Dream Journal

Rewatching Avonlea

Show up to get a ticket on a Russian train. I’ve been staying at a hostel nearby so I can leave when convenient. I show up as it’s pulling into the station, but the interface of the ticket machine proves fiddly and I have difficulty working with the Russian interface. I’m trying to select St Petersburg, getting the shorthand wrong, having to swap destination with current location. The train is unusually prompt and pulls away in an absurdly brief one or two minutes. Last time it was in the station for about half an hour. I’m very, very mad, finding myself awake in bed at 6 a.m. I quell my rage with a sleep mask.

In a pool (a specific corner of a pool much like my family’s in my childhood home) doing a baptism ritual for an infant — something to bless America, I think. A wedge of lime is carefully melted down on all the exposed surfaces to make it smooth as possible. The lime is delicately anointed on the baby’s forehead. Perhaps it was my own disinterest, but I wish it had been better explained.

Watching episodes of the old TV show “Avonlea” pen-pal style with my wife. There’s a scene where the plucky kids start on a gravelly Canadian beach and cross an open water channel on a dingy, following the fin of a whale cutting through the water. It’s a scene that I made and filmed myself, somehow. I remember not realizing how pretty summers are in that part of Canada.

Meanwhile I’m trying to explain something to my wife after she inquires how to do it, The solution I attempt is to send her a gray t-shirt, scrawling a message across it in pencil. Proves itself difficult to write on though; I end up making the lines too close together, and the capital letters are too blocky. While this is going on, I think I can hear her listening to Kate Bush songs.

Dream ends with me wanting to get back the three microphones I lent her. She’s never ended up using them, and I want them again to use in programming my code. My wife wakes me up to bid farewell on her way to work, and I inquire about these microphones. She jokingly confirms she won’t be giving them back.

Dream Journal

Peering at Yard Prettiness

At the edge of a very wide artificial pond serving a fish market, I pull out a special creature. A frilly fish that I know belongs in an aquarium. I have to take it somewhere across a barrier, perhaps up to another pool.

Helping at friends P + S house while they take care of their baby. While I’m there I idly volunteer to take care of the backyard. I have a moment where I’m distracted by the lovely light teal color of the painted fence, the perfect color contrast it makes with the stubby plants growing along it. It’s strange thinking that a landlord painted it such a nice color, but then again it looks like it was painted in the 50s or 60s. Walking through the backyard, I shake a tight bundle of tree branches which is laid on the grass and set it upright. It’s like getting a witch’s broom to stand up straight.

Peeking out of window of my childhood bedroom, I observe the nicely-built brickwork in the front yard. There’s a half-barrel for a fountain, and behind that the neighbor kids play next door. Reflecting on how I’ve been privileged by never having had to move away from this house for my whole adult life, but that’s it’s also constricting to have to still fit into the same space.

The window has a warped shelf in front of it, and I set down a wide milk-glass bowl on it. It predictably tumbles to the floor, landing oddly on its edge, and leaving a distinctive symmetrical chip.

There’s a shiny holographic plaid sticker which I examine, turning it side to side. (This marks the transition to wakefulness.) Moreover, train authorities can swap your luggage out on the train car if they need room at any time — which makes the service useless. Connected with the sticker somehow.

Dream Journal

Train Got Problems

I’m trying to get off a passenger train (a tram, really) with an unwieldy bag slung over my shoulder. Heedless of my struggle, the train starts along again quickly — the cowcatcher in front scoops me right back on board, like a set of stairs lunging at me.

In the station a giant diesel locomotive idles noisily, producing an overpowering mechanical smell. There’s no indication what it’s here for. Maybe I climb around on it.

I become angry that they spent a bunch of time and effort renovating and rearranging rooms on the next train. They all seem patently inferior to me. I storm off after hearing again of the coveted exercise classes for adult men.

Dream Journal

Reliving a Long-Ago Math Class

Peering out at the top layer of a canopy of skyscrapers. Observing an expensive-looking top floor patio garden so scary I wouldn’t want to be in, the reflections off other skyscrapers. A top floor passageway between two buildings permits bureaucratic workers to travel expediently between the two — something that strikes me as the result of having a good union.

Reliving an experience of trying to redo my fourth grade math class, not just to pass but to get it right this time. Sitting in the middle of a grid of outdoor desks on a lawn/sidewalk, sun shining on them in afternoon light. Can’t tell if I’m the only child, or quiet in a group of children. Maybe it was early as second grade? Trying to place it temporally; I sign my name “Orin” so I deduce it must be after seventh grade.

In the neighborhood nearby, a big old 70s sedan lumbers across the railroad track intersection. It selfishly blocks a train temporarily and causes the train (of all things) to divert.

Digging all the way to the white plaster at the bottom of a dirty firepit. Moving a sculpture of an old book into the heat, burning off it’s discoloration. Uncovering the name of a song and remembering the story of trauma involving the math class. It is finished, closed. I can wake up without problem.

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.

Dream Journal

Dord: Abbreviation of Density

An unusually intimate experience with density, by melding inside layers of a substance. Understanding the thickness of a substrate, then coming up a less dense surface layer. Watching how a new member of SNL is playing a person good at darts, or temperature. Understanding how this can replicate the circumstances from a famous murder mystery case.

Dord, a notable accidental word added to the dictionary during the 20th century, is my odd gateway to finding this experience. It was meant to be a reference to an abbreviation for density, D or d.

A camping trip up a hill. A tram takes you up in a loop, with the station dropping you off along the length of a tree-dotted ridgetop in a long cycle — if you miss your timing you could be waiting for it to come back for a long while. It’s scenic and sparse up there, reminding me of some places in Arizona. I’ve just completed an outdoor class I was assigned as part of my work (this isn’t entirely a vacation) and now have the unforeseen opportunity to take the next class. The professor, who I know, is going to share an in-depth presentation on love. I have a short time to decide and I’m very tempted…

Dream Journal

Cabooses on the Next Hill Over

Wearing an elaborate bird-themed costume in my uncle’s basement (it was his birthday the other day), I take a break from a footrace. There’s a panel near my knee with a USB cord. It snakes out robotically, but gets stuck between me and my wife. We’re spooning each other, as we are in bed as I drift out of sleep then back into it.

In a crowded urban landscape with small hand-built homes. In a conversation with several friends from grade school (Robby, Christy) I interrupt when I spot a caboose made into a house on the next hill over. No one seems as excited as me though, but I interrupt again a few moments later when I spot two more.

Dream Journal

Yuban Coffee Ballet McBrand

Riding a train across an expansive strip mall, long and oversize. So long there are multiple stops of a subway that pass through. I get out at one of them into a huge enclosed rectangular gym used for prestigious ballet training. I’ve heard of it, a famous training space sponsored by the coffee company Yuban. I imagine it as a model, trying to understand how the tracks run through it at an oblique angle. I wait in the part of the large room where I think the train platform is, not knowing what side I need to be on. The train of course arrives and I have to scramble over it when it stopped to reach the correct side.

Lately it seems I’ve spent a lot of effort in between dreams trying to remember. Too much time passes and the interesting details fade, but oddly my impressions of them don’t. Having rehearsed the words I will put down, even dreaming as though I am writing, I lose the important and unique vibe. Which may be impossible to capture anyway, but the gap has started to be more noticeable and disappointing.

Later I realize I can buy the destination I’m trying to reach on the subway as it’s a chain store. It’s easy to come across, easy to replace. The brand is so generic I think of it as “McBrand”.

Dream Journal

Not the Nicest Parts of Britain

I arrived from a long overseas flight in London with my wife. We set out on the next leg of our journey, having to catch a tube train closer into town. A series of mishaps ensues: misplacing luggage, catching the wrong train, getting on the right train only to get off as it leaves. One train is made of narrow little linked platforms just big enough for a person, each shaped like beige pyramids that one must balance to ride on. My wife finds it difficult to stay on and dismounts just as this small short train leaves. Finally I get mad and yell at her, harrumphing down the stairs to see if I can find someone to talk sense into her.

(There is a linking dream at this point in the night — forming a cohesive three-part story — but it’s been forgotten.)

I view a map of Scotland, highlighting a major province disconnected into three parts (similar to these dreams, I suppose). One might think this province was the nice part, given its reputation, but locals would rather you visit anywhere else. On the map, it’s almost camouflaged with a plaid pattern coloration shifting into a saturated pink, revealing how ungainly the thing is printed on the map. I notice that it’s shape seems to form the negative space on a Union Jack flag.

Dream Journal

Suzie the Mechanical Brass Goat

I’m playing tuba in a marching band. Have to haul it back from the field in pieces. When I get to the enclosed, beige, semi-circular practice room I have lengthy difficulties assembling it — the band has already started playing. The pieces for a brand new percussion drum the size of a person are laid out on the floor. Since those are clearly present, I consider playing that instead.

The brass of the instruments reminds me of a friendly goat, Suzie. She’s mechanical, also brass, and we amble together down a tree-lined sidewalk in a archetypical sunny American suburb (away from the band). I spot some Halloween stuff in the branches of a tree between the sidewalk and the street, forgotten so long ago that the tree is now growing through the plastic decorations. Reminds me of an image I saw recently, of a Barbie doll placed by someone’s granddaughter being engulfed by branches. Even though it’s enjoyably bizarre, I climb the tree to retrieve the spooky plastic junk. Suzie watches (perhaps giving commentary) and it’s a shiny, fresh, sunny experience, abnormally wholesome.

I’m later cruising on my motorbike down a curvy dirt road, fast. Hand-tilled grain fields border it. I narrowly dodge Indian pedestrians carving around corners, following the road’s course between blocky grey utilitarian buildings (like the setting from a fair dream on Feb 19, 2021 at 11:29 am). I get as far as a narrow corridor whose walls are made of train cars. I can’t reverse, and have to navigate back through twice. It feels like I’m towing a trailer or three. Headed back where I came now, I pull off a few wheelies — having the thought that I’ve only ever done that in dreams before (this is true). I soon notice (due to another person’s recent use of it) some pieces have shaken off the bike as I’m riding, importantly 3/4 of the front instrument panel. I manage to see a bit fly off over a fence and decide to hunt it down.

This neglected industrial area is officially off-limits, but also officially abandoned. I suspect it’s still quite inhabited though and used for all sorts of under-the-radar activity. This seems confirmed when I discover rows of diagonal pews inside one decayed warehouse, carefully draped in elegant purple fabric. I hide between these pews as I hear fumbling at the bolted front door. A few furtive-looking priests enter, and I consider announcing myself to avoid a potentially worse situation startling them. Yet I seem to overhear them talking about me without using my name, wishing perhaps to recruit me.

I do volunteer for some project cleaning up a diesel locomotive covered in grass. I scrub it’s side skirt clean of flecks and debris, leaving tall stalks of grass to grow proud and green over the engine’s back/top. It’s taken on an expedition up a marshy stream to study dinosaurs living nearby, blending in with the flora. Back in the yard we hide as a few mafia guys come to inspect the locomotive. A goon tears off the grass in one cohesive layer, saddening me even though I’m still proud of how healthy the greenery I helped grow turned out. We’re trying to trick these mafiosos somehow, and I know all my plants were integral to the plan.