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.

Dream Journal

Hotels in Strange Places (Initiative to Work)

The whole dream is somehow about work. Feels like dealing with being overworked the last week, and how I view my own attitude.

I send a rich acquaintance, C. Wood, a few pics while messing with my phone. The first is accidental, the second sent to make up for that with something humorously related. Later I realize she’s sent a response which reads only “?” — a clear warning sign. I realize that for her there’s no context. So both photos don’t make sense, and now they definitely seem intentional.

My family is staying at a sprawling roadside attraction complex somewhere flat and empty (I’d bet Nebraska). It’s the only thing around. Looking from above, as if from our hotel room, I see the layout of the waterpark. In retrospect it must be like a lot of dream-places near the waterside, or the highway. I go out on my own and perform a bunch of tasks of my own volition, none of which anyone has told me they wanted done. Maybe in the dream I’m only a teenager, yet I know I’ve been to this place before and I know how I want it to be.

In my house is a spikemoss plant which lives in a glass jar; it’s thrived and is nearly filling the container (to be clear, this is a real plant which is very much doing this right now). We call it a jarrarium. The plant is a Selaginella kraussiana which I got for my birthday, the first fern/moss I’ve been able to keep alive. I realize it’s so overgrown I really should split it into another glass container, a tall one which I’ve kept in reserve. In order to get it to stand up I have to arrange a styrofoam column down the center.

On a lightly forested hill is a different hotel. The area reminds me of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon. I’ve only seen a small bit and the pine smells lovely, but I’m already part of the crew working the back area of the kitchen. It’s a long narrow space which slopes steeply, ending in garage door and loading dock. I’m the only one with the initiative to walk all the way down and outside; I end up where I first arrived at the hotel. The slope on the way back up is much worse, almost impractical. I get the sense that most workers do this trip at infrequently as possible. But I again take the initiative and start fixing the concrete floor so it’s not so awful to climb up on. I look up and see the head chef watching me. I wait to see if he gives any sign of approval, or if I’ve taken too much initiative. Interesting to note that so far, no one has called me on it.

Dream Journal

Christmas Night Dining, Christmas Morning Sunrise

Former crush is asleep in our spare room next to our bedroom. She’s partially hidden by a wall and there’s a feed on the opposite far wall showing a corrected perspective of what would be my point of view of her back, showing her as deep in slumber. I find this comforting despite that we’re in the middle of a move; I wasn’t sure if letting her stay here was a good idea, afraid she might be nervous. I’m reassured that it’s a good sign at least if she’s deep asleep.

I’m in a large enclosed industrial space, maybe a warehouse sized catering facility. There’s a small semi-independent kitchen/bar space in a corner. Has a bit of character to it, hasn’t been used for a bit but seems everyone who uses it leaves their own little token. Someone observes that maybe it can serve as a metaphor for the US Constitution. As I’m packing up this open-sided room inside a room, I’m talking with another former crush, Dara. We’re coworkers and I relate my recent experiences with the complicated new problems of my more recent former crush. She’s fairly sympathetic, and it’s a nice bonding moment.

My high school creative writing teacher Miss Fitz is drunk in the hallway of her apartment building. I help retrieve her and carry her back to her apartment. Later, My wife and I are having dinner with her father-in-law over Christmas night –something like 3:00 a.m. in a fancy restaurant. The slightly frazzled inattentive staff give us a table that hasn’t been cleaned yet. Bowls left out for previous diners cigars, special smoking implements. My father-in-law comments “good for clipping beagle” (a kind of cigar I take it). Finally dawn has arrived. Having waited for it outside near lake, it seems I just missed the sunrise on Christmas morning. It’s still beautiful and crisp and quiet so I don’t regret it too much as I navigate a path between parked cars filled with reverent vacationers, headed toward the shores of a cold fresh mountain lake.

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.

Dream Journal

Civic-Minded Unusual Dilemmas

A voting station is located at a sunny plant-lined street corner in my neighborhood, near the Five Markets grocery. A older mom is setting a bad example by parking herself in her camping chair too close to where voting is happening, advocating her causes, believing she’s not breaking the law because as an experienced mom she only has good intentions.

I’m volunteered/recruited to serve in an official capacity on a committee fulfilling the protocols of French justice. We’re brought into a long narrow indoor space with all manner of investigatory equipment stowed away in compartments. One such instrument activates a reenactment of the perpetrator’s statement. It’s a gray-haired Jewish lady, older but not elderly, who appears very evidently happier locked away and isolated in her own boxed-in world. Inconveniently, the transgression she is accused of committing seems both 1) intended to have gotten her locked away, and 2) not serious enough to merit such “punishment”. An ethical conundrum thus results for we judicial volunteers.

Inhabiting an odd communal outdoor space comprised of a large wave pool interspersed with metal tool lockers as tall as a man. Periodically other men and I rummage around in the wire-walled lockers to fetch tools for one job or another. I’m less experienced than most of them and might be doing an apprenticeship. One of the friendlier and artier guys demonstrates his solution to moving audio between distant parts of the wave pool, crossfading between top speakers and bottom speakers, creating an illusion of living sound.

I’m assigned a certain one of the locker-tops close to the wave machine, where sea creatures like starfish and barnacles crust heaviest. I am to use the roof for lounging and my home base. A teenage girl named Megan is randomly paired with me to share it. She’s lanky and skimpily dressed, stylishly suntanned, with a breathy unpolished voice. On first meeting she’s immediately suspicious of my maleness, giving a speech about how we’ll never sleep together and don’t get any ideas, et cetera. She says this to me while laying on her stomach in a bikini, sunglasses pushed down her nose, gazing at my shirtless torso. We’ll be sharing this intimate little room-sized island for several months… and this is the first thing she says to me. Whether Megan realizes it or not, the two of us having sex has become an immediately apparent eventuality. I respond to her haughty pronouncements with only a wolfish grin.

Dream Journal

Racing the F1 Key

A third person perspective of some rival of mine, someone trying to beat my racing record. He’s hired a whole training and pit crew to help, the setting an incongruous “Anne of Green Gables” wide summer-y enclosed lawn.

I watch, knowingly, as his (boat?) craft ungraciously cuts across the rippled edge of a deceptively smooth frozen chrome path/course. He fails on his attempt with a muttered “huh”, and thereafter his many crew have to be deported back to New Zealand because their work has run out.

I remember thinking how unimaginably annoyed I’d be if I had to move back across the globe because my boss couldn’t perform. They seem to take it mostly in stride, though.

In the dream, the F1 is a floating keyboard value that can be filled (similar to yesterday’s dream), but also a reference to the race. The race itself may be called a “key”, as in the Florida keys.

Dream Journal

Dine-n-Ditch Work Reunion

A reunion of co-workers/friends in Australia. Several people from different groups in my past: my salesman job in Melbourne (my boss Benjamin Haynes, the French girl Bubbles), the Pacific Tradewinds hostel (Laura Lynellen Meller-Weller, Rachel from Felixstowe), and Camp Tipsy (Anya the sculpture teacher, others). Held at an upstairs Chinese restaurant. This place is within my persistent personal dream version of Australia, the one I sometimes see with wide open maps of places I’ve traveled before, like the great red desert, or long port-covered coastlines, that I never went to in person.

I suddenly notice that my co-workers have all disappeared one-by-one, and I’m the last one there in. It’s a dine and ditch scenario and I feel obliged to probably pay for all of them if I can’t negotiate something else.

The last person I see come in Kendra Gilpatrick-Tropez (she’s married since we last knew each other). We share a moment of sympathy as I relate what just happened, and for reasons I can’t explain I feel greatly relieved that she’s the one who came in later.

Dream Journal

Return to School/Work: Naardviot or Naardveet

A multi-stage heist to steal a baby (or wealth) in broad daylight. It repeats, the same beats with variations of setting, dozens of times. A grouchy burly male criminal, a heavy cart going off the side of the road, and opportunistic me. A sci-fi Star-Wars-like fleet of floating swarming police assault craft, of AT-AT like bubbles, zooms away from a post nearby foiling bystanders hopes of intervention.

The last repetition, we’re stealing the baby/treasure out of the mother’s body. A gesture made fingering to an unexpected hole in the mom. A blank beat, an empty space, the pattern finally breaks and our criminal gang is dismembered and transmogrified. I see my dream character as the female protagonist of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, just her doll-like torso and head, floating down into a watery abyss trailing tendrils of blood as she rapidly exsanguinates. The question sits there at the end of the dream: what was different this time, what went wrong?

My first day returning to work as a delivery driver after a long break. I feel different, pulling up and parking my motorcycle near the assemblage of other vehicles. I carry a folded-in cardboard box under my arm, two of my smallest pet rats inside. I naively try placing a delivery bag in there too, and hastily pull it out when the ratties predictably find it (but before anyone notices).

It’s my first day back at school, too. I’m in a classroom where the teacher is demonstrating how to hang string lights above a blackboard, but giving wrong information. I smoothly take over and show how to correct braid them so the strands stay together. She admonishes me by asking “something-something to not” and I wittily joke as if she said “to knot”, still trying to act as though I’m not overriding her. She pivots to teaching a lesson of describing me by an insulting term, akin to”North Idiot”, or Naardviot. I’m pretty sure she actually meant Naardveet, though by now I can’t say anything without her authority feeling threatened.

A girl I don’t know is sitting on a locker room bench talking to herself in Korean in a semi-crazed tone. But I can understand her, and see the danger for her, so sit nearby and begin talking too. I begin improvising as if we’re having a normal conversation, miming eye movements as well.

Still sitting nearby, I change from my 2nd school period outfit into that for 3rd period, without taking off my pants. When I see the pants I believed were white on me, they have huge overlapping layers of colorful stains on them. I don’t have enough time to change again and I have to make a compromise one way or the other.

Dream Journal

Short Stairs Make Quick Work

I see my friend from middle and high school, Alexx Sanchez. I never did finish that drawing of her as an elf that she requested in 7th grade — I didn’t know how to draw, and I still don’t think I could make a passable go of it. Demonstrating some of the knowledge of the weird sandstone building we’re in, since I’ve been working there so long, I slide down set of stairs with an extremely low ceiling (perhaps a 2 foot space). I then call to her from the subterranean work area. She looks mildly horrified that we’re expected to get in and out through a space so small.

My younger friend Lily Zheng is in a band. I round the corner of my high school, playing a drum, telling her about three other Lilys I met with her exact name, and how strangely different and the same they are.

Dream Journal

New Orleans Job Interview

I’m on vacation in New Orleans but decide it’s worth a shot to go in for a job interview… maybe if I’m lucky I might just be able to live there. I make the regrettable decision to get there by bus and get stuck between the doors trying to exit with all my stuff. Damn tourists.

So then I’m late by 30 minutes (appointment was at 3:00), but I’m still willing to try. The place is a wine restaurant with charming unfinished wood paneling, upstairs is a big shipping department, high ceilings, round floorplan. I set my extra stuff down on a table in their common area. After I come out of the interview I have to pick it out from their Lost and Found at the security desk. Apparently my wallet was in there, now there’s only a single dollar left. Thankful they didn’t take the credit cards, I guess.

As I’m waking up, I recall being in bed next to my wife and exclaiming “grinding coffee isn’t a career, it’s something goats do by accident!” Unfortunately she says she has no memory of this.