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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

a few dreams out of place

Plarvolia’s bio has been updated to EMPHASIZE that she is engaged. But it’s phrased sorta weird, using a Latin term (“plerisis”?) and character substitutions à la Myspace circa 2005. Who knows with that one.

In a mall, Dara V. wears flip-flops with a star drawing on them. Maybe I do too? Seems close enough to something she’d actually wear, but still odd.

I go behind a bar even though I’m simply a visitor, that is, a customer. Annoying the expert baristas, I suppose. I grab whipped cream off the shelf, but put it back before any shenanigans.

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Dream Journal

Two Odd Fragments

“Plarvolia the Billionaire”, whatever that means.

Russian troops over a hill. Forming and reforming a symmetrical miniature hallway from the inside, only keeping a sunny central window. An odd image.

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Dream Journal

Passing Notes on a Train

Seated on a train next to my former crush. Along our route there’s a slowdown, then a clunky stop, between one tunnel and another.

She and I aren’t talking. But she passes a piece of paper (or simply leaves it out) on the table for me.

There’s a line of blue handwriting on it, a single stroke crossing it out. I perceive that she’s trying to help me understand how to talk to her.

I begin passing short notes her direction.

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Dream Journal

Not That Crush

I’m sitting in the middle front seat of a car, my former crush about to drive. I use the seatbelt of the passenger seat to strap down a glass quart jar full of salty saline, quite content with the result (the jar is possibly related to some nice homemade drug that the group of us were working on and enjoying earlier). The girl gets weird about it and I gesture upwards to large round pods hanging from a nearby tree, which she picked today along with the rest us — for just this purpose. I ask her rhetorically what she thought we were going to do with them.

While we converse the car starts subtly, unnervingly rolling backwards. Suddenly it’s over the edge of a cliff,! We’re in full freefall watching the cliff recede! After several seconds of watching the overhead gap of pine boughs grow smaller and smaller, I realize there’s no bottom — we can just fall backwards forever. The view of the gap overhead will recede infinitely, and we can simply enjoy the sensation of falling. Essentially it’s just a ride, a fun ride.

Dining in a white hexagonal room separated from the main building with Mickey. Sleeping in an armchair in the common area of a house rental. There I remember a dream I supposedly had earlier, about my college girlfriend transforming, disguising herself as this wizard girl I know… Plarvolia.

It’s early light in the dawn hours now, and I hear Plarvolia puttering in her room’s closet. Through my narrowed eyes I watch her going about her morning-time business, inspecting scattered evidence from the night before. She draws near to me laying half-asleep in the chair; I close my eyes completely and still clearly perceive her moving about the rooms. Only when she leans over me in the chair (mockingly, I perceive) can I discard my pretense of sleep. At this point some heavily playful flirting happens, near kissing and the like, I’m still undressed partially from sleep. Now I can’t remember the room assignments.

It takes a long time before I remember that I was simply recalling a dream from earlier. On reflection, I don’t think this is Plarvolia — I think she’s still asleep.

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Dream Journal

Paris Hilton’s One-Way Ticket To Space

A very curious title, the last thing I remember before I wake up (and not much to do with the dream I’m afraid). Which is later changed / fixed / revealed to be “Perez Hilton’s one way ticket to space.”

Each student at my college gets a handset for the semester. They’re big chunky things, ones like used to hang on a wall — reminding me of the ones appearing on a shirt I made for my crush. The phone system is a local node run by each Resident Advisor. You can’t use them very far from the node, so they’re not very useful. This is outside on the edge of a concrete courtyard, in a planter. It’s a bit janky and I soon volunteer to fix it.

A cathedral at the end of a corner, barren, where nothing else has been built up. Behind that on the unpaved road is a shrine that looks like a New Orleans crypt — which my dad is planning to rob. Beyond that is a slight hill in a pine tree forest (I notice the thick layer of pine needles) and an older fellow student, perhaps a masters candidate, carefully assembling a shrine where people can do magic.

Near the forest floor I rediscover a toy bulldozer. I clip in treads of different colors, gradually remembering from my childhood. The tread rotates in an oval facing the ground, a strange way off locomotion. It takes me awhile but I recall that I improvised parts of the tread from scraps and discarded the originals. There are small sections made of grainy black tape. The clip end itself is an odd but clever shape, like a spiked hook that clips into a trough.

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Dream Journal

Pontecruff, a Group Video Server

It’s the end of the day and I’m in the living room of my communal apartment closing up shop for the night. I stand waiting near a fridge in the wall saying goodnight to roommates one by one. I wave the door open and closed as our director (perhaps someone we just call “the director) walks past. He looks like The Dude from The Big Lebowski, and I apologize because I realize I’ve been wafting cold air into the room this whole time.

My crush comes in and asks a question about our group video server, specifically where she can put some nostalgic TV for sharing. She also asks about the name, which is something like “Pontecruff”, derived from pontiff + scruff. I give her friendly instructions and offer to make the name easier to remember. But also I confess that the functioning server was set up on the last router we had and by now the correct config is probably buried.

Waxing poetic, we reflect that the server should give you a feeling like the smell of a box of plastic VHS tapes. Dusty, familiar, a smell from another time, a collection of things you might not remember but know you want to keep.

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Dream Journal

Singular Standing Dream, Dad’s Casserole

A marathon of a first dream that seems to last most of the night. Yet little of it is remembered… as so little seemed to happen. My crush and I stand next to a program guide — this is the main image. We simply stand there, still, static.

As the dream deteriorates into wakefulness, I ride a bike around a specific blind corner in my neighborhood (the crosswalk at Potrero and Cesar Chavez). In the instant I round the corner I imagine threading my trajectory between a former crush and new crush, one oncoming and one outgoing. I wake up and realize I’ve had the strange experience of sleeping nearly 8 hours dreaming basically a single scene.


I go back to sleep wishing to gather more dreams. Not the worst excuse, I suppose.

Visiting my childhood home after a long hiatus, where my dad still lives. I notice the house’s original CRT TVs are mostly gone. When I ask about this my dad says they tended to get cracked from falling forward onto the ground, since their design was off-balance. Eating some of my dad’s
hastily prepared food at the kitchen bar (maybe Cheez-It casserole?) I find a hair embedded through it. I make a conscious effort not to worry about it. My dad puts on an 8tracks playlist he made through tinny computer speakers. I help by casting it to the living room speakers too — they coincidentally sync together on the first try, no trouble. My wife mentions she’s hungry so I offer her the casserole. She tries it but finds the hair right away and can’t eat it. Because of the hair. Guess I can’t blame her.

It dawns on me that the amount of males and females living in our apartment building has always remained constant. Whether this is intentional or not I couldn’t guess. But I do note this was true until a pair of kids move next door not long ago. They are, curiously enough, a boy and a girl.

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Dream Journal

Lap-Straddle in a Castle

Being dropped off on the prim green lawn in front of a stately stone boarding school, one topped with turrets and full crenellations. Certainly looks like it was originally built as a castle.

I explore the curiously spaced interior with a group of friends. Seems the castle will once again change hands as it’s for sale (why we are able to check it out). The semi-underground basement has a messy unfinished feel, splotchy white-on-white paint. Attached in the middle of the ceiling is a narrow, multi-sided cabinet which I open and amusedly inspect. There are so many different types of soap in there — and only soap — we have a good laugh speculating on reasons why you’d need such an extensive hoard.

While I’m in a kitchen-y corner of the basement near some sunny windows, I receive a phone call updating me of some new people arriving soon. Soon I find myself lazing on a long rumpled couch in a slightly sunken living space. I lounge together with my crush and a friend of hers, hanging out and chatting for a long pleasant spell. She informs me they used to date but are still good friends and that certainly seems true. At some point without preamble my crush rolls over to straddle my lap facing me. This is clearly playful but also experimental; I mirror her playfulness by grabbing her hips. The joy at each of our reactions shows the experiment was a success. It’s a happy moment and a relief, us both taking initiative like that.

Conversation flows amiably along until I realize the topic has veered into something to do with mourning. My crush shares a story of something she lost. As my absence goes on a bit longer than it should (after I’ve finally figured this out), I become pressured by an incongruous and ill-advised urge to say something “important”. This lands with a predictable flop — from which my companions must afterward fumblingly recover the conversation.


I awake and recall the lap-straddle incident frequently during the day, with understandable fondness. I write not a word of the last paragraph until everything else in this dream journal entry is done. This should give some idea of my mixed feelings for it.

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Dream Journal

Criss-Cross Causeway, 777-11-21

I encounter my crush topless in my backyard. She has no nipples though, a smooth flat chest. From context it’s completely unclear if this is a normal state of affairs. It does tend toward disconcerting for us though. Over the course of our conversation they manage to grow, though not returning quite to normal — more like odd unpainful welts in their place. Meanwhile, a party three backyards over continues to rage on (a strange detail is this exact thing was happening as I went to sleep).


After travelling along a causeway, in a car with my male family members, we pull into a gas station. My turn to drive and I immediately pull around and run over the curb at the corner of the pump. Nearby there is a famous but struggling restaurant, Jalisco Taco. They’re known for the great human contact of the restaurant setting. Not so great during the pandemic, obviously.

Young Patrick leaves the little coupe, and inside we examine a map marking out where we’ve been today. There and back again across the causeway, also showing what sections I’ve driven. A feeling of being young and uncertain about what I was supposed to accomplish.

I receive a call from a relative on my dad’s side. The caller ID has changed from a very expected 18626 to the mysteriously intentional-looking 777-11-21. (I feel like I never used to dream of specific numbers, but this was very distinct. I have no impression of its importance, but it was certainly a number tied to an emotional reaction.)