dream sequence – part 64

carnegie_mellon

I was visiting an old girlfriend, which I knew from the outset was probably a bad idea. I tried to keep our conversation light.

“Do you think you’re going to stay here in Pittsburgh?” I asked.

“Not if I can’t find an affordable apartment,” she replied. “Besides, there’s nothing tying me down here. I might as well move back to Albany.”

That’s where I was living. She had left to pursue another relationship, among other things, but the relationship had run its course, and those “other things” weren’t enough to keep her there. I decided that we needed to get out of the apartment.

We were on a bus, and she had morphed into my youngest brother, except that in my dream he was my youngest son’s age, nearly 30 years younger. He asked to borrow one of my guns. [As an editorial note, I have never owned a gun]

He fired two shots into the air and shouted, “I’m having a really hard time finding an affordable apartment in this city!”

The bus driver slammed on his brakes, pulled the bus over to the curb, turned off the engine and ran out the front door with the keys. We ran out too, covering several blocks at a rate that wouldn’t have been possible outside of a dream. I berated my brother throughout our escape.

“You’re going to get us arrested, or worse!”

We stopped in a large, cavernous college hall, where some sort of lecture was going on. We decided to sit in and catch our breath. No one seemed to notice or care.

 

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dream sequence – part 63

weeds2-706500

We had just purchased a new home — actually a big old one — and were making our initial walk-through before moving in. We weren’t alone. There were still people living in the house.

Finding the stragglers proved a bit problematic. We could hear voices, as well as a very vocal cat, but every time we entered a room we thought to be the source of the sound, we found it empty, while the noises persisted. We started to wonder if there was a secret room in the house with all walls but no doors. It was driving us crazy.

Outside, my father was weeding the garden — or at least trying to. I kept finding dandelions where he had supposedly already weeded, so I followed behind him pulling up one he had missed.

He wasn’t happy. “I already did that spot,” he said. Not wishing to argue, I said “This one must have been hiding from you.”

When I woke up, neither the dandelions nor our unwelcome house guests had been completely weeded out.

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dream sequence – part 62

tesla_console

I own a 2008 Toyota RAV4 that is decidedly old-school compared to my wife’s 2015 Jeep Renegade. When one of my tires is low on air, an amber light turns on next to the speedometer. It’s up to me to figure out which tire has the problem and to address it — or, as I more commonly do — ignore it until I’m tired of looking at the light.

The Renegade has a relatively sophisticated console that allows the driver to navigate between multiple screens, one of which shows air pressure for each individual tire. It sure beats trying to use a manual oil pressure gauge on a cold winter day, but I can’t help thinking that it might be more useful to keep my eyes on the road.

In my dream, a co-worker heard my grumbles of indignation and revealed the solution to my dilemma: a smart phone app that somehow measures the air pressure of a tire when held next to it. Never mind that this was utterly preposterous — it was a dream! Moving from the impossible to the ridiculous, the app also measured the gas tank level when held next to the gas cap. Not recommended while actually driving, when one can simply read the gas gauge.

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nowhere to go

arroyo_20170123

I blog a lot about my dreams. I don’t do this to gain insight into my subconscious — as if it were trying to send me important messages from some Central Command — but rather as an opportunity to explore writing in prose. As dreams are often fragments, it’s difficult to find some sort of narrative to follow. If there’s a thread that binds the fragments together, I can remember them long enough to capture it all in writing. Hence my many “dream sequence” posts.

I remember dreams in bursts that last a few days, and then I can go for days or weeks without remembering so much as a fleeting image or sentence fragment. I’m in a bit of a dry spell these days, sleeping like a rock but without a dream to show for it. I attribute the change to an adjustment to work life after a glorious 8 days of vacation. Relaxation can wreak havoc with one’s natural tendency toward stress, one of my favorite dream triggers. Eliminate the stress — even for a little while — and the subconscious runs out of raw material.

So I’m daydreaming instead, staring at a tidal pool long enough to see an oasis.

silent snow
secret snow —
when dreams elude me

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dream sequence – part 61

Birth of Venus (detail)

It was good to see her back in the office again. She had been nominated to a cabinet-level position in the new government, only to have her candidacy derailed by a scandal.

The scandal was literally old news: a grainy photo of a much younger woman, posing provocatively on a hotel bed with her top off. The big hair, big glasses and makeup screamed “eighties”, but there she was, trending all over the internet of 2017.

The president initially refused to let her withdraw from consideration, but once she made up her mind, she boarded a one-way flight back to Boston.

“I’m glad you’re back”, I said. “I know it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for you.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she said curtly. I walked away, embarrassed.

About an hour later, she came back to apologize. “I didn’t mean to be so bitchy. It has been a roller coaster ride, to put it mildly, but I’m also glad to be back.”

I thanked her, but also told her that she really didn’t need to apologize.

“To be perfectly honest,” she added, “I’m relieved.”

“Me too,” I said. She smiled, lingered for a moment, and then walked away.

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dream sequence – part 60

osprey_nest_20170119

We were checking out a property in Seaside Park, a sprawling ranch house that seemed a bit dated. I joked that it reminded me of what Graceland might look like if it was located on Cape Cod instead of Memphis. The realtor winced. She didn’t come in with us, explaining that the owner of the house would be present and that there were some “weird circumstances” that prevented her from being involved. She didn’t elaborate.

The owner was on the phone but urged us to have a look around. The inside was just as dated as the exterior, and it became clear from the ubiquitous memorabilia and shoddy decadence that this had been the home of a musician. It was then that I realized that the man on the telephone was Ike Turner.

The house, apart from needing a lot of work, was also out of our price range. We prepared to exit with the owner still on the phone, but I decided to try to at least shake hands with Mr. Turner and to thank him for letting us take a look at his house.

He interrupted his phone call to give me a brief, one-armed hug, and stated plainly, “it’s not your fault.”

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dream sequence – part 59

dread_silhouette_20170103

He was sitting up in a metal trough filled with water in the middle of his driveway, and he was fast asleep. Truth be told, we thought he was dead — his head was tilted back at an unnatural angle, and his mouth was wide open. We ran up to him from the sidewalk and put our faces very close to his to confirm that he was still breathing. He woke up with a startle and two strangers inches from his face.

“Who are you?” he demanded.

“We’re fans. We were hoping to talk to you.”

“What about?”

“About where to find vital reggae here in Boston.”

Vital reggae, eh?” he replied, softly mocking.

“We’ve heard that you’ve scoured the Caribbean for the real thing, not just Jamaica but Bequia, Nevis, Dominica…”

 

He didn’t seem impressed.

“Who do you think of as the real thing?”

My wife and I looked at each other.

“We both love Hopeton Lewis and Dennis Brown. I’m partial to dub, especially Augustus Pablo and King Tubby.”

“Dennis Brown had… the purest voice. But you know he’s not here in Boston. None of them are. They’re all dead.”

A black limo pulled into the driveway and screeched to an abrupt halt. A burly man in a tuxedo and dark sunglasses burst out and reached inside of his jacket.

“They’re okay,” said the man in the trough. “They’re about to leave, but before they do, you’re going to take them to JJ’s.”

“JJ’s,” the bodyguard repeated. “Shall I get you a towel, sir?”

The man nodded, and his bodyguard went into the house. “You didn’t tell me your names, but I don’t want to know them. And you should never surprise someone taking a bath.”

Both of us apologized profusely, but our visit was clearly over. The man stepped out of his makeshift bathtub and dried off, while the bodyguard opened up the left and right rear doors of the limo.

“To JJ’s,” he said.

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