Dream Journal

The Volcano Still Erupts

Supposed to be fleeing a volcano which is about to erupt in a tiny community. But a bunch of us just stay there, to see if it’s really going to happen. Seems like it works out? But the volcano still erupts?

“Opens 6:00 am” changed to 6:08 on the sign of The 500 club, a neighborhood bar I’ve never been to.

We have a Wolfram brand GPS unit that came in flat plastic bag that’s the wrong size, that’s supposed to serve as the case. It looks like it’s in sideways. It’s usable, but I don’t feel like I never want to show it to anyone.

In a strange unfamiliar bedroom of San Francisco, that nevertheless has been my small corner bedroom for several years. Easy to tell how awkward and small it is — it’s so close to neighbors I can see three of them working on their gutter just outside my window. Maybe 5 ft away. It’s strange to notice as I look down they’re all standing on individual ladders.

Picking up a bag, set on top of a full trash can, and seeking to find the true owner — the inventor — of this, the embossed aluminum hummingbird bag. More of the pinch opening like of a coin purse. I fill this hummingbird pouch with discarded finches, of which there are many. Like the Styrofoam ones I got from New York a year ago.

Dream Journal

Early Morning, Up to Clean the Tanks

Living in my old room at my parents house in my hometown. It’s been awhile now, the once bright turquoise carpet is starting to grey with my walking patterns. I spend a lot of time here, in this 10’x10′ room. I’m thinking about taking the closet doors off so there’s more space to move my mostly bare work desk into. Maybe my clothes racks could take up the far wall, I’d stare at them while half asleep instead of the desk and its neglected aquarium. The desk itself is bare unfinished wood, and a chair from my grandfather with a bullet hole in it (this references a real chair, with family lore). The room’s drywall is partially stripped open and I can read the builder’s notes, examine how they made the house. Yet despite the circumstances I’m thankful.

It’s early morning, maybe 7:15, and I’m up after a fitful night. I’ve been awake intermittently, idly staring at my fish tanks opposite my bed. The one across from me has been set up a long time, and I realize I’ve not done a water change. The betta inside bobs at the surface, breathing through its mouth. Amazing that it’s still alive, really. I look up the proportions of water to peroxide to salt that I need to use, filling my arms with the supplies, hobbling back to my room in the dim interior of the pre-dawn house. I hear my wife laughing behind the door of the next room over and talking to our pet rats (I can’t recall why we’re separate, but this arrangement has also lasted a while). I realize it’s only been maybe three hours of interrupted sleep I’ve had. But I’m happy I’m finally taking care of the aquariums again, now that I noticed and had the energy. A humbling dream. Humbling, but grateful. I wake up with a smaller ego.

Dream Journal

Russian LGBT, Cartoon Dog for Time Travelers

In my teenage bedroom. A river of ghosts, like a circular racetrack. From the direction of the closet someone says say “that’s us”, then two hand-carved reggae dolls kiss.

(I don’t remember what this means, but: reincarnated as ghost and as colored lights, eaten by a shark to complete the dream sequence.)

Accusing Putin of being gay due to his homophobia, but contemplating the ethics of outing someone even when they’re hurting their whole community. I think this while I’m scraping flakes and microSD cards off of my red metal thermos/cup. Congressional Democrats now have the push to reconsider a Russian LGBT bill, while I look over a box of bottles.

Still in the bedroom, I ask a future traveler as he prepares to return, “hey have you heard of the 80s cartoon — sorry, 1980s kid’s cartoon movie All Dogs Go To Heaven”? I gesture toward two stickers on a filling cabine, different characters named Union Jack: one an actual British person, one a floppy-eared dog from that movie. To prove my point, the time traveler does recognize the dog.

Dream Journal

Hot Vampire, Bedroom Rain, Hardware Construction

A vampire demonstrates some of his heating powers. First round isn’t too hot, then he has his girlfriend back up. Guess he’s a Twilight-kinda vampire, having someone called a girlfriend and all. The next time he glows bright red. This is a family entertainment show, and I remember thinking how rare it is to see people just comfortably naked (on TV). Someone brings up the idea of using the ultra-cool morgue refrigerator to keep them chill, but aren’t sure if it would kill them.

I spot my 92 year old Grandma walking away down a grassy sidewalk. I try to say goodbye to her as she leaves a gathering. Though I’m myself, fully grown, I still feel like an infant, like it’s still the 1980s, like my relationship to her has never changed.

In the smaller of my childhood bedrooms (second night in a row, here). I’m letting rain run down the walls, dripping from the white “cottage cheese” ceiling, flooding the hardwood floor in an inch of water. My original bedroom had neither that ceiling nor that floor. I remember to peek under the bed and inspect the spot where floorboards are cracked and missing. I reflect that I’m 36 and still live with my parents, gazing at my mannish arm hair. While I don’t precisely feel like a loser, I also don’t feel like someone to be envied.

There’s a hardware store under construction across the street from my home. It’s replacing a leaky warehouse where the second floor temporarily housed my favorite art store, SCRAP. Climbing down from peering over the wall, I notice that an AirBnB there has placed a painted post outside, horizontal rings of dull green and red. It’s a crude wayfinder for helping guests, and I’m sure unlawful, but the longer I look the more I admire it — and the matching ring-shaped gate made similarly. Crude, yet beautiful.

Dream Journal

Girl Named Fragrant, and Cooking for Cannibals

I’m writing on a railway tram with a load of people and, due to a breakdown, itself being hauled on the back of a towtruck (tow-tram?). Seems dangerous but whatevs. Seated next to me is a girl who’s very friendly and flirty. Reminds me of someone I know, maybe someone Asian, but despite otherwise having the same features this girl has bright orange hair and freckles. Her name, as she introduces herself, is “Fragrant”. I find this charmingly silly.

Later I’m staying in a room like my smaller childhood bedroom. But there’s this weird 30 degree corner with a built-in desk/ice chest. My friend Heph has graffitied one side of it which I didn’t notice at first — in fact, a good amount of the front is broken away. It turns out the desk is a switch which turns on the oven.

I prep a meal at home that I’m hoping to eat at a famous cannibal restaurant in Santa Cruz, one where you bring in your own meat. Naturally. I’ve foolishly left the plastic bacon keeper in the kitchen oven for 45 minutes. Thankfully it’s not melted, but after all of that, the bacon slices aren’t even cooked through. I’m not sure I’ll even have anything to eat at the restaurant. Which is all well and good, since it occurs to me it’s probably best not to admit where specifically the meat came from.

Dream Journal

Bedroom Remodel and Big Pool

Mom and Dad’s bedroom in Cathedral City. Furniture has been mostly cleared. Bathroom has had fixtures removed, replaced with single sink. Dad is going to remodel to make the bathroom smaller since Mom is no longer around. In my Cathedral City bedroom, the bed has been moved to be by the corner window. There are white curtains, and a neighbors dog sticks his head in to lick my arm. Our Japanese neighbor seems bothered by this and tries to adjust the curtains. I haven’t made any solutions to the bedroom yet, so there aren’t any clever shelves on the walls (for hidden condoms for instance). There’s a computer desk right next to the bed. I have more room to work with and I’m trying to imagine how I’m going to use it.

In a very big pool connected to the ocean. It’s the end of California street, which is one-way. The waves are large enough that ships would have a hard time sailing through them, that’s why it’s one-way. The next street over has even higher waves. The ocean looks dark, cold, like Eureka, but I’m not scared of it. I’m swimming with many acquaintances, none of whom I know in waking life. There’s a man who comes up, is very angry. He claims none of the males there exist, because he didn’t sire them/create them. I alternately cajole him and sympathize while he’s being floating around on a bogey board. All the while the waves are crashing around.


Way of Life

It’s occurred to me. I finished what I set out to do.

I was having dinner, conversing with a friend newly returned from Cambodia, and then I was washing the dishes and I realized I’d finished it. What I set out to do a year ago.

My Life's PossessionsAllow me to be the first to admit that I went traveling with a lot of false hopes. Although there’s no such thing, sure, they were a little high. I wanted an apartment, a steady job that lasted 3-4 months, paid $3000+living expenses so I could travel another 3 months, plus a girlfriend. These are all nice, dumb things to want when traveling overseas for the first time. Nobody gets a decent apartment in a major suburban center (which is where I wanted it) for that long. Employers don’t wanna train you and then see you drive off into the sunset of Uluru, or the GBR, or lord knows where else. And I could hardly talk to girls enough to con them into a funny travel photo. All in all, unreasonable expectations at best. I came back from my trip having had the experience of a lifetime, humbled.

Fast forward three months. Those three months aren’t important. I started living in a hostel called Pacific Tradewinds in September, looking for work or an apartment, but admittedly half-assed-ly. But I didn’t half-ass cleaning the dishes, I didn’t half-ass the stairs when I was asked to clean them for a free night, and I was hired there in a matter of six weeks. I had fun. I lived mostly on free stuff, spending very little. I hung out with different people and different girls. I got into Consumating. My life changed, becoming less solipsistic, while more hedonistic, more community-driven, but more selfishly goal-oriented. I enjoyed my life.

OUR Bedroom MessI had to move on, eventually. Come February it was time to move out of the hostel. It took me and my girlfriend and my roommates until April to find it. Those were weird months. It wasn’t until late May that I found another job, another hostel. It pays, it’s a commute, and I still get to meet and interact with travelers. I feel cool. I live in the city I love, in my favorite neighborhood, and go to loads of events pretty easy. I get to go to Burning Man. I get to maybe buy a Vespa, a new camera, and cover my student loans. I’m a real citizen and so it feels.

It’s an odd, fulfilling, scary, nostalgic, lovely feeling. I’m done—for the moment. I’ve still got lots of stuff on the list. But for now, I think, I get to say I’m done.