Another Journey

I had a dream. It started when I and Nath and some other people were trying to cross a huge muddy river. There were bridges ... rickety, dangerous ones. One in particular did reach the other side where there were red sandstone cliffs and caves. We left it too late and the I could see that the end of the bridge was now submerged, but I thought that I could still cross and leap across to the other side.

We walked. It took forever. It was a black, asphalt bridge, a thin ribbon, and the distance was really far, and reaching the end, more of the bridge was underwater than I thought. There was no way to walk. I jumped. The water was awful - it was dirty and it stung and was full of lacerating objects. It was agony and I screamed "No, no, it's dangerous!" But I managed to make it across.

The next obstacle was a cave mouth. We entered and were looking for a lever or button so that the cave would open out further or there would be a doorway. Other members of our party were pushing at various slits or holes when suddenly a huge metal door came flying up with a huge clang, trapping those people when their whole floor flew underground and they perished. Only Nath and I remained. 

We were on either side of a low barricade and we decided to keep moving until we reached a restaurant. We had heard of an Indian restaurant that was right nearby by a wall prevented us from reaching it. I'll just go on until this barricade ends, I said, and we'll connect up when there's a gap.

The barricade ended up stretching a long way. It was a dusty journey. All along the barricade, to my right, workmen were building something. The whole city was constantly under construction, shifting, with soaring mountainsides and doorways in the cliffs that seemed to be inaccessible. I kept waking until I noticed that the barricade where all the workmen were building something was really an entire river; I could see the water flowing through gaps in the planking and the water was the color of emerald. I had lost Nath completely.

I kept walking and presently reached a new part of the city where the barricade had ended. I was apparently no longer over the river. I reached a T junction. Across the street was a black-walled mountain and on the street corner was a frosted glass store front called "Wada Science Fiction." 

I know this place, I thought. (At first it looked like the Other Change of Hobbit bookstore in Berkley.) I called Nath on my cell phone. I said, I'm fine now, I've found a science fiction store that I recognize, remember, I wrote SF in the old days, this is familiar territory. Nath tells me he and Muay are sitting in a restaurant just on the other side of the science fiction store.

So I cross the street (it us an old street, perhaps cobbled or at any rate very worn). The door of the science fiction store is open but I don't recognize any of the objects. I realize it is not the store I knew before.

I walk to the right where there is a turn (the mountain ends) and I can round the corner. All of sudden there is the back of the store, but they are not selling science fiction. It's an assortment of Hindu gods, brightly colored, many heads and arms, statues that line the path and then there are steps up to a plateau where thousands more gods are on sale. I realize that I am already carrying a golden, heavy god statue in a black shoulder bag (I haven't been aware that I had this bag until this moment.) The gods on the hill are gleaming, glistening, very colorful. The shop is more like a pagoda, with steps and levels (not a Thai pagoda but more like a Japanese one). I go on past the shop, heaving towards the restaurant where Nath is waiting, though I have a feeling I am still not close to where he is.

Swallowing the Cat

I had a dream about snakes. There were snakes in my house. I was with my son Johnny. We each had snakes hidden in our rooms. We were scared and yet the snakes were sacred. We met in the corridor outside our bedrooms. Suddenly a cat darted into Johnny's room. I heard terrifying screeching sound because the snake in Johnny's room had pounced and swallowed the cat whole. I suddenly realized that I could not move the snake because it was full of the cat and could not be moved. I woke up.

Plaisir d'Amour

I dreamed that I had to give a vocal recital standing on the concrete steps leading into a big hotel. The audience was sitting in another building, a banquet hall to my left. The audience was invisible. Ratana, my secretary, was sitting in the driveway/ I was holding down the fort because the actual performer was supposed to be Thanachai Ujjin, but he had been delayed. Finally the concert was almost over and the star still had not shown up. So I started to sing "Plaisir d'amour". By the way, since the audience was in another room (and the orchestra was elsewhere as well) I had no idea whether I was being heard at all, except by my secretary. I extended the opening phrase of the song over and over, hoping that my relief would come, but eventually I had to get to "chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie". I sang this phrase while rotating and lifting my arms to the sky. Then I woke up.

Alas, poor Yorick....

In my dream I am a gravedigger in a mediaeval town. There is no sunlight, it is neither day nor night. Thousands of black coffins stand on a row of trestles that stretches as far as the eye can see. We work quickly in shifts. More and more corpses are brought in, in white shrouds. One comes in and I don't think it is quite dead. Though completely shrouded I know it is a woman.

"This is the worst part of our job," says my fellow gravedigger. I learn that there is a plague that is agonizing and people can never recover. "But believe me, what we do is better than letting them suffer."

"Bury them alive?" I say in the dream, thinking we will lower the quivering non-corpse into the ground and shut the lid.

"Use the mallet," he says. "Strike the top of the cranium and smash it, one swift blow." 

The woman whimpers. I wonder if I dare.

The House Concert from Hell

I had a dream that I was giving a house concert at the home of the Austrian ambassador. Various people were singing different songs. Finally they asked me to sing. I got up and walked around the dining room singing the immolation scene from Götterdämmerung. 

I was singing The words Der Gattin trügend, treu dem Freunde. Everyone was surprised that I could sing. I sang in a very quiet restrained way, almost in falsetto.

The next song was Ständchen by Schubert. It was more appropriate to the occasion. I remember thinking about the etymology of the title. About how it means a little stand. In the dream, the words are distorted. Instead of leise flehen meine Lieder, The words are leise stehen. In my dream I think, there you go a little stand.

Then I went upstairs phone went and when I came down all the guests were gone except for a strange little half bald man sitting in a corner with headphones and a keyboard. He was singing into a microphone. He was recording a second track onto this computer because he had already played the accompaniment.

I didn't recognize this person and the style of the music was quite different from the concert. Then someone handed me a big bottle of wine. This is Godassi. He said do you know what this is? I said no. He said then you failed the wine test and I'm going to give it to someone else.

(note that in the dream, I misquoted Wagner - it should be "die Gattin trügend". By putting "Gattin" in the dative, I made her an indirect object ... but I think it is significant in the dream somehow)

Pint-sized Aliens

In my dream I land on the planet where the enemy aliens are only 3 feet tall. They capture me. They say they must ride me. I must become a horse. I'm doubled up and I'm placed on all fours. And they ride me towards an enemy city. Suddenly we are now in a medieval fantasy. I am a Trojan horse. I don't remember that much of what happens next. But I remember feeling that my hands on it myself and trying to strangle myself with the hands that aren't my own. And in the dream waking up and telling someone else about the horror of it and then realizing I'm not awake...

I just remembered that there's a dragon's cave in the city that we are charging... but I can't remember how I got from the medieval stuff to the bed strangling sequence....

Raining Hats (and Dogs?)

I remember two dreams from last night very clearly. In the first dream I'm composing a piece of music that somehow manages to "confront" hell itself. The melody is a bit like some of the Baba Yaga music in Pictures at an Exhibition, but there are three big bass drum strokes in between each iteration. The melody is heavy on augmented fourths.

In my second dream I'm part of a group of evacuees from a terrible war. We are in a plane and the plane is going down somewhere. We are young, children really. One in particular is very young, boy with curly hair, a brunette, and a straw hat.

The plane is going down. we're trying to save our belongings. We gather up a lot of hats. I have a pile and he has a plan and there's a half eaten sub meatloaf sandwich.

But the plane breaks up in mid air and as we watch, Thousands upon thousands of hats flying over a temperature countryside. The hats all mingled. It is a beautiful sight. Almost like a flock of birds.

Back on earth, somehow we managed to land safely but someone has stolen all the hats and they are already being sold in souvenir shops in what looks like a small French Village. My little friend is enraged and wants to lead an expedition to get the hats back. I see the half eaten sandwich on a plinth in a store window. We run into the store and start shooting. As it happens, I realize there are many more stores to invade, thousands more hats to recover.

The Perfect Predator

 

In my dream I'm in a huge aquarium. It's filled with beautiful and exotic fish. There is green fluorescent exotic snakelike fish. There is another fish which is flat and green and metallic. It is the fish that is deadly poisonous and it hangs motionless in the water. It has disguised itself as seaweed and only the fanged, flat snakehead is identifiable. Looking at it, thinking it is the perfect predator.

I only look away for a minute, When suddenly the water has drained away to a small puddle at the bottom of the aquarium.

People in white uniforms are gazing through the glass.

I ask where the flat green metal snake has gone. Nobody knows. They tell me someone has stolen it or that it is writhing through the building.

They tell me that there is no way out from the control room behind the aquarium, except for a narrow pathway for the technicians to use the toilet.

The phone rang. And woke me up.

A Language Barrier

In my dream I am a student in the school where people are separated from the siblings by language. I'm the nerdiiest, most unpopular kid in the whole school. I am in love with the most beautiful girl who is a French speaking person. She and her friends always bully me. Her friends are all very cool.

In this world, siblings are always taught different languages and kept far from each other. Only one day a week are they allowed to come together, And they must do it by murmuring in different languages until they are understood by someone.

We are standing in the hall or barn. A young blonde boy repeats over and over, my name is Chaim. He is speaking Hebrew. At last his sister recognizes him.

I have written a message. It is a rebus. Word lines go sideways and at an angle. The girl reads the message and realizes that it contains fragments of Shakespeare. She looks at me with wonderment. I never knew who you really were. She said I too am a Buddhist. I too believe in that philosophy.

I hear a voice say, all thou hast thou shalt give me. Wearing saffron robes, we step through a wall, a huge concrete wall that slides open. I wake up.

All's Well??

I had a very strange dream in which I was directing a comic opera in what appears to be a palace or large chamber in a baroque building. The seats are not fixed but are those cushy ones with carved wooden frames (Louis XV style?) and I am fixing the plot so that the right couples end up together in the end.

Next to me is a stuffy German critic, He tells me that this is the very nature of a comic opera and praises me for my innovative solution.

Not at all, I tell him, you find this already in Shakespeare "schon in Shakespeare find' man das." He hems and haws and is trying to remember a title and finally says "All's Well That Ends Well.: I know that one doesn't quite fit the mode (being one of the "problem plays") and instead I tell him of the clown Feste in Twelfth Night. Well, I say, that's not quite right either, because he has a long monologue and then a song....

... and I wake up.

The Naked Orpheus

I dreamed that I was directing a bizarre Orfeo that was part spoken dialogue, part dance, part singing. It was in a sort of church hall or something - not an opera house. The dress rehearsal was starting. I was called out to look at the dancers' costumes which were orange and green. They asked me if they should perform nude, since Orfeo was doing so. I was surprised. 

Looking to my left, I saw the Orfeo singer who happened to be Damian Whiteley, only he was very elongated, like an alien, and he was nude, but to my surprise had no penis. I was trying to figure out whether this was actually nudity or an extremely convincing body suit, when I was asked to mediate a dispute on the pavement outside the hall.

There, some souvenirs were being sold, but it looks like they're being sold out of the back of a van. They are piled up against the side of the brick hall. A lady in furs is being very demanding, and only speaks German.

There is a shelf piled with little toys - it looks very incomplete. She wants to be the whole thing, toys and all. "Das Ganze?" I ask her. She nods impatiently. I try to reach my sister Pinky on the phone as she appears to own the sales concession.

Finally I get her and she says (in Thai) that they cost her 100 baht so she wants 300. I say this but the buyer seems insulted that they are so cheap. I try to formulate the sentence "we aren't a shop that cheats tourists" but I get stuck ... I say "Wir sind kein Geschäft ... (then I struggle to remember the gender of Geschäft, which I then get wrong) DER Turisten .... (and then I can't remember the word for "cheat"). I am standing there trying to figure out how to finish the sentence. 

I wake up.

The Archway

I dreamed I was running through a city, Bangkok I think, though it looked nothing like it. I was escaping something. It was very crowded.

I took a right turn to duck through an archway and hundreds of kids were flinging paint at canvases. The kids were in a line and there was a passageway ... and the paintings were leaning on a wall to my left. It was a festival of action painting. It was a wild spectacle. There was a boy covered in green paint wildly flinging paint and he turned to call my name. "I never thought you would come here!" he said. He wasnt't a child at all, I saw when I looked closer, but a friend - a writer - only I couldn't remember his name.

I ran through the gauntlet of paint. I found myself in an enclosed concrete space with a tiny door to the street outside. I saw rare electronic and music equipment in a shop. It was top of the line stuff, some of which had never even been released. There was a sort of fork lift-like elevator and people were entering furtively. I saw signs. There were yellow markings on the pavement beneath me, reminiscent of an alien airfield.

I suddenly realized this was a branch of "Dan Clark" which in my dream was the name of a huge electronic music dealer. Such branches are in major cities but are always hidden, and only open unpredictably, so only those in the know can enter them. I saw a guard and said, "I didn't know there was a Dan Clark in Bangkok."

"Go on in," he said, but the doorway was closing with a metal door sliding downwards.

"No, no, it is just good to know this," I said. "I will be able to come at my leisure."

Looked through the low doorway - hole in the wall, really - to the street beyond. Started to leave.... and woke up.

Disappearing Diamonds

I dreamed I'm watching a play, sitting in the wing. A beautiful woman with a pointed traditional Thai crown is on stage. She receives a diamond. She sings about its beauty. Then abruptly the diamond falls on the floor. She kneels down to look for it. As I watch she improvises a song of loss. I despair that the diamond is actually gone forever. When hope is gone, the diamond reappears by magic. The lady sings of joy but now the loss and reappearance have become part of my play. It seems that the diamond will disappear again yet will return again.

In the next moment I am standing by a row of chairs and an old woman with a white hair bun is giving me advice.

I wake up.

CHUBBY

I had two dreams, one in which I adopted a series of people ending up with a chubby, crew-cut boy with blond hair. 

In the second dream the chubby boy also appeared and we were all working together in some dank place. There was a break and I said, I'll take you to have some pancakes. We exited the building and the pancake house, with neon sign, was on the right. To the left was a rickety wooden bridge across a river. The boy said, "Let's go to the bridge instead, on the other side there's a noodle shop, I'd rather eat that."

We walked toward the bridge but before we could cross we found ourselves entering a huge reception. People were wearing tweed suits, excepts some suits had no arms, or were just pieces of tweed wrapped around in bizarre ways, only everyone was wearing the same matching gray tweed, rather a coarse design, like a tartan seen in a black and white photograph.

I suddenly realized that this party was the Democratic convention. I knew that it was going on, but thought I was going to miss it. I started apologizing for being late.

Then I woke up.

BORDER PATROL

I woke from a dream in which I was walking to America along the river bank. I reached the border but right next to it was a bridge to Canada, a rickety bridge made of planks. The bridge was so insecure and at one point only a single plank made it across. The American border was just a few yards further along with another bridge. But I was too exhausted to go any farther and I decided to enter through Canada.

A big hockey game was going to happen soon. It was all the immigration people could talk about. Immigration looks a lot more like the security line in airport. All the officers were women. The officer taking my passport had a white blouse and shoulder length dark hair and brown eyes. I gave her my passport, she welcomed me, then she carefully folded a page and ripped it out along the seam (so it was a center page). 

What are you doing? I asked her. She said oh we always rip out a page here. I said they never rip out a page in America. So anyway I went through. I just had to go through a single door, turn left and there was a concrete bridge across the river into America. The guards there were paying no attention. They changed into swimsuits took some hockey sticks and abandoned their posts.

I sauntered across the concrete path. At the gateway into America I saw there were no guards anymore. I went through the gate and I was home. I said to myself, the kids could just sneak into America. They would never ask any questions. And I was walking down an empty street across from some tall and faceless buildings. Then I woke up.

LANGUAGE DISSOCIATION AT THE OPERA

I had a very odd dream. We were at the opera. Not sure which, but the bright red velvet seats make many major opera houses possible candidates.

Where I was sitting appears to be the first Circle. There were a lot of VIPs. There's an intermission and a little girl with dark hair dressed in black sitting next to me. I'm introducing her to where all the VIPs are sitting even though most of them are not here because they left for the intermission.

For some reason we are speaking French. I point out various people people. Then she says, indicating behind us, c'est la grande dame. And I say, Oui. Lort. No that is a very weird word because it is the word for "there" (là and dort) mixed up between the German and French words. But in my dream it is French even though when I wake up I know that it isn't Lort, Lort I keep repeating c'est la grande dame.

KEVAN

I had a wild dream. I went up north to see a play. The north of england. It was the world premiere of a play by a friend of mine. While there I visit a friend who is a ballet teacher and her student, a very pale, blond teenage boy who is a bit fat and sulky, The teacher says you should meet Kevan, his brother (spelled with an a in my dream.) Kevan is a young and wide-eyed kid wtih incredible charisma, a bit like Timmy Valentine in my novel but with golden skin. He's a dancer, too. Kevan invites me to his estate in the south because I have a few days left in England and nowhere to go. I ride south in a train with the author Norman Spinrad, who entertains all the way south with witty stories, but leaves me at Kevan's estate. Kevan has extremely posh and weird parents and they throw a huge dinner in a sort of atrium of their palace, and Kevan dances to entertain the guests. It is a dance about love and cuminates in a furious fast section. Afterwards I spend the night (innocently) in Kevan's room and when we awaken he declares that he is going to order a scrumptious breakfast and meet his brother, the fat one.

We enter a really impressive palatial dining room and the brother is there cowering in a corner. It takes me a while to realize it is the same one I met up north. The dancing teacher, my friend is there, as are a governess and other hangers on typical of an aristocratic household. While Kevan orders bacon and eggs, they ask me what I am doing here and I proceed to narrate to them the entire story of this dream all the way from my friends play to my journey south. 

At the end the governess says, "But what do you think of Kevan's parents?"

I shrug. "They are what they are," I say, Apparently it is the right answer and they all nod sagely. I wake up.

KING CHARLES IS A ROBOT

I had a very rare dream about Jay last night at about 3 am I dreamed that he and I were in Central Europe (where I am right now) and we were visiting a park. In this park there was a huge robotic reenactment of Mediaeval history, about the execution of someone called "King Charles", except it was not the British one, but some obscure European ruler. The players were all robots, but they did not look like people, more like giant green and yellow Legos. It was a huge spectacle.

I woke up to find an email from one of his students asking for an orchestra audition.

FORCE SHIELD

My dream. Mikey and I are on a long trip. We are in a city far to south but oddly enough the place is called Wisconsin. We are taking an electric bus which at first leads us through the air over a river where there is an incredible, colorful visa of buildings that jut up in the air and twist into great circles, and spiralling roads. We pass through an electric gate and each time we go through and back up my hair stands on end and I feel an electric shock. The shock comes from a field generated by a large sheet of plastic, but now a woman in a nurse or cook's uniform is folding up the sheet and we enter a place where spring rolls are being served. I decide not to eat, because I have a fear I will miss the connection which is in Los Angeles, where we must change planes for New York. I'm in flight now, checking my ticket.