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Dream Journal

My Childhood Home is Ours Again, but Changed

My family has bought back my childhood home. I’m puzzled to discover that several small things that I left behind are still in place. For the entire time they lived here, the former owners took care of my plant wall (which is actually the back window of my current home). Everything has been kept in place, and the plants are still healthy. It’s been 16 years!

Other things are sadly missing. Much of the backyard has been cleared down because of the sale. There’s no sign of the cactus garden, the row of agaves by the side-yard, anything near the sheltered window of my teenage bedroom. All over, there’s a lingering tinge of The Other, those unseen people who lived here for years. The property feels hollowed-out, barren, despite all the uncannily familiar landscaping and fences and everything else.

I run along the top edge of the back brick wall as fast as I can. The wall isn’t as narrow as it felt when I was a kid — there’s an odd mixture of delight and melancholy, as I consider how I never thought I’d be able to do this again. How I can do it as many times as I want now.

Near the furthest corner of the wall I survey the horizon of the desert valley. In the distance there’s an area I can clearly make out a strange red cloud. I indicate it to one of my companions, wondering if it’s a concern — I’m told it’s just a high amount of large particulates, suspended dust from desert winds.

As I’m going through inspecting rooms I come to the garage. I’m sure it only used to hold three cars, but the darkened empty space appears to have at least four spaces. Little bits of random ephemera can be found across seemingly every surface; I wonder what else changed. Near the water heater I find a funnel attached to a tube. It’s attached to a small device making a high-pitched noise — I guess it must be for controlling roaches. (I’ve never lived in a place that had roaches, that I know of.)

Outside, the air is clear and oppressive. Although I grew up around here, I sense that I’ll need a period of adjustment where I can get used to these environs again. Everything has changed and grown different than what it was, but I still remember how it used to be. Myself, too — my adult senses perceive the world differently than I once did. I know I have to get to work soon. At high noon, I feel like an alien on a strange planet.

An isolated snippet, perhaps from a separate dream: soft plush shelving at the base of a stairway in a little room at the bottom of the stairwell. In it are kept pet rodents, or perhaps more likely material for their keeping. All stacked within. Very reminiscent of a weird meme I saw recently, of plush shelving.

Departing much later, I locate a three-piece visor — curved plastic semi-circles joined together at the temples. It takes some adjusting but I figure out how to wear it below my chin and above the crown of my head, with a light-up box close over my eyes. This obscures them like some cyborg ninja from a video game, one I can’t place correctly.

A mysterious final sentence, left over from notes and not reviewed in time to make sense of it: “Discovering receipt inside book which proves it was the same guy.”

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Dream Journal

Vacated House, Last School Day, Old Floppy Disks

Big empty house that I can move into with a group. The house is recently vacant — so recent there’s still laundry on a bathroom island, a teacup with Earl Gray mixed with gin & tonic made on a big pullout bed. The bed has a big frame headboard like my Nana’s bedroom.

It’s the final class on the last day of school. My history teacher Mr. Conklin is in the classroom of my English teacher Mrs. Snowden at my middle school. The room is rotated so it’s facing what would be the back wall. Students are excited and animated, gradually catching on that we have to stop participating in whatever activity there is before we get to go home. A kid at the end of the front row throws around a pistol carelessly, causing it to land on the ground.


Hanging around former crush in a space that’s hers. Been long enough since she was a jerk to me that I realize she should I’ve already trusted me by now. I consider asking to take one of the floppy disks she has sitting in a pile, the ones she was saving for an art project. Despite that, it occurs to me that if it’s a floppy disk it most likely contains ancient financial documents from her parents or something equally benal yet private.

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Dream Journal

Christmas Night Dining, Christmas Morning Sunrise

Former crush is asleep in our spare room next to our bedroom. She’s partially hidden by a wall and there’s a feed on the opposite far wall showing a corrected perspective of what would be my point of view of her back, showing her as deep in slumber. I find this comforting despite that we’re in the middle of a move; I wasn’t sure if letting her stay here was a good idea, afraid she might be nervous. I’m reassured that it’s a good sign at least if she’s deep asleep.

I’m in a large enclosed industrial space, maybe a warehouse sized catering facility. There’s a small semi-independent kitchen/bar space in a corner. Has a bit of character to it, hasn’t been used for a bit but seems everyone who uses it leaves their own little token. Someone observes that maybe it can serve as a metaphor for the US Constitution. As I’m packing up this open-sided room inside a room, I’m talking with another former crush, Dara. We’re coworkers and I relate my recent experiences with the complicated new problems of my more recent former crush. She’s fairly sympathetic, and it’s a nice bonding moment.

My high school creative writing teacher Miss Fitz is drunk in the hallway of her apartment building. I help retrieve her and carry her back to her apartment. Later, My wife and I are having dinner with her father-in-law over Christmas night –something like 3:00 a.m. in a fancy restaurant. The slightly frazzled inattentive staff give us a table that hasn’t been cleaned yet. Bowls left out for previous diners cigars, special smoking implements. My father-in-law comments “good for clipping beagle” (a kind of cigar I take it). Finally dawn has arrived. Having waited for it outside near lake, it seems I just missed the sunrise on Christmas morning. It’s still beautiful and crisp and quiet so I don’t regret it too much as I navigate a path between parked cars filled with reverent vacationers, headed toward the shores of a cold fresh mountain lake.

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Dream Journal

Too Much Waiting, Not Enough Double Dream Cartoons

While the video game WarCraft 2 used flat 2-D sprites, the years-older “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans” (WarCraft 1) used a grab-bag of early 3-D tricks. I’m finally playing it and oddly, though the game is very basic, it’s more intriguing to discern the clever workarounds they came up with long ago. Pleasingly retro, as well. (Standing in front of my fridge yesterday I randomly appreciated the deep lore they were able to produce in those games, simply by creating the series for so long.)

When my Uncle John is frustrated about having to move, I’m able to share an anecdote about how, when the show wrapped, the sets for “Seinfeld” were almost immediately converted for use on the show “Friends” (I learned this yesterday; it was actually Full House)

Waiting on my motorcycle at a left turn signal. I leave, crossing to the sidewalk when I realize how long I’ve waited. Suddenly I realize it’s essentially just abandoned in a traffic lane now. Going back, I see I even left the key in the ignition. The back compartment must be repacked now (of course it does). I rejigger the back case’s mounting plate and straps, all while standing in front of a line of unusually patient cars also still waiting to turn left.

I’ve been fiddling with nose ring intermittently for most of the dream. It finally splits near the tip, coming off in my fingers just as I realize how long I’ve been fiddling. Still, it seems like it should be able to fit again, but the gauge at the break is inconveniently flat instead of round. It won’t fit in the piercing hole, and repairing something that stays in my skin seems like a non-starter.

In a jaunty Nickelodeon-style kids cartoon, one friend has fallen asleep in the shower. As his friend, and sensing an opportunity for mischief, I hide in the shower drain. Since my friend doesn’t wake up I start saying odd things in an affected strange voice, which reverberates through the drain pipe. Zooming into his dream I appear there as a semi-distorted subway announcer — ignored, as most subway train announcements usually are. I notice other characters from our cartoon have been animated in his dream as more realistic adult humans — stylized and shapely enough to evoke sexual lust, innocently but not incidentally. Rule 34 on hot double-dreamt cartoons.

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Dream Journal

A Nice Neighborhood Stroll, Pretty Femboy Look , & Our Newer Place

Walking back from Mission Street, the main street in my neighborhood, I spot the panel of a lone phone booth that might still work. I idly start wondering about how many of those used to be around — how I’ve witnessed the changeover during the relatively time I’ve lived in San Francisco — how not long ago, wherever I was on the street, I’d have a mental map and know exactly where the nearest payphone would be. I also idly wonder how much it would cost to get one installed as a novelty, say in in a rich person’s backyard.

On the way back to my apartment I take a rest, laying down in the mouth of a slide, gazing at the sky while my waist is through the middle of part of a clothes hamper. I ponder the bemusing question of what time of year it’s best to arrive in Antarctica: the 6 months leading out of winter, or the 6 months leading into it? I have a playful argument with someone unseen about the sacrifices I’ve made going to Antarctica when I did (worth noting: I haven’t actually been to Antarctica).

I get up from my rest, floating above the trashed out grass-overgrown parking space, noticing as a car pulls in that I forgot part of the plastic hamper which I wear around my head. I float down to nab it quickly as the rumbling car takes the space. I’m dressed today in an aesthetically-pleasing purple velour lapel shirt, worn underneath a pair of white overalls shorts. I look glamorous. I recognize that with my pretty long hair this is what someone would probably call a “femboy” look. Meanwhile I’m already late for an exercise class I occasionally take at 2:00 pm to the north near Potrero Mall. I’m not worried about being late, even though at this point I either arrive in the middle of class or miss the whole thing. I remember that the hamper hat (that I just picked up from the ground) has in its brim an empty glass bottle; I decide to store it on the balcony of my apartment. Floating up to the landing, it’s been recently replaced with a metal grating and is still packed with disorganized chairs (a short bamboo one, three rocking chairs of two different types), etc. Realizing I can organize it slightly differently, I pull a chair or two into the sideyard just beyond. The sideyard is narrow, with a fence of prickly pear cactus, exercise equipment which came with the place, and a view of the Latino neighbor’s wide lawn just beyond (despite being on the third floor). This is the second place owned by our landlord where my wife and I have lived, having made the decision to move out of the Fartpartment a few years ago — while making a deal that we still get to visit the old place now and then. But the reality is that this new place is much harder to get nice, there hasn’t been an organic long-time progression of acquiring stuff and finding a place for it. This place has a backyard, it’s a better layout, but it’s been months or even years and it still feels like we’re moving in. It’d be nice to visit the old place again soon.

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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.

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Dream Journal

Moving After 10 Years

Moving out of the apartment we’ve lived in for 10+ years, there are new people moving in soon. Various recollections:

  • Shelves and shelves.
  • Packing things away with boxes, yet often while being inside them.
  • Hundreds of semi-forgotten nostalgias.
  • Turning a Brita mini-fridge back into a working water filter fridge, from a litter box.
  • A tiny desiccated plant box, a former fridge magnet.
  • The wood on the top shelf of cabinets has sagged down from all the bottles kept on it, almost to the point of the bottles falling off. One notable unidentified bottle in a high kitchen windowsill, from a hike my wife and I took once on the day that would be our anniversary — except in the narrative, this hike actually occurred on our wedding day.
  • My friend Val was there, to express her sympathies.

A narrow tall Victorian house (like the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California) up on a hill. I’ve negotiated with our landlord or perhaps the temp-stay management to let me store stuff in the attic there. Yet I haven’t even been up there by the time our scheduled check-out date arrives.

During the dream I constantly have the feeling that all the solutions I’ve sorted out over the years are being dismantled, one by one.

A Russian-style hot tub hut with distinctive green tiles is another place we’ve rented, and another place we’re also giving up. Frustratingly, I realize we’ve only visited 2-3 times. On the side, the green ceramic vertical tiles (like long pyramids) have fallen off a small section, revealing what I never noticed — small handmade classical Russian banya tiles, even more beautiful.

Displayed on a rotating platform nearby is a model train made to resemble an expensive handmade miniature yacht, built of metal, wood and cut glass.


“Maep” is a strange word said by a midget which is used to remind me: time is up. Time is up, and I awake.

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Dream Journal

Lauren Buys SF Real Estate

I help my hometown friend Lauren buy a building in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It’s an old six-floor walk-up building housing older Burners, with a soon painted-over mural in the backyard called “Burning Times”: a fire symbol and a series of clocks. I’m glad to have Lauren in San Francisco, and I hope to maybe one day live cheaply in this big building with her, but I’m not sure she understands how precious and sought-after a place like it is. I peek into her first floor room there’s barely anything in there except vintage curtains and sex toys on the bed.


Our class is learning from a science teacher (in the vein of Mr. Suggett or Mr. Lonborg) when class is interrupted by a long phone call about Nick Howell’s mom getting arrested in Connecticut. Nick Howell was a real kid I knew in middle school. The teacher gives a long compassionate speech afterwards, going into the merits of whether or not we should share these things. I find it hard to follow along, despite him being my favorite teacher.

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Glot

Moving-its a Process

I’m in San Francisco right now. I’ve been moving to San Fran since last Sunday the 17th. I’ve walked the entire length and breadth of the city, or at least it feels that way. I’ve applied to more jobs than I care to count. I haven’t been laughed at for it. Yet. And although I don’t technically have a job right now, I really am hoping I do. So I’ve started looking around for a place. I started with the internet, and writing out things like this:

About me:
I like things that I find. This has been most apparent in the past, when I lived at CSU Monterey Bay on the old Fort Ord. My rooms were decorated with army lamps, lost art, and all manner of discarded artifacts. They’re never scrapheaps; they’re galleries, with nice lighting and curtains. I like bringing guests into my spaces and so I take care of them.

For those wanting the jist: I’m clean, I have taste (and a decent hobby), and I’m cool enough I don’t make it a big deal.

To be fair I’ll offer some negs, too: I spend too much time on the computer (in the past, anyways). I sometimes get neurotic when things are out of place. I thought I was messy until I had roommates in college, and then I was the clean one with the cool room. I dislike television. I love meat pastries, so vegetarians/vegans have hereby been warned. And I won’t remember anything you tell me upon just waking up.
-from my Roomster.net profile

I’ve written many emails, received none. Am I being too eager? Too honest? Too smarmy? Quite possibly. But Imma keep looking, if for no other reason than because my hostel is a fourth-floor walkup. So I’m going to an open house right now. See you in an hour.