Dream Journal

Mayan Motif, Feelings of Early Winter

A racing game set on a semi-oval course laid out in an office store. Speeding above the aisles, like a trainset hung from the ceiling of a dentist’s office. Tall narrow windows flood in color like a sunset. The brown tones and amber light give it a nostalgic mid-century aura.

I descend from the track after I am intrigued to notice a seated Drew Carey. I thank him for his show I enjoyed as a teenager, and he mentions another Drew Carey Show actor — I’m embarrassed I can’t continue the conversation, as I don’t know if that’s the blond or the brunet guy, as I don’t remember their names.

I take it upon myself to advance the next part of the game, headed up to a sunny Mayan temple level on the outdoor mezzanine. There, power-ups transform the player/POV character into a multi-legged mythical beast, a praying mantis centaur that rampages across the chessboard-like lawn outside the gates. Mayan revival architecture is a motif running through all these dreams.

My household spends a long time trying to leave our house to start a weeks-long cross-country journey. It’s winter and we’re packing a boxy car, maybe an SUV. We eventually get out the door, but by then it’s so late that we have to turn back — there’s not enough time to reach a safe stopping point. So we leave the house the next day, too.

Back in an office workplace, an unexpected meeting is called at the of end of day. It’s an unusually chummy workplace, and as part of the culture I snuggle my coworkers in a big dumpster/dent in the white floor. At first I’m warmly pressed against a girl I like, but a shuffle later I’m left with either a single other guy or no one. It’s simply the flip side of this arrangement, so I kill time standing near a fence and fiddling with a drawer.

Back in our apartment again. Asking our neighbors Dolly and Candida for to-go container (I say “greenbean box”) as they’re rushing out the door. They’re actually former neighbors but in the dream they still live next to us. I peek inside — their apartment is a mirror of ours, having the same long narrow hallway which unfortunately consumes so much space. In the dream it slopes upward and is supported by thin columns, and I’ve decorated ours with hanging art. Since I realize both neighbors are gone I’m tempted to visit the hidden upper levels of the building; I’ve discovered a blocked-off stairway passage in our kitchen, which leads to a forgotten door (technically part of the neighbors place). Even though supposedly we live on the top floor, I’ve previously accessed a roof level where there is a park-like garden and commercial vendors. I’ve been to it in a dream before, and I find myself gazing up at the obfuscated structures wondering if they survived the pandemic.

Dream Journal

Dental Office / Photo Box Date

In two days, I have two dates at a dental office. It’s with my friend Dara (whom I used to go out with). I’m obviously more touchy-feely compared to the other patients — it’s a strange situation as I wouldn’t announce we were dating (Dara never thought of it like that anyway) and who goes on a date with a dentist multiple occasions to work on one’s teeth? I can’t remember if we made out at all, what with all the work being done on mouths there. Weird thought.

Inside a white office drawer under a counter, I find a drawer full of photos. I make it my task to clean them out. Unclaimed property and all that. I almost disrespect the person by default for leaving all their memories for someone else to deal with — then again, I don’t know the circumstances of how they were left.

I’ve been dealing with photos for awhile when I find one taken by Dara, one that was mentioned. It was taken at a seashore with craggy spikes, flamingoes, a 1950s wood-sided family car. Different areas of the photo are shown as I turn it in the colored lights — the flamingoes in the corner only show with the pink, for example. This is how I know it was the one mentioned, taken by Dara.

After doing the work with the photos I come into possession of an old blue suitcase. Not by my own choice, in fact — it was practically thrown at me. There’s a small group who are plainly coordinating with one another, trying to pull a scam of some kind. With feigned nonchalance, I’m asked to read aloud the address handwritten on the inside of the suitcase. It’s in Chicago with a zip code that someone insists “checks out”. Though I’ve been aware of there’s some scam, I’m starting to suspect it’s an actual curse — something that has to be passed on to an unwitting host.

I perceive, beyond just the curse-related suitcase, that the layer of fabric lining a nearby fence is named Malcolm (a very human name for fabric, isn’t it…).

Dream Journal

Frozen Offices, Freezing Time

Ambling along a boring straight street of an office park. Boring isn’t the right word — faceless, eerie, liminal are better. With my every step the foam façade exteriors creak, with age, even with just the wind. Like the entire place has been ignored since the 1980s. Starting to feel like I’m sneaking around. I stop to read the plaque next to a door; it’s a video game company that hasn’t made anything since 1989 yet claims to be releasing a new game in a week. And there it is, on a plaque of all things.

In their offices I start zooming around, teleporting and phasing through rooms. I use an ability to freeze or slow down time. People really do work in these identical offices, and there are many of them. Cheerier than I’d expect. Unexplainably like New Orleans in the winter. Bland, predictable, the same old conference rooms, but in good condition. I inspect the structure from inside the walls and it’s sound.

In the middle of the office space I begin operating on pair of dogs (or maybe donkeys), male and female.

Brushing my friend Tracy’s arm with a smooth flat hair brush. Her husband Don watches me carefully but with calm apathy.

Dream Journal

Down and Up Again, a Group Celebration

The dream is a narrative following the linear story of a celebration at the end of a year. Some group effort, a school year or perhaps a big work project. We’re all retracing the year-long path together.

First we walk single file downstairs to the lower level, a rocky coastline where our cohort frolics in the ocean. There are flashes of a Monty Python scene: cutlass vs. rapier. A man dressed in an ancient Semitic priest costume bonks someone over the head with the flat side of the cutlass. Not long after, I have the cutlass strapped to my back, climbing over a small crag as a wave crashes over.

After the coastal area we collectively filter up to the windows of a doctor’s office. There we are informed that while there is an elevator, we are supposedly to pay the fee here at the window of $159.

Obviously this is a non-starter. There’s a line of my classmate/workmate friends waiting to ascend the stairs back up for our final 4/6 of the schedule program

I remember in particular one of my classmates is Stephanie Sukhram. She is unique in this case as I went to school with her between 4th to 11th grade. She became a doctor herself but died of ovarian cancer soon after graduating (which I learned much later trying to research her online).

One of the last images is of a dusty keyboard, which I pick clean of spiderwebs and other debris and cruft. Later in the day I’d be typing something important, though I didn’t know it when I had the dream.

Dream Journal

Hitting it Off with Art Girl, bit of a Pokémon

Twilight in a round mid-sized stone cathedral, an art show of one girl’s work is displayed in every direction at eye-level height. I find it enthralling, wanting to know more.

Back in my own building, the grubby ground floor apartment of the girl includes a living room half open to the outside, cute little plants on the exposed basement walls. Her sideboards in the disused interior still have the landlord’s old stuff such as 80s radio scattered about. Next door (in apartment #306?) where the landlord’s family has just moved in recently, it’s a lot less grubby than expected, like an 80s nightclub in a mall — colored plexiglass panels, plush diner booths, knocked out walls — a multi-level living space big enough for the family not to have to see each other.

My wife introduces me to the girl who made the art, repeating her name like a Pokémon. We really hit it off; before I know it I’ve been pimped out and the girl is making out with me.

A twisty beige ground-floor office in the process of being decommissioned. As a stop-gap measure we often lock things in place so they don’t move — for example, a log in the hallway, or a heavy military-style desk made of enameled metal (like something I’d see on old Fort Ord during college). We’re setting little plants out on the exposed retaining walls outside, going back and forth down the unlit hallways even as someone pulls up in a red sports car outside, looking for someone I don’t know.

In a rolling almost artificial landscape, unfinished-looking, grid-like. Myself and a few associates are trying to get to a power plant I now own. In our way is a locked gate and barbed wire-topped wall abutting a rocky outcrop of a hill. Trading property here is like trading cards, and I only recently acquired the power plant (sight unseen) from a Mr. Burns-type character.

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

Exploring the Forbidden Office

Escorted on a secret tour through a complex of interconnected office rooms. The workers there have lived with the strangeness of the place for so long that, despite possible serious consequences, they’re willing to take small groups through it for a token bribe. I get an Ambergris vibe on account of the mysterious powers that run the place.

At the end of the tour, I return to a desk with a suitcase full of my shoes underneath. In the corner of a room, like my parent’s bedroom. There’s the chance my unseen boss will have a problem with it.

While waiting at a train station, up in a broad autumnal-leafed tree, I spot a very unusual-looking creature. It’s almost intentionally strange: a single large, unblinking eye on a prehensile stalk points at me while a confusing locomotion of multiple limbs shuffles/crawls/drags it through and out of the foliage. I watch as it leaps down from the tree, around the corner of a concrete wall, joining (or becoming?) a family group of ten or more and shimmering/disappearing into the ground.

Foggy wooden V-shaped viewing platform that I visit before my group. Climbing up a second time, the ladder has moved back and I’m not sure I have the upper body strength to pull me over. Kate Willett, who has lightened hair tips (perhaps from age) climbs up also and I realize this is as foretold in an old vision… a dream? Hm. She reveals a special name that lines up with my secret knowledge, something like “Ec-sdo-mai-ssis” without the dashes.

In our home, we have two regular-sized fish tanks. One has divider and a thin sick fish (a gullet?) breathing heavily on its side. Lynae does a water exchange at the same time as I do, and it results in one tank being nearly empty, and excess water for the other. Meanwhile I intermittently find tiny rats on floor, a consequence of a pregnant female escaping.