Show Biz....


Viswa Subbaraman has managed to arrange a performance of my work THE SNOW DRAGON in some strange town. Actually it appears not to be my opera at all, but a spoken word stage play adapted from it. What's more, he has arranged for me to play the role of the villain, Stark, myself, but as it happens I arrive at the theater on the opening night, with my parents and sisters and their companions, and I have to see them to their seats before we begin.

We discover that they are seated in Row B, but this row isn't part of the tiered, bleacher-like seats that are the main part of the theater, instead there are two rows sort of tucked under the diagonal shelter created by the angle of the bleachers. These two rows are directly above one another and each accessible by their own stairs, and have a mini-wall in front so each is equally a "front row" seat.

We have the tickets but for some reason, we need to pay for them even though we're already at the seats. My mother hands me a wad of 500 baht notes, and the seats are 1,100 each. I am desperately trying to count out the 500 notes to come up to a correct number of 1,100 seats with no change. At length I realize it will never work, and the play will start soon and I have to change, so I leave them and go to find my dressing room.

However, I can't find it anywhere. I go up some stairs and enter a room where a small group of African Americans wearing period costume is rehearsing a costume drama, but it's not my play. Presently, I see, looking out a window, some of the characters from my work, warming up and getting ready to go on stage. I look down but don't see where they're coming from or what the access to the stage is. They are wearing Victorian dress and the lines are not familiar to me.

In one dialogue exchange, a man is trying to talk a woman into something (perhaps sexually harassing her) and he says, "But they all do this on Neptune!" and she responds, "Ha! I doubt you've even been to Neptune."

I start doubting the wisdom of appearing in this play since I've never been to a rehearsal, even though it is supposedly a version of my work. I keep thinking, How did Viswa Subbaraman get me this gig? He's a conductor, he's not in the spoken word world. Finally, I realize that whatever it is, it should be like my opera more or less, so whenever they push me onstage, my first line is going to be "I'll talk to him."

I come down the stairs to the foyer of the theater, I tell the usher, "You gotta tell me how to get into makeup and costume!" They are confused but finally one of them takes me outside. Across the street there is a a huge square not seen from the street because it is bordered by shops facing the street. "It's in the fair, in the square," says the usher. 

"Show me where! You realize this show is going to be totally different as it is. I will have to improvise my part. The other actors are going to have to wing it too."

I enter the concealed square where indeed, a fair is going on, with stalls, balloons, and stands selling toys. But where is the dressing room? Finally someone directs me to an entrance in the center that leads down to what he calls Level X. It looks like the entrance to an underground parking lot, and there are wide stairs with railings in the center leading downward. I dash down the steps, noting that everyone has already left, shouting, "The play is gonna be at least thirty minutes late, and won't even be the same play!"

Then I wake up.

Being a God

A dream. Okay this starts off inside some kind of Nordic, Mediaeval world and I am a God, wielding incredible power, battling forces of doom in some Ragnarok-like situation, and also terrifying the peasants and sweeping through the universe ... incredible power fantasy. 

The dream ends in more of science fiction mold as a huge wall of UFOS rains down from the sky and I have my back to the walls of a crenellated castle, waiting for the UFOs to transform into anime-like aliens.

Then, still in my dream, I wake up and I say to myself, I must write this down, it is so powerful, a dream where I was a god. I'm trying to write it all down and it's like some kind of cross between a computer screen and a piece of parchment. It's not going quickly enough so I get out of bed (still dreaming) and go down to my office.

There, there is a kind of pushbutton pink phone. I start typing this dream up on the phone, which also has some stenographer like half-formed set phrases in it. I look under the phone and see that buttons of a conventional phone are underneath. I go back to typing on the top of the phone, marvelling at the complexity of its technology (while being so retro at the same time.)

As I type on the pink phone I wake up and I walk over to my office for real and start typing this. The dream had so much more in it. The first episode was so dark and Mediaeval, and the second so brightly colored ... and the part about trying to write it down - and forgetting the harder I tried - was as long as the rest of the dream put together....


Another dream. 

Mikey and I are at some kind of performance of a musical and there is a reception afterwards, and I end up chatting to a woman with long curly black hair dressed in black and white, who is a singer in the musical. In this reception I am wearing a tuxedo.

We look out onto a street and a huge, round barrel-like wooden thing is being rolled down the street by some workmen. It's like the sides of one of the stands that elephants get up on in the circus, minus the platform on top. The top is there too, being rolled separately on another trolley. 

"What on earth?" she says. 

"Oh, it's the stand for me to conduct on. They're taking it to the concert hall down the road. We are doing the Strauss Four Last Songs."

"Do you it often?"

"Yes, all over the world."

We talk a great deal about life and singing and she asks me, "Do you often work in Germany?" "Why do you ask?" I say. "Oh, I assumed, you're a conductor, you'd be working in Germany a lot." I don't want to tell her I haven't been there all year, so I just say, "Yes, I do go sometimes. In fact I am going next year." Which isn't true because as far as I know I am going to Austria and the U.S.

"And you," I said, "do YOU work in Germany?" She is distracted and doesn't answer. I realize it's the wrong question because it's a musical, not an opera. 

After a moment, I see her again, but she is with her family; a tall, fat, bearded son in a fake tuxedo and a eccentric, sightly scary other characters. The son says, "German, what do you mean, Germany?" and the family leaves.

I turn back and I see that Rit Parnichkun is sitting on the floor and leaning against a low railing and Mikey is sitting opposite him. They are rehearsing lines from a musical, all in German. They are memorizing the lines from big sheets that are spelled out phonetically in Thai and katakana.

"Why not English?" I say. "I thought it was a musical."

I am standing behind a counter and a shy woman (maybe a teenager) comes up. "I'm a total fan - you must tell me how she is - I understand you know her."


"Why, Beyoncé of course. You do know her! How is she?"

This woman is so earnest that I don't want to disappoint her so I just say, "Oh well, it's too much to say I actually KNOW her ... I mean, I've seen her across a room, but..."

She looks very disappointed so I start making up stuff and finally, we turn and see a table being set with giant triangular stemmed glasses (like martini glasses, only bigger) and in which one there is being placed a section from a pizza-like pastry, with cream and strawberries instead of tomato and cheese. Each glass is huge but there is only one huge slice of the strawberry/cream pizza in each. Thrilled, the Beyoncé fan grabs a piece and disappears into the crowd. It seems to be a sort of after party.

"Let's go home," Mikey says. Taking a right, we leave the party and are walking home. We are on the right side of a long boulevard which is lined with pink stucco arches, and behind each arch is a brightly lit shop. It's incredible, beautiful. 

I suddenly become aware that this is a dream and in my dream I think: "Claudio Sepulveda Schulz will kill me if I don't remember if we are walking right or left. But how can I know this when all I can see is straight ahead?"

We move faster and faster. The arches become a blur. Faster and faster, our feet hardly touching the pavement. As we leave the arches behind, I realize that we are flying. I wake up.

Zombie Mice

My dream: first, my house. There's a sloping street in front of it, narrow, and there's another house at the bottom of the hill, and this is a world where zombies are taking over. There is a sort of garage door in front of this other house and a white fence sort of rises up, containing the zombies inside.

My house is completely protected, I tell the person I am with. But I turn around and look up and it isn't that protected, although it's on a hilltop; the fences have gaps, and already I see one or two zombies.

I'm not worried about them. More afraid of the zombified domestic animals. Especially mice. I spot an Irish zombie mouse. 

A chart rolls out and a disembodied voice explains the differences between zombie mice of different nations, pointing out that the Irish zombie mouse is often confused with the English. Suddenly, Elgar's "Nimrod" begins to play.

I wake up for a minute, go to the bathroom, and when I return the dream seems to continue. Now I'm at an airport, in the same sort of crumbling world and I am with Damian Whiteley, and we have come to pick up someone ... an important female politician or even a goddess.

The airport is falling apart. In fact, as we stand in a corridor, the plane we are waiting for arrives and crashes through the ceiling then thrusts itself through a wall behind us - arousing no comment at all from passersby. 

There are two ways to get to the pickup area: a lift and some stairs. As the lift door opens, a strip of metal with brightly colored neon orange stripe (like on a traffic warning sign they put up in the street for construction) protrudes from above the lift. I hastily get in even though Damian tells me to take the stairs and we will meet upstairs.

We are both in the lift at the strip of metal just keeps pushing out, seemingly endless. The lift begins to move. As soon as the metal ends, the lift is going to jam. It moves very fast. Suddenly with a jerk, we stop and pry the door open.

We are in a hotel lobby. "Run" screams Damian so loud that I seem to hear this outside my dream, and he pushes us forward. There is a diplomatic reception going on in the hotel, and suddenly Damian is no longer there; he is the woman we have come to pick up. She stands amid the diplomats, completely at home, but I am conscious that we still have to escape.

"It's all right," she says, "enjoy the reception." I say, "That's all very well for you, you are used to these things."

But we need to get back to the house, and I run through the lobby out to the street. 

She says a few other choice things, but now that I am trying to write them down, they have slipped my mind.

Now that I look back on it, I am sure Damian actually turned into Cassandra Black, and she was a goddess.

Jade Palace

This morning, I dreamed that my son Johnny has built me a sumptuous new home. It is a huge palatial structure and now he's showing me the entire complex he has created. I come down an elevator and we are standing in a central square of the complex. He's built the whole thing on three sides of the square; looking ahead, past the flagstones of the square, there is a stone railing and a sheer cliff. A magnificent view of the city below.

To my right (to my left is a more shadowy building that I do not really see) Johnny has built what looks like a sports stadium which is on the upper level of monumental building with a concrete façade. I say to him, "But what about the opera house you promised to build me?" And he says, "We can put it there."

I'm thinking why not, it would be very dramatic to have an opera house below a football field (or baseball, the dream seems to flit between the two.)

"Why not scout it out?" Johnny says. I cross the square with him. At first I am thinking, the area between the stadium and the railing, which is open space ending at the cliff, is the right size. I think, we could just attach it to the left of the stadium.

Then Johnny says why not immediately underneath. I see that the space beneath the stadium is divided into huge rooms, which I can see through the stone columns to my right as I walk past; between the columns I see various impressive vistas. "This one looks the right size!" I say, and we peer in and see a room all Roman and black marble, with some heroic Roman busts on columns, but as I enter I realize that floor is actually a mirror-still pool of water. I guess it won't work, I say.

Finally, we reach the last room, the corner area. Johnny has set it up as a huge art gallery with labyrinthine passageways. Wandering inside I come to a jade room, full of those big flowering plants and birds (all made of jade) that they sell in some slightly kitschig Chinese fake antique shops. On a table there's a number of jade birds, brooch-sized, sort of circular designs, crystal plumage against green foliage.

The objects on the table have signs in Korean, which I can't read; I only see the number 100, so I assume they are for sale. An old gentleman walks into the room. Johnny says, "We're not open yet." and he nevertheless picks out 4 of the bird brooches, counts out six dollar bills, and hands them to Johnny.

"Oh," Johnny says, "you should have some of the Swiss ice cream." He offers the old man a popsicle-like perfect cylinder in vanilla which is on a round dowel. Thoughtfully, the old man licks, and hands a chocolate one to a woman.

The woman is wearing an Islamic veil - not quite a burqa but in my dream it's called that, but it shows her face and only goes half way down, revealing a cream-colored cotton skirt. She doesn't take the ice cream. "You must forgive my wife," says the old man, "she is Mexican and not used to our ways."

The wife says, the chocolate tastes funny.

I wake up.


I'm wondering about the dream Korean labels and the veiled woman, thinking that it's actually a dream-pun on "Qur'an". She is not dressed as a Mexican, in fact in the dream she appears Persian. Well this is a matter for my oneiromancers to interpret. Many nationalities alluded to in this dream, from Roman, Mexican, Middle Eastern perhaps, Korean, Chinese, American (the stadium) ... but generally speaking the look and feel of the buildings is Italian Renaissance.

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Another epic sleep disorder day when — this has become a sort of pattern — I can't keep my eyes open at 5 pm and have to sleep, then wake up 3 hours later bewildered and wide awake, usually with some kind of dream attached.

In this dream, I am rehearsing Beethoven's 9th, but not in the cultural center; it's some kind of hall on the odd side of Sukhumvit, around where the Siam Society is, but it's a building with a façade of thin trapeze shaped concrete buttresses that seem to emit a golden yellow light. 

I wake away from the hall and I am carrying a folded eiderdown comforter, as if I was planning to bed down somewhere. A car pulls up and I get in. It is a big, black embassy car and it's being driven by Peter Prügel, the German Ambassador.

"Lucky I came along!" he says. He tells me that even though it's not his concert, he could not help coming over to see how it is going because he is so excited about it. He drives down Sukhumvit a little way in the direction of my house (but the traffic is on the wrong side of the road, so it might not be Bangkok) and pulls into a tiny alley which I recognize as the way into the German Embassy. "Oh, you're not coming in?" he says, surprised. Halfway down the alley, on the left, there's a bungalow which appears to be his office. He steps out. Looking ahead, I see a woman doing laundry wearing a black dress, and I wonder why his wife is doing it hinself and not letting the maid do it. She is hanging it on a clothesline.

"My house is just a little farther," I say. "I could drop you off," says the ambassador, but I tell him, "Actually my own car is waiting and probably wondering why I came with you. I'll just call my driver."

Still clutching the eiderdown, I wander back out onto Sukhumvit. I realize I was just being polite and my driver wasn't with me or is lost somewhere, and I'll have to take a taxi. But taxis don't stop. Presently I see that a tuk-tuk driver has been stalking me and he says, 94 baht. I ask him to go to Soi 24, not sure why.

He goes for a while and then he asks me, "44?" I say, "24, but actually 33." (24 and 33 are approximately on opposite sides of Sukhumvit.) The thing is, 24 is my childhood home and 33 is where I live now. 

In the tuk-tuk, the driver's son is also sitting in the back. He has a page-boy hair cut and is wearing a blue "mor-hom", a Thai peasant shirt. As I sit down, he leans back and rests his head on my belly, which is kind of unnerving.

The driver leaves me on the street on the odd (low 50s) side of Sukhumvit and he seems to have overshot the alley, so I tell him I will walk. Only when I leave the tuk-tuk do I realize that I've left the eiderdown. But he is gone. The road is completely empty and the middle of it is all mud. I start to go towards 24, on the even side of Sukhumvit, towards my childhood home, even though I know I live on 33 now.

Walking down the muddy, earthen unpaved middle of the road, I stumble on a white cord and realize that there's an iphone attached to a white charger cable. I can't kick the phone free. It's silvery with a polished front and back totally devoid of any screen, in fact there is a silver-rose pattern instead of a screen. It's attached to a backpack which is also on the ground. The cord is sort of wrapped around my leg and though it is not my phone, I have to take it. My real phone is still in my trousers so I did not lose my phone.

I walk now with the found phone dangling weirdly from my belt from the cord. I am on the even side of the street now, and there's more and more mud, ramparts, in fact, of mud. It is tough slogging and the street is dark ... I am only a couple yards from the entrance to 24 and I realize the dangling phone is an obvious mugging target. Like a mantra, I repeat, "The streets of Bangkok are safe" over and over but a feeling of dread comes over me as I wake up.

This is one of several dreams I've had recently about walking home and going in the wrong direction to get there. The dreams are characterized by having very few of the psychedelic fantasy elements my dreams usually have, they are quite mundane in terms of resembling a real world setting. They are full of lefts and rights. This one, if you want to buy a lottery ticket, has a LOT of numbers: the 9th symphony, 94 baht, soi 44, 33, 24, and the low 50s.

Alexandria, Virginia

A strange dream of war. I am leading a battle to free Virginia from either the British or French – it is unclear. After the battle, I'm in an inn and the former enemies are seated at various tables. I introduce the British (or French) general to a number of important figures in the war.

"You will need a new secretary of state," says the British (or French) general. "I have just the right man," I say. "His name is Alexander."

Alexander is sitting at a table in the back of the restaurant, and he is the only black man in the room. I bring him to our table, and say, "This man would be perfect."

The British (or French) general opines, "You're setting up a government for Virginia even before there's a federal government." And I wake up.

Don't understand it at all.

Rosemary's Baby

I went back to sleep around 4 am and had another dream. In this dream I was about to go and record a soundtrack for a film. 

There is a young girl who is a Thai film actress. She's rather chubby, with a ponytail and shorts, and she has been staying in my house. In this dream, my house has a covered passageway/driveway on either side, so it seems to lie between two tunnels.

The music I'm about to conduct appears to be Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack to "Rosemary's Baby". According to my dream, the composer has included a special trombone solo. The actress says "Yes, that's me. I'm supposed to play it, and I can." It's just the theme of the movie played on the trombone which I guess she is to record on top of an existing backing track.

I say let's go to the studio. She goes to the house to do something, maybe get her trombone. Mikey is with her, they will go together. I tell them the chauffeur will pick us all up and take us the studio.

Suddenly I realize that the person I thought was standing there with the girl who I thought was Mikey was actually someone else. Both the trombone playing girl and he are off somewhere.

I exit the tunnel and turn left and enter the other tunnel, where the front door of the house is located on my left. I shout for them to come. Then I call the chauffeur.

He says, "I'm in Yilin." Yilin? I scream. Why aren't you at work? "I don't know," he says, "I just happen to be in Yilin. It's many tens of kilometers away." I say, as I stalk into the house, "All you had to do was tell me. If this ever happens again, you're fired." Meanwhile, the theme from Rosemary's Baby keeps playing (on the trombone) louder and louder, in my head.

I wake up. Now of course, the actual theme by Schifrin is for a children's choir going "la la la" not for a trombone, so I have no clue what this means.

Ditches and Pigs

I need to record this dream before I forget it. It is 2 am.

I am walking home across a beautifully manicured field. I come to a long, perfectly shaped ditch, about three feet across. The ditch is formed like a half-pipe, the soil fresh, and it is dotted with small, chubby white pigs and a few black dogs. The pigs are incredibly cute. For some reason, I don't want to step into the ditch but want to try to jump over it to the other side. But I think it is slightly too wide.

The pig-herder, who is some kind of "Odin the Wanderer" type in a Norse-looking cloak and holding a staff, approaches, and says, it is easy to step over. I will demonstrate.

Getting himself off to a start about a hundred yards away, he does a strange sort of goosestep, turning the soles of his feet inward (like pointing to second position in ballet) but lifting his legs high like a fascist soldier. He executes this march and the size of the goosestep crosses the ditch exactly. "You see? You can do it!"

I think about it but I demur. I just walk to the right, following the ditch until it ends at a road. It is a small brick border and I tiptoe along the bricks to the other side, then cross the field towards my house. The pigs and the herder begin to follow me.

My house has a long driveway and it is lined with small sinklike pens on wooden stands where the pigs now go (not sure how they manage to climb up but they are suddenly there). So these pens/sinks are lining the driveway, and the house has no door; instead, it has only three walls; the driveway is the width of where the door should be and the paving leads straight into the living room.

In the living room are a series of couches, all in a line and facing the same way, so as I enter the line of couches (rather Victorian looking) is on my left. I enter and my mother is sitting on one of the couches as is a friend of mine from L.A., Ken Brady. The pig-herder/Odin the Wanderer enters, looking a bit like Gandalf as well. My mother welcomes him and urges him to sit, but adds, "Don't let the pigs in the house." She says, "Our dogs will attack them."

Too late because our dogs have run out to the and the pigs are being attacked. I run out to shoo them away but one pig is wounded. I bend down to lift it into my arms and I realize it's furry, more like rabbit than pig. In fact they all are rabbits as well as pigs but in the dream they continue to be called pigs. So, I hold the pig in my arms and bring it in.

Ken says in a very forensic-TV series like voice, "Oh, the bullet entered the left temporal lobe and went right through. It will be fine."

I put the pig down on the sofa's edge, the one on the end. It seems fine and everyone is saying how cute it is. Then it suddenly jumps down on the floor. It runs to the far wall where there is a space under the stairs that go up the next floor, and it starts spraying shit on the carpet. Literally spraying - it's like baby shit, no lumps, just a sort of gushing stream. 

My housekeeper runs in and starts trying to mop it up, and my mother says, "That's what happens when you let them into the house...."

Then I wake up!


I dreamt that I and some friends were being imprisoned in a beautiful red sandstone Palace with great buttresses and huge terraces. The walls were stucco and full of reliefs. 

Once in a while the Guards who sat on the veranda would behead somebody. The head would be displayed on a kind of lantern base, with a glowing flame beneath it.

In the dream, I escape and enjoying a beautiful ball with candelabra and waltzes. A Guard who has befriended me with a bushy red beard has let me sneak away.

I've danced away the night and then I go back up to my prison. I look on to the veranda and I see my friend the guard being hauled away by his feet. I hear a huge cracking sound they are hewing of his head. The terrifying sound of sawing flesh. 

Later I see the guard's head mounted in a lantern base. Remarkably, there is no flame beneath his head. I hear a voice cry out. It repeats, again and again, "ha pagata con la vita." Over and over until I wake up.

Surprise, it's sort of a nightmare and I wake up. It is 4 AM.

Con Queso

A dream of being lost …in the dream I walk out of my house which is not my normal house but a high rise. I have left the contents of my pocket on a blue sofa, leaving the house with no phone or wallet because of my haste. I am walking up Sukhumvit Road.

I reach a corner with a crossroads. It's a busy place with a lot of traffic and I realize I am looking for a book.

A disembodied voice says, "And years ago, a young boy found in an old bookshop a biography of a young carpenter, and he opened a bigger bookstore with this book and the city became converted."

It's the bigger bookstore, I realize, that I am looking for. 

I need to cross the street and suddenly the traffic is unearthly still. More still than simply foot on the brake — there's not even a thrum — the lines of cars are simply silent and unmoving — and I cross the road. It's not like they're stopped at a traffic light, more like time has stood still for me to cross.

I cross to the left side of the street and turn right and then there's a sort of market (with concrete stalls, not a canvas tent market). I know the bookstore was on the corner, but it's not. The stores are selling cloth and used electronics. In one place, the bookstore may have existed, but it is an empty concrete-and-brick shell. I realize that the alleys are no longer in square blocks, but diagonal.

I am lost.

I go through an alley and emerge on another big road which is quite different. I think it is like Rama IV used to look when I was a child. There are empty fields on my left as I turn left on the road, sure I am going the right way.

There is a flapping blue vinyl banner that seems to read QUESO, but in my dream that seems to be the name of some kind of international convention. I know I am going the right way. But am I? I remember that QUESO is some kind of regular convention in Bangkok that is held in more than one hotel. Suddenly I thin I am going the wrong way, and I reverse course and walk in the other direction, with QUESO on my right. I think I am going toward Asoke — the wrong direction — but it's right and wrong at the same time. I reach a street corner with construction and gravel and now I suddenly have my phone again. It's a purplish-pink gold phone, not the color of my real phone. It's a rounded corner, not square. There are cranes in the distance (building cranes).

I dial my assistant Nath and ask him to come and pick me up. I say "It's better, Mike will be worried by now."

It's a very odd dream to me because it seems devoid of fantasy content, and just has a boring, daytime urban landscape, and a quasi-religious content (i.e. searching for a book that seems to be about Jesus). And I don't know why a convention center would also be the Spanish for "cheese."


Friends, yes it's true that I didn't get to sleep until 11 am, then was woken by phone calls and slept again at 1 and didn't wake up until 6 pm. But the good news is that it was a good sleep with a lot of REM (because I'm aware of at least 3-4 dreams, though I only remember snatches, and one larger snatch), and I managed to avoid using any kind of sleeping pill for 2 days. Getting to sleep was agonizing, basically a process that went on for about 7 hours. I had managed to sleep for only an hour in the night, because I was so disturbed about Las Vegas, and I finally just watched the news all night, getting more and more tired and upset but unable to fall asleep.

But I woke up feeling more refreshed than I have in a while.

The larger snatch of dream I recall is that I was wandering in a street at night, an old European town. When I got home I was surprised that one of the violinists from the orchestra was waiting for me, one I don't know that well. He embraced me warmly and my elbow jogged a giant television set and it kicked on. I got up to go and turn it off and met an old woman with a pale face and her hair still had traces of blond. She pointed to another old woman who was explaining to me the complexities of the TV and the difficulties of operating it. She held me arm with a bony hand and I saw that every finger had one or more emerald rings, some of them with huge emeralds, some of Colombian color and some African. One in particular was a huge oval cabochon with a flattened dome. I knew it was real because of the flaws. This was quite a happy dream with a lot of green, which I rarely see in my dreams.

In the smaller snatch of dream, what I remember is coaching a string quartet in how to articulate a lengthy passage in 9/8 time - an arpeggio, three repeated notes and a falling scale, all repeated endlessly in a harmonic sequence. It was also quite a joyful dream.

The Force of B Flat

So, today I woke up at 2 pm and I would like to tell you about my dreams. I woke up a few times in the night and mumbled-dictated them into my phone but some of it is garbled.

But first, we were all prisoners of war and there was a dancing king who danced wildly in the distance, we were a long line all waiting for something. Suddenly a big piano composition in B flat minor wells up in my head, big bass octave melody with punctuating chords, the melody leaping up and then with a downward leap of a major seventh from F to G flat and a plangent, romantic rich chord above. I am playing it in my head and the ghost of Chopin appears. We are both lying on a bed and Chopin is completely black, more like a black void in the universe that happens to be shaped like a person. I want to get up and he says no, no, play it again, and pulls me down with tremendous force and I struggle and struggle while the B flat minor progression repeats over and over, he keeps pulling me down and I keep struggling … 

I wake up briefly to go to the bathroom and I wonder whether Chopin is a personification of sleep paralysis versus my need to go....

dream image.jpg

I fall asleep again. Now, I am lying in a large bed in a hotel or luxury apartment building. My mother is there too. We are watching a TV show on a screen so huge that it extends past the wall and all the way into a side room or corridor, so that we can only see half of the picture. I really want to see the other side, so I get up and walk across the room and follow the screen which stretches down the corridor to my right, and the corridor opens onto a large living room which huge french windows, some semicircular steps leading into a garden where children are running past.

One of them says to me, "Show me your movie! Show me!" I let the group in and they watch a movie I made. Then they run off and others come. "Our friends told us about your movie," they said. "May we watch?"

I leave them at the vast screen and I go wondering and I find myself in the downstairs of a huge complex of buildings with warm golden-colored walls and a swimming pool. The place is very echoey. I run into Sun, my violinist adoptee who lives in my house. He is very happy to be here and I really want to show him this incredibly building we are in. We wander around and I say, "I have to show you the apartment" (that's where the big screen is and my mother is watching the show and the kids are watching the other show.) And we walk past the echoey swimming pool area again, but I make a wrong turn and now we're in another corridor with lower ceilings and at the end there is a Chinese restaurant with red lanterns, but this corridor is colored a rich turquoise with a few gold highlights. There are two elevators with blue wooden doors and a counter in front of them with uniformed Chinese ladies. I realize these elevators don't go to the right place. The number 17 is clearly visible on an ivory button. The ladies don't seem that communicative. I say to Sun, "We're going the wrong way," and we walk back and pass the swimming pool in another direction, back towards the warm golden-colored walls and the right part of the building, but I wake up for a moment. 

So then I go back to sleep and dream again. In this dream, Mikey and I are guests of a totalitarian government and we are being forced to watch a propaganda movie. Then the movie turns into an opera and a baritone on stage is singing a melody that sounds very much like a melody from Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" but minus the triplets. (I have to check this melody later.) The melody is in B flat major. (I actually think it might be a different Verdi opera, but in my dream I am thinking of Forza.)

The theater is circular - half-circle stage and half-circle auditorium We are brought forward to the railings of the balcony where we have been watching to be able to look down into the orchestra pit which seems really far away. Suddenly, we are somehow caught in the stage machinery and the railings become rails and we are in a sort of private tram moving from a desolated war-torn city (I am a bit reminded of a tram going through the Krakow ghetto in WWII). 

There is an explosion and I find myself on the ground with shells going off. I have been sitting in the tram with a older man with thinning hair, but what remains of his hair is long and golden. He is desperately trying to comb what little hair he has left. 

"Please don't worry, you look fine," I try to reassure him as explosions go off everywhere.

"You don't understand," he says. "This was all foretold. Disaster was predicted."

Then I woke up for the third time last night. I may have dreamed again, but I don't remember the fourth one, and anyway, three is a lot of dreams to remember in one night.

Fraktur in the Vatican

My dream. I'm in a big research library. It's like Vatican Library, mysterious and gloomy and ancient, but with light from a single window in the distance.

I'm rifling through the shelves when the librarian handles me a huge folder. This is what you're looking for, he says, the TIPPETT folder.

I open the folder and it's a fat pile of documents. It looks like a police file in parts because it appears that Captain Ventura has been investigating the composer Michael Tippett for some kind of moral turpitude. There are letters back and forth and in my dream I read through them all, confused because this was not what I came to the library to research.

I sift through more documents and presently I come a musical manuscript and I notice the author's name: by Somsak Sucharitakul (nickname: Speedy). I see that the spelling of the surname is that of the other branch of our family and I am surprised to see that I have some kind of cousin named "Speedy" who composes music. 

The manuscript is on glowing white paper in ink and appears to be written with one of those old fashioned dip pens because of the texture of the lines and the way the dots are on the page. The handwriting too is old fashioned, a bit curly with some of the letters formed unusually, like in old German script. I start looking at the music and see it is a waltz for piano. I wake up.

Heading Off at the Khyber Pass

My dream: we're in a valley. It's some time during the Mughal conquest. There is a dusty road. To my left is a wall of semicircular slabs, giving a scalloped sandstone effect. They slabs are about waist high. As some kind of military commander of architect, I order that my men create a high wall to my right because I sense that the enemy will approach behind the scalloped left wall.

Suddenly, it is the 19th century. Galloping down a (strangely modern looking) city street, General Custer and some members of the 7th Cavalry are fleeing some Lakhota, escaping from the Little Big Horn. 

They are riding towards me. To their right (my left) is a tall red sandstone wall with scaffolding, under construction. One soldier says "Which way shall we go?" General Custer says, "We'll take the Khyber Pass." 

Something odd — even in my dream I realize this isn't the real General Custer because he has no long yellow hair. In fact, it is John Wayne.

A side door opens in the under-construction building and we all go in and suddenly we are on the road that I built during the Mughal Empire a few centuries back, only it has changed; behind the walls on either side are taller, whitewashed buildings which appear to be adobe. 

The Seventh Cavalry rides through, kicking up dust on the road (which is still the old dirt road.) I am left standing in the road alone and we are suddenly in modern times. The adobe-clad buildings have become shops. I look up and on either side, there are some akichita (Sioux warriors) with bow and arrow poised to shoot or prowling about. 

That's when I woke up. The strange thing about this dream was its quality of being in a film ... specifically, with the distinctive coloring of 1950s technicolor, the very saturated orangey-red color of the sandstone ... this color permeating every scene. At one point, I appear to be conscious of being in a movie, recognizing John Wayne (whose stage of ageing places the context as the 1950s).


Very brief memories of a complex dream. I'm walking through a large mall or hotel with Mikey. I'm carrying a painting I just bought. At the head of an escalator I realize I left the painting downstairs. Mikey goes down to get it.

I'm opening a book of drawings/watercolors. Their style is somewhat like commercial art of the 1960s. There's a striking picture of a boy's face looking downward. The way the picture is cropped prevents one from identifying the boy. The artist's signature is very clear: it's KUHLAU. All caps, very distinctive handwriting, looks a bit like Walt Disney's signature.

I search through the book for other works by him, and find others in the same style, notably a full page female nude (no face, seen from behind). But they have different artist's names. I'm still looking for Kuhlau when I wake up.

This is all I remember but there was a lot about how I came to buy the painting. In my dream it was wrapped in brown paper, so I don't actually recall the painting itself.

All is Illusion

I fell asleep after lunch and dreamed again! I dreamed I was at a science fiction con called "Space Camp Con" - only it was ACTUALLY a hurricane con. The entire con was in a series of rooms constructed on the upper floors overlooking an atrium. In one room, there were people actually watching an endless broadcast of the progress of the hurricane. I got on a two-way radio and spoke to rescuers in an amphibious vehicle that was ploughing through the streets of a drowned city.

I could watch the whole thing on a big screen with cartoon like representations of the characters. I went to another room and saw that a man on TV wearing a protective hat was speaking into a microphone, directing a rescue.

As I said, the rooms of the convention were all in a square opening onto an atrium, and a common veranda, made of wood, runs around the inside, making a common area were all the convention goers are gathering, There's also a scenic lift that opens onto the veranda. I don't know how many stories up it is, but I know that the hotel we're staying with, that atrium isn't an ordinary atrium because it has a huge tree growing through it all the way up from the ground floor to us, a tree with thick gnarled ashen branches ... in fact the tree is Yggdrasil itself, I realize.

As I walk along everyone recognizes me as the one who spoke to the rescuers on the TV. I've become a minor celeb, like a news anchor.

Across from the elevator, a boy with dark hair and a white shirt is standing next to his little sister. Somehow they do not seem to quite belong. The boy says, Can you help me, I am constructing a model of a mediaeval french castle. I say, sure, if you show me what you've built so far. The little sister pipes up, No! You can't show this work to just anyone! The boy says, "It's all right, I've known him since we lived in Baltimore." At that point I realize I'm on the west coast of the US and this must be some time after I moved to California.

He asks me to follow him to where his model is, and I start to do, but I reach the corner room and there is a gap in the hotel. In the corner there is a sort of brick-walled bit of wild terrain with trees and bushes, and a man is speaking into a microphone. 

There is a blackboard leaning against the wall and it appears to be reporting the progress of the hurricane, a list of cities being hit, but sometimes it is also a menu with cakes and pastries — it keeps changing.

The man with the microphone is wearing a protective hat (sort of like a miners hat). Astonished, I realize that HE is the man on the mike I saw on TV, and that the vegetation behind him is a set. I may not have been communicating with rescuers in the flood. All of reality might be an illusion.

As I come to grips with this cosmic paradigm, I wake up...

Central Casting

In last night's dream, as I leave my house I stumble into what looks like Grand Central station and a Hollywood "cattle call" is in progress. (That's a casting session where pretty much anyone can come.) A little girl is sitting on a park bench trying to emote to herself.

Her parents say, she's trying out for this Roman Polanski movie. We don't know how she should act. Presumptuously I say to them, "Oh, I'm sure ROMAN would just want her to be natural." The parents grasp on to this straw and I sort of wink and nod to establish myself as a fount of wisdom, though I've met the man precisely twice.

He walks past and greets me (looking unchanged from one of the only times I ever met him, at a dinner party at Sumet's house, when my mother became starstruck because of Rosemary's Baby) and to my surprise remembers who I am. He's carrying this script under his arm. He's wearing a tweed jacket.

I ask to see the sides (script pages) and to my amazement, the script has tipped in, full color, near-photographic storyboards next to each line of dialogue, and they are pictures of THIS little girl. I don't think you have anything to worry about, I tell the family. He obviously already sees her in the role. 

But as I look up, on dozens of park benches scattered randomly under the dome of central park, dozens of little girls are studying scripts containing storyboards representing their own image, and all are emoting wildly, with varying degress of success....

And well then I woke up.

The Mundane World

Dreams, dreams, dreams....

Last night my dreams were neither fantastical nor especially colorful, and yet they remain in the memory more than they should.

The first dream: I'm staying in some woman's house and I find, in the bathroom, a piece of sheet music. It's in A major. I know that my job is to take it to someone who's having a music rehearsal down the block. I steal the music and misplace it, then go back looking for it in the bathroom, and it's no longer there … but then I find it again, only it's changed, now it's got a green cover and appears to be a Peters Edition.

So, rather furtively, I tuck it under my arm and leave the house - it has an inner, wire mesh door and an outside wooden door, and go down the street which is like a New York city block. And yes, I approach the building where I have to deliver the music and I hear a chorus singing this rhythm: Hey - you - heyyouheyyou - Hey - you - heyyouheyyou over and over (first minims then crochets, alternating) ... I enter the building which is sort of like a school building, and the the chorus sings louder and louder ...

Many hours later I have another dream of surprising mundanity ... it takes place in an oblong room which appears to be the ground floor of a house I find myself living room. I am my secretary Ratana are sitting on opposite sides of the room. She is at a desk typing and she has on her desk a set of hanging red file folders each one of which is very clearly labeled (nothing could be further from reality — perhaps this IS the fantasy element of the dream.)

On my side of the room, there are some filing cabinets. I am sorting out everything in my life and filing it away piece by piece. One of the filing cabinets is lying on its side on a large desk. I fill it with carefully labelled files under different categories and move the cabinet so it stands neatly with other cabinets. I find there is one extra cabinet on the furthest right (the cabinets are arranged to form a U shape) so I tell Ratana she now has a place to put her files away, they don't have to mess up her desk anymore.

I open the cabinet and find that it has no shelves; it is an empty shell.

The shelves must be outside, I tell her. She says to me, "You know, I've never regretted I don't have a television at work; I don't watch television." I tell her I am so sorry she can't watch her favorite shows at work.

I open the front door (which is actually a back door) into an alley, and there is a bunch of furniture that never seems to have been moved into the house. Among the furniture is an old fashioned dark mahogany bookcase with elaborate scrolled carving. There's also a simple, bright red painted wooden bookcase. I locate the missing pieces of the filing cabinet, and i wake up.

What is strange about those two dreams is that they take place in very ordinary places, not palaces or weird attics or bizarre spacecraft and there are no animals or monsters. They are the most earthbound dreams I ever remember having, and that in itself is sort of fantastical...

Curry Créole

I know I am always saying I had a very strange dream, but....
This kind of takes the cake. 

It starts off at the lunch counter of some kind of diner, where we are lining up to get plates of curry. The curry looks and tastes very inauthentic and presently I hear a voice behind me, "That's because you didn't order a croissant with it." I'm wondering why it should be served that way when I hear the voice of the owner of the restaurant behind the counter and he's speaking French. He's a middle aged, slightly balding man in a chef's costume.

"Things are terrible. Business is bad," he says. "I must sell my slaves."

We're in front of the building now. and there is a dirt road. The restaurant is right in the center of a small town where this is the only street. Two black women dressed in rags are standing there. One is slender and attractive. The other is very large, like an earth-mother, a neolithic Venus. Everyone is speaking French. There is a small crowd gathered.

I notice that it's not really French. "Ici on palé kréol," one explains to me, in something that is halfway between French and Haitian Creole. He goes on to explain that Creole is the official language here, but no one can speak it properly, because this country is called Louisiana, not Haiti. (And yet the place looks nothing like Louisiana USA either — it's another country that happens to have the same name, maybe a Caribbean island.)

The restaurant owner says to the two women, they are to be sold. Each one of them is lashed, face up, to the back of a horse. I panic, thinking that they are tied to both horses and that the man will have them pulled apart. I offer to buy them to save their lives, but he says, "Non, non," and explains that this is simply the custom in this sparsely populated town of making sure enough customers bid in slave auctions. He slaps a horse's withers and the two horses fly in opposite directions, each with a screaming woman spread-eagled on its back. 

My dream-eye follows the horse with the large woman on it as it races through the fields. There are sugar-plantations and distant blue mountains. People look up and stare curiously. She is screaming. It's a harrowing, break-neck journey. Eventually the horse seems to realize it has reached its limit and turns back. We are in the street in front of the restaurant again.

The beautiful woman on the other horse arrives back at the same time, but I'm following the fate of the earth-mother-looking one. "Untie me!" she says (now in English.) She screams as they pull her off the horse. She spreads her arms in a sort of "crucified" pose and they take the ropes off her arms and I see they have caused lacerations and that she must be in terrible pain. The owner is grumbling that there are no customers.

I wake up. This isn't a dream within a dream, but a pretty one-layered one. It was incredibly vivid — REAL, even, like reliving a memory — and realistic as well — not with fantasy elements like many of my dreams. 

As I sit here I realize that it's actually 3 pm. Last night I had unbelievable insomnia and didn't sleep until 6 am. It's broad daylight here. The dream, too, was very very bright, unusually so. And so clear that I keep feeling it must contains elements of a past life memory, even though I don't really believe in reincarnation.