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Dream Journal

A Bit of Gold, But No Wealth

Tiny chunks of gold that I’ve kept since a robbery I performed at my workspace a long time ago. I have to deposit it in the bank little by little so as to to avoid suspicion — or giving away enough to be detected. Which basically means I’m only maintaining my current financial level, and will never be able to live as “wealthy” despite possessing this glittering material wealth.

From the top of a bunk bed, I reach down to the floor to release my pet rat Tipple (short for Tipperarius, a combo of Ozma Tippetarius and Country Tipperary). As a joke, I move a carved rectangular sign that reads says “International Border” adjacent to the door of the next room.

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Dream Journal

Stunts on the Moon, Bear Spoons

Residence on the moon. Recounting the time I trained my rat, Stimp, to go where I directed. That’s how he became the first animal to visit the south and north poles of the Moon. I’m recounting this to some kind of ruling council that meets in a small chamber — one that is entirely a hot tub. Stimp is there with me as I tell the story, seeking permission to do some new stunt.

Down the street, outside an old timey Hollywood theater, I have a new (video game-like) ability to deploy holo-screens. But when I press the button to activate it, nothing happens and I see my inventory of 91 film cans get stuck glitching and drop down to zero. I have to explain what happened to the council, there was some sort of malfunction and I really want to get them back.

A bear wanders into my house. Normally this could be alarming, but the bear snuggles up to our “puppy pile” of pets and humans. The bear lays on the outside, becoming the biggest spoon in our line of snuggled spoons.

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Dream Journal

Boat, Bus, (Another Bus), and a Pretty Good Date

On a boat, minding my own business reading. Three lavatory cabins sit on the left of the boat, bobbing widely up and down in the spray. I’m friendly with the boatman, and we take a 15 minute break on a shoreline so I can get up and stretch my legs, and take a pee break outside those challenging lavatories. I watch as a water pressure rocket shoots into the sky.


Asking a girl I know out on a date. (As it happens, this girl will later become my crush.) We’re at a college, riding around on student buses, among huge institutional buildings with wide lawns laid out on a grid. I point out to her the many little groups of animal sculptures placed on balconies of an incomplete building, supposedly a tradition in Arabia and the Emirates. One group of wolves, though, is alive, and we watch enthralled as they stalk across the empty road outside our bus windows.

We go somewhere inside a big university building, a place with high-ceilinged two-story elevators. A maintenance man actually points out how they’ve recently made them nicer. There’s somewhere I think would be nice to take her for a date, but when we get there it’s a student mental health clinic (maybe we mis-navigated, maybe they moved the location). I figure this out looking through forms over the light of a desk lamp, politely decline their services, and take her somewhere nicer.

We find a plain rectangular room with a bed. I ask her directly if she’d like to have sex. Her reaction is everything: she ponders with her finger pressed to her lips, eyes cast upwards, gently scratching her now bald head. It’s a subtly amusing overacted display of thoughtfulness, and I take the time to evaluate her unique beauty. Finally she turns to me and pronounces a simple, conclusive “yes”. I smile, but realizing we haven’t actually had any regular fun yet I change tack. We snuggle up back-to-front and proceed through a card I have, a written series of jokes and responses, and she quickly picks up on it. We start to form a bond.


Again I’m a young kid, reading on a bus this time. Keep my tiny fuzzy rat Pierre under my fuzzy sweater, with the waist tucked in. My reading is interrupted by a bus guard (seem like a lot of rules on this bus) who scans me with handheld detector. But I feel uncharacteristically fine about it, and don’t worry about Pierre. My dad sits in the seat next to me. While I’m reading, the left lens of my glasses comes loose and blows out the window. I quickly try to remember the street, 45th I think, so we can go back and get it. However, the next street is 11th and the street after that is labelled 11:11.

I attempt to improvise, putting a grid of various colored glitter-water into a cat-eye-shaped lens and frame. Remarkably, the lens is the correct size, yet has a crunchy ice texture that makes it useless for reading through — but fascinating to look at. I study it intently and wonder what I could use it for, my reading forgotten.

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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.

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Dream Journal

Bookended Startling Rat Dreams

As I lay on the living room couch, I hear an odd rat-like noise from our back room — but not identifiable as one of our pets. I’m a bit playful when I go to investigate but creeped out by a bunch of our pillows that’ve been slashed almost in half. In an instant I realize no rat or other pet could’ve done this, and a malicious someone in likely still in the house.

I bolt awake, heart pounding, from sleep on the couch… remembering that I couldn’t fall asleep there; I had to give one of our rattie boys his medication.


I’ve been tricked into “checking out” some sort of vacation retreat with a very culty vibe. I try to leave but quickly find myself mobbed by a crush of people who aren’t allowing me to go. I think one even delivers the “it’s for my own good” line; bone-chilling in these circumstances. One bespectacled man grabs my keys and puts them in his pocket. Struggling against the huddle of bodies I manage to retrieve the keys — though I’m almost alarmed they let me have them back. They’re reluctant to do anything resembling an unambiguous assault. I escape climbing through a bathroom window when I think no one’s watching, though at this point… I wonder if they are.


I’m assigned a new group at Burning Man while it’s halfway through (not much like Burning Man — more like a week-long summer camp in an elaborate multi-story wooden atrium). I’m paired with three affable Asian kids younger than me. We’re moved to a different bunk room (a frequent occurrence) and shortly afterwards my first group, of which I’m still kind of a part, gets assigned a room that’s closer. I sleep there as it’s a bit easier, especially moving all my stuff, but I feel disappointed and conflicted for abandoning my cool new friends.


While lying asleep in bed, I hear one of our pet rats crawl up onto my wife’s side. It makes its way across our pillows, feeling oddly familiar. It crawls under the blankets right in front of me and I peek one eye open. It’s a grey rat, but we haven’t had any grey rats since… I bolt awake, realizing that one of our babies that went missing two months ago, Silveroo, has returned.

But he’s not there. There’s no rat at all. I was, for the second time in a night, having dreams of rats, set in the very place I was actually sleeping.

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Dream Journal

Small Apartment in Tower above Asian Grocery

A very small Japanese-style apartment on its own floor at the top of a tower. So tiny when I sweep rat poo with my feet, it flies over the balcony. Every surface is covered with all my possessions.

At the base of the tower is an Asian grocery. They have great prices on packs of beer, specifically Kirin — a big label advertising it above the glass door in a refrigerated aisle. The catch is: the beer is dehydrated and a pack comes in a single can. I remember this only when I realize I still have a can-pack at home in the (tiny) fridge drawer.

The grocery also sells antiques in an aisle behind the beer. One such curiosity is an elaborate frame drum in the abstract shape of a lizard, paint-daubed with black spots. Made with different striking surfaces for different sounds (including part that looks like a cheese grater). I play contentedly for a bit. While sitting there I watch a tiny dinosaur, a miniature Triceratops perhaps, be chased over some hills by a rabbit or other small mammal. Filming it on my phone, I bemusedly note that no one is likely to believe it’s not even CGI.

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Dream Journal

Dara, a Pastel Rat

I spot my old crush Dara walking across the crosswalk outside my house. She’s dressed in faded pastels, a pastel hoodie pulled over her head. I recognize her despite the personally unlikely color palette and the odd gait she has, a side-to-side waddle like her hips are too big.

She turns into a rat, scrabbling around the kitchen for Teddy Grahams to eat. Squeezing inside an empty milk jug, I start feeding her Teddy Grahams.