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.”

Dream Journal

Autonomous Secondary Pants & Australian Electoral Waste

I observed the numerous Australian election supplies which are distributed for each election. Too many in my opinion, it’s wasteful and doesn’t actually help democracy — like, who really needs a government-issued sponge roller to help seal your paper envelope? While examining one of these rollers, I poke a hole all the way through the cylinder with a screw. It’s not even cheaply made!

While underneath a wooden structure, I’m informed that the city of Perth is somehow not the capitol of Western Australia, as I thought it was. A YouTuber I enjoy, Ozzie Man, demonstrates how (if one so chooses) one could transmogrify oneself into a depressed puddle.

Someone walking away wearing pants with an extra pair of stuffed legs on the back. A nosy old lady sneaks up behind him then gets kicked by the pants. Which I think is fair given what her intentions seems to be. I wonder if it would turn out fair in court, if it ever came to that.

Dream Journal

The Justice of Salvador Balthazar

Attending a movie night with a big projected screen in a great hall. Without warning, a large heavy object crashes down near the front. It hurts one girl who happened to be in center of aisle, and I’m the first to offer her assistance. She limps away though a side chamber, and it feels good to help, but odd that no one else seemed to think they should try.

On the street, I run into my former mentor dressed as a fireman. Tell him about how I recently saw him as a fireman in a dream (whoa, meta). Interaction goes well and it seems we’re both left with a positive impression. I wonder what he’ll tell his wife.

Salvador Balthazar is a historical character from the days of American revolution. He shows up to collect on justice for a reformed character. Brock Samson (from the show the Venture Bros) has to adjudicate. He’s surreptitiously tied himself to the handle of a giant-sized brown cart, waiting for an opportune moment to cut it off, launching over a high wall. He’s then able to attack Salvador, having made his ruling.

I wait for everyone involved to come through my front door. I have to delete episodes of Star Trek Voyager, worried they are corrupted and won’t obey computer commands, but I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s no trouble. My wife walks in behind everyone else and asks me “what happened here?”

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.

Dream Journal

A Game of Ghost Story

Store/cafe near Disneyland, heavily themed with natural wood for an ol-time-country feel. Space is sunk below street level a bit, bright windows in the back. The whole neighborhood is a shopping district, curved downward becoming more Disneyland the further you go. Near the cafe counter, I see a few people in costumes with masks that look like Will Smith crossed with the “I, Robot” robots, featuring a glowing 20% discount over the mouth area. It’s suggestive of some kind of Black Panther protest.

I’m a successful smuggler and I’m getting out of the business. I know my compatriots will be upset, even panicked at my departure, so I leave a letter hidden under sawdust at my regular drop. It’s a semi-abandonded lot protected from the street by overgrown trees, the same hillside view as the Disneyland cafe earlier.

I drive off in a convertible with Lynae. We’re briefly diverted onto the other side of a divided highway, the broad expanse of a mountainous pastel evening desert before us. I suggest we play a game called Ghost Story — Lynae side-eyes me, knowing I know the edge of night isn’t exactly when she wants to hear ghost stories. I clarify that the objective of the game is to start saying something that seems scary, but that has its scariness vanish (like a ghost) once the sentence is complete. I’ve just played the first round, now it’s her turn.