Monday, September 20, 2010

Granny (and Some Burst Dreams)

It's all very hazy now. I can't remember how I came to be in this place, but for some reason, it's important that I stay.

I can't remember why I stay. There's nothing preventing me from going outside. Indeed, I go out for fresh air often.

The place is obviously an old abandoned orphanage. There aren't any children here any longer. It's completely empty except for me.

No, that's not true. There is one child, a small South Asian girl, under my protection. I don't think she can leave. Maybe she can, but she won't.

I think she is why I am still here.

She talks often about the old woman who used to be in charge of this place. Apparently, the kids used to call her Granny. I don't remember if I've specifically asked her anything about the old woman. She simply volunteers the information. Mostly I don't listen anyway. I already know everything I need to know about her.

She is evil.

She is coming.

I'm trying to persuade the girl to leave with me, but she doesn't seem to want to go.

"This place is dangerous," I say.

She doesn't answer me. She only talks about Granny.

She does leave the building with me sometimes when I go outside for air. She seems happy enough in this miserable place. But I can't leave her here. She doesn't understand. She thinks Granny means her well. Maybe she does. But I can't let her stay here. She mustn't be here when the old woman comes back.

Every time we go back inside, the girl shuts the door. She always leaves it unlocked for Granny, just in case she returns. I never lock the door. I'm sure it's dangerous, but I intend to get out of here before the old woman gets back, anyway.

We're sitting outside on the porch. I'm talking to the girl, trying to get her to focus. Finally, she seems to be hearing me.

"We need to leave this place," I tell her.

"Why?" she says.

"There are things you don't know."

"About Granny?" she asks with an innocent smile.

I'm not sure what to say now. She doesn't need to know everything.

"Well," I say at last, "it's my job to make sure you're safe. You won't be safe here any longer."

She seems to be thinking.

"I need to take you with me," I say.

Reluctantly, she agrees to leave.

We go back inside to gather our things. This time she enters first, and I shut the door behind us. My muscles are working automatically. I lock the door.

As I'm crossing the living room, the girl is already upstairs. I'm gathering some things for the trip when I realize that this is the first time the door has been locked since I arrived.

Suddenly, I understand.

The old woman has been here the whole time. She knows that I've locked the door. She knows that I want to keep her out.

She is angry.

I turn and fly to the door to unlock it in the desperate hope that it might appease the witch, but I find that though the bolt is thrown, the door is ajar. A mere sliver of the light of dawn shines through. And then the sliver swells and the light fills the room, blinding me.

Then I see her. The old woman has finally revealed herself in the doorway. Her skin bears the pallor of asphyxia. Her hair is of the exact same color, long and stringy, floating stiffly behind her like shards of glass. Her face is short, but very, very round, and protruding from its center is a profoundly long and pointy nose. Her back is hunched over dramatically so that she stands somewhere between three and four feet in height, though upright she would stand about five. In her left hand she is holding what appears to be the carcass of a kangaroo. In her right hand she is holding an enormous three pronged fork.

This, I understand, is meant for me.

I'm not having this. I have a long invisible lance in my hands, and I make good use of it, stabbing her in the gut again and again and again. She is bloodied, but she still comes at me, apparently unphased. I retreat backwards and continue to maim her.

This continues for a while, and finally the witch seems to have had enough. She declares, "I'm resigning! It's no longer good for the kids anyway."

Suddenly there is a red Cadillac outside with the steering wheel on the right-hand side. The driver is a young man who looks like a greaser straight out of the 1950s. In the passenger seat on the left side sits a young woman that I understand to be a marginally famous South Asian film actress, though I have no idea what her name is.

The witch rides away in the back of this vehicle, and that's that.

I go upstairs to find the girl.

~  ~  ~

I don't know what happens next. I woke up. This dream gave me chills, although I lay in bed for a little while thinking about how I would alter the details in a film adaptation to make the dream more terrifying.

I closed my eyes again and I could see the Cadillac's skeleton as though the car's skin and muscle were invisible or removed. The skeleton was formed by long, curved blades like katanas. I've often thought about Ubiquitous Trees* made from blades. They seem to me especially deadly if they appear everywhere at once out of nowhere, simultaneously gouging anything that is anywhere. This was not a U-Tree. It was merely a skeleton, the foundation upon which my subconscious mind had built up a more detailed dream-entity. As my mind was demolishing this particular entity, I returned to the ether and witnessed its skeleton, sort of like observing the wooden framework revealed by tearing away drywall.

I wrote down the details of this dream and then returned to sleep. I drifted wearily in and out of the ether for the remainder of the night, experiencing a variety of burst dreams. These included:
  • Being lost at a new school. My class was starting soon, but my schedule was not in my backpack.
  • Lying in bed, writing down the details of a dream. I realized that I was dreaming and decided to do some stream of consciousness writing while still dreaming. I distinctly remember writing down some random words strung together incoherently. These were structural words like "because," "after," "in," and "the." Then, I wrote down, "there's a place for me in Heaven, no matter what you think," followed by scribbling frantically, and then, "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD," whereupon I woke again.
  • Running into one of my professors. I asked him if I could still do an Independent Study. He said that I couldn't. The policies had changed and now disallowed what I wanted to do.
  • Waiting in a queue of cars, each one being accosted in turn by a very, very shady looking carjacker with a knife. When I was second in line, I resolved to floor the gas pedal and escape when he tried to approach my window. But when he approached, and I tried to floor it, I realized that the car was backwards, I was in the back seat facing backwards, and there were no pedals. I scrambled for the driver's seat as the carjacker started scratching the window with his knife.
 Amongst others that I must have forgotten.

~  ~  ~

* Please see the end of The Ubiquitous Shredded Chicken Tree for more on U-Trees.


Eternal night veiled the campus at the University I was visiting. Whether this is a natural feature of the surrounding area or a man-made one to accommodate the vampire population of the student body, I don't know, but the night-time that engulfed me was forever.

I was attempting to register an account at the campus computer lab in order to use the Internet, but the process of registering required that I complete a quiz about the points scored in the most recent baseball game that had been played on the campus. I had to identify which players from both teams scored in which innings (strangely, called pads in this area) and the final score at the end of the game. I had to do this in the form of an essay.

Needless to say, this is a very difficult thing to accomplish without having watched the game, taking notes as it progressed. I had not done so. And so I sought out the local scoreboard, which kept such records until another game was to be played. I started trying to take notes on when different players scored, but it was very difficult to read it as the information was scattered around, apparently at random, and every time I looked from the scoreboard to my paper and back to the scoreboard, everything had changed completely. The only things that were consistent were the letters "NMC" at the top.

Frustrated, I went to a nearby car wash and got my car washed. No one was there. I simply helped myself to the equipment and did it myself.

I went to class, but right before I entered, I realized that I was naked. Luckily, the blinds in the classroom were closed, so the other students inside could not see me. I hurriedly put on my clothes and ran away.

I went back to the car wash with my wife and kids. We entered the washing area, but we had no car. We had ordered personal washes. The machines sprayed us with water and soap and got our clothes all soapy and wet. I think I was screaming during this whole ordeal.

I tried to go use the drying machine, but the controls were too confusing. There were two big buttons, one of them labeled, "load." The other button's label was too faded to read. There were also six smaller buttons in two rows with just single letters on them. The bottom row were N, M, and C. The labels on the buttons of the top row were also too faded to read. There was also an unlabeled small red button.

I watched another customer dry off with another machine. He pushed some of these buttons and the machine dried him off.

So I tried the top button with the label worn off, and the airflow that came out of the machine had specks of spit in it. I realized then that the label had read, "Camel."

I tried "Load," but the same thing happened.

I asked the attendant for help, who looked at my receipt and informed me that no drying service is included with personal washes. She informed me that you have to get a car wash to dry. It was at this point that I realized that I was already dry anyway.

I told the attendant that I had used the machines earlier. She told me that they had been closed at that time.

"But I used it!" I said.

"The machines still work," she said, "but we were technically closed."

Whatever, I thought.

I returned to the baseball scoring table again, but this time it was really crowded, which made it ever more difficult to get the information I needed.

I was getting really frustrated.

Checking In

All right. I've gotten my Internet connection up again in my new place, and I'm all set to go. Of course, as I had suspected, my dreams from Friday night are lost to the ether forever and ever. I have no idea whatsoever what I dreamed about. I am pretty sure that I did not dream about spaghetti, chocolate or otherwise, but that's about all that I know. Whatever I dreamed about, it must not have been very noteworthy, because I didn't bother to write any of it down. Of course, I was busy picking up U-Haul trucks and moving couches and chairs and tables and boxes and stuff, and so I really didn't have time to write anything down in any case. So it might have been slightly interesting.

But it's gone forever! So nevermind.

My move was pretty uneventful. So nevermind about that too.

What else to talk about? Um... Well, I beat my high score in Balloon Fight! That's pretty important stuff, isn't it? I was at about 520,000 previously. This time I reached about 580,000. Someday, I'll record a video of myself playing Balloon Fight, and I'll post it on here for everyone to watch and be amazed at my skills.

I have some dreams for you from the last two nights, but let's give them their own posts, shall we?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh, by the Way...

I won't be using the Internet for a little while on account of moving. I won't be able to make another blog entry until probably late tomorrow afternoon/evening, and by then the details of whatever I dream about tonight will have changed a lot. So I'll try not to have any dreams at all tonight, but usually that's not really up to me. I'll probably have some awesome dream about making chocolate spaghetti or something, but by the time I have my Internet connection back up, it'll be regular old non-chocolate spaghetti, and what's the point of blogging about that?

I just thought I should say something so that all you 300,000 readers will not be clamoring for a new entry tomorrow morning. Why don't you go write your own blogs!?

Carbon Copy

Once again, very few details remain of my dreams. Just about all that I remember is that I handed a two dollar bill to some money changer or some such person, who examined it and gave me back $778. He gave me a seven hundred dollar bill, a seventy-seven dollar bill, and a one dollar bill. The seven hundred was extremely thin and translucent like carbon copy paper. I was extremely pleased.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Throwaways

Only three things remain from my dreams last night:

  • A rollercoaster that I was about to ride that was cancelled on account of no one else wanting to ride it.
  • An HR rep who was very rude with me and who... wanted... fish...    ...    ...I think?
  • April from Parks and Recreation. She turned out to be kind of a fantasy/RPG nut and had a whole tub full of old NES and SNES cartridges, including Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo III, in addition to a wide variety of other games I'd never heard of (and which probably don't actually exist).

That's all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mass Effect 2 and Death by Pizza

Night before last, I had another Mass Effect dream, kind of like this one. I think my subconscious was trying to remind me that the new downloadable content has been available for about a week. I had forgotten. Anyway...

This time around, both my wife and I were members of a large group of mercenaries, and we had been hired to rush into some base and take out the jerks who had taken it over.

So I told my wife that I'd go in front, and that she should stay behind me. We rushed in, and I took cover behind a small wall, but then I turned around. Somehow, I knew that there was a sniper way up high on a ledge above us and a little behind us. The cover that I was hiding behind didn't protect me from that angle, so I pulled out my own sniper rifle and shot him in the head.

Things got hazy here, but I ended up way up on that ledge, which was simply part of a higher floor in the base, and I was sneaking around corners, shooting the jerks as they appeared from around other corners.

Later, we were being briefed on another mission at a mine set in the side of a steep hill/cliff face. We were told that the builders didn't know what they were doing. Indeed, right before our eyes, the holographic model of the whole mine base collapsed and fell off the cliff.

When we got to this mine, my wife rushed to the lowest point of a tall shaft and started sniping the electronic eyes located at the top. Then some gas leaks appeared, and I told her to get out of there. She did, and we were both fine.

Then, last night, I dreamed that my wife and I were in line at the commons at the University of Redlands, from which we both graduated with our undergraduate degrees. We wanted some kind of new pizza that we'd heard about, but when we got there, we learned to our horror that the meat on the pizza was made from a particular citizen who had proven himself a subversive member of society.

Needless to say, we didn't want it any longer. I think we got some plain ol' pepperoni instead.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


In the near future, after our precariously balanced civilization of comfort and individualism has succumbed to the ravages of nuclear war, we will find ourselves desperately trying to survive and rebuild within a tribal society of raiders and looters. There will be no iPhones or iPads or wi-fi networks or anything at all that allows you instantly to get step by step directions from Fallbrook to Brawley.

It will not be complete anarchy. There will still be rulers of sorts. They'll call themselves whatever they want--chieftains, sheiks, kings--but no one will have any greater rightful claim to power than any other. Muscle will matter a great deal more than it does now. Intellect will not appear to matter any longer, although this will be an illusion. The real leaders will still be those with brains, but it will be all the more necessary to cultivate more immediate forms of personal protection.

At least, this is the way it will be where I end up.

When I arrive in the community where I eventually flourish, the local ruler will call himself a King. His Queen will already be dead by the time I come onto the scene. How she has died, I will not at first know, though I expect that sooner or later that detail, presumably an important one, will become clear.

In this community, like every other, all of the men and boys will care only about practicing their fisticuffs and wrestling and occasionally their trash talking. I will be the single solitary exception. Some of the other men will attempt to take advantage of me.

They will wish they hadn't.

I will belong to the brainy minority. I'll spend my time observing the others to find their vulnerabilities. I'll search for ways to circumvent the immediate need for muscle. I'll make them understand that though my frame is slender and my demeanor makes robbery tempting, I am not to be trifled with.

I will also understand on some rudimentary level that the extreme winds are produced as a direct or indirect side effect of the radiation from the war. I will not understand the details of why this is, but I'll understand enough to know that it can be reversed.

I will find a long red blanket in the wilderness. The strong winds will seem to think that it is a sail. I'll let the wind take the blanket from me, and miraculously it will return directly to me with another blanket in tow. This one will be at least four times my own body length. Why the men of the future will determine to make blankets so much longer than they are at present, I do not understand now, nor will I understand it later.

I will go inside the campsite with my blankets, and a lady of the King's court will try to take the longer one from me, but I'll wave her off, saying, "No, I've got it."

I will make my way around the group of boys practicing their fighting, rhythmically circling each other with fists clenched and chanting on their tongues like a song and dance from an age long gone but now returned, a dodo rising from the ashes of an eagle. I'll turn a blind eye to their absurdity. I'll understand the necessity of their foolishness. Every machine needs cogs and wheels.

I will stop at the entrance to the central keep. I'll listen at the door, for I'll suspect that the lady just inside is talking about me with one of my brothers. Satisfied that no foul play is afoot, I'll enter.

The King--he'll remind me of the King from the Wizard of Id--will ask for wood. The brawny men, obedient as they are, will bring him a heap of scrap lumber that they'll find scattered all over the wilderness. One man in particular, a large, bald, shirtless, hairy man, in fact a craftsman of some sort, will push the heap onto the central fire.

A cloud of smoke will explode from the fire. A chessboard will emerge. Another miracle.

One of the rooks on the board will have a red tag that reads, "Private." The men will try to touch it, but it will evade their grasp, darting footlessly about the board, between pawns, along the lines dividing rank and file, outside the boundaries. No one will be able to seize it.

I will approach and perform another miracle of my own. I will take the rook in my hand.

I will not be surprised or caught off my guard. The King will be angry. I'll see it coming.

"I will give it to you," I'll say, offering the rook to him. He won't hear me in his fury.

"I will give it to you," I'll say again. But again he won't hear.

It won't matter. The final miracle is still to come.

The departed Queen will coalesce from wisps of smoke and hover over the chessboard.

"No," she'll say, "it belongs to me." She'll challenge the King to a game of chess. He'll approach the chessboard to defend himself, but his time will soon come to an end.

Why will the rook be subject to me? I won't understand it at first. All I'll understand is that I am something special, that there is something extraordinary and terrible about me. The others will fear me, and I'll even come to fear myself. They'll begin to call me King. This, I'll understand, is and always was my destiny.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Assorted Throwaway Dreams

The night before last I dreamed that I was Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years. The family and I were sitting at the dining room table, and Karen was complaining about something, although I can't remember what it was.

Last night, I dreamed that I was setting up my equipment for some kind of talent show or competition or something. I was going to play a CD of a piece of music that I had written, and I was quite sure that I'd win the $250,000 prize. My only real competition in this competition was this guy who looked like he must have been a member of the royalty of Yemen or Jordan or some such place.

But then I realized that the CD I was putting into the CD player was not my music at all, but rather that of Matt Glickstein, an old peer from my days as a music student. He was the only other person in my class with the same major as me, Music Composition. Now that I think about it, I don't think it would be fair to win the contest by playing his music. But at this point the contest was forgotten anyway, and I simply told Matt, who was suddenly present, that I really liked his album.

Later, Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock set up a fun house with colorful rubber bouncy walls and floors that allowed people to jump really high and far. Mr. Jordan was also on a throne in a prominant position in this fun house, from which he was throwing large inflatable rubber bouncy balls at the people in the main area. I don't remember what he was shouting as he was throwing the balls, but I'm sure it must have been pretty hilarious.

TJ: Get outta my fun house!

Later still, my wife and I were putting gas in our car and using squeegees to clean the bird poop off of the windshield and rear window. Suddenly, a small Asian girl, about nine or ten, appeared out of nowhere and starting helping us clean the windows. We thought it was very strange that she would do this. Then, she was in the back seat of the car, and we said, "She's stealing our stuff!" I told her to go home, and she wandered off.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Ubiquitous Shredded Chicken Tree

Last night, some old friends, some new friends, and I were playing some kind of weird game involving golf balls in the courtyard of a shadowy motel. This courtyard consisted of a peanut-shaped swimming-pool-like depression in the ground, which was covered in grass at the bottom rather than cement and was surrounded by an ordinary sidewalk. At the two central points in this depression were pits covered by grates consisting of only a few iron bars. One could easily fit through these bars if one tried to. These pits were quite deep, and at their bottoms we could see dark murky water. I jokingly referred to these pits as sewer foyers.

By accident, some of the golf balls fell into these sewer foyers. We knew, sadly, that they were lost forever.

I was planning to jump up to the sidewalk surrounding the grassy depression, as all my friends did, but I became aware that this area was a sort of "horror movie/game area, or something," and my curiosity held me there. I wanted to see just how scary the horrors of this area were.

So I stayed put.

I had the option of loading up different "levels" of this horror attraction, and so I tried some. The water level rose until it was at the brim of the grassy depression, and I was submerged up to my shoulders or so. Piranhas and sea monsters came up out of the water, but they didn't bother me, as I am tough.

I asked my younger brother what he felt the scariest level of this arena was, and he told me it was called Undermann.

So I loaded that one up.

Instead of sea monsters and piranhas, a young girl, probably around eight or nine years old, came up out of the water and started floating on her back at the center of the flooded depression in the ground. Her face was pale, and her eyes were off-white with no pupils. She tried to grab me and pull me down under the water, deeper and deeper, I was aware, into some unfathomable watery abyss.

I withdrew upwards in that dreamy sort of magical flight and escaped her grasp. But she leaped upwards after me without altering her horizontal position, though she turned as she rose, sometimes orienting herself face down, sometimes face up.

"You can't escape," she insisted. I believed her.

Nevertheless, I continued to withdraw higher and higher. Still, she continued to rise after me, reaching toward me.

"I'll pull 2,000 Bibles down, too!" she cried. I understood clearly that this was an extraordinary measure of evilness.

There was something in this whole ordeal that had to do with Islam. The girl, Islam, and fear were all connected somehow, though not in any obvious way of which I was aware.

As I drifted back to life from the world of the ether, there existed a Ubiquitous Tree. This is a tree-like structure, a thing with a root and branches but no ends to the branches. It extends forever in all directions, continually branching out and filling every part of the Universe. This particular Ubiquitous Tree was made out of soaking wet shredded chicken.

~  ~  ~


I've been reading a book called The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali. It is about the misconceptions that people have about Islam and Muslims in general, and particularly about how the sensational images of brutality and oppression that many Americans have come to associate with the religion do not actually represent most members of its community of believers. It's a very good book, I feel, that has taught me how little I actually know about Islam and the Qur'an.

I am really starting to like Islam a lot, though I am not becoming a Muslim at the present moment. I don't believe that I am presently capable of choosing my religious beliefs volitionally, but let's leave the discussion of that matter for another time, because it's large enough on its own to serve as a whole blog entry without a dream to report at all.

Islam is very interesting to me. It's amazing to me how backwards the misconceptions about the religion appear to be. Now I'm having dreams in which Islam appears to be taking form subconsciously in subtle ways. I'm pretty sure that this dream does, in fact, stem from my subconscious reaction to reading about Islam, although I'm not sure what it indicates. I'm very uncertain what it indicates.

The 2,000 Bibles bit seems suggestive of the moronic Qur'an burning that's planned for this weekend in Florida. Let me just go on record officially by saying that it's a stupid idea. It's a very, very, very stupid idea. While we're at it... If anyone is even reading this, if you see Muslims celebrating on 9/11, they are not celebrating the destruction of the twin towers. They are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which occurs at the end of Ramadan, which happens to fall by coincidence right around 9/11 this year. They are not being hateful! They are just grateful to God that they are once again allowed to eat and drink during the daytime!

The shredded chicken forming the U-Tree probably has something to do with the tacos that I had for dinner last night.

I'm kind of a weird person, I think.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


So... the fact of the matter is that my interesting dreaming seems to come and go in phases. For a while I'll have very vivid, fascinating dreams with long cohesive narratives. And then for a while I'll have boring dreams of which I might remember maybe a few details from one scene only.

Like last night... All I can remember is sitting in a classroom answering questions about what different signs mean.

"That one indicates an escalator," I said at one point.

This is an extremely boring thing to blog about.

I'm wondering whether I should only just blog when I actually have some interesting dreams or if I should expand the concept of this blog to include other things as well when necessary.