Dream Journal

Hotels in Strange Places (Initiative to Work)

The whole dream is somehow about work. Feels like dealing with being overworked the last week, and how I view my own attitude.

I send a rich acquaintance, C. Wood, a few pics while messing with my phone. The first is accidental, the second sent to make up for that with something humorously related. Later I realize she’s sent a response which reads only “?” — a clear warning sign. I realize that for her there’s no context. So both photos don’t make sense, and now they definitely seem intentional.

My family is staying at a sprawling roadside attraction complex somewhere flat and empty (I’d bet Nebraska). It’s the only thing around. Looking from above, as if from our hotel room, I see the layout of the waterpark. In retrospect it must be like a lot of dream-places near the waterside, or the highway. I go out on my own and perform a bunch of tasks of my own volition, none of which anyone has told me they wanted done. Maybe in the dream I’m only a teenager, yet I know I’ve been to this place before and I know how I want it to be.

In my house is a spikemoss plant which lives in a glass jar; it’s thrived and is nearly filling the container (to be clear, this is a real plant which is very much doing this right now). We call it a jarrarium. The plant is a Selaginella kraussiana which I got for my birthday, the first fern/moss I’ve been able to keep alive. I realize it’s so overgrown I really should split it into another glass container, a tall one which I’ve kept in reserve. In order to get it to stand up I have to arrange a styrofoam column down the center.

On a lightly forested hill is a different hotel. The area reminds me of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon. I’ve only seen a small bit and the pine smells lovely, but I’m already part of the crew working the back area of the kitchen. It’s a long narrow space which slopes steeply, ending in garage door and loading dock. I’m the only one with the initiative to walk all the way down and outside; I end up where I first arrived at the hotel. The slope on the way back up is much worse, almost impractical. I get the sense that most workers do this trip at infrequently as possible. But I again take the initiative and start fixing the concrete floor so it’s not so awful to climb up on. I look up and see the head chef watching me. I wait to see if he gives any sign of approval, or if I’ve taken too much initiative. Interesting to note that so far, no one has called me on it.

Dream Journal

Doing Nothing, Variations

In a shared closet passing in-between rooms I discover a few very cute baby rats. It’s in a house that resembles my childhood home, making this my parent’s master bedroom closet.

I go to search for my buzz razor. My sister Alia is using it to cut her hair in the hallway using a mirror. I know better than to interrupt something like that. Still the same house.

Leaving a hotel, while our arms are full of travel gear, my wife decides she wants to check out the inside of a specific hotel room. She jimmies open the lock and saunters around, proceeding to lie down on a bed. We’re spending a little too long and I start to get worried that she’ll fall asleep, and begin complaining to her. I’m starting to suspect that there’s more to her motives than mere idle curiosity.

Map-based naval video game where the strategy to advance is unclear. A long featureless coast with a small inland lagoon. Beach waves endlessly repeating. Patiently, I expend a disgraceful time not doing much in the game. Not particularly minding, either. I don’t notice the blocks of cash at southeast corner until after I exit the map, immediately realizing that was probably the way to win.

Dream Journal

Retiring Rich in a Communist State

Climbing a metal tree I’m older, almost retired. Might be moving to India soon. I climb twice as high as I have before; the metal tree has two identical levels. In my living will are plans to donate all my possessions to the state (a communist state), for official commemoration and redistribution — on reflection though, I need more conditions in case I still need to use it.

In a bit I’m dropping off thousands of dollars (or perhaps picking up) from a locked room. It’s one in a long public hallway, stuffy 1970s construction (but not without its charm) a residence of my friend Dara Vinne. I’m one of the very few rich in this society, and so I worry about the risk of stepping out the door. So many people could know I’m here by now.

Dream Journal

Underbed Time Travel Shoes

“Darkside”, a chunky playful goth girl with a repeated color theme of black and red. Posing for a very cool elaborate portrait above a planet, red stars in the background of space.

Shoes are lined up underneath the far edge of a bed in a specially-rented hotel room. The room is open on two sides (perhaps glass walls) overlooking a gorge. The shoes each represent a different person’s important incident in the past, an accident, a drive-by, a threesome, an adoption. Having just discovered them incidentally I’m surprised when my work partner tells me they’re what we came for: they can be used to time travel. Each pair can flip into a specific instance of the far future.

I’m a detective in a long, darkened townhouse belonging to a married Armenian couple named Kevita ( kev-it-uh) & Kevita. Next door, they also run a shop that sells the drink, Kevita. We’re searching the home as part of their arrest, though I don’t consider them criminals and I’m not particularly concerned.

My partner passes through the space between a bed and a wall no problem. But I instinctively feel its too narrow. Crawling underneath the bed I follow a cord, where I notice it glows. Sure enough it leads to something dangerous though I don’t remember anything of its nature.

Dream Journal

New Friends at Race Checkpoint, in Mexico

Running in a jogging race in Mexico. Doing well on position, I’m last before a drawbridge goes up, and have time to notice Rudy Giuliani in the front on the other side. I drop my drawers to moon my ass, to him especially. I catch up to my friend ahead (Mickey? Robby?) and I explain this, though I mention that maybe dropping pants more complicated than I thought. Smack his butt as we run along, though I normally wouldn’t perform such a bro-y gesture.

Further on, there’s a check-in space in the small courtyard of a fancy hotel that maybe looks like a Pueblo. Make quick friends with the checker.

Soon though, the dream is taken over by evil clowns — like something from the show Legion; time demons or the shadow king. I keep calm and just pay attention to the experience, allowing it to pass over me and simply be what’s happening. Eventually the moment passes; maybe they got bored of us.

I agree to stay on until the checker can leave. We talk about the coast of Mexico, the shoreland of Cancun which I view on the map as somehow on the west coast. Reminiscent of other dreams, the craggy coast of ancient Greece or rural northern California.

While waiting on my new friend, several of us start feeding guinea pigs chunks of baked potato. One is adorably an order of magnitude bigger than others, which is terribly endearing for all of them.

I end up staying on longer than expected. I ask how much longer My checker friend thinks we need to stay, as it seems all participants have passed. I don’t remember the answer, but it strikes me now how he reminds me the kid I knew in Middle School and haven’t really thought about since: Ted Takahashi. (Hm… a character from deep storage I suppose.)

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.

Dream Journal

Investigation through the Portal to Birdworld

A pregnant stuntwoman parachutes from great height over a dense urban landscape, steering with her flightsuit, but her parachute never opens and she lands in a massive shockwave. The body is is never found and the impact site never pinpointed, so I’m sent to investigate. It’s suspected she didn’t crash, but was working with a covert group to use the jump to punch open a portal. I work semi-undercover in an office near the impact zone, one that’s apparently been shockwaved back through time, as it’s helping produce the show M AS*H. In commemoration of this I leave a postcard for my future self, drawing out big abstract cursive “MASH” letters, having great difficulty signing my name.

The portal must have been real — I pass into an alternate dimension where birds were the creatures that evolved into people. I’m able to blend in as long as I wear full-coverage clothing, which conceals my non-feathered skin. I get a tip that I should seek information on the person of interest I’m looking in the lobby of The W hotel. A large, puffy, white, embroidered ‘W’ takes up a full wall behind the desk. Under a disused wooden lectern, I find a mysterious handwritten note.

Later, I’m seated in the last row of a plane, being given an English test. The instructor doesn’t seem to acknowledge that their instructions are vague and contradictory. After several minutes of backtracking, I begin collaborating with other test-takers in front of me to corroborate the test’s poor instructions. It’s so bad that I’m thinking the only way to deal with it is to convince the instructor to invalidate the entire thing.

Dream Journal

A Dream with a Lotta Stuff

[Stefon meme] This dream has everything: spearfishing Ewoks, the greater city of Baltimore, urban renewal, a passport control office, class trips to a death spire, a mental ward with random small animals, and Lil Nas X performing a cover of a version of a David Bowie song with his dick out.

Ewoks hunting with spears by the shore of a straight, marshy river, perhaps a canal. Secretive. Traditional. Trying to return to my Ewok brethren, but floating somewhere in the greater Baltimore region — called Mellopotron (pronounced in a Greek manner). City is having a blue-collar revolution, replacing ugly cheap infrastructure (for example chain-link fencing with signs zip-tied on) with permanent works of concrete, making it look less mean but somehow more irredeemably urban, decided.

I go through a passport control office during a school field trip, a group with a field trip vibe anyway, even knowing my passport is missing. Somehow, maybe I get rapport with the guards, I get through and begin the climb with the rest of the class up a bony, jagged “death spire” at nighttime. When it’s time to go down, I break out my wings (a wingsuit? appendages?) and glide over the heads of my companions — even knowing I’d probably pay a price for the experience.

And I do. I’m interned in a mental ward, one that I’ve been in once before. Comparatively this time is a breeze, since I knew in advance what I was choosing. Still, I hide the fact from my companions. Every now and again I’ll throw out the odd mention of, for instance, how weird it was when the nurse’s station used to have its counter open to the patient’s room when no nurse was there. A small scurrying animal, maybe a rat or a lizard, creeps from one room to another undetected — perhaps a transmogrified companion? We are assembled for a special guest. Much to our surprise, rapper Lil Nas X drops from the ceiling and performs an amazing cover of Major Tom (Coming Home), in a long flowing trench-coat… with his dick out.

Flying up to what was supposed to be our lodging, a dilapidated but beautiful hand-restored floating bus house in someone’s backyard. 30 feet above the ground — which I don’t even look at — it rocks back and forth, left abandoned for what I discern is some lamentable procedural reason. I note how even in its aged state, it could still drive around the side of the multi-story house, where cargo containers are stacked up nearly to the roof.

Dream Journal

Ocean at the Window & Messages Sent by Past Self

Beginning with the strongest image: ocean waves suddenly lapping up the windows of a beachside bedroom. My mom lies sick in the bed closest the window. She’s half blind, nursed by the family for years, and today she asks me to get her a bar of white chocolate. I drive a pair of motor-scooters — like standing astride two horses –and retrieve one, then the other, from the room where my mom (who is also “Queen Anne”) is resting up with her eyes open.

I leave my friends and family in the beachside cottage (now much closer to the ocean). Searching the beach where I earlier helped organize a game of guys vs. girls volleyball — right up against the water’s edge — I looking for a computer which was recently inherited from when I lived in between bus seats. It’s a rack of outdated tech, box-shaped, a thin shiny black panel with Motorola wiring. It could’ve been from techie-artist friend Rich Humphrey. Now in the evening’s dark, fleeing rising waves, we instead rescue a dog that looks like Aislinn’s Catahoula hounddog Rose (we = me and I-don’t-know-who).

Makeouts in the large family garage of my childhood home, on a long massage platform, relaxed cool friends makeouts, with a tall athletic strawberry blonde friend from my Chicken John days. Laying on my side, happily killing time, I use a fully-sopped paintbrush to slather purple-to-grey paint over a piece of scrap cardstock. I paint from top-left to bottom-right, like Georgia O’Keefe.

I’m tasked with leading a group of my family/friends back to a ground floor hotel room I once stayed in as a kid. I observe my brother Chris attempt to carefully sneak under a low-hanging tree branch, hoping he’ll see what I see: the (sabertooth?) tiger just above eye level. After giving him the chance, when it feels almost too late, I shout out a clear warning. The look on his face as he made eye contact with the tiger! We get to the hotel room, where the quality of time seems a bit slippy — I’m able to simultaneously receive and send a message to myself, by gesturing to the 4-year-old me within the room. I tapped at the top of a large conch/whelk shell with my fingers joined (an upside-down “ma che vuoi” 🤌), holding the eye contact and attention of myself in the past. It is, I believe, what should be called a strange loop.

Back in the garage with my makeout friend, we’re joined by a recently victorious celebrity, a Chris Farley-like man. Together we hug him in a warm, cuddly friend sandwich. The situation is fond and intimately familiar, even somewhat sexual although I can’t touch my female friend over him (he’s a big guy just like Farley).

Dream Journal

Picket Chicken, Professor Sleeve-Torn, Old Tiki Motor-Inn

Chicken John, holding a picket sign, demonstrates how perfectly covering a loudspeaker with it can effectively block all the sound produced.

Licking the back end of a very attractive girl — on behalf of a professor. In a moment, Soviet-type police start giving the professor trouble for not having permits. They tear off his jacket sleeve trying to escort him down a wide stairway. Because he well-understands jacket engineering (and the actual social hierarchy dynamic at play) he tears off one of theirs right back, starting with the coattails.

Old X-shaped motor-inn motel has been thoughtfully converted into big Asian restaurant with Tiki styling. While inspecting the layout, peeking over internal balconies on the second floor, I look through their vintage 1950s-70s tea brewing machines. Japanese-made, some have delicate tea room scenes built inside them. The last one turns out to be in current use, I’m startled to discover while peering closely, when a waiter comes over to use it.