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Dream Journal

Chamavada & Friends

On am open field or a rooftop, I see all sorts of photos of myself — taken by friends I haven’t seen for a while. My friend Dave is still the manager of our old hostel. He mentions the first manager Mindy, who was before my time. On reflection, he’s been the manager a lot longer than her, which I never considered before.

Talking to a high school friend from sophomore year, Kyle Bashore, in the stairwell of a building.

Soon I retreat to my room (this is my small teenage bedroom from middle school). In the desk drawer which I haven’t opened in awhile I find a soda-cup-shaped fleshlight device. Not that it seems sexual, it’s more just a port of some kind. I wonder if it’s mine.

It is the 10th anniversary of the time my family members threw themselves into the sea. It was ruled a suicide but I can’t remember their motivation. Also, it seems to be that they came back and are alive again? The name sounded Indian, Chamavada or something.

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Dream Journal

Bad Sleep: Sutra of BigBlueBirds

Repeatedly throughout the night, I startle myself into wakefulness. I seem to unerringly repeat a cycle of soothing myself and finding at the end of that process that I’ve now fully pieced together an abstract but alarming self-truth — a truth which worries me enough to rouse myself. Perhaps in fewer words, I keep just getting to sleep but then thinking I’m probably just a big loser. Even fewer words: the sleep? Real bad.

But with diligence, once my “morning-like” arising becomes inevitable and imminent, I manage to establish: well, I must’ve slept a little, because I can remember at least a few different scraps from my dream. Or was it two dreams? Note: how long have I been writing these, and I never worried myself about dream plurals? I captured a little dreamtime, from the other side, and here that just means I really went there.


The ledge of a steep, scenic, tropical vista. I’m on a bus, riding up a road to a zoo. Bit like the road up to the Oakland Zoo, where I went not long ago with a few friends and their babies. The bus is moving toward the left (relative to my view out the window). Finally, I spot what I came here to see: giant birds nesting on the edge of the cliff, the same cliff on whose ledge our bus is driving up, with the cliff’s face behind us. It sounds silly but these birds look like… like giant puffy bluebirds. I’ll never get this across to anyone but myself (no one else has seen this, unless I’m mistaken) so this part is only for future me: dude those fuckers were fucking majestic.

I had a brief moment of surprise at how impressive they were. I mean, I came all this way for them but I couldn’t know till I was really there. And I called out impulsively like a kid, “It’s Marahute! Just like Marahute in the movie!” It immediately occurred to me that the other passengers on the bus, mostly young kids under ten, probably had no idea what I meant. It’s from when I was a kid. So for those kids: Marahute was the name of a gigantic eagle who was in a cartoon movie called Rescuers Down Under. I liked it as a kid. I mean, I still like it, but I liked it then too. Marahute had this great nest on a steep cliff that seemed surprisingly cozy (well, cozy for a giant eagle). So she really was kinda like these birds. Giant bluebirds nesting right in front of me, and me riding comfortably past so many different ones all in a long row. Man, that still sounds so cool. It kinda was.

The other dream parts were less spectacular. Once off the bus, someone took my hammock (or chair?) and put it as part of an exclusive luxury area of parked buses. I wasn’t supposed to go there necessarily; everything about the situation was confusing. So I’m processing this annoying tiny dilemma instead of seeing stuff at this cool zoo. Well I assume it’s cool; those BigBlueBirds were all I saw of it as far as I remember. Hey, does anyone know if the people in charge of this bus area, this area, that people know that hammock there is just being borrowed? Would it be possible for someone, preferably with authority to — sorry I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t, I’m having a hard time sorting out my understanding here, I didn’t mean… just, do you think someone could please make sure the private renters know I should get that hammock back? I can come back later if I know when.


This transitions somehow. If I’m guessing, I went back on a bus and the interior of the bus became the interior of a narrow apartment living room. A new apartment, my apartment, an apartment which specifically is not the one I’m living in now in non-dreamtime. But it had the same name. And we got it through some kind of arrangement, a swap or deal or something, giving up the old one. That old one is where I’m currently writing this dream down in bed. And I’m crying. Big pitiful tears, crying in my own living room, sad because I feel like this place is so, so much worse. Worse for me. Because I had the old one, once. The room here has smaller windows that nevertheless look out from every corner. A robust table, some generic vases. I think of it not as a living room, my living room, but the room with the mural. The bottom half of every wall is painted with a repeating design, of tropical leaves with each leaf a different color — but it just strikes me as amateurish, or incomplete, maybe abandoned. I feel like it should spark joy but it doesn’t. Coincidentally the mural was painted by this Jewish musician here in SF, somebody cool who I used to think I could be friends with, but our lives have since drifted so far apart I simply know: “friends” isn’t in the cards.

Jascha, that guy was you. I think you’re still in the city. Is this weird? I’m sorry if I made it weird, Jascha. I suddenly got too intimate with myself so pivoted by talking to you for a bit if that’s all good. To my knowledge you’ve never even done any murals. “Jascha needs mural-painting like a fish needs a bicycle”, that’s what I always say. Which is a terrible thing to say if you’re a full-time muralist instead of a musician now, eep. I’m sorry I never got the chance to perform my due diligence before I used your actual name this way. I hope that never causes you an issue; it’s just that I took an intentional detour as I wanted to avoid wallowing again just now exactly as I did in that dream. Maybe I said that before; I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself here. This just feels important so thank you for understanding. This conversation wasn’t your idea and I’m trying not to repeat myself — I’m sorry again — (keep it together, man) — it seems obvious that your involvement in this narrative was always rather incidental until I needed a, a, aaaaa device that’s the word and your name was right there, ready, when I reached for one. I hope that’s a decent way to treat a real person.

I really do remember such a dude (if anyone besides him is reading this).

A curiosity then, that since I happen to know he painted that boring mural (in my dream, this is about my dream last night remember?), that I also know that Jascha had once been in that same room, in that new place, painting what became a plant mural that some acquaintance would later find merely mediocre, while this (this to you, Jascha) rando indulgently wracked the depths of his self-contemptible despair. It’s not even a coincidence, your involvement in this story Jascha, as our times in that place didn’t co-incide. We both merely existed in that less-good place with its mere similarities, that place which reminded us of better places. The tropics, maybe, but that stretches belief doesn’t it. That “new” living room and that “new” apartment. Probably, it wasn’t even all that worse for you or for me. Maybe it was almost not bad. But I wouldn’t know, because the truth is I just missed the old place and was powerless to do anything about it — except go ahead and miss it, miss it so %#&{@!!! much, in privacy, alone. Alone but willfully haunted. So many ghosts yet feeling never enough.

And that was when I was sitting crying in that (tinier) living room; sad, but also sad about being sad. Because that’s something I could do. Centered among all those household things with which I was newly familiar, that I had no want to ever touch, all that innocent garbage, I simply sat with and experienced that feeling of missing my old things which were gone, which I could never again see or smell or hold or be inside, but which I still wanted with me as however I imagined. Such a terrible power. I lied to myself to make it feel worse on purpose. I wanted to intensify everything and thereby use it all up. Maybe I only hoped I was lying, that it was just such wallowing, not real at all, and I instinctively circled around actual release because I knew it would mean I’d lose one more thing. The last thing, maybe keeping me alive, because here I am.

I was piteous then, and all this is piteous now tbh, yet how incredible and how startling, that even my own pity I never wanted. I never did accept it. My pity.

I think we can be correct when we do that. Some people don’t do that. People are able to take in every other misfortune and regret and pile of shit they’ve trodden upon in their lives and say, it’s ok for me to be sad about this, and oh btw all those once-happy things. But the sadness itself, accepting our own regrets for who we were all along: it’s possible to just nope out at the last second and say “don’t give me my own pity — I’m not giving up hope — I’m not writing that down — I’m not interested in making a dream journal about this one.” What is that, some cheat code? What’s it supposed to do, keep the pity you don’t want? We do the wrong thing, the wrongest wrong thing in some situation, but weirdly because it could be the best right thing to do? Right and wrong aren’t opposites. Wait they’re not? When we define them as only opposites we miss the edge cases like this, which says to me: right and wrong aren’t opposites. You don’t always have to choose one. Maybe they’re irrelevant, or maybe you get both (which is more unusual). So maybe do what you fucking want and want what you do. Or some other confusing justification that only I seem to view as valid. None of this makes sense anymore to you dear Jascha, I sure do hope. Language is limiting, and it’s-ain’t-no-fault-a-mined.

So Jascha you’re are a musician, huh. Do you remember that song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and how it goes? It’s an old one, yeah. Do you still like singing it?

Here I’ll add the little nugget of wisdom which has helped so much of my own insight over previous years: you are the room you’re in. Whatever that means. If it seems important, try to remember it. Repeat it if you have to.

You are the room you’re in.

Fuck this. Fuck him. That poor fucker… sorry, not you Jascha. I refer to whatever fellow might feel like he still needs to be in that private misery room. Get your fucking shit together or keep crying: those are some options my guy. Really have my sympathies dude, but I’m also not sure what to do about this situation and so I think it’s best for us both if we just stop here.

Yikes. Um, that’s sounds like the end. Well then. The dream did not have a proper ending anyway, as I recall.

Ok wait. To the real Jascha: hello again ???? I was inspired to include in the title here the word “Sutra”, both because it just felt so chill and righteous and apropos, and I’m like from California — can you tell? — and because it obviously jibes with what I can guess is (how I’m gonna put this?) your whole Buddhism deal. I’m not usually this weird I don’t think. I dunno. Still feel weird though. Thank you for letting me borrow your name. It was unexpected for me also.


Maybe this is one of those dreams I can remember long afterwards. Honestly though, maybe not. I get flashes and impressions from past dreams a lot, more since I started writing them down. It’s hardly a predictable pattern though. I’m glad this one got inscribed, you know. I’m really surprised I was able to remember it as well as I did — right now it’s 24 hours later as I’m finishing this up. Might’ve even been good writing for once [future Orin will make that evaluation at such-and-such time].

But who cares. Trying to make this exercise for something? I personally haven’t found much success with that. If I do it though, usually something somewhere in my life gets affected in interesting small ways (not so randomly), and I’ve generally liked the way it affects things. There are always exceptions. Just something to do.

Hopefully this motivates me to write down more dreams in future. Those bluebirds were cool.

Categories
Dream Journal

Big School Hallway

Middle School classroom, teacher is having difficulty trying to get us to actually leave our desks in disarray when we’re dismissed. A student teacher answers a phone call. The desk behind me has a roll of foil in it. We could fit all the students in a bus, squeezing double into every seat, but the bus would weigh so much it would drag.

I go on Space Mountain three times. Shoot some video of Ty as the operator, waving the space transports in.


A girl, topless, is crying (could it be Jaime Silva from 8th grade?). I take the opportunity besides all the other guys to actually console her. Go in for a very tactical hug, not holding her anywhere even moderately sexual, light light touch just on the elbows and forearms. She’s relieved and thanks me, and apologizes that her personal censor doesn’t allow me to see anything below her neck. I nod kindly and don’t mention that it does.

The class is then exploring a building which is a very long, wide hallway. I’m the only one to discover a door in the side, with a tiny little inter-door space, and another identical door. There’s even an attic door when I look up. I go inside and it’s a single-occupancy apartment with the TV still on. It makes the lines of the building stick out and should be easy to see from the outside. I get the impression that outside is the Sahara desert though, like something out of Dr. Strange.

I continue walking around the hallway with my classmates, recall the topless girl story and mentally review it, remembering it as important. (This is likely a consequence from my practice of my dream journaling practice.)


I walk down the hall to see my wife. She’s stressed and just as I’m walking down our hall, she mentions the door in the hallway could shut at any point. Of course, right at that moment, a door midway down the hallway — which was never there before — swings shut right in front of me.