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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.

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Dream Journal

Sledding Island, Broth Bucket, Video Beginnings

Dream is uniquely cohesive. All scenes give the feeling that they happen in the same place, and might take place in any order.

My wife asks me to get a big bucket of “lean bone meal broth” from above the top shelf of a grocery store’s refrigerated aisle. To do that I have to move another bone broth that’s in front of it. My wife interrupts the heavy lifting to say how we could settle for that one, an annoying habit she has. I get mildly irritated but manage to retrieve the bucket and leave the store.

I make a YouTube video complaining about a restaurant I’ve been to once. I’m not even that invested in it but I’m quite animated. Seems like it already might take off and become popular — it’s only been up a few hours and is already eligible for a $65 monetization tier.

I’m thinking about this as we are sledding in pairs on a snowy island with big, steep slopes, like an iceberg skate park. We test by pulling the sled with a string to see if it goes over and falls into the icy sea. A highly uncontrolled playtime.

Before a date with a blonde girl, unfamiliar to me even recollecting her now, we masturbate together as a way to build energy. I catch a glimpse of a clock and see that it’s already 8:06 — we were going to leave at 8:00. I immediately mention this; it’s all very mundane.

Watching the intro of a video which gives a shout-out to the part of Australia where host from. It’s a compact crescent archipelago hugging just offshore the southeast corner, somewhere I never went. The view zooms further east to a cluster of oceanic islands, each individually labeled, with a token image to represent each. I’ve never heard of these either but they seem quaint. Then even further out, tiny dinky islands so small and so far out they’re not labeled. Instead they have ideas for fun things you could do there if people ever went… like slide down steep icy slopes on a sled with a string.

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Dream Journal

Left Behind by Workers

A store across the street, where JCX should be, sells big bags of Perlite. I decide I want to get a second bag, as the first one squishes down a little. Standing there next to the tall multi-level floor-to-ceiling shelves I wait for one of the workers to get it and check me out. Is takes so long after I squish the first that it’s compressed fully 1/5 its start size. My cousin Betty is possibly working there — all the employees all very cool but apparently overworked and super slow.

Later I’m in a different retail store, small, reminds me of a place I visited in North San Juan called Peterson’s Corner. Not an employee in sight, I carry a spool while searching about for a place to put it. There could be a walk-in fridge which might do. I spot several workplace posters of my friend Oz, and I want to tell her they need to pay her more for if they use her for modeling work.

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Dream Journal

Which Witch Was It?

My wife and I are considering moving to Hawaii. I see a map with a border marking the cutoff, where one island close to the others technically is in the French Frigate Shoals.


Scavenging just down the street in my neighborhood, I come across an inflatable armchair. The dirty mismatched arms have come off. I have to fiddle with them for awhile to get them inflated and finally decide it’s comfy enough to drag back. Perplexingly, I don’t even think I want it — there’s already so much furniture in my apartment.

Down another street in the perpendicular direction there’s an art store with a notable elevator tower in front, which some neighbors have started slurring as the “hatelift”. In some recent incident they were accused of bigotry, but personally I believe it was misrepresented and they were slandered.

I enter a rival small art space/shop on the other side of the street, diagonally opposite from our apartment. It’s a low-ceiling place with white walls and a vaguely Spanish feel. One of the people there is like Ted Danson’s character Michael from The Good Place, but he’s drunk and chaotic. He offers me some delicacy from a fancy hexagonal box, which opens with elaborate unfolding rose wrapping paper inside — though actually plastic, not paper. This is what got him drunk, apparently. Another odd gadget he rakishly offers is a tiny non-functional crossbow with a rounded pin at the draw end, easily workable if the pin were removed.

There’s a plan hatched to trap him into being alone with a young 17 year-old girl in the group (there are ten people in the store now), then accuse him of taking advantage of her. In the end he actually doesn’t; I’m then asked, as the story’s observer, to decide who was indeed the ultimate schemer among the diverse motives of the assembled cast. Like a game of Clue. This is phrased in terms of all of them being artist/magicians, and with the question “which witch was it?”

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Dream Journal

Boban Vervinsky

My wife and I are sitting in our living room when a sudden noise shakes the wall overhead. A 4-in nail has popped through and knocked off one of the top row trading cards, the same like the arrangement in our apartment’s hallway art gallery. My landlord has been renovating the apartment next door for weeks (this is waking-life true, actually). I angrily walk down the hall to give him and his crew working next door a piece of my mind. He opens the door and as soon as I start describing what happened he pretends to act like they did it on purpose — despite one guy down the hall yelling “hey I’m sorry”. In response I act like I’ll helpfully go measure exactly how many inches of nail are sticking through the wall, so they can measure it from their side, possess an accurate perception of wall thickness, and not do it again.

While we stand outside on the balcony, an older sickly-looking interloper shows up who starts stealing the conversation away, acting like they’re trying to empathize but only talking about their own problems. They’re abruptly standing in the apartment next door while my landlord is standing in mine. Normally I suppose I’d be sympathetic, but instead I turn to my landlord and ask “who the heck is this?” He just says “someone annoying” and I’m simply inclined to agree. There’s nothing to do but let this energy vampire drone on and try to avoid them.


I’m standing in a long winding line on the street here in my neighborhood, the Mission District. I went out to buy a case of beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, for like $23.99. The line moves surprisingly quickly, but it’s split up into a few sections that complexly join into one. The lines’ purpose is labeled only at the penultimate merge, so of course it appears I’ve gotten in the wrong one and should be in the $19.99 and above line. Right about the final merge I look and see the entrance to the store, just another neighborhood corner store that happens to handle particularly high volume right now. The place only allows one or two customers inside at a time, and it’s upstairs through a single doorway — the place I think is called Boban Vervinsky. Exasperated, I realize in this unnecessarily crowded line that I’ve had my mask around my neck the whole time.

Some unannounced blonde attendant (who’d otherwise be pretty cute) starts blithely giving me instructions from behind my back, that I can’t hear, don’t understand, and don’t want. The stress and crowding involved are too much and I give up, throwing my items on the ground toward to store, flipping off the clueless unhelpful attendant on the way out.

This leads to a short back and forth where I’ll see someone I know on the sidewalk giving the middle finger, like Courtney K., and I have the great timing to give them the middle finger back. I’m getting in flipoff doubles, at some point I feel like I’m physically throwing flipoffs… all in a cinematic-quality slow motion montage with scenes bouncing one to another to another. (It reminds me of another dream, where I first learned to double-middle-finger the whole world around me like Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty.) But the chain is broken when there’s a girl, Morgan or Megan, with long dark hair over her eyes who doesn’t see me gesture to her.

Not about to stop acting free, I set off running down the cracked asphalt streets of my neighborhood. I run like a big cat, galloping on all fours. While doing this it’s like I’m narrating my method to some unseen flirting female observer riding along with me. I start running on just my hands, floating my legs up for more speed and maneuverability. It’s at this point the observation strikes me that this is the kind of locomotion I’d choose to do if I were dreaming. The dream rapidly breaks down; I wake up with a sharp inhalation and a beating heart.


A search of the name “Boban Vervinsky” has no results at time of writing.

Music in my head upon waking up, Eydie Gormé, “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (1963)

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Dream Journal

Unexpected Flat Tire, Unexpected Kid, Unexpected Insult

Filing out of a speaking performance, rows of white plastic chairs. Staying behind to talk with the presenter for a few moments alone.

Afterwards I’m at Rainbow Grocery nearby — or maybe it becomes Rainbow Grocery? A cool collection of recent cartoons is posted on one wall. Pretty art, clipped out by employees just for fun. The store is wider, bigger than it was before. This is a bit after the pandemic is over (so sometime in my future).

I parked a borrowed white BMW out the further lot. The thing is refreshingly nice to drive. I chat with a knowledgeable elderly car salesmen out by the BMW, until we realize two of our very short diameter tires are flat. The car has enough spares it first appears, but one is labeled as “only for testing” and remains attached to it’s swingarm… the damn thing turns out to have perfect little punchholes all around the tire so you can’t actually drive on it. So I must come back tomorrow to fix the wheels and retrieve the car. And I have to figure out a different way home today.

My wife discovers source of her recent hunger and bloating is because she’s been pregnant for three months, since December (which makes this March). It’s late enough that a decision should be made soon. I imagine the timeline of if we actually had a kid, when life events would happen for them.

Back at Rainbow Grocery the next day. Addressing not just the car, but the entire situation, I read out a large list I’ve made — one thoroughly indented with multiple sub-options for each option. “Bajoran explosion” is used on the list as a pejorative. I note the faux pas when I notice the reaction of a nearby Bajoran team member.

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Dream Journal

Yellow Shirt for Fun Blonde

Somewhere in Germany during a festival, the streets crowded with people milling about. I notice several black Germans pass by in traditional lederhosen, fully German culturally now — yet I can’t help but wonder what their ancestors put up with, knowing how other European countries treated their African subjects. Soon I’m with a mixed group, sitting to watch an indoor performance in the last two rows. A special request is made of me: get a blonde girl (whom I don’t know personally) a special yellow t-shirt to wear as a top. She slouches cooly in the back row with arms crossed, breasts out, but I can halfway imagine her wearing the yellow top already.

I saunter into an alcove where a meek group of bland-seeming workers is watching a training video, though it ends just as I sit down. Mechanical automatic lockers then open in front of them, though not for me, and we mill into a narrow back area. From these lockers they’ve received tokens (which I of course don’t have) so these back rooms with token-operated machines — arcade games or sewing classes etc — aren’t a practical way to earn the yellow top for the blonde girl.

Which seems like it doesn’t matter, since at the end of this back area is a love den, where she and I engage in another one of our rendezvouses (despite being introduced to her secondhand just earlier, now we’ve been casual lovers for awhile). She’s a sexual athlete and a freak in bed — she actually has stackable bins she carries with compartments for nitrous, whipped cream, amyls, toys, even a case of Greek fireworks (what are those? I don’t know). We’re lounging in bed afterwards, and one of our rules is that we don’t tell personal stories so there’s no chance we could get too attached or bored with each other (her rule, mostly). But I’m reading this newspaper article and it’s a bit shocking actually, so I read it aloud to her — some recent racist government exposé that’s almost too outrageous to believe.

At a desk window back down the hall, on the opposite side from the token rooms is a detective’s office. An ethnic family (older, wearing glasses, perhaps Indian) is trying to file a report. Observing the scene, my blonde girl comments about a stodgy white man visible at the back of the room: “doesn’t he just have that ‘I’ll jam your cell phone’ look to him?” Though I think her comment facetious at first, I watch as the family’s phone signal drops… after which they’re unable to report the crime they’ve been victim of.


A big salt gritter truck parked on a small residential court during the wee hours of the night. I climb into the big cabin and get everything ready for my first drive (fairly sure I’m the yellow-shirt blonde girl now). It appears that in the night someone has stolen much of the trucks tank through the front tank port. However, I confirm the integrity of the single spike guard in front of the port that’s supposed to serve as barricade against a stranger’s siphon hose.

Then there I am, a relatively small blonde girl, driving my new massive beast of a vehicle away at night for the first time. The driver’s view appears as a bright grainy grayscale fisheye lens, a bit disorienting at first but proving very useful. I round the corner out of the short dead-end street, swinging much wider than intended, yet the vehicle’s turning radius is very powerful despite being slow and ungainly.

I drive up a freeway ramp, struggling against the sandy ripples, when I remember I have the option to use the gritter tank to stabilize the slope. There’s a pink effect as I do so, one girl saving the day for all the drivers to follow.


I’m one of two younger girls fighting under table, the other an imposter trying to reach the other side of the room on some nefarious mission. I call “dad, dad!” while holding the imposter down. But the dad is on his computer looking at the email reply of one of his recent online ‘your post has been hidden’ appeals, glancing briefly and perfunctory at our desperate tussle.


In some random rest stop store, I’m looking through the aisles and come across two pieces of a gun hanging from display hooks. It’s wrapped in some kind of sports team graphic, and though they sell other guns from within locked cases, this one is priced so outlandishly that somehow the shopkeepers think it’s ok not to lock it up since it’s in two parts? Ugh.


In a pocket universe, a shabby run-down concrete park is closed during the pandemic. Oddly kids can’t seem to understand this. But adults immediately can spot a certain cracked rear wall, with an exposed adjacent building leaking in foreign universe, among other dangerous problems.

The scene zooms out to the broader area map, revealing the 2-symmetric lobes of this flat bubble universe, and the further 4-petaled algorithmic fractal pattern rotated out from the same central origin. I wish I knew more about this particular place, it seems quite unusual.