Dream Journal

Strange Forms of Water in Coves

Observing shapes of water in a bay from cliffside above. A lighthouse or dock sits amidst what seems like turbulent waves, which coalesce into nearly vertical walls of water rising from the estuary floor. They form sophisticated mirrored patterns. An informational picture-in-picture appears in the corner and I scroll around a wider view, examining the next cove over — where the shapes are less grandiose but more distinct. The sharp outlines of the PIP really help discern the unusual forms, which are mesmerizing.

Riding in the backseat with my dad driving down a road in Palm Desert. A tiny bit on edge as I’d normally be driving myself, but I’m handling it ok. We round a slight curve and he has to brake hard and quickly merge out of the left lane as there’s a wicker bench in the road. Briefly I mention how lucky it is he was only going 22 mph, the same speed I choose to go on that particular stretch. I volunteer to get out and move the bench aside if he stops at next place to pull over. But that’s a country club, and instead of just stopping by the side of the road in the little turnout my dad drives around their big complicated parking lot for a bit till I tell him to just pause. I jog along under some lush overhanging foliage along the outside of the road, mindful of cars that could be coming. I realize I’m not fast like I used to be, and the turnout was pretty far from the bench. I finally round the bend and see it’s actually a parked car without even blinkers on. The task now changed, I dash across the road to see if I can find the driver. I do, on the second floor of a weird little ski slope store. Despite much patience on my part they seem disinterested in even listening. I realize, oh, this person just feels entitled — I can’t rationalize the problem to them because they don’t care about other people.

Running airline tubing in a long narrow kink club space where I work/volunteer. I remember the first time I went there, the entry corridor (made up of personal side rooms for storage/changing) seemed to take forever to walk down; now I barely notice. While fixing something in-between the gate and the front door I get locked out. I was half-expecting this so I’m not stressed, I just climb carefully over the old corrugated roof, taking my time. Spot landlord of the building down ina courtyard and pause, not wanting to meet him. Thereafter, examining the tank, I decide we can’t have a keyboard in the aquarium despite that it looks pretty cool.

Special event room with bunch of kids partying. It’s like a home movie night, with pull-out beds in a bleacher stand configuration, popcorn and snacks provided too. But it’s a small space finished in bamboo, smaller than 10′ x 10′, and I consider the COVID air problem. There’s a nitrous dispenser stocked on the bed, but I’m not going to point it out to the kids — one of them seems to know, and calls it a whippet.

Not long after, I’m cleaning up a couch in what is kinda the top floor flop pad of a hostel. It mirrors the previous space, but I can’t say if it’s the same. I manage to dislodge an old plate that’s been wedged into the cushions for a good long while, discovering in the process it was put there by someone I like. Although I’ve done a great job cleaning the couch, if I report this find I know my bearded and newsboy-capped friend might get in trouble.

Dream Journal

Colored Boulders of the Arctic

In the middle of an obscenely bright sunny day within the Arctic, I cross a bridge over a recently dug small boat channel. I watch a little outboard-powered dinghy pass toward the sea and I’m reminded of a radio story I just heard, about a worker for this company (oil or gas) that put endangered seabird eggs in harm’s way. Cynically I judge that nothing will change, the worker was fined but the company will never be punished. The stones making up the beach here look like huge boulders of sea glass, gobsmacking in the unusual daylight. Just heartbreakingly beautiful, large and small, stretching far into the distance, and I reflect on them being trade restricted by the government — it would seem this actually gets them sold only to the rich, creating an artificial shortage to boost prestige. Yet I also consider how each one ever bought was picked up by a human being, a person that came to this harsh climate and carried it out. The stones are indeed beautiful.

Hiding from Starfleet. I flee into the rafters behind ceiling tiles in order to technically serve a proscribed punishment (like “time served”) and avoid further investigation — investigation which would be recorded officially. I consider my tiny vial of an artificial drug, the one I keep in one of my personal round miniature bottles, and whether it was worth the price of faking insanity. I keep it hidden between pages of a book. It was a prize from some past devil’s bargain of mine, connected with why I now must hide.

A MTV-style “prank” entertainer (who reminds me of Jim Brewer) is getting strapped into the seat of a very long swing to perform a stunt. To great fanfare he’s suddenly released, plunging at a wide, dirty, graffiti-covered wall. His swing is perfectly measured and calculated — such as with a weight measurement taken immediately before — that his face barely stops impact. It’s close enough he could lick it. Honestly, an impressive stunt.

A feeling of flying on my motorcycle while I’m riding on a raised viaduct. I adjust an eyepiece I’m wearing slightly. It takes me a moment for my eyes to realign, and I have a scary moment of absolutely not knowing where the freeway is. I recover, shaken, understanding that my familiarity with the road helped save me.

I’m here visiting an out of town city (Seattle, or maybe Coachella Valley) and eager to see some fond old sights. Though… because of that I’m also conflicted about whether I want to see friends who live in town. I also get to listen to an old favorite radio station as I ride, which broadcasts in a couple of different cities. Granted, I am listening to it via internet radio and could do this any time, it’s still nostalgic. It reminds me I can go to a music store not far away a bit past where the viaduct curves then slopes down. It’s nice to recognize the layout of streets below which I remember from long ago.

Dream Journal

No Such Thing As Free Brunch (Again)

In a class, viewing the Bay Area from above, but east to west. Much drier than before now that I can identify the isolated patches of tree life — much different than it’s Gold Rush era settlement. Along the California coast there’s a strip of Greek ruins, from another dream I’ve had (also with a theme of education).

During a long break in class, I’m playing music. Someone enamored of the strange patterns asks me what it is, and I answer that it’s a track I found called (approximately) “1912 Palm Desert Housewifes”. It’s like an updated waltz, related somehow to Rimsky-Korsakov or Stravinsky.

A topless older girl, perhaps early 40s, announces that class is about to resume and she’ll begin. I watch her as she walks over to a metal cabinet, like the one for my wife’s clothes in our bedroom, and I learn that it was free brunch this whole break. I lament how I wish they’d announce these things as I can never keep track.

Meanwhile, a fellow classmate sits on the lounging bed next to me facing away. Her skirt, more of a tiny belly-dancing wrap, has ridden up. She starts making out (or something even more intense), and I get to sit right behind her — even smell her. This seems prurient, as I’m really enjoying the proximity, but no one else seems to be aware that it’s something that could be sexual (or vicariously enjoyed).

Miami from above, underwater. Turquoise blue water. People swimming in warm ocean just off main road, near submerged palm tree and beach house.

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

Midnight Menagerie, Starfish Swansong

Donald Trump’s existence suggests an axiom: the higher the getting, the bigger the dark side.

Being hosted at some guy’s elaborately-decorated stylish apartment, white walls and expensive décor, a congenial upper-middle class bougie gay dude. He gives up his bedroom per my request. In the middle of the night I’m awoken and think I’m being visited by a group of raccoons, but it turns out to just be a few of his cats.

Later, I think it’s happening again so I stay asleep. Yet slowly I realize that in the bedroom with me are a whole menagerie of apes, macaques, zebra, even a giraffe maybe. This is his personal zoo, something he acts like I should be impressed with, while he himself acts nonchalant. It is (I admit) bizarre and impressive. Doubly so with the apartment’s trendy Instagrammable Pinterest-y surroundings.

(This is midpoint of my night’s dreams, which I remember when I wake up earlier in the night — for real — with some insight into my own progressed technique into the writing of dreams. Yet I still don’t wake up to take notes on it, worried I might not get back to sleep…)

In the classroom of a middle school, which feels near the coastal location of my University. I’m my current age, hanging out in bookshelves behind the rows of desks observing class, but I pop in occasionally, keeping tabs on the teacher and mingling with students.

A class lesson: “what’s wrong with this cream cheese recipe?” I personally think they added lemon juice, or didn’t use real cheese. Moving past, the teacher calls on me, somewhat jokingly. Nose in a textbook, I respond mispronouncing ‘book’ like ‘boooook’. She responds in the same joking tone that we’ll name our next lesson’s monster “Orin”.

I abruptly notice that a green starfish kid in the front row has suddenly developed injuries consistent with exposure to a contagion we studied in class. Teacher has also noticed but is playing it off so as not to alarm the students; I don’t do so well hiding it. We help get the student out. Afterwards I take time reflecting on it in the bookshelves.

I return just a bit later, but class appears to be over for that year. Instead, the room is occupied by a choral group of young kids, 4-6 years old, in flowing robes with hoods, singing what could be a Buddhist funeral dirge. Their parents wait behind them to take them home, some breaking down crying. It’s obvious the starfish kid didn’t make it.

Jolted, reminded of life’s brevity, I set aside time to enjoy hanging out with one particular girl I like who reminds me of a fun redhead I knew in high school — Sam Promenchenkel. She’s quite taller than me; my head reaches just under her armpit. With a group we stroll along a stepped boardwalk away from the school. On the way I’m goaded into doing a scooter trick up some stairs, and manage to leap all the way to the second-to-last step, where I do a little bounce and make it all the way up.

My cousin Betty is with our group, skipping away ahead of us toward her wife. She seems so happy and excited, I’m very happy for her, though I watch her get further and further away.

We get to the ocean and do tricks leaping into the surf on scooters. Someone brings up how left-brain-focused people will typically veer to the left and miss their mark on the waves. We practice crossing our eyes, water streams squirting from our pupils, trying to get the streams to meet where we want.

Music in my head upon waking:

Heartsrevolution – Heart vs The Machine
Architecture in Helsinki – Heart It Races
Dream Journal

My Own Island, Faraway in the Ocean

An artificial island in the South Pacific called Rularilalani island a.k.a John Connel island (the name is breaking up, as is the island). I bought it with Bitcoin and last visited in 2014. It feels like a celebration when I finally recover enough to go back. It’s tiny, perhaps the size of a street corner, covered in lush decorative bushes on two sides and browning salvia plants on one side that doesn’t get the correct sun. Almost like a tiny 18th-century square in New Orleans, dropped here far from civilization. Underwater I see the island is shaped like an upturned sand castle bucket, dropping away into the deep. As tiny as it is, by using solar energy and an (hopefully reliable) internet connection, this place can be a real home now. I swim in the sea around it, and I repeat a warning louder and louder as a coral snake swims toward me — us? Not sure if someone else was there. This dream persona doesn’t feel quite like me.

Gazing at a hamster in a birdcage. Though now I consider, it looked more like one of my pet rats.

An Airbnb underground, multiple levels built into dug-out ground over a long time. On the wall is a joke diagram showing it going all the way down to the water table, and Earth’s outer mantle. One house is on the corner, the place the owner first lived here, a small home with a real door and shelves and plumbing etc. Another place, more recent, is a more industrial-looking vertical shaft situated on a thin strip of lawn between the street and a faceless building. This is the auxiliary AirBnB, somewhere only guests would stay.

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

Impromptu Absurdist Protest

Circle of people chanting absurd slogans as some kind of abortion protest. It started with me sharing an 8-bit black-and-white VHS tape. Creative masks, a lady wearing a rippling face mask, like a tank of water. This is the audience for a talk show (perhaps Sh0eOnHead or The Daily Show). They march around in a figure 8. All happening in a New York subway, gross and dirty, but somehow the perfect setting.

I unlock a panel with nothing behind it with a key of mine, an excuse to eavesdrop on a nearby couple. Can’t tell if they’re arguing or playing. I focus my eyes on a pair of dry leaves dancing nearby.

Later my aunt is talking with me about this march, wondering if it wasn’t somehow disrespectful as an abortion protest by its very levity. Not certain myself, I note that it was spontaneous, and compare it to other tension-relieving characters like… hmm, perhaps Santa Claus? I think I meant krampus. Christmas is no less solemn for their existence.

A model of the ocean is drained; the question of whether France technicality still has slavery is asked. Pouring in something the consistency of bacon fat on the ocean floor near Fiji or Tahiti, to illustrate the extent of this weirdly unperceived modern slavery. The model refills. Finally the last colony drops out and is s no longer France. Thereafter, France must deal with being completely in northern Europe with its cold winters. Near Notre Dame, I amble down a ski slalom with hurdles leftover from the Olympics, now hobos use it as a thoroughfare. I discuss public housing when someone says something insightful concerning modern poverty.

Dream Journal

Isla Wnifu, Island in a Darkening Ocean

Isla Wnifu (Waifu + Knife) is an island zoo full of genetically-engineered creatures. They’re kept within terrariums stacked in the walls of tall, overgrown, roofless rooms. The island has a trashed-out feel and I get the impression it’s regarded as dangerous or forgotten. But it’s somehow mine (or at least within my purview) — I am, unusually, allowed in this unusual place.

I’m swimming just offshore in rocky shallow water with a girl I mostly know from Twitter, KC Crowell. As afternoon turns into evening we start making out, and I’m trying to balance on the sharp sea rocks while she floats above me — it’s difficult, awkward, and uncomfortable, but c’mon… makeouts.

Dusk is fading, and I peer out into the darkening ocean, past concrete arches that look like freeway ramps, to the distant lights of the small boat that must take us home. We’re nearly set when I realize there’s a laptop that needs to be taken, and many more clothes (jeans, jackets) that should also come. The prospect of swimming across a long stretch of dark ocean begins to seem frighteningly risky. I start to scavenge from the crumbling anterooms of the bizarre creepy-crawlies, thinking maybe KC and I can seal the pants and make a floatation device.

Just as I’m heading outside again though a splintering wood doorframe, crewmen from the boat round the corner — I’m deeply relieved we won’t have to swim for it. The leader is a short Asian guy, the one who I’d previously made a deal with to transport us. I’d forgotten the other half of our deal… the men are carrying a massive whale tusk, as thick as a human being, long enough for six men to hold it aloft. It’s the second of a pair… and the extent of our deal. It dawn on me that that boat, these men, who I was so grateful to see a moment ago, could’ve left us behind without much fuss at all.

Dream Journal

Country of Bensbensvideo

Little part of Canada nestled in a shadowy river-side forest of Nebraska, a map of thin little medieval-like individual plots. Eventually this odd holdover secedes to America out of convenience.

Traveling along a road and I convince my mom that it’s a good idea to stop at the smallest country I’ve ever been to, Bensbensvideo. It’s essentially just an old building, ground floor bar, upstairs apartments, with a little side lot for me to leave my motorcycle while I go to the beach. In the thick undergrowth someone has left glasses of white wine covered with Tupperware tops. I discover decayed whale bones under a little alcove. My mom and I finish our wine as we see the tide has quickly come in, up to the wheels of my truck. Getting ready to leave, I can feel the psychic pressure from the grumpy old woman tending bar when I scurry through on my motorcycle.

Lying in bed on my side as a kid/teenager, wearing an oversized pajama shirt, in a house which belongs to my parents. Realizing how I’m not a real contributor to the household, even though I might be focused on how I work on stuff all the time.