Dreams from middle June 2021
My dreams from Thursday, 2021–06–10:
Wet hoodies. Back in Business. Comic-sexy-voice shop lady.
First dream. Post-apocalypse, I come to a wrecked British harbor town where an acolyte of a new religion meets the guy who takes over the acting in the story from me, and tells him that they worship him. I walk around after them, ignored. The bored/incredulous god guy shows the suck-up what being surprised with being worshiped feels like to him, by shoving a heavy iron lifting-weight with a metal pipe to slide it, like a hockey puck on ice, down hard wet sand to /almost/ reach the wreckage-choked ocean. Which the acolyte takes as a miracle. God guy sighs.
I make a note to tell Juanita that Barry (the guitar lessons teacher in the next office from my old newspaper) has abandoned a lot of the stock from his freshly closed dream-only music shop. It’s all outside in the early morning, wet from night rain and leftover destruction ashes: bins of music cassettes; brightly colored hoodie sweatshirts hanging on racks (all small, for kids); standing (but wilting) cardboard movie-people posters.
Elsewhere in town I attend a movie company’s live action making-of documentary about a 1930s or 1940s jungle musical war comedy serial. A barge for the opulent and sleek (up close: seedy papier-mache and grease-paint) savage queen is pulled by chains along a stretch of fake river in a big corrugated-metal building with one whole wall torn away. The announcer calls our attention to how the barge is actually moving (not in water but in a muddy rusty concrete ditch): “See the wheels?” (They’re like the carelessly revealed piano-dolly wheels under the flying ambulance in the /Ariel/ episode of /Firefly/.)
Next dream. An old, traditional talent agency and teevee vaudeville company has closed up after decades of operation — closed because of a science-fiction-plot-related power outage of London and maybe all of England. Performers and techies and writers are coming back around, though, to pick through the remains of the place for memories and have a get-together of old friends, which they all are, more or less. Somehow even without power there’s cake, meat, all kinds of food.
The power flickers on and holds. We’re in business; we’ll start all over. I lie on the floor in a soundstage, looking up at a clock that’s mounted against the rafters. I’m fine here. I’ll start working when I feel like it. I want to pick the project I do; I don’t want to be dragooned into making somebody else’s project again.
Next dream. In the storefront window of a mostly empty clothes store on Redwood Avenue in Fort Bragg (CA), where in real life used to be the bus station and is now a pizza place, a sexy ex-musical-comedy movie star with a heavy fake Spanglish accent (that stuck because she used it for so long — a cross between Carmen Miranda and singer Sandy Glickfeld as magician’s lovely assistant — works on putting the store back together. She’s up on a ladder, hanging a rod high up on the wall.
I hang the other end of the rod across the window and get the chain on my end to hook where it belongs by tossing it up and accidentally making the difficult shot. I say, “How’ bout that? That’s something, huh?” I walk away, turn, say, “Say yes?” to prompt her to do a move characteristic of her career. She says /Yeah/ in her trademark sexy breathy voice, tosses her hair, shifts her chest, shoves her chin out to the side and smiles with all her teeth.
Two sarcastic-stage-act guys from the British vaudeville teevee company come out from the back of the shop, where I’m going. They’ve had a shower. I find the bathroom (my grandmother’s bathroom from when I was little) and try the tap in the shower-bath. There’s water left. There’s soap. I take off my clothes and get in. When society isn’t entirely back together yet and utilities are iffy you don’t miss a chance to take a shower. This is like being homeless in any era.
I woke up with an old-fashioned song playing in my head, like a funny Max Forsetter (Max the Piano Player) song: /This Could Be The Start Of Something Worse./
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My dreams from Tuesday, 2021–06–15:
Dry rotten firewood. Vampire struggle. 875 kilocycles.
First dream. Some nebulous kind of spiritual/economic danger/disaster is coming. It’s becoming winter. It’s dark. I go with others who I can’t quite see eastward through the Pygmy Forest to where my house should be, but in the dream it’s an abandoned fort-like compound of rotten-wood prairie cabins and an enclosed dustyard of low piles of dry rotten old firewood. I separate out some of the better firewood, thinking about how to get it back to my house, which is back the other way now.
Next dream. I walk at night throught the Pygmy Forest to a place laid out like the southwest corner of my employer Tim’s place. In the clearing of the fuzzy light above the door of the factory building (I don’t have my distance glasses) I lose the people I’m following to sloppy, not-very-smart vampires who grab them and start converting /them/ to vampires, including the Snow-White-like receptionist in /Lie To Me/. I rush forward recklessly to try to save them, but a smart dangerous vampire, a small square-headed blonde man (the obnoxious bongo drummer in /Flight of the Conchords/? Adam in Amanda Tapping’s /Sanctuary/?), comes out of the shadows all smug and triumphant about finally luring me in. The whites of his eyes turn black. I jump up into the air and fly backward, upward, fast, like a rocket. These vampires can fly but only very low and slowly. But I know that getting away is only a short-term solution. They will take over the world.
Time passes. In the Sacramento Valley I’m hiding in a second or third-floor apartment. The horrible little alpha vampire guy has found me; he’s already inside. To escape again I run, twist and crash out backward through curtains and window glass. We fight in the air between buildings. I manage to scrabble and punch him loose from his grip on me but his coat — or part of the torn curtains — sticks around me like tangible smoke. /Is this how they convert you?/ I wrestle at the cloth-smoke while the vampire man, already recovered from crashing into the ground, laughs up at me and threatens me with eventual torture and misery. I don’t have to stick around here. I rocket away again, still struggling with being wrapped in the evil cloth-smoke.
Next dream. I’m walking up Main Street in Fort Bragg (CA), thinking about a dream-only FM radio station in the AM band. It’s at 875 kilocycles. It’s daytime. Others are out walking around, going in and out of shops. I’m naked and barefoot, but I have a medium-size towel, so I put it around my waist and hold the corners there with my right hand. In the back-story of the dream somewhere I read advice in a magazine about how you can get away with any embarrassing situation if you’re just confident. There’s a cop bent over, reaching into the passenger door of his cop car. I look him in the eye and nod hello. He nods back. I continue past, hand on my hip. Good advice.
I turn right on Laurel Street and I’m immediately far up the street at the metal shed in a generic old radio engineer friend’s side yard (the friend might be Derek Hoyle, or Marty Moilanen, or Jack Millis). The AM radio station on the FM band is his project. The shed is full of vacuum tube equipment like the antique mixing board* Tim Givon (now Falconer) and I were ready to use in the radio station we were trying to start in Caspar (CA) in the 1980s, and there are tables and crates of tubes and transformers and parts. I’m not supposed to touch anything, but I want to, and I know the guy is away for the day, so I go around picking up and opening and examining everything, enjoying this like I used to enjoy picking through army surplus stores, when they still had them everywhere. I’m alone; I don’t have to keep holding the towel on. If the guy’s wife comes in I’ll put it back on.
*(Later, awake, I looked up /old vacuum-tube Altec radio console mixing board/ just out of curiosity. There’s a fully restored similar model that even without its green formica and chrome desk-stand, which our now-long-gone one had, is listed for $60,000!)
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My dreams from Wednesday, 2021–06–16:
Cotton Hall. Gay Salesman Couple. Moose lodge high school.
First dream. A dream-only long-established theater company is setting up, at the end of an extended off-season, for a play in a version of Crown Hall that’s as big as Cotton Auditorium and has the old-style iron-and-wood seats from before Cotton’s renovation. I’m helping a group of high-school tech kids. I tell the main boy where to put a giant subwoofer for maximum effect. (I hurt my back a few weeks ago, both in real-life and in the dream, so I can’t pick it up. These are kids; let them learn about hurting /their/ back.) (It’s the coffin-size cabinet we made with heavy particleboard and two fifteen-inch speakers to use for Gloriana Opera Company’s /Wizard of Oz/ in the 1980s, where the tornado scene was so flashy and thunderingly loud that women were carrying their terrified screaming small children out of the place, and Harry, the director, had to tone the whole thing way down /and/ put a warning notice by the box office.)
Up in the choir loft I draw pictures of where wires need to go, and what kind of wires. I start to go down and out the back (in the dream, the front) to my car to get my toolkit of cable adapters, but I can’t get outside; every door leads to just more inside, another section of some other old theater. I must be in a different world now with no way back. It’s okay; the kids will figure it out. Whether I help or not, they always do. What is even the point of me?
Next dream. I’m in a British version of the house in the Sierra Nevada foothills where we lived when I was in seventh grade, but it’s instead on a foggy cold island in Scotland or British Colombia.
Two middle-aged gay salesmen come home slightly drunk-sounding and peeved. Am I supposed to be here? I don’t know; I might be invading in their absence or housesitting with their permission. They don’t freak out, they’re only peeved with each other, so I guess I belong here. My high-school friend Chris Byer and the bigger, grayer of the two salesman go out to get more suitcases from the car or boat. I go after them to help. The trail turns left, gets narrower and narrower until it’s just chips of slate driven sideways into nearly vertical slick wet blue-gray rock. There’s just a half-inch of slate chip to hook the edge of your tennis shoe on. Chris and the salesman are out of sight around the curve. I hug the rock and move slowly to keep from slipping and falling down to the dark rocks and water.
They come back around with suitcases, moving along at almost normal walking speed, like mountain goats across the side of a dam. I carefully back up to where I can get out of the way.
Back at the house I stand outside in the entryway, looking across variably foggy rocks and water to a mainland (or bigger island) with lights twinkling on. I imagine having a seaplane or a motorboat of my own, where I could just go there. Or — take their boat? Things become vague.
Next dream. I confusingly come to myself near the library of my old high school, but here it’s a combination high school and college and some kind of religious Moose Lodge place. The bell has already rung for the next class to start. I think the class I’m supposed to go to is right across the way and down the hallway, but I need something (?) from my locker at the other end of the school, so I start running down the street between the long buildings, dodging boys in stiff-looking light-blue cloth religious uniform suits, who are separately practicing for a ritual they’ll later do together, like a Catholic-school version of Tae Kwon Do forms.
As I round the other end of the school my purpose evaporates. There’s parade music playing inside a weird old gym. I stop and memorize all the details around me, the trees, the slot between buildings to the parking lot, the fence around the swimming pool up the hill. in case I have to tell somebody about it later or find my way back, because now I’m here in this strange town with Juanita and her niece Teryn, who are somewhere I just left (?) and now can’t remember where that is, so at least I’ll be able to get back /here/ and then maybe I’ll remember and have a chance to get there.
I go into the gym, which is enormous, the length of a football field, and go through it with maintenance happening all around. There’s blue plastic cloth taped down over bleacher (theater) seating areas with blue masking tape. Ahead, a boy calls for help. He’s taped down /inside/ the rotten-soft wood and crumbled plaster floor. I pull the blue cloth and tape and rotten flooring up so he can get out. Someone behind me goes, “What are you doing!” I look there, look back at my rescue, pull more floor up. The boy’s terrified head isn’t there suffocating anymore, but I can’t see farther underneath, and why would he crawl deeper? I explain to the man who yelled at me, “He’s either gone away already or he’s dead under there.” The man is like, “Oh! …Well… Carry on.”
At the end of the gym I go into an empty shower room with no showers. (The whole world is empty now. School is over.) I have to piss but there are no urinals or toilets or even sinks, just a broken-tiled deep hole in the floor near an outside wall, so I use that. I’m standing here pissing, trying to hang onto and adjust my underwear that keeps turning into all different kinds and styles and sizes of underwear that I have ever had, and putting out this hand or the other hand to the window edge to keep from tipping or slipping into the hole. Someone comes into the room, gets undressed and gets into the hot water tub that the hole I was pissing into has become. I’m still pissing, but into the dirty-paint-rag-filled other side of the now even bigger tub. I stop and apologize to the old teacher: “I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to do that” (meaning, piss here). He’s okay with it; it’s just water. And this is a school, he’s been a teacher for a long time, people do crazy things, why make a fuss.
Now there are sinks here. As I wet and wring out my underwear, which has stabilized as big baggy bedsheet-cloth boxers, to get the thick orange-yellow piss out that the legs are soaked and caked with, I chat with the teacher, tell him again how sorry I am for pissing in the tub, but, “I’m so exhausted.” He asks me what I do. I say that I used to be a teacher; I published newspapers; I don’t know exactly where I am nor how to find Juanita again, wherever she is; and I ask him his name so I can contact him to interview him on the radio show that I do every week. I just need his name; I know he’s a teacher here and I can look the rest of it up. He probably won’t want to do it anyway. He’s just being teacherly nice until the crazy man who pissed in the paint rag tub and got it all over himself anyway goes away. And the teacher changes the subject rather than tell me his name.
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My dream from Thursday, 2021–06–17:
In an environment like near the Autopia ride in Disneyland in the 1960s but calm and quiet and cool, I’m wandering around in a movie story that’s a cross between /Girl Genius/ webcomics, Harry Potter, and /Downsizing/. The Hermione character — an adult; we’re all adults — has been shrunk down to thumb size and has to find shelter with others in the same condition in a special place for their new ethnic group, a diorama of a court of Middle Ages stone castles and an old folks’ complex.
Hermione has moved on from here to the next part of the story, so Harry, also small now and also having found the haven for tiny people, is called upon to help deal with a giant cat, because it will remember him; Hermione was nice to it when Harry was present. It’s the size of a house, compared to the little people, but it’s also only a two-dimensional projection on the sail of a sailing blimp, so he makes nice up at it and it goes away, or rather ripples and fades away.
Now the story has moved to a dim vast underground steampunk blimp hangar. A boy, who I take over the action from here, signs on to work on a cargo blimp about to go out in the direction Hermione went. I don’t tell anyone I’m Harry Potter; that might change their plans about where to go, and things are going the right way now.
I end up in a modern 1970s school building with a hanging-panel ceiling and bluish-gray indoor-outdoor carpet, trying to talk my way into being allowed access to some electronic equipment recently unearthed from the before-smash times. It turns out to be easier to just go around the people keeping me out of the discovery room and go in there another way. The equipment is disappointing: it’s giant school-type hearing-test tape players and pin-connector bakelite-and-coathanger-wire headphones. But there’s a sense of global calm, so there’s time to find better things before having to manage any more disasters. Sooner or later we’ll figure out how to go back to our regular size, and if that never happens, so what? Also it’s just a story anyway, because if we were made small without changing our particles and cells, we couldn’t have enough brains to even be people, and if all our particles were made small, how could we be breathing normal size oxygen molecules?
So, ready for the next story.
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