My dreams 2021–09–15 through 2021–09–20

Wednesday, 2021–09–15: Wolf-head devil. Underbelly of town. Prop adjuster.

First dream. I’m on the house staff of a rich forever-absent family. A giant sprawling two-story house is mostly finished being built in dry California hills, and I guess we’re supposed to just wait here. We could work on the house if there were materials and tools.

A magical devil creature who appears as a brown-yellow-skin man with a shaggy brown-yellow wolf head is the foreman of the crew. We don’t like the situation and we rebel — servants, grounds-keepers, cook (I think I’m the cook), all unite in declaring that we’ll fight the wolf-head man’s authority.

Outside in a field we arrange ourselves in a grid on twelve-foot centers. The wolf-head man comes back from wherever he goes; he detects our rebellion and laughs at us. He’s too powerful; he kills some people with magic, from a distance, but we manage to drive him away.

Later another absentee-landowner house has been colonized by former peons. Some creatures of lower power than the wolf-head man but in unknown numbers are expected to attack. Also they can go invisible some of the time. How can you prepare for something like that?

Next dream. I’m driving in dim light in a strange suburb, through places behind vast shopping mall buildings. This is the seamy underside of the place, like the service class’ accommodations outside the dome in /Downsizing/. There are houses on paved streets, but it’s nothing like on the front side.

I am attracted to a deep-blue boxy little Ford-insignia hatchback car. I think that Juanita would like that just for the color, and I follow it to see if maybe the owner will leave the key in it or something. (I don’t know. I’m probably not going to steal it; what would I do, leave my car in its place?)

Now I’m driving on a long-ago-dream-familiar Ohio-but-Southwest mountain valley road to get back to my Ohio cousins’ town and house, which in the dream is in New Mexico or Arizona.

And now I’m walking with Juanita, barefoot, on the gravel-on-older-pavement shoulder of this empty desert road at night. Juanita is exhausted and sick; she can’t walk anymore. We have to keep going. No cars will come here. I pick her up to carry her in my arms, like a baby, and confidently, tirelessly just keep walking, like, “I got you. We’re okay.” I don’t look at my feet. They don’t hurt but they’re probably bloody already and being ruined.

Next dream. We’re making an edgy low-budget Miranda-July-style movie on two sets; one is in a corner of an abandoned warehouse and the other is a borrowed-without-permission rich-neighborhood suburban house. We’ve left the warehouse for the night. In the house I’m hurrying to finish getting props and clothes ready. I gather up a stuffed chair’s small hardware and little legs and tiny logo/license-plate left over after removing them to make the chair go down to the proper height for a shot. We’ll need to put the chair back together later and return it to the furniture store. (We have no budget at all.) A cross between a British Fred Flintstone and Mendocino actor Steve Worthen walks past and comments on how I’m always on time. I start to deny it… but I /am/ always on time. When I was young I was always late for everything. When did that change?

I woke up with the song /How Deep Is Your Love/ playing in my head, the version I heard a couple of weeks ago, by four men singing in an echoey stairwell. Here, listen, it’ll get stuck in your head too:

— — -

Thursday, 2021–09–16: Wings. Mrs. Howell in MexicoTown.

First dream. I’m in a strange bed in a strange place with a girl I don’t know, having sex that doesn’t feel like anything. I mean, it’s normal-motions sex but it’s like we’re big puppets.

Later it’s the middle of the night and I’m putting my shoes on in an aisle in the CVS drug store in Fort Bragg (CA). I pick up my things off the floor to put them in the pockets of my jacket. The girl I was having puppet-sex with before and her friend who works here say goodbye and go out the front of the store. The place is closed. There’s no-one else here.

I know that security cameras will see me, but I’m not worried about getting in trouble; the same cameras will have seen that the things I put in my coat pockets didn’t come from the store, and I didn’t break in.

I go out the front door on the left, make sure that the pulls locked behind me. I put the jacket on over no shirt. I forgot my t-shirt somewhere.

I go to cross the east-west street, limping because my right foot drags under; it’s bent all the way back but doesn’t hurt. I’m careful to not be hit by an old man driving a World War 2 army truck; he’s the only other person out here now. I should have waved him down. In the dream I live miles out Highway 20. I’ll have to walk all the way there. Oh, well.

I come to my dream-only house, an eight-foot by forty-foot temporary office trailer. It’s clean inside and empty but for some standing lamps and a bed in the far end. The door is really flimsy. I devise a way, using a scrap of two-by-six and some carriage bolts, to make it so it would be very hard for someone to pry the door open and break in if they didn’t know the trick to it.

Somewhere here there’s the story of a boy coming to pick up the girl from before for a date. (Or maybe this is before that. And that might make me the boy.) I’m telling /another/ girl’s mother (the girl’s friend in CVS?) the story of how the boy came on a motorcycle that had pedals, a moped, and his girlfriend’s mother liked the motorcycle and so liked the boy. Because of the pedals. The woman I’m telling the story sympathizes and says, “I’ll bet they look just like wings.”

I go to before telling the story, where I try out sitting on different kinds of motorcycles and mopeds in a Midwestern house’s mud-and-shoes room to figure out which would be the best actual one for the story. The pedals do look like little wings. Women like that. Make a note of it.

Next dream. In the mostly Mexican area west-northwest of Santa Rosa (CA) I’m in an open-front metal shop shed, sitting on a chair against the wall near the front of the shed. Across the four-lane street there’s a furniture store and some other stores in a strip.

I’m here to write a story about this particular business — this shed’s business. One guy sits behind a metal desk at the back. Some others hang around the big door at the other side from me. Young men drive up, mostly in cars with open tops, but with the occasional 1960s station wagon or Ford Galaxy; they get orders for something (crime? service? probably not crime, because nobody seems upset that I’m a stranger here looking right at them), and they drive away again.

I go to stand out front. A happy, energetic old woman comes out of the car repair shop next door with her equally happy medium-size old dog. She scratches the dog’s back and walks backward while it walks backward after her to keep getting scratched in the same place.

I say to the men in and near the shed, “I think that’s the actress who was Mrs. Howell on /Gilligan’s Island/. Everybody laughs, Yeah, yeah, that’s her. They all know her and like her. I say, “She must be over a hundred years old. She looks pretty good.” Everybody’s all, /Yup. She sure does.

She turns around forward, to cross the street to the furniture store. The dog moves like a shepherd dog, watches for cars, to protect her.

Lots of people are out, walking around, talking. Cars full of Mexican boys roll by with everyone looking around, smiling. Mexican girls in a group all turn as one to call to and wave at someone. /This is the nicest town ever./

— — -

Friday, 2021–09–17: Fast freeze. Leaving. Lion in the closet. Science project part run.

First dream. There’s a ranch house on another planet where the weather and physical laws are different. I’m in the house’s deep and wide garage with the thin metal door up and open. There’s lots of orange electric heat all aimed at my rectangle of workbenches and a drill press. I’m not sure what I’m doing here. Fabricating something.

I go outside into the driveway. Close to the left is an inlet of the vast body of water the back of the house is right up against. The water on the inlet freezes as I watch; it crystalizes across the top at fast walking speed in a crosshatch of long lines. I’m cold; it’s so cold; I was cold before. Why didn’t I close the garage door? It’s uninsulated metal but it would have helped a little. There isn’t a sense of urgency; there’s unlimited very reliable free electricity. I go back in and pull the door down.

Next dream. I’m moving Juanita’s and my furniture and things out of our (dream-only) living space in an abandoned line of stores, because our place is now going to be a common area for people coming here for someplace to live. The stores are becoming more like a community center or school now.

I get someone to help me set up a staging area in the next room — but where will the things go after that? Why is putting things /here/ useful except for the exercise of it? Forget it, skip it, leave it all and just go. I don’t know where Juanita is.

In another house, people are moving out with the same urgency as I had before, leaving all /their/ things in boxes and piles of stuff. I think of an old saying Juanita told me once: /You don’t really own anything you can’t carry at a dead run./ (In real life neither she nor I ever took that advice very well.)

Next dream. I’m in a house that’s a mixture of the house where I lived in eighth grade and Juanita’s last apartment. There’s a full-size female lion in a closet with a heavy barred-cage gate for a door. But the gate only goes up to a foot below the top of the doorway. The lion gets up on its back legs and sticks its head and neck through that open space. I see that if it turns sideways it will get out. It’s about to figure that out.

I don’t know if the lion is dangerous but why take a chance? I back quickly but smoothly down the hallway to get out of the house, but where’s the door out? There’s no outside door on this end of the house. Shut myself in the bathroom? Then what? I don’t have a phone. /If I’ll be shut in the bathroom for a long time I should go back toward the lion and get food out of the kitchen./

But the lion’s squirming out over the gate. I go into the bathroom and shut the door.

The dream jumps to a situation more like the previous dream, in the world where everyone’s moving out and leaving their stuff behind. I’m involved in a vague world-saving science project with a tall Nowegian-looking forty-something woman. We carry our boxes of things to trade to an electronic supply store in like the shopping mall on 3rd Street in Santa Rosa. A busy Midwestern restaurant has tables that spill out around in front of the electronics store and into the middle place of the mall, as a food court but also a hiring hall and a place to sit and dicker over prices of things.

I’m uncomfortable in all these people and so sort of daydreaming about what our project migh be or might do, but my partner is all business; she rushes over to a table where only two people are and they look like they’re about to get up. She’s better about seizing opportunities than I am. By the time I get there she has /evicted/ them and we have a whole four-person table to ourselves. Now I’m doing what /I’m/ good at: I say, “Stay here. I’ll get someone to come out.” I go into the store, which is kind of like a cross between a Japanese discount variety store Juanita and I went to once in Japantown in San Francisco and the old HSC Electronics parts and discontinued products emporium that used to be in Rohnert Park (and that I still miss).

— — -

Sunday, 2021–09–19: Audio mail from the land of the dead.

I go to take a shower in an almost familiar regular house’s bathroom. It’s instantly bigger and more institutional. I try to figure out the latch; it seems meant to lock from the outside, to keep someone /in/.

Now outside the bathroom is a doctor’s thickly carpeted back office. The doctor, a sinister skinny version of Louis C.K., sits with his back to me at his desk on the opposite wall. I ask him, “Do you mind if I use the shower here?” He says /Sure, that fine, but come this way first…”

He leads me into a room that has carpet on the floor, the walls and the ceiling. /He’s gonna lock me in here./ I’m like, /I’ll be right back/, and I go to the /next/ room, and the next; the place becomes government office spaces like down by the Galleria in Santa Monica.

In one room Lisa Lebow is in a hospital bed, alive. I know that she’s been dead for years. I say, “How are you here?” She gets out of bed. She wants me to take something /back to the world/ and mail it for her. She puts two cassette tapes in a cream-colored envelope. The envelope is addressed in handwriting I can’t read. It’s probably for Stuart… but Stuart’s dead too… It’s none of my business who it’s for; sure, I’ll mail it.

There’s noise from the earlier places. Security people are after me because the doctor called them. I run through office room after room to where the last room has no way out besides the way in, and I /remember about how when you’re trapped in a maze in a dream, go up or down./ I jump up to silently though destructively crash out through the ceiling and into another floor of offices. There’s the triumph of knowing I can easily get out of /here/.

— — -

Monday, 2021–09–20: The big event. Tricky gods.

After a big society shift, people are relieved to get back to normal to the extent of coming from all over to sit in a wavy column of seats four seats wide and apparently miles long, to watch a movie outdoors, in a green grass place between lines of low trees. The movie will be projected on the sky, I guess, wherever the front seats are.

Then there’s a gas station back down the line of seats where I can barely see someone is making hamburgers for all these hundreds or thousands of people on a single pan on a camp stove.

As it begins to get dark, the line of seats has changed to be up one whole two-or-three-lane side of a divided highway, all facing the other way from before, and it won’t be a movie, it’ll be a fireworks show. A friend of Kay’s, a scruffy college boy with wire-frame glasses, hurries to me with an old-style (1970s) video camera and a vinyl packet of engineering papers about the camera’s sensitivity and operating parameters and so on. The camera was years before its time; it was used in the military. I feel like, /Thanks, but I was just going to watch the show… Oh, okay, why not?/ I set the camera up on my good tripod and plug it and a tape deck and a little CRT monitor into the battery packs and start adjusting the color levels and getting familiar with the controls. I’m surpised at how well this camera sees in the dimness; it’s sharp and clear and not grainy at all. I swing it over to get short clips of the festivities, people finding their seats, prostitute kids lining up work…

Across the roadway there’s a Southern-looking funeral-home/crematorium/factory place with heavy pickup trucks in the lot, a lighted American flag on the roof, and a roadside shrine of a minimalist Mother Mary (a six-foot-tall white plastic bullet-shape, lit from within, with the head part at the top slightly tipped down and to the side; that would be Mary gently blessing the cars going by, if there were any cars here.

There are other things on top of camera tripods on this side of the road, plugged in somewhere on the other side of a line of shrubs — they’re not cameras but maybe battery chargers? They have piercing bright red indicator lights.

I find some strips of used and saved black theater tape on the car bench seat that my row of chairs has become, and I annoy the people near me by jumping up several times and running back and forth to stick tape over the boxes’ lights so they don’t spoil the show. /I’m just trying to help./ Also I’m composing in my head what I’ll say if Kay gets on the P.A. system to bitch about how ungrateful I was at first about her sending the guy with the camera. In my internal rehearsal nothing I say will work to make her stop fast nor alleviate the embarrassment of it, so if she does that I’ll say nothing. Anyway, how would I say it on the P.A. system? Where even is that? The gas station is gone, so it can’t be there.

(Later, awake, the image of the line of chairs reminded me of the line of stopped cars on a highway in /The Day After/, a 1980s movie about atomic war.)

Next dream. There are all these gods mostly in the shape of regular people but with a change here or there, and they’re always tricking each other, as well as tricking and being tricked by their human servants. Their Valhalla/Olympus/Mount Meru lair is a big building that’s all wood inside with exposed beams, like the main room of the old Albion Whale School but immaculately clean and polished and more modern, Swedish rather than cowboy western, like a sauna resort.

After a vague period of Chinese-puzzle-interlocking and reciprocating tricks and disasters and recoveries with the feeling of great duration, it seems like things have settled down, but a snide androgynous bald-headed man, who serves a god whose head is like a bluish alligator head screwed on sideways with five or six great big cyclops-like eyes next to each other in the wide front, directs a copy of himself to kiss that god from the side, on the ear where the alligator’s nose would be, and while all the eyes are closed he /jams/ a fat sword all the way through his twin’s head and through the god’s head the long way, a shish kebab of heads, and then he twists the sword in their brains. /Oh, boy./

I tell the servant, “You know he’ll heal up from that eventually. He is a god.” (Not the twin, though.) He doesn’t care. That might be hundreds of years. He gay-cattily twists the sword in their brains a few more times, breaks the heads off the bodies without having to cut anything, and takes the human-and-god-head shish kebab away to put it in the freezer. So /thousands/ of years, then.

Everything changes to what it would be like without that god’s influence. The color scheme of Valhalla/Meru is now red and black. A lot more of the servants are women. It’s quiet. Another god is tricked /by me, while I watch myself do it from outside the action/, into going to the infirmary where hurt humans are taken. The human doctor is blonde, a seemingly vacuous (but actually clever) copy of Benedict Cumberbatch’s real-life actress mother at the age she played a visiting military general in the underground anti-UFO installation beneath a movie/teevee studio in the British series /UFO/ (1970).

I’ve tricked the god into thinking that the doctor loves him and just hasn’t said anything about it because she’s shy. /He’s/ shy, so this is good for him, a chance to grow as a person. He moves up next to her at her stand-up desk, politely gets her attention and kisses her on the mouth; she’s surprised but enthusiastically kisses him back. See, that’s the kind of trick /I/ do, something where it turns out nice for everybody.

Meanwhile an extra-nasty trickster god has set things up so another god, in fully human form, who’s recovering from being ruined and so doesn’t yet realize he’s a god, answers a ringing payphone out in the snow at night at the edge of a Midwestern town. The trickster’s line of bullshit keeps the god on the phone while an ambulance goes there from a special crooked hospital and then the trickster remotely /electrocutes/ the god with something in the ground under him.

The ambulance is disguised as a yellow 1960s station wagon taxi. The driver and his friend, two thugs, are either in on it or not; it doesn’t matter; they’d do everything they’re told to do as meanly as possible, either way. They roll up the immobilized god guy in a cloth sleeping bag and take him to a hospital with patients laid out on the floor everywhere all the way to the front doors. The doctor sees them come in the doors carrying the god guy between them, one on each end of the bag, and he gestures vaguely down a side hallway and says, “Throw him in there. Wherever there’s room.”

I woke up with the song /Come Sail Away/ by Styx playing in my head.

— — -

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