Dream Journal

A Nice Victorian Space to Fix Things and Learn

I’m being shown around a pale yellow Victorian house, with a complicated and extensive layout that is home for many. I’m considering moving in or helping folks who live there. I peer out a window in the upper floor and am confused for a moment by the jarring blank modern walls, but realize it’s the building next door. Shame… would be a beautiful view of the curved glowing sky above (is this Victorian housing complex in space?). While inspecting a niche and one of the rooms, examining how a tiny hand wash sink has been built into the alcove, I realized there’s a small gap in the baseboard that I can reach through. Probably no person has realized the space exists in many decades.

A map of the island of Hispaniola shows an exaggerated elevation relief, showing the stark vertical east-west border line. The obvious inconvenience really shows how Haiti and the Dominican Republic have been harmed by such an artificial imposed border, even one from hundreds of years ago.

In a wide-open top floor attic lounge space I take it upon myself to repair three stylish pianos. They’re arranged elegantly back-to-back in a triangle, the base ends tilted to be slightly larger. Guests of the lounge are starting to come in for the evening. I’m pleased to find that each piano has a different sound, one has a delightful 1960s electric organ tone.

Dream Journal

Map-Parachuting, Lawyer-Attacking, Megaphone-Speakering

An interesting exercise in Physical Education class. In tall grass, a huge area is flattened in the shape of the lower 48 states of America. This shape is repeated identically in a line. The class then performs parachuting practice and we land all over the maps (mostly at random, as we don’t have excellent control). The multiple maps “cancel out” and then, as it’s PE of course, we all jog back into the first field and stand at our newly-determined spots.

I landed north of San Diego. I expect I’ll be so close to the border with Mexico that I’ll be standing right next to it. However, the map is of great scale and I’m impressed when I end up outside throwing distance. While my back is turned and I’m listening to instructions from the stage to the north (i.e. Canada) a smooth-haired guy that looks like a lawyer sneaks up on me from somewhere south unseen.

I have to take cover among the big crown in the front row of the America-auditorium, a the section categorized “Express” for reasons I don’t understand. Panicked, I seize an empty theater chair in the middle of the row. It feels like he won’t mess with me with this many people and I calm down. But soon I’m requested to move to the outside of the row, on the more empty left side. I psych myself into being ok with it. My flank feels exposed and it’s still too much; I move around among the audience to assuage my worries.

On the far edge of the big USA room is a park-like setting. People chilling, listening to music. A Scottish guy with a thick accent yells something pretty clever, and I realize I’m the only one that understands his voice and slang. I happen to have a Bluetooth speaker that I can use as a megaphone so I translate. As it turns out though, my translation is treated as equally informal and idiosyncratic. Only the Scottish guy and me get the meaning, but at least I get his humor. Might’ve made a friend.

By now the coast is clear and I’ve stopped worrying about aggro lawyer guy. The event ends and I stay for clean-up. I’m asked by a younger black girl if I can help find her speaker — once again I use mine to address a wider crowd. I but manage, surprisingly, to find an identical speaker also broadcasting my signal. She says that one’s not hers, though. Hers has four funnels, kind of like rectangular air horns, arranged in a spiral. I manage to find something fitting that description but no, she says that one is for use amplifying timbales (the Latin percussion instrument).

The space is emptying out, and I’m in the wooden rafters still searching. I come across a brown extension cord strung deliberately through the beams, with an odd note attached. It’s a copy of something the judge (and DoJ head) Merrick Garland said about a bill, recently written, that restricts many people’s freedoms. While it’s not his bill he’s plainly complacent enough to just explain it without also saying how it can be fought.

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

’36, Night Crashers 2

“Night Crasher” was a famous storm (perhaps even hurricane) which — you might be surprised to learn — was actually promoted by Hollywood and its movie stars in 1936. There are posters and other artifacts which I find fascinating and puzzling. Why promote a storm, and how did they know it was coming? Was it a real storm? I’m fairly certain it was a real film, as was alive to remember its decades-late sequel “Night Crasher 2”, released in the early ’90s.

A quaint, yellowed old-timey map shows a staggered row of island groups between the latitude above Australia and south of the equator. Never before have I seen these islands so presented (either grouped, or as a timeline) showing the odd order they were discovered, claimed, and settled. The map is even illustrated with cute icons to be helpful and memorable. Once again, this map was actually promoted by Hollywood media types at the time (so perhaps also from the 1930s).

I’m a small spry man of indeterminate age riding as a passenger in a car’s backseat. My companions and I travel at night in drizzly rain through an unfamiliar neighborhood. I’m not too familiar with my companions either, but they’ve also never been here. There’s an unacknowledged tension — as if we are all on a mission none of us signed up for. I weigh the balance of providing directions versus disturbing the group dynamic.

Soon it must be tested anyway; we arrive at our first destination. I tromp up a steep hillside of industrial scree to the curved wall of a concrete bunker. I’m the only one to have dealt with these people before, at some village-scale trade negotiations. With the vantage from climbing I now can see into their unobscured control room — no ceiling, disorderly but oft-used, a place of daily work for the overworked. We are summarily buzzed in and I must hop quickly after my taller male companion, as the timed doors close promptly after me.

An insouciant gray-haired lady greets us by suggesting we wait and go play table tennis. My companion is young and likes tasks requiring only brawn. He needs handholding, so I try to assure him that he simply doesn’t understand their ways here: they mean no disrespect, neither is it some kind of test. We really do only have to kill time. And pleasantly there is an actual pool table (or close enough).

After a while I leave through a different door within this compound, wanting to go outside to break up the time. Unexpectedly I encounter what must be the concert of the season going on… many people I know in wider social circles are seated across loads of metal balconies in this half stadium, all reveling. I’m glad I’m there: a few friends start hanging off the balcony rails; by chance I know the structure’s particular weaknesses. Once again I weigh the prudence of sharing advice. I’m glad I do share it this time, though.

Returning to the main room of the place, this industrial business compound, I meet up with my occasional friend Chloe. A great song starts playing and we spontaneously dance around the pool table. Turned away, with our butts pressed together, she offers a friendly warning: “don’t think this means any more than what it really does”. While playfully bumping/humping her from behind I respond in kind by quoting Rick Astley, “you know the game, and so do I.” This response lands well and I’m glad we’re on the level.

In my wallet I save keepsake political art made to look like dollar bills. These are even valid currency in some odd cases. I am only reminded when I go to pay for something (maybe the jukebox?) and I notice a $39 bill. It’s collectible, a feminist pro-union message as I recall, supporting daycare access for working women. Another one is an otherwise normal boring $10 bill. It’s design is so incredibly plain and modern that the overall effect strangely exotic. A sleeper hit, I guess we’d call it.

Dream Journal

Aiae Spotted, Interesting Map

Rocky front walk from my childhood home. A mixed gender band, maybe from the 80s, enthusiastic but outdated. I might have a lip plate stretching on my right side.

I spot Aiae on a map, a modern spelling of the island of Circe. A floating jiggling landscape, I flip the on/off switch to lock it in place. Once the map is done baking/rendering/uplifting it looks like an impressive mashup of video game assets, an intricate road network connecting meso-American pyramids mixed with Middle Eastern. A few disparate cultures jumbled together from files already at hand. A giant Alladin asset pops through the floor of a Greek parthenon temple.

Dream Journal

Kokomo River, Red Circle Island

“Kokomo Slow” is both a lifestyle as well as a decent descriptor of the Kokomo River somewhere down in Florida. After kayaking part of it, we try to follow our granny guide’s boat upriver. But it’s too swift (comically so, almost a waterfall) which is exactly what I predicated as soon as I saw it. The old lady’s nice, just a bit of a hippie who hasn’t faced how much nature has changed in her lifetime.

A YouTuber I’m watching has camped out in a spot marked by a red circle, a concrete slab at the end of a row of buildings near New Orleans. I can find the place on Google Maps’ Street View (still with the conspicuous red circle) and show several friends — especially my brother Chris who’s wearing VR goggles. On the map I can tell that he’s on an island, though it used to be something you could walk to. So much of the swampland on the map has moved around quickly; big swathes of it to the south are underwater.

I consider if I should play Chris a song by the rapper Mike Ladd as it might show him a bit of his future.

Dream Journal

Private Property: Several Absurd Scenarios

In the hinterlands far out in Nevada, rich citizens build a pair of eccentric mansions right next to each other. These private residences resemble city apartment blocks in their scale, shape, and modernist aesthetic. Yet a lone high-end car is usually all that can be seen on the miles-long public access road that links out to them (essentially just a private drive), crossing a sandy ridge which obscures them from eyeline. The buildings belong to a pair of relatives who still don’t often see each other, a father & son or perhaps an uncle and nephew, yet though the twin properties are huge the structures are built in a small corner practically touching, with the absurd addition of a tall wall between them blocking a direct view.

Zooming in on a map of islands in the Pacific, and it appears that one has been completely bought and taken over, now labelled “”. I realize the islands are a bit further north than I though, and the the round bad in the middle of the grayscale topological map is the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Participating in a reenactment of the Titanic sinking, I remember the 1997 movie and position myself near the middle. When the ship keels into the air, I hope to survive the split by minimizing the distance I drop. I do, but things have gone a bit differently and it’s the forward half that stays afloat. Long enough, as it happens, that its momentum carries it within swimming distance of the shore of a small private island (owned by the musician Sting, in fact). The ship effectively pulls aside it. I spot a few Mexican dudes hanging out playing cards, listening to ranchero music. It’s oddly domestic enough that even on our sinking vessel we passengers hesitate to jump in the water and interrupt their day.

Dream Journal

Massive Handmade Map in Quiet-time Classroom

It’s third grade, and I’m starting a painting assignment in the last period of class — a massive mural-sized map. At first I paint on large paper at my desk, then moving to the walls of the classroom. Making the land using smooth strokes of light red against red. Switching to a dark purplish blue for the seas, and aged vintage yellow for other empires of the world beyond my knowledge. The border of the colors is arbitrary, artistic. I experiment, blending darker parts into the sea to make it look deeper. The recommendation was to use blots of red, but it blends terribly.

The teacher leaves through a side door to grab something. Since the door is in my row I have to move aside. As she comes back, I hand her a pair of sunglasses I found lying on the ground there, telling her she dropped them. She claims not to recognize them.

During quiet time at the end I survey my finished work, with the goal of convincing her to let me seal it. I only need to ask her the finish: matte, satin, or glossy. Her car is parked inside the classroom, and I circle around it, noting its make as a Capri, a “Capri Sun.” I look up the car on a website; it’s related to a ’94 Tirder, which is Scandinavian-style word for fending off collisions. She won’t let me ask about either, as it’s still quiet time.

A girl complains in the front row — which now appears opposite of where it was — and tries to impart how worldly she is; needing to tan, that she’s only slept with 10 people. Teacher proclaims “if you’re 9 and have already slept with 10 people, how do you feel about a visit to the school psychiatrist?” This elicits a sigh and shuts down the complaining. The girl acts as if she was talking about her dog sleeping with 10 other dogs.

I’m floating/wandering through a simulation of my neighborhood. It’s 4th of July, nighttime, and I have a special appreciation for its uniqueness — the colors of lights flashing everywhere as I pass through corridors, watching them reflect off windows of closed-up music shops and grocery stores. There’s one large simulated power station which draws energy from the physics engine (in the same way a real-world power generator would). I recognize it as a facility I’ve made a delivery to before. I witness as one of the explosions spawns inside the locked-up doors and begins an explosive chain reaction. I’m the only one right there, and I happen to know how to get inside, and mount rescue efforts even though it means I might be destroyed in the simulation.

Dream Journal

Prison in the Deep Hills

Tegan, teenage girl I meet who wants relationship but we have to split up for a bit. In saying goodbye I pronounce her name as Reagan, then Regan, then Teagan. As I’m lying on floor, she does ridiculous poses with her torso distorted, making her junk look ridiculous too, and I ask and take a photo up near her crotch. Somehow this proves (and is meant to prove) she does really like me. A worthwhile souvenir, and an image strong enough to survive the whole night’s dreams.

Falsely imprisoned in a remote location, somewhere in the occupied Tibetan mountains. Sewing a pattern of beads into what passes for camouflage. Discovering a former prisoner has left instructions to a map crafted into a hillside, showing a multi-day escape route. Guards suggesting everything was washed out in a flood. Gathering together small colored objects of various shapes for some prisoner display, I instead arrange them in a replica of a map to the map.

A road passes outside the prison. Against the roadside slope, I secretly bury a colonized tray of mushroom starter under a garden bed. It looks like the same beaded camouflage. Passing by on the curvy mountain road are automated robotic garbage cans, cows with their directions pre-programmed. I cling to the underside of one briefly before it skids off-road, not having been programmed for added weight.

Close by in the mountains is the Akrokorinth, much closer than expected. Perhaps 27 meters. It’s a walled funeral arena.

Dream Journal

Walk Down the Long Trail

Somewhere in western Illinois. I’m following a rural path that goes straight across the USA. A lantern near a railway track indicates a safe-house for travelers nearby, another lantern hanging from a darkened building to my left. The symbolism of the lantern has been consistent for 100 years or more, but ICE is trying to stop it because it’s used by undocumented people. Further on the trail, it passes through a town and becomes an alley. I’m unpleasantly surprised to find it’s been blocked by a DOD (Department of Defense) gate.

Looking at an overhead map, some of the DOD compound is used by rich folks for wedding photo-ops. A large part of Iowa is flooded and partially blued-out. I think it’s a mapping glitch until I realize, no, most of the state is in fact flooded.

The day after final exam in my High School English teacher Mrs. Roos’ classroom. I’m the only one who finished early and I’ve been hoping to leave for a long while. I’m given a BMX helmet, but examining the tinted visor I suspect it’s not as good as my motorcycle helmet. I leave the room by myself and proceed elsewhere (perhaps to walk the trail).

I’ve been working a long time on getting a brazier properly set up with incense. Despite my efforts it’s still not finished, but I have to use it. My wife points out one of the many flaws in its setup and I get angry at her. At this point my wife actually wakes me up in bed, and tells me everything was ok (thanks, baby!).

Aquarium store with styrofoam tops, like the one I’m building for triops. One fish goes between tanks, sitting on top of them like a wordless Alice-in-Wonderland caterpillar.