Dream Journal

Encouraging A Young Girl’s Campground Waterfall Recitation

I’m in a house with my brother Patrick. The house is built with half walls, quarter walls. It’s modernist but neglected, and we are guests without a host. Reminds me of darkened apartments from other dreams, places I’ve lived where I’ve discovered unused rooms. Patrick takes up the task of picking a new animal to represent the Inca Empire, to replace the llama.

I’m later flying around the neighborhood, skipping along a narrow brick wall at the edge of a religious building’s property. Idly I fantasize of visiting each and all of the different denominations nearby. Reminds me of my childhood street in Eureka, California between ages 4 and 8.

I fly back to a campsite where we recently stayed, just off the road. I have to retrieve three items my group left behind because they “couldn’t pack it all” without my help. I have a view through pillars at the edge of the camp, and spot my mentor and his young daughter approaching. Unseen, I wait behind a waterfall window between pillars. The daughter begins a classical poetic recitation to an audience. I’m able to crouch/slide onto the floor in front of her mid-performance, giving her a reassuring nod and encouragement that steers her performance toward success. I can’t tell if her dad was withholding this kind of approval until the end, but I’m able to swoop in and give guidance she was lacking.

Dream Journal

Siftka, & a Dress of a Decayed Drum

“Siftka”, an evocative name with no meaning I can recall. After I’ve been awake a while a box has been left on my front doorstep filled with this, being shoved out bit by bit.

Being shown a small portable dishwasher operated by syringe injection of water. I’m cleaning the fireplace while my dad yells at my brother Patrick in the other room, a daily ritual now. I idly wonder if this is part of him processing being a social worker (his real-life job).

Examining a big metal drum that is suffering from degradation, an appearance like my middle-eastern doumbek but sized like my big Portland djembe. It’s walls are starting to tear and it’s not holding it’s shape. I’m actually inside the thing searching for how to repair it when my wife comes upon me in the kitchen entryway, and we have a moment’s laugh as essentially I’m now wearing it like a tight dress.

Another object is a jacket made of four jackets. I have to find the right zipper to unzip turn off the drum’s automatic drumming.

Dream Journal

A Traveler of Oz, Brotherly Advice, Eyehole Game

A legendary early Australian traveler, mucking about in an island chain that seems familiar from other dreams. Palm trees and native islanders, but not where you’d expect them to be — somewhere north of Australia, but without Papua; somewhere east, but without New Zealand. The fella is a big name but I get to watch him before he’s known. Has a funny way of sitting; I get an x-ray view of his hip bones balancing oddly as he sits leans back on an upturned suitcase while working. The map shows speckles of islets in a lake, a lake that’s the ocean, but a lake like some dusty suburban southern California reservoir (maybe Moreno Valley, Lake Perris, etc). Not like the Pacific — one with loud motorboats and kegs of beer and trashy fun watersports on every summer weekend.

Talking with my younger brother Patrick as we climb into attic in my childhood home garage, though in this dream he’s significantly younger and smaller than me. I tell him I know he’s going to ask about doing things the shortest possible path, yet that’s not the most efficient. As we climb down the attic ladder, my dad asks what we were saying on our way up about Grenada. Fittingly, this situation is somehow exactly the example problem I’d been giving to Patrick.

We’re having a nerf fight in the backyard. It’s a beautiful day and the lawn is green. No fences between us and the neighbor, so I see all their kids playing a game where they take half the pulp of an orange, cut out an eye hole, and stick them in their eye sockets — running around with these weird faces that look like eyehole monsters from Rick and Morty.

Texting my dad as I were my mom as a prank, but I can’t figure out how she’d spell “jare bear” (“gare bear?” “gerre bear”?). I release a scraggly pet parrot into the enclosed tile patio of my parents room, as I follow my dad.

Dream Journal

What’s Your Opinion on Rat Autostatus?

Outside the back door of my cozy ground floor apartment, a neighboring building has recently constructed a gravel path. Opening the back door of our kitchen today I discover they’ve expanded it, from merely passing by the front our place, all the way so the gravel runs against the back wall of our kitchen. It’s another parking spot, with no barriers at all — cars could drive right through the wall. To compromise, I negotiate a window to be installed in that wall. When the wall is opened we find there’s a window frame already built into the structure, which I scoff at, and opine that we should’ve had one there all along.

It’s a lovely day outside. Near the other building, I spot a 3-wheeled white BMW which has been parked (or drifted) onto a fence. I move it off the common path, a bit derisively and vindictively, and it settles in front of a realty office. The grill cracks a modest hole in the glass door.

Discussing strange and noteworthy oddities in city layout. From a map high above, I zoom the group’s view into a house here in San Francisco perfectly surrounded by a circular complex of inaccessible military buildings. Abruptly I’m inside the location myself, a tiny community set in an odd miniature forest park — for intelligence agents or staging — where I can’t see the horizon of city buildings.

Boarding a first class airline cabin, which has been adapted now as just a small, unremarkable room. I have a huge duffel bag to stuff under the seat, with nitrous empties in one side pocket. No one seems to mind but I still worry. They get lined up in a long row at the front of the cabin until someone (me, I think) realizes as soon as the plane lurches forward they’ll be scattered everywhere.

I try to convince my sister Alia to quietly help me gather them handful by handful. Alia is engaged singing a two-part Viking harmony dirge, which I join in as a third, middle harmony to get her attention. While she’s deciding I come up with a algorithmic method to get them fastest. I don’t have time to implement it before I awake, but I remember asking, in terms optimizing the algorithm, “what’s your opinion on Rat Autostatus[] ?” A variable I cannot explain, nor am I sure anyone understood me asking.

Dream Journal

Medieval Nemeses & Nana’s Bedroom

An elevator to your underground secret base. Biological material grows through cracks into the inside, like the fungal contamination of the City of Ambergris (from Jeff Vandermeer stories). I realize that every time you complete the most recent mission, a  new monstrous baby extrudes from the ceiling.

Two small medieval-age kingdoms sit along the bank of what looks like a wide moat. They’re always in conflict, yet always in balance, each making up what the other lacks. If one of these nemeses should ever fall, a new nemesis twin takes its place. The society is stable and thus doesn’t change or advance.

A full-size pink latex mat is under my nana’s bed in our childhood home. I’m able to finally squeeze under the bed to try to get it out. My brother Patrick is there, and I’m trying to convince him to help me, and there’s something to do with him being gay — trans, actually, but it’s unclear.

In Nana’s sitting room, next door, I break up with an ex of mine — yet again. This time it’s easier as I’m part of an intelligence service. They take care of all her follow-up issues after I’ve told her we’re breaking up. I note how much easier this is with the help of an authority.

Dream Journal

The Boss, The Barbarian, The Beast

Sharing a bed with a female boss, and a kid who joins us. It’s quality snuggle time but I have to be a good sport on account there’s an orange-lighted lamp behind us, one I just barely can’t reach while we’re ensconced together.

Female boss and I leave the relative comfort of this bedroom, a place which has the sensation of a single-room ground floor unit of a multi-story underground parking garage. The neighborhood is the dusty, sunny, oldest part of my hometown (although I don’t think of it as Cathedral City at any point, the architecture and streets are no other). We’re leading a class single-file while we roam the near-empty streets, searching for even one business compatible with ours. Finally, in a wider old-west-ish double collonnaded warehouse area, I suggest that the business there — in publishing — is close enough to journalism that it’s worth pursuing.

Unfortunately there’s a brutish barbarian who guards nearby; he manages to kill all of us before we even realize what’s going on. We’re left — not quite dead, but as good as dead — to perish slowly in the sun strung up on a tall post, like a ship’s crow’s nest. But there’s a saving grace — we’ve got a Brock Samson bodyguard just for such an occasion. He hides under a bridge until the hulking brute passes overhead, stabbing his machete through chipped slats and impaling the aggressor in brutal revenge. We’re taken down from our gallows and recover with no ill effects.

Going a little further in the small near-deserted town, there is a wide shallow lake to the right (something like I’ve seen before in dreams, a wistful view with balconies worthy for gazing in reflection) and to the left, what looks like what could be an ornate orthodox church. I’m pleased to go and explore, knowing I’m versed in how to behave in almost any religious building. Turns out it’s a Hindu shrine to Ganesh, one with specific obeisances to enter. My dad advances too quickly through the entryway crowded with votives. I watch him try to balance on two upturned djembe drums, not quite successfully.

Inside the building, I chat with a few close friends as we sit on barstools. Idly we gaze toward the adjacent wall, the only light in the room, adorned with a massive floor-to-ceiling aquarium — and at least one monstrous inhabitant. It looks like a swimming centipede, maybe a polychaete worm, as if from the Ordovician era. My sibling Patrick seems quite concerned — it’s large, aggressive, and very near. Yet I know something about the tank, reassuring him “that glass may look only 10, perhaps 12 inches thick, but it’s not. That’s what we may I’m call ‘arcane glass’, and for that thing it’s actual measure is [literally] infinity inches.” I’m quite serious with this assessment. As if to punctuate my point, the thing winds up to the glass again, bigger, meaner, with a frightening face, and hits it full speed — which makes a satisfyingly tiny donk sound.

Dream Journal

The Best Place in the World [for] Chinese Restaurant

Twilight in my home city of San Francisco, watching down a street as a bicyclist rides uphill on a sidewalk. I yell at then, manage to get one good “don’t ride bike on sidewalk” as they ride right through a group of pedestrians. Afterward, one good “fuck you” for good measure.

Soon after I find the person, a gray haired but well-put-together lady, a woman of a certain age, while I’m walking crosswalk. I listen to her, get her to tell me what’s wrong: she’s a tourist, a meeting soon. Yet something is switched around in these dream streets. It’s the same setting as other dreams of San Francisco, ones with canals, or social revolutions, or maybe in the southeastern neighborhoods years before my time.

I escort her to her meeting, around a strangely colorful yet hostile SF. The streets bright yet cloudy. She enters her meeting in a plastic-walled tent, a dining establishment just off the sidewalk, while I maintain eye contact. She still doesn’t like how I called her on her riding behavior, but I’ve also been nothing but helpful since. “Good luck, be well,” I say through the window, pausing before mouthing “God bless”. I don’t know her well enough to know how it’ll be received — it feels customary, almost too automatic, tonally off-the-mark.

By coincidence, I’ve also arrived at a destination of my own. I used to work at a Chinese restaurant (in waking life too), and it’s in the building adjacent to the tent. The elaborate yet homey sign outside proclaims “The Best Place in the World [for] Chinese Restaurant”. In truth it’s more of a neighborhood cafe/novelty museum. I walk in and they immediately remember me; I ask them to refresh me on my job since this is the first time in 15-18 years I’ve been there (I worked at Kitty Ko’s Golden Phoenix in 2002 irl, thereafter dreamed of it for a few years after perhaps, so this may be unusually accurate). The chef and chef’s husband still don’t speak any English, but greet me enthusiastically nonetheless. Behind the cash register nothing seems to have changed either, and I’m re-warned about the black electrical cord dangling inconveniently in the walkway behind the front counter.

Reacquainting with the place, I remember there are two sections of novelties, plus a back room. They’re separated by age-appropriateness (or morbidness depending on who you ask). One item in the collection that I remember distinctly is a Victorian-era ambulance for the disabled — it’s an open-air carriage with the cheery “spinach-leaf green” color of a hospital, with robin’s-egg blue accent stripes. However, the coverings for passengers, jet-black and shroud-like, made for the privacy of hiding disfigurement and/or pain, are 100% what a modern person would recognize as the Grim Reaper.

I note all this to my sibling Patrick/Alia, who’s sitting at the bar counter. They seem mildly interested but ask instead about the back room. I’m curious also, squeezing through a narrow opening of blocks in the back wall. There are stacks of boxed-up unused novelties. There’s also the entrance to a vast underground performance chamber, something little-used in my time there, which I’d nearly forgotten about.

A group of string-instrument musicians along the back wall of this cavernous hidden space immediately begin playing (reminds me of Azerbaijani cover band Bizimkilər). Looking over toward the stage, there’s also a dance troupe waiting patiently. In hope of introducing them so they don’t have to continue waiting, I go over and ask the first girl I saunter up to what her name is. She answers “Jeanne Artas”. I have to ask if they are the Artas, or if it’s her personal name.

Another group of audience members, a school group of kids, clambers down the improvised brick blocks in the walls — nothing like a stairway and certainly not considered ‘accessible’ by conventional building standards. But this is technically a private area of the business. I reflect for a minute how this huge enclosed space is completely unapparent from the street, and how many of these hidden human spaces there must be, collectively, across the city and the world. I ponder this aloud to the girl, Jeanne, how such a large space could be secreted away, how it even fit. She ponders too, and notes that Kitty, the owner, also owns the coffee shop next door, and perhaps a small corner of it had been used so as in making the entrance of the tall auditorium. To me this is hardly an explanation, and I regard her incredulously.

I kept the dream alive to write down despite/because of the name “Lenipobra” repeating in my head while hypnogogic. A name from my current book, Consider Phlebas, which I had previously forgotten.

Dream Journal

Keanu’s Midnight Movie Favor

On the top floor of an abandoned school, the walkways are completely inundated with trash. You can see even more of it layering the ground in hills from this high vantage, and this is enough of a novelty that people visit and it becomes an attraction. The waist-high concrete walls of the round corner balcony have been given elaborate murals, inspirational remnants from it’s time as a (elementary?) school. There’s a post-apocalyptic teen movie vibe.

I’m approached by a middle-age bearded guy asking me to do him a personal favor. Surprised, I realize it’s Keanu Reeves. I manage to do the favor, which involves closing the doors to (his?) movie theater near the mural, at the start of the Rocky Horror midnight showing. Makes sense, as I can imagine what the reaction of a packed midnight movie would be to spotting Keanu at the door. He thanks me and gives me some sort of token.

Similar to how right now, during quarantine, one doesn’t make outings as much, in this dream only cashless order-online places are open. I visit two such stores near the far end of a long mall, somewhere I feel I’ve dreamed of before — although I didn’t even think of it as a mall this time. The stores are clean and novel, merchandise displayed on floor-to-ceiling shelves, but for the moment they mostly only have shampoos and other bath stuff in stock. I remember there’s an Amazon store somewhere in the center, and make my way there while carrying a rolling barstool on my back. I lean on this occasionally during on the walk there, and no one seems to mind although I sometimes reckon I’m too young for it.

Skip ahead and I’m with a redheaded friend, headed somewhere together through twisty, rugged dirt paths. We pass a group of women talking about a place called the Fergiles, a group of islands I deduce. I walk ahead a little ways while she remains behind in a small hollow. My sibling Patrick is now with me, and we notice the end of a log has had its end made into a fairy cottage, a gnome home, in the shape of an Ewok’s face. I start to open it but he warns that if it’s anything like the others he’s seen, it probably has a lizard hiding in it (a Betta lizard? like a Betta fish).

Dream Journal

Father Knows Nothing

Visiting my dad at his home. Park my motorcycle by pulling it upright, waiting for another rider to pass next to me, then pulling in adjacent to a baby blue convertible.

(New) Patrick is at the house, he’s proudly been driving around that 1930s-40s baby blue convertible roadster. I halfheartedly go through a few movies I’d be interested in seeing together, before she heads out the door late for something and I comment “do you have to drive stick on that thing?” As she heads out one set of double doors I peek out and say I just wanted to say I love you before you go.

In the yard there’s an elaborate and creepy statuary set centered around my late mom, behind a tetrahedral protrusion of fake gold from the ground. It represents my dad’s wealth from the wildfire payout, which was bigger than I knew.

It’s revealed that Patrick, like me, has a $200k reserve account. I respond incredulously, “say that again?” A $130k account for me… ha ha ha. I try to ask my dad what it is he thinks I need, and he’s prepared a list on a shopping bag, which he wrote on my birthday that’s turns out to be all mental health shit like serotonin, dopamine, routine activities, stable home life — I’m insulted and disrespected, reminded all over again about how he just didn’t get what happened to me (or pretended not to).

The conversation devolves into me trying to sympathetically explain how none of that was true. I repeat “that wasn’t it” and make an attempt to write it on his back, but his shirt is already off and he’s too sweaty for the marker to take.

Dream Journal

Stairway Stab Girl

Taking a ride to the airport, the doors to the bus open twice. I get out on an empty platform, embarrassed as the train speeds away. End up having to walk a long way to baggage claim, a tiny beige room in a spare building.

Girl on the landing between two stairways giving a blowjob. She has the guy stab her butt, then fuck the stab.

She then loads my dishwasher with dozens of blue glass jug vessels, careful they don’t rattle.

On the couch and there’s an orange cat in my lap. Reminds me of Flop! Rat cage is open though. It turns into two black cats, like Aloysius unfortunately. I call Lynae to come help.

My brother Patrick has his Mac break. He has to buy a new PC and is humorously says and condescending about it.