Dreams Sept. 6-14, 2022
My dream from Tuesday, 2022–09–06: Blue sky, first love, water in the desert, smeared sun.
I’m walking uphill away from a line of olive trees that all kinds of people are going under from a fence corner, to somehow get under or over the fence that way. They’re like a line of ants; they have to follow the trail. They’re not bunching up anywhere, and they’re not appearing on the other side, so where are they all going?
It’s bright out, the sky is Maxfield Parrish blue. The landscape, except for the olive trees, is lumpy hard dry reddish dirt. I’m wearing tennis shoes and cutoff jeans and that’s all — that was my basic look all summer when I was a kid — and in the dream I feel healthy and empty and light, great, except I have to piss. So I have to find something to hide behind to do that.
Ahead on the right is a mountain of redwood logging slash. Nah, I’ll hold it awhile and there’ll be something better.
Miles ahead, uphill all the way, by following a wire fence, I expect there’ll be an event of fireworks or a concert or something.
Now I’m just watching the action. A blonde boy like my Community School friend Tim and a smallish girl with hard gray-brown frizzy-straight hair pulled down that makes her head look like a knitted arrowhead are together in this desert place. For each of them it’s their first time being in love. They lie down on a clean sheet on a mattress in a room made of hard dry reddish clay-dirt that has a window cut in the clay wall to the blue sky. They sweetly fall asleep together on their sides with the boy in front and the girl’s arms around him.
I’m back in the story now. I and another strange girl (a little like a girl that worked at Radio Shack in the 1980s) are standing in a manmade lake of warm but crystal-clear water. (Same desert landscape.) It’s quiet everywhere around. I make a joke about men getting the idea to just take all the million-year-old water under the ground in this dead-dry place and pump it up here so it can evaporate and there won’t be any more. I say, “This is exactly the kinda thing we do. Because we can.”
Things shift. The girl and I have been sleeping on a sheet on a mattress in a cool, very wide and deep dry clay-dirt cave. A bulldozer comes from outside on the right, pushing two new-but-junked cars into the cave. The driver gets off the bulldozer and stands politely facing the other way while we get up, get dressed and leave. A homeless guy is lying on another mattress at the other side of the cave mouth. I think he’s dead. I go over to check. Yup, he’s dead.
The sky is the same lovely blue. The setting sun is a sharp cataract-artifact smear in the west, so we know which way south is — that will get us back down to the olive trees. Maybe we should go straight west till we get to the fence and then decide whether to continue uphill or go back down.
I’m standing, dazed, turning around, looking up at the sky, daydreaming (within the dream). When I snap out of it, the girl is far ahead. Wait, is that the same girl? Yes: blotchy tattoo on her lower back, above the right hip, under her crop-top.
As I’m running to catch up I realize I left my shoes in the cave. Do I need to go get them? No, this is fine. The ground doesn’t hurt my feet at all.
Except for the car-wrecking-yard business, this is a perfect quiet desert. I love it here. I’ve always wanted to live in the desert.
My dream from Friday, 2022–09–09: Aliens in the prime of their lives.
I’m in a story about people who are Other World analogs of me and Juanita, close to being us but not quite. I appear by surprise where Juanita works in the little toy store where in real-life Julie used to work in 1980. We’re both in our twenties. We stand here languidly kissing. I ask when she’s off work, and she gestures toward the back room.
Now I’m visiting where Juanita’s in a kind of detention hospital on the North Bay that’s a mirror of the houses and hills of the South Bay. We’re outside. She’s quiet, accepting of her punishment/cure (for what?). She says, “Look.” You can see the hills and then the water. She says, “I go up there to smoke,” meaning a castle-like church on the next hill.
Two (the captain of the Raza in the teevee show /Dark Matter/), and some others I don’t know, are in a wide hallway in, I think, a spaceship; they’re where the hallway bends in an L-shape. The hall is lined with big open empty rooms. The elevator is coming, rumbling closer. Everyone runs off to hide, silly, hysterical, like children playing hide and seek.
When strangers get out of the elevator, the two people who didn’t hide but just stood there point out mildly sarcastically where everyone hid. (Mostly in the room around the L from the elevator.) They come out all /Dang it, why’d you tell?/ about this.
In an authoritarian society scientists work at rows of control tables on the steps of like an IMAX theater. They’re facing the experiment where the screen would be, behind my view. The main government scientist man comes in to watch as lights dim and a generator thrumming whine reaches a crescendo. There’s the /pop/ of something big breaking, lights flash, the sound winds down. The main guy is pissed off; he says, “You said it was ready.” The underling scientist says, “It will be. We’re always learning things.”
The ship where people were playing hide-and-seek is in orbit above an Earthlike planet. Some people from it are at a scientists’ convention in a conference hall in like a shopping mall/airport/college. They’re here to steal something or interfere with something after the presentation. One of them is an Asian girl in an Indian sari. She really stands out; it’s not a good disguise. They’re overconfident.
Out in the concourse of the mall a movie is playing in grainy, ghostly black-and-white on otherwise visually empty places in the air. It’s someone from another show? another episode of this show? lying on his side on a bed, talking with someone behind him on the bed that we can’t see. Nobody’s watching the movie; they’re just all walking where they’re supposed to go. There’s a giant king-size bed on the floor here. I sit down on it for a moment. I don’t lie down — I shouldn’t fall asleep here. I go outside and it’s Venice Beach, the way it was the last time Juanita and I were in L.A., in the 1990s, for her father’s funeral.
I woke up with the Green Day song /I Hope You Have the Time of Your Life/ playing in my head.
(Start here to read for 2022–09–16 show.)
My dreams from Sunday, 2022–09–11. (All the dreams of Sunday are in a simplified, clean-feeling Studio Ghibli-film-like environment.) Mairdelaine. Cleanup. The Sharks and the Jets. Other World toilet customs.
First dream: I’m in another world in a Japanese Alps place. I walk up a path to a smooth high building, talking with a little girl who’s interested in flight. (They’re just lately developing aircraft here, but they’re very clever and advancing rapidly.) I explain how it works: “The faster you move through the air the more it pushes against you. That’s why jets can have such tiny wings. Little slow planes have to have big wings like sails.” We get to the village at the base of the /really enormous tower/ that the building I saw from a distance has become. Here’s the girl’s mother. I nod to her and say to the little girl, “What’s your name?” She says, “Mairdelaine.” I say, “I’m Marco.” I say of her to her mother, “She’s an important person here.” The mother and others around all smile at me. They’re in trouble with somebody in power and they trust me to help them.
Now I see the action from outside it, just watching. A woman teacher and some kids, including Mairdelaine, have smuggled themselves into a dirigible as it was moored at the top of the tower. It casts loose, flies slowly over bright pretty mountains and valleys. Another ship comes the other way. Things are tense. Will they come alongside and board this ship, and arrest the teacher and the children?
Next dream. Another place in the same world as the previous dream, but like a cross between the hill that Mendocino High School is on and the way the Santa Rosa Press Democrat building squats on its big lawn. The grass here has just recovered from being choked with white leaves like rose petals resulting from the war. Two workers are raking up the very last of the leaves and putting them in a trash barrel on wheels.
At the corner, around the end of a wood-and-wire fence, other people stand around waiting for time to go to their work, whatever it is. I think some of them can fly and some can’t. I fly up, backward, on my back, the fast way, and pull the air in long side-sweeping strokes to go faster, get away farther (in case they shoot at me; there was a war, maybe they’re edgy). But a little boy flies up a little in front of me almost as fast as I’m going. I stop worrying. Surely if they were going to shoot they could shoot me no matter where I go or how far; they’ve had plenty of time and a whole war to develop weapons and ways to do that.
I’m a reporter. I want to find out from the little boy about things they care about here. I say, “Do you ever have races?” Sure. His father is a racer. He’s back on the ground at the corner, and… somehow now so are we. The man’s sideburns and tiny nose make him look like a leprechaun. I say to the boy, “Well, good luck to him, and to you,” and I fly up again and fly away.
Now I’m in a place like Capella Street in Mendocino, but here it goes all the way down to the cliffs like Little Lake Street does. This is many years after the war but there are still dangerous rivalries, for example some white boys from one gang (let’s call them the Jets) come slowly down the street in their shiny well-cared-for big pretty dark-green 1950s car. A farmer in a dented, faded old pickup truck comes down after them, pulling a trailer with a sailboat with huge diaphanous sails, somehow not hanging up on trees and power lines. Another gang car of white boys (the Sharks) comes along. This car’s green has a little blue in it. /Excellent paint. These people are wonderful at industrial processes./ The Jets get out of their car and go into like a wooden club/lodge building. The Sharks go a little farther and park across the street. There’ll be trouble.
A tough-looking old Carl-the-Mechanic-like man walks down the hill hefting a heavy hammer. Someone says, “Call the police.” But the man goes straight past the Jets’ car to the boy standing guard at the Sharks’ car and says, “Open the exhaust panel.” The boy is relieved to not have to fight Carl, but confused. (Exhaust panel?) Carl points at the trunk. /Oh./ The boy opens the trunk. And Carl examines an incomprehensible machine in there. I move around but can’t get a good look at it. What /is/ that?
Next dream. I’m walking through a strange very-well-maintained mental-institution-like 1950s high school to find the bathroom because I /really need one/. Here’s a combined boys’/girls’ bathroom that’s a long tiled hallway with washstands along one wall and toilet stalls along the other. A crew of three worker women come in to mop and clean even though it’s already spotless. No toilet in this stall, nor in this one. After the last stall, by the door out, there’s a half-stall with a big school window in the wall and a toilet that’s a two-foot high white ceramic cylinder that slightly tapers toward the floor.
I pull the window curtain down. I try to pull the stall door panels across but they won’t stay attached and then won’t even lean against the frame to stay up. /Okay, whatever. I have to do this now. If it’s okay for the cleaning women, and it looks like this is normal for the culture here, then okay… but I really don’t want to sit down with my pants around my ankles and strain and shit with people right there looking at me. I’m pulling my pants down…/
Now I’m at the same toilet but outside a place like my grandparents’ restaurant from when I was little, but also like the downstairs door at my newspaper office in the 1990s. People are walking by on the sidewalk. This is all still in this other world where they do things differently, so… it looks like, here, people just use a toilet where everyone can see; it’s actually in a little wide-open stall by the restaurant front door. The cylinder is taller now — three feet tall, and has an open-top metal water reservoir on the pavement next to it, with a valve box inside that.
I’ve pulled my jeans down, I pull down plastic-fiber long underwear. A 1930s-style workman across the street makes a disgusted face. /Are my clothes made of the wrong material?/ (This seems like the right question, because in the dream I half-remember preparing to come to this world and there was something about how things should be made of either animal fur or not fur, and my synthetic-fiber clothes are something in between those things.
The man is closer now. I say, “I can see you’re disgusted by something. Tell me what it is.” He says, “Socks.” I say, “I have socks.” (I point at my baggy slippers, which are /like/ socks.) He sighs, frustrated; turns away gesturing to the air that I’m an auslander and what’s the use of explaining things to me.
I crap for a long time. I mean, a /long time/. More and more 1930s- and 1940s-dressed people are standing around, going through my toilet stall, into and out of the door of the building, around me and stepping over my slippered feet. Do they want to use this? Are they all politely waiting for me to finish?
Finally I’m empty. There’s no toilet paper but just the last bit of a roll of paper towels. I force through my embarrassment to clean myself up. There’s no place to put used paper so I guess it goes in the dry toilet cylinder. I flush it with the valve in the floor tank even though there’s no water in it. The shit and paper go away but the ceramic cylinder swirls a quarter-full of smoky black water.
Get dressed. I want to wash my hands, but not in that. Get out of these people’s way. Flee, mortified.
My dream from Monday, 2022–09–12: Pepper and the arts.
I’m in a busy post-dystopian future city of concrete parking garages and abandoned shopping malls all repurposed to be kind of a pleasant artistic theater colony. I’m who I am, at my real age, but I have Pepper, the little dog we got from the Burbank pound when I was four. She’s very old and ragged but alive and she’s draped over my forearm like a sock.
Some people admire her, so I put her down to run around a little. She runs into the street. /Pepper, come here!/ She comes back but runs past me and vanishes. Dammit.
I go running in a likely direction, yelling /Pepper! Pepper! Come here!/ through a shopping mall place, into a hallway, past rooms like the way into different theaters in a multiplex, into the dim room at the end of this hall, to the clear place at the center and shriek, /PEPPER!/ This is a concert at a quiet spot in the show. The musicians and conductor all stare at me, amused, I think. The patrons in theater seats all stare at me, shocked. I find the dog (not Pepper anymore but a raggedy stuffed dog), hang it over my arm and leave but, see, I’m not at all embarrassed here. I’m thinking: they all have a funny story that they will each tell hundreds of times all the rest of their lives.
Now I’m at a concert (though there’s no stage or performers, just theater seats), on the second or third floor of a car park garage. My date is a strange milk-white girl with long flat cheeks and long straight black hair. I look up to see her going through a door, possibly to the bathroom and, from the look she gives over her shoulder, probably she’ll continue on away and be gone forever. Was it something I said? Probably.
At the end of a much bigger event the techies and roadies are packing up. I hurry through an empty film soundstage under and behind the venue stage. A thick heavy gate/door is sliding/closing down. I’m too late, not getting out that way. A beatnik-bearded man winding cables on his arms watches me turn and go back through the soundstage, whose floor has become like the under-basement of a building: rock and concrete chunks and dirt for a floor, concrete walls, and this lets out into a different version of the city from before — same parking garages but with no theaters, and chainlink fences around different businesses. I’m in a grocery/hardware distributor warehouse place. I find the office section and the way out, but the several bald men who work here won’t let me go. They treat me like they treat homeless people and thieves they catch, who they can bully and push around. I use a magic power on them one at a time: I say /Fall down/. The first man falls down but he’s not neutralized; I have to kick him. To the next I say: /Fall down and hit your head on the floor./ That takes care of him. And I move through all of them until I get to the metal gate and I’m free.
Now I’m with another man who in retrospect I’ve been with all along — a British version of Kyle of Tenacious-D. We cross the ground floors of a few parking garages and get out into the open in a place like Arden Way in Sacramento in the 1970s but deserted; we’re trying to find where I left the car. (It will be the Lang’s giant maroon early-1970s Buick.) Kyle cries out, “There it is! There it is!” Okay! We’re saved. Good… Where’s the key? Do you have the key? No-one has the key. No need to panic. Try the door. It’s open. And… the key’s under the seat.
It’s later. This is the pre-story of how the town became a theater and arts place. I go back and forth between typing on a computer and typing on a typewriter. I don’t have anything organized enough for a book or a play but I get an idea… I walk around with all my papers through parking garages and over railroad tracks, putting pages up at random and sticking them in cracks to be found by anyone, for a writing/art project, for a playwright origin story.
Mitch and Elly are out here. I happily tell Mitch what I’m doing: “I’m putting up the whole thing scattered in random places — a page here, a page there…”
And now I’m back in my dream-only office in a parking garage reading, with some apprehension and some difficulty, handwritten fresh Mendocino County fire information. I worry that there’s someone somewhere out there noticing that, out of all the places that have burned, Albion hasn’t burned yet, and whoever it is might be plotting revenge to solve that.
I woke up with the song /Post-Romantic Stress Syndrome/ by Douglas Wayne Coulter playing in my head.
My dreams from Tuesday, 2022–09–13: Have you tried turning it off and back on again? X-averse boy. Cat/spider Cadillac. The Alaska (or Nepal) contracts.
First dream. In the dream KMFB still exists and all its equipment is out on low bookshelves on the ground in the Pygmy Forest behind the blockhouse, arranged in a square around a central dirt court. Bob Woelfel is away today and there are computer problems for me to solve. I re-start a music-playing computer and another more important computer (these are 1980s-era PCs). I must have started them in the wrong order; a tiny black-and-white CRT monitor shows garbage characters that I interpret as an error message. I know that the emergency broadcast system defaults to rebroadcasting KOZT so I’m not anxious about dead air, though it will be bad when they ID their station on our frequency. I just need to fix it before that happens. I restart the computers in the reverse order from before. That does it.
There are other problems. I’ll deal with them one at a time. Another person is here helping but I don’t know who it is or where he is; maybe inside the building.
Next dream. In the future people live in houses on a hill. I’m here auditioning to be their kids’ teacher. In the house-attached garage where everyone meets, a little boy is having trouble expressing himself. He has a picture book of building construction open in his lap. He says, “I don’t like them.” I say, “Girders? …those are called girders.” He struggles to say something. I wait, then say, “You don’t like the way it goes like this?” (I make an X with my hands, like the exes of metal in the picture. That’s probably it. I say, “Do you know why it’s shaped like that?” /No./ I say kindly, “We”ll talk about that a little later,” meaning the next time I come here. Everyone smiles. The boy’s father approves. They’re probably going to hire me.
I walk along a dim beach. Small but insistent waves come in farther and farther each time. I pull my pants-cuffs up and hurry to get around a concrete water-wall to get farther up away from the lake. (I’m sure it’s a lake; I think this is Chicago.)
I walk toward a metal bridge/pier made of girders in densely packed X shapes. It’s night now. I’m cold. I imagine flying to a helicopter pad on the roof of a tech building on the end of the pier and am suddenly already there, being met by a man from the company; I pretend I just got dropped off by a helicopter; I’m not ready for them to know I can fly.
I meet one of the boss-people; he seems relaxed and nice. But now I’ve slept here, and I’m in an apartment or office bathroom. I’m supposed to be starting work today. I comb my hair with my fingers and tie it back with a doubled rubber band. /I wish I knew what I’m supposed to do to work here./
Next dream. David Foley of Kids In The Hall is driving a 1960s Cadillac car that has cat/spider legs instead of wheels. Going down a steep gravel road he gets afraid and touches the brake. The car begins to slide slowly down the road and sideways to the edge. He says, “ I can’t go slow and I can’t go fast.” He gets the car stopped. It’s cocked at an odd angle so the right front leg is really dug in on the downhill side. That was clever, to do it like that. I wouldn’t have known to do that. (This is after my experience of taking over for him, trying to stop it myself, and giving up.)
Next dream. In the dream I’ve just been hired to work at my real-life empoyer Tim’s place and I don’t know what he’ll want me to do. I file some papers in a plastic magazine holder on the wall between Alice’s door and the library door, and I put the paper in between other papers already there so it will look like I showed up much earlier.
In the factory building the oscilloscope I expect to be there is missing from the bench… No, it’s on the trunk of a top-down convertible-car with wires going to the left-rear door handle and other places on the car body. What is it measuring? Here are paper notes. I can’t understand them. At this point I half-grasp that I’m dreaming and consider using magic to just blanket-fix everything wrong with the car so Tim will be pleased and think I’m smart.
The venue changes to a vast-sky Alaska- or Himalaya- snow and ice mountain range place. I’m shown an ice road that they (?) cleared with vodka. (They have endless cheap vodka for this purpose as a byproduct of an industrial process.) I’ve just been hired to work for an ice-mountain version of Tim. I’m outside a metal airplane hangar where I’m supposed to meet him. (It’s the only structure in sight).
Some clients or partners in Tim’s company come here in a couple of big 1970s cars. I’m squinted at and evaluated by a man like the actor who played the director of General Dynamics in the pilot episode of /Eureka/. I say to him, “Tim’ll be back in a little while.” They’ll wait.
Time passes. Tim’s mother Ethel (R.I.P.) is sitting on the ice, crying. I sit down with her and hug her and say quiet nice things.
The visitors are tired of waiting. They’re scattered around in the now open hangar. (Two adjacent sides are wide open, like a giant carport, with the free corner held up by a metal pole.) I entertain the visitors by flying out and up. With my eyes squinched shut and my fists clenched I rocket upward faster and faster, spinning.
Later, after I land and everyone seems ready to wait around some more, one of the visitors, photographer Garth Hagerman, has a medical problem. He has been reduced to just a strange chubby-cheeked woman’s head on a folded blanket on the ice 200 feet uphill from the hangar. Another visitor gestures to me, /Can you…?/ (Meaning, I can fly, can I heal the sick?) A visitor man goes to the woman’s/Garth’s head, kneels down, talks with him. Maybe I /can/ help. I walk that way, visualize what I want to happen…
Still later I’m standing next to the hangar again. The people have all left in their cars, and they gave me a bunch of folders of paperwork. I look in the first folder — apparently I have contracted to do all the different things for them that they want done. One contract will pay me $25,000. I’ll give all the money to Tim. I’m working for him, after all. I hope he shows up before it gets dark. I’m already cold.
My dreams from a nap Tuesday night: Corpse’s bathmat. Thylacine.
First dream. In the dream I work for the county, disposing of dead people and their stuff. I’m with a co-worker in a dim dead-grass field at night, separating a dead man’s things that are useful from things to throw away or burn or bury with the body. I’ve put some rugs and clothes and things in a big suitcase.
A woman sticks her head out a window in a travel trailer that’s suddenly right here next to me. She says, “What are you doing.” My co-worker says, “What’s it look like?” She says to me, “What is that?” I say, “My suitcase.” It’s open; I’ve been piling thing in. There’s a yellow rubberized bathmat on top. I pick it up and say, “Do you think you could use this? Do you want this?” She says, “Naw,” pulls her head back inside the trailer and slides the window shut. When I go to put it back in the suitcase there’s a layer of sandy mud on everything there.
Next dream. I’m in a generic small suburban house at night. There’s a strange woman sitting on the couch, and a strange man sitting on the floor to my right gingerly petting a very big pet wildcat. The man is trying to impress the woman. He asks her if she’d like to see what happens when /I/ handle the animal. She’s like, /Sure, why not./ He moves the cat so it’s on its side and its head and shoulders are across my crossed legs. I close my eyes so the animal will see I trust it. I scratch my fingernails in a vibrating zigzag pattern all the way down its back from neck to base of tail. It makes a hissing/purring noise. Is that good or bad? I do it again. It makes the same noise. I assume it’s not going to hurt me and keep scratching its back and petting it..
Now I’m outside in the dark running through tall dry grass, diagonally up the side of a low ridge. The wildcat, now also somewhat doglike, runs after me. Is it playing or really hunting me? I turn to face it, cheerfully say, “C’mere! C’mon!” It jumps up like a dog playing and I treat it like a dog, guiding its neck and turning, gesturing for it to go next to me or go ahead, that way. It’s really another kind of animal now. I think it’s a thylacine. I’ve read that they’re using DNA to bring thylacines back. They’re cat-dog-like predatory marsupials.
My dreams from Wednesday, 2022–09–14: Renovations. Kick it. Train sounds.
First dream. I’m driving on the field side of a roadside barbed wire fence on a road like Comptche-Ukiah road out in the middle of nowhere. I’m on this side of the fence because men are working laying pipe in a ditch cut in the road.
Now I’m walking, the ditch is on /this/ side, the equipment is less of a pipe-laying truck and more of a post-apocalyptic homemade-looking drilling rig, drilling a water well for a rotting, falling-down cabin that I know, in the dream, belongs to an old local-community friend of the people in charge of everything. It’s like a public-works favor.
It’s nearing the end of the work day, getting dark. The foreman woman is looking over the cabin with someone else — another woman. I offer to do some electrical work, for example, “I’d run a fresh electrical line from the water heater under the floor to /that box/. (I visualize being under the floor, pushing Romex through a hole into the box, then going out and finding a spare breaker to connect it to and, failing that, finding a breaker with only low-use things attached to it.
The foreman woman is like my employer Tim’s ex-wife but tough and a little mean. She shows me the water heater closet. It’s both electric /and/ propane powered. The chimney has rusted and corroded away so the exhaust vents through a square tube of tinder-dry wood and through a hole rotted away in the roof. I say, “That’s no good. That’s a real fire hazard.” But she just waves it away; it’s not on her list of priorities to fix things that are already working.
I realize that the guy I came here with (?) has already driven away. The two women are getting in their car to leave. The foreman woman relents about being mean; she offers to give me a ride to Fort Bragg (CA). I accept, but I don’t know where I live. What year is this? Do I live in Fort Bragg now? Or Caspar? It doesn’t matter, just get me out to the highway. Thank you. It smells like cosmetic products in the car, or rather I can’t really smell it but it’s irritating in the way that makes you feel like you’re about to sneeze and/or your eyes are starting to burn.
Next dream. I’m old, but a vigorous almost superhero kind of old, like Sam Elliot in /The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot/. I’m walking west, toward the ocean, down Main Street in Mendocino, on a brand-new perfect-but-narrow sidewalk on the left side of the street. The sky is clear and gray-blue. It’s late afternoon but somehow there’s no sun in my face. In the dream, the bluffs have fallen into the bay all the way up to the edge of the sidewalk.
At the end, where the street makes an L to the right, almost below the level of the road is a huge, sprawling two-story new blue hotel-size house, a vacation rental for rich families or maybe a college dormitory. Entitled young people are unpacking their shiny perfect cars. I anticipate that if I walk past the car I’m coming to, a boy in the passenger seat will deliberately throw the door open to knock me off the sidewalk and over the edge. Should I walk down the middle of the street? No, keep going this way, because it’ll be an opportunity to kick the door shut, dent it and hurt him if I time it right. I practice this over and over in my head, but when I get there, there’s no-one in the car. Kick it anyway? /What’s the matter with me? Of course don’t kick it./ It’s very hard to walk by and not kick it, though. That’s funny.
Next dream. A narrow but full-length movie soundstage. Typical seamless gray-green linoleum floor. This is a small-town theater meeting. I’m here to show the director what I have in mind for sound effects, but all there really is of the play to go on here is a large-gauge toy train, which — that’s a really good idea to have in a stage play, I think; I wish it had been /my/ idea.
I’m at a particleboard hutch that holds a ‘70s-era stereo setup (turntable, receiver, big cheap speakers). The director is at the far end of the room. A generic theater-tech person who I instinctively don’t like is about halfway down the room, looking over the train set for flaws. Music is playing, not from my stereo but out of the air, that sounds like /Feliz Navidad/ (but all that kind of music sounds like /Feliz Navidad/ to me, especially the more it repeats and repeats like a stuck record). It gets to a part where the singer sings increasingly insistently, “Vamos… /Vamos!/… /VAMOS!/” That’s where the prop-guy should start the train going away, and that’s where I’ll put the thunderous steam-train-starting-and-going-away sounds. (I’m like, Huh? Huh? Pretty good, eh?) But the guy looks at me with venom and gestures to the director to indicate he objects. /This is why I don’t like him. What’s to object to? He just wants to be a dick about things because he’s a dick./ (He’s like a set designer once in real life who insisted I redo a sound effect and music swell because it /didn’t give him the same feeling as his set looked/. The theater manager running that meeting was a man who, in his high school days had hauled off and decked the vice principal. He looked at the set guy and said to him quietly, “Okay, who’s the /sound designer/, because I’m confused, here. Are you the sound designer?” Like in /Futurama/ (or maybe /The Simpsons/) where mafia-boss Mickie Mouse says menacingly calmly to his underlings, “Is there a problem here, gentlemen?” They’re all, “No sir. No.” Mickey says, “…Because It sounded like there was a problem,” and they all go, “Oh, no, sir! No problem!”) (I half-remember he expects them to get someone discretely killed.)
I woke up with /Feliz Navidad/ still going in my head, just the Spanish-language part. Over and over. Like a stuck record. This continued until the water boiled for tea.
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