Yesterday I posted some heavy shit about police brutality, so here’s something a little less serious to hopefully lighten the mood a bit. The dreams trilogy is complete, perhaps with more to come at some point in the future! Here’s part one as well as part two if you missed them!
#33 “Learn to Code”
I dreamed I walked back into the offices of my old job and everyone stared at me. Only after a few minutes did I realize I was let go due to COVID many moons ago and subsequently left in embarrassment. I just told a supervisor who confronted me that I really missed my old morning routine and just got caught up in it for a minute one last time. Some coworker, overdressed in a white suit jacket and gold dress shirt, packed up his briefcase on the spot and called after me very quietly, yet confident I would hear him. He took me out to lunch and started pitching me this big scheme he had for a streaming service he wanted to launch, but he’d need my programming expertise. I told him I can’t program at all and suggest he go back to the old office to in order to ask for his job back. “Nah, they’re gonna be pissed at me–I stole one of their servers to make this idea work*.” He asked again if I can’t really do it, I affirm the answer is no, he looked shell-shocked. Next thing i know we’re outside and he’s lying face down on the sidewalk saying almost to himself: “well, maybe i could hotwire this thing**, go back to middle school and relive the important decisions so i don’t waste my life…”
Here is where the dream is gonna start sounding made-up, but I swear this is what my subconscious played out for me. This would-be streaming magnate sat in the basement of the office we’d both left with bugged out eyes and twiddling thumbs, obviously nervous. There were beams of wood everywhere holding up the higher levels like he was underneath a boardwalk. Our supervisor was chewing him out over the missing server, when suddenly an older version of the coworker appeared and, like Palpatine, started electrocuting the supervisor with his finger-beams. At first I was just a disembodied observer for this scene, but suddenly I was physically present and knew I had to get out. Out of nowhere, my own older self appeared, who was like a superhero, and we flew away.
*I know a server is too big to fit in a briefcase but, y’know, dreamlogic.
**I know you cant hotwire a time machine out of one but, yeah.
#34 New Amsterdam
I had a dream I was still in college but this time it was a high rise skyscraper and a bunch more people from my secondary school life were there. I was asking everyone if they had any LSD but they all said they’d just used theirs and to check with so and so who may have more. So it was like a wild goose chase but really chill because everyone was happy and feeling the love. Everyone was telling me what their trip had made them think and how they’ve been reinventing themselves since. I was so excited by what a positive impact the acid was having on the world. I took the elevator (which had a giant window looking out over the city on one side) and pondered all the secluded, picturesque locations I could trip in once I finally obtained some of my own. At some point I got off on the bottom floor, saw the basement under the skyscraper and it had crates full of ramen noodles everywhere.
#35 Death by the Moon Spirit
I had a dream that some pop star or whoever decided to invent a new name that meant, or was somehow inspired by, clouds. (I can’t remember exactly what it was.) I think clouds are really beautiful in real life, but in my dream as she announced this I saw a clear sky with a single minuscule, decidedly unromantic cloud that was like three lumps on top of each other.
Someone proclaimed that it should be my new name and I wasn’t ecstatic about the idea but didn’t object enough to argue. I then saw myself in my mind’s eye as I was in reality: which is to say, laying in my bed. The original pop star was at my bedside suddenly and told me that she didn’t want me or anyone else to have the name she picked out. She pulled my head back and forced a huge thermos full of water down my throat to drown me. I woke up gasping for breath.
I tried to write the dream down but went back asleep soon after waking, and had another meta dream about trying to get this information out and failing. First I wrote out what had happened in stones on the ground but then realized I hadn’t actually made decipherable glyphs, I’d just thrown a patch of stones on the ground. Then I met with two people at a picnic table next to a parking lot to tell them, but Saul Goodman sped up to where we were sitting just as I was getting into the thick of the story. He told me to stop immediately and that if people knew how crazy I was, they could have me committed. I asked what he meant, and he said “normal people don’t have such delusions of grandeur that they imagine a moon god wants to kill them.” Or words to that effect.
Who knows, maybe he was right. (That last part, as I write it down, sounds made up but I promise you it’s the truth according to my subconscious imagination.) I woke up thinking of this YouTube video I’d seen a week or two ago.
#36 On the Set of Netflix’ Avatar
I dreamed it was like the final battle of Avatar: The Last Airbender on a beach. And it was me, some scruffy leaders and a small army vs an entire legion of the firelords best troops. But what threw me off was how the firelord and our side were being kinda chummy with each other here and there–keeping their haughty and righteously indignant (respectively) body language and temperament going but still chumming it up nonetheless. I kept thinking it was weird how both armies deployed themselves knee deep in the ocean straight out from their starting point and just kinda splashed around. I was waiting for our side to seize the advantage given and like…make a tidal wave, turn it to ice mid-crash and claim victory. But instead both sides just splashed around fruitlessly in the water.
I went to put my glasses down on a wooden guardrail next to a gazebo and some girl with the untrustworthy disposition of Milly from Bob’s Burgers was watching. I warned her “don’t touch my glasses” and then later in the battle she yelled out that she moved them “somewhere safe” and I could never find them again.
Apparently I was a waterbender and my commanders told me to get deeper in the ocean so we’d have a waterbender on both sides of the sea. I walk out, I’m actually walking on water at one point, but there’s a riptide and suddenly I’m zipping around without control even above the current. I realize now we were never at the beach at all, we were in an Olympic sized pool but in someone’s basement. The farside wall (where I was now) had red wallpaper, wood paneling and neon light beer ads.
Someone calls the take ruined and we all stop fighting and sit down in a few straight lines like in gym class. I tell one guy he’s looking good and ask what he benches, he starts freaking out at me because he’s a method actor and I just blew his head-space. I say “huh sorry, freaking Zuko and Uncle Iroh are around here somewhere, nobody’s gonna see you in the shot anyway” and made some girl in the next line over laugh.
#37 The Long-Awaited Fight
I had a dream that there were these two guys fighting to use the bathroom first. One guy got in but before he could close the door the second guy’s dog (a little white dog like a Chesterton-terrier-knownothingaboutdogbreeds) lept from the shoulder of its master into the receding gap of the doorway and attacked. So, man and beast struggled for a time to no avail, before the guy turned on the shower and held the dog underneath a stream of freezing cold water. This stupefied the animal. Then he did his business in the splendor which only a champion could know, before opening the door. He tossed the shivering, neutralized pooch at its owner and continued on his way. I wanna say the dog owning combatant was Ronald Reagan but I can’t remember that detail explicitly. The jury’s out on the identity of our victorious protagonist though. Maybe he was meant to be a stand-in for us all.
#38 Rugrats + Godfather = ?
I had a dream there was this really low level criminal, like a bookie or cashier at a store that was being used to launder money. And then they were told by one of their higher-ups that a lot of the don or capo’s money had to be moved immediately and they were trusting this lowly mafia wage slave to do it. And he was torn because he didn’t trust the messenger–who was a burly guy in a gray suit and hat, openly seen communicating with the grim reaper and laughing just outside the glass door. At first I watched with passive neutrality as this poor young teen/twenty something grappled with the decision whether or not to trust this intimidating character and risk punishment from the Don in the future, or refuse him and risk retribution immediately.
Suddenly though, I understood somehow that several other young nobodies in the crime family, or tangentially related to it, had met the same fate. I watched with bated breath as the boy chose to acquiesce to the immediate threat as opposed to the one he’d never actually interacted with before. The burly-gray-suit superior shuffled him and the money into a limo and suddenly i recognized that our protagonist, the helpless bookie, was Kenan Thompson! I never saw it play out but I knew somehow he was fated to die.
Then, later in the dream, I was gonna go on a road trip to a town that was understood to be dangerous. People I interacted with referenced the scenario I just described to you in the earlier part of the dream, but now it was understood to be a random, non canonical (yet somehow highly acclaimed) episode of Rugrats where Angelica (??!?!!) was the tortured protagonist. Obviously, how a three year old got to be even distantly related to mob activities was never explained. Then I saw the mob boss whose money was used as a ruse to put the protagonist in a compromising and justifiably punishable position (absconding with mafioso money). He walked through a small alley between two buildings into the door of the house I was in, and washed his hands in my sink. He whistled, and somehow I knew then that the murder had been his own idea all along. But why I did not know.
#39 How Did They Ever Make a TV Show About Lolita?
I dreamed Rockos Modern Life did an episode parodying Lolita. I was trying to catch it on cable, but SpongeBob was on every channel–and each station was playing the exact same episode! I only managed to see bits and pieces. Filburt’s wife (Dr Hutchinson) and Heffer’s mom (Virginia Wolf,) were trying to flag down a UFO for some reason. It eventually released a magnet and carried them away by their heads. Lolita herself had two sisters in this version. She stubbed her toe in the pool and had to get someone to put a bandaid on it for her. (I guess that was a spoof of the main titles portion of the film. The shot was framed the same way.)
While watching this fantasy episode, I kept asking myself the same thing I do as I watch regular episodes of Rocko–how the hell did they get away with that?? Yet contrarily, it didn’t even strike my dream-counterpart as strange Rocko would dare to touch this subject with a ten foot pole. *Of course* they would, this is the series that had Bev Bighead try to seduce Rocko, made him a phone sex operator, had him go to the “no tell motel” with Heffer, implied Heffer and Dr Hutchinson had an affair, and made Heffer go to hell. At the time, it all made perfect sense. Even after I woke up, I still thought such an episode could have plausibly existed.
#40 Small Steps
It was the first dream I’ve ever had where my worst bully, whom I’ve previously dubbed BC, made an appearance and we made up, sorta. Each of us wrote down our version of what happened in high school, stuck them in a sealed letter and mailed them both to a newspaper as an objective arbiter to give advice. I didn’t even realize the significance of this dream for five minutes after waking up because it was such a chill atmosphere throughout. Usually if he makes an appearance I wake up feeling some combination of sadness, regret, anger and self-disgust. I hope that means something.
#41 My Breaking Bad Fanfiction
I had a really cool Breaking Bad dream. Walt was scoping out Meth heads he could sell product to, and was determined to break into the business. He meets Fring and others right away and they cook with Jesse in an abandoned building in a shopping outlet. Fring and Mike mostly just watch disapprovingly. At one point, some families come in unannounced, so Walt struggles with what to do. He holds them hostage and has Jesse distract them until he works up the nerve to kill the adults. He decides to let the kids go. Fring says “I knew you weren’t ready.” Later, the cops bring in a homeless teen, presumably a customer of Walt’s, to interrogate…and force him to go down on them. As the boy complains, the cop tells him to shut up about that and spill the beans. The boy tells them about the warehouse. When the Cops show up, Walt is in some kind of walk-in freezer crushing up pills into a paste, presumably for his product. He looks outside the peephole and sees cops, so he panics and throws the paste down a vent. He sticks on a black sticky false-mouth piece with fake teeth and pretends to be frozen as Hank busts in. He says he was looking for his cancer medicine, and Hank believes him.
#42 Top of the World?
I had a dream about James Cagney. In hindsight it was like an alternative version of that movie where his friend’s a priest and he cries in the end, for the good of the children. But this time, he, I, and two others got busted for smoking weed in an RV. Both me and Cagney were young kids, our two companions were an older guy and girl who were like twenty years old each. The cops made us climb out a back pipe of the RV then drove us away in their car. I had to wear some kinda sign advertising my crime like it was medieval times while Cagney got off lightly. There were multiple scenes of us meeting again on a sidewalk, he with his head held high and I was more than a little resentful. But then I’d somehow relive the same meeting immediately after, and this time we had switched places. I was doing okay and he was the one wearing a humiliating sign. In this “second take,” Cagney seemed older, more bitter and had old man five o’clock shadow. We were coming out of a mall and he met an accomplice so they decided to blow up a building. I went the other way. I saw there were blunts and spliffs in my pocket but ripped a spliff in half and smoked the tobacco. (In my dream, the two were not mixed evenly throughout the cigar wrapping, one half was pure weed and one pure tobacco.) I heard an explosion and then a police truck sped past me.
#43 A Series of Unrelated Events
I dreamed I saw a version of the prequels that made more sense. Qui Gon was training Anakin as a boy, and Anakin showed signs of sadism immediately. He used his powers in the vicinity of people who could easily have gotten hurt. Qui Gon told him to stop, and Anakin said it was other people’s job to stay out of his way. This was Jake Lloyd Anakin. Flash Forward to Hayden Anakin and hes jolly and polite, knowing better to hide his evil tendencies, but inside planning his revenge.
I saw a friend I haven’t checked in on in awhile. I went to her place, and there was ice everywhere outside. I slipped at first but didn’t fall. We went upstairs and there were a whole bunch of Santa Claus statues and Christmas lights. It was strangely serene and hallowed though, not perceived by dream-me as weird at all. Finally, I pigged out. Like crazy. I ate a shit ton of buffalo sauce and a whole bucket full of garlic sauce like a goddamned pig. I took pizzas and drowned them in garlic sauce. There was a whole table covered with food and beer. This was the second time old Hillary entered my dreams too. It was the night she lost and she was visibly upset as she gave a speech. I was a strange mixture of angry and giddy about it. I was sewing a pillow with beads on it in such a way that they spelled out a message in braille but I forget what exactly. Then I woke up desperately craving garlic sauce.
#44 Precious Bodily Fluids
I dreamed it was Metroid Fusion and Samus was hiding from the SA-X. It was a wide open room with ledges on the walls and she used her morph ball. A few random civilians came in to do repairs and Samus was shocked they’d survived this long. The SA-X kept leaving and reappearing. Sometimes it brutally murdered some of the civilians, sometimes not. It was revealed that its xray scope could see Samus the whole time. It was testing her, what her breaking point was. Its scanners stopped recognizing Samus as her old identity and invented a new humiliating name based on her cowardice. There was a chase sequence in 2D like the games. Then some X rated stuff happened I’m not comfortable talking about. Then some of the women approached the ship’s captain with the idea of smearing some kinda seeds in their vaginal fluids. Apparently the shape and location of the branches that the plants would grow into from using this method could be interpreted to reveal the womens’ inner nature. Sort of like a convoluted palm reading or horoscope but with seeds…and vaginal fluids. He was like, sure, and they already had a seed from Samus’ fluids germinating in some kinda incubation chamber. But I knew that wasn’t really from Samus, it was the SA-X and the tree that would grow from her seeds/fluid would be a source of X parasites. It was a genuinely frightening bit of dramatic irony.
#45 Proton Jon’s Endless Superman 64 Let’s Play
I fell asleep to a Let’s Play and thus, enjoyed a dream set to Proton Jon. I pictured his voice as narration by a neurotic George Costanza type character coming back from work. He was in the parking lot trying to find his car, and bumping into people he didn’t like and killing them to steal their cars (or for other reasons). He tried to kill one guy but it didn’t work. Then he and his would-be victim tried to blow up two cars by pushing them into each other.
In a later scene, I envisioned a supposed extended cut of The Empire Strikes Back that made it a total different movie. There were clones of the cast walking around, c3po had more to do, Mark Hamil took apart a radio to prevent the others from contacting a certain planet, and Harrison smoked. I remember thinking that last detail in particular was so cool because, on a ship, that meant he was burning up their oxygen supply for his habit. (He’s a badass that gives no fucks, yo.) It all made for a totally different film. Luke got put in the brig at one point, which was like an oversized space suit to encumber his movement. He called on Ben who helped him out. The whole crew was traveling with each other and the General from the Hoth base. Later, it was the actors chilling in an apartment and smoking weed and having fun together. It was so cool how chill they were considering the existential threat of the Empire on their heels. The police came to bust them and they ran.
#46 Post-Apocalyptic Watership Down
It’s the future and a whole group of men from the present are inexplicably transported there. They wander the fields in hopeless loneliness until they find a bunch women penned up in a giant metal cage. The men free their new companions, who are aware of all the dangerous creatures out there. The women warn the men as best they can that they had to hide, so everyone begins to take refuge in a shelter–an old house with a fence, where the yard ends in a huge brick wall. As the men teach the women to speak, one of the ladies, whom our main character and leader takes a liking to, explains that no fence or wall can contain the monsters they’re hiding from. She claims that she was the chief of a tribe of people whose remnants are the women they found, kept alive for breeding. For whatever reason, this advice goes ignored by her suitor. The monsters appear out of nowhere from the top of the brick wall and descend on our hapless heroes. The monsters slaughter everyone, but our main character makes a dash for it. He finds some deep dark cave and wanders in forever. He becomes the last human, all alone in the world.
#47 Highs and Lows
I had an interesting dream. It began with me hunching over so my hands reached my pockets, I was depressed as hell my mom cut off all my hair in my sleep. I looked at myself in the mirror without it and screamed. I wouldn’t speak to her the whole rest of the dream, though she tried. I think we were spies for the government, but I didn’t want to be and resented changing my appearance to keep a low profile. We were breaking in to someone’s place and I recall scaling their fridge as if it were a massive barrier. This section was somewhat removed from the rest of the dream and I barely remember it.
In a later scene, it was 420 or so I believe. I was sad and in bed, either a carryover from my last part of the dream or resetting into a new continuity as dreams do. I just know I was sad of being alone. Jove was the only one there for me. He comforted me as I lay in bed crying. We hit up a mutual friend from the neighborhood we grew up in, and some others to come chill and bring weed but they never showed. There were more specifics to what we said and did together at this point, but I don’t recall specifics.
Even tho no one else showed, it didn’t bother me because we had each other. We went through the kitchen and there were lots of m&m chocolate cakes in the fridge. My sister left to get in the car with Jove’s dad and someone else, who laughed at us as we waved goodbye. They seemed to find it funny that Jove and I were together, but we didn’t care.
We had sex in bed, looked out into the cityscape, cuddled as we reminisced on what the 1910’s were like. I said William McKinley’s death always affected me even if I didn’t know him personally. I said Mad Men depicted this era…kinda…depending on how far you went. (In reality of course, WM died in 1901 and MM takes place in the 60s.)
In the bedroom, I did all kinds of yoga moves to get Jove to know I wanted to sleep with him as I looked out the window and saw towers of nothing but parking garages. Finally I just had to tell him. He was talking about To Kill A Mockingbird after we were done. When we cuddled, he challenged me: he said, “I listened to you, so you tell me, what’s the answer to what I said?” He looked so gorgeous, like the cutest eyes and smile. I never gave him a verbal answer but I don’t think he necessarily wanted one. Like, the answer was our affection for one another or something like that.
We saw like a slideshow of things from the 1910’s era play out in the horizon together as we looked out the window. Then suddenly there were others on the next bed over who oohed, aahed and made comments about what we were seeing. Even the image of a guy with finger cramps who had his finger cut off and replaced with an obvious fake elicited laughter from us observers. It was as if the shitty medical practices of the time were a joke to us or perhaps the slideshow was intentionally poking fun at the rose-tinted romanticism we had for an imperfect period in human history.
After, we donned the proper garments and went out into the now-corporeal manifestation of an old circa-1910 city together. A team of gangsters threatened a lady and Jove shook with rage and asked me to follow him. I said I’d follow him anywhere. We went in and pretended to be members of the gang but one guy was suspicious. He made a comment on shitty hiring practices and seemed poised to challenge us to prove ourselves. Then I woke up.
#48 Familial and Fraternal Love
I had a dream George McGovern and his family were out camping. I really wish I remembered more about this because there was just a feeling of warmth about the whole thing. It was him his wife, Terry and one of his sons. They were locked in a cabin with another family eating rotisserie chicken. At some point, Terry slipped out and they were all worried where she went. George drove around looking for her (but still locked inside the cabin somehow…so he was driving indoors) and revealed he used to be a cab driver. In the morning, the people who run the camp grounds came in and pigged out on their own chicken while the others watched in awe and disgust at their ravenous gluttony.
George lay outside on a hammock when Terry finally came back. She sat down at his feet like nothing happened, and he sat up and embraced her without a word. There was no anger or resentment for leaving, he was just happy to have her back safe. It was one of the most tender scenes I can recall from any of my dreams, the prodigal daughter had returned.
Finally, it was Christmas and my family was putting up my old friend Mars and some other guy. We make a plan to pretend to scale a mountain and save Christmas like we might if we were kids again though in this dream we were adults.
One of Only Two Films to Ever Unsettle Me
There are two movies I can honestly say have left me disturbed as an adult viewer. The first is the original 1974 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the other is that which I’d prefer to leave unnamed on this blog. I found the story of its creation as well as its star via a session of “wikipedia surfing” gone wrong, and in doing so I felt as though I’d come across one of the darkest stories humanity has to offer. Morbid curiosity compelled me to watch the obscenities for myself–though I couldn’t help but skip ahead at some of the most outrageous sequences. I usually love watching obscure and even somewhat off-putting old films, either from major studios, foreign amateurs or random exhibitionist flicks shot on 8mm so I figured I’d be able to handle it.* But this was enough to leave me unnerved for the rest of the night. I did not write them down but I had upsetting dreams–more like plot-less visions in my sleep, really–inspired by the footage. When I woke up, I couldn’t help but scream into the void of social media in the vain hope someone might be able to sympathize with the generalities of my plight. This is what I wrote:
There are some things which are so degrading against nature that none of you, who are going about your daily lives, could ever fathom. And if you saw what I’m talking about, you’d never be the same person again. There are certain depths of moral depravity which are so shocking that even after returning to daylight again, you can never look your neighbor in the eye without wondering if he’s a consumer of such deplorable, hedonistic squalor. It could be anyone who participates in filth, there could be so many other dark rabbit holes waiting for the innocent to stumble into, there are such humiliating lows an individual can sink to just to survive. And the mere awareness of that reality is enough to make even this infinitely curious, libertine, hippy transwoman *almost* want to return to the church and let a priest tell me what to do and think again. I feel almost as if the acts I saw were proof I’ve strayed as far away from the Light as one should ever go. I’ve eaten too much from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, only to learn that some things aren’t meant for mortal eyes.
*The late 1960’s through the 1970’s are such a fascinating period in film history, with enough variety to keep a film buff digging their whole lives. It was a brief window where not only did the big studios (foreign and domestic) allow directors a now-unimaginable level of freedom to tell the stories they wanted, (from campy wonders like Barbarella to classics like Dog Day Afternoon) but where underground auteurs (and exhibitionists) could get a cheap 16mm or 8mm camera and shoot whatever they wanted. In the best of circumstances that meant Femina Ridens and The Lickerish Quatet. In less ideal circumstances, it meant severely flawed but still interesting curiosities like Uccidere in Silenzio and Matango. But with all that freedom, you also get a terrifying (though admittedly fascinating in its own way) peek into the darkest corners of mankind’s proclivities, like this.
Somehow the grainy, darkened, inferior film stock of these subversive films just adds to the creep factor in some indescribable way. The distorted picture quality makes you feel like you’re watching the unnaturally extracted memories of a trauma victim, or the deeply repressed fantasies of a twisted, sick mind. It’s like someone tried to destroy or forget about this film for a reason, and you’re going against logic and decency to seek it out. That special quality, endemic to movies of this era (especially the amateur productions) is part of what makes them so especially horrifying. Modern efforts, with their clean, digitally perfected, HD, sterilized picture-quality cannot evoke such visceral reactions because it’s not a pure analog recording, warts and all, so our brains know it isn’t real. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these two lone movies which managed to scare me both excelled in capturing that gritty found-footage/last-known-photograph aesthetic. It’s a lost art as we move away from using real film in favor of digital.