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Dream Journal

Mall Empty, Different Owners

Over visiting someone else’s place, a rental. I run across the landlord in the downstairs garage, with his tools out, fixing some old Victorian equipment. I quickly get buddy-buddy with Mr. Landlord since I seem to understand what he’s working on. The light in the garage / front room has a gauzy look from being filtered through dusty windows.

An aquarium sits on its side such that I can dip my fingers through where the front glass would be. Working out how to get a filter to work, I flip it back and forth over different surfaces of the water. The water remains cloudy and dirty, despite that I’m confident the filter is now working. It will just take a while to clear.

I walk all the way down the ramp of a mall lined with storefronts. Then back up. During the time I walked down many stores have closed, and the place feels much emptier. Maybe like SF’s Chinatown.

Across a mall parking lot (different from above, I suppose) there’s an abandoned store which is poorly renovated. The owners perception was it just seemed any good buyer would consider it dated. I think it looked fine, warm and nostalgic even, but they insisted on renovating it for whatever fad they imagine business owners want this year.

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Dream Journal

June means Bright Desert

While watching an old video from my collection, I notice it appears to have new weird AI-based compression. Letters on signs in a Palm Springs parking lot in are hard to discern. Makes me sad, because I realize this is probably how companies will be encoding our stuff now (whether we like it or not) and I can no longer use it as a reference. The names are squashed down so much they turn out as gibberish.

Across the street from the parking lot is a line of brushy sand dunes. Like the bare desert across from my old middle school when I was a student, once upon a time. Looking at them is almost painful as everything has an * * extra bright * * overexposed look, which I recognize as the look of June. Today, not uncoincidentally, marks June 1st.

As I’m staring into space, down a hallway at a slight angle, an unpleasantly familiar face appears. Plarvolia peeks forward from a booth at a table. She now fully embodies my avatar of rejection and loneliness. Who knows why she’s here. It’s not important, except that now I have to deal with this reminder of her. (My wife is leaving for a trip today, and I tell her how seeing old Plarvolia made me feel.)

Because of Plarvolia I find out about a new rising artist named Margaret Gerulo in Indianapolis. Her schtick is that she cries as performance art, giving ritual catharsis to the entire community that witnesses the act. She’s become a very successful streamer (it works over the internet, apparently). But there are a few curious conditions: the day before, she needs to visit a haunted place of some kind. And the day after, she needs to receive presents from people. Those presents, and the haunted house, determine what trauma and catharsis she can process for her community of viewers.

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Dream Journal

X-ARDOS

I don’t know why the dream must be named what it is, but it was the strongest word in my head upon waking. Perhaps it has some relation to bardo, the Tibetan spiritual state in between death and rebirth.


Three of us are traveling on a long motorbike, my friend Aislinn, my wife and me. I’m driving from the farthest rear, which proves difficult on the freeway. As I’m about to take an exit, another motorcycle passes me on the right making things just that much more difficult. This exit is somehwere in the state of Iowa. It strikes me how much like every other freeway exit in America it is, yet with subtly apparent differences that make it like Iowa.

Rounding through a parking lot and a few low buildings, I swing around to a gas station (something like a gas station anyway) that’s broken down and is now freezing everything around it. I comment that it’s gonna be some expensive snow, and we decide to park and check it out. That proves somewhat difficult, as I back into a space alongside a cinderblock wall. The car ignition also seems to freely turn with any key I try, which is clearly something else to be concerned with. The vehicle is an SUV now, more like the old Nissan truck I used to drive (and drove from Iowa).

As soon as I park and get out, Aislinn asks if I worry about parking in front of that door, pointing to a barred gate which looks into the courtyard of an African monastery for junior monks. I curse and start to park all over again — though the neighborhood looks shabby, there’s clearly a lot going on. I do more back and forth nudging into a space, now there are even more cars to work around.

When I finally make it out, I’m at a family reunion for my Dad’s side. They’re loud and boisterous, very familiar with each other. The car becomes some white-furred furniture or a stuffed figure. There’s an exchange of gifts, and I must find a place to stack long tentbag-like objects on a similar white-furred bed (not sure if it’s the same, but it’s a different location). I correct my dad and place these objects off the head of the bed, onto the sheet, to minimize dirtiness.

I get invited to follow my uncle Vince on a short tour. I follow him while adjusting a set of recording glasses, falling behind because of them after he exits a set of double doors, then jogging after to keep up. I feel younger and younger in this dream, my role shifting. My uncle and I tour a dark, mostly empty parking garage, a caverous metal warehouse-like space, while he narrates the story of various murals telling stories of our family. (On reflection, this almost sounds like a transplanted version of Aboriginal Australian lore.)

One particular story, high up on a side wall, tells the story of a broken branch hanging high in a pine tree, staying stick even in strong wind (I’m almost certain this story is from another of my dreams a long while ago). Something all my male relations witnessed at the time, some broader story I can’t make out now. I confess how even though I never met my great-grandfather I have a nickname for him.


After a great effort to remember am earlier set of dreams, I can recall being transposed back to Australia in 2006, nostalgic for when I actually visited. I’m physically emobodied in that time again, as I was when I was really there. I stand outside a grand modern airport or mall, manicured fountains outside, the curved steps leading down to a light rail transit line. I carry an iconic backpack I’ve used forever in Australia (not accounted for in waking life) which is like a trailer-like shell which unfolds, revealing pockets within pockets, all labeled with names of politicians or notable Aussie figures.

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Dream Journal

Misadventure Locating a Locomotive

I’m driving the Chevy Nova car out around the streets of Palm Desert, California, during a time of day I’m possibly not supposed to. On the right, I drive past a rusted old hulk of a steam locomotive just a little ways off the road. I drive back around and park on the shoulder, leaving the car running for my passenger (either Josh or Naomi, Calvin Chaos’s parents).

There’s a small little community of maybe 8 to 10 houses on a dusty little hill. A gate blocks my way in the middle, close to the road. And there is a bar inside at the top called Adrianople that’s been flouting the law, hosting gatherings and selling weapons. In the course of trying to get to the locomotive I end up in a dead end parking lot overlooking the car, realizing my passenger might want to turn it off and trying to get their attention to throw the keys.

There’s an alarming disturbance and a red-headed, naked feminine monster appears from beyond the rooftops, quickly gaining ground. It’s like a banshee, breasts thrust forward and teeth ragged and mocking in aggression. As it advances I keep my camera pointed at it videotaping, somehow knowing this may be the only way to hold it back or to be one day be believed. It corners me at the edge then morphs / disappears.


I’m chased by a stalker / murderer.
It’s appearance is like my wife, and I save myself by slitting its throat with the black-bladed Winchester knife.

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Dream Journal

Parking Lot Shower & A Car Named Felony

Naked, in a coin-operated shower, in a parking lot, without glasses on. Phone is on the soap tray. I’m alternately wearing a shirt or pants, washing one area at a time. I see a group of plainclothes cops walk by and start preparing arguments in my head, concerning this being private property and the property owner losing money if these showers weren’t here. They pass me by as if the arguments were a forcefield.

I meet Lindsay Ellis who has a new convertible she named Felony (unexplainably). I swing above and around the parked car and we get to friendly conversing. But while sitting at a long wooden outdoor dining table, something I say or do shuts her down. She excuses herself hastily and drives away. My wife and I puzzle over it together; I lament that I didn’t even record the conversation.

I run out the front door after strapping on my paramotor flying machine and I’m airborne in a few seconds, I even see her car make the turn at the end of my street. But I never catch her and the dream ends.


A fancy diamond ring. The appraiser comments “I shouldn’t ask how you got this”. Two large studs sit on either side, with rectangular chunks shifting between them, rotating and moving in and out of alignment. It shifts before my eyes and the big, flat sides take on a tiger’s eye gem-like chattoyance — then its aspect shifts again, altering itself into a large, expensive house, the flat chunky side becomeing a fake 3-car garage. It’s a neat trick which fools buyers into thinking the house is worth more than it is.

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Dream Journal

Giving Chicken a Sling

Watching a movie, a small black shoulder sling is hidden under my shirt. As I’m leaving and out the doors first, I turned my left and make a comment to my wife, but it’s actually a random guy who answers in the negative. The timing of my walk back to my car works out such that I can’t help but pass Chicken John in the parking lot. The parking lot is somewhere upscale but strip mall-y, like Palm Desert CA near where I grew up. I see that Chicken is very tired and holding a baby. Trying to normalize things, and seeing an opportunity, I offer him my arm sling for the drive home — which to my surprise he accepts.

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Dream Journal

Missing the Subway Under the Education Complex

Inside a school complex, a range of all age students. Concrete everything. I’m waiting for a subway train on an underground platform with large posts that obscure my view. There are minders to help escort you onto the train, but mine is an inexperienced black kid that is dressed like a security guard. He screws up, despite my verbal protestations, and I miss the train despite standing right in front of it. The complex is big enough that I’m annoyed but not surprised.

Reminds me of a dream where I worked in an underground parking lot for Munchery — much like a coal mine. But also another parking lot dream, one where a cultish society had grown up in a renovated railyard roundhouse (like the Sacramento Railroad Museum) and I was the only one who could go in and out. I’ve also had dreams of a subterranean Space Mountain-style roller coaster. And a city-sized labyrinthine airport/spaceport.

The odd thing was that, from the satellite view of the school, this looked like my elementary school in Eureka… I haven’t thought about that in quite awhile and don’t know what it could mean.