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Three days’ dream journal post.


I’ve been keeping my dream journal again and reading it on the radio during MOTA. I’ve been on-and-off sending my dreams to the MCN Announce listserv, but some people get the Digest version, and posts longer than a paragraph or two clutter up their entire trip, so it occurred to me to just put it here in my weblog and send only a link there. I’ll try it this way, and if it feels right I’ll do it again sometime. If you want me to read your dream journal entry, or anything else you write, aloud on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA), my email address is in About And Contact, above; just send me your work and that’s what I’ll do. I usually read the dream journal section later on in the show, but if you want me to read your work at a time of your choosing (the show is 9pm to 5am every Friday night), say so and I’ll try to comply. Thanks!


Vehicles. Maker space lights. Sleazy convention/office motel.

My dreams from Monday, 2020-11-30:

First dream. At the end of a story I didn’t get to keep, I’m driving a small old Toyota like the one I had in the early-middle 1980s, south on Lansing in Mendocino and out to the highway on Main. Somehow after I get on the highway my old landlord Michael is with me, and he’s quiet and content, unencumbered by issues, unlike the way I remember him in real life (often snippy, with a surprising temper). The highway is narrower and twistier and more up and down as the car gets weaker and weaker, so that at last the road is only five or six feet wide (still with a line down the center), the car is a motorcycle, Michael and I are walking and I’m pushing the motorcycle (light as a bicycle) uphill around a curve to the right and through a curtain of hanging willow tree fronds. The road curves left and downhill again, becomes a long shallow flight of concrete stairs down to Van Damme park. Get back on and ride down the stairs? or keep walking?

Next dream. In the middle of a strange blocky version of Fort Bragg (CA) I’m in kind of a maker space, maybe at work, in a poorly lit big room of rows of white formica electronics repair benches. Stephen Greenwood from Mendocino Theater Company gives me a full-length full-height circuit card like from a middle-1980s IBM PC, and a smaller square one that my task is to connect to the end of the big board with a zipper of jumper wires, and here’s the roll of wire to make the jumpers out of. In the bundle is also a sharp fat pen thing that might be a cordless soldering iron or a logic probe tool.

A delivery person stumbles in from outside with boxes and accidentally bump-switches off the last few overhead fluorescent lights. I go to a panel of horizontal breakers by the door, try them all, one at a time. Some just turn a humming sound on and off from deep in the building. I get the lights back on better than before, more of the ceiling tubes, less like a person with Indian-corn teeth.

Now I’m carrying around my things and a small table lamp I found, trying to find a place to plug in and set up that isn’t either being worked at or saved for someone. There are A-folded cards reserving places. I hear a cafeteria somewhere; that’s where those people are.

Later I’m lying in bed in a room at the end of a street to the north of the lab. An unfamiliar thick-forehead frizzy-gray-haired girl is clambering over and clinging to and kissing me. A nurse is doing paperwork at an office desk by the storefront window. Some people sit on waiting room benches, some go in and out of a back double-door. I should get out of here; I don’t even know who the girl is. I feel like I’m supposed to be helping in here and it shouldn’t even look like I’m taking advantage of the patients. I get out of bed –/I’ll be right back, just a minute, don’t get up/– and I walk and then lope away into a now even more blocky, pastel-paint, artist-colony place than before, that I remember, within the dream, having dreamed about often, years ago. It’s like a real-life town on the coast, I don’t know whether it was north or south of L.A., that my mother took me to a few of times when I was little, when she was a real estate agent. There were fenced yards of ceramic plant pots and yard statues for sale, painting-framing stores, a building with rental surfboards the size of canoes leaning against the front.

Next dream. I’m in San Francisco in a docks-feeling place but not near the water, returning to a rented meeting room for, I don’t know, family counseling? couples therapy? a business team building exercise? As I walk under scaffolding, other people’s used chewing gum builds up on the soles of my shoes and I have to keep stopping to scrape it off on a pipe or on the curb.

Here’s the motel and the way in. I go upstairs. I’m the one with the key to the room, but some others are already inside. Let them start whatever everyone’s here for and I’ll figure it out from context. (Just like I often feel in real life.)

Time has passed. I’m driving some others in an unfamiliar car uphill through a pre-COVID realistically busy horrible San Francisco, where I just absolutely hate to drive. All the lanes are thick with cars all tailgating, all dangerously jockeying to shave ten seconds off their trip. The car goes slower and slower uphill; I find a place to get off the street and bump down into a construction lot that’s probably not right to park in. It’s not my car anyway. I don’t know whose car it is. I just walk away from it, walk the rest of the way to the meeting motel. I’m barefoot now, the sidewalk gum sticks to my feet.

Another group using the motel is a 1950s white gangster role-play convention. As I go upstairs a three-foot-tall gangster comes down. He’s like Joe Pesci in /Goodfellas/. I flatten myself against the wall and apologize for being in his way, sir.

This time I go into a different room, where apparently you go to have a tooth fixed. A clever-looking woman I’m involved with in the dream is here with me. You climb onto a wide five-foot-high shelf along the long inner wall of the room, and they come along and give you a plastic cup with purple-gray powder in it, a cup of water to mix in, and a fat contraceptive-foam applicator to spread the result to pre-numb the area. The mixture becomes like gritty shaving foam and expands out of the cup. I don’t want to shave, but I get that you’re supposed to, to avoid infection. I spread the foam all over the right side of my face. I don’t even know what tooth they’ll be working on. Nothing hurt, even before the shaving cream. I should just leave.

The man doctor and a woman assistant come in. I say, “I’m gonna put this off and come back another time.” They’re like, /Ha ha ha, that’s what they all say./ I appeal to the woman I came in with (?), but she sides with them, like /Just get it over with./ No. I climb down. Can I get a towel, please? Or a paper towel? It might be too late. I might already be drugged. /All the more reason to get away./

I woke up with the song /Heart-Shaped Box/ playing in my head. Not the /eat your cancer/ part, but the /Hey! Hey! I got a new complaint!/ part. I’ve always wondered about that song, having got the impression that the man was singing to an ex-girlfriend that he’d had a fight with, who died of cancer and could no longer hear him bitching at her… But, here, from SongFacts:

According to the book /Come As You Are/ by Michael Azerrad, the idea of the song came from Courtney Love when she presented Kurt with a heart-shaped box full of precious possessions (such as a doll’s head). The song switches meanings between Kurt’s feelings over Courtney and his feelings on how women are treated.

After Lana Del Rey did a gentle rendition of this song at a 2012 concert in Australia, Courtney Love gave her take on the song. In a series of quickly deleted Tweets, she wrote: “@LanaDelRey you do know the song is about my vagina right? Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back umm. On top of which some of the lyrics about my vagina I contributed.”

So. Nobody has to wonder about anything anymore. I read that there are still fanatics of Kurt Cobain who blame Courtney Love for Kurt’s suicide, which is nuts; she and her child are clearly the victims, though she and her daughter inherited $115 million. My entire experience of Courtney Love was a transcription of a radio interview about her band I read in the New Yorker, where she was pissed off that there wasn’t any coffee in the whole radio station, you’d think they’d have coffee in a New York radio station at nine in the morning, somebody said there’d be coffee here, I don’t care, fuck, just send somebody out for coffee, and a Rolling Stone Magazine story about the court case of how she was ripped off for hundreds of thousands of dollars by a scheming manager/asistant who she had unwisely trusted because she was her friend. Her punk band named Hole did pretty well and were fine for a punk band. She plays the electric guitar and sings. And she won film awards for her acting. I saw her in /Man on the Moon/, about genius comic Andy Kaufman; she plays his girlfriend who seemed to be good for him. She was in /Tideland/ by Terry Gilliam, but her character was dying or dead of a drug overdose in the opening scene. Her innocent daughter and drug-addicted husband were discussing how they would proceed from here; the man prepared to set the apartment on fire like a Viking funeral but the little girl stopped him. You know who the greatest child actor in the world was? The little girl in /Tideland/ (2005), Jodelle Micah Ferland, who twelve years later played a believably fifteen-year-old girl named Five in all episodes of the science fiction teevee series /Dark Matter/, and she played a snotty, selfish, arrogant child queen of a whole planet in Stargate Atlantis. Also a great child actor: the little Romanian girl with her arm up in a cast in Tarsem Singh’s /The Fall/ (2006), named Catinca Untaru. In her scenes, mostly in the hospital room with Lee Pace, she was just reacting naturally to Lee’s lines and to the story he told, and it worked perfectly. I love that film because we see her misunderstanding of his story acted out; the actress, like the character, could only faintly understand English. And then he has to trick her into stealing morphine so he can kill himself. (He’s a movie stunt man in 1916 who was crippled by overreacting to seeing his girlfriend screwing the director, so he doesn’t want to live.) Don’t worry, I’m not telling you how it turns out. It is a beautiful film from start to finish.


Trick war. Absconding from slavery. Trash can world.

My dreams from Tuesday, 2020-12-01:

First dream. I’m in a disorganized, sparse war, either fleeing pursuit or pursuing enemies around a lake in a U-shaped valley. A helicopter comes, picks me and my friends up. I take over flying the helicopter from a position sitting with one butt cheek on the edge of a flat-top toilet in the middle of the pushed-forward bubble nose.

We get to a court of long two-story government buildings. One of the soldiers here is a member of a group who have the superpower of persuasion. He wants to shoot me. I open my mind to him so he can trust me, and I order him to find the others and disperse throughout the command center nodes to wait for further instructions. He’s suspicious because what if /I/ have that power and I just tricked him? but he runs back inside to do it. Things become vague…

There’s a small-scale invasion in a rural community. Everything in the town is on the side of a shallow hill. Translucent alien octopus/bug/smoke-things infect ordinary people to give them strength and invulnerability and incidentally take them over. I’m shooting and shooting at the (infected) enemy general guy, with a gun that never runs out of shots, shooting him specifically in the eyes, over and over, and he keeps coming at us. There are people everywhere shooting and screaming and running around. It feels like I’ve been through this exact event before, maybe several times, and we won last time, so keep fighting, don’t run away now. There’s no sense of real danger. Maybe it’s an immersive game. /Maybe the persuasive group person brainwashed /me/ and I’ve been captured./

Next dream. Post-apocalyptic work camp. I’m on a fruit-picking crew, or a land-clearing crew. It’s early morning and we’re all in a line to get food. The boss guy shows up. I leave the line and tell him about an empty field that I saw yesterday? when? over /there/. I point past the worker shacks. He arrogantly knows about all the fields and where they are.

I’ve been working like this for I don’t know how long and have trouble figuring out what year it is –1998? 2002? It seems like just a day or two ago I had hopes for the future, could just go off to another college adventure any time. I had a car… In my memory, in the dream, I’ve been working outside in the sun with a crew of other exploited young people under older guys just like this boss person, with an unseen big gang boss somewhere else…

I won’t do it anymore; I and another (boy? girl?) walk away, faking that we have another job to go to. And now I’m alone, wandering in wrecked, grown-over farmland. I find a horse shed to hide in. Out the open front of the shed is an endless expanse of trees that are crowded close together but bare down under the branches canopy so you can see a long way. I’d like to walk out there. Later, after I sleep for awhile.

Next dream. I’m in a city of intact apartment towers but with rubble-strewn streets below. I look down from a room about six floors up. A big housecat walks on a path, limping on a hurt foot. An old man dressed in rags, shoveling debris aside like shoveling snow, looks around furtively, straightens up with the shovel and starts to sidle away with it. He’s quickly surrounded by younger men who get the shovel away from him, moving like, /Come on, Paul, you know that stays here./ He’s like, /Oh, sure, yeah./ (Like Jane in /Firefly/ where he forgets to give the captain the change back from going to get ammunition.) (There are lots of similarities between /Dark Matter/, see above, and /Firefly/.)

Now I’m in an East Coast dirty pointless city, in a ground floor apartment. I’m in my twenties. Other young people come and go. Somehow I get a job playing an ancient reel-to-reel tape and figuring something important out about it. I tell the other person with me (the person who I left the work camp with in the previous dream, still not 100-percent boy or a girl but more of a boy now) that I’m just going to take a shower and then I’ll help him get started with /his/ work. (He’s fearful of being abandoned.) A table-model phone, off the hook under a chair, begins to honk; I wonder how long whoever was on the other end was listening before it began to honk, and did I say anything incriminating?

So where’s the bathroom? Here’s a little bathroom next to the front door. No shower, but a plexiglass art plinth with a glowing blue pushbutton near the top. What does it do? Push it and find out. Nothing. The toilet turns out to be a small white wastebasket with wet gravel in it. There’s oil-wet cat-litter gravel on the floor. These idiots must come in the front door drunk and just piss and spill used oil here. Is my name the name on the lease or are we all equal squatters? Can I just kick them all out?

I woke up with the Steeleye Span song /Cam Ye O’er Frae France/ playing in my head.


MRRRRRR! Hypnotic touch devil guy.

My dreams from Wednesday, 2020-12-02:

First dream. It’s dim. I’m on the side of a muddy hill, where a four-inch thick slab of hard mud has somehow split off and curled upward. I’m on a science/crime? expedition. Others are farther up the hill. It’s time to leave. I have to go around the low side of the mud slab to get to where I can go up, and the slab /slaps downward/ on my shoulder and side. The mud underfoot is slippery. I slip a little, drop whatever I was carrying and scramble with my hands and feet, as the farther down I slip the steeper it gets.

I fall all the way to flat wet sand, face down, facing left. My head is against the rock bottom of the hill. The ocean is loud behind me, I can’t move to look how close. I need to get up and get at least a little way back up the hill before a big freezing cold wave comes, but my arms and legs are as trapped as my head is by my position. Two tall dead people made of seaweed or shredded canvas wiggle on their own, moving more than just from the surf wind, sitting up leaning against the hill right next to my head. I’m shaking, trying to move, trying to scream for help, but can only go /MRRRR! MRRRRRR!/

Juanita was still home, getting ready to go to work. She heard me in trouble and came and woke me up. She said it took a long time to wake me up. (I was lying mostly face-down on my crossed arms, same as in the dream, which explains the straitjacket experience coupled with the sleep paralysis episode.)

Asleep again, next dream. Cool but not cold wet woods, the way everything always used to be cool and wet in Mendocino and Albion. My employer Tim has a dream-only long narrow cabin on a ridge but still under wet trees. He tells me to measure for the parts I need and go to the city (Santa Rosa or San Francisco) to get them, to rebuild the back of his woodstove, but in a certain particular way: the pipe out of the stove must come from the bottom of the back of the stove, not the top, it must be cast thick iron, like a municipal water service pipe elbow, and the chimney pipe must be Metalbestos double-wall all the way down into that.

Some nebulous time thing happens so I’ve already gone and got the parts. They’re not exactly right, but I stick everything together anyway, and Tim is not Tim anymore but has been hypnotized by magic to be evil to others and self destructive and contagious in this. A cross between the Man-of-Steel-era Superman and Ray from /Legends of Tomorrow/ becomes the new Tim and, in the parking lot out the front door of the cabin, in the dark, he wants to protect me by fighting the devil Tim, the contagiously destructive one. I’m like, “No. You can’t fight him. Don’t let him touch you!” (Because that will take /him/ over.) But he’s confident in his power and he won’t listen to me; he runs to fight him.

I did what I could and it wasn’t enough. Albion is doomed. I go back inside to try to stop the next part of the devil Tim’s plan, because all the first part has gone his way.

Tim/Superman-person is already in here, laughing smugly about how he touched the woodstove and set it like an alarm clock to set the house on fire. A strange girl with flappy ears who lives slightly down one side of the ridge (?) comes in. I shout to her to go call the fire department, more to get her out and away from the devil than to get the fire department; they won’t be able to help here.

Tim/Superman vanishes but keeps chuckling annoyingly like a stoned teenager. I kick the back off the woodstove to run back and forth from the sink to throw cups and bowls of water into it, but the L-shape of the disconnected chimney pipe, now single-wall again, gets hotter and hotter anyway, glowing red. I throw water into the end of that.

From a position in a trellis on or in the roof I watch the Albion/Little River Fire Department people run in from the trees-end of the cabin. There’s chaotic forward-and-backward-in-time activity that settles down in a morning with no damage at all to the house, the fire people never having come here, except Jamie, and Superman/devil, no longer Tim at all, waiting, amused, invisible except to me while I try to explain in logical terms, so Jamie won’t think I’m crazy, why no amount of water can put out the embers in the now completely disassembled woodstove. Here’s how I say it: “You know how you can put two of the right chemicals together and they react and make heat? But there was a time when nobody knew what those chemicals were, to do that. This is like a magical new chemical that you can’t do anything about yet.” He’s thinking about this. I’m spilling water into the stove parts anyway. Problem is, the fire only looks like it’s going out. It’s not going out. As soon as Jamie goes away and it’s convenient for the evil character it’ll flare up again and everyone will think /I’m/ the one doing it. Still, there’s a feeling of relief that the house didn’t burn down.

Next dream. Caspar (CA) is spread out, or rather stretched out, with the houses even farther apart than in real life. A farmer and his wife live in a house like the set of a play Mendocino Theater Company did maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, that Donovan Holtz wrote, a soap opera about a writer living with his girlfriend on an island in Alaska when his ex-wife shows up. The devil character from the previous dream, but more of a person in a sheet/ghost/Scream-facemask costume here, declares that he’s going to take the man’s wife and that the man has no say in this.

Having had some recent experience with this devil character, see above, I take over for the man and [confusing jump-cut] so the devil/ghost character is now at the bottom of the hill, corner of Caspar Street and Caspar Road, with the man’s wife invisibly far away up the road, safe for the moment, but the devil guy starts walking there, determined.

I head him off at the highway and I’m trying to figure out how to fight him without touching him. Orion Burdick, who was in plays for all the local theater companies for awhile and then moved away, is driving by with his pork-pie-hatted friend in a boxy middle-1960s car. He thinks the devil guy and I are hitchhicking; he pulls over, turns around in a loop and stops. I shout to Orion, “Do you trust me! Get going! Don’t let him touch the car!” Orion is like Superman in the previous dream; he doesn’t understand the danger. He just sits there smiling, waiting for us to get in. The devil guy smirks, /This is too easy./

At least the farmer’s wife got away.

I woke up with Heart-Shaped Box playing in my head again.

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