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Dream Journal

Mad at the Sunset at Mustard Truck Ranch

Throughout these dreams there’s an indescribable water park vibe. No theories why, just imagine there’s a waterpark involved. And: a certain man’s wife features in every scene.


Staying as a guest at a ranch. On an outdoor table with benches I notice that the pepper I planted has grown wildly, sucking all the goodness out of its soil. At its base it’s produced a big wrinkly pepper fruit. An unruly stem of 50 cloned plantlets hangs so long it droops over the table’s edge.

Holed up at the semi-remote ranch I defer going to school all day. Counting the hours, missing one class after another, bargaining with myself the whole time. Step outside and look between the gateposts — just in time to catch the sunset framed between them, just touching the horizon. I yell at the sun in frustration, “I wanted to have a day! Fuck you!” It’s like a picture I saw of a sunset in an old vinyl album — evocative in its plainness somehow.

From behind me, I hear the main front door to the ranch open. I don’t wish to interact with anyone at the moment; there’s a baseball hat dude and his wife that I’m not fond of either. They’ve not done anything actually rude yet but I don’t want to give them the chance to.

Along one of the side streets bordering the big compound a group and I encounter a charming little food truck. It’s an old woody station wagon, green and yellow, called The Mustard Truck. They serve warm pretzels and beer and English bar snacks. Surprised, I observe that it wouldn’t actually be that bad living here if there’s things like this to be found.

From the winding sidewalk of small park near a courthouse, I step into the street. I pass a woman I recognize, the wife of Sam Gamgee from Lord of the Rings. This would be Rosie Cotton as per the books — then again but I might instead be thinking of the actor who played Sam Gamgee. A little down the road I watch a car struggling to pass a lady dragging a cart as they’re all in a tunnel. She shouts “passenger!” as it overtakes her. A roundabout way of claiming her rights to use the road (just as a car) but avoiding shouting “car” because that’d only reinforce a second-class ideology. Car, apparently, being the traditional shout.

I’m sitting across the table with some female YouTuber, someone whose stuff I watch (can’t recall who though). We discover we both know this cart lady. I relate this story of her shouting in the tunnel and we share a good laugh. I list a bunch of other YouTubers who might know her (this is why I can’t pin down who I’m talking to: I mention everyone I might be talking to).

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Dream Journal

Pet Store Rattie Daycare Thievery

Cozy inside during a bright summer day. Watching pleasant projector slides (letters with cool patterns punched within) hanging out with a kid just to pass the time. It could be babysitting, but we’re chill enough it doesn’t feel that way. Elsewhere, other adults fret and work preparing for something while we have an idyll.

On the the kitchen counter (like my childhood home) I find the last crab claw left out. I clean it out and wonder if I should ask if it was left there for a reason.

At a pet store, I’ve dropped off
my rats Martin and his same-age buddies in a high wooden display cage. We successfully bet no one would try to buy them. I break them out despite being directly across from the young clerk, essentially treating the store like rattie day care. I walk right out — stealing my own rats back from where I didn’t even ask to stash them.

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Dream Journal

Singular Standing Dream, Dad’s Casserole

A marathon of a first dream that seems to last most of the night. Yet little of it is remembered… as so little seemed to happen. My crush and I stand next to a program guide — this is the main image. We simply stand there, still, static.

As the dream deteriorates into wakefulness, I ride a bike around a specific blind corner in my neighborhood (the crosswalk at Potrero and Cesar Chavez). In the instant I round the corner I imagine threading my trajectory between a former crush and new crush, one oncoming and one outgoing. I wake up and realize I’ve had the strange experience of sleeping nearly 8 hours dreaming basically a single scene.


I go back to sleep wishing to gather more dreams. Not the worst excuse, I suppose.

Visiting my childhood home after a long hiatus, where my dad still lives. I notice the house’s original CRT TVs are mostly gone. When I ask about this my dad says they tended to get cracked from falling forward onto the ground, since their design was off-balance. Eating some of my dad’s
hastily prepared food at the kitchen bar (maybe Cheez-It casserole?) I find a hair embedded through it. I make a conscious effort not to worry about it. My dad puts on an 8tracks playlist he made through tinny computer speakers. I help by casting it to the living room speakers too — they coincidentally sync together on the first try, no trouble. My wife mentions she’s hungry so I offer her the casserole. She tries it but finds the hair right away and can’t eat it. Because of the hair. Guess I can’t blame her.

It dawns on me that the amount of males and females living in our apartment building has always remained constant. Whether this is intentional or not I couldn’t guess. But I do note this was true until a pair of kids move next door not long ago. They are, curiously enough, a boy and a girl.

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Dream Journal

Legend of Gastromo

I’m on a date with my crush (who won’t be named here for now). We eat in a narrow restaurant on a corner, and it’s… ok. We leave, a bit weary, then turn left and find an open garage next door. There’s a bubbly alt-culture girl who tells us about the art collective operating there, the project they’re working on. We barely have energy to engage with what sounds like a cool local thing.

Besides being tired nothing goes particularly wrong, but I remember feeling like it turned out a disaster of a date.


Marissa Tomei is one of my teachers. She’s gets in some unusual positions, backflips and the like, in some half-walled area with a hexagonal backdrop. She (or someone nearby) reminds me of the unopened vape juice bottle I’ve stored here for awhile, that I meant to give as a present to my brother.

Turns out I didn’t read the label properly. I thought it was peanut butter flavored — weird but not outlandish. But the still-sealed playful yellow bottle, sitting near an upturned chair where I left it, is a bizarre flavor I’ve never even conceived: “Clear Onion Butter”. Not something I would necessarily give as a gift. I hesitate to open it though, knowing rules about buying new vape juice have changed and I’m no longer sure how easy it is to get anymore.

Curiosity gets the better of me (only live once and all that) and I crack it open. It’s utterly strange as a flavor, but the uniqueness grows on me: clean, a creamy smoothness like butter, with the oddly transposed delicious light smell of cooking onions thrown in. I give it some time then very much start enjoying it. Who knows about the onion breath; I forgot to even consider it.


Later I’m on a bus made of bricks, or perhaps driving past many brick buildings. I have to start yelling to the driver that two people need to get off, that he needs to flip the bus around so the exit will be on the right side. The bus stops but on the wrong side. I’m about to have to explain this when the two people (my dad and some other adult male, maybe an uncle) thank the driver and descend the exit at the back corner of the bus. Frustration turns to reflexive self-critique — I completely forgot you could use those steps and I don’t know why.

Two girls took my single bus seat a long while ago, and after waiting they finally get off the bus too. My backpack is still piled there, along with a cast iron skillet. I was in the middle of cooking when my seat was stolen — the meat and veggies needed to be flipped long ago. Annoyingly, a youngish guy comes up and seems to think he has a claim to the seat too. Ugh.


Just now, I went to title this entry and realized ”Legend of Gastromo” was one of the first things I wrote. The title was just there when I woke up; a whimsical little evocation. Useful. Sometimes choosing the title can be my least favorite part.

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Dream Journal

Queen Elizabeth’s Garage, Rally to Speech Grounds

A fridge outside on the street, needing to be moved inside. But I must ask permission from the garage owner: Queen Elizabeth II. One spot inside is next to a small fridge and sink, one spot across is behind a couch. This garage is having a hot dog feast with family — I have to search for the last dogs, bringing a plate to my family’s table (mom, dad, grandparents) who are eating only a few plain dogs. I don’t have a plate; the queen then suggests I not sit and instead go back for my plate, not understanding these are the last few dogs and I might not get any. Yet in the end I do manage to get two, their cheese all melted and congealed.

While many of us are waiting for a rally, with me squatting leaned against a pillar in the garage, my former lover Dara shows up. I spot just her black-heeled foot at first. But she’s made up to the nines and looks fly as hell, a femme fatale, long bare legs and a short black skirt. I’m overjoyed, throwing my hand on her foot and running it up the whole length. I make a joke for the sake of anyone who might be watching, how “I suppose I should’ve introduced myself first ma’am”. Dara’s a candidate in some sort of competition, which we’re all about to begin.

Me and my friends start on a group walk along a planned route. I’m in the lead at first, chatting side by side with a dude friend. A small girl I haven’t known for years, Quetzal, swaps into the lead. I yell encouragement behind her back saying “Quetzal will know where to go” but she doesn’t turn around to acknowledge it. I find myself wishing I’d double-checked her face as she passed to make sure it was really her.

The path takes us over a wooden walkway, one that a grumpy adjacent homeowner claims he owns. The extended line of us has to find different ways of going around. I swing underneath the wooden support beams of the cliffside house, sneaking around acrobatically like a ninja or rogue. I take a shortcut through the lower level of the house, what looks like a messy neglected in-law unit. I succeed making it to the double door exit, but my curiosity gets the better of me and I turn back to investigate the darkened octagonal space. As my eyes adjust I suddenly recognize there’s a dark man sitting upright and perfectly still nearly in front of me — I nope the hell outta there right quick.

Finally arrive at a gathering ground with an upward slope of steps where politicians sometimes give speeches. It appears Joe Biden is claiming he is the victor of the competition/walk. I learned from talking to people that in fact Dara has fulfilled her promise and arrived here first, giving a speech earlier before I arrived, making her the actual winner.

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Dream Journal

Like I’m a Wealthy Australian Emigré

While dining in a Mexican restaurant, I order this grab bag thing off the menu which is basically waitress’ choice. I sit and wait a long time. Eventually I leave my table and spot a bag of candy left absent-mindedly on a stove. Finding the waitress, I ask if she forgot it — to which she answers, no, she already brought it. I show her the thing on the stove, and show her there’s nothing in my shoulder bag. She seems unperturbed and the situation never resolves.

There’s one day while I’m visiting Australia, a day without Lynae, and out of boredom or wistfulness or just ability, I pay to take a helicopter ride twice. You can see this in the photos from that day. It’s a little disappointing to not even be on drugs, not have anything “heightened”. In fact I didn’t even pack a nitrous cracker, haven’t had anything while I’m here. The moment where I’m trying to wake up, I open one eye and I’m honestly surprised to be in San Francisco.

Back in the hypnagogic state and I’m in such a cavalier mood I ask a girl I semi-know to see her tits. She does a teasing dance, pulling her shirt in at the middle, then turns around and pours me a glass of booze from a bottle held in her clenched butt cheeks. Novel experience, that.

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Dream Journal

Dara, a Pastel Rat

I spot my old crush Dara walking across the crosswalk outside my house. She’s dressed in faded pastels, a pastel hoodie pulled over her head. I recognize her despite the personally unlikely color palette and the odd gait she has, a side-to-side waddle like her hips are too big.

She turns into a rat, scrabbling around the kitchen for Teddy Grahams to eat. Squeezing inside an empty milk jug, I start feeding her Teddy Grahams.

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Dream Journal

Cheap but Familiar Dreams

Kid is happy to eat replicated (irradiated) mammoth meat. There’s a feather in a shotgun, the kid mistakes it to mean it’s for him to control and change things. It’s just a gift! Next stage in this game is little stars or circles in a form that get bubbled in.

In an unfinished wood building, I live with four other adults in a 20 x 20 room split four ways lengthwise. Aislinn is there. We mostly pretend we have our own spaces, but one day I blurt out how absurd and frustrating it is that the landlord has split it like this. Outside in the hall there’s a poster framed in plastic mounted to the floor. I’m usually complaining about it because I think it’s dumb since it routinely gets slippery when it rains.

A hotel / food counter up a winding hill. Strangely Victorian and Modern. Go there with friends (Ais, Reecy) but I remember it from long in my past. I order a big plate of various fried food served in styrofoam to-go container. Before I leave I return a distinctive flat clock I took from a stairway when I was very small — back then I didn’t understand it probably broke off from something. But I immediately recognize things when I came up the grand entry stairway which, Victorian/Modern again, had an odd ’70s green shag carpet paired with Golden Age woodwork. This is an odd reason, but I think this dream happened because I smelled a bizarrely familiar apple body cleanser at a Korean beauty store — like something I played with when I was very small.

(Messy remembrance, I got woken up a few times.)

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Dream Journal

Forlorn Feast

Attending a well-attended feast where I just don’t feel hungry. Spend most of my time in a little dead-end hallway off to the side, passing the time by myself. Eventually Autumn notices me and brings me a small plate, just a bit of food… lime green jello and white beans. It’s a nice gesture but makes me both wish I had an appetite and wish the food was more appetising.

In another dream, Lynae hits me (or I hit her) and it’s a terrible situation I wish neither of us were in.

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Dream Journal

Pizzeria and Checking on Family

A 5-story apartment building, reminiscent of an old European city, where my Nana lives on the 4th floor. Before I climb the arched stairway I see an ad for a chic pizzeria on the top floor, which serves pizza topped with round slices of several colorful specialty sausages – pink, purple, brown — quite surprisingly appetizing. I’m sent to check in to see if my Nana is sleeping (she died in 2001 but this dream persona seemed about age 7, when I lived in a 2-story). I knock on her door a little too loud, hear no response, and enter. She isn’t there, in fact her bed isn’t even there. I look around the room, in the opposite direction, and instead find my mom. We have a brief conversation. The walls are comfortingly ancient. I can smell the pizza, and I’m hoping we can eat there soon.