Saturday, July 16, 2011

1. Argument

The sheets were at the foot of the bed this morning. I had kicked them off at some point in my sleep, and they were twisted around each other in a way that made them seem anxious. I remembered nothing of my dream.

It was about four hours later that a bit of it returned to me. Not enough to bring it all the way back, but some of it surfaced. I was on my way to work, driving north on 210, and I passed a broad field, just like every day. In the middle of the field was an old oak tree, solitary and boring, just like every day. As I drove by, I glanced at it, and was overcome with a powerful sense of sadness. I felt like I had lost someone very close to me, very dear. It was enough to bring tears. A memory from the night before slammed into me and for a brief moment I saw myself hanging from that tree, tied to a low branch. I saw it from below, in that altogether confounding way dreams have of letting you be in two places at once, and letting you experience the loss of losing yourself.

The feeling passed almost as quickly as I passed the tree, but the memory of the feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day, pressing down on my shoulders and drawing my gaze sometimes to the floor, but more often to the nearest window, where I'd see not the vista but my own ghostly reflection.

I can't remember any more of that dream, and I can't let go of the power that it had over me. I'm not good at letting go.

So why let it go at all? I'm going to start a journal, right here. I'll do my best to write down everything I can remember from my dreams. Sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? I absolutely hate it when people tell me their dreams. Why should mine be any different?

I promise you that the life my brain thinks it's living while I'm asleep is less boring than the one it knows it's living while I'm awake. I won't even pretend that you've even one tiny whit of interest in the day to day drudgery of selling paint or waiting tables to make ends meet...unless that's what I dream.

I'll start tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2. Distance Shifts; Everything Changes

Strange face in the crowd draws closer, becomes clearer, someone you might have known in a dream. As the distance is halved, recognition is doubled, and now it might have been someone you met once, or went to school with as a child. Distance is halved again, and now this is someone you know intimately. Their thoughts, needs, and desires--you feel them all, and even though the face is strange, one you don't know well, and maybe only glanced once in a dream--that face is the face of someone supplied with complex psychological reasoning, rational motivation, and deep emotional needs.

Halve the distance one more time. Your fingers touch the nitrate backed glass. You raise your eyes slowly, lingering on nonsensical details, the strange hieroglyphic symbols on the tee shirt that you can't read but can understand, the way the shirt bundles around the neck that you can see every breath being drawn into, the way that you can see the beat of every pulse in every vein, the angle of the chin that is slightly off kilter, the teeth that are even now falling from your mouth, you lift your eyes slowly, and they meet the eyes in the reflection


I have to get better at remembering. I hope that it will get easier with practice. I want to know why meeting my own eyes in a dream was enough to startle me awake.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3. My Friend

I'm standing at the base of the stairs. They stretch upwards. They are impossibly high yet they don't fall victim to perspective. I can see the top step, miles and miles above me, and I can see the women sitting on the colossal edge of that step--one young, one middle aged, and one old--I can see the thread that they are weaving, and I can see my own reflection in the blade of the scissors that even now is threatening to cut. I can see all of this in sharp focus, as if it was right in front of my eyes.

They are miles away.

It is raining. Big, fat, slow drops. They take their time, seeming to hang in the air for seconds before they splash to the ground. I reach out to touch one--it falls onto the back of my hand with a thump, hard enough to leave a bruise, and what was just moments ago nearly gentle enough to be a baptism is now a punishment. The drops pound onto my back, and draw my head down with implacable weight.

There is a man sitting at the foot of the stairs. I know he is my friend, and I ask him if I can take shelter beside him. The rain is everywhere, yet I know that if I sit by him it won't wound and push me anymore. He nods acceptance. I sit. We talk.

He tells me I was a good kid, and that he is proud of me. He tells me he is impressed that I always tried as hard as I could. I tell him that means a lot, and that I am happy that I made him proud.

Then I remember that my friend, the man I am talking to, is dead, and it becomes unbearable to look at him, so I shut my eyes tight and grind my teeth together, but his voice, his tectonic, dust filled voice, it goes on and on, and his chant, "I don't miss the things that make me miss you I don't," drones, bringing tears to my eyes, stinging my sinuses and behind my eyes it's all a disgusting yellow that is rotten just like he is I know it and now my eyes are open and he is lying dead at the foot of the stairs, in perfect chilly repose, not a mark on him, just like always, right?

He groans, and his eyes open.

In my bed, my eyes follow suit.


I can already feel it getting too big for me. I have to keep bringing that first image to the front--the tree, and me both on and below it. It already seems faint in my brain, disconnected from this and the other things I've written down. It's crazy how quickly the feeling slips away from me. The image lingers but the meaning is lost. Still, I'm going to keep at it. Maybe I'm taking this all too seriously. I don't feel like I'm searching for some unifying equation that will make sense of my life, I just want to know why I wake up so damn sad sometimes and I don't know if this is helping at all. Hell, I don't even know if this is compelling reading or not.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4. Goin' South

I found myself in a large crowd. I can't describe where we were--at times we were in a small room, other times a wide city street, other times on top of a hill in a field that stretched on forever. I've dreamed of that hill before, several times. The geography of my dreams stays constant. It's fairly bizarre to me that I always take the same route--the same imaginary route--to get to conjured representations that are nothing like their real life counterparts. What's REALLY bizarre is that I seem to learn as I go, the routes becoming less foreign and easier to traverse, as if my dreaming self is a living, learning, growing person instead of just scattered thoughts and projections, the nocturnal ramblings of a brain gone bored.

Whenever large events happen in the sky, it tends to be at the hill. Sometimes the events are astronomical in fashion, planets swirling heavily near the atmosphere. Sometimes huge lights of various colors flash in patterns reminiscent of the ships in Close Encounters, but I always know that they're not alien in nature. I NEVER dream of aliens. More recently, the events have involved huge physical constructs, again resembling some sort of alien ship, but never of alien origin. More often than not they are cataclysmic weapons sent by some other country, floating slowly, almost hanging in the air, daring gravity to ignore them until they grind to a halt in a nearby riverbed, fueling a tsunami that is crushing towards me as I turn to run and for once I'm not locked in place but there is no way I can move fast enough to outrun that wave, even now it's pushing me down and filling my nose and lungs with brine--

Man, I'm way off subject. I was talking about the hill, about dream geography, wasn't I?

I'll describe the route south. It begins in the woods. Not primal "when we all lived in the forest and nobody lived anywhere else" woods, but the kind you'd be comfortable playing hide and seek in. You walk calmly through, not stopping to smell the pine or honeysuckle but admiring them as you walk, and at some point, a shift occurs and you're not walking anymore, you're driving. The road is varied, parts flat, parts hilly, but as you crest the last hill you are able to see the city.

It is bounded by a river. The highway crosses over it and brings you to the elevator. If you keep driving, you come to an area of the city that is made of broken cars and collapsed buildings all mushed together. Your transport somehow survives every sudden drop, ever jarring landing that scrapes more metal from the frame of your car.

Once you pass through that you're halfway to Grandma's house, but let's leave that path for a moment and go back to the city, and the elevator.

To the left of the elevator is a door that leads to a bar. They will ALWAYS take your coat as you enter. The bar is dark and quiet, the perfect place to get a drink. You will never see anyone familiar there.

Take the elevator down. It opens onto a crossroads. In front of you is a step down to take you onto the street. To your left and right, brick walls that run the length of the entire street, running to the limits of your vision. The cross street is of no importance: your focus is entirely on the street in front of you. It rises with a grade that is both steep and gentle. There are several buildings lining the street as it ascends, none of them fantastic, just ordinary buildings, some stone, some wood.

There is always a Fair happening. Always an atmosphere of excitement, though there are no adornments or decorations hanging from the lampposts, which are always lit because it is always night, though it was daytime on the other side of the elevator. The Fair does not have to announce itself. It's just something you feel inside.

You reach the top of the hill, and you consider visiting the zoo that's just a few feet away, but you don't have a ticket. Instead, you turn to your left, and enter the plain two story stucco building.

There is nothing happening downstairs, but you can hear music coming from up top. You follow your ears up the stairs which hook a hard left in the middle. You arrive in a room, and there against the back wall is the source of the music--a piano. There is no one playing it, and the music has stopped, is forgotten, and was never there.

Your clothes have changed. No reason.

There is a door on your right. You take it, and there you are, back at the bottom of the same gentlesteep hill, but now the faceless buildings have been replaced with homes. Sometimes you will see old friends there. Sometimes you will see relatives. Very rarely you will see yourself, turning to enter the plain two story stucco building at the top of the hill.

That's where things finally change. Every other land mark, every detail or glaring lack thereof, is static and does not change. I've dreamed it dozens of times, and every time going south starts this very same way, and I go through the very same places.

The route going north is just plain fucking weird.


Hold on--I really WAS way off subject. I was going to tell you about the dream I had of walking through a crowd. Oh well. Next time.