Monday, August 30, 2010

The Pig Mask

I dreamed last night that I was about to be graduating from college again. I escorted an old lady to her mailbox, and while I was there I decided to check on all of my stuff for graduation, which was in an oversized mailbox measuring about 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet.

Then I was helping the cast of Parks and Rec put on a play for children called the Pig Mask. It involved an Easter Bunny that seemed vaguely reminiscent of Baby Jesus from a Nativity. But it was purple and talked in a really high pitched voice.

I opened an Easter egg, which contained shredded cheese rather than candy.

Some airheaded lady mistakenly thought that Mark Brendanawicz was gay, and so he persisted in making fun of her mistake throughout the rest of the dream.

I also dreamed that my wife and I discovered an additional closet in our home that we weren't previously aware of. This made us extremely happy, because we need more closet space.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aquatic Shopping

Little to report in dreams last night, sadly. I was in some kind of underwater department store wherein everything was connected by large catwalks. On account of the buoyancy afforded by the water, one could jump long distances from one catwalk to another. However, I was warned about doing this, because there was a large fish in the area that could potentially swallow anyone whole who tried it.

I tried to go upstairs and wound up on the second floor, which was much smaller in size than the first, consisting of only a single room. The way up to the third floor was closed at the moment, and for some reason, they wouldn't let people go back down to the first floor.

So everyone was just waiting.

Eventually, the area with the escalators changed into a wooden pier at a shoreline, and I dreamed about two guys having a sword fight. It was like one of those fights you might find in a movie where the protagonist is obviously up against someone vastly his superior, but then toward the end he musters his determination and manages to defeat the villain despite the odds. These two guys kept going back and forth trying to maim each other, sticking knives through each other's ear lobes, cutting off each other's fingers, and so on. I think one of them may have been played by Orlando Bloom.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aliens and Robots and Pianos

So last night my dreams were pretty unremarkable, mostly just involving gunfights with aliens and robots. I mean, don't get me wrong. I enjoy that kind of dream action as much as the next guy, but it makes for pretty uninteresting reading in a blog, wouldn't you say?

It's pretty straightforward the way these dreams go.

Run, shoot, shoot, run, dodge, shoot, run, dive around corner, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, run, shoot, shoot, and so on...

I was battling aliens. And I mean the aliens from the movie Aliens. One of my teammates was a Predator. You know, like from Predator. So one could say that it was like an Aliens vs. Predator dream. But I never saw that movie. I never wanted to see it. Why am dreaming about this stuff?

There was, however, one pretty nice moment where I was standing on top of a door frame and shooting straight down into the head of the alien mother queen. She didn't like it very much.

An angry alien

"Walter was right about you," she said. I don't know who Walter is, but I think that he must have been another alien that I'd fought in another dream on an earlier night. They're conspiring against me.

Anyway, I awoke early this morning with only this to go on, so I went back to sleep hoping for something a bit more bloggable. What I got was more shooting, except this time with the Big Daddy robots from Bioshock.

A big daddy. Is this better or worse than aliens?

Run, shoot, shoot, run...

Back to sleep again, and this time I got something about helping the secretaries at a temp agency move their stuff from their old office into a new one. In particular, they had a baby grand piano that needed transporting. I could tell they were waiting for me to volunteer to move the piano myself, but I didn't want to do it unless they were going to pay me for the work. My services aren't free, darn it.

Come on, subconscious. I need some good dreams here. You know... good ones.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hotel Unacceptable

A young woman and I were traveling by boat down a river somewhere in a jungle, perhaps in Malaysia or India or another similar place. The woman was hardy and adventurous and looked something like Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

We came upon a little village or town situated beside this river, and after we decided to stop there to rest for the night, some of the villagers warned us about the proprietor of the only hotel in the area. I don't recall his name now, but from their descriptions of him he seemed to be a sort of Moriarty type character, a devious and dangerous man to be avoided if possible. Nevertheless, we wound up not only at his hotel, but in his very company, as he himself sought us out, evidently finding us to be very interesting travelers indeed.

Mr. Moriarty told us that he wished to be honest with us. The rooms in his hotel, he said, were quite dangerous places. Each room, according to the man we still did not trust, was fitted with a lethal trap, and only with quite precise caution could anyone survive the night. In particular, he warned us of a special class of device known as a milktrap.

We told him that we'd been assigned room number X (I no longer remember the exact number), and he immediately suggested that room number Y would be a better choice (again, I cannot recall the number). The milktrap in room X, he said, was especially deadly. Room Y, he said, though also being equipped with a milktrap of its own, was much less demanding of its inhabitants. We would have a much greater chance, he said, of survival.

So we were to stay in the room of Mr. Moriarty's choosing.

In the interest of displaying true hospitality, Moriarty decided to show us the room personally. Now, upon viewing the room, I was unsure of whether this establishment was a hotel at all or if it was rather a prison, indeed, a veritable dungeon. The room's walls were of dank greenish stone, fitted only with a torch on either side of the room to light with dim orange glow the unsure pillars extending up from the dark pool of water far below to form a haphazard floor, whereupon we stood with ever growing anxiety.

Moriarty waved us over to a niche at one end of this depressing display of meager accommodation. Here, he informed us, was the milktrap.

The device was in two parts. There was a large gas engine or generator of some kind fixed to the floor and standing at about waist height. Attached to this engine was a series of glass or hard plastic reservoirs connected by tubes stair-stepping upwards and away into the darkness of the chimney above. Moriarty wanted to light the flame of the engine. My companion said that she was afraid that this would ignite gas in the room and cause an explosion, but the shady proprietor insisted that there was no chance of this happening.

The man activated the engine, and a little flame appeared, shooting out just an inch or two from the top of the device. Slowly, I noticed, milk began to travel up through the tubes, filling up the reservoirs with steady equality, despite the variation in their vertical positions.

The pillars began to shift with extremely subtle motions. They seemed to move about the room, and yet simultaneously their positions did not seem to change at all.

At this point, Mr. Moriarty confessed that he really did not understand the milktraps at all, neither their internal mechanisms, nor their overall function.

Suddenly, I witnessed before me an array of silver spoons, and I heard a voice in my head, saying, "Fill thy bonnie circle with my ground."

I could make no sense of this statement at first, but upon pondering it, I began to understand, or I thought I did.

I recognized the voice as my own, and I began to suspect that Moriarty intended to use the milktrap to transform my companion and myself into silver spoons. The bonnie circle would be formed by Moriarty's thumb and forefinger, and the ground referred to in the statement would be the shafts of the spoons.

The milktrap, I believed, had rendered me slightly more willing for this to be my fate.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mass Effect and Bubbly Tea

I think perhaps I have played a little too much Mass Effect of late. Or maybe not enough. Not sure. Last night I dreamed that I was battling mercenaries in some kind of space station, and Garrus Vakarian was ostensibly helping me by sniping from a high point in the corner of the room. Realistically, however, he was doing nothing, leaving me to do all the fighting on my own, wielding a sniper rifle myself, of course, and shooting all of the mercenaries in the head.

Garrus Vakarian, expert "sniper"
Now, I've long felt that it would be a great addition to Mass Effect 3 if we finally got to have squad members representing some of the "less important" species in the Mass Effect universe. It would be really cool to save the galaxy fighting side by side with volus and hanar. So perhaps it should come as no surprise to me that one of the mercenaries against whom I was fighting was a great lumbering elcor.

An elcor, great lumbering slowpoke
Of course, I shot him in the head, too, and that was that.

I don't really remember much else from my dreams last night. Just that at some point I was searching in a grocery store built like a supply bunker into the ground for some new kind of carbonated green or lemon tea developed by Coca-Cola. Despite the fact that I couldn't find any, I wound up spending inordinate amounts of time waiting in line to check out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Subterranean Ether

I was visiting my parents' house the other day, and present there was a young man whom I had never met. He was upstairs in my brother's room, and as a lowly member of the military he was working on a puzzle as a part of his duties. As he worked, I spoke with him a little bit and tried to understand why he was in my parents' house. Eventually he became quite frustrated with his puzzle and gave up.

"The military is coming to get us," he said. "I'm getting out of here."

He left without another word.

With nothing else to do, I took a look at his puzzle myself. It was a large rectangular case with a glass panel on the front side that allowed one to see a series of rows of tiles with various letters on them. The tiles were attached to long rods that extended from one side of the case to the other, and by manipulating the handles on either side of the case one could remove the tiles from these rods and move them to new positions on other rods. In this way, the young man had been trying to spell the word mayonnaise at the bottom of the case, although at the moment it read, "mo unaise."

I figured that I could finish what he had started, and so I moved the "o" right out of there and replaced it with an "a." I found a "y" and tried to move it into place, but upon doing so the tile split into four: XY, YX, XX, and YY. Frustrated, I moved those out again and tried another "y." Same thing.

Around that time, I glanced out my parents' window and noticed that there was a large silver van arriving. I knew that this was the military that the young man had assured me were on their way, and I also knew that I had to get out of there. So I grabbed my things, mostly a stack of books and papers, and made for the back door.

I tried going around the west side of the house, but after opening the gate I saw that the soldiers were already getting out of the van and would spot me if I went that way. So I went back the other way and through a large arched gateway into the alley beside the house.

Proceeding southward down the alley away from the building, I glanced over my shoulder to ensure that the soldiers were not there. I continued past a small golf course and then a desert enclosed by large sandstone walls.

Eventually, I found a cushion evidently made into a makeshift bed by a hobo. So I lay down there and set down my things beside me. Looking back, I saw a hobo coming and immediately stood to apologize.

"No, it's okay," he said, waving his hand dismissively. "During the daytime I don't need it."

So I stayed put.

In a short while, I noticed the silver van coming down the alley, so I hid beside a corner and waited for them to pass.

Of course, they did pass, and I observed that luckily none of the soldiers inside were being quite observant enough to look around the corner, and so they didn't see me. Unluckily, they stopped a short ways down and got out to search the area. I clearly could not escape without being seen.

So I did the logical thing and lay down again, pretending to be a sleeping hobo.

I felt that my performance was really top notch, that even if they were to find me there, they would be fooled and I would be free. I snored loudly, lending further credibility to my charade.

The soldiers did indeed approach, and upon examining me they discovered my perfectly groomed fingernails.

"This is no hobo," they said.

Having seen through my act, the soldiers sent me away, back to my parents' house. Strangely, they allowed me to return on my own without an escort or guard. So I decided to travel back there by cutting through the desert I had passed earlier.

Making my way across the sand and amongst an array of large sandstone blocks, I came upon a woman with blonde hair off to my left. She was leaning against two of the large blocks, which had fallen and were lying lengthwise rather than upright.

As I approached, she smiled without really smiling, lending slight pronunciation to the subtle wrinkles on her face. She was neither a young woman nor an old one, but I felt that she was important.

"What is the meaning of all of this?" I asked her.

I don't remember now what it was that she said to me. Not the exact words. I believe that she said something about how the meaning was up to me. Then again, that might be what I only hope she had said, just a subsequent fabrication or reconstruction of my mind, created only in retrospect from out of the ether.

~   ~   ~ 

What is the meaning of all of this? Indeed. Who can be sure?

My name is Luke, and the narrative that just ended was a dream that I had last night. There are details that are gone, and some of the details that appear above have almost certainly changed from initial dream to subsequent recollection. But what can I do about that? Perhaps it doesn't really matter.

Subterranean Ether is a blog in which I record my dreams. I have been in the habit of posting snippets, mere snapshots of my dreams, as status updates on my Facebook Wall, but at some point the idea dawned on me to record them more completely in a blog.

So here it is.