has the same features, because it’s the same place — if perhaps not in an explainable way.

A good example is when my family (including my dad and sister) visit. The travel time and distance is great so it’s very kind of them to come all this way. As we’re walking along and I’m showing them around, we all make the same mistake. We get east and west backwards, and soon figure out that’s because the midday sun is actually in the north here, not the south — this is the southern hemisphere after all.

There are portions of the dream where I replay and recall things I already know. The feeling is consistently nostalgic, comfortable, only occasionally bittersweet. I’m fondly reflecting, replaying things I already know. Australia — the island continent — formed 100s of millions of years ago from the agglomeration of several ancient island groups drifting together. They each have their own vibe and color (the memory here almost veering into another dream remembered from long back, navigating the isolated Pacific isles to the north, as if I’m on a catamaran on the colored surface of an old paper map). You can just barely perceive the seams where the land was sintered together. Those sections roughly correspond to the states, in fact.

One large area we have is a mud pond in the east, around where Queensland and New South Wales might be. It’s like a big swimming pool, which I keep accessible for my neighbors. Incidentally, that’s one thing I really like about living here, is that I can keep the space an asset for the whole neighborhood. I’m crossing the mud pond to say hello to some folks on the far side (Great Barrier Reef) when I spot a stuck turtle. I lift it over to the nearest edge and leave it there to recover, but it seems it didn’t need to be rescued. It scrambles away and dives back into the mud. I just live here; I don’t know everything.

Meanwhile I still am renting. I live on the ground floor, and the previously unused space now sometimes has the landlord’s relatives. Could be the above floor, could be an attached building behind ours. They’re having a gathering so it’s a curious time to explore. It’s not exactly sneaking around, but I just blend into their party guests. No one interacts with me. By happenstance, I find my wife’s coffee cup forgotten at a dark corner of their smooth granite bar. She does this sometimes. I know I’ll be reminding my wife to try not to leave it places like that; there’s little chance we would’ve found it otherwise.

The dream is capped off when we throw a crafting party one nice sunny weekend. There are stations all over the large backyard for making arts and crafts, our community socializing together. I squat on the flat, dry Northern Territory assembling a thematic decorative hanging with native materials like wood, arranging it into a naturalistic design that reminds me of some aboriginal styles.

There’s a memory that’s sparked, from when we first moved in more than a decade ago. When we moved in, the landlord (same landlord as in waking life, actually) asked me to break down the former tenant’s greenhouse on the western side of the backyard. (Western Australia is a big and wild place.) It was just some corrugated green plastic balanced on cheap wooden pillars, nothing that ought to be lamented. But it was so much space for plants, plants we would’ve loved. Someone worked to make that space useful and we didn’t even consider that we might’ve used it too. I was in my early 20s and had more energy than forethought. I remember having a nice day working outside, chopping down the supports posts.

There was something else that I hadn’t thought about at all till now, the neighborhood hardware store that the old tenants hosted. Stacks of tires, bins of tools and equipment that you could pop in and borrow. I don’t even know what happened to it, but I know at some point people stopped visiting for it. And there was this badger that visited every week. Big flat docile waddling creature named Mitch. We never set food out and I guess at some point he stopped visiting too.

So there’s this lament, as I realize the my artwork is becoming what I’ll call finished. Seeing how we’ve lost these nice things in the past because we didn’t even know they were things we were losing. But the artwork is done, and it’s actually quite nice.

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Dream Journal

NazEe, NaziE, NazEE? We’re Unsure

A small town newspaper runs the headline “Local Nazi Group Unsure Whether or Not to Capitalize ‘E’ at End of Nazi”. It’s a tellingly funny headline, but I make a mental note that I should advise my friend at the paper that I would’ve struck the ‘or not’.

I’m waiting around at an airport in America. I’ve recently been to Australia and happen to be particularly sensitive to differences in culture. I find a sign display that seems to obviously exploit and encourage American religious stupidity. Perfectly legal forever on a count of our constitution, of course. Yet I remember how Australia honors Charles Darwin on its money (this is actually England but whatever), in its culture, even the big city named after him on the north coast. I impulsively tear up the stupid American religion sign, folding its cardboard and smashing it up to fit in the trash. I don’t even care if I get in trouble, I’d argue my case that it was simply a trap for the unwary or desperate.

I’m in charge of driving a bus and the undercarriage is filled with the luggage of various acquaintances. I need to catch my flight soon but I’m being overly nice and cautious — even though taking care of their bags for them shouldn’t be my responsibility. With exactly an hour till my flight takes off, I park the bus and sigh knowing I did the best I could. Or at least that I can plausibly explain that I tried to.

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Dream Journal

Ice Spiral Tower; Dating Over Different Backyards

A mood detector and translator — for guinea pigs — beeps out “cunt! fucker! safety! what’s that!? over there!” Seems surprisingly accurate, though I’m not able to spell out how exactly (you’ll have to use your imagination, dear reader) but now I’m annoyed that I know for certain how easy it is for me to pick up a guinea pig wrong and irritate it. Wish I didn’t know, actually…

A clothesline of skulls and other bones stretches across the city towards Plarvolia — for artistic purposes. As I gather some bones, I realize they may be only enough to fill a single transported line, rather than the usual convoy that she typically sets it up for. Perhaps enough to fill a single box.

Within a photorealistic video game universe, I ascend the long spiraling ramp of an icey tower. Proves very easy for me; perhaps I’ve trod this path before. As I climb higher I hear the voices of a pair of Native American brothers discussing money that I owe them. I keep navigating up and up, like a vertical glacier. At the top of the tower I discover a metal statue with jewels scattered about its base that resemble Infinity Stones. I pay them no mind. Instead, I focus on collecting small horse-shaped carved figurines from nearby stair alcoves, ignoring the “main objective” of the statue and jewels. Winning is not my priority, as it was never my objective, though certainly someone else’s.

For the first time now, I utilize my ability to flash between scenes (similar to fast travel in other video games). An sudden shift in scenery transports me from the straight garden pathway of a 1920s-era California country estate to a bright 2-story orphanage full of white, sunny windows. In this level of the game’s story it’s where I am being raised. But there are also multiple Home Alone-style criminal adult baddies who are chased me, hiding like the guards in Legend of the Hidden Temple. When they catch me it resets, and I attempt again to navigate through or around the ground floor rooms.

I find myself dating multiple girls, a situation that began around the same time. I effortlessly carry on multiple conversations, often switching from one person to another in the next room. Remarkably, I can recall each girl’s recent stories and seamlessly pick up where we left off when I encounter a different girl. These interactions take place in a narrow, unremarkable communal space, divided by wooden fences into backyards that are a dull blue and translucent in tone. It’s somehow based on the design of my childhood bedroom? Hm. During a barbecue, I access hidden panels where I keep stored equipment for certain occasions. Despite the complexity of juggling multiple relationships, I’m doing quite well.

Over a fence, I join a conversation about young Australians who have developed a new casual tense of their own invention. This isn’t just slang either, but genuine emergent grammatical innovation. I note that this has happened like three times now in my life. I observe that these kids find the demands of formality-entrenched work culture to be at odds with their Aussie attitudes, leading them to develop a new way of communicating with customers in their teenage retail jobs. This inevitably leads to the absorption of this new casual lingo into formal expectations though, necessitating yet newer forms of casual lingo. And so the treadmill marches on…

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Dream Journal

Autonomous Secondary Pants & Australian Electoral Waste

I observed the numerous Australian election supplies which are distributed for each election. Too many in my opinion, it’s wasteful and doesn’t actually help democracy — like, who really needs a government-issued sponge roller to help seal your paper envelope? While examining one of these rollers, I poke a hole all the way through the cylinder with a screw. It’s not even cheaply made!

While underneath a wooden structure, I’m informed that the city of Perth is somehow not the capitol of Western Australia, as I thought it was. A YouTuber I enjoy, Ozzie Man, demonstrates how (if one so chooses) one could transmogrify oneself into a depressed puddle.

Someone walking away wearing pants with an extra pair of stuffed legs on the back. A nosy old lady sneaks up behind him then gets kicked by the pants. Which I think is fair given what her intentions seems to be. I wonder if it would turn out fair in court, if it ever came to that.

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Dream Journal

Sledding Island, Broth Bucket, Video Beginnings

Dream is uniquely cohesive. All scenes give the feeling that they happen in the same place, and might take place in any order.

My wife asks me to get a big bucket of “lean bone meal broth” from above the top shelf of a grocery store’s refrigerated aisle. To do that I have to move another bone broth that’s in front of it. My wife interrupts the heavy lifting to say how we could settle for that one, an annoying habit she has. I get mildly irritated but manage to retrieve the bucket and leave the store.

I make a YouTube video complaining about a restaurant I’ve been to once. I’m not even that invested in it but I’m quite animated. Seems like it already might take off and become popular — it’s only been up a few hours and is already eligible for a $65 monetization tier.

I’m thinking about this as we are sledding in pairs on a snowy island with big, steep slopes, like an iceberg skate park. We test by pulling the sled with a string to see if it goes over and falls into the icy sea. A highly uncontrolled playtime.

Before a date with a blonde girl, unfamiliar to me even recollecting her now, we masturbate together as a way to build energy. I catch a glimpse of a clock and see that it’s already 8:06 — we were going to leave at 8:00. I immediately mention this; it’s all very mundane.

Watching the intro of a video which gives a shout-out to the part of Australia where host from. It’s a compact crescent archipelago hugging just offshore the southeast corner, somewhere I never went. The view zooms further east to a cluster of oceanic islands, each individually labeled, with a token image to represent each. I’ve never heard of these either but they seem quaint. Then even further out, tiny dinky islands so small and so far out they’re not labeled. Instead they have ideas for fun things you could do there if people ever went… like slide down steep icy slopes on a sled with a string.

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Dream Journal

Distract for the Cause, All the Way to Celebration Point

Excited to soon be flying back to Australia after so many years, for a school trip. Compared to last time there’s much more structure but many more people to do things with. A long gap follows this part of the dream, yet though forgotten seems connected to later parts.

My assigned male activity partner sits on the corner wall of a lot where the school group has gathered. He’s hefty, and the loose dirt crumbles. He falls into rushing water — the one thing that was stressed about him was that he’s (really, actually) allergic to water. Immediately this feels like some sort of test. I swim frantically after him though I don’t hold much hope. Yet I’m able to catch up, then heave his immobile body onto the inside curve of a sandbar to hopefully dry and recover. I pull myself onto the shore further down the bend. By then he’s recovered — more like been revealed — to be a powerful muscular young Zeus-like figure.

We expropriate a neglected academic area, a bit like single story underground dorms. Surveying the cramped little warren of rooms I spot an Austrian flag hanging on a darkened wall. Satisfied, we begin planning a takeover. Our small group of like-minded rebels improvises a space, repurposing walls and making a few rows of chairs. We view and discuss ideas presented from a stage.

One such dramatization of an idea is like a subdream featuring stop-motion bundles of sticks: a Subaru hatchback driven by a pair of 50-somethings backs into a barn near a lakeshore; the barn catches fire and explodes inexplicably. In the chair next to me sits an old man I don’t know very well. I’m sitting at the end of a row, having thought I’d be further from people. I’m now uncomfortably aware that I’m naked from the waist down, and adjust my posture and shirt in a futile effort to compensate.

Events take a twist when a college girl wearing a Lakers cheerleader uniform returns from a bender. It’s her space in which we’ve been squatting, and she has many pointed questions. We’d prepared for this eventuality; quickly I snap into the role of distracting and misdirecting her. (Especially from a disturbed patch of wood at the foot of my seat — a relic from before our takeover, uninvestigated and best forgotten). I talk and play friendly with her, giving a tour which surreptitiously avoids the group’s more sensitive aspects. It’s tricky, but I lean toward providing truthful explanations wherever possible — without any group plan it seems likely we could easily be caught in a lie. This would be a greater risk than tiring out her questions and slowly earning her trust, though I worry if my compatriots might think I’ve betrayed them. Thankfully during my ramblings on our tour I spot one of my conspirators and, while her back is turned, signal with my hand to give the companion opportunity to take action. It’s acknowledged with a subtle head shake, showing me that while they’re not ready to move forward they also recognize the part I’m playing.

Soon she asks to go into an especially sensitive five-story building, to the top floor. There’s a library located in the center of that floor which would be disastrous if our interests in it were revealed. There are also two balcony rooms flanking it where students often congregate, known as “Celebration Point”. As the library comes into view I deploy a powerful strategem: I act bashful and say “The thing is… and I’m not sure you knew this… Celebration Point is where a lot of students traditionally go for a first date.” I managed to say this twice in different ways, proud of my brilliant acting, while realizing if any companion were witness to it I’d appear highly suspect. The stakes are increasing but I’ve pulled it off so far.

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Dream Journal

Empty Family Home on an Island, In Australia

I’m exploring a house for sale with my Homepie friend Mickey. The attic is large and has multiple nestled little sleeping areas, a place the current residents call Monticello for reasons not known to us.

I’m having some of my old stuff shipped back from Australia, left behind from when I was there. This must happen before the river islet the Monticello house is on floods. We travel the small circular waterway via canoe. To haul the boat out of the water they’ve rigged up a garage door opener near the riverbank — clever little contraption, useful for rural living.

I pick out my stuff from the many cupboards and cabinets of the newly abandoned home. Most of this stuff I’ve forgotten (it’s been more than a decade). I can’t help but steal one thing: an iridescent plastic bowl from the 1970s, easily missed by the family and easily excused as an accident. It’s unique and oddly beautiful, and obviously unappreciated judging by where I found it.

Having everything gathered it appears that shipping is going to cost $60. I hadn’t thought about that cost and second-guess whether I want any of this stuff at all anymore.

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Dream Journal

Departure Prep, Rejected Arrival, Fabulous? Absolutely

Prepping for a departure to another year of an event I attended previously (which my wife organized), Reverie. My friend Reecy is there, near a craft booth like at one of the many craft fairs I’ve been to. Her pose is perhaps like in a photo from the year past.

There’s a moody infotainment style-ride in this complex where we’re prepping; feels like something from the video game “Control” set in a blue atmosphere. I do a run in the water feature circling a dark rocky island, spotting three out-of-place witticisms inscribed on the tank floor — which I realize must be Easter Eggs I can now post on the game/ride’s subreddit. During some seasons I know this watercourse is drained so I wonder why they haven’t been posted before, as they’re specific and easily searchable. Still floating around the ride circuit I try to remember the other things I want to take to the Reverie event this year, particularly my phone’s waterproof case. How can I use my Bluetooth earbuds in the water though? (note: lately I’ve been using my Bluetooth earbuds more often.)

Later a friend’s non-binary kid, Charlie, appears at the edge of a tiled area behind where we’ve been prepping to depart, dimly-lit in preparation for leaving. They ask me timidly to use one of the two bathrooms. I respond “sure!” then offer them a chocolate from a tin I’m carrying, which they awkwardly accept. A nosy woman soon attempts to chastise me for this, saying “it’s hard enough for a kid working on their gender identity to ask for anything related to public bathroom use… they certainly shouldn’t also be offered candy by strange men”. In fact I’ve known Charlie since they were a baby, but I try to good-naturedly engage her opinion without seeming outright skeptical or dismissive. But the few listeners nearby make it known they find this woman’s remark ludicrous.


I read of  an account of an Australian Aboriginal reservation turning away a shipload of refugee Americans. The ship’s crew goes to the trouble of digging out a blockage in the channel leading to the reservation called Rhode Island Sandbank. The aboriginal leadership announces they’ve changed their minds at the last minute, a loss to all sides — the refugees needing a new home, the country of Australia which would benefit from their presence, the mother countries America and Britain which suffer brain drain too. Though after learning of it, I can’t be entirely sure if it’s true to the history or if it’s a biased, racially-motivated screed.


“Fabulous? Absolutely” is an American TV movie recut from the British show Absolutely Fabulous. This version has an older pair of main characters Eddy and Pats. Typical of National Geographic vs. BBC Attenborough documentary. Predictably disappointing but still novel in that strange way that foreign perspectives are.

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Dream Journal

Motorbikes, and the Bays of Australia

Have to retrieve my motorcycle from a public classroom (or small compound) where my old nemesis — well, former friend/boss — Chicken John is in charge. Red dusty walls, open entryways, stalls where kids learn. I try to be as quick and discreet as possible but we still exchange an unfriendly glance. Outside I have a bit of difficulty getting the kickstand down, and balanced, but leave the motorbike in a good location against a short retaining wall with line of shrubbery.

The compound is on on high ground above distant water. I survey the different bays of Australia, noting how their unique shapes have affected the developing character of their cities. Canter Bay is the one where I now am, the smallest, hanging out on a chunky narrow little peninsula near the water in Melbourne. From here my friends and I can view the ocean and the harbor going around, chatting and having a lovely time together. One of the people with me is a female singer of some fame; perhaps it might’ve even been the great opera diva Nelly Melba.

From out of the foggy ocean horizon I spot a stubby battered-looking orange military transport plane heading north to the compound visited earlier. I declare “oh that’d be our ride, time to get back.” A pallet of two motorcycles arrive delivered by tow truck, but there’s been a miscommunication: my wife can only ride a bicycle. This makes our time to get back quite tight. I offer to haul her on the bike on the trailer but my bike’s folding safety-yellow hitch extender just barely doesn’t reach. Instead, I kindly offer to go get her helmet and protective gear from outside the compound. I really out of view as I speed off to fetch them.