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Dream Journal

My Childhood Home is Ours Again, but Changed

My family has bought back my childhood home. I’m puzzled to discover that several small things that I left behind are still in place. For the entire time they lived here, the former owners took care of my plant wall (which is actually the back window of my current home). Everything has been kept in place, and the plants are still healthy. It’s been 16 years!

Other things are sadly missing. Much of the backyard has been cleared down because of the sale. There’s no sign of the cactus garden, the row of agaves by the side-yard, anything near the sheltered window of my teenage bedroom. All over, there’s a lingering tinge of The Other, those unseen people who lived here for years. The property feels hollowed-out, barren, despite all the uncannily familiar landscaping and fences and everything else.

I run along the top edge of the back brick wall as fast as I can. The wall isn’t as narrow as it felt when I was a kid — there’s an odd mixture of delight and melancholy, as I consider how I never thought I’d be able to do this again. How I can do it as many times as I want now.

Near the furthest corner of the wall I survey the horizon of the desert valley. In the distance there’s an area I can clearly make out a strange red cloud. I indicate it to one of my companions, wondering if it’s a concern — I’m told it’s just a high amount of large particulates, suspended dust from desert winds.

As I’m going through inspecting rooms I come to the garage. I’m sure it only used to hold three cars, but the darkened empty space appears to have at least four spaces. Little bits of random ephemera can be found across seemingly every surface; I wonder what else changed. Near the water heater I find a funnel attached to a tube. It’s attached to a small device making a high-pitched noise — I guess it must be for controlling roaches. (I’ve never lived in a place that had roaches, that I know of.)

Outside, the air is clear and oppressive. Although I grew up around here, I sense that I’ll need a period of adjustment where I can get used to these environs again. Everything has changed and grown different than what it was, but I still remember how it used to be. Myself, too — my adult senses perceive the world differently than I once did. I know I have to get to work soon. At high noon, I feel like an alien on a strange planet.

An isolated snippet, perhaps from a separate dream: soft plush shelving at the base of a stairway in a little room at the bottom of the stairwell. In it are kept pet rodents, or perhaps more likely material for their keeping. All stacked within. Very reminiscent of a weird meme I saw recently, of plush shelving.

Departing much later, I locate a three-piece visor — curved plastic semi-circles joined together at the temples. It takes some adjusting but I figure out how to wear it below my chin and above the crown of my head, with a light-up box close over my eyes. This obscures them like some cyborg ninja from a video game, one I can’t place correctly.

A mysterious final sentence, left over from notes and not reviewed in time to make sense of it: “Discovering receipt inside book which proves it was the same guy.”

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Dream Journal

Feeding Tiny Snakes

Humans live in high tech skyscrapers. But a team led by Penny  from Inspector Gadget detects a monitoring device just out of frame. When I move around the camera, like in a third-person video game, I just barely spot it.

In the home of my parents, I re-enter the master bedroom where our rat cage is right now. I see my rat Spork emerge from the bathroom yet I remember seeing Pierre, another of our rats who doesn’t get along with him, in there not long ago. Worry mixed with relief when I realize they must’ve simply not run into each other.

Shower with two of my chairs, one with stripes of leather. This doesn’t actually work and I abort. Found my wife has bought nitrous, and there’s still half a box under the bed.

Feeding tiny snakes (or pet snails) from a bin of little escapees. I’m trying to re-home them into a bigger tank on a wooden shelf, like one in my bedroom. I question my wife, the Star Trek meme expert, about the idea of Q being a fey (fairy).

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Dream Journal

The Boss, The Barbarian, The Beast

Sharing a bed with a female boss, and a kid who joins us. It’s quality snuggle time but I have to be a good sport on account there’s an orange-lighted lamp behind us, one I just barely can’t reach while we’re ensconced together.

Female boss and I leave the relative comfort of this bedroom, a place which has the sensation of a single-room ground floor unit of a multi-story underground parking garage. The neighborhood is the dusty, sunny, oldest part of my hometown (although I don’t think of it as Cathedral City at any point, the architecture and streets are no other). We’re leading a class single-file while we roam the near-empty streets, searching for even one business compatible with ours. Finally, in a wider old-west-ish double collonnaded warehouse area, I suggest that the business there — in publishing — is close enough to journalism that it’s worth pursuing.

Unfortunately there’s a brutish barbarian who guards nearby; he manages to kill all of us before we even realize what’s going on. We’re left — not quite dead, but as good as dead — to perish slowly in the sun strung up on a tall post, like a ship’s crow’s nest. But there’s a saving grace — we’ve got a Brock Samson bodyguard just for such an occasion. He hides under a bridge until the hulking brute passes overhead, stabbing his machete through chipped slats and impaling the aggressor in brutal revenge. We’re taken down from our gallows and recover with no ill effects.

Going a little further in the small near-deserted town, there is a wide shallow lake to the right (something like I’ve seen before in dreams, a wistful view with balconies worthy for gazing in reflection) and to the left, what looks like what could be an ornate orthodox church. I’m pleased to go and explore, knowing I’m versed in how to behave in almost any religious building. Turns out it’s a Hindu shrine to Ganesh, one with specific obeisances to enter. My dad advances too quickly through the entryway crowded with votives. I watch him try to balance on two upturned djembe drums, not quite successfully.

Inside the building, I chat with a few close friends as we sit on barstools. Idly we gaze toward the adjacent wall, the only light in the room, adorned with a massive floor-to-ceiling aquarium — and at least one monstrous inhabitant. It looks like a swimming centipede, maybe a polychaete worm, as if from the Ordovician era. My sibling Patrick seems quite concerned — it’s large, aggressive, and very near. Yet I know something about the tank, reassuring him “that glass may look only 10, perhaps 12 inches thick, but it’s not. That’s what we may I’m call ‘arcane glass’, and for that thing it’s actual measure is [literally] infinity inches.” I’m quite serious with this assessment. As if to punctuate my point, the thing winds up to the glass again, bigger, meaner, with a frightening face, and hits it full speed — which makes a satisfyingly tiny donk sound.

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Dream Journal

Wooden Art Time Machine(s)

Sitting in my dad’s handmade palm-covered Kish structure in my childhood home’s backyard in Cathedral City. Neighbor has situated their patio structure with loud music just over the fence. No saguaro cactus like there used to be.

A wooden bamboo theater, very exclusive. Ticket stand out front and snack bar just inside, barely manned as the movie already started. Dark, stylish, yet still homemade-looking.

My Uncle Mike, Aunt Terry and cousin Spencer come to visit — in a time machine. I ride along with them on their way back, travelling on train tracks laid into the city streets. A car gets in our way during a left turn and this odd jalopy-looking time machine honks and honks — which I remember as both funny and stressful.

Perhaps the same vehicle but shifted pulls up with a large mobile art project newly-made, by an entirely new Chicken John crew. A giant redwood-sized log has been made into a vehicle. There’s a girl I sorta know, light brown skin and dark hair, wearing a revealing onesie with the crotch and breasts sewn to be open. I take some pictures of her, ostensibly of the vehicle though. She’s very friendly and seems pleased I’m interested. Unrelated to this, Chicken comes up and starts spouting some characteristic spiel. I lightly spit in his face (almost missing), he and the whole crew get the message. Hell of a way to get someone’s respect.


An aquarium of worms is being worked on, on the kitchen table. I pull one worm out but there’s actually hundreds stuck together. This is an otherwise barren tank with just a single small fish surviving, the last of several remaindered animals.

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Dream Journal

Dirty Tortoise, Maral Remix, Cryotherapy

A desert tortoise is nesting in the front yard of my neighbor’s house across the street from my childhood home in Cathedral City. It’s dug quite a dirty, poopy-colored crater gash in the lawn.

I go inside a Middle Eastern music store just where their house was, and ask for Maral Ibragimova. He not only has her, but the guy and I listen to a pretty good remix together. I nod my head as I make eye contact. I then take the first opportunity to leave as he helps another customer, to avoid the intensity or awkwardness (though I feel embarrassed about not buying anything).

Getting ready for school and I think I have 45 minutes to make it… it’s like 6:45 or 7:45. Turns out it’s actually the afternoon, but it’s also not a school day.

While out on the lawn, I notice my faded green striped belt that’s faded significantly over time (and which I incidentally saw a photo of yesterday) has been redyed.I feel like I was having this exact thought in front of my computer only 12 hours ago perhaps.


In the state of Iowa, with a pickup truck. There’s an official state urn or statue memorial, a concrete cup with words ringing it, “Mayor Of City Of Los Angeles”, referencing some historical event (sounds like a ship name to me). Thinking about how California tends to draw in outsiders, how it’s good at it, how there are increasingly two countries now in America.

I visit my brother Chris who is working front desk of a nice wellness office out of state. I try to float through the front desk’s window counter to say hi to him, playfully annoy him a little. The gap is too small though and I don’t fit. I float over the waist high office gate, asking a little girl walking passed why she doesn’t float or fly herself. She claims she’s scared, or not allowed to, or doesn’t have enough practice. Interestingly and curiously evasive.

I slip into a cryotherapy bed, something new in their facility that my brother wants me to test. It is both thrilling and relaxing, oddly so, and I don’t remember much of being in there though I remember being inside for a long while. The angled plastic top has built up a lot of condensation while I’m in there. I find a bogus parking ticket for my truck, despite having parked legally, in the wellness centers parking lot, per instructions and with permission, in a place where they can’t take it unless they’re called. I know I can fight it, but am still annoyed at the gall.

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Dream Journal

Cymbal Sounds and Buried Glass

Watching TV in master bedroom of old family house, I’m aged as I am presently but with my family relationships as they were when I was in high school, maybe. I’m watching TV, a refreshing change as it’s been so long. I note that it’s like scrying, you don’t know what you’re going to get when you flip channels. I add 100 to whatever’s on and end up seeing part of an interview by someone named Leon Turkas, or Leone Turkes, some older funk-era black musician I remember to have one song by (note: no such artist was found upon waking).

From a viewpoint floating above San Francisco, I see that there are many more repurposed or semi-abandoned military buildings than I realized before. I spot one in particular, cracked wood and partially overgrown with spiky vines, lying between a major road and a parking lot for two other buildings — just out there, waiting to be explored.

Hanging out with my family, my little brother Chris (who is maybe 7-10 in this dream?) asks if I will let him practice massage. Lying on my back, he works on something he calls “windowpanes”, which are my upper pectorals. This goes on a while; he stops, someone says something to the effect “you should be good”, “you’ve gotten enough”, etc.

Now at an outdoor pool near the ocean, I rant at my brothers about the kind of people who make palindromes. They’re the kind of people who need something to occupy their minds, holding and manipulating multiple simultaneous variables, running an excessively complicated algorithm just to burn CPU cycles on their head-computer. Fucking untrustworthy mentats who don’t want to be alone with themselves. Well, I thought the rant was funny.

One of us brothers makes the sound of a cymbal with his mouth, a clean shhhhhhimm-m-m sound, as a comment during conversation. Chris follows it with a sound like sh-sh-sh-sh-sh, which my Dad says doesn’t sound like a cymbal at all. I come to his defense, saying it’s a cymbal with a lot of shimmer on it, which I feel somehow proud to understand and point out.

I wander away from them for a bit to explore. The pool and the beach are a bit like the ruins of Sutro Baths. In the middle distance I see what looks like smoke rising from a low, rocky outcrop. A few others notice it too. On the way to investigate I notice a dead whale on the beach, upside down, with spotty fur and ears. It has fuzzy white tufts over it, and I realize the smoke in the distance is actually steam, and it’s so cold outside frost has begun to form.

Satisfied there is no danger, I practically trip over an odd-shaped item half-buried in the grey-ish/brown-ish beach sand. I pull it out and it’s an elaborate sealed glass container, radially symmetric with alternate bulges and necks and ridges, inexplicably filled with what looks like a mixture of seawater and beach sand. There are a few intact ones I pull out before reaching some broken pieces underneath, which (since I’m already wearing gloves) I set aside to be disposed of properly. A family with small kids pass by as I’m working on this and the little girl in pigtails (maybe 5-6 years old) reaches out to feel the glass objects, though I warn her not to touch the broken ones. She defiantly rubs her hand on them anyway, and I look up and realize it’s a black family. They pointedly don’t react. I’m left wondering whether there must’ve been some black/white dynamic even from a kid that age, some “no white man gonna tell me what to do” aspect.


Woke up with “Mr. Blue Sky” as covered by Pomplamoose in my head. Surprised my wife by playing it in the living room remotely before I joined her in the living room. Ha!

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Dream Journal

Left Behind at Omura Station

Travelling by train in Japan, stop momentarily at a station called Omura. The train leaves without me and my wife is on it with both our tickets. I have to walk along the line in a foreign country, or ride the train and hope they don’t check my ticket.

The back wall of my dad’s house in Cathedral City has been stolen. I suspect it might be a construction site somewhere in the lots behind it. The city recently has only sold cheap plots, ones in the middle of blocks without good road access. Exploring this area, I pass a lane of farm trees, not knowing the neighborhood anymore. I see Fifth’s Grocery store, and a Marie Callender’s inside it. I orient myself with the mountains but it’s harder than usual. I sit and wait underneath a shady tree out of eyeline, eat a couple coconuts and scope out the area.


Climbing up a set of colorful ersatz stairs, through a vertically-tilted bus where a giant girl is sleeping in one of the bunks. I pass by her and she seems interested in me but I’m kind of on a date. My date (a younger girl with dark fluffy short hair) and I make it for a wedding on this long plateau walkway at the top, something like the Alden Royal Skyway… very underwhelming for the title. No one else seems to be there yet, but I know this is where it is.


I’m shopping for a blue vest in a small department store, even though I already have a few blue vests. The department store is in some kind of college, concrete archways and corridors.

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Dream Journal

Face-to-Sexy-Face with Friend Spy

I’m dropped off directly across from my first elementary school in my hometown (possibly by plane), and find an important but broken piece of… something in the gutter. I round the corner and spot a half-empty vape juice bottle, grape — there’s a store nearby and I spot these a lot. I consider whether it’s a good idea to pick it up. Walking up to my childhood home at the end of the street. My phone helps me walk by showing the rear camera feed behind the text I’m reading. I only notice this once I start earning points by passing over certain objects.


A badass Bruce Willis-type guy is driving/walking down a concrete bridge. My friend Spy and I appear together there. There’s some unusual sexual tension between us, perhaps due to the guy being there too. In typical fashion for us our sexual tension is diffused by amping it up, as I hold my face close to hers — actually touching cheek to cheek. Somehow that usually works.

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Dream Journal

Freeing Pets of Many Sizes

A friendly stubby pet caterpillar, the last of my edible caterpillars. I release him in the rosebushes on the side of the Cathedral City house, near my parent’s bedroom, hoping that he reproduces someday. Later I find him in a planter in the very moist ground (so moist it’s nearly half-full with water). Nearby the hole, in the hedgerow, I find a pet parrot and hamsters that were also released some time ago.

I check on the status of a mouse cage, with very tiny mice — about the size of a pill capsule. The original two have indeed started breeding, with minuscule little mice crawlers lodged in the corners of their cotton-stuffed plexiglas half-shoebox cage.

A beluga whale in a backyard pool? Something like a Christmas wish I made as a child, which my parents had to convince me wasn’t a good idea.

Tracking a feral neighborhood horse outside the Cathedral City house. Driving with my dad in a Mercedes, his Mercedes, we finally find it upon reaching the end of our court, across from a wide lake on the other side of the main road. I say “Great! You know what you can do now? Leave it alone.” Dad leaves car idling at end of the street, takes off for work via different method. Patrick drives car back slowly along the narrow, overgrown court. The neighbor’s tree branches hang low enough that they block their house lights from reaching across the street. A neighbor woman has poor personal boundaries and tries to demonstrate where the light would be going, by entering into the house on the other side of the street.

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Dream Journal

Bait Locker, Alien Repellent, Rustbucket RV-land

In a locker room, lots of stuff I need to gather. I head out once my time is over, my two friends waiting outside the heavy glass door, before realizing I still left a bunch of stuff. In the bottom half of the locker, the compartment is open so I can reach in and find other people things. There’s at least a few pieces of funny money left as a trap, I assume. The steam room hot tub adventure cost at least a couple hundred bucks.


I am a scientist like Rick Sanchez and I’m inside my house during the course of an insectoid invasion. I am one of the only people with an alien-repellent sound barrier. The insect forces go to great links with transparently fake news reporter interviews trying to discover how it works and to overcome it. I see a diagram of the architectural plan of the house with the bedroom just outside the laboratory and the clean room.


I’m in the small kitchen of my family’s old Cathedral City house. About twice as many people live with us now, and I think of them as in my family. There are two refrigerators and an upright freezer next to each other and we’re even thinking of putting another refrigerator blocking off the counter corner. I’m using a glass tray to keep a group of aquarium feeder worms alive. I have to use the same tray to store macaroni and cheese above the worms. Meanwhile, two younger kids are bothering me, throwing food and interrupting my project. I ask my dad, who is staring into space eating cereal, to tell them throwing food wasn’t okay. He responds apathetically, and in frustration I fling a spoonful of grits at him, spraying the entire kitchen corner. He still doesn’t react.


I move into a community of rustbucket houses. Old RVs and trailers are pushed together into a complex warren-like structure — everyone seems to have built a private hobby space so they can sneak off by themselves to do work, camp chairs inside old shipping containers stocked with rebar. One green RV from the ’40s has a particularly unpleasant individual in it, but a beautiful slide-off stove in the kitchen, converted to be an outdoor courtyard. It’s a very welcoming community, but also “is this how poor people really are?” is a question that comes up. At some point I try to see if I can build a large house on one of the unfilled plots of land. The small house just downhill from the main road was one of the first built.

We go off and drive on an adventure in an old VW van. We stop at a large gate down the road, waiting with an invisibility power-up activated. When a train comes behind us the gate opens and we can use a speed boost to drive overland far away from where we’ve driven before. What would take 20 minutes only takes about 3, but we still don’t reach our destination — a place called Challengeburg.