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Dream Journal

Felix Colgrave different name?

I’m offering to send friends KT and Julian postcards from other countries. But I ask them first if they’re okay with what I see is the fun part: the postcards are never from the country where I send them. So if I’m in Greece, expect a postcard from Thailand or somesuch. Well, I think it’s fun

There’s a sequence with a long zoom shot — or at least I thought it was, but The way it moves seems like that camera must be a drone. There are some great shots where waves crash over the viewing frame, demonstrating waterproofness I assume.

Does the cartoon artist Felix Colgrave have a different name?

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Dream Journal

Evil Ph. & Sh.

A pair of new friends, who I’ll call “evil Ph. & Sh.”, lead me through a series of enclosed spaces. There’s some end goal, and we’re engaged and friendly as we progress through colonnades and sandboxes and garages.

Near the end of our journey I peer down a narrow gap into a long dim wooden hallway with stacks of repair materials, or perhaps boat equipment. An old man focuses on his work a far way down.

Everyone has some variety of superpowers. My friends leave me, suddenly, in a low-walled oval. It’s designed to steal some of my powers. It’s a trap, but I’m not even surprised. I’ve been carefully faking camaraderie for awhile since I sensed something amiss. Having expected something, I break free relatively easily. But I’ve been betrayed, which is why I call them “evil Ph. & Sh.”

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Dream Journal

Collaborative Art Experience, Door 42

Invited to the opening of a large collaborative art project, something like Meow Wolf. The tall Victorian facade of a house is embedded in the wall of an enclosed chamber (reminds me of Petra, Jordan). We’re let in all at once. Wanting to dissipate from the crowd I quickly find a door marked 42 which leads to what feels like a back area for staff. Inside there’s a room with stalls and toilets, some working some not. They obviously didn’t think anyone would want to explore here. Nevertheless one of the rules of the event is that you take what you want — it’s supposedly essential to collectively solving the “mystery” of the experience of the place.

Later, down a narrow greenway from the toilets room, I recreate on a pleasant lawn with friends Miah & Jessica (who don’t live nearby anymore, irl). In the background we listen to Trevor Noah’s Daily Show. I fixate on building a tower in a tree, a spiral of overlapping flat metal square plates arranged around the central post. I’m almost done bending the plates into place over the rim when I wake up.

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Dream Journal

Lap-Straddle in a Castle

Being dropped off on the prim green lawn in front of a stately stone boarding school, one topped with turrets and full crenellations. Certainly looks like it was originally built as a castle.

I explore the curiously spaced interior with a group of friends. Seems the castle will once again change hands as it’s for sale (why we are able to check it out). The semi-underground basement has a messy unfinished feel, splotchy white-on-white paint. Attached in the middle of the ceiling is a narrow, multi-sided cabinet which I open and amusedly inspect. There are so many different types of soap in there — and only soap — we have a good laugh speculating on reasons why you’d need such an extensive hoard.

While I’m in a kitchen-y corner of the basement near some sunny windows, I receive a phone call updating me of some new people arriving soon. Soon I find myself lazing on a long rumpled couch in a slightly sunken living space. I lounge together with my crush and a friend of hers, hanging out and chatting for a long pleasant spell. She informs me they used to date but are still good friends and that certainly seems true. At some point without preamble my crush rolls over to straddle my lap facing me. This is clearly playful but also experimental; I mirror her playfulness by grabbing her hips. The joy at each of our reactions shows the experiment was a success. It’s a happy moment and a relief, us both taking initiative like that.

Conversation flows amiably along until I realize the topic has veered into something to do with mourning. My crush shares a story of something she lost. As my absence goes on a bit longer than it should (after I’ve finally figured this out), I become pressured by an incongruous and ill-advised urge to say something “important”. This lands with a predictable flop — from which my companions must afterward fumblingly recover the conversation.


I awake and recall the lap-straddle incident frequently during the day, with understandable fondness. I write not a word of the last paragraph until everything else in this dream journal entry is done. This should give some idea of my mixed feelings for it.

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Dream Journal

Coma Girl, Classroom Laptop, Brand New Train

I explore a tiered arena in an alternate world, where my crush has been in a coma since April 2019. This is a common occurrence and there’s a name for such class of person — basically never coming back, but not technically dead. Alive simply with the momentum of life, in an uncontactable reality. I wish I could remember the term used for it…


I sit in a high school classroom (Mrs. Fitz’s) engaging in a friendly discussion while on a laptop, another classmate next to me on theirs. The teacher mentions that my older hipster friend Marc Roper helped work on a music video, which we check out. I note that I feel more comfortable behind the laptop — I have something to do while in class.


On a brand new red train. The gimmick is that you can store stuff top-to-bottom in your personal traincar compartment “infinitely deep”. Train is renewably powered and spits out water from a hose that runs its entire length. A young man squats leaning out a door at the very rear waving the hose end back and forth to ensure the water diffuses, looking glum and underappreciated. We exchange a glance, hoping this job can be made obsolete once the train is fully tested.

Riding on the train with me are my elementary school friends Robby & Christy T. We make idle conversation while watching the landscape pass by. The train rounds a corner, following tracks parallel to the ocean, traveling on a street bordering a beach. Under the shade of a tree I recognize a particularly nice parking spot somewhere I’d parked my pickup truck many times — logically it should’ve hardly ever been free, but I always got lucky somehow. Robbie makes a sarcastic comment about how hard it is to get a baby, and I counter with a Big Lebowski joke, saying “You want a baby? I could get you a [random] baby today.”

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Dream Journal

Secret Party Villa, Finding Freedom in the River

In an unfamiliar city, I’m part of a group trying to make it to a secret party. You see, at the moment it’s not the right time for parties — maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s just illegal, so we’re operating on old-school I-know-a-guy wink-wink-nudge rules — ring the right doorbell, know the right password, that sort of thing.

The city is like New Orleans but located where Seattle should be. In full costume, I end up in a villa newly purchased by a cool girl I know IRL (we’ll call her Plarvolia). All the lights are off to keep things on the down-low. For a bit we’re the only two people inside the building (she’s working on her laptop), and alone I explore a graceful courtyard, and admire a plaster wall hand-painted with sunflowers — real sunflowers growing just outside the window in the drizzly charm of what looks like the French Quarter.

I try to bid farewell to her several times, each time not quite getting it right. I screw up enough that it’s starting to weird her out, but I… can’t… quite… get there.


I wake up about 2 am, knowing I’ve gotten enough sleep and could in fact start my day. I decide against it and continue the rest of the night, but successfully encode the previous dream in memory.


The noble coast of Greece, transposed to be the same as the California coast but facing an ocean to the east. Broken into fiefdoms of varied size and population, equivalent to counties of California, with history and legends stretching into deep antiquity. Beyond a large promontory on the map, I view the lined topography as far as Zephyrr county — its steep forested cliffs set along a low-lying sea shelf, so wide it’s almost a lake made of ocean.

In the persona of a college-age young adult, I explore the lively historic rectangular valley which is an inverted Parthenon. I discern it’s evolution by visiting every corner, seeing the specific purpose it’s grown into. This activity itself is academic, and there are often structures of learning too. It is an elegant, civilized, manicured, but undersized space.

I eventually leave via my teacher (Mr. Suggett from 4th grade) challenging some of us to escape through a maze of militarized/fortified utility pipes. I am the first to make it outside, observing structures for flood control; another sluice beyond this exit doubles the water-shedding capacity. I see a broad swath of green valley and mountain range in the far distance below the slope on which I stand, larger than Yosemite — a greater vista than any I’ve seen in a long time. It’s obvious how the Parthenon Valley has been hidden, as now that I have left I can understand how it sits flush with the slope of rock leading down. On the rock perches an unassuming Orthodox church, American flags hung outside of it. Perhaps it is a monastery; perhaps it’s abandoned.


I sit in class in the middle of a row of four desks between my childhood friends Vince Saunders and Khalil Amin. I have let my long hair fully down and it feels a little greasy; I keep my hand grasped in it most of the time and feel more at ease knowing there are students behind. Yet I sit in class idly dejected, ignoring the lesson. I search through my binder for an old assignment, one I decided not to do at the time. As I pore over the photocopied chapters it’s obvious it would have been useless to complete anyway; I would have learned nothing.

Outside the school, in the wide desert in my childhood home of the Coachella Valley, I view the central river (where there is usually a freeway). Adjacent to the river my school district has set up a tall, boxy, sandstone-colored water treatment facility along a long stretch of mucky marshland. I make my way, with a group of friends, to explore with the hope that we can escape the pointlessness of school for a time. Luckily it turns out the treatment/harvest facility can be run with a bare bones staff — and they’re not even there right now.

Having now gained access to the length of the river, we wade along the bottom moving down the current. Soon it gets very wide, and we can walk. The day is hot, bright; the river red, rocky. We walk mostly in contemplative silence, Vince, Kahlil, Lauren, perhaps others. I wear a watch which, if I double-click it, starts recording audio — I usually don’t remember until it’s a little too late though. The river narrows around a curve, the dry desert hillside sheltering someone’s garage under a little overhang in which I hunt bats with my Homepie friend Lauren. Just a little further down river from that we venture up into a little canyon, discovering public bathrooms marked with red/green lights for occupancy. Lauren, a bit like Patsy on Absolutely Fabulous, panics that I won’t be able to get out, though I do by backing out. As usual I’ve forgotten to start recording.

Our group has become larger as we gather in a large hanger set into a precipitous cliffside along the river. Inside is an abandoned Ferris Wheel which we begin to incrementally repair. The thing has the feel of long-neglected military hardware; it shouldn’t surprise us (though it does) when it explodes. Several important characters are destroyed, but then perfunctorily a saved game is reloaded. The progress of the story then depends on deciding which of the collected characters should be sacrificed — the Jules Verne, the Swede, or perhaps Patroclus — anyone with a mechanical aptitude rating can activate the machine while the rest of us, conveniently, stand back this time. But it is known that it will explode no matter what.

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Dream Journal

Brachiosaur Pal and Palace

A girl and her Brachiosaur friend explore a rough, wild beach together (reminiscent of Tuba and Hazel from Infinity Train.) She climbs down a steep, near-vertical sand wall. When he tries to follow, the wall collapses with a grainy crush, followed by child-like laughter.


In line waiting for the elevator in a big palace of entertainment, somewhere you might find in Reno, Nevada. At the top of its tower, I get the chance to sleep in a Brachiosaur skull. But when I’m in the hallway outside, on my way to the lone bed, I look out the window and realize it’s probably far too large to be a real skull — or am I small?

Waiting in line again, standing ankle-deep in tiny candy, like Nerds or Indian candied fennel seeds (mukhwas). Towards the end of the line, some bigger candy has seeped under the wall and into the walking path. The rules say we can take any of the smaller candy for free, but I sneak a few larger lozenge-shaped nuggets in my bag before the door checker of the room we’ve been waiting in line for.

I’m told to draw a ticket, which is a chance to win a prize. In the basket on the desk, I clearly glimpse a gold-rimmed one in the shuffle. Skeptical that it could be this easy, I reach in and grab it, to which the staff feign delight. I’m a little put off, to be honest, and the prize isn’t actually something I want. Now I’m quite happy I stole the bigger candies.

My wife uses my prize to take a free ride on one of the uncommon amusements, a motion-simulator mini-plane set in window frame in a wall that plays a black-and-white video game. I realize watching her play that this whole place is World War 2 themed, which I’d oddly missed until just now.

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Dream Journal

Destination: Cozy Nostalgic Coffee Shop

A “destination” coffee shop with various odds and ends, tasteful lighting and wood panels, a relaxed atmosphere, comforting smells. It’s run by Eileen (but with nobody else I know). I say hi to her, tell her I finally saw her in that documentary “Caffeinated”, but it was silly how they only used one clip — she’s already turned away though, either doesn’t hear me or pretends not to. Haven’t seen her in a long time, so it might be fair.

I’m here because I spent most of my day postponing putting on my motorcycle riding gear to get to my Russian school, not admitting to myself that I just don’t want to go. Eileen’s shop has rows of merchandise, uncrowded during the pandemic. I find a few items that make me nostalgic for earlier times in San Francisco. One, a cardboard tube with a signature affirming it’s been packed by my old friend Kelly Gallamore. (Perhaps the store is instead run by Noona Nolan?)

Someone I talk with there shares a personal difficulty. In what is a typical response for me, I share a tangential factoid I happen to know… some incident that happened to Queen Elizabeth II (then, viewing a flashback with Prince Philip as a colorful robot, playful geometric designs on all his clothes, colored plates covering his face). Later, I discover my old moto jacket and pants stuffed in a garbage can and fish them out.

The shop has a long row of machines (perhaps for copying or the like). Mine gets a very long piece of paper stuck in it, just as an employee unknowingly points me out to someone as a veteran user/customer who might help them. Down further the row become a trough of water, with a long flat rail down the middle. Several objects I need are floating in it.

Home now. Looking down from our apartment’s back room. To do that, we peer around a large rusty statue of a chicken that our landlord’s had mounted on the corner of the building forever. I think “huh, so odd but I’ve never had that thing remind me of Chicken John.” There are a few massive beasts getting aggressive with each other in the backyard. One looks like a bodybuilding panda with eyeliner, the other a stairway-bumping basilisk. They’ve wandered in, though could choose to fight anywhere. Up closer, I try to consider what to, but there’s not much else except watch.


Spiderwebs encrusting the middle of trees, trees all in a row, as I travel past at high speed. The only way to see them is to line their row and look through several at once. I crack that code, but can’t guess if anyone else has seen this strange metaphor. A metaphor for what though, I can’t say.


I remember: looking up at a dusk-time sky, thinking as if I’m outside my own life, that I was born here and now because I picked this lifetime so I could see humanity’s transition. In this case, the transition to digital.

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Dream Journal

Dine-n-Ditch Work Reunion

A reunion of co-workers/friends in Australia. Several people from different groups in my past: my salesman job in Melbourne (my boss Benjamin Haynes, the French girl Bubbles), the Pacific Tradewinds hostel (Laura Lynellen Meller-Weller, Rachel from Felixstowe), and Camp Tipsy (Anya the sculpture teacher, others). Held at an upstairs Chinese restaurant. This place is within my persistent personal dream version of Australia, the one I sometimes see with wide open maps of places I’ve traveled before, like the great red desert, or long port-covered coastlines, that I never went to in person.

I suddenly notice that my co-workers have all disappeared one-by-one, and I’m the last one there in. It’s a dine and ditch scenario and I feel obliged to probably pay for all of them if I can’t negotiate something else.

The last person I see come in Kendra Gilpatrick-Tropez (she’s married since we last knew each other). We share a moment of sympathy as I relate what just happened, and for reasons I can’t explain I feel greatly relieved that she’s the one who came in later.

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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.