Monday and Tuesday, August 8 & 9, 2022
My dream from Monday, 2022–08–08: Town saga (compare to Northern Exposure or Picket Fences)
A Denny’s-size but 1950s-style diner is also the town bus station. Three criminal boy-men push people around. They stop before they get to me, though, and they roar away in their car.
A roundish man with a shotgun and a three-foot-long metal pipe is talking to someone parked in a car. I go into the diner. The shotgun man comes after me. I grab the gun and tug on it, pointing it past me, to my right, so he can’t shoot me, but I’m worried that if the gun goes off someone else here will be shot. I pick him up by the gun and use it to fling him against the wall and then the floor. Surely this will have killed him. /What if I misinterpreted? What if he wasn’t after me but just going into the diner?/
A little later the town play is being put on in the now-much-bigger parking lot of the diner. Cars are arranged with the audience in them, like at a drive-in movie. The actors have come to the scene (and song) in their film-noir-like musical show that refers to the town’s historical prostitution industry. In the middle of the chorus line of people, three girls are held aloft, facing away from the audience, bent over, their bare butts and oddly-stylized cooches pushed out to make three space-age snarky silhouettes of the faces of an X-Men-comic-book-like French supervillain 1950s pool-hall character.
Now I’m in one of the audience cars, at the far left of a bench seat that holds maybe seven people. The middle-aged woman on the far right of the seat says something morally disparaging about the show, probably because of the bare fannies. /I want to talk to her for the story I’m here to write about this creative dangerous town./
A town meeting is being held in a mansion’s large entryway. People sit at long tables, like at the Grange Hall’s spaghetti dinner. I’m getting an award for several things: 1. calming things down about the thug crime, 2. for the musical show, which they think I wrote, and 3. for lasting /three years/ here as mayor of this quirky place.
I walk around the people and the tables to give a speech about how we’re all bad, we all have gotten away, at one time or another, with the worst things. For a fresh example of why it’s important to keep that in mind: the police chief, who is rough on everyone for even the most minor offenses, is just now climbing down a ladder after screwing a terminal strip shaped like an electric guitar pickup to a roof beam /horizontally/ instead of vertically like the law insists on. I mean, who cares? See? Another example: earlier today I beat up a man in the bus station, maybe killed him, because I thought he was one of the tough people after me. Maybe he had the shotgun because he was about to go hunting. Maybe he had plumbing to fix and he’d just come from the hardware store and that was why he had the pipe… /Come to think of it, he had a fishing rod, too./
At least half the people in the room raise a hand; they want to tell /their/ story, /their/ fashionable confession.
This mansion is the house an old woman who has been repeatedly cheated. (That’s her character trait; everyone knows that she just keeps getting cheated and cheated; she’s not stupid but she’s rich, so it’s more cost effective to cheat her in all things. I offer to go with her and the next newcomer mayor on a tour of the house, but one of the things she bought and /doesn’t/ feel cheated about is a shoebox-size Chinese-looking jukebox that hears when she says an old song title and it plays the song she names. A small red-haired woman who looks like Chloe Sevigny in /Portlandia/, but small and red-haired, is amazed at how miraculous the jukebox toy is. I let the mayor and the old woman disappear up the stairs without me and I explain to Chloe why the machine’s trick is really way easier than it seems. There are only a few hundred famous old songs, after all. The hard part is: how did they make the machine so it can tell the difference between when she’s saying the name of a song so it will play it, and when she says a word or phrase in ordinary conversation that just happens to be the name of a song? Chloe Sevigny thinks I’m just making all this up to hit on her like everybody always does because she’s pretty. I’m not, or rather I wasn’t… Now I kind of am.
My dreams from Tuesday, 2022–08–09: Ship seep. New apartment utilities.
First dream. I’m in a black-and-white line-drawing animated comic book story about a spaceship and a man and woman who have inherited/discovered it. The ship is in space, derelict, though not broken nor out of power, it’s just waiting for someone to figure it out and learn how to use it and turn it on.
The couple explore the ship. My point of view moves with them. At one point I’m the man, and then I’m just watching again.
An advertisement happens in the show: It’s an AA meeting in a white-plaster office/classroom that feels like it’s where my grammar school was, in Burbank, when I was in second grade.
The show’s on again. Somebody has caused something to happen to the ship so lines of leaked fuel or black porridge or clay or mollasses or evil spider-creature goop from /MirrorMask/ seep at high speed from the grate in a room’s high ceiling to stretch and touch the floor. A hand reaches to pick some of this up and bring it back to where the mouth would be, to taste it. The hand’s owner is a comic skull-head creature that fades in and out of visibility.
Strangers meet in the dining room of the ship. They sit around on benches built into the walls and discuss who will be captain. These people don’t know that it belongs to the man and the woman, who are elsewhere, still exploring. I think the captain will be the man. I trust that eventually everyone will meet each other just by living in the ship and they’ll probably all get along okay. If they don’t, I’ll make something happen so they do.
Next dream. I’m in the office of a used car lot, talking on the phone to get internet and wired phone service installed in Juanita’s and my (dream-only) new apartment. The woman on the other end has taken my information, and she goes, “Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm.” It sounds like a stuck record. I say, “Hello?” Quiet for a moment, then, “Hmm, hmm, hmm…” again. I hang up, satisfied that she got the location and everything before the call broke. But how will they get into the apartment when they get there?
I go there. It’s in Folsom (CA). The apartment is all white rooms. It’s night. There are no light fixtures yet, so it’s dim; all light comes from outside — the street light, parking lot lights, car lights going by. The skull-head ghost creature from the previous dream is with me. He’s standing in the open front door, hesitant to enter. (I’m inside.)
Someone’s coming from the side, along the walkway. I say to the ghost, “Don’t stand there.” (I don’t want to scare whoever’s coming; it might be a dangerous crook, it might be the landlord. The ghost steps slightly aside and goes invisible. I get ready to defend myself. The person comes in. I don’t know if this is the landlord, but he’s clearly harmless. I put my seven-foot-long Warhoon rifle (!) and my garden rake down on the rug and gesture /I’m sorry/.
Next afternoon I come back to the apartment after work at the used car lot. An efficient woman and man team are finishing up the internet installation. /I smell fiberglass resin./ The woman has a rectangular gallon can, an old-fashioned gas can (the kind that are illegal now) propped up to catch excess resin seeping from around a network jack. I say, “You guys do a way better job at this than I do.” (They’re sealing even the tiniest cracks against air leaks.)
Later a man from the AA meeting (first dream) is here with me, looking things over. Now the network jacks are in strange complicated plastic boxes stuck low on the walls, and there’s one high up in a corner. The man says, “I’ve never seen equipment like that.” They must be routers, or maybe they’re computers. Maybe they project video…
The power isn’t on yet. I have to get the power turned on. There’s too much to keep track of. It’s like in /Sex, Lies and Videotape/ where James Spader talks about /too many keys/.
I woke up thinking that property agencies should bundle all the expenses of living in a place and you’d just pay one check or one transfer a month to cover rent, internet, electricity, etc., all together. Why don’t they do it that way? And why doesn’t the government just figure your taxes for you and send your refund? And we should have single-payer Medicare For All, and Guaranteed Basic Income. Pay for car registration and insurance with a tax on gas pegged electronically to your income and car value. Simplify it all so you can enjoy being alive and not be constantly fretting about whether you paid this or that bullshit item or not, or whether you have enough money to eat food or see a doctor or have a baby.
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