I hardly ever remember my dreams. I’ve don't know if this is a blessing or a curse – when I do remember them they are often entertaining; on the other hand part of the time, so very not. Most of the time, they are non-linear, elliptical, nonsensical. Forgettable. Every now and then, however, they can be a little poetic. Discarding the less-said-the-better, afraid-to-go-back-to-sleep ones, here’s a few that I was still thinking about in the shower the next morning, culled from the last year or so. I do try to write them down when I have memorable ones – it’s rare enough to be kind of fun. Coincidentally, they all involve water. Oh, you were hoping for the other kind of wet dream?
A fragmented dream
I. I seem to be on a strange Island, a mysteriously engaging cross of Ireland (where I've been) and Jamaica (where I've never). The isolation my visiting friends feel is killing, though I love it here, and I want to make them dinner so they'll feel better - unfortunately, the market has nothing I need.
II. My friend Cy and I hijack a jeep, and go in search of the witches' cabin - they own a specialty foods store in the village which is closed for the season, but perhaps they'll have something hidden away at home. We'll steal it if they do. We're driving the jeep into the witches' living room - it's a normal sized, even cozy living room so furnishings seem to be rushing at us too fast, we'll crash! Yet we slip safely past - past the stone table and between the potted ferns and doily-covered furniture, when we're discovered. They're jovial about it, but I can feel the menace. They offer what's in the oven, apparently large frog's heads on a cookie sheet. They're they size of fists, vivid green, and damp and blistered from the heat like roasted fruit. They stew in crusting puddles of black liquid. The reddish eyes stare blankly. Cy is amenable, but I'm repulsed. We thank them, but leave empty handed.
III. I'm back in the city, in the lobby of a building - I recognize the interior as a campus building, but it isn't that building, it just looks like it. It's spacious - like the underside of a sports arena - the ceiling slopes upward. A couple of slouchily attractive boys loiter, lost in their own thoughts. I and the boys have been here awhile, we can't get a cab to save the shoe leather and so we wait. I'm thirsty and irritable, and there's no sex to be had with the boys. The ATM in the corner seems to pose a solution, but I can't think what it is.
A political dream
We had to go to Washington DC for a music festival, and arriving at the city, it had changed some – I did not remember the tall blocky buildings we drove between in the blue darkness. L’Enfant’s amazing maze soon had us completely lost and we found our way to the waterfront, which was very much like something in San Francisco or Seattle rather than DC.
Down this very tall staircase, several doors open off on the sides, and in one is some sort of salon/nightclub where hairdressers and hairdresser-wannabees strike poses and damage follicles. Across the way is a somewhat grungy restaurant, with a striking attraction, an old school bus that you can dine in, and which is lowered into the waters of the bay while you’re aboard. We’re onboard, and undersea, and mostly there’s not much to see, just murky greenish water.
Oh, and that big ass alligator sitting about 20 feet away. By big ass, I mean, big enough to eat half the bus with one bite. But he’s movin’ slow, and doesn’t seem to be hungry. There’s an aroma of danger though, and we’re moving calmly and quietly in the bus so as to not appear appetizing.
Eventually we arrive at David’s where we’re spending the night – we reached him on the phone and he came and got us and led us back through the twisty streets, past the enormous block-size faceless buildings of the capitol. His neighborhood is self-conciously cute and pedestrian oriented – almost like a vacation village. Snotty yuppies wander about – it’s night but quite light, and apparently earlier than it was when we were at the waterfront. He puts us up, and we relax watching TV; turns out the big news story is that the grungy restaurant is dumping industrial waste in the bay, hence the big alligator. Also, they’ve managed to toxify a local poodle, and the giant savage thing is menacing the salonsters. It’s good for a laugh.
In the morning, my companion has already left, so I set out to explore, knowing that I’ll be lost very rapidly. I find some quaint shops in the tacky little village, claiming to sell patriotic curiosities. The guy inside has some godawful hats, which appear to have been knitted from cheap orange-brown jute, like stocking caps, but with long rat-like tails. He claims they’re authentic revolutionary wear, but have never been worn. This he avers while standing on one and grinding it into the slushy mud with his boot. He picks it up, brushes it off, and hands it to me for inspection. It’s so obviously made 10 minutes ago, but I say nothing since his general clientele seems pretty reprehensible and I have no sympathy if they’re stupid enough to buy one.
He also has some books, and I start to browse, knowing my companion would be appreciative of a good find. He notes the book I’m holding and says “now that’s a fine revolutionary publication, dates from 1776!” I’m looking at the flyleaf which is clearly dated 1928, and I’m completely annoyed by his endless lies. I’m ready to leave, but he won’t stop talking. I’m at the door, but I can’t see the way that I came, or where I should go next. He keeps blathering on, and every word is a lie. Fortunately, I wake up.
A dream with four walls
I dreamed I was a building, and not a particularly good building, if you take my meaning. Carlotta was outside, giving the clientele some sort of guidance as to where they should go, and not very good guidance, if you take my meaning. As in the suburban husband slummin' for the first time does not need to be directed to the room full of cranked up loser boys waiting for their gang-bang. But he finds the "entertainment room" instead, lucky for him, cause Carlotta's a bitch, and wants you all dead.
The entertainment is bizarre; there's a bed in the corner, with a pretty severe water leak over it, so water keeps dripping and splashing on the bed, and it sounds a lot like the beginning of River of Orchids. On the bed is a woman who sounds and looks a lot like Marg Helgenberger. She's clothed, crouching on the bed, facing the few audience members aggressively. She's dripping wet, in the dark corner. She immediately picks out first-timer dude, and rags him provocatively about bisexuality, flipping water in suggestive shapes around her breasts and taunting him with her femininity. At the back of the bed are curtains, and suddenly they part, and two young girls in mismatched swimsuits run the length of the bed, splashing. Seems it may not be a bed after all, but some stage prop, a sort of overflowing hot tub made up to look like a bed. They flip off the end into a large puddle, and exit out the back. Marg stands up, and she's hugely pregnant. First-timer dude is solicitous, but she waves him away, amused and dismissive, and does a tuck and roll off the end of the bed, then waddles off.
A white and black dream
The first part that I remember, we were at wedding party on a riverfront. Big house, many white lacy tables, lots of guests in southern style Easter colors. Every fourth table or so, there was a big white swing erected, like a one person hammerhead (the carnival ride) decorated with lacy swags and lilacs, like a wedding cake. My friend, whom in real life I do not know, and who vaguely resembled Gwen Stefani in an eyelet dress, went for a ride as an usher pushed. She went spinning high in gleeful circles, while at nearby tables, the guests ducked and whined or laughed. I felt a little vertigo watching, and went and lay head down on a little hillock, watching the party upside down.
About then, the world shuddered, and tuned itself down from C to B-flat. (What the? I dunno, it's a dream.)
My friend and I became crime fighters, kind of like the Order part of Law and Order, trying to capture a serial something (thief? murderer?) in a huge white enameled apartment building. The perp in question was undoubtedly Jon Cryer. Which added a weird vibe to it; in the dream, I was looking for the cameramen every few feet. They finally cornered Jon and led him out into the grassy sunlit lawn by the gleaming blue swimming pool, while I, on some disciplinary slapdown, had to stay in the lobby. While there, I managed to capture the suspect's brother, who looked shifty, and whom, it turned out, had been responsible for everything. Case closed!
So we're driving home, my friend and I, and her parents are nearby, on a set that looks like Skidrow in Little Shop of Horrors, her dad struggling with a thin man in black. So we stop to pick them up, and dad stops struggling and gets in the car with the thin man. "Avoid looking at him," he says, "it's Death." So we have this awkward drive home, with Death in the car, and everyone making small talk and looking out the windows. Of course, when we get home, he's still there, and comes in the house. Death, it turns out, is played by Neil Patrick Harris, an actor I find slightly creepy and slightly cute.
Death proceeds to dance us through this little farce with everyone suddenly needing to be in another room whenever he comes in, and he totally taking advantage of the situation; changing the radio station, eating the food off your plate, and generally being a little pest.
Finally we go to bed (Boo finally shows up in the dream about now), and Death is still being the bad guest, and we know someone's time is up. Turns out it's me, and Death comes into our room. We plead with him, but there's really no argument, and I don't want it to get physical. Boo says "at least turn off the radio," and instead, Death puts on an LP of some scratchy-voiced blues singers. Boo objects, but I say, "No, I like this song." So Death and I sing along to this beautiful aching song, his cheek pressed alongside mine, and cold, and I suppose that would have been the end of it...
...except that Ethan jumped on my back, and woke me up. I turned over, he settled on my chest purring, and I dozed off again, but I don't remember anymore dreams.