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Dream Journal

Missed the Bus; Mother Zerg

On an overnight group bus trip. We crowd into a wood-panelled roadside tchochke store filled with various odd objects. Happening to know the purpose behind many of them, I regale my companions (classmates? friends?) about one item after another. I know at some point that I’m oversharing and being annoying, yet I’m so enjoying being an expert on something — I get carried away with it. I recall this as “acting enlightened” (whatever that means). As a result I miss the group bus when it departs, leaving me stranded after the store closes. I loiter and pace outside in the parking lot, wondering what to do, trying to reason out where I might get a ride. Across a long distance of strip mall emptiness, I make out what might be the bus, my bus, with all my people that left me here. But that could be simply wishful thinking. By the time I could walk all the way over there, they might very well be gone.


I’m part of an alien hive-mind-ish force, zerg-like, bred in great numbers like insects. As one of the exceptional males who survived, today I’m tasked with re-fertilizing the zerg mother. This is regarded as somewhat of an honor for a zerg drone — it’s rare for us to have sex. The actual experience is unpleasant though. The zerg mother stares at me with gazeless eyes, her exaggeratedly big hips meant for storing vast quantities of genetic material to make whatever brood is needed. But I am a brood — could this be my mother? Not that it matters really; we’re all so genetically alike anyway. But since that’s the case, why does it even matter if I contribute my material to future broods? I find myself wondering if I’m allowed to simply stop having sex with the empty-eyed queen. Eventually I do — and nothing bad happens. But what now is my purpose as a drone?

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Dream Journal

Dino Toys, Bison Charge, Elixir Monument

Amongst a nameless store of long aisles, I’m surprised to find myself one aisle over from a large pile of new-old-stock Jurassic Park toy boxes, both velociraptor and dilophisaur. Obviously I wouldn’t have seen these for sale in retail box since I was a kid, mid-90s. I find myself wondering if I should stock up. I hear a lesbian couple discussing them, unseen, in front of the pallet. I hear them speculating aloud about the toys’ abilities, and unknown to them there’s a tramsmit functionality. Without saying a word, I move a walkie-talkie (previously hanging on its strap in my aisle) in front of them both, on top of the toy box pile. So they can now hear their own voices as heard by the toys.

I’m picnicking under a scenic tree, a blissful naive youth on a sunny noon. I hear from inside the nearby building the struggles of a group of people with a huge animal, though I’m generally unconcerned. Suddenly it breaks through the doors, a paleolithically large bison, never seen since ancient times. Without pause it charges directly at me. I maintain my gaze and observe as its horn catches on a tree, throwing off its momentum. It untangles itself and charges away a different direction. But I know it would’ve got me, that it could sense that I was just another of those animals that would eat it’s kind if I could. Leaves me thinking of the old megafauna… how strange it must have felt living around them.

I arrive and depart my friend Sarah’s house via freeway (normally I walk there so this is a bit of an exercise). I’m too early for whatever I came for, and there’s just her, a floor made of large wet pebbles, and a table with the TV on it. Sarah continues mostly paying attention to the TV as I promptly realize I don’t have anything to do here for now, and should cut my losses.

At a yoga retreat in an old open-air stone construction. It’s brisk and I’m running naked in a circular path — exhilarated. Who knows if I can do this, but I’m getting away with it. I discover a small standing monument that is simply a pipe stuck vertically in the ground, with a little plaque bearing a recipe for elixir. The plaque is obscured as Bud Light cans have been left on it from sloppy guests. I gently flick them away.

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Dream Journal

Retro Store, Tree Sacredness: Zinka

[ Zinka is a name that pops into my head during the process of remembering and trying to sort though the night’s dreams. I’ve been having difficulty motivating myself to write and publish them, as my own obligations have grown tiresome. I manage to both remember, write them down, and publish them. A noble effort I hope. ]

The landlord next door has cut down a tall tree with a chainsaw, piece by piece. All that’s left is a tuft at top. There must’ve been some city order as my landlord also just chopped down some plant cover.

By chance, I come across a new Amoeba records location. They’ve relocated it into a janky space that used to be Aquarius Records. Hand-painted artfully decaying banners hang over different sections of the store. Bins of music are stacked on retro acrylic shelving. Something about it is like the original GAP store on Ocean avenue in SF (though it was long before my time). They kept the bohemian charm but increased all the prices for the bourgeoisie. Reminds me of New York City in a way. As I’m coming round a corner, over a metal railing, I chance on the beginning of a three-way in hot tub. The two guys never see me, but I almost make eye contact with the girl — which feels intrusive, though I never get a bad vibe. I coolly direct my attention elsewhere, but know that whoever she is, she knows I saw everything.

I’m stand near a steep dirt-sided cliff, in the vicinity of a sacred tree. As it happens, a line of witches is coming back from a ritual and has to make their way up the hill. For a moment I worry I shouldn’t be there, but just as quick I’m able to do a random good deed by helping give a hand up the scrabble-y slope. The witches realize this is passing chance, but I earn their favor nonetheless. Smiles of many women.

In the retro store I find a vintage two-button Tetris game device in a plastic case. It’s quite fun to play around with, though you have to smoosh your fingers hard to actuate it. I write a note in pen for the person it belongs to, thanking them, when they hopefully find it again where I left it as found.

Short stumps of trees skid across long patches of dry grass, among sparse trees of a forest gulch. I realize people are whipping them with some degree of skill, making them seem to jolt across the landscape. The whips are long and it’s difficult to imagine how quick they must move.

Visiting one of my family member’s who’s living in my old college dorm, maybe my dad and/or my brother. He mostly sits at the computer in one room while I’m there. He’s divorced now, and I’m a bit irritated to discover that he’s using up all my candles. Not even enjoying them, just forgetting to put them out. I peek in bathroom mirror (I seem to almost get confused or lucid; can’t remember now why this detail was important). Outside, near the lawn and the parking lot, no one seems to notice the clear tube coming from the dorm’s window — though big enough it’s for multiple people to slide down. I look for a moment into a basement stairwell, which my family person has been down to the first level. I knowing there are actually three floors there. And not used for anything pleasant. I have the fortitude to go all the way down, but I have the sense not to desire to.

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Dream Journal

Away & Again, Round th’ Healing Isles of Coumbernauld

It was more than 27 hours since I slept last. And bad sleep at that. My wife helpfully let me sleep on our couch, in our living room, in the center of our home. There were many dreams — I seem to remember more than usual given my slow luxurious wakeup in the wee hours of the morning.


A clubhouse place. Like a giant orange mushroom formed of plastic, something very 70s in design, but made as a skill-building project by one of a close group of friends who all live nearby. Their social atmosphere is perfect: intimate, congenial, familiar yet inviting, a shifting and easy mix of people. I think it was like a commune of folks who all shared a single professional background expertise but many different disciplines. Perhaps botany. My friends P & S could be among them.

An end of season or end of semester party with the clan of Ms. Fitz., my high school creative writing teacher. From out of a long metal block container in a semi-covered building, I scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream and share with street kids and refugee Indian women. Quickly  knocking it out of the container though I am, they grab it grabbily.

Sent to recover in the Coumbernauld isles of Scotland. Round little bumps of land, with a characteristic flat divot off the side. That might be the shape of the islands or even a symbol they’ve gained over the years. They’re quite small and clustered together in a narrow channel near the town of Coumbernauld (or Cumbernald). You could row between them all with just a dingy. But the round grass covered domes with comfortable well-made and reassuringly traditional structures give off almost a generic olde British isles vibe. It comforts me through all the dreams. This is the frame dream: it is here in the middle, but rests behind the others.

Encountering a small girl, maybe 5 or 6, at an outdoor bookstore. She’s looking for Euripides, which I thoughtlessly pronounce the proper Greek way. That doesn’t confuse her at all though, and I locate on the rough-hewn shelves the scratched and dirty name from ancient Greek. It’s clear The Bacchae ought to be here, but maybe it’s sold out, or… I try to see if the little kid would like to search more, or is interested in something else, but while we’re talking it seems like the precocious bookworm wanders off elsewhere.

There’s more store to look though. It might even be cited around the hill at the base of the Parthenon. Unfamiliar but sight, but famed. The windows behind the shelves (which are really just frames, as it’s all outside) look out on a mysterious creek. I find the store has a good collection of scented items: incense sticks, candles, etc. They’ve set up a display particularly for Christmas smells, since that’s a very distinct and large category of smells that people might be interested in buying. They’ve used it as an excuse really to set up all their Christmas stuff. Without realizing, everyone seems to have slipping into acting as though it’s almost Christmas, that the year is almost over, and we must spend and stress for the season like always. But I’m confused. I could swear I never had a September, or fall, the year has skipped to the end. I start a protest chant against Christmas, “it’s still June!”

My wife and I are alone in a home that is like a sparsely furnished version of my teenage home. It’s sometimes second home (mostly vacation home) of one of our family. But this is a different time we aren’t husband and wife. Or the same name, appearance. Only are insides are the same. I make sure to grab towels and place them near the bed for afterwards. But the bed sits in full view of the front door. No one but us is home. We don’t know if or when anyone else may come. The afternoon is what it is, and it’s for us. The dream ends here.


Closing note at 12:02 am, 20 hrs later: a full day. I looked and listened and stayed in motion. Flow like water. Flow like a rapper. Today’s tarot: the emperor. So worn out. Soothing myself to sleep by hitting publish at the bottom of this form.

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Dream Journal

Mall Empty, Different Owners

Over visiting someone else’s place, a rental. I run across the landlord in the downstairs garage, with his tools out, fixing some old Victorian equipment. I quickly get buddy-buddy with Mr. Landlord since I seem to understand what he’s working on. The light in the garage / front room has a gauzy look from being filtered through dusty windows.

An aquarium sits on its side such that I can dip my fingers through where the front glass would be. Working out how to get a filter to work, I flip it back and forth over different surfaces of the water. The water remains cloudy and dirty, despite that I’m confident the filter is now working. It will just take a while to clear.

I walk all the way down the ramp of a mall lined with storefronts. Then back up. During the time I walked down many stores have closed, and the place feels much emptier. Maybe like SF’s Chinatown.

Across a mall parking lot (different from above, I suppose) there’s an abandoned store which is poorly renovated. The owners perception was it just seemed any good buyer would consider it dated. I think it looked fine, warm and nostalgic even, but they insisted on renovating it for whatever fad they imagine business owners want this year.

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Dream Journal

Mayan Motif, Feelings of Early Winter

A racing game set on a semi-oval course laid out in an office store. Speeding above the aisles, like a trainset hung from the ceiling of a dentist’s office. Tall narrow windows flood in color like a sunset. The brown tones and amber light give it a nostalgic mid-century aura.

I descend from the track after I am intrigued to notice a seated Drew Carey. I thank him for his show I enjoyed as a teenager, and he mentions another Drew Carey Show actor — I’m embarrassed I can’t continue the conversation, as I don’t know if that’s the blond or the brunet guy, as I don’t remember their names.

I take it upon myself to advance the next part of the game, headed up to a sunny Mayan temple level on the outdoor mezzanine. There, power-ups transform the player/POV character into a multi-legged mythical beast, a praying mantis centaur that rampages across the chessboard-like lawn outside the gates. Mayan revival architecture is a motif running through all these dreams.

My household spends a long time trying to leave our house to start a weeks-long cross-country journey. It’s winter and we’re packing a boxy car, maybe an SUV. We eventually get out the door, but by then it’s so late that we have to turn back — there’s not enough time to reach a safe stopping point. So we leave the house the next day, too.

Back in an office workplace, an unexpected meeting is called at the of end of day. It’s an unusually chummy workplace, and as part of the culture I snuggle my coworkers in a big dumpster/dent in the white floor. At first I’m warmly pressed against a girl I like, but a shuffle later I’m left with either a single other guy or no one. It’s simply the flip side of this arrangement, so I kill time standing near a fence and fiddling with a drawer.

Back in our apartment again. Asking our neighbors Dolly and Candida for to-go container (I say “greenbean box”) as they’re rushing out the door. They’re actually former neighbors but in the dream they still live next to us. I peek inside — their apartment is a mirror of ours, having the same long narrow hallway which unfortunately consumes so much space. In the dream it slopes upward and is supported by thin columns, and I’ve decorated ours with hanging art. Since I realize both neighbors are gone I’m tempted to visit the hidden upper levels of the building; I’ve discovered a blocked-off stairway passage in our kitchen, which leads to a forgotten door (technically part of the neighbors place). Even though supposedly we live on the top floor, I’ve previously accessed a roof level where there is a park-like garden and commercial vendors. I’ve been to it in a dream before, and I find myself gazing up at the obfuscated structures wondering if they survived the pandemic.

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Dream Journal

Following the Purple Sign Circuit

A city split evenly in halves by a river. I’m near the shore and perusing a map of the area’s bridges when I receive what feels like bold headline news: Margaret Thatcher Is Dead. In this case Margaret Thatcher is, of course, the famous nesting falcon named after the former Prime Minister. Most likely one of the last animals that will be named after her.

Soon afterwards, I’m in one of the white tall-ceilinged hallways of a nearly empty mall. It’s sometime in the off-season and the lights are off; there’s a calm artificial chill from AC. Purple signs are hung at regular intervals, something I noticed but never considered before. I understand they’re meant to be followed in sequence as a guide for security officers patrolling the grounds — one always has a view of the next sign once one approaches any of them. The route is permanent and meant to followed as a circuit every day. I become mischievously curious imigining what such a repetitive daily existence must be like.

Out though an exterior door, I follow purple signs through a darkened T-intersection of the mall. It’s a semi-outdoor area of closed windowed storefronts and sunny courtyards typically filled with patio furniture. I recognize the place from at least one previous dream. The setting seems based off Palm Springs and has a wealthy tourist vibe: potted palm trees, Mid-Century Modern leisure space. I still haven’t seen a single person.

Off behind a side door the route ascends a set of stairs that feel off-limits and un-public. Upstairs is a space I’d never expect compared to the ostentatiousness below, dirty, basic, neglected, like a cheap mall in some Chinatown. I don’t see many customers, but several stores are actually open and I spot retail workers inside shops. One is called “Caches Played” and has a feeling of bareness, as if the shelves were set up by a single person only recently. Another is called “Bazza Kazza” which is an Austalian-ization of the letters B & K, those being consonants extracted from the word “bitch”. They sell a variety of equipment for small terrariums & aquariums yet the space is scuzzy.

My wife and I spend an extended time browsing. The single round room feels like being inside a tower, but the carpets are torn and the walls are scratched-up. There’s a few shady characters loitering aimlessly. My wife presents me with a Triops culture she just bought while I was distracted worrying about the random dudes. I’m skeptical that the container will work, and annoyed that she bought it without talking to me first. But after fiddling with the two interlocking enamelware bowls I’m pleasantly surprised that the thing seems reasonably useful.

I could swear someone stole my shoes while I was looking away. I manage to find them elsewhere in the store (no way to know who left them there). The shoes are structured as a big piece of taut fabric and are a bit tricky. I have to remember how to hold my heel tight against the end and pull/fold them over. The thoughtfulness of it is reminiscent of my tabi shoes.


I spend a lot of time embedding all these memories enough to write them down. To the point that I recall how, currently, my computer’s photo storage is on the fritz — and that the program I will use to write my dreams down only loads the top 10% of the background image. This is exactly as my desktop usually appears when it can’t read the drive.

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Dream Journal

Favorite Tchotchke Store

Checking in on my favorite Japanese tchotchke store which has been shut for the duration of the pandemic. It seems like it’s appeared in previous dreams as a place where I stored my clothes sometimes. Among the tall wooden columns of its business complex, I feel like I’m sneaking around. The windows are dusty and the door is locked, but I’m relieved to see there’s still stuff inside. It’s obvious they’ve moved a lot of merchandise out, perhaps long ago when the pandemic started. I’m worried they still might go out of business as it’s been so long they were closed.

In my home I’m carrying a “Omicron and Delta” handheld COVID temperature sensor device. It’s a smooth bubble-form electronic, a little fancier than I’d typically buy. Reflecting how it can’t be that old as the branding of it for detecting Omicron could’ve only happened recently.

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Dream Journal

Pet Store Rattie Daycare Thievery

Cozy inside during a bright summer day. Watching pleasant projector slides (letters with cool patterns punched within) hanging out with a kid just to pass the time. It could be babysitting, but we’re chill enough it doesn’t feel that way. Elsewhere, other adults fret and work preparing for something while we have an idyll.

On the the kitchen counter (like my childhood home) I find the last crab claw left out. I clean it out and wonder if I should ask if it was left there for a reason.

At a pet store, I’ve dropped off
my rats Martin and his same-age buddies in a high wooden display cage. We successfully bet no one would try to buy them. I break them out despite being directly across from the young clerk, essentially treating the store like rattie day care. I walk right out — stealing my own rats back from where I didn’t even ask to stash them.

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Dream Journal

Scenic Truck Stop Knick-knack Store set on Fire

An odd hybrid landscape, round trees and rolling grassy hills. Gazing into the distance where I know about a trail leading to a waterfall. I’m stationed in a bulky building laid out in a wide intended word meaning for ‘exurban’ truck stop surrounded by parking lots.

A friend and important person (someone on the level of a president) parks a long semi truck with cargo in our lot, inexpertly, and leaves it to hike the trail. They don’t have the skill to get it lined up in the marked diagonal spots, but assume it’ll be good enough on account of their status. It’s not though — legally our site counts as interstate commerce, so it’s regulated by the feds. The lines are there for evacuation safety and the semi is at risk of being towed.

My friend Reecy is opening a shop on one of the outside corners of the grey, industrial concrete structure. Her opening day story is intercut with a Strangers With Candy episode (complete with theme song). Also intercut towards the end is some oddly stylish and classy porn — porn which I can’t remember saving, but the file creation dates show as from February 14 2013.

A small fire is (intentionally or carelessly) set inside the front room of Reecy’s glass-fronted knickknack store, trash dropped from above into a short can. Among the densely-packed low shelves it goes unnoticed for a bit. Mr. Jellineck (an art teacher from Strangers With Candy) pulls the flaming garbage out then cavalierly drops it down a hole in floor, where I can watch it land in a neglected basement understory.