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.