Installment numero seis. It seems like every time I make another of these collections, I swear up and down that I’ve found the last of my old, old dream journal entries and then the very next installment suddenly I’m ready with more from the dustbin of history. And this time is no exception! While visiting my folks recently and collecting the last of my things from my childhood home, I found a few lost scraps of paper from high school with old dreams transcribed on them. So, about half of this entry is comprised of new visions I’ve had over the past few weeks while #88 through #95 are flashbacks from my youth. Understood? Cool!
With that out of the way, let’s dive right into it…
#81 Making Forrest Gump Better (Much Better!)
I had a dream about Forrest Gump. This imaginary version had more adult stuff in it: like when Jenny was at college she and Forrest were swimming in a seedy indoor pool with minimal, yellowish lighting that produced a threatening aura. Even though there were 3 other people in the pool, they had sex. Jenny said, half sensuously (and half frustrated with Forrest’s lack of experience) “that was sex, dummy.” (That line looks mean written down, but the way it played out in my head, there was a clear joviality in her manner which even Forrest was able to pick up on.) In my mind, that scene better explained why Forrest was so fixated on Jenny through the rest of his life. Usually I hate Jenny and Forrest’s awful, unhealthy, one sided relationship* but in my dream I replayed some of their key scenes together from the actual movie and thought they were sweet for the first time.
There was a scene of Forrest and his son playing in the yard, they were in the foreground, their house center frame in the background, and Forrest realized it was gonna rain so they turned and walked back, shrinking into the distance. It seemed like a finale moment, yet the out-of-order mind montage of apocryphal footage played on. At another point, little-Forrest saw his dad coming back from Jenny’s grave, crying, and big-Forrest taught his son that it was okay for men to cry. Finally, I imagined a new scene where Forrest met Lt Dan before the army, as like a chance encounter before their lives really became entwined. Forrest was carrying Lt Dan’s groceries at a subway or train terminal and Dan was raving about how school doesn’t teach actual life skills. He ended his speech by talking about starting a boy scouts esque organization and saying something like “but why hasn’t anyone taught them that before?!” He was angry at how stupidly the world is organized and managed. I could certainly relate.
*I don’t blame Jenny for acting the way she did considering her traumatic childhood. I’m not one of those people who dismisses her as a “whore” or “junkie loser” or anything judgmental like that. In the scene posted directly below, it’s clear as day from her mannerisms how much Jenny loves Forrest and feels immense guilt for pushing him away all those years. Also, I genuinely enjoy this film. All that said however, if this wasn’t a movie, any friend or therapist worth their salt would have told Forrest long ago that he needs to get over his fixation on this woman and consider other people. Autism or no, it’s not healthy to pine after the first woman you meet for your entire life to the exclusion of all other romantic options. The only reason his obsession is framed as romantic and wholesome is because it’s a family movie where everything has to be tied up in a neat little bow by the end. I’m not saying don’t enjoy watching it, just don’t idealize it.
#82 Breaking the 4th Wall
I don’t remember details but I dreamed I had been with someone romantically, and then suddenly we were not together anymore. I was at a family party and someone else announced their marriage or relationship and I got jealous. So I pointed and said “you. Let’s be a thing now.” And it turned out I was speaking to Garfield the cat. I was at a famous donut place and in line a long time. The decor was like wood paneling. The chef was a big fat guy who didn’t wear a shirt but he had enough charm and talent that he was considered attractive. The line wasn’t moving, and then we saw he and his boyfriend were fighting. The latter stormed away while the chef looked crestfallen. He said all gay people can come to the front. I asked if bisexuals counted, and he told me us “disgusting freaks” were not welcome. I threw a big fit and left, so many followed me out. I wanted nothing to do with that place ever again.
In another scene, me and my immediate family were shopping in a department store. Even though it wasn’t donuts, and even though the curator was a small teen with a buzz cut and glasses, I was getting serious deja vu. I told everyone I’d had a dream about this place warning that we should leave. They did not listen. We waited for what felt like an eternity. There was no one else working at the store but him, despite dozens of customers in a two story building to serve. When we finally got to the counter he tried to tell a joke at our expense but I told him to go fuck himself. Everyone agreed after the fact we should have left earlier. I saw someone hang glide into a mall via a sky light.
#83 Yuletide Microsoft Tay
I dreamed I was playing Donkey Kong Country. There was a jungle level that was so open ended that literally everyone online had their own way to beat it. In the next scene, it was suddenly Christmas Eve. My sister and I were playing with our old hamsters, S’mores and Twigs. She’s looking forward to decorating Frosty the Snowman, because in this universe, you decorated Snowmen for Christmas, not trees. I took a little figurine of Frosty I had to use as a model. I made it wave its arms overhead very dramatically as I heard the voice from the damn Rankin Bass cartoon “but he waved goodbye…” It made me laugh for some reason. Then I made him do a Nazi Salute which, to dream-me, was even funnier. In like a series of daydreams within a dream, I imagined how absurd it would be for a naive snowman who just came to life to devote himself so completely to any one particular ideology. I imagined how hilarious it’d be to have all the children run up to play and how horrified they’d be seeing their hero salute the Fuhrer. I heard Jimmy Stewart’s disembodied voice talking about “the best sawdust storm this side of…” and even dream-me was questioning how or why it’d ever rain sawdust.
In the next scene, a far more interesting version of Return of the Jedi took place than the crap that was released. The general from ESB has a thing for Princess Leia and was demanding she “give me a chance yo” and she’s all “but you’re so boring. Have you ever [redacted]? What sets you apart?” And instead of like 12 rebels and some bears in the Endor battle, it was like a million on both sides and zero bears. And they were attacking a massive techno-fortress. And Luke kamikaze’d his ship to help, but the fortress was so big it didn’t make a difference.
#84 Unfocused Vignettes
I dreamed they made a motion picture of Clarissa Explains It All but when I went to see it, it was just Mean Girls. Dream-Me didn’t notice. In the parking lot afterwards, a bear was mock-charging me but I stayed still so it veered to my right and missed. After it wandered off, I jumped in someone’s car for safety and a hippo was in the backseat with me!
I was with a few family members at a German style beer hall, and the couple at the table next to us were fighting. They seemed to reconcile and walk out together, but I announced to everyone that they would break up for good soon. I compared it to a previous relationship were my then-partner and I would always be at odds with one another and ruin each others’ good time in public, but then seemingly bury the hatchet on the way home. Eventually it got to be too much for us, and I noticed the same red flags in this relationship.
At some point, I also imagined scenes from the episode of the Wild Thornberries where the nuns drop a case of soap and it leads the mom to think they’re mocking her. Eliza was under a heavy quilt and shivering on the chilly mountain trails.
Finally, I saw a “deleted scene” play out from The Shawshank Redemption where Byron Hadley, the captain of the guards, force fed Andy handfuls of M&Ms, one after the other. Why he was doing this I do not know but the intent was clearly to torture.
#85 Hide and Seek
So I’m playing a sort of older James Bond Goldeneye type of game with two buddies from college. I remember thinking how I knew it wasn’t real—none of this was, so I stopped bothering to play the game. Strangely, I felt tired here, even in my dream state–my incorporeal avatar wanted to rest too. Since I stopped playing, the other two slaughtered me in the game. I wanted to find a crevice and hide, snipe them as they ran past, but I kept a mini-gun in case they found me. I begin descending into a grand dome shaped building. I think of how I’d like to be a romantic partner to one of the same college buddies now chasing me down. I thought of him holding me close and comforting me, but I feel worthless and unable to be a suitable partner for him. Either my dream self or my in-game avatar (the two started blending together as one around this point) hid in a bathroom. Suddenly all these children and teachers started filing down the hallway just outside to go to a grand ballroom. Many saw me as I peeked my head out to see all the commotion, but walked right on by. One teacher stopped and coddled me into going to the room with her. I took her hand, I know it’s a dream at this point, and I look up towards the grand golden dome above us, staring at it. I blink a few times, and it’s all vanished. All I see is a cortex-fractal of faded color and I wake up.
#86 Wholesome Scenes
I had a dream there was a dynastic political family and all but one member was involved in government. The holdout was a son, early twenties, who was dismissed as a buffoon by his family members. A teen and his buddy recognized him at a park bench, sat next to him and started recording for social media. He was wearing a white and red striped shirt and blue denim pants with red hair and a sunburned face. He looked simple but actually had some eloquent refutations of his family’s policies when pushed to defend their legacy. The two teens were taken aback since they were hoping to needle an easy target from a hated political family, but came away with a newfound respect for the guy.
Later there was a teenage girl with shoulder length brown hair and a Bat Girl costume leaving her house. Her facial features were kinda awkward since she hadn’t grown into herself yet, but that’s what made it cute. I was hoping someone would tell her she looked nice and boost her confidence before the looming torment of secondary school crushed her spirit. I knew I couldn’t be that person as an adult stranger, though. Luckily, right on cue a teen boy walked over with flowers and put his arm around her.
#87 Where It’s Not So Much the Plot, But the Emotion
I had a rather boring dream that was nonetheless notable for how happy it made me feel. I was in a great underground bunker made of reinforced concrete and there was a huge couch, a shelf with a bunch of movies on it, and a TV on which to view them. I wanted to spend the night doing a marathon of Lolita and Vertigo with maybe Femina Ridens thrown in for good measure. (I love movies about horribly dysfunctional and ruinous relationships.) When I was a teenager, I used to stay up all night and watch three related movies back to back that were based around a common theme, mood or actor. I feel as though this nostalgic memory was the basis for that detail of my dream. At one point I opened the bunker door and saw there was a huge blizzard raging outside while a few unlucky pedestrians tried to hurry out of the freezing cold. I suddenly heard a weatherman describing the storm too. I felt really snug and contented that I was safe from the elements in my little sanctum.
#88 Meeting a Hero
I had a dream I was a little kid again and being babysat by Dr Seuss. (But really it was like a weird combo of Seuss and Mr Rogers because he looked like Fred Rogers and spoke of his TV show.) He was taking me to run some errands and then we bumped into his ex wife. He approached her and they talked for a long time. I couldn’t hear what was being said but their body language indicated that there was still a lot of love between them. I understood then that Dr Seuss didn’t divorce his wife because of any marital problems; he did it so he could devote all his time to the show and teaching kids. He brought his ex wife over to say “hi” to me, and I knew implicitly that she bore him no resentment over this decision–she seemed to appreciate he was making kids like me really happy.
In real life, as far as I know, Mr Rogers and Dr Seuss never divorced–and you can love your spouse and kids at the same time–but that’s how it was in my dream.
I had a dream where Mr Dink (from Doug) got a device to kill the moles in his yard. His wife did not approve of the purchase but did not put her foot down against it. Later, Doug himself was out shopping and ran into Patty, flanked by two additional friends. One of Patty’s friends, a guy, jokingly asked Doug if he got her a valentine’s day gift yet. This caused Patty and her other friend to laugh. Suddenly the scene changed to Doug, Patty and Skeeter were hiding from a group of thugs known as the Greaser Scouts. They got spotted, but instead of being attacked one of the Scouts asked Patty if she had gotten Doug a valentine yet. Finally it was Doug and Mr Dink playing golf. Dink hit the ball, but instead of saying “fore!” he said “home run!”
Later, I was living in a grocery store with two friends from high school. After a shift from work I raided the fridge (which was just in the middle of the store) to celebrate with some good ol’ fashion binging. Suddenly Marle and Ayla from Chrono Trigger are in the store too, and they tell me the army has seen my high score in Super Metroid and wants to recruit me. Suddenly, I’m leading a group of freedom fighters in the field and it’s apparent I’m completely out of my element. I lead some of my team into an ambush and lose faith in myself. Despite this, a female subordinate under my command believes in me and offers words of encouragement. She begins describing our world as if we were in an RPG, talking about upping my experience points and things of that nature.
#90 For the Record, Lost Sucks
I had a dream I was in the Lost universe. Me and a bunch of other people were children of the “others.” For some reason, a bunch of my cousins were there but they were younger versions of themselves while I was suddenly older. They had very innocent perspectives and would ramble inquisitively about the most mundane subjects–specifically a glass of water for some reason. Unfortunately I was very loud and bossy to them. As the dream continued, I was suddenly a nefarious Ben Linus esque leader and using my power to attack anyone in high school who started mean rumors about me. My followers eventually stage an intervention to get me to chill out, and I only half listen while eating bacon.
Finally a boat came to the island. They saved another tribe of people but not those I was responsible for–the “others.” The boat sinks just as they’re pulling away and this separate tribe swims to shore. We agree to play them in a game of tennis to pass the time.
#91 Cock-Blocked by Standardized Testing
In a “deleted” scene from Mean Girls, Regina forced Kady to kiss her ring and submit. Kady reluctantly agreed and turned on her old best friend. (Who was not Janice or Damien in this version.) She then became Regina’s slave.
Suddenly I’m in this universe. I forgot it was the day the SAT was being administered and run to get to school. Along the way, I passed through a 2D reality similar to Super Mario Bros 2 and Castlevania and have to navigate those challenges to get there. I realize I don’t have a number two pencil and have to run back home to get one from my mom. Rather than be helpful, she chews me out for my forgetfulness. Halfway through her unnecessary lecture I suddenly remember they offer extras during the exam anyway. So I hurry back and slide in through the door just as the administrator is closing it to begin the test. I felt very triumphant even though I was in my underwear–somehow this was never a point of embarrassment like it always is in TV shows.
#92 Honestly, Can’t Be Any Worse Than Shiny New Year, Right?
Some company decided to remake the Rankin Bass Christmas specials, so I decided I better convince them not to go through with it. I started seeing scenes from the specials play in my dream, but it’s unclear if these were from the remake or (my mind’s version of) the original. A time traveling reindeer and faster than light reindeer were racing each other. Another scene involved a snowman (maybe Frosty but it was unclear) and he was trapped in a snow globe. I try to talk to the CEO of the remake company but this burly guy whom I brought with me as the muscle suddenly talks over me and I can’t get a word in. I notice a young guy trying to flirt with a girl and getting nowhere, so I attempt to offer advice or encouragement. Instead I sent him into the far future…somehow.
#93 Vampire and Werewolf
Me, my closest lady friend from high school, her then-boyfriend and some random woman I’m apparently dating are all planning a double-wedding together. While the boyfriend and my mysterious fiancee are obsessing over the various details, my cherished lady friend and I just relax and go with the flow. We end up spending more time with each other just chilling than we do with our respective partners. Meanwhile those same partners are brainstorming away and barely notice our disinterest. It felt like we were each with the wrong people. At one point we all tried on clothes and made a big game out of it.
Later I saw a little girl on the side of the highway with a bug and a duck together in a box–both animals obviously very unhappy. This scene was abrupt and nothing came of it.
#94 The Bright Spot in a Dark Time of My Life
I’m suddenly married to my best friend from high school and a bunch of other kids in our grade come over to mooch off of us and enjoy our big TV. Everyone watches this show with fighting teddy bears that each have crystals in their stomachs. (Sort of a cross between the Care Bears and Gummi Bears I guess.) There’s a big cardboard cutout of the two of us on our wedding day for some reason. I’m dressed in a fancy yet extremely tacky tuxedo with a pink vest and turquoise necktie. I go into the basement at one point and a giant spider chases me out immediately, but I’m not scared enough to wake up. Finally, during this part of the narrative, my dad was a kite-maker and kept his finished products in the pool for some reason.
At some point in the festivities, there are four tombstones with graves in our living room with the Puzzle Place members being buried in them. One of my lesser bullies from high school comes up to me but is surprisingly friendly. We play with some old McDonald’s Happy Meal toys together and before my eyes he transforms into my beloved friend, Mars. It occurs to me then and there how similar the two of them always were in terms of personality but I had never noticed the resemblance before. When looking back on this, I feel like I ought to have experienced some kind of intense emotional reaction. (Perhaps horror that Mars and this person who did me wrong would have been friends if they’d ever met. Or maybe an appreciation that friends may have been enemies and vice versa depending on the circumstances in which you met them. Alas, there was no deep reaction in my dream itself.)
Later my dream-wife and I are at a sleepaway camp with everyone. They’re all being annoying and mean-spirited (so, high school basically) while the two of us mostly ignore them and just hang out among ourselves. There’s a game going on called “the spartans” where 11 people with swords must face against hordes of opponents with water guns. At some point, me and this other girl (not my best friend/dream-wife) put on a train and horse costume (respectively) and race each other.
#95 A Full House Spin-Off That’s Actually Good
Joey from Full House decides make a movie called The Sound of Music. Danny and Jessie get jealous so they sabotage the film’s premiere. Crestfallen, Joey vanishes, never to be seen again. His roommates use a time travel device that looks like a helicopter to see if they can locate him. They change the events of the premiere so that it goes off without a hitch. However, Jessie and Danny then realize that if they ruined that night, Joey leave out of shame and at the same time if they hadn’t, he would have left to pursue a successful career in Hollywood. So they return to the time machine and discuss which of the two options is more preferable. They agree they did like the film, but not its derivative title–which had nothing to do with the real-world Sound of Music. Also, during Joey’s premiere, a little girl in attendance was implausibly holding a VHS tape which somehow had Joey’s next film on it–before he possibly could’ve made it. If she was a time traveler herself or part of Danny and Jessie’s schemes, it was never made clear.
Suddenly the dream took a bizarre left turn and Jay Gatsby was in it. He was being chased by wicked men, and his robot body guard saved him by throwing him on top of a mountain of fruit. Gatsby passed out, then woke up looking at an orange next to his head and screamed. The robot sang him a lullaby “rise your head, close your head.”
#96 Paralyzed by Insecurity
I had a dream where it was me and a once-dear friend from college whom I’ve since had a falling out with. We were on the school bus bound for high school together and it was driving down a narrow strip of road with ocean shores on both sides. At one point the bus stopped and almost everyone got off to swim in the water for a bit. Later, a low functioning autistic guy started aggressively propositioning my friend and I could tell she wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. I was on my way to get off the bus to swim with the others when I noticed this going on. I asked her if she was okay, which was a big step for me because in real life we haven’t talked in years and losing touch with her is one of my biggest regrets in life. She said “Don’t leave me alone with him” or words to that effect. I talked to the guy for a bit in order to distract him from bothering her.
As time passed, I realized my friend was actually in a wheelchair with no plausible explanation. (Obviously, in real life she is not and never has been handicapped.) Her mom was suddenly on the bus seat next to her and they had a jovial mother-daughter talk together. She seemed happy enough, despite her condition, and I was really moved witnessing how tender the interactions between the two women were. All the while, I kept turning over what might have happened to my friend to leave her paralyzed. I felt such an immense desire to comfort her and cry over her. But I knew that not only was it not my place, it would be condescending, selfish and only hurt her more. I had no right to project my guilt onto her and possibly reopen old wounds.
Suddenly we were off the bus and in class, where she came up to me. I had been continuously agonizing about what to say to her, if I should apologize for not being there when she needed me or if that would only bring up her tragic circumstances and make things worse. Luckily, she did the talking, and asked me to grab her hands so as to warm them up. I gladly accepted, and then immediately blurted out that I was sorry I abandoned her, ruined our friendship and wasn’t there to support her through the years. Even as I did this, I knew it was a clumsy way to handle the subject. All the same, she understood and immediately proclaimed “That’s okay! Can I still see you again sometime, though?” Not believing my good luck, I immediately answered “yes.” I couldn’t believe what an amazing lady she still was, and felt a mixture of shame for ever giving up on her as well as pride to be holding her hands and getting a second chance to make it right.
When I woke up, I wanted to reach out and attempt to mend the bridge with this person in real life but, for better or worse, I held back. Maybe that’s a betrayal of the lesson of my dream. But in reality, things are more complicated and people aren’t just hallow projections tailor-made to fit predetermined roles to suit the needs of my ego. Nor are they waiting in suspended animation for me to pop back into their story at the drop of a hat years later and apologize for ancient history they’ve probably forgotten about and moved on from long ago. It’s the unfortunate trade-off with otherwise beautiful fantasies like this; you have to remember that it is indeed only a fantasy.
The Lost Section of My Dream Journal
I lost a large section of my dream journal, which I was recording on my Notes app in those days, when my phone unexpectedly died. It’s probably just as well that these entries should be buried, considering I was dealing with a then-limerent infatuation at the time that I’d like to distance myself from as much as possible. Still, there were three dreams from that era which were so vivid I can still remember them even without written accounts. I feel they have an element of humor and vulnerability to them which is worth sharing regardless of their unfortunate inspiration:
I had this one dream where I pictured my then-crush and the perspective cut back to a shot of myself looking directly into the “camera.” My jaw quite literally fell all the way to the floor and an avalanche of money poured out of my mouth in response to her beauty. In another, she introduced me to her parents and they accepted me into their family. I imagined us all having a cookout and playing tag, everyone laughing and having a great time. It was a beautiful fantasy, but I knew even as I woke that it would never come true, because we were already on the outs by then. That was an especially difficult moment in the whole pathetic infatuation, where my own mind betrayed me with a haunting scene of something it knew I wanted but would never experience.
A few months later, after we had gone our separate ways in life, I had one last dream about this person. I sailed to an island on which she lived, and watched her being followed up and down the rocky paths along the shore by a gaggle of intimidating suitors ala Penelope. I felt hopeless seeing how desired she was by more outwardly intimidating people than myself. Her mother saw me, took me aside and gently told me it was not to be and I was merely hurting myself by sticking around. So I acknowledged it was silly to go on in this miserable state and sailed away. It was less painful to leave than it had been to see her again in the first place. I distinctly remember this was the last dream from my “limerent period.”