Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We meet up with some other people and go into this beautiful, coastal house with our community. Under the house, the group has built an extensive network of underground tunnels, with windows that open up in the cliff so that we can get light. You might not even know you're underground. We wait in the house until we hear that distant rumbling, and then run downstairs to the underground portion. The thing rolls over the house, destroying it, but we are all safe underground.
There is no way we can figure out to destroy the things yet, as they are extremely tough, metal spheres and we Earthlings don't know their weakness yet--but there is always a weakness.
We start hanging out in the beautiful underground house.
And then I came up with the idea for Fear Factor.
The next dream was about Rebecca Loudon's 3 cats. A dominant male was beating on Paris the Genius cat. I told somebody to open the closet and make sure she wasn't trapped inside. It turns out, she had been.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It's mine though. I ride it around campus. I'm free on my bike, and I'm empowered.
I lock the bike up--I attach it to one of the bike racks on one of the streets that border the quads.
I want to tell you that I've ridden my bike that's too big for me--that I ride it all the time--because I know you'd be proud of me that I've finally learned how to ride a bike. I'm proud of me.
But in the dream, as in life, we aren't talking.
I don't have the key to unlock the bike from the rack. And a part of it gets stolen.
I'm too small for the bike anyway.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I have moved into my new home in Ottawa. The house is huge, with interiors defined by flat, glaring white surfaces. Every room is tinged with a cold, clinical blue. The house exudes loneliness. I move through hallways and a bedroom and see two sets of sliding closets, unimaginatively placed parallel to each other.
I move to other parts of the house and see that it belongs to O's family; I’m their guest. The knowledge doesn’t lift my spirits—they’re not my favorite people. With the knowledge that this giant house is for a family of four, the spaces seem bigger than ever. I walk down a wide, white hallway to peer into O’s room. The king-sized bed is rumpled with toys and possessions tossed about. Objects—too much material wealth—litter the floor.
In another part of the house I see her younger brother. Small and nerdy, sporting oversized glasses with brightly colored rims—the trendy kind—he sits before a super-sized computer, eyes fixed on the screen. One hand deftly navigating the mouse, a vapid smile on his face, he is learning Chinese. As the words scroll by, he selects the characters he needs extra help with remembering, or that are otherwise important. The computer talks to him as he engages in this expedited process of learning. I see an unfair advantage at work.
I move to a workshop or display center, where Uncle L shows off the fancy centerpieces he has made. This is his hobby. Although he thinks of these items as high art, they actually look just like the expensive, pointless home décor sold in bourgeois chain stores such as Pottery Barn. As a form of appreciation for my looking at his art, he presents one of the centerpieces to me as a gift. It is one of the more boring-colored of the pieces. He could have at least given me a brightly-colored one.
And I realized, I am in love with the emptiness and the dragon. I love their game. I love riding through the sky on the dragon’s back. I love the feeling of the emptiness enclosing me. I am in love with them. I do not want the dirt. I do not want the grave.
Except, later on the grave decides to woo me. He whispers look at this bed I have laid for you, and the other two will never notice and just come with me for a little while. And I am cautious; I don’t trust him, but I think that after just a little while, I will go back. And so I say yes. Take me away with you. Yes.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
In my dream Bill was using a baseball bat like a walking stick and spent a lot of time pausing to think. When he did speak I often felt surprised by what he said, and I had to think about how to respond to it. I guess this is my impression of Bill: soft-spoken, casual (not causal!) in affect, but deep, as if when you say something to Bill it takes a long time to float down through his attention, but when it's fully registered he comes back with an incisive but very light response. I'm always interested in conversation dreams which show me my internal models of other people, which are mostly about a mixture of gesture, timing, and tone. It's interesting to think of having these simple models of other people's way of presenting in one's own head--I wonder to what extent these models get triggered when doing, for example, email?
Very complex dream last night, in which many past events of my life had happened differently/been substituted for. In general, the main difference was that I hadn’t moved to LA in Summer of 2003 (when I married Tova). Instead, as I realized while chatting with my old friend Phil Poulter, I taught at MCC in Texas (which had been vastly expanded, to the size of a university) where I was exploited during the Spring 2003 semester by being given only one class [this is a reference to how I was treated in NYC that semester at John Jay College of Criminal Justice—I was cut down to one class which damaged my economic prospects in the city] and further exploited (in the dreamlife, at dreamMCC) by being forced to edit the student newspaper for free, in return for a chance to teach more classes in the future. I kept running into my students from the 03 dream-semester, smart, affluent, mostly Asian (dreamMCC had demographics more like UCI than central Texas, and I think the students from the “dreamclass” referred to the students in my Art of Poetry class at UCI in Spring 2001—probably the single class I have most enjoyed teaching, to naturally thrilling results (I won an award!)—the sort of class that I feel like my friends with PhDs and “real” teaching jobs have the chance to teach all the time.
In the dream I had had to more or less write the student newspaper myself, with help from a handful of kids in my “dreamclass” (which was just a comp. class) and it had been short, naturally. I had been dragooned into doing it because the person whose job it was had been on leave, maybe pregnancy leave (a reference to how I filled in for a teacher on pregnancy leave in Fall 2003 at Cypress College, where I was also poorly treated [classes cancelled in summer 2004]—interesting how the referential dates revolve around Summer 2003). In the “dreampresent” the student paper was huge and done by students. It occurs to me that dream MCC represented all the community colleges (since MCC was the first one), and Phil represented all the colleague-friends from the community colleges (since he was the first and best one).
Then found myself at the Martin house conversing with Phil P and James Sherry. Alcoholic subtext, but not directly mentioned—just that kind of conversation. Someone was puking in the garden. Then found myself in New York City (Williamsburg) for John Ashbery’s wedding [?]. Everyone involved very shy of publicity. Many old southern gentlemen talking about John, comically mock-pompous orations. Teenagers recording everything with camcorders, the tapes from which were meant to be confiscated at the end of the ceremony, but some of the parents of the teenagers [poor relations!] plot to sneak out with tapes to tell to the tabloids. So, a confidential wedding and it’s unclear who the other groom and/or bride was, so also a one-man wedding. There is a lovely circle-dance of teenagers pointing camcorders as they spin. It ends with confusion, as there’s a general effort to confiscate tapes, poor relations screaming and crying as the tapes [negotiable memories] are pulled away from them. I am the poor relations of course, as much as [no, more than!] I am Ashbery. I would like to be Ashbery, which is different.
After the wedding, I start driving home but have drunk too much and lose control of my car in a small tree-lined neighborhood just north of Williamsburg [very funny—suburb with lawns where Bed-Stuy should be]. I crash the car in a yard. I get out, and find my head is bleeding. I know if the police catch me I’ll get a DUI so I decide to walk home. I have to walk with no shirt on because I’m using my shirt to collect blood from my head. I go into the backyard of a suburban house and find an outdoor pantry from which I take a bottle of water. I worry that I’ll get punished no matter what I do next, because the crashed car is evidence against me, but on the other hand if I’m sober when they see me who’s to say I was drunk when I crashed. (The answer is, the wedding guests will narc on me.) So I walk and find a small southern-style convenience station, the sort you’d find where one one-lane highway intersects another, with a Bubba type dude inside. He doesn’t care I’ve got no shirt on and a bleeding head. I ask for directions to the train but he doesn’t know shit. Then I walk out and some tourists point me to the train. It’s the train to Manhattan (where apparently I live). I find a backpack on my back, put on a shirt for the train, find my head has stopped bleeding and my vision has cleared, and off I go. It’s actually the 1/9 train (misplaced, and of course the 9 train is discontinued now).
Dream seems to reference my comments on “backward causation” on my blog yesterday, the idea of changing one’s life through a natural, unnoticed process of backwards causation where actions today cause events in the past to unfold differently until there you are in a different present—my dream runs with this [nerdy] idea of an unstable continuum.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The hand that touched my elbow was cold, and felt clammy. I turned to look back in panic. It was perhaps my startled reaction and the expression of alarm on my face which brought a sudden, amused smile upon the face of the person I found standing before me. The features of that face were like a sketch from a distant past, his right hand was covered with a white bandage…and it looked a bit dirty. I forced my mind to recollect where I had seen the face. It was like those drawings one made as children, where the trick is to keep moving the pencil chronologically on the dots till a face is formed on the paper. I stood on the sidewalk, trying to recognize that face, feeling fuzzy brained. The person, who was standing before me, kept smiling all the while, watching my confusion. Not helping, not speaking at all. Just smiling mildly. The drops of rain fell in a soft spray on him, wetting his hair and clothes, but it did not seem to bother him.
He just stood on the pavement. Smiling. Involuntarily, I extended my umbrella towards him; to save him from the rain, and to my sudden, absolute horror, I saw the face and the form disappear. It appeared as if he was dissolved in the pouring rain. I was holding out the umbrella in an empty space. Few passers by gave me vague looks and I pulled the umbrella back, feeling foolish and scared. My heart was beating hard. I could feel the pulse throbbing in my temples, inside my throat and behind my eyes. In my half awake state I saw the raindrops roll down my window pane.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Some of the last words I wrote before coming to this place were "with wings." With or without wings, I now find myself flying over a rugged desert landscape. Make that without wings. I look at my outstretched arms and see that they are indeed arms, not wings. Now they're stretched out to the side, now palm-to-palm in front of me, now held close to my sides. Yes, this is effortless!
Soon I lose interest in how I'm flying and focus on the rapidly changing landscape below. I swoop down low over a boulder field and wonder how it would be if all the rocks were the color of lapis. Instantly they change to a deep, luminous blue. Now I'm flying high over waterways coursing through an emerald forest, now over an ancient city.
I'm suddenly aware of the precariousness of flight. A disembodied voice says "you know, this is a dream." Out loud I say "you know, I can do this in my waking life too," and awaken here.
I am reading Pedro Páramo, whether the novel or the play I'm not sure. But this much I know: there is an elusive passage that appears and disappears. Sometimes it's there, sometimes not. But it changes something about the book/play, deepens one's understanding of it if one is lucky enough, or maybe astute enough, to catch it. I'm sitting here reading the book/play intently, and Sidney is here in the room with me, sitting in his comfortable chair, waiting to see if I catch the passage. Suddenly I see it, and it's as if a light has lit up in my head. Only now, as I look up from the book in excitement to tell him, he has vanished from his chair, as readily as the passage itself and the ghostly inhabitants of Comala.
Screep, screep, screep - it's 2:11 a.m., and I'm abruptly roused out of the dream when my car alarm suddenly and mysteriously sounds outside.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I am with a group of people, one of a group, colleagues from work or university and we are planning to meet Klaus for coffee. Somehow our group breaks into smaller subgroups and I become disconnected from them. I am standing alone below a tall building with an overhanging veranda. On the veranda itself I can see one of these subgroups of people playing a game together, maybe darts or ten pin bowls.
Their laughter echoes across the courtyard and I feel left out. I want to join them but cannot figure out how to reach them. In the meantime I am aware of Klaus who is supposed to be meeting us all. I do not want to miss out on seeing him. Across the way I can see another elevated veranda on a separate building and I know that Klaus is there with one or two others. I am jealous of these people. I want to be with Klaus.
In the dream, somehow even without seeing him, I know that Klaus is busy and preoccupied. He has no time for us, least of all for me. This is what I call the structural familiarity of my dream. It frames that old sense of exclusion, of not being wanted. When I wake up, I think in my logical and adult head that it is simply because Klaus has not yet responded to my email of a few days ago. The longer he takes to reply, the more rejected and unwanted I feel. But I must not take it personally.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Sarah takes the employee to another room, perhaps a safer one, and continues to print out the documents that she needs.