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Dream Journal

Finch Finch? Nope, just Finch

I navigate up a river flowing over large rocks. People walking up it. Find refuge at a covered patio belonging to a women who set it up as a rescue facility. She’s a traveler like myself and I’m not currently in need of a rescue. I see myself as more of an ornamental garden hermit.

Playing a card game to pass the time on a bus — where the cards are made of cash money. Digging in the compost bin, I rediscovery modified dollar bills with cute names written on them: Ankylosaurus, Potato, Peanut

Doing a cleaning job. A martini glass holding, instead of ice cubes, a single huge ice cube is being sold.

A woman introduces herself as named Finch. “Finch Finch?” (first and last), I ask. “Nope, just Finch.”

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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

3 of 6 Dreamcards

Waking up hours earlier than I should, with only 5 hours sleep. I remember having six distinct dreams, but I know from past experience if I wake up to write them down I won’t be able to fall back asleep. But if I fall asleep, I almost certainly won’t remember them. On returning to sleep I envision the dreams as a row of cards, each with a title and the single most powerful image from it. I managed to remember half of them, though strangely they are not in any order or sequence. Typically, I can remember one part of a dream and reconstruct the narrative.


I’m attending a stage reading event where my Nana is one of the presenters. We have a pleasant conversation across the table from each other under the big tent. We depart together at the end.


Sitting backwards on a bus, a kid has a hand over his face. Kids are keeping other kids in strict lines this way. There’s a social order aspect I don’t fully understand, but find troublesome.


RFC. 43.0.0.13 is a “request for comments” and an in-joke. Among internet engineering nerds, it alludes to the idea of elderly people’s life stories being absorbed into a universal hive mind (or Akashic records) at the end of their lives. It’s an old trope creatively and bizarrely mapped onto a modern interface. Lives, in this sense, are additional “comments”.

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Dream Journal

Disrupting Sponsored Classroom Propaganda (plus, a Girl’s Fence-Butt)

Three times during the night’s dreams I find myself in a situation where a young girl expresses her attraction to me: one Scottish, one Japanese, and one American. Though hypothetically sketchy, I don’t sense any impropriety. I’ve been acting like my usual self (perhaps in a slightly better mood) and me being a target of infatuation seems like harmless fun all round. It’s also odd and sort of a running joke that it keeps happening; not sure what else I should do but take it in good humor.

One girl, memorably, sees we’re alone then smushes her undie-clad butt against the diamonds of a chain-link fence. Looks a little like the pillowy pattern on a sewn duvet? Maybe an elaborate pie crust? Ridiculous.


As a candidate, President Biden famously enjoyed traveling on the campaign tour bus. Now, a new All-American Travel Bus is made based on that design. One even meets presidential limo standards set by the Secret Service.


I show up to one of my regular classrooms as usual, though I quickly discover it’s officially an “optional” day — I didn’t need to show up but now I’m already here. The unfortunate reason (though unacknowledged) is obvious: there’s an Xfinity company rep sitting in the middle of the classroom joylessly disgorging some scripted promotional presentation. The class is mostly locked into a semi-trance in the projector-lit darkness. This ill-conceived sponsored pitch on its own is boring, mildly offensive even, but as the dowdy sad-sack shill drones on I begin to detect creepy undertones of propaganda. Militaristic, imperialist narratives seemingly weave through the dullest possible fabric — hypnotic, odious, uncontested.

I completely disengage, deeming it more effective than causing a scene. Since there’s nothing more important in class today, I set about searching high and low for my missing spice jar. It feels like part of the problem is I can’t remember the name, almost like I could simply call for it. Tactically, I interrupt the creepy droning corporate lump to ask if anyone can closer recall the name. The drone, in reflexive boorish overconfidence, wrongly declares it as “Erizetti”, then pairs it with an incorrect and simultaneously insulting definition. Seizing my opportunity (and also just fed up) I attack them on everything I can think of, with as much conciseness and authority I can summon. When I’m done Ms. Xfinity ignores me again and plows ahead exactly the same, but I can tell her incantation isn’t really working anymore. She can only run out the clock.

While I’m distracted still searching for the jar, class gradually empties out. My fifth grade teacher (Mrs. Plescia) returns, emerging from a back room now that the sponsored nonsense is over. We have a friendly relationship and can joke about it a bit. Behind the projector screen, I find a curious set of nesting jars with parts that interlock on both top and bottom. Not the jar I’m looking for, certainly close enough to evoke it though.

There’s a ledge above the screen that I can examine, barely, if I scoot along the counter on tippy-toes of one foot. No jar here either, though for some reason there is a little toy alligator. I realize, standing extended as I am, that the blue snowflake-patterned boxers I wore this morning (it is in fact June) are longer than the shorts I’m wearing. They’ve likely been peeking out all day — when I greeted Mrs. Plescia, while I ranted to the corporate drone, perhaps even earlier. Exasperation. Resignation.

Looking back at Mrs. Plescia I’m tempted to ask, on account of how class went today, where I would’ve found out that today’s class was optional. I half know, half dread that she’d probably just say “the syllabus”.

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Dream Journal

Legend of Gastromo

I’m on a date with my crush (who won’t be named here for now). We eat in a narrow restaurant on a corner, and it’s… ok. We leave, a bit weary, then turn left and find an open garage next door. There’s a bubbly alt-culture girl who tells us about the art collective operating there, the project they’re working on. We barely have energy to engage with what sounds like a cool local thing.

Besides being tired nothing goes particularly wrong, but I remember feeling like it turned out a disaster of a date.


Marissa Tomei is one of my teachers. She’s gets in some unusual positions, backflips and the like, in some half-walled area with a hexagonal backdrop. She (or someone nearby) reminds me of the unopened vape juice bottle I’ve stored here for awhile, that I meant to give as a present to my brother.

Turns out I didn’t read the label properly. I thought it was peanut butter flavored — weird but not outlandish. But the still-sealed playful yellow bottle, sitting near an upturned chair where I left it, is a bizarre flavor I’ve never even conceived: “Clear Onion Butter”. Not something I would necessarily give as a gift. I hesitate to open it though, knowing rules about buying new vape juice have changed and I’m no longer sure how easy it is to get anymore.

Curiosity gets the better of me (only live once and all that) and I crack it open. It’s utterly strange as a flavor, but the uniqueness grows on me: clean, a creamy smoothness like butter, with the oddly transposed delicious light smell of cooking onions thrown in. I give it some time then very much start enjoying it. Who knows about the onion breath; I forgot to even consider it.


Later I’m on a bus made of bricks, or perhaps driving past many brick buildings. I have to start yelling to the driver that two people need to get off, that he needs to flip the bus around so the exit will be on the right side. The bus stops but on the wrong side. I’m about to have to explain this when the two people (my dad and some other adult male, maybe an uncle) thank the driver and descend the exit at the back corner of the bus. Frustration turns to reflexive self-critique — I completely forgot you could use those steps and I don’t know why.

Two girls took my single bus seat a long while ago, and after waiting they finally get off the bus too. My backpack is still piled there, along with a cast iron skillet. I was in the middle of cooking when my seat was stolen — the meat and veggies needed to be flipped long ago. Annoyingly, a youngish guy comes up and seems to think he has a claim to the seat too. Ugh.


Just now, I went to title this entry and realized ”Legend of Gastromo” was one of the first things I wrote. The title was just there when I woke up; a whimsical little evocation. Useful. Sometimes choosing the title can be my least favorite part.

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Dream Journal

Not So Far from Home

A feeling like being in a house across the street from my house where I grew up, yet far away from home, like on a road trip. Inside, this narrow open house is a special rest stop worthy of a pilgrimage. They sell sodas there, a long row of flat pallets with dozens of rare varieties. I’m looking for my childhood favorite Cherry Coke and I’ve searched the whole length with no luck. Finally a kid slightly older than me gives me a single can and I’m delighted; I don’t know where to drink it though.

I need a ride to get home — despite looking out the window and seeing my house two doors down. Later I wake up along a roadside under a comfy camping bed, naked as it’s also comfy, as many cars pass by on the busy road and I still have to find a ride.

Later I’m getting off a bus, not expecting it, walking down the bus doorsteps and see my old boss Chicken John right outside to greet me. Someone has set us up to meet again, an act of reconciliation. Looking him in the eye as if to forgive him.

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Dream Journal

Just Great, I’m a Passenger on a Bus with Politicians

I’m on a bus, full of other candidates for job. In a previous dream I’ve helped Russian President Vladimir Putin defend the country of Greenland from something related to homophilia, homophobia, or both.

An image of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons, and a wall of human bodies made of Legos.

Vice President Mike Pence is near the back of the bus. I point out to the interviewer/autority figure that he’s asleep, he admits jokingly that he was in fact asleep (happening, of course, while I’m actually asleep in this dream). The authority, acting like a teacher, gives him a C for that day despite that I’ve been given an F before for the same thing. Right there I decide to quit this nonsense job, which might mean suicide, but as a protest I can come up with nothing else.

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Dream Journal

Boat, Bus, (Another Bus), and a Pretty Good Date

On a boat, minding my own business reading. Three lavatory cabins sit on the left of the boat, bobbing widely up and down in the spray. I’m friendly with the boatman, and we take a 15 minute break on a shoreline so I can get up and stretch my legs, and take a pee break outside those challenging lavatories. I watch as a water pressure rocket shoots into the sky.


Asking a girl I know out on a date. (As it happens, this girl will later become my crush.) We’re at a college, riding around on student buses, among huge institutional buildings with wide lawns laid out on a grid. I point out to her the many little groups of animal sculptures placed on balconies of an incomplete building, supposedly a tradition in Arabia and the Emirates. One group of wolves, though, is alive, and we watch enthralled as they stalk across the empty road outside our bus windows.

We go somewhere inside a big university building, a place with high-ceilinged two-story elevators. A maintenance man actually points out how they’ve recently made them nicer. There’s somewhere I think would be nice to take her for a date, but when we get there it’s a student mental health clinic (maybe we mis-navigated, maybe they moved the location). I figure this out looking through forms over the light of a desk lamp, politely decline their services, and take her somewhere nicer.

We find a plain rectangular room with a bed. I ask her directly if she’d like to have sex. Her reaction is everything: she ponders with her finger pressed to her lips, eyes cast upwards, gently scratching her now bald head. It’s a subtly amusing overacted display of thoughtfulness, and I take the time to evaluate her unique beauty. Finally she turns to me and pronounces a simple, conclusive “yes”. I smile, but realizing we haven’t actually had any regular fun yet I change tack. We snuggle up back-to-front and proceed through a card I have, a written series of jokes and responses, and she quickly picks up on it. We start to form a bond.


Again I’m a young kid, reading on a bus this time. Keep my tiny fuzzy rat Pierre under my fuzzy sweater, with the waist tucked in. My reading is interrupted by a bus guard (seem like a lot of rules on this bus) who scans me with handheld detector. But I feel uncharacteristically fine about it, and don’t worry about Pierre. My dad sits in the seat next to me. While I’m reading, the left lens of my glasses comes loose and blows out the window. I quickly try to remember the street, 45th I think, so we can go back and get it. However, the next street is 11th and the street after that is labelled 11:11.

I attempt to improvise, putting a grid of various colored glitter-water into a cat-eye-shaped lens and frame. Remarkably, the lens is the correct size, yet has a crunchy ice texture that makes it useless for reading through — but fascinating to look at. I study it intently and wonder what I could use it for, my reading forgotten.

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Dream Journal

Well, the Cement Mixer Exploded

Walking down an alley off market street. Threatened by a character calling himself “the Jew with the knife” — not even sure he’s Jewish with his portly full beard, and he seems the type who’d find it a funny in-joke. I back off but don’t run, and my respectful reaction to his threats earns me an invite from him to a throwback hipster bar, Ri-Bread, around the corner on Market.

The folks there are a motley bunch, youngish, but low-key and slow-going. They seem all-too-familiar with knife-guy’s nonsense and welcome me with a quiet drink. I spend time staring through the 1930’s-style wraparound street window, talking with girl at a window barstool next to me.


I ride in the backseat of a truck, taking one of several branching roads to Burning Man (or possibly Camp Tipsy). I’ve never chosen to take the road the driver picks. It’s a 4×4, then a bus/RV. Making out with Robin at back of bus, staying out of the way of Chicken (the driver). My wife, meanwhile, has trouble finding her matching colorful gypsy hoodie.

We arrive and park at broad public campsite, near dusk. Chicken “parks” a stubby cement mixer/backhoe, hanging its front shovel off the now gigantic bus. I try to offer a ladder but he quickly scurries down the superstructure. A bit later I’m in a tree between our campsite and a ravine, on the property of some neighbors in rural house. I watch as the cement mixer dangles off its perch, rolling violently downhill toward the ravine. Its path of destruction passes almost directly below me, through the neighbor’s pool, crashing into the ravine beyond in a violent mess. The mixing drum explodes high into the air — an absurd and amusing sight.

From the horizon zooms an Alpinestars-branded drone, having faraway noticed the large explosion. I speedily catch it in mid-air from the tree, finally catching the interest of the neighbors there. One by one they come out. Nudists, it’s apparent. I see their oldest daughter has some obfuscation or malformation over her crotch, hiding the shape. She’s shy but shows strong interest in me.


In a traditional, king-ruled Southeast Asian country, two heads of national security organizations are imprisoned. One red-faced, one blue-faced, their intricate fully-tattooed faces are meant to intimidate and display status — but now that a revolution has come, they’re a liability for being not the least bit anonymous. The two former security chiefs are brought before a tribunal, near where the cement mixer once hung, and past where the Alpinestars drone zipped in. They speak to a young prince with round glasses, intoning to him with vague gravitas that is his “destiny is to usurp the suzerainty”.

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Dream Journal

Field Trip Rest Stop

Driving for a long time down a freeway backwards. I’m sitting in the back seat of this station wagon, enjoying my half sleep. By the time I spot a freeway exit the driver seems used to reversing, has even somewhat forgot they’re doing it. We take a rest for awhile during which time it becomes more like a sleepover class field trip.

I go to get coffee, considering whether I even want to drink much of it since I’ve been having such a nice sleep. I find a tap placed around a curved wall in rustic, 1940s era hammered enameled metal. Its label reads “Beverly” which I recognize as a generic vintage brand. I sample just a little bit. It’s honestly not bad (reminds me of my Nana), but I notice around the opposite wall, in a darker alcove, a tap for Folgers (I think this was my parents brand). Masochistically, I sample the unappealing dirt-colored liquid, then immediately plunge into a reverie about how you could drink this every morning as a parent — and fuzzily, apathetically, read a new disposable kids book to them every day.

I return to see my classmates/travel companions lined up in library-style booths. The teacher (akin to 11th grade chemistry’s Mr. Brown) has assigned a test sheet he found at the rest stop, one that even has scrawl copied at the top already. I carefully evaluate it, concluding it’s busywork of no value to anyone, and I decide it’d be better for him to have “lost” my paper if it ever matters. While gathering my stuff to leave, I check out the carpet, which will alter color to distinct shades of blue depending on how much water is spilled on it. Looks like carpet mosaic tiles.

I step outside onto a crowded patch of grass at the roadside, where many class friends are already waiting for the bus to pull round. I notice that most of us have coordinated our gear to match, and the colors we chose are mostly a few degrees away from each other. I notice Christy T. (who I went to school with from 3rd to 11th grade), has a surprisingly bright shade of khaki, the same as my big kratom bag.