I’ve always had an active imagination, a mind more preoccupied with what could be instead of what actually is.
This is neither a good nor bad thing but the type of defining trait that makes me long for more. It instills a restlessness, a wanting, a strange drive to fuse the imagined with the real. Why can’t we have it both ways, our desires becoming fact instead of self-made literary fictions?
How do dreams fit into this? These stories we tell ourselves nightly are clearly active minds at work, representing the subconscious but also desire attempting self-articulation. Recently, I’ve been noticing that my dream self has been quite chatty and I want to do a better job of listening to what he (Me.) is trying to say. I’ve shared a running list of dreams before but I’ve recently started a digital dream diary in the hopes of being more thorough in my logging of what I’m trying to tell myself. Partly silly stories to share, partly a bloggy Ouija game, I wanted to put these dreams out there in case anyone sees something I don’t in these fictional non-fiction stories.
Also, I was very inspired by a talk I recently attended by Los Angeles writer Wendy C. Ortiz, whose most recent book – Bruja – is a memoir told in dreams the author had. Since my own dreams have been quite vivid lately, I thought I would capture them in a similar form and share them on the final day of the month they were had in.
Thus, enjoy January’s dreams. This is an abbreviated selection mostly because I started this list late in the month. Still, there were some very wild dreams in this short period of time.
Week Of 1.8, Joigny, France
Jean-Baptiste (JB) and I are in a strange mall land, something like Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, one of those terrible hybrids of amusement parks and shopping destinations. It’s not a cool place. It appears to be at the edge of something geographically like the top of peninsula or perched on an ocean cliffside. There is a tall hotel on top of it and we go in and out of it. I think we both have rooms there. We walk around, talking some, and go to a bad restaurant where the service staff wear fancy suits but the food is elevated diner stuff. There are long stares – Longing stares, perhaps. – and lots of shuffling around this bad food on plates as we engage in conversations about who-knows-what. We eventually walk around again, after our meal. It’s darker out. The sun is setting. It’s colder. We walk shoulder-to-shoulder and I’m filled with a very strange but very welcome warmth. It feels like JB and I are dating but we’re just friends. I’ve never had this feeling in my life but it is a good feeling. I wake up and am consumed with how good a person JB is and what a good friend he is. I think about how I have only had three other long term close friendships with straight males in my entire life and that this is very strange. Why is this? I think about how this likely relates to my own problems or straight male problems related to my cloud of sexuality getting in the way, either as sexual tension or their thinking that I am inferior for whatever reason. Something changes in me that morning. I want more straight male friends.
Sunday, January 28, Los Angeles California
I am at a school of some sort, what I assume to be a very bricky university. It’s night. There are very few people on this campus or in the halls. The people who are there are in night clothes, clothing you wear in the house but not quite pajamas. They are all rich and are, for the most part, white. I feel out of place and uncomfortable, as I always do in situations where a group is either predominantly rich or predominately white. They are so nice. They want to be my friend and they genuinely mean it. They invite me to their apartments. I sing for them. (I am not a singer. I hate singing.) They love my songs. I move in with one of the guys. He loves me like a best friend and I do not confuse this friendship for a potential sexual partner. I am filled with that male warmth that I’ve been craving. We all hang out, continuously, for what feels like weeks of this endless fun night. At one point, I take out something like a loan at the front desk of the school so I can continue to be there. The loan isn’t real but is a sort of friendship deposit, something I have to do as a formality to remain because I don’t have the money to pay rent or whatever is required of me in this bricky dream university. I have a great day with these friends. There is a lot of hugging. There are a lot of sculpted male arms that I nuzzle into. I go back to my apartment. The doors are tall, I notice. I’m alone, preparing for another performance for these friends. This apartment is now on a hill. It feels like my time here is ending but everyone is working very hard to keep me forever. I open a door. “Rod is dead,” a man says. The dream ends. I wake up. I have no breath. I am devastated. I have a friend – Rod. – who is one of the three or four straight male friends that I’ve had. I haven’t spoken to him in two years. Our correspondences have only been by brief email in the past decade. I look up his name, to see if there is an obituary of some sort online. It is 4AM. I am breathless. I draft an email to him in my mind, one that I have been wanting to send to him for weeks, to tell him how much he means to me and to thank him for being a friend. I draft the same message in my mind to Erin, who I’ve been meaning to send a similar email to. I get up. I pee. I go back to sleep.
Tuesday, January 30, Los Angeles, California
I’m looking for something. I’m wandering around a city into buildings and looking. This isn’t pressing nor is there anything that I am really “looking” for but I continue searching. Scooter barks very loudly – and strangely – in a way that warbles into a scream. It wakes me up. My eyes are in my pillow but I’m awake and mad at him but then I think about what an adorable and cute baby of a dog he is and that he probably heard something he didn’t understand and was trying to keep us safe. I think about how I can’t be mad at that and fall back asleep before my alarm goes off minutes later.
Wednesday, January 31, Los Angeles, California
Somehow, I’m walking around Seoul, Korea by myself. I’m on a trip for no reason or had just ended working on a film. Everything feels like the Korea I remember living in as a kid but it looks like Europe. Eventually, the city devolves into a quiet Northeastern town. I go to an army navy thrift store associated with a church. I look around. There’s nothing appealing here but that doesn’t really matter since I’m mostly killing time. I ask a woman boxed in with registers at a square counter if there are any clothes. She points to two racks of school uniforms. I take a look. There are navy shorts suits that I’m obsessed with. There are purple shorts suits that I’m obsessed with. There are purple puffy coats that almost look like those Balenciaga coats: I’m obsessed. There’s even a bright blue pom-pom coat that I adore. I think about trying things on and ask the woman about sizes but she points out that everything that is out is what they have. Thankfully, I think, I can fit in little boy sizes. I pull a few things off the rack and walk to look at a stack of faded t-shirts. They aren’t too striking until I notice that the shirts begin saying things on them that I have said to friends, privately. Eventually, the image of my friend Kate and I is on few t-shirts and I’m freaked out. I text Kate that someone made t-shirts of us and that we should probably be concerned. I leave, without getting anything, and am somehow in a mall bathroom. (Or maybe it’s the church bathroom?) I need to use the bathroom but there are people – Particularly old men. – living in the stalls. It’s messy and disgusting. I try to find a calm stall but these gross men keep intruding. I eventually have to level with them, play their game of living in the stall. It works, briefly, but I’m too bashful to go to the bathroom because the men seem to be everywhere. I leave. I go to another bathroom that is quieter. The men begin moving in. I leave. Dottie wakes me up and I think about those purple puffy coats until my alarm goes off.