Wed./Thurs. May 1 and 2, 2022

My dreams from Wednesday, 2022–06–01: Bardo of New York. Programming sheetrock.

I’m in New York City for some nebulous work that will take a week. Others are here with me from the same company for other parts of the work; we don’t interact about work but we’re all together in like a food court at night. I look at a high-up big board of local entertainment available, that keeps changing, that’s all paid for by the company. Nothing looks interesting but a colored-chalk rectangle that says simply /Shakespeare/.

Going into like a doctor’s waiting room on a high floor of another building, I see Juanita from the side-back, in a queue, and rush there, but it’s someone else. I say, “I thought you were Juanita. You’re the same size and shape and colors, and…” She’s nice about it because she sees how embarrassed I am. But I’m embarrassed because face-on she’s so pretty and I feel creepy about it. (I manage to stop myself from saying, “You’re prettier than she is.”)

Back at the food court where we’re apparently all camping, a woman who’s a cross between Maureen Martin of Mendocino Theater Company and the Ellen Burns character in /Slings and Arrows/, at Ellen’s age in that show, is lonely and miserable about something, and she attaches herself to me, so at one point we’re both sitting on a life-size dark wooden horse statue with Hebrew runic letters on it and on the wall next to us, and we kiss /once/ for about ten seconds. I pull away: “I can’t do that.” Meaning, I can’t proceed in that direction and have sex with her, because of Juanita. She starts crying. Someone hands me up a blanket to put around her. As she sobs, I hug her and say, “That’s all right. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. That’s all right.”

Later we’re all lying down to sleep in different chalked shapes on the brown linoleum floor. The unhappy woman is in my shape with some others, but she’s on the other side of it. My friends Mitch and Elly are somewhere here too, maybe overhead. I hear them talking about this as if it’s a story they’re sharing reading. They think I should just go ahead and have sex with the woman. Mitch would. Elly says to him, “I know you would,” and they both laugh. I miss them. I think they’re dead. Maybe, in this story, we’re all dead. That would explain a lot.

Some of the people are young families with kids. As the place changes to be another part of the building with slots (stairways?) going up and down to other floors, and separate rooms for people instead of chalk shapes, a little black girl who looks like Juanita when she was little leans way out over a rail two floors above to say something down to me in a language that sounds like Polish or Russian. I tell her to be careful. I tell her to go tell her /parents/ to tell her to be careful.

Next dream. I’m living inside a fire-station-size wood-frame garage for the duration of work here, which consists of building frame walls for smaller spaces for different purposes — a car or truck can go /here/. There’ll be a big equipment closet /here/. This concrete ramp will have a low wooden rail-wall. And so on. There’s a feeling of great duration. Tasks keep being added. It’s always the part of work time where I’m thinking about knocking off for the day because I’m /tired of this/ and making sure I’ll know where to start when I start again.

Lorrie LePaule of Mendocino Theater Company is doing a project for a class she’s in, a survey of knowledge and techniques. She asks me a computer programming question. I tell her that building something is like programming. Materials, tools, an idea of what you want to end up with, a sketch, yadda yadda, until she looks bored. So I finish with, “And then I know how long this or that takes because I’ve done it before.”

The job has become impossibly complicated. There are framed walls everywhere. My real-life employer Tim comes here. I say I don’t know what’s left to do — wiring? plumbing? He says that the building code requires sheetrook. I walk him around and through the walls, pointing at each place, asking, okay, which side of /this/ do you want sheetrock on, or both sides? Which side of /this/? Sheetrock is fast; I’m finally coming to the end of the job. I don’t ask him about saving sheetrock by piecing it around windows; I’m going to just put it up whole everwhere and cut the windows out after.

(The woman downstairs from Juanita’s apartment moved out last month so there’s a building crew renovating it. Both their electric saw and the bass guitar of their or another apartment’s Mexican polka music woke me up.)

— — -

My dreams from Thursday, 2022–06–02: Ladder escapade. Henry Fool.

First dream. It’s dark night but I can see all around in a calm dim blue glow I associate with an experimental social website from years ago where anonymous users were represented by puppetlike stick figures moving jerkily along a ghostly 2-D landscape in response to arrow keys, spouting word-bubbles of whatever people typed. A generic friend and I are on a trail between fences and high grass on a bleak bluish plain outside a Central Valley California city. We have a metal ladder and the whole fiberglass swimming-pool slide it’s attached to, on an adolescent adventure to sneak-carry it to a broken concrete bridge over a river to [climb up and see something? do a stunt of jumping across? hide it there because we stole it?].

Somehow I get it up on top of the bridge ahead of me and planted firmly while my friend climbs back down the suddenly much steeper edge of the bridge and goes aside to an abandoned fruit warehouse to watch while I do the dangerous part of this, which is to climb up the ladder. High up. Scary.

The dream jumps back to when we were starting out (or forward to the next time we come to do this), where the ladder/pool-slide is rolled up into a tube, it’s inflatable rubber canvas, and we’re in a cluster of sleeping houses at the beginning of the path. Two incompetent skeevy criminal types will be coming along with us. An older couple, two people from /Portlandia/ (not Carrie or Fred), a couple, are at the last house, seeing us off. I get such a bad feeling about the criminal guys that I lie aloud, “I’ve already called the cops.” The alpha of the two criminals freaks out, runs frantically back and forth on the path like a rabbit in car headlights, squeezes past us grabs his friend and they flee away between the houses. The couple seeing us off approve of how I handled that; they didn’t trust them either.

Next dream. This continues from the previous dream, but on the other side of the houses, which become on an alley like the one behind my grandparents’ Italian restaurant in the early 1960s, and the friend-person becomes a cross between Juanita and my college friend Dan, but also kind of like a Buster Brown paint-can-ad version of Robin Williams. We find where the alpha criminal guy, here a tragically self-destructive writer character like the old writer in the movie /Henry Fool/, or like writer and meth-addict Flynt Washburne, has stashed a bunch of rolled-up magazines in one end of a garage’s roof rain gutter.

We take the magazines — old National Geographics — with us up the alley to where there are more in another roof gutter. College kids have been having a party evening in the apartment here with the door open. Someone’s cooking food. Someone shouts to someone else from a separate room. We go to the door and give our magazines to them. Everyone’s sheepish about this: We are sheepish because we overheard them speaking like they thought they were alone and we don’t want them to be embarrassed. They are because they’re somehow responsible for the writer guy’s problem of compulsively squirreling magazines away all over; they thought that was solved a long time ago, but it’s not.

(Again the work crew downstairs woke me up with their loud Mexican polka music radio station and circular saw and pry-bar squeaks and hammers tapping. I know that normal people work in the morning and not in the middle of the night, but it’s a problem for me. Earplugs don’t help against this. Fuck.)

My dream from a nap Thursday night: Bear.

I’m in a dim camping tent with Juanita. I doze and wake and doze and wake (all in the dream) until I’m next to a bear-size bear that’s stretched out on its belly with its nose pressed into the corner of the floor and a wall of the tent. I push some magazine-like dry meat between the tent and its nose, tell Juanita to get out, and just wait for the bear to slowly eat the magazine-meat without opening its eyes. I get some more meat and give it that, and I squinch backward away from it to roll out the door flap and stand up.

This is all in an off-season Disney park. I work here. I ride my motorcycle to the parking ramp that goes under an office building, and the dream-only police guy I work with is there before me, running from the bear. He just gets inside and gets the anti-theft grate pulled down. The bear looks at me, amused. I point at the gate release button for it. /It knows that./ I ride farther on, to a place where there are cable fences to make a long line go back and forth, and here’s another ramp down into underground places. Tinny old video game music plays from somewhere.

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Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio all night every Friday night on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg CA. Info about me and the show via https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

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Marco McClean

Marco McClean

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio all night every Friday night on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg CA. Info about me and the show via https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com