Dream Journal

Suzie the Mechanical Brass Goat

I’m playing tuba in a marching band. Have to haul it back from the field in pieces. When I get to the enclosed, beige, semi-circular practice room I have lengthy difficulties assembling it — the band has already started playing. The pieces for a brand new percussion drum the size of a person are laid out on the floor. Since those are clearly present, I consider playing that instead.

The brass of the instruments reminds me of a friendly goat, Suzie. She’s mechanical, also brass, and we amble together down a tree-lined sidewalk in a archetypical sunny American suburb (away from the band). I spot some Halloween stuff in the branches of a tree between the sidewalk and the street, forgotten so long ago that the tree is now growing through the plastic decorations. Reminds me of an image I saw recently, of a Barbie doll placed by someone’s granddaughter being engulfed by branches. Even though it’s enjoyably bizarre, I climb the tree to retrieve the spooky plastic junk. Suzie watches (perhaps giving commentary) and it’s a shiny, fresh, sunny experience, abnormally wholesome.

I’m later cruising on my motorbike down a curvy dirt road, fast. Hand-tilled grain fields border it. I narrowly dodge Indian pedestrians carving around corners, following the road’s course between blocky grey utilitarian buildings (like the setting from a fair dream on Feb 19, 2021 at 11:29 am). I get as far as a narrow corridor whose walls are made of train cars. I can’t reverse, and have to navigate back through twice. It feels like I’m towing a trailer or three. Headed back where I came now, I pull off a few wheelies — having the thought that I’ve only ever done that in dreams before (this is true). I soon notice (due to another person’s recent use of it) some pieces have shaken off the bike as I’m riding, importantly 3/4 of the front instrument panel. I manage to see a bit fly off over a fence and decide to hunt it down.

This neglected industrial area is officially off-limits, but also officially abandoned. I suspect it’s still quite inhabited though and used for all sorts of under-the-radar activity. This seems confirmed when I discover rows of diagonal pews inside one decayed warehouse, carefully draped in elegant purple fabric. I hide between these pews as I hear fumbling at the bolted front door. A few furtive-looking priests enter, and I consider announcing myself to avoid a potentially worse situation startling them. Yet I seem to overhear them talking about me without using my name, wishing perhaps to recruit me.

I do volunteer for some project cleaning up a diesel locomotive covered in grass. I scrub it’s side skirt clean of flecks and debris, leaving tall stalks of grass to grow proud and green over the engine’s back/top. It’s taken on an expedition up a marshy stream to study dinosaurs living nearby, blending in with the flora. Back in the yard we hide as a few mafia guys come to inspect the locomotive. A goon tears off the grass in one cohesive layer, saddening me even though I’m still proud of how healthy the greenery I helped grow turned out. We’re trying to trick these mafiosos somehow, and I know all my plants were integral to the plan.

Dream Journal

Nightmare Picking Out Clothes

My wife is in the cab of our semitruck parked on 24th Street in our neighborhood, trying to start it up. It’s cargo is filled with furniture and things, could be a resale company or perhaps a home. As I watch from a distance safe to give directions, it quickly spins out of control, circling into stuff nearby and jumping the sidewalk.

Visiting a docked boat restaurant when I discover it’s owned by someone I know and watch on YouTube. His first name is Eduardo. In the adjoining walled sideyard, he raises livestock fowl. I count and observe groups of birds of various ages before I realize how many there are. The number I recall is 2000! He sets up to broadcast a YouTube video of eight hours of ducks marching in a huge circle — at which point I sneak out, to avoid explaining why I myself am not going to watch ducks marching that long.

On my way off the boat I encounter Chicken John, who is located behind me while I wait for the bathroom. I take the initiative and, in such a way that we don’t have to acknowledge how we know each other, I give him a hug. This cleverly avoids any possible awkwardness.

Some time later I’m in a long group cabin. Two rows of squares are taped on the floor to mark out individual sleeping areas. There’s a vibe similar to in the movie “Midsommar”, kind of culty, and the sun barely sets. Before bed my wife asks for me to fetch the teardrop-shaped blue shoes from the window ledge. Exasperated, I eventually find what she meant, though they’re neither shaped like teardrops or blue.

I awake feeling as if I’ve barely slept. A group gathering is about to begin up the hill from cabin, visible beyond an open wall. Everyone else has already left. There are vague instructions to “dress comfortably and nice” but they pointedly don’t tell us what the event will actually entail. Quickly, I feel overwhelmed –by the number of decisions so early, and the knowledge that everyone is already waiting for me to show up. It’s a feeling that I’ve failed before I’ve begun. Why would anyone force you into a situation like this as soon as you woke up? I wake up myself then, convulsing and dry-crying against one of the pillows in bed.

Dream Journal

Bookended Startling Rat Dreams

As I lay on the living room couch, I hear an odd rat-like noise from our back room — but not identifiable as one of our pets. I’m a bit playful when I go to investigate but creeped out by a bunch of our pillows that’ve been slashed almost in half. In an instant I realize no rat or other pet could’ve done this, and a malicious someone in likely still in the house.

I bolt awake, heart pounding, from sleep on the couch… remembering that I couldn’t fall asleep there; I had to give one of our rattie boys his medication.

I’ve been tricked into “checking out” some sort of vacation retreat with a very culty vibe. I try to leave but quickly find myself mobbed by a crush of people who aren’t allowing me to go. I think one even delivers the “it’s for my own good” line; bone-chilling in these circumstances. One bespectacled man grabs my keys and puts them in his pocket. Struggling against the huddle of bodies I manage to retrieve the keys — though I’m almost alarmed they let me have them back. They’re reluctant to do anything resembling an unambiguous assault. I escape climbing through a bathroom window when I think no one’s watching, though at this point… I wonder if they are.

I’m assigned a new group at Burning Man while it’s halfway through (not much like Burning Man — more like a week-long summer camp in an elaborate multi-story wooden atrium). I’m paired with three affable Asian kids younger than me. We’re moved to a different bunk room (a frequent occurrence) and shortly afterwards my first group, of which I’m still kind of a part, gets assigned a room that’s closer. I sleep there as it’s a bit easier, especially moving all my stuff, but I feel disappointed and conflicted for abandoning my cool new friends.

While lying asleep in bed, I hear one of our pet rats crawl up onto my wife’s side. It makes its way across our pillows, feeling oddly familiar. It crawls under the blankets right in front of me and I peek one eye open. It’s a grey rat, but we haven’t had any grey rats since… I bolt awake, realizing that one of our babies that went missing two months ago, Silveroo, has returned.

But he’s not there. There’s no rat at all. I was, for the second time in a night, having dreams of rats, set in the very place I was actually sleeping.

Dream Journal

Poly Reindeer Toy, Mayo Cult Fishing Pond

Sent by my employer, a magazine, to replace another reporter-photographer. The assignment is at a fetishist’s retreat farm compound. They much overuse mayonnaise (I don’t much remember except I expected most of our readers would find it disgusting while I only found it unhygienic).

Taking a moment, outside on a patio lounger in my long blue velvet robe which I haven’t seen since too long, I film them with a baby hippo on their arm. In the communal pond of the trailer park-like community, a man catches a smaller-than-hoped long-finned fish with extendable mouth parts, calling it “pterodac… no, it’s, you know, wing fish”. He regales us with his imagining the panic it had being drawn up from the bottom. Then breaks its mouth off to kill it. I end up in a garage watching TV with some siblings of widely varying ages, followed by a crossbow contest where the older siblings are one-by-one held back from leaving by an arrow shot just ahead of them. The youngest (a Madeleine-like girl) looks back from the door innocently, not knowing why her older siblings aren’t behind her.

A toy reindeer like something from Frozen, molded seats molded in its sides for human figures to ride. The figures are numbered “polyamorous #0, #1, #2”. In what seems an odd detail, the male figure has a 0 over it’s crotch and a female figure has a 1.

A shelf of carved and painted stone miniatures of buildings, like my parents used to have. Different eras and styles, which I rearrange to sit better on the shelf. I begin to mess with a round, very plain train layout just behind it.

Dream Journal

Old Gas Station, Renovated for a Cult

I inherit a gas station and repair shop from a rich uncle. Good to own, simply to have such a resource, but the land itself is probably a multi-million dollar value. The neighborhood is rusty and industrial, but wooded and scenic, near a picturesque mountain bend.

Roof has plants growing on it and the sloped edges are chipping away with age. I note to my dad that several electrical inlets have started to swell (especially an old Christian cross near the road). Kids are inquisitive about my motorcycle as I roll it into the first set of doors.

I allow the visitors who show up to start becoming gurus. Everyone wears white clothing with yellow details over them. A game is played over the course of a day, where the cult members get more and more expository, grandiose. A car trunk starts blinking in the repair shop, which is a prize for our scrappy band, but by the end of the day the winner doesn’t even want it. There are blue finches in the gritty central courtyard — not endangered but it’s nice to give them a home.

“What is inevitable?” I ask a small group of disciples. Some petite blonde mishears me and gives a definition of a weird drug (N-N2-DL?) — dredged from her past life of sometime debauchery in the city. Eventually we agree, mostly, on a definition of “unavoidable”.

The phrase enters my head, profound and banal at once: “you can’t teach a god how to behave.” I awake with my arm powerfully asleep, hanging off the side of the bed.

Dream Journal

Hidden Doors, Wet Sansa

In a complex, a restaurant portion thereof, with all sorts of hidden doors. I can’t see them as I haven’t been initiated and attained a certain level, but I can tell from others facial expressions they can. There are multiple Sansa Starks, one of which joins me on a bed that has a slow water drip on it.

Side note, mostly unrelated: the squirrel is my favorite character in Lord of the Rings.