Mine For the Dreaming

Let me tell you about my dreams.

For years, nearly every night I’d dream that I was on a mission of some sort, always running and hiding from something. Always having an objective to complete. But never clear as to what the objective was. I was often a special agent and carried a gun, but never shot it, it was held at my side. Dirty and sweaty, and usually efficient in movement, I’d run from place to place taking cover in the dark, down alleyways in between buildings looking ahead for the next shadow to cower in, desperate and determined to make sense of the situation. Often I was waiting for someone who was to join me, but they always seemed just ahead or just behind, timing an ever present issue. It’s only recently come to my attention that the dreams have subsided, not sure when, but sometime in the last several months.

If I could choose to live in that moment forever, I feel I would.

None of the typical dreams “they” say the masses have that involve flying, falling, staircases, bananas, candlesticks, monsters, public nudity, etc., (okay, public nudity a few times) have been mine for the dreaming. Not one to put stock into the meaning of dreams and their symbology, I do however ponder their origin. They’re supposed to be the culmination of your thoughts or your subconscious throughout the day, right? I’m banking on it being the subconscious because my dreams often consist of people I haven’t given a thought to in years. People from long ago visit sporadically. Sometimes, the visit is so sweet upon waking in those few moments between sleep and conscious where you know you’re almost fully awake, but want to hang on to that feeling the dream evokes, not let it drift away, that, at times, if I could choose to live in that moment forever, I feel I would. Then of course, just a handful of minutes pass consisting of one of those really good, long, cat-like stretches (cat dream to follow) and then a meander down the hallway to the start of the day, and the memory has floated away to where dreams go in the daylight and life is happily mine for the living. Here, in reality.

Ever have one of those dreams of someone, maybe a coworker or a friend that you just don’t think of in that way, but the dream leaves you with a new view of them, and when you again encounter that person, you could swear they know, they totally know what you’ve dreamt, what you two’ve shared to have acquired that new view, and it’s all you can do to not turn to the shade of cabernet and pivot on your heel in escape. I must tell you, a few weeks back I had just such a dream. I saw a friend in a whole new never-before light. It puts a smile on my face even now. A sentence that’s been displayed in magnetic poetry around my home for over ten years: I must be quite kissed, or else. Others may have their hankerings, mine’s for a super colossal, knee-melting, mind-bending, time-forgetting kiss. And as with all such kisses, what makes the top contenders so spectacular is the presence of emotion behind them, the connection existing between two people. There was moonlight, a confrontation and the sweetest little tête-à-tête, le sigh. Pardon the blathering. :) I must say I did not then encounter my friend as mentioned above for he’s too far away for that, but even so I swear he still knew, as I heard from him that day, and that’s a rarity. I shall end my girlish silliness as there are many more a dream to discuss …

You know when it’s the place, but not really the place in dreams?

Several years back I began having dreams that included famous people, something I’d never dreamt before despite my penchant for movies and all things Hollywood. In the dreams, I’m far from star struck as the celebrities involved are rarely my favorites. Once I dreamt I dated Jim Carrey. He made for a moody boyfriend, jealous and needy, and I was glad to finally wake up that day. Next Ben Affleck, I found myself in an embrace, dancing, and he swept me downward in a deep dip. But he never brought me back up for it seemed the applause of the surrounding crowd caused him to extend my captive state in a fit of self-seeking praise. I woke up on that note, lying at an angle, my head off the bed and upside down, as in the dream. Hot tubbing with Madge, Madonna. We both wore heels, fully clothed, yet submerged, sitting around discussing trends in art galleries with a man who looked very much like Seal. Marilyn Manson tattooed my sister and then attempted to murder her so I spent the dream stocking him in vengeance and another time Billy Bob Thornton took my sister out for Mexican food much to my dismay. Such oddities. Now after a few years celebrity-dream-free, I’ve gone and dreamt that Jared Leto and his brother Shannon from the band 30 Seconds to Mars were on the couch in my living room. Only it wasn’t really my living room. You know when it’s the place, but not really the place in dreams? A Fall Out Boy was down the hall in the bedroom with the Dresden Dolls drummer and they were each crying into their cellphones, sadly lamenting the loneliness of their lifestyles. Meanwhile, back in the living room I fed my guests peanut butter pasta (?!) and then woke up with the urge to dye my hair black again. I wonder who’ll show up tonight …

Cat ripping. Yes, it’s an absurd and horrific affair. I hate cats, positively loathe them, save Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and with good reason. It was Christmas Eve, I was two, and Barney Cat was long-haired and fluffy. He rubbed his charcoal grey body across my legs as cats do and I reached to pet the length of his body as he passed by. The last bit of his tail apparently didn’t make it all the way through my hand as I clenched it shut. Barney Cat leapt screeching towards my face, bright eyes wild, claws fully extended and imbedding into my chest, dangling and swinging to and fro, stretched to full length and nearly as tall as me. The room erupted in roaring laughter at the sight of the attached cat while my dad, yelling, tried to detach Barney Cat all the while muttering, “Your dress is absolutely ruined with all those little puncture holes in it. And now your bleeding. Great. Stains.” So, yes, despise cats, I do. Maybe once a year there will come a dream where a cat will leap out of nowhere at me, pet semetery-esque eyes aglow, thrashing itself about, four claws flailing wildly at my face and chest, a million stinging slices, until I manage to get one cat limb in each of my hands and I pull as hard as I can, resulting in a torn cat, insides spilling forth, blood spurting, as it lets out a bone chilling death yowl. I hate these dreams. Too barbaric even for a cat. I always wonder where is all that dormant violence coming from?!

Not to purposely cause much “eeew”ing on anyone’s part here as a follow up to that last bit of kitty carnage, but the next dream I must mention is that of my teeth falling out. I hesitate to write that, as it seems to be the one dream that I can mention during the day and it will then occur come night. Occasionally I’ll find that I’m eating something soft, often strawberries or a warm scone in a dream. The next thing I know is there is a wobbling, a loosening, and teeth are on the move. Always the ones in the front and usually on the bottom. I try to run to a mirror, (ah, vanity!) and watch helplessly in horror. Inevitably, it occurs while on a date and I’m made to deal with being seen and accepted, or not, in such a state. One time in one of the most disturbing dreams to come to mind, half of my lower jaw came off in my hand, as though it just rotted and decayed, leaving the bloody bony mess that it was, resting in my palm. You know, nothing a little lip gloss can’t fix. ;)

Do they dream those typical dreams afore mentioned that “they” say we all dream?

I’m hugely curious about the dreams of others. I wonder, are there people who dream in black and white, or all in red? Mine are in full color, save one time they were in a rich sienna, much like an aged photo from long ago. Do musicians hear music only to wake and try to capture what they’ve heard in the night? Does anyone ever dream they’re not human? Maybe a roll of Scotch tape instead or a “59”Chevy or a mackerel in a stream? Do they dream of me? Do they dream those typical dreams afore mentioned that “they” say we all dream? So often in conversation, I’ve encountered people who say they don’t dream at all. Tell me about one of your dreams. I want to know I’m not alone in all my delights and fears and absurdities. I want to know. ♦

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SAM Returns and Other Miscellany

Sleep. I begrudgingly should begin getting to bed at a fairly regular time, I suppose. There’s just too much I wanna see, do, and be a part of that even if I’m tired, I push through it until a second burst of energy comes. A total night owl, I am. Working into the wee hours of the morning at various jobs over the years has done much to ingrain this little pattern, and nothing seems to be enough motivation to alter it! Work is currently flexible so no rush to be up and about too early. And I love to see the sunrise, but as a finish to the night versus the beginning of the morning. I have the most comfortable bed in the world, too, it deserves more attention, really. It comes complete with the proverbial frog prince. The other night owls that once populated my life have cycled out and I’m awaiting new ones! Where are you, fellow night owls? Are you out there? I need some company.

Bed

This weekend I finally went to the new Olympic Sculpture Park down at the Seattle waterfront. On the way there, we drove by the Lusty Lady which features wonderfully naughty headlines on their marquee. As we drove by, I read “Welcome Back, Sam” and was not getting the expected double entendre. Then I glanced to my right where the Seattle Art Museum resides. SAM, duh. It’s the opening weekend of the newly renovated museum! There were swarms of people, masses, spilling off the sidewalk into the street, up and around both sides of the block! Thrilled to see the public embracing the return of the museum! I remember standing on the sidewalk nearly two years ago looking at the tall partition covering the beginnings of the renovation and thinking how far away the reopening in spring of 2007 seemed. Now it’s here and I can’t wait to go! The last I’d checked no reopening date was posted and now I find that I could have put my night owlness to use- the museum stayed open through the night on into the next morning where there was said to be all manner of music and dancing. Major kicking of self here! They have the grandest of staircases in white marble with shallow steps and several plateaus perfect for lingering in the wee hours of the morning. Poo. Well, on to the park we went and it’s quite wonderful, I must say, a smaller scale than I imagined, but with an air of European design, the sparse clean look of Sweden to be exact, with a handful of varying sculptures, hence the park’s name. The sculpture of choice was unanimous, a large pop art item, an oversized typewriter eraser. Nothing to be interpreted in the piece as in the other pieces, but there was something so fun in its placement and frozen state of movement, a repurposed identity for a formerly obsolete object. (What is the word for those who shun technology, ending in “yte”? Maybe there’s still a run on typewriter erasers with them, I don’t know.)

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen's Typewriter Eraser, Scale X

Meet Sophie. My mom’s Schnoodle. She’s a pill! She loves my face. I could do without the rambunctous licking, though. From Sophie, that is. ;) She’s breathed life back into my mom’s fairly uneventful life. A companion for everything from baking cookies to trips to the park. My mom swears that Sophie is the smartest creature on earth, though, has yet to provide sufficient proof. Take the other day when we stood on a ledge overlooking the bay and Sophie decided to step off the ledge and just dangled there by her leash as the water crashed on the rocks below. Swing little doggie, swing!

Schnoodle Wearing Pink Rhinestone T-Shirt

A recent phone call with less than thrilling news on the line has left me really wanting a hug about now, but the closest one is miles and miles away. As I write, there’s a little girl who’s just walked under my window down below and she’s singing that song that goes “You made me love you, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it” and that’s nearly as good as a hug as that song is reserved for the likes of Sinatra and Holiday fans and to think that she knows it and chooses to sing it at her young age puts a smile on my face. ♦

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Now Serving

I’m gonna be here awhile. And the floor is cold.

A less-than-smooth move on my part the other night has left me with a mandatory visit to the DMV. I was loading the groceries into the car and set the outgoing mail and my wallet on top of the car so they wouldn’t get buried on the seat. You can see where this is going already, can’t you? :)

Needless to say, off I drove, stuff still on top of the car. For aways anyway. It only occurred to me what I’d just done after already reaching home. Tina and I had planned on going to the movies; off we went to retrace my path instead.

Now serving number 196 at counter 2 …

Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven.

We checked with store security and lost & found and then searched by foot. Bean was so good to me, incredibly thorough in her searching and minimal chastising for my absent-minded move. She found all three pieces of mail- two Netflix movies, their outer packaging crumpled and dirty and tire-marked, but the discs unbroken (yay!) and more importantly, a document intended for the release of some design work I completed for a company recently. Not a spec of dirt on that one (big yay!). No wallet, though. So back home we went to deal with the cancellation of credit cards and such. I found myself to be remarkably calm, enough truly bad stuff happens to people each day that this was hardly worthy of getting all hot and bothered. That is, until I began calling to report lost cards. After a total of seven attempts at entering my account number, and apparently failing, I lost it. F___ this and f___ that and on I went like the true longshoreman’s daughter that I am. The condescendingly smug electronic voice on the line announced that I would be connected with a “relationship agent” shortly. I can see entering the number in wrong once, even twice, but seven times for a number I know by heart, no way, José! Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven. The remaining calls were gravy following that first one, and I was done in a total of twenty minutes. Not bad! Will miss that wallet, though. It was a gift from Bean, an Alice In Wonderland wallet from Disneyland, with vintage drawings, all worn and aged in look not like the lame psychedelic versions I see for sale at any local mall. The very worst? The loss of Starbuck’s gift cards. WAAAAAAAAAAH! Three, all with nice balances on them.

Now serving number 197 at counter 4 …

I think every ugly sneaker on the planet is congregated in this room. There’s a biker standing to my left and I can smell the leather of his boots. Other than that, it smells dank in here, and stale. Everyone I see looks like the watered down, slightly less vibrant version of someone else I once knew. It’s really the perfect place to sketch. That woman standing off to the side, skirt slightly askew, shining brown hair hanging down her back, her stance has an awkwardness to it, like she can feel eyes on her that she’d rather not. The squat little woman wearing black and blue horizontal striped stockings pulled over her very full calves that disappear under what looks like an Oktoberfest get-up. My, she’s either just off work from some German deli or she takes serious pride in her heritage. There appears to be only one person in the room with fashion sense. And today, it’s not me. He’s off in the corner, looking like he just walked off stage after performing with some Boho-indie band, and is here scoping subjects out for new lyrical content.  

Now serving number 198 at counter 5 …

There’s a math problem here, I just know it. X amount of ‘s called per Y minutes = total average wait. Something to that effect. My bum is asleep. A man has just entered the building on his cell exclaiming, “Dude! You should see this place! I am now officially clinically depressed.” He’s summed up the atmosphere of the room, crammed with people. He’s continued to prattle on about plans with someone named “Audrey” and is sharing his opinions on everything from global warming to the latest South Park rerun. “Sign of the times, dude, sign of the times,” he says. Outta the mouths of babes, as they say, as he’s certainly a sign of the times with his intrusive phone conversation echoing throughout, reaching a captive audience. And not a babe, but rather, a mechanic.

Now serving number 199 at counter 1 …

I was loving the social experiment his reign had become!

While I’m here I’ll tell you my thoughts on the latest season of American Idol. I gotta say that I was mildly bummed to see that little Sanjaya fellow go. In prior weeks, Tina has pitched a regular fit just short of death threats over him taking the space of a more worthy contestant. She’s theorized the same widely reported ideas by the media that his success has been in part to call-ins from all the outsourced jobs in India, Sanjaya being of Indian descent. A great singer he is not, projection being his problem, a lack of it, that is, but his thousand watt smile and gorgeous crop of hair gave him a charismatic draw. I was loving the social experiment his reign had become! Tina insists that American Idol is a singing competition, and therefore should produce a winner with true talent. I insist that it’s American Idol, that in our music industry filled with many a performer displaying only average talent that’s then been over-produced and highly packaged for mass appeal, who better to reflect that than a winner with only average talent as well. After a handful of seasons, I liked seeing how the public manipulated the voting results with various websites and media personalities persuading their viewers to vote or not to vote for this person or that.

Now serving number 200 at counter 4 …

The toddling child just down the way with the big dark eyes has pulled off his sock and triumphantly flung it to the middle of the room. I’d almost join him, if I was wearing socks. He’s the only bit of joy I can see in here. This place smacks of a social statement waiting to be made. All here waiting for a similar goal, we are, together, but alone. Solitary. There’s a man sitting next to me, his face a little more than a foot from mine, as it’s a tight fit in here today, and yet, I’ve only just noticed his presence, having been lost in my writing. How sad to be so close in proximity and yet so disconnected. Life is meant for risk to some degree and I can’t think of a better one than that of connection to those around us. That said, a man has opened the door for a woman entering and a brief smile flashes on the faces of each. For the most part, though, everyone looks so glum, and I wonder do I as well? I feel anything but glum, a tad melancholy in reflection, but nevertheless, bursting with inspiration. Inspiration has not ceased for weeks now, it comes from everything! In a book title I read, in the lines of a scripture in Psalms, down a road I mistakenly turned down, from a used tire lot filled with stacks and stacks of towering old tires with blackberry vines growing up and over their tops, from the written words of an old friend, from flowers from my dad on May Day. From this room! I love, love, love the diversity in this room! Every color, nationality, and background imaginable. The best are those who have a complexity due to the mixing of race. Take the little boy to my right with the jet black hair, porcelain white skin, and grey (neato!) eyes. The woman he calls “Mama” displays fair hair, freckled skin and brown eyes. Must contain this desire to create awhile longer … get me to a canvas to release some of this pent-up need for visual exploration, I must paint!

Now serving number 201 at counter 3 …

… my number is 331. ♦

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