Dream Journal

Old Man Spills My Plants

An old man has been taking care of my plants while I’ve been on a journey abroad. He’s a Swiss scientist, and perhaps also my friend Autumn’s dad. When I come to retrieve my plants, he releases a linchpin connecting the corner of an L-shaped wall which was constructed to hold them. They spill out across the ground, destroying several that are fruiting and could’ve been food. I want to be angry, to complain, asking why he did such a thing, but he took care of my plants the whole time I was gone — only to do this. I’m flabbergasted and I reason it would be too embarrassing in front of my friends to get mad, and still probably not get a decent answer.

As I leave I pass my Aunt Carol, who I see is the only one awake on the second floor of a roofless house. “Tell my story…”, I jokingly implore. But I have to repeat it and get up close to the house because I insist on saying it in a funny voice. Also, perhaps for nostalgia toward some of the peppers I lost when they spilled on the ground, “remember to pepper your food…”

“Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — I manage to remember to say this, just as I step out of bed for what I know will be a long day.

Dream Journal

Suzie the Mechanical Brass Goat

I’m playing tuba in a marching band. Have to haul it back from the field in pieces. When I get to the enclosed, beige, semi-circular practice room I have lengthy difficulties assembling it — the band has already started playing. The pieces for a brand new percussion drum the size of a person are laid out on the floor. Since those are clearly present, I consider playing that instead.

The brass of the instruments reminds me of a friendly goat, Suzie. She’s mechanical, also brass, and we amble together down a tree-lined sidewalk in a archetypical sunny American suburb (away from the band). I spot some Halloween stuff in the branches of a tree between the sidewalk and the street, forgotten so long ago that the tree is now growing through the plastic decorations. Reminds me of an image I saw recently, of a Barbie doll placed by someone’s granddaughter being engulfed by branches. Even though it’s enjoyably bizarre, I climb the tree to retrieve the spooky plastic junk. Suzie watches (perhaps giving commentary) and it’s a shiny, fresh, sunny experience, abnormally wholesome.

I’m later cruising on my motorbike down a curvy dirt road, fast. Hand-tilled grain fields border it. I narrowly dodge Indian pedestrians carving around corners, following the road’s course between blocky grey utilitarian buildings (like the setting from a fair dream on Feb 19, 2021 at 11:29 am). I get as far as a narrow corridor whose walls are made of train cars. I can’t reverse, and have to navigate back through twice. It feels like I’m towing a trailer or three. Headed back where I came now, I pull off a few wheelies — having the thought that I’ve only ever done that in dreams before (this is true). I soon notice (due to another person’s recent use of it) some pieces have shaken off the bike as I’m riding, importantly 3/4 of the front instrument panel. I manage to see a bit fly off over a fence and decide to hunt it down.

This neglected industrial area is officially off-limits, but also officially abandoned. I suspect it’s still quite inhabited though and used for all sorts of under-the-radar activity. This seems confirmed when I discover rows of diagonal pews inside one decayed warehouse, carefully draped in elegant purple fabric. I hide between these pews as I hear fumbling at the bolted front door. A few furtive-looking priests enter, and I consider announcing myself to avoid a potentially worse situation startling them. Yet I seem to overhear them talking about me without using my name, wishing perhaps to recruit me.

I do volunteer for some project cleaning up a diesel locomotive covered in grass. I scrub it’s side skirt clean of flecks and debris, leaving tall stalks of grass to grow proud and green over the engine’s back/top. It’s taken on an expedition up a marshy stream to study dinosaurs living nearby, blending in with the flora. Back in the yard we hide as a few mafia guys come to inspect the locomotive. A goon tears off the grass in one cohesive layer, saddening me even though I’m still proud of how healthy the greenery I helped grow turned out. We’re trying to trick these mafiosos somehow, and I know all my plants were integral to the plan.

Dream Journal

A Day at our New Home in the Country

A country house just off a main road somewhere small, rural California, where we’ve moved. My wife and I still have a landlord but are overall happy finally settled into the new place.

It’s bright midday and I seal up our younger rats, Pierre & Roscoe, making sure to stretch the three wire cage doors so the locks are tight.

Outside it’s so much quieter than the city. I ponder the neighborhood as I gaze down the dusty street where ours is the corner house. I haven’t fully explored the area yet. Feels like a hot day, summer. I observe a distinction with the city I never thought of before: here, people are spread out enough that you kind of miss them, back in the city it was so packed that you often like people less because there’s already too many of them.

All our old stuff made it there but most things still need arranging. A few items are out on the grassy brown lawn, or under a covered porch with built-in brick planting beds. Our building is old, and has a name on a vertical sign with green letters — something that sounds like a Chinese restaurant. There’s a smaller sign underneath for wayward out-of-towners, clarifying that it’s just an old name, this is a house, and they can find an actual restaurant a couple lanes down.

Back inside, I see Roscoe is out of his cage. I’m sure I locked it securely, and sure enough I see he’s managed to bend several wire metal bars at the side of the cage! I tell my wife and we’re not sure what to do. There’s a square patch of grass on the lawn where the cage would fit, and be blocked off securely, but the ratties might easily get overheated in the sun.

Someone reveals something about my parents I didn’t know (this part is confusing in retrospect as it’s a persona shift, perspective remains continuous, but the backstory isn’t from my l life). When I was first adopted, my parents kept me in this very house. They were inept, and couldn’t keep things up, to the point where they couldn’t keep me either. They only got me back much later, though I was too young to remember any of this.

Inside a few of us (guests and I) are playing around, searching through storage areas in the house. We’re also in part of a lobby for some unnamed organization, a nexus accessible from many locations. There’s a dried mud sculpture, arched and abstract, looking like the letter Π hunkering in the near distance. Old refrigerators containing long-term food stocks hold many curious root vegetables. Some are still viable, and I take one from the drawer with a 3-foot long taproot and swallow it down to the base as a trick.

Danny Glover is there among us, and soon after I’m beside him at a stone sink (I can think of no connection I have with Danny Glover, his presence is puzzling upon consideration). When I pull the long root out of my throat, the thin length ending in a tangled clump, I realize that it could still be planted in the dirt outside. Whether it’s the worse for wear being in contact with my stomach acid for an extended time, I simply won’t know until I bury it in a garden bed.

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

Rocks, Parks, Plants, and Avatars

Driving down what seems like a miniature Hot Wheels freeway in San Francisco, through a rocky little cactus and succulent park. I take what must be a wrong turn and continue driving over the road, but it’s now invisible. It’s disconcertingly like flying between the channel of rocks.

I come out the other end at a corner, noticing a small sedan parked just to the side of the intersection, practically in the crosswalk under a tree and sticking out into the lane. It appears to have been there a while as there are pieces of broken-off succulent plant growing on the street around their car. I consider rescuing some to take home.

Instead, I enter uninvited into the condo-like apartment building, in the tall flat block adjacent the intersection. There’s no lights on inside, and it has a “Miami retiree” vibe. I get lost in the maze of bathrooms, trying to leave feels like going through one after another, in the dim interior twilight.

Once I’m outside, I start writing a note to explain how the invisible road in the park must be fixed, and in the process one of the rent-by-hour bikes that’s always parked on the sidewalk in San Francisco gets knocked down. An older, gray-haired motorcycle-type guy with a goatee, his outfit covered in motorsports logos, reflexively tells me it’s knocked over and I should leave a note. He’s just passing by and doesn’t even seem to have any investment. I gather myself and rush after him and ask him pointedly “why did you feel you had to say that?” He immediately understands it was unnecessarily bossy and apologizes, yet I agree I will leave a note and say I’m sorry.

Afterwards, I use a personal gliding machine to fly directly above the rocky triangle-shaped park. There are huge spherical floating balloons holding up art projects, the work of one artist not long ago. I fly low enough to graze them. In a fit of enjoyment, I fly low over the street, wobbling to and fro between the lanes as I idly ply the neighborhood.

Walking between two fancy houses on the seaside. Modernist concrete right angled things, floor to ceiling windows overlooking long patios which double as piers, covered in tasteful potted plants. I walk between two of them (neither of which I have permission to be on) and observe how their roofs hold up a flat trellis between the homes. (The orientation switches at some point, as if I’d been looking toward the sea, or looking toward the street.) I imagine hanging a certain pitcher plant perfectly in between the two homes, such that it overhangs the walkway.

I am, by this point, also an Avatar Aang type character. A younger girl, resident of one of the fancy homes, lays down on the concrete, bereft of energy. In what I understand to be a friendly gesture, I dip my nose into her exposed armpit. I must’ve been invisible to her before, as she startles and knocks me backwards. In penance I turn myself into a potted plant with tall pointy leaves, called a snake plant. I watch the clock fast forward by a factor of 36, while in the background my unknowing allies search for the Avatar.

Dream Journal

Outdoor Ring of Learning

A hallowed hall of education, circular ring of open-air lecture spaces. Speakers are a variety of interesting, respectable people I’ve never met before, reminiscent of the BBC hippies documentary I was watching last night. I find myself at one end of the ring, a beautiful “room” with cracked plastic walls, trailing vines, and white columns surrounding an open area.

Nearby is a small art display of four objects, which symbolize struggle, made by a grey-haired female instructor. There are tiny toggle switches that electrify, for instance, a frosted glass chalice (reminds me of an absinthe brouilleur, something I’ve lately been struggling to make/buy). Also a spider plant with a naked root ball — something that looks identical to something the instructor wears in her hair.

One lecturer I listen to intently, to the point I try to record them. Unfortunately instead of beginning to save audio my phone starts playing an ad. I’m quite upset — I don’t want the instructor to think I disrespect them. All is well though, and when I volunteer an anecdote about my own expertise I’m dispatched to fetch an item from the far side of the circle.

I pass through what appears to be the open wall of an under-construction bathroom. There I find a wire bucket of pink toy balls with silly doodled faces on them. My childhood friend, Vince Saunders, has also grabbed a bucket and makes a chiding comment. I shoot back that he’s just jealous that I have bigger balls than him — which comparing our buckets, I do. This, for whatever odd reason, does the trick.

Dream Journal

Dreamy Cool Plant-land

I’m underwater. On bus stops, the first presidential debate is advertised, being hosted by BuzzFeed (of all hosts!). The snappy slogans have to be altered though, a new first line added — after conservatives complain about anti-conservative bias (mostly the result of them not-getting-the-meme). Floating just over the edge of an underwater cliff, holding a half-full bottle in each hand, I release one of them and it unexpectedly goes sinking into the oceanic abyss. With surprising skill I bolt down to retrieve it and, with controlled movement, grab it and bring it back to safety.

Later I’m in a plant nursery, part open-air part 2-story building. The vibe is stylish and calm. I’m bottomless between the rows of waist-high tables, not thinking I would need pants, and only become embarrassed when someone asks how to find the bathroom. It would be the back bathroom of Paxton Gate. I remember thinking this is like something that would be in a dream.

In the dust-lit gloom of the upper nursery space, the garden is decorated with retired equipment. I count 2 or 3 mailboxes, numbered with 4 digit identifiers overgrown (or decorated?) with moss. It takes me a moment to inspect and recognize the rusted and repainted post of a lift gate, like you’d see in a gated parking lot. The room has a post-industrial Easter basket feel.

For a bit I seem to recall talking to Dara in this same room. She receives me as if I’m a visitor, facing me directly, and I look up to her standing on a dais. She wears an armored apron of brass scales. She is brief but not unfriendly.

I am looking for a private room to masturbate. I carefully peek in one of the conference rooms around the central space, but it’s occupied by Spy, Rachel W., and Anya talking animatedly. I consider the unusual meeting of three girls I know from different parts of my life years ago. I’m not even sure who I’d be willing to talk to.

Dream Journal

Flight to Florida

On a plane to Florida. Me and a friend on a nearly empty flight, all the way at the back. I spread out over to the far row from our adjacent seats since there’s room, but have trouble wit buckling my seat belt (reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park).

We’ve never been to Florida and though it’s hard to make out anything at speed out the windows, it turns out the plane is a turboprop. Flying low over the marshes on approach, I see some plants are labeled with “do not remove – this plant is useful and has a job”.

We land on a plant-carpeted stretch of ground and my buddy and I are both mystified at the natural beauty and excited to stretch our legs. When we are about a minute away from returning to the aircraft the pilots, irritated, do a little car honk to let us know it’s time to get back in. Embarrassed, we somehow missed the part of the announcement where this was just a stopover.

Dream Journal

Landlord Fixing the Stairs

The landlord is in the backyard, and the wooden stairway has had one of its columns eroded away. I call him and he actually starts to fix it. I discover the shady lower column, underneath the landing, is also broken completely through. There’s barely anything holding up the right side anymore. The physical orientation is oddly different than our normal backyard, rotated somehow — the landlord too — both true-to-life and not. Lazy overgrown potted plants grow thick and lush over puddles and concrete, everything seems to have a fine coating of moss.

The view zooms out, showing the Victorian building that Ais lives in being a relic of earlier development, isolated in a business park, itself within a large airport and whose roads serve cars as well as planes. Reminds me of Alameda.

Dream Journal

Delivering Bottled Plants, Fright in the Car

I’m raising sundew seedlings into adult plants, leaving them outside in pretty bottles to grow. At one, I show cousin Diana the progress that it’s made. While I’m pruning and rewatering one and her friend Reesa screws up and squishes it –three times. Find former of this and she asks why I want to make her feel bad to which I say I just want her to stop hurting my plant. I also manage to get trapped behind a set of portcullis gates in a play castle, before luckily yelling to the maintenance crew that closed them at that hour. (When I was younger, I might not have yelled!)

There’s some little intermission on the roof of Notre Dame of two people meeting clandestinely to exchange information. I’m one of them, but I’m also someone unseen, behind the point of view of the observer. Adjacent to them his rows of unused flags, one green one from Astoria I remember, as part of a story told by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about someone in her district who went missing.

I’m making a delivery of two of the bottled plants to a fancy upscale residence after dark. I double check my containers as I’m making the delivery and when one is missing I go back to check my car. It’s a low two-door, and I say approach I hear The Futurama/EVA mashup song, and recognize I left my door open. Inside the driver seat I noticed the glove compartment is cracked slightly. It’s a cold winter tonight in the city, and my breath inside the warm car is unusually easy to see. I realize the possibility, but don’t use my flashlight as was my first impulse… instead using my phone as a mirror. I catch glimpse of a wicked clown grimace and actually laugh a little, boosting myself into a quick wakeup so I could write this down. I said as dry as possible, “ha, that’s really funny” …but I meant it.