This page is where I put down my dreams, which are always colorful, often wonderful, and occasionally horrifying.
3/2/15- Evil queen in the ballroom
I’m in a circular ballroom with two friends, facing off against a fat woman (queen?) and her two lackeys (male, thin, shorter than her), who are armed with long bronze candle snuffer. They go straight for our heads with them, and I feel one lackey nail me a few times near my forehead. I’m bleeding by the time I wrestle it away from him. During the struggle, the handle snaps, and I’m left holding a six-inch length of bronze with a jagged end. He then attacks me with a mop. We both pause while he sizes me up, and I stand statue still, waiting for him to swing obviously at my head, which he does, straight down. I block and catch it, pull it (and him) toward me, and sink the broken piece of bronze into the side of his throat. He falls, gurgling, and struggles on the floor. He seems to be deciding whether he can stand and continue to fight, but I don’t want him to, so I step over him, and say, “That’s not how you use a staff,” referring to his last attack with the mop, then stab him in the other side of his throat to make sure he bleeds to death quickly, and won’t fight any more.
I look across the room, and my friends are doing well. One of the other lackeys is also dying on the ground. I feel a connection with them, and decide it would be cruel to let them die alone. I pry my opponent’s head off his body (with the bronze piece?), place it on a silver tray from a nearby table, and set it down carefully so the lackeys are facing each other. They mumble to each other, comforting each other as they die, and I am satisfied. I feel no animosity toward them whatsoever.
I face the queen with my two friends, and feel our chances are good. I wake up feeling accomplished, and ready to act.
5/4/14- War and family
It starts well. I’m with friends, people I love and who love me. Then I’m someone else, elsewhere in a region where there’s a war going on. We’re supposed to be guarded by seemingly American armed forces, a couple white guys and a black guy in fatigues, but I don’t see any weapons. They’re not well-liked by the locals in this small, rundown, brown-and-gray town where I’ve taken up residence. I’ve befriended a little blonde girl during my stay. I go to another building (to work maybe), and while I’m there, enemy forces raid the town, killing and looting. I think I’m attacked, and end up ducked behind a desk when the fighting suddenly stops. I picture the little blonde girl and think, “I need to check on her.”
I run out of my building to where she’ll be (some kind of school or church). There are pews facing the front door, and I’ve entered the building from the back. I find her hanging from the ceiling: she’s been nailed to one of the rafters, but she’s still alive. She’s wearing a large long-sleeved pajama-dress, a dirty peach color. She’s barefoot and skinny. The nails go through her shoulders and elbows. There are bodies all over the floor. I don’t bother to look at them as I go to her. I keep my eyes on her face as I stand on a chair below her, wrap my arms around her to relieve her of her own weight, and start pulling out the nails. They’re not in her arms anymore, now they’re only in her hair, four of them, holding up her entire body before I lift her. “It’s ok, I got you, I got you now,” and I count the nails as I pull them out to let her know what’s happening: “There’s one… two… three… ” As I’m doing this, she speaks softly: “They put knives in their eyes. Will you take the knives out?” She’s talking about her parents, who I stepped over to reach her. I say, “Don’t look, ok? Just don’t look, of course I will, just don’t look.” I watch her out of the corner of my eye, and feel relieved when she closes her blue eyes and relaxes against me. She’s exhausted and filthy, and now, mine.
As I step down from the chair, the three army guys walk through the front door. They’re getting bothered by some other guy in fatigues who stands in the doorway of the building across the road. He’s making fun of them for running away during the fight instead of defending us. “Buggitty-bug!” he yells, because they bugged out when they should have stayed and fought. The three men are irreverent, and shut the door on their fellow soldier with a shrug and a “Whatever, dude.” They look around at the carnage and feel nothing.
I put the girl somewhere safe, then go back to pull the thin, white-handled knives from her parents eyes like I said I would. It occurs to me that knives aren’t bullets, they’re meant to be used more than once, and I’m slightly annoyed by this wastefulness as I slide out the first one, buried almost to the hilt, and wipe it on my cargo pants. I wake up suddenly, panting softly, desperate to check on the girl, to make sure she’s safe. I feel panicked when I realize it was a dream, and that I can’t reach her, and that there are still three knives to pull out.
3/21/14- Swords, snow, and shadows
In a Japanese hut amid an icy landscape, Senior Ecuador and I practice with live swords. Everything in the hut is tinted blue, the walls, our clothes, the light (which is kinda dramatic, and comes up from the left of the slightly elevated area we’re practicing on). We walk back about ten feet to an area where Oppa-sensei sits in seiza. He pulls out his own sword and we lay ours down as we sit in seiza across from him. I say, “[Oppa]- sensei, could you please show us how to clean ours?” but the “sensei” part is just whispered, and I worry that Senior Ecuador will find my address too informal. Oppa-sensei doesn’t bat an eye, and says, “Sure” with a friendly face before pulling out a white cloth, pinching it around the blade, and drawing it down toward the tip of the blade.
There’s a quick change, and we’re all walking along the very blue tundra between snow/ice drifts toward a cliff where we need to wait for something. I get the sense there’s a fourth person with us. Oppa-sensei leaves us, then Senior Ecuador says he’ll be right back. I stand with my back to the cliff’s edge, watching the wall next to the path but thinking about my feet and how they’re moving slowly downward. The cliff’s edge is getting closer, sliding up behind me at a gentle creep until I’m gripping the edge of the cliff with my arms, thinking, “If I stay here, the cliff will keep moving, and I’ll fall. I should go find [Senior Ecuador], where did he go?” I enjoy running and jumping along the cool (but surprisingly not that cold) path back toward the hut. The path opens up on a dramatic view of a large cliff in the distance to my right, a dark night sky above with just a few stars, and a crevasse between me and the hut. Everything is shades of blue and white. The front wall is gone so I can see directly in. Oppa-sensei and Senior Ecuador are practicing a shadow puppet show. They both wear long curved claws on their index and middle fingers, and make them dance while hunched over, facing left. This is what the dramatic lighting was meant for, and it works perfectly. It’s clear they’ve forgotten me, and I’m hurt. I start moving toward the hut again to ask them why they left me at the edge of the cliff when a text wakes me up. It’s 12:24am.
3/4/14- Sneaking naps (nightmare)
I’m on a motorized fishing boat with a few people. We’re leaving a very small harbor, and we’ve been told to go this way, not that way, too shallow, it’s important. We’re all tense. We end up in some canals that border private homes, carrying the boat that has now shrunk to the size of a bumper-car. We decide we have to abandon the boat and start sneaking through back yards looking for homes to squat in. We’re attempting an escape, but we’re all exhausted. We’ve been running a long time. We just need to hide and get some sleep, then sneak around until we find the next hiding/sleeping house.
We slip into a few houses and catch naps successfully, then enter another decorated in a very 1970’s style (wood panels on walls, brown shag carpet, yellowish linoleum, etc.) just as the owner leaves. It has stairs that open up in the middle of the living room floor leading down into a basement. I’m curious and a little confused, so I go downstairs to find another, older woman still there (the mother of the woman who just left?) standing and turning away from me behind a desk. I sprint upstairs noiselessly to warn my comrades that we need to leave, but the woman is already upstairs, having taken a second set of stairs up to the kitchen. She’s panicked to find two strangers (three once I show up) in her home and is yelling at them fearfully. I relax my face, make my voice low and soothing, and extend my hands toward her palm down. I tell her, “We’re not here to hurt anyone, I promise. Please.” She calms down immediately and says, “Just leave, get out of my house.” I’m weirdly hurt by her reaction, given my tenderness, but she’s right of course, so we leave.
Eventually we find another house, similarly dated, but more vertical inside, cramped. I don’t like it. It looks difficult to escape from if we’re caught, but we’re all so tired we decide to stay. We do a sweep of the house (standard operating procedure) to make sure no one’s home. Melissa takes the upstairs and leaves lights on, which is against procedure. I’m annoyed, and go upstairs to shut them off. On the way, I pass a doorway (right off the stairs) with the flickering blueish light of a TV peeking through the bottom against more shag carpeting. Some small part of me registers that there might be someone home after all, but the others have already settled in without disturbing them, so there’s a chance we could get some sleep and sneak out without them ever knowing. I get to the top of the stairs where the last light was left on, step into the room, and turn it off just as I realize that this is a nursery; there is a baby in the crib under the light, and it might’ve been left on intentionally, not by a member of my team. I leave it off, but feel guilty that the child might wake up disoriented without it.
I go back downstairs and jam the door of our bedroom shut. Everyone is already tucked in, but still awake in very narrow beds that line the walls two high, like a naval ship or a prison. I lie down and hear a drum (thoom… thoom… thoom…). It’s obviously large, and the pounding is slow and regular. I hear a boy’s voice (he can’t be older than 10) in the room next door call out for his mother. He doesn’t sound distressed, but a bit annoyed, maybe just attention-starved.
He says, “Moooooooom… My eye opens in the shower!”
From the opposite side of the hall, next to our room, the mother opens her door and screams back, “SLEEP it!” as if to say ‘shut it!’ before slamming her door. She is furious. The boy repeats himself, clearly numb even to that level of fury. She yells something else from behind her closed bedroom door, then shouts, “Turn up your sleep drum!” The drumming, clearly coming from his room now, becomes torturously loud. This is the mother’s way of dealing with a child that won’t sleep at night. I’m terrified of her and what else she might be doing to her son. I keep waiting to hear the baby cry, but it doesn’t. My team lies awake with the lights on in our room while the drumming fills my mind and makes me go temporarily blind. I wake up on my left side, and glance around, hoping desperately to be awake. I look toward my bedroom door, and there are several large, expensive-looking coat hooks attached to the wall and door that shouldn’t be there. I realize I might still be dreaming, and think, “Please no, please no, wake up, that shouldn’t be there.” I blink and sit up a little to face the door fully, and the coat hooks disappear. I’m alone in my room, and everything is as it should be. I exhale without realizing I’d been holding my breath, and cry quietly. Two hours pass before I sleep again.
10/10/13- Dino battle
Last night I dreamed that I battled a rusting (but otherwise organic and very real) dinosaur inside a haunted house. I picked up a giant hunk of brick/cinder block/building in my right hand and, while riding the T-Rex-shaped dinosaur, swung this giant hunk of stone against the animal’s rust-red body and head, again and again, until the exposed ribs cracked and fell to the ground, shedding oxidized dust as they crumbled under the weight of my weapon. Finally, the beast fell with a groan, and a epic victory cry ripped from my mouth, teeth bared, as I stood on the carcass, weapon in hand, full of joy and death.
4/5/13- Buffalo trek
I’m on a hike with family in a canyon with pillars of stone (natural). We’re having a great time. They offer for me to drive some kind of dusty blue, kinda beat-up muscle car and I accept. We’re in the bottom of a small canyon zooming around when suddenly there are buffalo galloping in the opposite direction that we have to dodge. They’re not afraid of us. Suddenly we’re all amazed and frightened to see a giant buffalo the size of an apartment building, seven stories tall, massive, and slightly grayer than the other buffalo, which are minuscule in comparison. It is obviously ancient and more sentient than the other, significantly smaller buffalo. The giant buffalo is thundering right toward us, and we’re rushing at it at 80mph. Neither of us can decide which way to go to avoid each other, so I choose left while everyone (including myself) in the car yells aaaaaagh! We avoid it and laugh, relieved and excited to have seen it. Then we’re out of the car, and I’m trying to take a photo of it as it gallops around a turn in the canyon.
We hike some more and reach a lake of emerald green/blue water. It’s beautiful. Nearby is a fox hiding under a rock with a harness on its mouth and body (a riding harness?). I’d like to take it off but he’s scared of us. He leaves his hiding place, walks near me slowly, watching me carefully just long enough for me to take a photo, then takes off.
I walk over to the edge of the water where everyone is getting ready for the next leg of our journey. There is no gradual decline into the water, the land just ends, and deep water meets it at my feet. Everyone is suddenly counting down from three, and I’m not sure what they’re going to do until I get shoved into the water, calling out ‘wait, wait!’ because I’m not sure if that’s where they’re going too, and I don’t want to get wet if they’re not coming in with me.
We swim across the beautiful water. It must be fresh, there is no taste. I look up to see my dad behind me. He kicks off his pants because they’re weighing him down, then realizes that we have long hike still ahead of us after the swim, and says, “Oh shit,” and dives after them. I yell, “Go dad!” and laugh, but he’s already under and can’t hear me. He successfully retrieves them.
I’m holding my iPhone aloft so it won’t get wet this whole time, and am wearing thick tan gloves. I decide that it’ll be easier to propel myself with my legs instead of just my left hand, and lie back and kick. It’s hard, but I keep it up, and soon we’re at the other shore. I sit down on a rock on the other side of a dirt road, and watch my family (some Japanese side members including both cousins and their mom) struggle over large rocks to get out of the water. I pull out my camera (an older, white model than the one I have) and get a great shot of them all getting pulverized by a particularly large wave. They shriek and laugh. I am still not over how beautiful the water is. I have never seen anything like it.
We start walking up the road (basically back the way we swam, in reverse) at a slight incline and see, across the water, construction going on. The lake is manmade, and there are fancy houses being built with entrances at the current water level, though it will go down significantly in the future, then back up again, in a cycle.
We hike some more, and I look back to see a massive archway being built at the entrance of the canyon. Inside the archway, taking up a lot of room, is a giant, crouched cat, a panther I think, with teeth bared. It looks like it’s under construction, like the houses and the archway, but then it turns around and clings to the side of the arch way, and freezes there, as if posing. I’m shocked, and ask my dad about it. “Well, they bred horde and horde, and added some mechanics and there you go.” “And that won’t go on a rampage and destroy everything around here anytime soon,” I say sarcastically. Dad wobbles his head and says something like “it might.”
Then it’s nighttime and our journey is over. We’re in the countryside, foot-high deep green grass everywhere, a farmhouse nearby, lit up and full of people making happy noise. I’m watching the stars with my sister, and we are happy.
4/23/12- Necklace chase
I visited China with my family again. From the plane we could see islands of every color, yellow, green, red, blue, purple. Sister and I took photos out the window. Then I was on a tropical beach watching locals and vacationers like me reenact some ritual involving the rapid recitation of of some ancient language (quite impressive), and coordinated dancing in minimal costumes. Then came the part of the ritual where a man has to chase a woman around the beach to snatch away the amber-beaded necklace she held aloft. I grabbed one and joined in. The man playfully chasing me grabbed my jacket, which I slipped out of and became topless, but grabbed again on another pass. Then I was hanging out with friends on the beach and found the amber necklace. I wondered where the man was, and woke up smiling (and late for work).
I was a pirate with black sails and all. Our crew is proud of our ship’s unique look until we sail through a thick mist to find a dozen other ships about to engage in battle with similarly black sails, some with glowing red eyes on them. We sail away and come upon some shark men who use their heads to bang on gongs on what look like Maya ruins. Then I’m a shapeshifter, I became a bobcat, and get attacked by a tiger who smiles and speaks. Whenever it lunges at me I jump straight in the air out of fright, and avoid his attacks each time.
I was getting married in a Buddhist ceremony in a church. I walk in the back and sit near the back. Even though I’m in a simple wedding dress, I’m basically anonymous in the crowd. A song starts and I don’t have a hymnal. Someone nearby offers to share briefly. The flower girl runs around finding a lavender bag and “treasure,” which I also have to do (an integral part of the ceremony), and if I can’t find them, I can’t get married. I’m called to the front to sing a song with a young girl. She stands and walks to the front, and I give her a head start so I know where to go (I’m clueless). We get to a mic and she starts to sing from a sheet of music she won’t really let me look at. I can read the music well enough and hum along until the song ends, at which point I laugh in to the mic at the absurdity of the situation. I find my family at a huge table near the front of the church, and go sit with them. Next to me is a shining silver tiara with a few sparkling diamonds on the top. I’m about to ask who gets to wear it (I want to so badly), when a female relative I don’t recognize asks, “What does the ring look like?” I realize she’s asking about the engagement ring which, for some reason, I’ll be receiving during the ceremony instead of a wedding ring, and realize I have no idea what it looks like, which is unusual. I say, “I don’t know, do you?” My future husband, a handsome white guy, shows up briefly before being pulled away by the testy priest who needs him to bathe in some ceremonial bathtubs in the back.
-Some magic goes wrong perhaps, and nasty dogs keep appearing on sister’s bed, growing more and more normal, but still wrong.
-Arrival at party, midget riding pig falls off, shrinks, pig tries to eat him, I rescue, splash water because he looks hot, just makes him mad, attacks me while I hold still-shrunken midget
-Thief, going up and down confusing but fun stairways, trying to steal money from an old soup can. The guy we’re trying to steal from gets tossed the can, but I catch it deftly, and ask for a small portion of it instead of stealing it all.
Dreams from Belize
My mother and sister have me cornered in the kitchen in the house I grew up in (near the toaster). Whenever I try to slip out of the corner, they calmly slash at me to keep me there. They’re smiling and laughing at my futile escape attempts.
Pool of Parts
I’m in a swimming pool that has been dyed red with the blood of freshly hacked-up body parts that have been put there (or maybe they’re swimmers who got chopped up before they could escape). I’m attempting to get out of the pool, but my mom, sister and dad keep pushing me back in with long wooden poles.
10/7/07- Dead dad
I’m at the Windsor house with a bunch of people who are work friends. Two of them (one is Javier who just started work at LACMA irl) start to fight, throwing punches. People go to stop them. One of the fighting guys (Javier I think?) starts fighting with everyone else. Somehow they’re using magic to fight but no wands, no lights. Then my dad is fighting some man with magic in a hallway that has windows that look out onto the backyard from Windsor. It doesn’t look like him, but it’s him (his head looks like an egg with a face, but indistinct). Suddenly he grabs his head with his left hand, then trips a little, then crumples to this left, onto the ground under the window. He is dead. The man he was fighting runs away, past me (I was watching from behind him).
The LACMA shop has been transported to Paul’s and my apartment (though there is no merchandise, and very little has changed in the apartment). I’m crying, deeply but sporadically. A man and a woman want to see the shop, so I let them into the glass door of the building, up the stairs, where the man says, “I could use a new suit,” implying that he plans on buying one at the stop in apt. #339. I say something like “Well you’ll love what we have.” We get to the apartment, I open the door a little and see Paul standing there. I realize we’re not ready for guests (since there’s no merchandise), and I ask the man and woman to wait just one minute, knowing full well that I’ve just left them to wait until they give up and leave. Paul busies himself with something, moving around the apartment. I’m still crying in small bursts of deep, painful emotion. I’m trying to think of how to tell him my father is dead. I’m not sure if I said it, I don’t think so.
I woke up and cried. Reminding myself that he’s alive didn’t help. After a little while, I got up and went to Paul at his computer. He asked if I wanted to quest together, saw my face and asked, “What’s wrong?” I burst into tears. After he rubbed my back for a while, I told him about my dream. He promised he would never die.
I’m still a little down, a little weepy. It’s 12:45 at LACMA. The store is slow as usual.
9/22/07- Bug leg
I’m cleaning my right leg, kneeling, gently rubbing the front of my lower leg with a wet cloth. There are thick, short hairs sticking out around and above my ankle (I’m apparently just trying out the Nair I had just gotten in reality). It’s working, and I keep rubbing, but stop when I see something else sticking out of my leg: it’s the chompers from a beetle. They’re yellow where they come out of my leg, then slowly fade to orange and then black at the sharp end. I wonder how I’m going to get them out of my leg.
9/21/07- Japanese Queen
I’m in a Japanese building, simple, with paper walls and plain mat floors. I’m wearing a plain kimono, a man’s style, grayish (small b/w pattern). There are what must be scribes writing at low tables, seated on the floor along each side of the medium-sized room. A high-ranking attendant is arguing with me about something unimportant. My responses are calm, clever, and playful. A few scribes while while they work, overhearing the conversation. I leave him in the main room, and enter another that runs alongside the main room. It’s long, narrow, and inexplicably curved. A man waits for me there, it’s Paul, but not, like from a past life. There’s a mutual affection between us. I’m wearing nothing but my robe (which falls to the floor noiselessly), and gold bracelets that span from my wrists almost to my elbows and gold bands on both ankles. We approach each other, the details are blurry, I think we make love.