Tuesday and Wednesday, 2021–12–07 & 08.
My dreams from Pearl Harbor Day, 2021–12–07: Float stunt. Intermission. Fungus prize women. PolyMorphic Systems 8813. The oracle of this nation.
First dream. I’m walking east through Mendocino, past the post office, past the barbershop. Somehow I turn right, south, and come immediately to Caspar, which is north, /from/ the north, through a field of tall dry grass. On the road up to the highway is a giant race-car-shaped parade float set up for an experimental video stunt. A pre-ejected drag parachute is held up and back from it with wires and PVC-pipe poles. At the highway is a wood and mesh baseball backstop/grandstand structure with people all standing and sitting and hanging on it, waiting for the event to start. A yellow 1950s heavy-lifting helicopter hovers far overhead; that’s probably where the cameras are.
I’m dressed in only cutoff jeans and tennis shoes. My hair is long, over my shoulders the way it used to be, so I must be young here. I have a small backpack hanging from one hand. To the south, instead of the highway and Caspar Creek and the incline, is now a long straight flatland country road all the way to the horizon, like in Iowa, with train tracks diagonally across it and a diesel train engine parked blocking the road, loudly idling.
The train vanishes. I walk down the road, now more like a driveway, to a rich people’s country club. Workers in black and white are setting up for a wedding or a political conference or an awards show. I’m enough out of place here that I might as well be invisible. No-one stops me from making up a big plate of food at a catering table. Shrimp and sauce, crackers, thick-cut salami, cheese, celery and peanut butter, olives, purple grapes, more purple grapes. Don’t get greedy, that’s enough, quit while you’re ahead… But… how do you get out of here? The way in doesn’t go outside anymore; it’s another big convention room. Just go behind something and eat, then worry about getting out.
Next dream. Someplace that feels like Ohio felt when I was last there in 1973. It’s intermission-time of a play. I’m the sound person. I and other techies and the busily-sewing costume people are in the soundstage-size back-room/control-room of the theater, waiting for the play to start again. How will we know when it does? I go outside, around the wall in between. Parking lot. No theater, which is good because I don’t remember anything about the sound system nor what sounds to play nor what to play them from; I’m off the hook about that.
Next dream. In an apartment complex in a strange town at night, a lonely little warbly-voiced character-actor man, a cross between the planet’s prefect in the Jack-the-Ripper’s-ghost (Rejak) episode of Star Trek and William Macy in The Cooler or Magnolia or Fargo, has won a contest, and the prize is he’s given the sexual use of several living robot women made of layers and layers of rubbery mushroom fungus material. The workmanship is shoddy; the women lose their shapes and deteriorate to strips of blankets of fungus, but the material can be collected up and re-used. I’m on the phone in an abandoned casino room explaining to someone responsible that there’s enough of the fungus stuff to make /three to five/ women, so the company can’t be accused of having promised something and not delivered. I’ll take care of it, put a few women together; the man will be fine with it.
Now it’s daytime. I’m reassembling everything in the electrical service closet in an outside niche in an apartment building in a version of Mendocino that’s been rebuilt to be all like blocks of Los Angeles two-story apartments with little peanut-shaped plaster swimming pools. I’m about to bolt the biggest circuit breaker box back up on the wall. It’s gray metal; the wall is white. I have white spray-paint. I lay the box back down on the lawn to paint it. But the inside of the box has a half-inch-thick layer of fungus now, like the kind they make contest prize women out of. I use compressed air to loosen an edge of the fungus, peel it up some, loosen some more, peel some more… I’m enjoying composing in my head the excuse I’ll give for this taking so long. I have the same good feeling about it as I had in the other dream, getting food at the country club, confident that there’ll be no consequences /because/ I’m confident and just going forward, doing what I need to do.
Next dream. 1970s J.C. Penney’s catalog dressed people are sitting around on the plant pots and steps of a fresh new brick apartment building in a strange town. A black man and a white man, both gay levels of scrubbed-clean and perfectly groomed, sit artificially posed as if lightheartedly talking over something of arbitrary-photograph importance, what weight of oil to use in an outboard motor, maybe, or frozen in mid-improv-nonsense-sentence.
Right around the corner from the brick apartments I and someone else carry bundles of electronic test equipment into another world, to the rural, isolated two-story 1960s-modern frame house of a blonde woman retired architect/engineer who has the manner of the painter girl who helps Kiki get her mojo back in /Kiki’s Delivery Service/. We’re here to fix her antique (1970s) computer equipment. I don’t know what to do, or even where to start, but the man I’m with is an expert. Inside the house, here are some wooden computer boxes. In the dream I remember the computers I just moved out of my employer’s shop into storage in real life and I say to the woman, “I just saw some wooden computers: a Cromemco? a — ” (I try but can’t think of the maker, so I cast about for the right name: “I think, a 3M S-bus system?” Ah! It comes to me: “PolyMorphic 88-something… System 88… 8840? 8813?” Things become vague.
Next dream. I’m in Mendocino, outside a building like a modern dentist’s office where Flow restaurant should be (where Brannon’s used to be). Some West Side Story-style gang strangers.are also here. By the telephone pole a hunched-over 1940s Norman Rockwell gas-station attendant-like man is preaching about how he was contacted by aliens and they told him something important, gave him a mission and a title. He falters, not recalling either. In the dream I remember dreaming of something like that before, where it happened to /me/ and I was told to say, “I’m the oracle of this nation. I’m the drainpipe. I’m the storm.” To entertain the others here, I go to the man and sincerely say that to him — “I’m the oracle of this nation. I’m the drainpipe. I’m the storm,” as though it wasn’t a dream but I was actually contacted by the same aliens as he believes he was. I’m standing on the street; he’s on the high curb so I’m looking up at him, firmly shaking his hand. Behind his head the water tower is missing and the sky is filled with intricate mechanically churning, rolling clouds, like wheels of drawings of clouds turning and bobbling against each other, a flat orerry of clouds and cloudlets all seen through wiggly clear water or projected on a waving curtain, but in vivid HDR. /I wish I had something to get video of that./
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My dreams from Wednesday, 2021–12–08: Mecha snake crane battle. Library events.
First dream. This is either a very-bad-weather place or a space colony. Everyone lives in interlocking sealed warehouse buildings with massive concrete walls and heavy garage doors that crank shut right-to-left or left-to-right. We’re fleeing from something. We have to go through a particular warehouse room to get to relative safety. But this room has a garage door off to the side, with a living metal snake creature hiding there, that’s made of elevator cars and truck-trailer boxes articulated by rings of hydraulic rams. The others run back the way we came, but I go into another garage door opposite the danger and operate a competing metal snake cargo-loading machine, to try to fight the bad one and wreck it. I don’t have much hope, because my machine is made of weaker materials and you drive if from out in front, exposed. We’re just looking at each other. I gesture like, /Okay, if we’re gonna go, let’s go./ I’m gonna try to shoot forward and hit it from the side.
Next dream. I’m in a library that’s as big as a Walmart inside, in a town where everyone gets together to do complicated community-participation events. The event today is patriotic, about historic heroes, not necessarily war heroes. Everyone will be lined up between the rows and columns and islands of bookshelves (and groceries; it’s also a grocery store) with light bulbs held up like candles, for a choreographed march/dance, speeches, and singing of hymns like /Oh, Maria/ from /Sister Act/ (which is already playing). I seem to be the only one who thought to help out by bringing a shopping bag of four-packs of full-size dollar-store LED bulbs. I try to figure out who to give the bulbs to so when everyone moves forward the ones in front and in plain sight of the director(s) will have a bulb, and then when they pass from sight or merely turn around the other way they’ll give their bulb to someone coming up, so it’ll look like there are enough, but I don’t know exactly which way these people or those people will turn — I don’t know the choreography — so… Also, how am I supposed to get enough extension cords and sockets so the bulbs can be lit and still be carried all over the place… I should have got the kind of trick magic light bulbs that have a battery in them. Maybe it’s not too late. I feel like the dollar store will be outside and somewhere off in /that/ direction. Do I have time to go out and get back? And how much money do I have for this? And why should /I/ do this if no-one else cares about the light bulb part of the event? Fuck it; I pass out the light bulbs I have to the people nearest me, get in line, and that will have to do.
Things change so the event is now celebrating flight. People have small sets of Otto Lilienthal-style (but rectangular) wings that they’ve made of thick but light black steel rods and tissue paper, that are small enough to fit between the bookshelves but somehow provide enough lift so you can run and fly up into the air, steer a little and drift downward, and when you go over a heater vent or a lamp or a lit cigar, where there’s a little heat and air moving, rise up again. I have my wing-set ready. I watch a man go to the edge of a walkway where a chasm has opened up into farther-down places in this ever-bigger building. As he steps off the edge I become him, notice that the tissue paper is coming loose from my front and back wings, and I have to use personal flying power (cheat) to pull up before hitting the floor of the shopping mall hallway at the very bottom. I soar around at jogging speed, use lamps to rise up and get back into the library, where nobody has wings anymore and I’m sort of showing off now, not only flying but my knowledge of history. I still have to fix the paper on the wings. I land and walk around with the frame of the wings around my waist, looking for a desk or a deli meat case or a stationery aisle or a broom closet where I can get some paste and more paper; it doesn’t matter what kind of paper. There’s Eleanor Cooney reading a coffee-table book. (This library feels like the library in the place between the worlds in /The Magicians/.) (If Eleanor Cooney is here then I might be able to find Juanita, because that’s the right world.)
/Oh, Maria/ from /Sister Act/ started up again and was playing in my head as I woke up to the diesel truck idling in the industrial yard next door.