Dream Journal

Presidential Escort, Bow Break, Ukraine to USA

The President of Turkmenistan hosts me himself for a bit of an athletic tour. He takes me on the continually-upgraded Walk of Health — here taking the form of a paved white path of several switchbacks up a scenic steep hill. In his matching white shorts and running trainers, he discusses health benefits. He notices, after one of the sharp curves, that I have been issued the old shoes which he insists are no longer the standard, and will set me up with the upgraded shoes they now provide their government workers and a towel. I speak with a frumpy officiant at a white marble desk (naturally) who goes about doing just that. I hope I might speak with her more plainly, to actually get context for what things are like in the country. Perhaps that’s because I’m some kind of reporter or distinguished guest, and the kind of person the success show is intended for. Interacting with the President is a very strange experience, but not unimpressive. And I do get the new shoes, formed of white mesh and white foam.

Aboard a large vessel docked in port, I move deeper inside, closer to the bow, closer to a view of the sea. Along the way I’m dropping pennies from a bag. When I’ve finally reached the open balcony at the front of the vessel I toss a final quarter into ocean near the ship. It’s an interesting gesture, one of willful letting go and freedom, but I also know I felt lucid doing it — that it, I knew the material didn’t matter as I was dreaming. Someone has followed me onto the bare metal balcony, a middle school crush and high school friend, Alexx S. I find myself gazing into her face, and understanding that this person is someone else — perhaps not someone who no longer exists, or someone that I no longer know (we lost touch decades ago) but that I’m keeping alive the memory of who she was when I was someone else, too. She is the echo of me, who I was when I was attracted to her. Later, in remembering this dream, I even think of her name as someone else, some even earlier crush perhaps. As we stand on the bow in the brisk seaside breeze, I reflect on how in San Francisco the ocean makes the weather never too hot (like in Los Angeles), but instead sometimes it makes it too cold. That’s the bargain, one I’d still choose.

She and I watch a large shipping vessel coming into port at unusual speed. I almost don’t believe what I’m seeing. It fails to veer and plows into the front of our ship, not far back from where we stand, with tremendous noise and chaos. Immediately before it struck, I remember thinking that I almost have enough time to record it — but of course I didn’t have enough time.

Walking across war-torn Ukraine. Part fact-finding, part direct-support mission that I’ve taken on by myself. The road is long and curved, the sky forever cast in dark grit. I peer into the ground floor of a residence hall of a university. I see only food aid in the grimy kitchen and a few grateful young people skittering to and from their rooms. Somehow I walk quickly enough that I’m halfway across USA. Looking down the slope of a steep levee, an old guy with long hair, beard, and glasses notices me and gives me a nod. I’m amazed he recognized me from long ago and at such distance, but I can’t place where we know each other. Reminds me of Tom Hanks, or one of the old men who garden in my neighborhood.

Dream Journal

House of Ukraine

Escaping a house which represents Ukraine, as besieged by the Russians. I was a journalist and accidentally became stuck there, making the most of it going from room to room. Noticing near the end they finally changed everything and cleaned up all the rooms, and are dragging away my big metal box. Yank it away and flee through the front hayloft door. I manage to warn incoming friends about a girl with a vagina between her digits (middle and ring finger), that she secretly works for the Russians. The paper topper for my box detaches and blows across street — I walk to retrieve it, thinking about the image of the Angelic Sword of Michael.

Dream Journal

Last Day of School

Enacting last days of an ancient invasion between two peoples, visiting a string of gates which jump to different reenactment zones, stories of the war. Lofty snowbanks, rocky canyon passes, battle plans, gruff male voices, muscular insectoids (they look like the Krogan from Mass Effect).

It’s the last day of the school year, at a place that feels like my middle school. They have us sit at other’s desks and read aloud from their journals of that year — an exercise in “seeing though other’s eyes”, so we’re told. But it feels very much like tricking us into spying on ourselves.

The drama teacher at my high school, Mr. Thelan, is lecturing after the last bell of that year has passed. He hasn’t even told his assembled students they could go, if they wanted. I would guess it’s a test or object lesson for his theater students: that actors can be held longer than in their interests, by their love or fascination or even novelty with the story. I myself am lounging behind this herd of a class because there’s comfy chairs and internet on the stage. One guy tries to argue with me for being there instead of a class and I have to quote the school district handbook about when “school year” is defined.

Digging through drawers at the side of the gym, making sure I don’t leave any of my stuff (clothes or information, etc.) since I’m not going to be here again. I’m asked about moving a pair of giant owls constructed over the year from a massive amounts of wooden boards. I start to give an answer, but the answer becomes “this being 2020 I don’t even think we can donate it to Urban Ore.” I resign myself to the idea of someone else deciding if they’re lost.

Dream Journal

Redheaded Mermaid Romance

Sitting in an audience. Conan O’Brian sits in it too, and insults a celebrity guest and her kid. I’m cringing, but he has commitment to keep going with his bit until it’s funny. Reminds me of Chicken John.

While part of some kind of battle or mission, I’m underwater and spot a mermaid with a full head of wavy red hair, but I don’t approach or bother her. I’m not sure she even notices me.

Later my wife and I are sitting in a large semi-outdoor movie theater. This must be toward the end of the war/conflict that’s been going on — posters and screens begin flashing ‘PROGRESSIVE’, as we’ve unwittingly sat in the ‘far left’ of the auditorium. As she’s pulled from her seat by the Conan/Chicken leader, I tell my wife to play along, as if we’d sat there as part of a dramatization (which is indeed what it is). I pretend I can’t be lifted out of my chair, and the performance moves on with us separated.

The rows of chairs rotate, such that I’m now sitting with a row in front of me. I spot the mermaid (now with legs) walk over and nonchalantly sit in front of me. Her hair is huge and rests in my lap, engulfing my face. I have to wonder how intentional she’s being. As we sit through the show, it becomes more obvious that she’s non-verbally seducing me — I’m smelling her hair, she wraps my hands around her waist, and we snuggle our heads together.

We’re also sharing a few sodas, and my wife asks me to pass her the Dr. Pepper. I manage to reach down and behind me, but I don’t notice it’s a half-size can that’s barely got any left in it. I’m a bit embarrassed by this, but I’m thoroughly occupied — even glamoured, maybe.

The redheaded mermaid and I go off alone into a wide, dimly-lit stairway alcove. I take the chance to ask her now that we’re alone… something important. Did she see me? Does she know I know she’s a mermaid? Was all the seduction on purpose? But not her name. I now realize I never learned her name.

Meanwhile, the war is in it’s last days. Members of our side are roaming the streets here and there, solidifying the narrative of our victory. Neither of us is committed to the cause, but are interested in the pretending to for our own survival. The mermaid and I join a group to go hunt for rats, venturing off a New Orleans-style street into a disused sideyard full of groundskeeping equipment. I see some jumping across stacks of tiles, and I know we’ll probably let them go while continuing the pretense. It’s an odd sort of romance, but these are unusual times.

Dream Journal

Mikl Em, the Hamster

A pleasant exercise with my wife planning for our next trip to Palm Springs, when quarantine is over. Visiting upscale nice art galleries in places like Palm Desert because we’re adults and damn well can now. We wear fancy clothes with my friend Lauren.

Driving up the tramway road, while considering how long it would take to walk. It’s quite steep. There are jackals or more likely coyotes nearby. I challenge my wife to a race up the sandy desert trail, giving her a headstart. She matches me speed for speed, until she makes one error in a turn and I gain on her just barely enough to leap and graze her behind, shouting “monch butt!”

I ponder the question of why we dream of certain people. I observe it’s often not who you first think of when you ask that question. In this case the first person I think of is Meredith Scheff.

I experienced the last moments of a soldier from a defeated army, from their perspective. A burning curved shield is placed over his face and he doesn’t even burn to death as you’d expect, the oxygen is completely sucked away and he suffocates as well as breathes burning hot gases.

My old friend Mikl Em transformed himself into a hamster, or claims to. I leave to get Rick (of Rick and Morty) and return in the middle of a conversation: “average is actually a size 40, everyone should start from 40.” I ask Rick if we can talk to him as a car. He flips some cage controls around, there’s nanotech hidden within the thin bars and the cage corner snaps. Starting from the top, he morphs into a Disney-ish green Cars character. “We don’t really believe you’re Mikl Em” he says.

EDIT: two and a half months later, Mikl Em passed away. R.I.P. you beautiful not-hamster.