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Dream Journal

Roads of San Francisco

I’ve taken charge on handling an absurdly tall Victorian mirror (measuring over 8 meters) which I gently lay on a long sheet. I’m in what appears to be my parents old bedroom in the house I grew up in. While I’m very careful and never break it, it’s so long that it flops about end-to-end like a giant semi-stiff ribbon. I imagine the kind of Great Hall where such a mirror might even fit; a grand old San Francisco mansion on a hill perhaps. Echoes of another dream: a house of tall rooms curving along the outside, a slight hill, flowerbeds and iron fencing, perhaps converted to a hostel.

Using an unfamiliar route through a posh neighborhood of large homes, I notice two particular large buildings. My eyes are lead upward as I appreciate their distinct old timey theme and quaint names carved on the outside. Though one is clearly meant British one Frenc, they fly opposite flags. Perhaps what were once embassies have become private homes and the eccentricities of wealth. The street becomes more crowded just a little ways on, with tourists. I realize I’ve become turned around and am headed north toward the bay and I’m near Fisherman’s Wharf. I conclude that the buildings are now explicitly to service the hordes of visitors, though in what way I don’t know.

When driving down a roadway I become trapped in a line of cars which must turn around due to an unlabeled street closure. Very useless and frustrating. When I finally make my way out I find an official riding a horse and inquire/complain. The portly bald private contractor (I remember looking at his face) says the city allowed them many more horses than signs, which is why he’s riding a horse. There is no further explanation.

I have to take a road through a poor neighborhood where we once considered getting an apartment. I spot the place, with its janky plywood hillbilly door still exactly as it was, a scraggly old punk character smoking a cigarette outside. The neighborhood is just like this. It’s what they’ve allowed to be built here. The only thing you can get to across the street is a cheap FoodsCo market — which has very similar plywood scaffolding draped over it’s entrance. The place feels crowded and neglected at the same time. The most efficient way to leave this part of town is actually with a shortcut through a private parking lot. And, as you’d expect, they can decide to close the gate or restrict access whenever they like. Truly, what a shitshow this place is.

I’m diverted down a rural route through the hilly and less developed middle of SF. I pass a row of square little slope-roofed cabins which are rented out by the zoo like Airbnbs. Beyond a frail chainlink fence they sit on stilts above a slow marshy creek under eucalyptus. This is the first time I’ve actually seen them, and I immediately decide I would one day like to rent one out, maybe have a trip weekend there.

Riding in the backseat of the family SUV with my dad and brother in the front, we park in a dirt lot in a little isolated development on a side road in the boonies. I’m consulting my map hoping we can get a brief walkthrough, but I declare that I’m not sure there is a path through the private property fence… just as a girl in black sunglasses and dark hoodie strolls past, rather demonstrating I’m wrong (and that my research is ineffectual). Shortly after, while clambering over rocks I realize that I’ll need shoes. My legs are so dirty though from some mud earlier, I figure I’ll have to find a place to rinse if I have any hope of keeping my shoes clean. I’m afraid now it’ll be a whole thing.

[[Unexplained note: wife 4 guys, Corey B. 6 guys, but when is there time for me?]]

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Dream Journal

There Went the Neighborhood (lot of cooking in this one)

It’s the first day in prison for a “The Joker” type character. He’s older, finally skidding to a stop after years of getting away with it. Resigned to finally giving up public mayhem, and fading from public fame. Escorted across a tall prison courtyard structured around catwalks by single elderly guard played by Jim Carrey. And then hosted in his home like a guest, surprisingly.

Proceed to cooking dinner of eggs and ham in a single pot. It’s styled after the show Kitchen Nightmares, which I’ve never seen actually. The cooking takes a long time, and the timing isn’t easy to get right. All the while there’s the gloomy vibe of being inside a big reinforced concrete block.

Driving a borrowed SUV near my hometown of Palm Springs. Veering off along the way into a little cul-de-sac of dumpy houses, I attempt to drive up a steep berm and take a shortcut across a boring rocky plain. Instead I’m immediately flying a small airplane, demonstrating for my wife that they aren’t hard to fly — or maybe that even though they’re not hard, they’re still practically useless.

I discover a phone in my pocket, rubbery and square-cornered and slightly smaller than mine. Only then do I remember how happy I am to have this spare so I don’t have to put as much wear and tear on my normal “good phone”

I don’t know how we got together, but I’m driving Eileen H. back to her secondary home in Santa Rosa. We used to be friends a decade ago — I babysat her kid many times. Now we sit parked in her driveway finally catching up. In front of us there’s kids playing and crawling on the façade of the house, which is decorated with graffiti. In the course of getting out of the car I find two similar-looking USB sticks in her middle car divider, noticing that they have the wrong cap on each. Helping her by swapping the caps back correctly gives me great satisfaction somehow. Across the street, there’s a house on the lot next door to where my parents’ old place would’ve been. The house is smoking profusely. I happen to know this is normal, for this house at least (just some problematic cooking habits of the residents)… and yet it’s a bit unsettling isn’t it? It’s very obviously reminiscent of a wildfire that swept through the neighborhood 7 years ago. I ask Eileen what happened to her home here back then, and she answers that it was just fine, actually; the fire didn’t get that far. But my parents’ house, which burned down, it was… Right. Across. The street.


I’m programming. Trying to place correctly a code block dealing with Chinese police. Am I dealing with the Chinese police, or does the code block have something to do with them? Then I wake up imagining my wife has cooked with a wok, and I’m eager to scrape it out with a spatula. It reminds me of a dream… but none of these. Ironically, I forgot that one. Whatever it was.

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Dream Journal

Meeting the Rust People

I’m suddenly awoken by my wife barging into the bedroom, asking if I’m asleep. My fight-or-flight is triggered and as I lay in bed calming down again I can recall much, but I fall back asleep and what I recall is: wooden pegs partially painted blue clatter noisily from a row of horizonal posts where they were attached. (I fall asleep around 10pm and this happens around midnight.)

Serving a crowd of fancy folks out on a balcony overlooking Las Vegas, maybe in the Luxor pyramid. Speaking slowly up to it then ingratiating myself as a servant; meeting people like Trump and Boris Johnson.

After talking with Trump he leaves via my living room. I come out afterwards and see the shocked faces of my unexpected guests, my old roommate Emily W. and her friend I don’t recognize, waiting on my couch. I briefly confer with a series of representatives from tribes of widely different people, including the a male/female pair of Rust people who pursue a specific variety of magic. The discussion concluded, the slightly scaled-down duo flip sideways down into the couch and vanish through a portal.

I spot a dedication sign at the entrance to a random town in Florida simply saying “books & my wife”. I infer this as a clear if esoteric reference to supporting Trump, something fake-ish he said in response to being asked what he’d want on a desert island. A little ways on there’s a homey sign on a cabin with a charming curse of “by Meatloaf’s Mother and the Queen Of Sheba”.

Right before I wake up I’m playing a GTA-like game with simple accelerate/brake controls. Driving as a little old black lady, I just try to round corners as normally as possible.

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Dream Journal

Strange Forms of Water in Coves

Observing shapes of water in a bay from cliffside above. A lighthouse or dock sits amidst what seems like turbulent waves, which coalesce into nearly vertical walls of water rising from the estuary floor. They form sophisticated mirrored patterns. An informational picture-in-picture appears in the corner and I scroll around a wider view, examining the next cove over — where the shapes are less grandiose but more distinct. The sharp outlines of the PIP really help discern the unusual forms, which are mesmerizing.


Riding in the backseat with my dad driving down a road in Palm Desert. A tiny bit on edge as I’d normally be driving myself, but I’m handling it ok. We round a slight curve and he has to brake hard and quickly merge out of the left lane as there’s a wicker bench in the road. Briefly I mention how lucky it is he was only going 22 mph, the same speed I choose to go on that particular stretch. I volunteer to get out and move the bench aside if he stops at next place to pull over. But that’s a country club, and instead of just stopping by the side of the road in the little turnout my dad drives around their big complicated parking lot for a bit till I tell him to just pause. I jog along under some lush overhanging foliage along the outside of the road, mindful of cars that could be coming. I realize I’m not fast like I used to be, and the turnout was pretty far from the bench. I finally round the bend and see it’s actually a parked car without even blinkers on. The task now changed, I dash across the road to see if I can find the driver. I do, on the second floor of a weird little ski slope store. Despite much patience on my part they seem disinterested in even listening. I realize, oh, this person just feels entitled — I can’t rationalize the problem to them because they don’t care about other people.

Running airline tubing in a long narrow kink club space where I work/volunteer. I remember the first time I went there, the entry corridor (made up of personal side rooms for storage/changing) seemed to take forever to walk down; now I barely notice. While fixing something in-between the gate and the front door I get locked out. I was half-expecting this so I’m not stressed, I just climb carefully over the old corrugated roof, taking my time. Spot landlord of the building down ina courtyard and pause, not wanting to meet him. Thereafter, examining the tank, I decide we can’t have a keyboard in the aquarium despite that it looks pretty cool.

Special event room with bunch of kids partying. It’s like a home movie night, with pull-out beds in a bleacher stand configuration, popcorn and snacks provided too. But it’s a small space finished in bamboo, smaller than 10′ x 10′, and I consider the COVID air problem. There’s a nitrous dispenser stocked on the bed, but I’m not going to point it out to the kids — one of them seems to know, and calls it a whippet.

Not long after, I’m cleaning up a couch in what is kinda the top floor flop pad of a hostel. It mirrors the previous space, but I can’t say if it’s the same. I manage to dislodge an old plate that’s been wedged into the cushions for a good long while, discovering in the process it was put there by someone I like. Although I’ve done a great job cleaning the couch, if I report this find I know my bearded and newsboy-capped friend might get in trouble.

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Dream Journal

Three Wines: Hard, Mineral, Spicy

At the end of an unpaved road in the desert, dunes on either side. Searching for a spot to park and sleep in the overland SUV. Up a short side road is a private campground, but they’re full of long term RVs after recent redevelopment. I get the impression people aren’t even staying there.

Viewed from above, I survey another hilltop location once a vantage for scenic stark beauty, recently built up with houses. A bit of the outback lost to civilization. Overpriced houses, packed tight, the parking all in the center of a cul-de-sac. They cite new houses right up against fences built the year before, knowing the residents only work in offices nearby and couldn’t care less.

We leave the end of the dusty unpaved road, passing through a rough-hewn log gateway — something you might see built by the orcs of Warcraft, yet having the semblance of an old English gallows gaol. We’re waved on; everyone here knows us. Past this point the car accelerates, as if on a track, rocketing toward a towering city. Sooner then expected we pass under vine-laden bridges and all manner of infrastructure. It’s so sudden that while I’m zoning out looking at an apartment building I’m struck by the baffling thought of just how many human lives are now within my eyeline.


An unexpected bit of FOMO while camping at an event that occurs during Burning Man. Cited on a hill with acres of underground bunker to be explored, dirty, dangerous, and wild. A total of ten levels. I’m warned that the lowermost has toxic mud that can get tracked up when trod by the unwary.


Sharing a house with longtime roommates. The suggestion of renovating the walls comes up while I’m off nearby playing on the floor, and I notice that behind each of the wall panels — and I deliberately check them one by one — is pressure treated wood. We couldn’t replace them if we wanted. I’ve been quiet for a while and wait for the opportunity to speak up, hoping I needn’t wait too long.


A man is hoping for a new income stream by advertising his well-trained dog as a performer. The dog is loyal and easily performs for the scheduled entertainment industry boffs who’ve come to scout for talent. I’m pleased to watch him do so well, but understand there’s only so many roles one dog can get; he will always still look like himself. I can already imagine the man (who reminds me of my cousin Ricky) pushing his dog into more absurd and dangerous stunts with the goal of getting more business. I can imagine it getting bad enough to border on animal abuse.


Ensign Tilly fakes her death at an airlock. She lands underneath in a metal rack.


Three wines: hard, mineral, spicy. No explanation left of this detail, a curiously distinct detail nonetheless.

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Dream Journal

Not That Crush

I’m sitting in the middle front seat of a car, my former crush about to drive. I use the seatbelt of the passenger seat to strap down a glass quart jar full of salty saline, quite content with the result (the jar is possibly related to some nice homemade drug that the group of us were working on and enjoying earlier). The girl gets weird about it and I gesture upwards to large round pods hanging from a nearby tree, which she picked today along with the rest us — for just this purpose. I ask her rhetorically what she thought we were going to do with them.

While we converse the car starts subtly, unnervingly rolling backwards. Suddenly it’s over the edge of a cliff,! We’re in full freefall watching the cliff recede! After several seconds of watching the overhead gap of pine boughs grow smaller and smaller, I realize there’s no bottom — we can just fall backwards forever. The view of the gap overhead will recede infinitely, and we can simply enjoy the sensation of falling. Essentially it’s just a ride, a fun ride.

Dining in a white hexagonal room separated from the main building with Mickey. Sleeping in an armchair in the common area of a house rental. There I remember a dream I supposedly had earlier, about my college girlfriend transforming, disguising herself as this wizard girl I know… Plarvolia.

It’s early light in the dawn hours now, and I hear Plarvolia puttering in her room’s closet. Through my narrowed eyes I watch her going about her morning-time business, inspecting scattered evidence from the night before. She draws near to me laying half-asleep in the chair; I close my eyes completely and still clearly perceive her moving about the rooms. Only when she leans over me in the chair (mockingly, I perceive) can I discard my pretense of sleep. At this point some heavily playful flirting happens, near kissing and the like, I’m still undressed partially from sleep. Now I can’t remember the room assignments.

It takes a long time before I remember that I was simply recalling a dream from earlier. On reflection, I don’t think this is Plarvolia — I think she’s still asleep.

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Dream Journal

Big Old American Car

Huge classic American car with rows of comfy seats. The driver’s chair is, conveniently, behind a late night TV talk show hosting desk. But front window is (inconveniently) a small rectangle through another room from that seat. There’s hardly a safe way to drive this behemoth — despite being rated as relatively easy for the time.

I’m driving the beast around, having to pass to the right of stopped car at an intersection. This is only made possible by piloting the massive car via remote cameras.

I noticed that there is a garage sale, a thrift shop on side of road. this makes me think the town is like Virginia City. Memorably, there was an outdoor thrift stop in Virginia City which got snowed on while I was there.

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Dream Journal

Criss-Cross Causeway, 777-11-21

I encounter my crush topless in my backyard. She has no nipples though, a smooth flat chest. From context it’s completely unclear if this is a normal state of affairs. It does tend toward disconcerting for us though. Over the course of our conversation they manage to grow, though not returning quite to normal — more like odd unpainful welts in their place. Meanwhile, a party three backyards over continues to rage on (a strange detail is this exact thing was happening as I went to sleep).


After travelling along a causeway, in a car with my male family members, we pull into a gas station. My turn to drive and I immediately pull around and run over the curb at the corner of the pump. Nearby there is a famous but struggling restaurant, Jalisco Taco. They’re known for the great human contact of the restaurant setting. Not so great during the pandemic, obviously.

Young Patrick leaves the little coupe, and inside we examine a map marking out where we’ve been today. There and back again across the causeway, also showing what sections I’ve driven. A feeling of being young and uncertain about what I was supposed to accomplish.

I receive a call from a relative on my dad’s side. The caller ID has changed from a very expected 18626 to the mysteriously intentional-looking 777-11-21. (I feel like I never used to dream of specific numbers, but this was very distinct. I have no impression of its importance, but it was certainly a number tied to an emotional reaction.)

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Dream Journal

Witch’s Hidden Jungle Bar in the Rock

Testing bulbs in a possibly broken glass double lamp. Appears that one side works, I try in the other side a more modern bulky electronic bulb, which has the problem of staying lit after unscrewed.

Pull what appears to be a minidisc MDLP deck from a garbage bin, in the center of a roundabout room. I ask my mom, who likely threw it away there, if I can keep it and if she kept minidiscs. She responds saying she doesn’t know why I want it, ejecting a thin bluish CD that’s apparently called MDLP. Next to it, I still see the little rectangular minidisc slot, and a number counter.

Walking along a deserted upper floor hallway of a long mall, a light rain in the pre-dawn hour (a highly sensory experience, near lucid). Days are much longer here and soon we can expect 20 hours of sunlight.

I reach the end of the corridor and a set of papered double doors, behind which is an Adobe-branded shop. There’s cutesy displays of different stores nearby and well-trained staff behind desks answering questions. I inquire about a friend’s craft store and eventually locate it myself, listed on a handmade sign in an upturned suitcase decorated with paper flowers. The attendant continues to try to help me so I must mime finding it again.

Sometime later I’m with my wife, driving a car via orange rope pulleys from the back seat. Might even have a tape deck playing. Eventually I’m convinced to take a more active “safe” position and climb into the front, and find that the rope wrapped steering wheel is much stiffer than expected. The car, like a stripped-down Volkswagen bug, is cruising atop a thin clearing of ridge in a scenic rocky jungle landscape below along all sides. In our path, we navigate through a large hole in a rock outcrop with a sophisticated obstacle: a giant rotating stone gear that lifts the car in its teeth. At its greatest height the car gets stuck; we have to scrabble down the granite rockface.

Our car essentially lost, we descend to the base of the outcrop. Another person now seems with us (perhaps the Olson twins little brother?). Improvising what we have, we project a homemade video onto the rock face, craning our heads upward to see through the foliage as best we can. It’s footage made from elements of the jungle around us, but altered/crafted by a human perspective — one striking image is of green parrots flapping through the canopy, parrots cleverly remade of lush green leaves. Though we’re still stranded, it’s nice to have created some cool art, something recognizably purposeful. We want to attract the right rescuers. I hope it’s bright enough in the tropical daylight, spread thin as it is across the huge formation of stone.

We’re not waiting long before I notice an unusual feature nearby our display. There’s a thin ledge high up the face with a partially-hidden door. We deduce this must be a famously remote establishment, retro-country themed, run by semi-legendary singer/witch Marni Knox (no relation to Marnie Noxon of Buffy, more like Stevie Knicks of Fleetwood Mac). This is an exciting opportunity and we enter the door post-haste.

Inside it’s dim and empty, feels like it could be at least 100 years old. Victorian woodwork has undergone numerous repairs and coats of paint. It feels cozy, rustic, special, yet uninhabited. I immediately want to explore. Despite protestations from my wife (and Reecy, who came in with us somehow) I climb through a small low food order window in the front foyer into the cramped but orderly kitchen. It’s an oddly-shaped room, everything carefully stowed away for what I assume is the off-season. I quickly find a stairway in the back, leading down to the cook’s bathroom, more levels for their living quarters, storage for holiday decorations (everything in its place)… I even look through a wall-sized set of white drawers in the bathroom, like something from a ship, and find supplies inside parceled out in neat little rows. From somewhere above I hear a companion yell something along the lines “that’s not how you thought Guinan would live?!” I leave everything as it was and continue down, the stairway built at odd angles to accommodate the narrow tower-like arrangement of rooms. Startled, in one corner I come across a pair of cardboard cutouts made to look like workmen or painters against a glass-brick wall, silhouetted with diffuse light and plants growing on the other side. I realize this is exactly the intended effect, except for curious intruders on the outside of the building.

Finally I come to the bottom of the stairs. They end in an unsupported diagonal span leading into an open courtyard behind Marni Knox’s inn, so far I can’t see the back. I spot my wife before she spots me, having found her own way down to the back garden. I lay low in the disused space behind the stairs, hoping to evade her so she’ll explore the tower herself (much more novel than having me share my findings, perhaps deciding not to even look).

I succeed, smiling wryly after I see her go upstairs. I only get a few steps into a plot of the garden, though, before a witch materializes close behind me. She regards me with a smirk, apparently having observed my sneaking about. She makes a brief pronouncement, phrased ironically as a question, to the effect of “now would you like to show me your true form perhaps?” My body vibrates and shakes off what looks like a layer of snow, revealing — or was it sloughing off perhaps? — the form of a long-haired dark housecat. While not as confusing in the dream, either way it’s obvious that the jig is up. I’ll be going along with whatever the witch wants. I realize on waking she must be none other than the proprietor, Marni Knox.

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Dream Journal

Heromum on the Seashore

A high wall, like a seawall, and behind it people I went to high school, walking. Reminds me of a gigantic pool I’ve been to in many dreams over the years.

Dropped into an alcove/alley with a plaque, a weird little oddly sided polygonal space. Behind a disused door I gain access to the 2nd-story of an RV house. My key fits in the ignition of the complicated control panel. A quick jump in narrative to the aftermath of driving/flying/crashing it into a burned-out tree (which is practically charcoal).

As I awake I have a fantasy of a place called Heromum: on the seashore, a hot spring on the edge of the ocean in the Greek province of Laystatia.