Dream Journal

Dinosaur Footprints and Thrift Store Gift

Viewed from above, I can see that my childhood friend Robbie T.’s house on Desert Inn road is only a few hundred feet, by air, from a dinosaur excavation exhibit/museum. The several blocks in between are separated by a main thoroughfare but it’s still surprising that we never realized when we were kids.

My wife and I take the subway there (a short trip) and while exiting the station on a short connecting dirt path, with scrubby but pretty green nature on the side, I momentarily think we’ve angered a guy walking behind us. He’s muttering something loudly and it takes an anxious second to realize he’s talking to his directions via headset.

The museum is outdoors, the ground muddy under a sky of brisk blue. There’s preserved dinosaur footprints and maybe puddles. I prod downward with a stick as to measure depth. A detectable but unidentifiable smell is then on the stick, a nearby elder volunteers the information that they smell like The Devil (like the tarot card, not anything recognizably satanic or evil).

A sizable chunk of my back molar comes out and I sigh, looking at it in my hand. It’s been going on awhile without being addressed, falling away in pieces so it’s down to nub. No one around me seems to care or notice.

We set our pet rats to free roam loose in our home, halfway hoping they can find some wild ones. (Yesterday I saw a whole group of rats in the New York subway.)

In a thrift store I run, I prevent an old friend from buying my warm comfy German army jacket for $4. I actually chase her off, hoping she isn’t too upset despite appearances. The friend is either Meg from college (who played Columbia in Rocky Horror) or Amy Pollard from middle school (whose birthday was on Christmas). Soon I reveal a surprise gift for her — the jacket, which had a hole in the lining around the armpit, I completely repaired. Now I can give a perfectly functional jacket to her for free! Which might even make up for how I treated her in the store before. (The large atrium room reminds me of the Temple of Dendur in The Met, which I didn’t visit until today. And hadn’t even planned on seeing today.)

Dream Journal

Last Zipline with Mom

I have a saved memory with my late Mom that I didn’t know I had, that I’ve never seen. It’s comparable to a voicemail one has never reviewed. It’s a zipline experience (something I’ve never done), over an old gold mining area with hand-hewn wooden posts, and pines; looks something like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s long, with the cable suspended across several pillars, big circular pulleys, looping back in places. There are tasks to complete sometimes. It plays through and at the end my mom disappears — the file auto-deletes and that was the only time I’ll get to see it.

I have a moderately intense good cathartic cry then wake up. It’s still early. Usually I have a dilemma at this point, since this seemed like a unique and important dream, yet writing it down will probably wake me up for the day. But when asking myself if I would forget it completely should I fall back to sleep, the answer was… no, no I won’t. And so I didn’t.

I’m one of a privileged few able to attend a new archeological attraction in Afghanistan. The ground is dusty and broken out of shape. There’s a special feeling crisping the air, a feeling like this could be the same as it was thousands of years ago when the artifacts were buried.

While in Arizona for unrelated reasons, I rediscover a railroad museum I visited as a kid. I use the opportunity to pull around the narrow side road and into their back parking lot, which has quite a view. It’s on a gentle clear slope overlooking a valley. The lot itself is a rounded square which I have repeated difficulty pulling into with my big class field trip van. The museum is having an outdoor thrift sale day. Alone among the liminal grassy area of the museum’s backside I peruse stacks of colorful boxes on shelves. Occasionally I find one worthy of carrying around like a talisman, maybe to buy. There’s one odd steam engine which I locate in two pieces separately, clicking into place the oversized cabin. I’m rewarded for this with much interest from museum staff and other shoppers. Yet I find myself most comfortable around the shallow pond, with the distant view. I’m there when it begins to snow.

Dream Journal

Suit of Armor of Precious Nacre

Heavily secretive exclusive museum of pandemics, owned by the Catholic Church (or somebody associated with it). I’m one of a pair of journalists granted brief precious access. It’s a little storefront-like space inside a larger building, perhaps a European-style pedestrian mall. The walls are covered with tiny writing (data) paired with genuine artifacts — floor to ceiling. In the forefront of our minds is trying to remember as much as possible in our short time inside. To me, the most beautiful object is articulated shell nacre armor, a full cowl top.

After: in the last century rich people built trendy castle houses — regarded for their ostentatious aesthetics, but lacking any credentials as a fortification. The one I spot, displayed off to the left side on a table like a school diorama, was called “the height of progress in castle tower building.” I notice angular zigzagging stairways between the indefensible stone towers. Curiously, the stairs leading up to them have occasional big vertical rises. Up to the top of the hill, secluded from public scrutiny, I visit the village of lower-class workers who mind the castle grounds. Descended from the first minders, they strike me as amiable and humble people, who I could imagine happily spending a great deal of time with.

On a 1940s-ish city street I pop into a heavily-frequented doorway atrium. I’ve been waiting to see when it’ll open, checking often. It’s been graffitied and painted over so many dozens of times… a place with an everyman vibe. But a place where I never realized (until it’s pointed out to me) I shouldn’t store my electronics, two of which have been incautiously stored under flimsy cardboard for some time. Despite this, they’re still there and I understand the likelihood of people finding it, thinking of stealing it, but giving me the grace of my ignorance — almost as an act of charity. I just never put together how rough and tumble this fondly-regarded neighborhood actually is.

In a small upstairs apartment where I’m staying, while my friend group is gone, I discover a small furry animal (perhaps a baby rat). I present it to them when they return, including, for some humorous reason, a small rock for comparison. I put the tiny rat into a hamster cage next to the big rat cages, which are stacked precariously five terrariums tall. At the small vibration of shutting the small “hamster cage” door, those glass terraria fall down and I immediately recognized their center of balance is far higher than their middle. I resolved to fix it next time, cursing.