I had to share another hugely depressing blog post the other day with two more planned in the next week or so. (Don’t worry, they’re the last big, serious political posts for the foreseeable future.) So, to bury the dread in silliness, here’s more dreams for you. With this entry, I’ve cleared out what survives of my long-running dream journal that isn’t too personal or erratic to share with an audience. It will be many moons before I have enough new dreams to warrant a follow up, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this series while it lasted!
Here’s parts one as well as two and three in case you missed them. Most of the dreams in part one have sort of a horror/creepy bent to them. Part two is sort of a wild card. Part three’s dreams are largely cute and uplifting. For this section, it’s all about sadness, angst, dark turns at the eleventh hour, and nostalgic yearning. So if that’s your fancy, read on…
#49 Take One For the Team
I had a dream that Lucius Pinarius was ordered by the dictator, Sulla, to divorce his wife, Julia. Rather than immediately submit, he at least had the gumption to take the matter before the Senate. That way, he could use them as a tool to subvert the order but still avoid having to stand alone and take any retribution. (“I would have followed your command, but the Senate made me back out!”) Unfortunately, the Senate agreed that divorcing his wife would be an acceptable way to placate the dictator and stave off his anger–which they all feared as well. Lucius looked on in horror as his plan backfired and Senator after Senator spoke to concur with the dehumanizing punishment. There was an overriding sense of ominousness and dread watching these men argue why a loving couple ought to be split apart for the good of Rome. Everyone was either oblivious or indifferent towards Lucius’ anguish.
#50 Sounds Fake I Know, But…
I dreamed Mike Pence gave an anti-gay address to the nation. He began by slamming a pink and black ostrich head on the table. Eggs came out of its mouth and he grabbed them, claiming they conveyed certain anti-gay messages inside, like fortune cookies of despair. Then a velociraptor wearing a fez with the same pink and black color scheme posed next to the ostrich head in such a way they appeared to be mirror images of one another.
#51 This Happened Before I Knew Butch Hartman Was a Jerk
It was christmas eve and election eve, inexplicably at the same time, and Trump and Pence were haphaxardly riding motorcycles. My grandpa was stumbling along trying to run errands while I told him I’d do it for him. Pence crashed his bike in a place my grandpa would’ve been had he not stopped to speak with me. I was furious and disgusted but I new with no witnesses no one would believe me. Later I found some weed and smoked a blunt in my garage. My parents caught me and my mom was freaking out but my dad defended me, saying she was harder on me than his mom had been to him at my age. We discussed some play or TV show and then I heard of Butch Hartman premiering a new lost pilot he’d done in secret. It was a little girl named Lupe or Lupita who talked to her animal friends. One of them was a fly who delivered mail and had a crush on her. Lupe/Lupita had impossibly been a real physical human being on the same stretch of road as I had and witnessed the same near accident despite this pilot supposedly being many years old and animated.
There were bullies who nearly hurt this inexplicably physical incarnation of Lupe/Lupita. It evoked a strong protective feeling in me, but for whatever reason I wasn’t able to get to her in time to do anything about it. The pilot ended abruptly without resolving the plot–and it turned out that my earlier experience on the street seeing Lupe/Lupita had actually been the pilot all along. Butch had been treating us all to pizza and wings at his house. After it was over, everyone left except me, and I thanked him for his hospitality while helping clean up. So he gave me a bottle of expensive liquor in a square marble bottle that he incorrectly referred to as beer. Outside, everyone waited for me and was shocked I’d gotten “beer” out of it. We sang the star spangled banner as we walked home to drink and celebrate the birth of Jesus and ‘Muricah.
#52 Subconscious Reassurance to Soothe Regret
I had a particularly horrifying dream where this woman I regretted losing contact with lived with me and my [now-ex] girlfriend.
We had a bit of chemistry but ultimately she blew me off a lot too. In one fateful scene she was invited to a friend’s party but for some reason needed the physical invitation to get in. As she was getting ready, I sat at the kitchen table knowing it was over if it had ever begun at all. My [now ex], Lori and Luane (from The Loud House) were waiting in the car to drive her to the party.
She could not find her invite and accused me of stealing it. I sensed she could tell how I felt about her by this point and somehow resented me for it. She was angry and dismissive of me. I pleaded with her that i didn’t take it. She said even though she’s known me a long time, she doesn’t trust me. I said “that just says it all” and she seemed regretful of her harsh words from just before. I showed her my Pokemon card binders on the table and she was reverent they were all from generation 1. [I never collected the cards after Gen 1 had ended–I grew out of pokemon pretty early. In fact, at the time I had this dream I hadn’t touched my old cards since I was in like middle school.] That passed and she was re-convinced I’d stolen from her, even as I asked how I could prove my innocence.
As she searched elsewhere I tried to play it cool and went to my room, but my bed was gone, replaced by tools on a wooden panel. A hamburger was there so I ate it. I tried at various points to pretend not to care by walking away, but often my true nature would come back and I’d help her look in spite of my resentment towards her. It was either out of a desire to appear innocent of the crime or a genuine attempt to win her favor by being helpful. [What the internet would nowadays dub a “simp.”] I started watching TV in my childhood house. I thought of There’s Something About Mary and wanted to watch it. I started slicing bread to make more sandwiches using an electric saw one would normally use to cut wood.
Despite somehow having this woman I’d once idealized in my life again and living with her, I felt insincere and fake about it. It felt like I’d finally seen that, even with a second chance between us, I would never make things work with her. She’d hate me and I would see her flaws if we were in contact for too long. During the dream itself my mood was intensely anxious and despondent as I watched myself blowing it with her all over again. Upon waking up, reliving the experience to write it down, and just analyzing things for awhile, I felt a sense of relief. It was like my mind showing me a harsh truth, expressed through fantasy, that I needed to understand.
It was a Harry Potter-centric dream. First a student was eating in the cafeteria, then he collapsed and they threw him outside, yelling for him to rip up his medical prescriptions. He did and they heckled the doctor who prescribed them. Then we were in groups and did some painting over uniforms and eventually a ball. I was doing this along with an acquaintance from high school I’d known who was a massive Harry Potter fan. We eventually divided up into houses. I was Ravenclaw since I’d already painted stuff blue, she was Gryffindor.
Then it was a quidditch match and the whomping willow grew and spread itself over the field. It actually took over the minds of teachers like one of those crazy fungi that infect ants’ brains. It made them bow to it like a deity. Y’know in Pikmin where the sentient Mushroom creature can hypnotize your Pikmin and then they start dancing around him in reverence? It was like that. Meanwhile Harry saw the snitch and grabbed it, Malfoy grabbed his arm but Harry jumped up and his broom flew under Malfoy to win.
In the next scene, I was back home with my [now-ex] girlfriend and after some back and forth, my parents kicked me out and disowned me over my transition. My mom kissed an old picture of me goodbye in place of the real me. We had to walk out into the snow. We went into a rec center for comfort and my ex started kicking a ball around. Eventually the floor started slanting downwards and we fell into a point of no return. Outside, a wonderful friend of mine from college just so happened to be there with her car and offered us a ride. So we were all in her convertible, red, including a dozen others who inexplicably showed up, in an epic road trip.
#54 Loud House Meets Full House
I dreamed I was living with two young women, one of whom was a little girl who seemed helpless and made distressed sounds when left by herself. I felt very protective of her from the get-go. For whatever reason, my subconscious mind equated her with Leni Loud. The older sister was my age and therefore more self reliant and mature. I had a crush on her and equated her with Lori.
There was a foam pit, sometimes inexplicably replaced by an ocean pit in the middle of our house. At times we would swim in it, but in other scenes it was treated as an obstacle. On either side of this pit were these raised wooden balconies where people could sit. At times this setup felt like a video game. For example, sometimes the surface of one platform acted as a conveyor belt pushing you into the pit. A metal grating hung over the whole room and I had to climb it to reach the other platform and avoid the pit.
Sitting with both girls on one of the balconies, I was so happy and content. Their father, who’s a little intimidating in his stature if ultimately a very nice guy, came in. I think he knew I loved his daughters but was sweet about it and didn’t try to pull the “overly protective dad” shtick as long as I was respectful. At some point he gave me a friendly talk about stress and how if I weren’t careful my hair would fall out.
Then the dream took a dark turn and some young hoodlums came in who beat me up and humiliated me in front of the two. At one time I was driving an electric gold cart and they stole it. There was then a chase between me, them and an unrelated angry old man who came out of nowhere and no connection to the events up to this point.
I deduced that I was sleeping in real life and kept trying to write down the dream as I was still in it. At one point, scribbling what I could remember into aluminum foil and realizing I couldn’t read it.
#55 A Female-Centric Remake of Goldfinger
I dreamed I was at some kind of big convention building packed with all kinds of people. The event organizers sold weed edibles and since it has been many moons since I’ve had the pleasure, I spent a lot of time in the dream procuring these. I’d be at the counter asking about the different types of brownies and what they do. One guy with big thick glasses and neatly combed hair wanted me to help name his strand. As inspiration, he asked me what I thought of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who was suddenly right there as if to aide me in my assessment. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how I answered.
I ate a brownie and started acting like James Bond, interviewing people and spying in pursuit of a crime even I wasn’t sure what. People at the convention saw me and thought I was just taking my cosplaying a step further by remaining in-character. I talked to a blue comb I found on the ground, which had a young woman attached to it. (Think of a centaur but with a comb instead of a horse body.) I forget what she said to me, but it was something important to the case. There was some guy I had to fight on the convention floor at one point, but the details of this encounter are also a blur.
Then I made my way down some back hallways before coming upon a missile silo and a large unattractive woman who said triumphantly “you’re through–you’re through!” She turned around to admire her nukes and explained her evil plan at length, but when she turned around to gauge my reaction I had run up a huge flight of stairs. This particular scene was very dramatic, for a second she had thought I teleported before hearing my footsteps hurrying up the stairs, accompanied by a musical sting to accentuate the tension. She chased me as fast as she could, and I drop kicked her so hard she fell several stories to the floor and was defeated.
Also, a bunch of guys I had apparently come to the convention with were trying to get to their hotel rooms but had to go down an elaborate bunker with narrow crawl spaces and obtrusive pipes to do it. They got to the bottom only to find a locked door. The bunker quickly flooded after that and only I escaped.
#56 Still a Better Crossover Than Batman v Superman
I had a dream Poison Ivy’s sister escaped from an ambulance that had been taking her to Arkham asylum. She escaped in a narrow tunnel which led into the sewer. It made me uncomfortable just to see. Another ambulance inexplicably had fireworks which went off because of some punk kids who snuck up to it at a red light and set them off. I somehow deduced (as a disembodied observer) that such acts constituted a felony. Batman had to team up with two criminals to find this woman, a “Ratman” and someone else whose name I forget. While all these events are playing out, a voice-over commentary explained that the guy who’d gotten paid to write this “episode” of Batman: The Animated Series got paid less than the writer of more iconic episodes. At the end of the adventure, Ratman and the other guy wanted to become Batman’s new sidekicks but the Dark Knight wasn’t interested. He walked away dismissively, through an entire office building, while they trailed behind falling over themselves for his approval.
Later, in a frantic shift of tone, I was “watching” Clarissa Explains It All. I dreamed she was in school and taking a test early in the morning. This scenario transitioned into Clarissa doing metalwork in shop class. She made a mailbox, and a stop-motion animated segment played over the end credits.
I had a dream about a robbery turned shootout from the perspective of a woman who, in cold blood and one by one, murdered all her comrades in the theft. She used automatic guns at a distance, from the roof. At times the gun got caught in the curtains and she angrily untangled them. A male accomplice, injured from her attempted assassination, struggled to scale the building and set fire to the floor directly below her’s, trapping her inside. Upon tossing the incendiary device, he jumped and died.
In the following scene, completely removed from the continuity of events from before, there was a Metroid Prime-like giant spider. It was a boss, like in a videogame. It was fought by Gandalf…though he inexplicably had Saruman’s personality. You had to hit the spider once to stun then shoot it again to actually cause damage. You only got 4 chances, if you fucked up it survived and you would lose. It was guarding the wavebuster charge combo, which you could add to your arsenal upon victory. Gandalf tried and failed several times. He resolved to switch inventory/XYZ inputs ala Zelda: The Windwaker and play co-op. Behind the scenes the developers were aware of his actions and commenting that they thought they went too far giving the player those options in the game. So, if we’re to make any kind of sense of this scenario, Gandalf (or the off-screen guy controlling a Gandalf avatar) was a beta-tester while the programmers watched.
I had a dream my high school was hosting another for some kinda school pride event or athletic whosy whatsis. But there was a twist–both schools had rival street gangs whose members wanted to kill each other. At first, I wasn’t affiliated with either gang so I minded my own business. Throughout this entire dream I was not only in “guy-mode” but wearing a leather jacket with slicked hair like the Fonz. On some level even I knew I was like a corporate marketing committee’s definition of “cool,” the kind who’d say “stay away from drugs!” / “it’s cool to love Jesus!” / “be sure to drink your ovaltine!” to kids at an after school special.
I was sitting on a picnic blanket outside watching TV, noticing the gang members congeal at their various rendezvous points. I made no effort to stop them. I forget a lot of details about this part but I think some of the gang members from the visiting school arrived to size me up and determine if my neutrality could be counted on. Specifically it was their leader and his two bodyguards. I invited them to sit and watch with me, and so we saw the climax of Godfather 2 together.
Later, we were all inside the school but also it was a grocery store and, again, memories are fuzzy. I recall there was a car inside the school/grocery and it was trying to drive down the aisles even as employees were stocking shelves. It hit someone and get stuck. I was still sorta hanging out with the three rival gang members and they talked about attaching a bomb to the car to kill my classmates. Despite my neutrality, this was over the line and I said “hey wait a minute!” really loudly and advanced on the leader. His body guards threw me into the shelves and asked “yeah, what?” So I grabbed a donut off the shelf next to me and asked “how many calories you think are in this?” [This part sounds too cheesy to be real, but I swear it happened.]
Later still, my home school’s gang leader’s mom was nervously pacing around. She knew her son was dead and someone around the premises was responsible. She saw me coming up and demanded I stop and asked how she could be sure I did not kill her son. I emptied my pockets but she wanted me to kneel on the floor with my hands up until the cops could get there. At this I drew the line, approached her and said “No, I’m going to the bathroom, I’m gonna enjoy it, and I’m gonna keep my dignity while i get there.” Just then I saw the rival leader walking by with a huge smile on his face and I knew he had killed this woman’s son. I ran at him to attack but I woke up just as his bodyguards knocked me down to the ground.
#59 Like Heathers But Somehow More Intense
I had a dream me and this old friend from my childhood neighborhood were watching a teen movie called “Generation.” It was a sleepover with us and his little brother. There were several vignettes pertaining to this framing device:
- One of them involved these teens in the film being taught to fight or something while the girls learned to enjoy getting a crack from the buggy whip. Suddenly I was inexplicably in the movie and defended a girl about to be hit. I think she represented a little sister. but a different plane of thought, this made my mind remember an incident from my real life where I stood up for someone I cared about.
- Another vignette I can remember involved a boy and girl’s rivalry. The girl wandered around an unfinished basement when a woman leading a tour came through. The tour guide sasses the girl, who runs up several flights of stairs and knocks over the boy to do so. He angrily incites an already forming crowd to attack her in retaliation. They all run after her and chase her away. Years later the boy owns the now-renovated building where this incident occurred. The girl saw him in town or something. She ripped the horns off a moose statue and said “that’s no moose, it’s…an elk!” The two fight. He suddenly became a giant minotaur with a sword, she had a warhammer. A different, younger little boy got in the way holding his own weapon but she told him to hold his fire. As the moose-man backs up, she bops him on the head and he collapses.
That was the end of the movie and I tried to write it down even as my friend and his brother asked me questions about it. Me and the little bro waited on the corner for a bus, as my friend gets ready. I ask lil bro if he’s in high school and he says vaguely that he knows what bus it is just as one rounds corner. We get on.
#60 Frodo’s Extended Family
I had a dream about the One Ring. A Baggins had it and in this continuity, if anyone passes on or shares the ring “while water’s frozen,” (ie winter) the madness would tear them apart before it was liquid again. Knowing this, Baggins (whose little sis was there with him by a frozen shallow basin filled with water) saw how much his sister innocently wanted the ring and gave it to her. This Baggins, the protagonist in my dream, had silvery white hair and red facial markings like a majestic great ape, his fur almost matching the silvery water in the basin. He looked nothing like Bilbo. Later on a small handful of people including a different female Baggins went to his grave and explained how he died. (Which, if it’s not obvious, occurred upon giving his sister the ring.) There was also apparently a batlike, vampiric Baggins who died too.
As the dream played out, I began to think about some real world tangents based on the plot device of the ring. Specifically, I equated diamond engagement rings to be a very malevolent practice and pictured the idea of a married couple being ruined by partaking in the support of De Beers. During my sleep, this train of thought was fanciful and scary. Upon waking though, I began to seriously consider the idea and decided that should I ever get engaged myself I’d prefer a heart shaped watch or clock, in the vein of the Tinman. It could serve as a symbol of love and the time we have to spend together.
I dreamed my school was doing a weird play called Coup d’etat in a big stadium, the top portion of which (normally reserved for the audience) was actually the stage. It was a courtroom drama and a bunch of us were jurors including me and my worst bully, BC, whom I’ve written about before. We were playing a married couple in fact, despite everyone in this universe knowing what happened between us. He made some derogatory comments, I couldn’t keep my composure, slammed his head down and walked off. The rest of it consisted of the other actors dealing with my actions, keeping the show going despite my absence.
Another night, I had a dream of him where he and my sibling became friends on the school bus and I had to watch on in horror at the thought of having him around me more often. There was a profound sense of guilt, that if I had been nicer to my sibling they wouldn’t have bonded with my bully over how much they both held me in disdain. I was glad to wake up and realize this dream wasn’t real.
#62 Coping With Grief, One Step at a Time
This was, in a sense, the most honest, fulfilling dream I’ve ever had. It took the three most traumatic events of my life (bullying by BC, my brush with limerence towards Luna, and my not-the-best relationship with my parents) and put them together.
A dream where BC is in a college class and I fight him by getting him all soapy. I’m expelled. Teacher won’t hear out why I did it, she just isn’t having it. Normally this would be a tragedy but somehow in my dream I felt relief.
I saw Luna again after our falling out from real life. She was with a mutual friend in a dark but expensive place to eat. We spoke and there was no resentment, but little warmth either. She described a previous guy who didn’t work out and now a new one who was, at least thus far. I genuinely felt happy for her. She was elegant and classy in a way I didn’t recall from the person I had known in college, but all the same, part of me missed my misguided, idealized vision too. I reasoned that it was best to let the real person go on to live her life and be her best self without me, and I could still cherish the memories of the person I had known even if they no longer reflected who she really was. I felt an enormous sense of peace receiving this imaginary-yet-all-too-real bit of closure.
Luna mentioned that she was going to be in a musical about dancing books, like singing books with faces, and my mom was going to help decorate the set. I told my mom we needed to talk and the two of us wandered into the woods together. I thought of “16 Going on 17 Reprise,” excited at the idea of Mother-daughter makeovers and pep talks I always wanted from her but never got. I wanted to tell her I knew my limerent conception of Luna was merely a symbol in my mind to personify the feelings of admiration I had been lacking all through my life, which she alone had briefly made me feel early in our friendship. I wanted to say how dating my [now ex] girlfriend had convinced me that once a spark is lost in a romance that it’s impossible to reignite. [At the time of this dream, we were breaking up.] I wanted to ask her what to do as a result of these complex and painful feelings.
Instead I told my mom I was sexually assaulted in high school and how that being my first experience with erotic touching really skewed my opinion of sex and myself. I said it into her chest/body because i couldn’t stand to look her in the eye while relaying such a shameful memory. Then I woke up. I’m so disappointed I did right at that crucial moment. I really am.
#63 Princeps and the People’s Princess
I had a dream that the Roman emperor Augustus married his cousin. They called each other “poo bear” which my dream-mentality understood to mean “dear friend” in Latin. They consummated on a balcony before the Roman people, as if to prove to the citizens that the imperial line was legit. During the ceremony, I heard someone say they met at a game of chariot racing hosted by Alex Trebek.
Then suddenly I was talking to my mom about one of my teenage heroes, Diana Spencer. “Princess Di is so sad” was my mom’s big takeaway. Through tears, I kept saying she was not the best role model for me anymore. Why I said such a thing I don’t know. I also claimed she was “so sad that she recognized sadness or discomfort in others.” At some point, Princess Di was suddenly there and had baked me a cake for my birthday. I tried to speak but it came out a garbled mess. She was kind enough not to acknowledge this faux pas. She then released an album that was bad, and the incident was played for laughs between me and my mom. We appreciated how her antics were humiliating to the other royals but uplifting to us plebeians in their emotional sincerity if not their humorousness.
I dreamed I was suddenly living with OJ Simpson as if he had been my romantic partner in place of my actual boyfriend. I was terrified he’d kill me, tried to formulate a plan to leave him without getting beat up, and constantly wondered how I could have enjoyed so much time together with an awful person. It seemed too surreal that all my cherished memories with Saturn were actually shared with a murderer. How could I have let myself get mixed up with such a person? I knew this couldn’t be so, and demanded my “old partner” show up…and suddenly OJ was replaced by my ex-girlfriend. I demanded my real boyfriend return but she just laughed and said something to the effect of “am I not good enough?”
Later in the dream, Saturn was back but I was introducing him to my parents and they did not get along. I felt intensely stressed out by this and basically shut down into a state of disassociation while the events around me unfolded.
Imagination Inspired by Infatuation
The first I ever wrote down, the one that started my on-and-off dream-journaling over these past 12 odd years, came when I was in high school. It was my junior year and I experienced that classic cliche, where I suddenly imagined myself with a girl whom I was friends with, but had never perceived to be a romantic possibility before. I don’t recall much; this was before I had a Smartphone or laptop to store dream-synopses to, so I scribbled on a spare piece of paper which has almost certainly been lost to time by now.
In the dream, I remember she was sick in bed and I was taking care of her. I do vaguely remember there were adults trying to force her out of bed for whatever reason and I was struggling to get them to back off and let her take as much time as needed to recuperate. When I woke up, I realized that I had strong emotions for this woman–not strictly romantic–but I could no longer deny I cared for her very deeply nonetheless. These feelings were so significant that I knew I didn’t ever want to forget them, so I wrote down what I had experienced in my dream. And thus began my hobby of documenting my own subconscious mind, which has been going on ever since. (A few brief periods of falling out of the habit aside.)
You may expect me to cap off this story by telling you that me and this girl had a lasting romantic relationship thereafter, but the reality is more mundane. We had some great times together in the following years at least. There are three memories I have of her in particular which always make me happy when they come to mind:
- She called me on the phone when I was away with a school club on an extended field trip and we spoke for over an hour. This may sound like no big deal, but I was often made to feel left out even by many of my friends in high school, and I was both surprised and flattered she thought enough of me to do such a thing. She could have called any of the friends who were on the trip with me instead, but she didn’t and that made me feel appreciated at an age when I had terrible self esteem.
- Later, she volunteered to take me shopping for a tuxedo for junior prom (even though I was going with someone else) and we spent a wonderful afternoon at the mall together.
- And we finally got together one more time in college (we went to different schools but they were close enough for us to meet up) and grabbed dinner. That was the last time I ever saw this very special person, and the last I ever expect to see her again. Since then, she moved away and we lost touch, as happens to most secondary school friendships.
Life is bittersweet, and some of the people you felt the strongest bonds with will only hold a temporary place in it. The best way to make sense of that unfortunate reality is to honor those connections, brief though they may sometimes be, and carry on making new memories with different people going forward. It’s not a perfect solution, and as I’ve discussed elsewhere on the blog, I strongly believe we were not meant to live this way. I would even go as far to say it’s part of what makes modern people so prone to depression and anxiety. But that’s the trade-off which comes from this new world we’ve built for ourselves, and since we can’t change it, we need to make the best of things and enjoy the people we have while we can.