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Dream Journal

John Waters Stage Show

Reflecting on that time I went to jail for 7 months when I was 19 or 20. As I remember it, the District Attorney needlessly chose to prosecute me for fraud because I received three free college credits. Such a waste… just impulsively interrupting a vulnerable young person’s life at such an important age. I’m remembering it now because in the dream I’m now going back to school later in life. It’s different than it used to be: sometimes I pass classes, sometimes I don’t, but I sense that you just have to accrue the credits over time and not sweat it.

Then again… I recall a different occasion when I was very distraught and held up a LensCrafters at gunpoint. Serving jail for this sort of thing makes more sense, but I no longer have the paperwork. Turns out I can’t even remember what I went to jail for!


A John Waters stage show, hosted by the man himself. He takes a break for the sake of the televised audience and cuts to commercial. But as I’m actually present I get to witness all the wild behind-the-scenes action — performers exploding into rants, random blowjobs on/off stage, many different hijinks. Those of us there in the room are treated to Waters twirling around on stage during a costume change. His look is a stylized foil cutout of a multi-faceted paper doll, framed between two panes of glass, made in the likeness of the musician Prince. I’m very excited for the next portion and want to video-record it for myself. It’ll be a big file as I’m betting it’ll be a long segment, but at this point I’m certain I’ll actually want to watch it again. I try to wedge my phone upright against some bulky theater equipment and hope for the best as the countdown to re-air begins.

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Dream Journal

A Day at our New Home in the Country

A country house just off a main road somewhere small, rural California, where we’ve moved. My wife and I still have a landlord but are overall happy finally settled into the new place.

It’s bright midday and I seal up our younger rats, Pierre & Roscoe, making sure to stretch the three wire cage doors so the locks are tight.

Outside it’s so much quieter than the city. I ponder the neighborhood as I gaze down the dusty street where ours is the corner house. I haven’t fully explored the area yet. Feels like a hot day, summer. I observe a distinction with the city I never thought of before: here, people are spread out enough that you kind of miss them, back in the city it was so packed that you often like people less because there’s already too many of them.

All our old stuff made it there but most things still need arranging. A few items are out on the grassy brown lawn, or under a covered porch with built-in brick planting beds. Our building is old, and has a name on a vertical sign with green letters — something that sounds like a Chinese restaurant. There’s a smaller sign underneath for wayward out-of-towners, clarifying that it’s just an old name, this is a house, and they can find an actual restaurant a couple lanes down.

Back inside, I see Roscoe is out of his cage. I’m sure I locked it securely, and sure enough I see he’s managed to bend several wire metal bars at the side of the cage! I tell my wife and we’re not sure what to do. There’s a square patch of grass on the lawn where the cage would fit, and be blocked off securely, but the ratties might easily get overheated in the sun.

Someone reveals something about my parents I didn’t know (this part is confusing in retrospect as it’s a persona shift, perspective remains continuous, but the backstory isn’t from my l life). When I was first adopted, my parents kept me in this very house. They were inept, and couldn’t keep things up, to the point where they couldn’t keep me either. They only got me back much later, though I was too young to remember any of this.

Inside a few of us (guests and I) are playing around, searching through storage areas in the house. We’re also in part of a lobby for some unnamed organization, a nexus accessible from many locations. There’s a dried mud sculpture, arched and abstract, looking like the letter Π hunkering in the near distance. Old refrigerators containing long-term food stocks hold many curious root vegetables. Some are still viable, and I take one from the drawer with a 3-foot long taproot and swallow it down to the base as a trick.

Danny Glover is there among us, and soon after I’m beside him at a stone sink (I can think of no connection I have with Danny Glover, his presence is puzzling upon consideration). When I pull the long root out of my throat, the thin length ending in a tangled clump, I realize that it could still be planted in the dirt outside. Whether it’s the worse for wear being in contact with my stomach acid for an extended time, I simply won’t know until I bury it in a garden bed.

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Dream Journal

Interesting TV! Twin or Doppelganger?

We have a few aquariums, arranged in an L shape, and I’m taking care them. The small one (the oldest) is packed with fish and plants, like one currently in our actual kitchen. The other two are big ones savaged from the streets of Chinatown (maybe 55 gallons each) but hold only a single beloved fish each. As I go about their maintenance, I realize we’ve had them a while and at this point they’re probably underutilized. The personable pufferfish living there gets scritches as I consider what company to get him.

A few potted plants have been on automatic watering for a while, and I decide to check on them. At the base of a stem rests a big moss ball that’s somehow been watered only on top and bottom. I take care to soak the entire thing, knowing that I’m still in time to rescue the almost dirt-brown middle.

On TV, I randomly discover that SNL now has a department making short Public Service Announcements for kids. Tough subject matter, too; the one I catch is on understanding and dealing with horrible traumas from the news like genocide and death. There’s one shot in particular that really sticks out for being so well done: small plastic toy horses filmed from below in black and white. Inexpensive to make, as I also appreciate.

Idly watching a show starring Jon Hamm (as a Don Draper character) who has a twin he didn’t know about. There’s some discussion over whether the twin is a doppelganger. Intrigued, I rewind to before he found out. Karen Gillan is filling a role similar to Peggy on Mad Men, serving also as a judge/mediator. There’s such a strangely amusing dragged-out scene where Don is standing in front of a mirror where his twin is visible, but he keeps looking downward or elsewhere in the room. The tension and entire situation are so oddly surreal, and I watch having no idea if I rewound even close to the pivotal reveal.

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Dream Journal

Save the Pancakes! A Kenny Rogers Motorcycle Adventure

Riding my motorcycle in order to return to the last place I left it. I must ride without a helmet, but it seems like every time I think about this I tend to speed up and ride more dangerously without intending to. Sometimes, as happens when I’m taking one freeway exit, even hanging on by only the handlebars with the rush of acceleration — only remembering then that I’m without a helmet.

A bit later, in the course of getting back to the motorcycle, I have to take a shortcut through a grotty block-wide mental treatment complex. I overhear a few orderlies talking about being starstruck when Kenny Rogers used to walk through the neighborhood. Soon I’m noticed by them and pretend to ask directions. I lumber away toward my purported room, taking a detour around the corner to switch outfits. I sneak out a low window dressed in impeccable Kenny Rogers attire and amble outside, right by the admiring (though foolhardy) group of orderlies.


My wife reveals the first thing my dad ever said to her, supposedly: “Save the pancakes!” No further explanations.

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Dream Journal

A Cozy Compound in the Woods, and Famous Guests

Lazing around in some open vacation courtyard, an asymmetric rhomboid. Tired, I order Carl’s Jr., instead of pizza which my wife later reminds me she asked me to. I switch on the Weather Channel for light background noise… but apparently now it has ads?

I catch sight of a man I know, his balls exposed, but it’s just another fashion choice somehow. For a moment it strikes me how oddly it’s much less obscene than showing just a dick or the whole package, but I’m surprised to admit, it totally is.

I find myself idly wondering: when do surgeons learn how to bring someone back from the dead? Is there a day where they talk about the rules, the records, joke about being necromancers? Strange job.

I’m soon walking around a swimming pool while my friends and I are all skinny dipping, but then it seems a new group of grungy beer-drinking hipsters has showed up to the compound/courtyard — private party over. My wife and I start packing clothes and arguing about how long it will take, how much exactly we still have to pack.

Take a break briefly to shop at a grocery store, but I’m sad from the arguing and the mis-ordering and the leaving. On the ground I find a strangely-shaped oblong orange fruit (mango? squash?). I discover among the produce its other half, the banality of the explanation causing me to sigh and set it back on the ground instead.

While visiting my high school creative writing teacher Ms. Fitz’ classroom, I perch on the edge of a blackboard. But Lauren joins me, and us both sitting on it causes it to crash off the wall. Taking responsibility, I construct a replacement of a homemade paper version covered in art selections. The piece on the back, which I think clever (and which won’t normally be seen), is of a hand-drawn skeleton: an oblique downward view of the spine, scapula, and pelvic ridge. This is apparently a too-creative stretch for Lauren, who pans it and has me explain what she’s looking at.

On a creaky wooden staircase out the back, becoming woods, I encounter a weird deer with moss growing over the side of one eye. It’s friendly — almost spirit-guide friendly — so I go to get it carrots. I bring out an ice chest with two bags. As I re-emerge outside I gaze down the neighborhood hill, a single puff of steam popping out the rustic chimney of a tall squarish cabin house down the hill. The morning silence and fog is impressive, encompassing. I have a brief chat with a random neighbor guy and tell him what I’m doing. He asks for one of the bags. A bit selfish, but I offer to give him as much as will fit in his hands. A few animals immediately show up, at least one anteater (which I don’t think eat carrots, “but oh well” I say as I offer some) and a deer with teeth that look like it should definitely be carnivorous. I hand-feed that angular animal with great caution, but it seems not so much dangerous as derpy.

Up in our personal quarters, the musician Amanda Palmer is visiting. Hanging out with friends and band-mates, mostly naked. She’s very easy to host, quite self-possessed. and independent. Hangs out with her crew and chats/chills, taking breaks to talk with me or other family.

Meanwhile my wife tells me Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) a.k.a Kevin Pill is staying in another room in the complex. I want to thank him for his recent funny tweet and say how glad I am to have him, but I peek in and he’s doing some private conference. I don’t mind, but it could’ve been a sex thing? Masturbating? I don’t know.

I ask Amanda Palmer if they’d like to meet. I’m like “oh wait you already know each other”, and we together recall a time where they got into a debate and she surprised him with a detailed rebuttal, concluding at his shock “that’s right, I went to formal school too”. Listening to her voice is mesmerizing… deep and gravelly and calming. I remember that I should be recording it, and regret not doing so already.

A group of jock-ish “Lost Boys”-looking kids fly onto the room’s balcony. I block the view of my naked celebrity guests while he asks some random probing question, hoping to see them. Gauging my guests’ reaction, I deflect and gently let them down with whatever it is they wanted to ask. Part of being a good host, I guess.


Writing this all down, I realize we never finally departed to courtyard complex after all.

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Dream Journal

Keanu’s Midnight Movie Favor

On the top floor of an abandoned school, the walkways are completely inundated with trash. You can see even more of it layering the ground in hills from this high vantage, and this is enough of a novelty that people visit and it becomes an attraction. The waist-high concrete walls of the round corner balcony have been given elaborate murals, inspirational remnants from it’s time as a (elementary?) school. There’s a post-apocalyptic teen movie vibe.

I’m approached by a middle-age bearded guy asking me to do him a personal favor. Surprised, I realize it’s Keanu Reeves. I manage to do the favor, which involves closing the doors to (his?) movie theater near the mural, at the start of the Rocky Horror midnight showing. Makes sense, as I can imagine what the reaction of a packed midnight movie would be to spotting Keanu at the door. He thanks me and gives me some sort of token.

Similar to how right now, during quarantine, one doesn’t make outings as much, in this dream only cashless order-online places are open. I visit two such stores near the far end of a long mall, somewhere I feel I’ve dreamed of before — although I didn’t even think of it as a mall this time. The stores are clean and novel, merchandise displayed on floor-to-ceiling shelves, but for the moment they mostly only have shampoos and other bath stuff in stock. I remember there’s an Amazon store somewhere in the center, and make my way there while carrying a rolling barstool on my back. I lean on this occasionally during on the walk there, and no one seems to mind although I sometimes reckon I’m too young for it.


Skip ahead and I’m with a redheaded friend, headed somewhere together through twisty, rugged dirt paths. We pass a group of women talking about a place called the Fergiles, a group of islands I deduce. I walk ahead a little ways while she remains behind in a small hollow. My sibling Patrick is now with me, and we notice the end of a log has had its end made into a fairy cottage, a gnome home, in the shape of an Ewok’s face. I start to open it but he warns that if it’s anything like the others he’s seen, it probably has a lizard hiding in it (a Betta lizard? like a Betta fish).

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Dream Journal

Ocean at the Window & Messages Sent by Past Self

Beginning with the strongest image: ocean waves suddenly lapping up the windows of a beachside bedroom. My mom lies sick in the bed closest the window. She’s half blind, nursed by the family for years, and today she asks me to get her a bar of white chocolate. I drive a pair of motor-scooters — like standing astride two horses –and retrieve one, then the other, from the room where my mom (who is also “Queen Anne”) is resting up with her eyes open.

I leave my friends and family in the beachside cottage (now much closer to the ocean). Searching the beach where I earlier helped organize a game of guys vs. girls volleyball — right up against the water’s edge — I looking for a computer which was recently inherited from when I lived in between bus seats. It’s a rack of outdated tech, box-shaped, a thin shiny black panel with Motorola wiring. It could’ve been from techie-artist friend Rich Humphrey. Now in the evening’s dark, fleeing rising waves, we instead rescue a dog that looks like Aislinn’s Catahoula hounddog Rose (we = me and I-don’t-know-who).


Makeouts in the large family garage of my childhood home, on a long massage platform, relaxed cool friends makeouts, with a tall athletic strawberry blonde friend from my Chicken John days. Laying on my side, happily killing time, I use a fully-sopped paintbrush to slather purple-to-grey paint over a piece of scrap cardstock. I paint from top-left to bottom-right, like Georgia O’Keefe.

I’m tasked with leading a group of my family/friends back to a ground floor hotel room I once stayed in as a kid. I observe my brother Chris attempt to carefully sneak under a low-hanging tree branch, hoping he’ll see what I see: the (sabertooth?) tiger just above eye level. After giving him the chance, when it feels almost too late, I shout out a clear warning. The look on his face as he made eye contact with the tiger! We get to the hotel room, where the quality of time seems a bit slippy — I’m able to simultaneously receive and send a message to myself, by gesturing to the 4-year-old me within the room. I tapped at the top of a large conch/whelk shell with my fingers joined (an upside-down “ma che vuoi” 🤌), holding the eye contact and attention of myself in the past. It is, I believe, what should be called a strange loop.

Back in the garage with my makeout friend, we’re joined by a recently victorious celebrity, a Chris Farley-like man. Together we hug him in a warm, cuddly friend sandwich. The situation is fond and intimately familiar, even somewhat sexual although I can’t touch my female friend over him (he’s a big guy just like Farley).

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Dream Journal

Parking Lot Shower & A Car Named Felony

Naked, in a coin-operated shower, in a parking lot, without glasses on. Phone is on the soap tray. I’m alternately wearing a shirt or pants, washing one area at a time. I see a group of plainclothes cops walk by and start preparing arguments in my head, concerning this being private property and the property owner losing money if these showers weren’t here. They pass me by as if the arguments were a forcefield.

I meet Lindsay Ellis who has a new convertible she named Felony (unexplainably). I swing above and around the parked car and we get to friendly conversing. But while sitting at a long wooden outdoor dining table, something I say or do shuts her down. She excuses herself hastily and drives away. My wife and I puzzle over it together; I lament that I didn’t even record the conversation.

I run out the front door after strapping on my paramotor flying machine and I’m airborne in a few seconds, I even see her car make the turn at the end of my street. But I never catch her and the dream ends.


A fancy diamond ring. The appraiser comments “I shouldn’t ask how you got this”. Two large studs sit on either side, with rectangular chunks shifting between them, rotating and moving in and out of alignment. It shifts before my eyes and the big, flat sides take on a tiger’s eye gem-like chattoyance — then its aspect shifts again, altering itself into a large, expensive house, the flat chunky side becomeing a fake 3-car garage. It’s a neat trick which fools buyers into thinking the house is worth more than it is.

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Dream Journal

Taking Tom Hanks to the Gala

“Hey I just realized… I’ve met Tom Hanks.” I say this convivially to him as we sit together, waiting for a call so I can escort him further. I’m glad I mentioned it — he really is as nice as everyone says, and we share an appreciative conversation on the unfortunate fact that, for some, Hollywood and the movie industry will be forever coded as gay/liberal. He thinks motion picture and television might be better in that regard. I note that Hannah / Rhey (Daisy Ridley from Star Wars? IDK) had that same problem.

I get the call and ask if we should he over there ASAP — they say they need as many people, as soon as possible. We drive speedily in the silent darkness of the night toward neon-lit old Chinatown for this event, a fancy excavation gala of recent archaeology.

We arrive, the place is absolutely crushed with people (most of whom are there to party and drink). We don’t have two tickets like we’re technically supposed to, but wend our way directly to a staff storage room. While I’m still in the doorway, a shamelessly bitchy rotund blonde ponytail woman taps me on the shoulder to demand I go back in line and have my big bag checked — ignoring the hundreds of people milling around, my staff badge, and the obvious fact that we’re only in this room to stash our bags. I tell her in no uncertain terms that despite all that, I’d be happy to comply, except the request had to come from someone without such a horrible attitude. Immediately afterward I turn to see my friend Ais, who says “well that wasn’t the proper emotional reaction” — I have a brief flash of disappointment, before I realize she means it 100% sarcastically, and she, Tom Hanks and I share a relieved laugh.