Dream Journal

Last Night in New Orleans

Slim invites us to a museum he’s been to before. Not knowing much about it, we end up liking it a lot — a museum named after Abita about New Orleans, and death (death with a little d and big D, Death). The black folks who run it are really into the place, too, and I wish I kept more details. One run-through, many catwalks, like a brewery tour. Death is alive.

Playing outside on the street of my childhood home on Kemper Court, I watch the adults steadily, one-by-one, leave their homes and leave me abandoned. There’s some new requirement for a federal ID (like the new TSA requirement, perhaps). I’m still a kid, but I’m also still me, and I know it’s some flavor of bullshit. In my head, while gazing at the neighbors house, I demand to know how much it costs to raise the neighbor kid Brandon. I haven’t thought about him in decades and I’m almost surprised I recall his name.

Passing the redeveloped portion of my hometown, Cathedral City, the part where Cat City Elementary used to be. Understanding that the absence of a place leaves the memories of that place unmoored, unrelatable. In the dream I can’t remember what it looked like, and all I observe is a line of tamarisk trees. The street has recently been the site of homeless encampments. A new bureaucratically long-named assistance center sits on the site of a former narrow park, battered tents obstruct the street (either in my direct experience or in my recalling of the past). Cranes return to the dark grass on the side of the road.

Spend several hours on a grimy and ghetto-y pedestrian overpass, passing the night in what ought to be an urban hell. Instead, there’s an erotic aspect, a sexual pastime. Who am I there with, am I male or female? — can’t remember. But it’s our secret location, ensconced above the rabble of vagrants, watching as if from a crow’s nest on a ship’s mast.

Inside a dainty house sometime after, I’m in charge of running the place.  I’m female, notably. There’s fancy teacups and luxurious wallpaper, but middle class, somehow unpresumptuous. There’s a stack of electronics that’ve been set up by my partner, stylishly white, antique by only a decade or two. Per someone’s request, I play some music on the DVD player, which is a clear plastic model, revealing the many spinning gears/components and quite fascinating to watch, spinning up, then becoming still.