Dream Journal

Hardware Store Naps thru Greek Island Graphs

I’m enlightened and free. I’m also younger than I am currently in the waking world. Because I can, I take a nap in a hardware store. Something to do isn’t it? (I remember sleeping in dreams more often than I used to — perhaps a sign that I’m able to recall more of the story from a complete REM cycle.)

Wandering over to the Christmas discounts section, but I can’t get through because my cart blocks the aisle. I’m wearing my favorite fleece-lined burgundy winter hoodie (which I’ve only had since this October). I pass through a section at the back of the store, near the underground parking lot, which is special for today, similar to a craft fair: many vendors behind tables each sell individual items for model train sets. The sellers (all redheads) are arranged in a square-ish gradient by the shade of their hair, a peculiar effect I don’t think I’ve noticed anywhere before.

For a little while afterwards, I’m separating coffee beans from big chunks of salt mixed in. While my hands are busy I discuss something with my friend Sherilyn (who I’ve not seen in several years). We’re talking as though I had once had a crush on her. I wish I understood better what we were talking about.

My wife mentions hope of one day soon vacationing in Greek islands. I take it upon myself, with a new insight that moment, to plan this trip thoroughly based on transfers between islands — ie, if make it here by 4:00 we go here this day, otherwise stay at this hotel leave 10:00 tomorrow, etc. I can make priorities and possibilities completely that way, almost like graph theory upon reflection

My wife mentions her hope of one day vacationing in the Greek islands — perhaps soon. I take it upon myself, with spur-of-the-moment insight, to thoroughly plan a trip based on timed transfers between islands. For instance, if we made it to a certain island by 4pm we could visit a certain place — but if we missed our ETA, we’d stay at a particular hotel, then leave at 10 the next morning. There were fallbacks and chains of causality laid out quite clearly. Upon reflection, it felt like exploring graph theory to prioritize and plan the trip.

Dream Journal

Destination: Cozy Nostalgic Coffee Shop

A “destination” coffee shop with various odds and ends, tasteful lighting and wood panels, a relaxed atmosphere, comforting smells. It’s run by Eileen (but with nobody else I know). I say hi to her, tell her I finally saw her in that documentary “Caffeinated”, but it was silly how they only used one clip — she’s already turned away though, either doesn’t hear me or pretends not to. Haven’t seen her in a long time, so it might be fair.

I’m here because I spent most of my day postponing putting on my motorcycle riding gear to get to my Russian school, not admitting to myself that I just don’t want to go. Eileen’s shop has rows of merchandise, uncrowded during the pandemic. I find a few items that make me nostalgic for earlier times in San Francisco. One, a cardboard tube with a signature affirming it’s been packed by my old friend Kelly Gallamore. (Perhaps the store is instead run by Noona Nolan?)

Someone I talk with there shares a personal difficulty. In what is a typical response for me, I share a tangential factoid I happen to know… some incident that happened to Queen Elizabeth II (then, viewing a flashback with Prince Philip as a colorful robot, playful geometric designs on all his clothes, colored plates covering his face). Later, I discover my old moto jacket and pants stuffed in a garbage can and fish them out.

The shop has a long row of machines (perhaps for copying or the like). Mine gets a very long piece of paper stuck in it, just as an employee unknowingly points me out to someone as a veteran user/customer who might help them. Down further the row become a trough of water, with a long flat rail down the middle. Several objects I need are floating in it.

Home now. Looking down from our apartment’s back room. To do that, we peer around a large rusty statue of a chicken that our landlord’s had mounted on the corner of the building forever. I think “huh, so odd but I’ve never had that thing remind me of Chicken John.” There are a few massive beasts getting aggressive with each other in the backyard. One looks like a bodybuilding panda with eyeliner, the other a stairway-bumping basilisk. They’ve wandered in, though could choose to fight anywhere. Up closer, I try to consider what to, but there’s not much else except watch.

Spiderwebs encrusting the middle of trees, trees all in a row, as I travel past at high speed. The only way to see them is to line their row and look through several at once. I crack that code, but can’t guess if anyone else has seen this strange metaphor. A metaphor for what though, I can’t say.

I remember: looking up at a dusk-time sky, thinking as if I’m outside my own life, that I was born here and now because I picked this lifetime so I could see humanity’s transition. In this case, the transition to digital.

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.