The Story of a Dream in a Story in a Dream

You were in my dream last night, most of which isn’t important
It was the normal affair of reality and lies twisted therein
But at end of it all you gave me a call
A call to me in a dream I had that you were in

You were saying that you had just had a dream
And that I was in this dream that you had
And we were in the desert among the starlight
I had done something neat, some sort of crazy feat
In this dream you had dreamed in the dream that I had dreamed last night

And right before you said what I did this dream
Some escapade fantastic, an exploit utterly mad
I woke up, confused and confounded
Amazed and astounded
At the dream within a dream that I just had

But I was disappointed with my slumber
At least with how it ended
For I never learned the exacts of my glory
What was so great about my midnight jaunt
To justify a multi-layered dark hour haunt?
I guess I’ll never know the whole story

And I blame you for my dis-satisfactory vision
You should talk faster, not so much ado
I think that it’d only be fair, though you were not really there
There, in the dream that you had that I was in
In the dream that I had that you were in, too.


“Yeah . . . I’m sorry about . . . about doing that . . . I guess . . .”

Reservations Are Important

A restaurant host stands at a dais, looking at a reservation log.  Jim walks up slowly.

JIM:  Hello?

HOST:  Good Evening sir, and welcome to The Dreamscape Lounge.  I will be your host . . . .

JIM:   . . . yes?

HOST:  I’m sorry sir, but I usually draw my name from the sleeper’s subconscious, usually a parental figure, but your mind seems to be blank.

JIM:  Well, I did get pretty stoned before I nodded off . . .

HOST:  Ahhh.  Yes.  Well, in that case, we can move on to available seats.

JIM:  What do you have open?

HOST: I’m afraid there’s not much left.  We have . . . let’s see . . . we have three rooms available – Demonic clowns with chainsaws, Sleeping with your mother, and . . . hmmm, there’s not much elaboration on this one, all it says is WOLVES & FIRE.

JIM: (hesitating)  Isn’t there anything else?

HOST:  I’m afraid not sir.

JIM:  No awesome dreams where I’m Luke Skywalker?

HOST:  That dream ran out yesterday afternoon.

JIM:  How about that one dream with me, Scarlet Johannson and a stick of butter?

HOST:  A unique one, but Miss Johannson has been booked for a month.

JIM:  How about . . . eating pizza?

HOST:  I’m afraid the chef is on vacation.

JIM:  Oh.

HOST:  All that is left is what I have listed here.  You really should have reserved a dream ahead of time sir.

JIM:  I’ll try to remember that.

HOST:  I would send you to the hole of blackness, to float aimlessly until you awake, but unfortunately the hole is on the fritz again.  We’ve sent out a call to the technician, but he won’t be here until morning.

JIM:  Blast.

HOST:  So, sir . . . what will it be?

Jim ponders.  He looks around to make sure no one is watching.

JIM:  (quietly)  Ahem –  I’ll . . . I’ll have sex with my mother.

HOST:  Yes.  I would have chosen the wolves myself, but to each their own.  (he sees Jim’s shame on his face)  Don’t fret, sir.  You would be surprised just how many people choose this option, so there is no worry to feel so ashamed.  That is what dreamscapes are here for – to explore every option that is available to you.  And besides, from what I have on file here, your mother is quite an attractive woman.

JIM:  (quietly) Yes . . . yes she is . . .

HOST:  (handing Jim a key)  Here is your room key.  There will complimentary mints waiting outside your door when you are finished, along with the Memory Erasing Pill and a glass of water if you would prefer to forget your visit to this establishment tonight.

JIM:  Thank you.

HOST:  My pleasure, sir.  Have a wonderful evening, and I hope you will join us again soon here at The Dreamscape Lounge.

Jim walks into the restaurant, still looking around to make sure know one else has seen this transaction.

No More Yielding But A Dream

Since starting this blog, I’ve tried to write down my dreams in the hope that I may discover a subject for a story.  Usually my dreams are nothing more than vague images and fragments of memories, as most dreams usually are, and they fade from my memory before the end of the day, as most dreams usually do.  On the few occasions that I remember most of what I saw, I tend to find that my dream was just me going through what I normally go through in a day.  This tends to anger me since I feel like I have been forced to back track and relive something I have already gone through, or that instead of acting as a respite from reality the dream just put on an eighth day to my week.  But every now and then I strike gold, and when I stumble from bed to my computer and type my dream I find something magical; like digging up a time capsule, only to find gold instead.

When I do remember enough of my dream to make it worth the time to write it down, I usually don’t remember the actual act of writing so when I sit down and read about my dream, I get to be surprised by it all over again.  It would be like taking that gold you dug up and hiding it in the back of your sock drawer, only to be found when you put on that last pair of socks with the holes in it that you only save to remind you that you should probably do your laundry.  Then, lo and behold, you find enough gold to buy enough socks for everyone on the block.

So today, being either absolutely out of ideas or too lazy to finish writing some short stories I’ve been working on, I opened the file labeled “Dreams” on my desktop to look for something I could post today.  And what I found was this:

Living in Germany during World War II, fighting Nazis by smuggling alligators out of the country.

I can vaguely remember the dream itself and although the description is rather short, I do recall the dream being rather long and detailed.  It seemed like the perfect choice.

And yet, as I stare at the blank Word document waiting for me to start typing, I realize that nothing I could say would do justice to the idea.  I know it was important work, smuggling the alligators out of Berlin, and I know it was hurting the Nazis something fierce, but I can’t bring myself to elaborate or explain any of these things further; I’m just too afraid I’d fuck up its purity, the ever-loving “awesomeness” of it.

So instead of drawing out a scenario from an idea that I’m not sure even Hemingway could justify in a story, I’ll just leave you all with the muse itself.  How does stealing alligators hurt the Nazis?  I have no idea, but I do know Hitler hated that I was, and man, fuck that guy.

by Illishar on deviantART

Ideas of Perfection

While taking a daytrip to the South Bay of California with a friend a few weeks ago, we found ourselves walking along the boardwalk and looking at houses.  I think that the houses built on the waterfront in southern California should be tourist attractions in and of themselves.  They are practices in style mixed with unlimited budgets, opulence countered by good taste.  They are not the huge monstrous estates of the stars in Malibu where style is tossed out the window for size and flair or the gated communities of the upper-middle class, where all the houses are cut with the same cookie-cutter.  No one house on the water is the same style, shape or color.  They are barely even the same size, as some of the properties aren’t bigger than a bungalow (granted, beachside bungalows with large pleasure yachts anchored out back).  Every single property is elegant and beautiful, qualities that are only made more apparent by the blue water and a bright sunny day.

My friend turns to me and says, “This is what I want.  This is what would make me happy.  To live in one of these houses.”

Well, duh,’ I thought.  We both are unemployed with our bank accounts reaching $0.00, and to me the houses were a symbol of a life where the financial ups and downs had balanced out leaving the owners time to spend on emotional turmoil, existential angst and all the other wonders life has to offer.   That’s what I have to tell myself anyway, that the people who live in these houses are shallow, hollow and boring people.  The prospect that these gorgeous houses could be filled with good and happy people living fantastic lives is almost too much to handle, like those girls from the Welch’s Juice commercials who are so cute they are frightening.

Honestly, I think they want to drink my blood and eat my soul.

Surely my friend’s dreams had to include more than just a pretty house, were more than just materialistic pipe dreams.  “But you want more than just a pretty house, right?” I asked.  “Family, time for hobbies, travel, the time and patience to study the things you have none for now?”

“No.  I don’t want to study anything.  This is what I want, to live in a really nice house.  As far as family, and all that, I wouldn’t want to have any of it until I had the house.”  I searched my friend’s face, looking for the punchline that never came.  I have always been one to daydream as it is a fun and extremely cheap form of entertainment, and while I would love to own a tiny two story house with a basement the size of a batcave so that I could, well, make weapons and fight crime, or to have a fountain that spurts water on one side, chocolate on another, and whiskey on the last portion, I understand that these are merely fantasies.  I didn’t grow up in shack or slum, but my family and I didn’t achieve low-middle class status until I was into high school.  The separation of my fantasies and my actual life was large and vast and the realization that, unless your family bestowed it upon you, even getting a small shitty house was going to take a lot of time and a lot of work.  I don’t want to poo-poo on anyone’s hopes and dreams but to have your daydreams, or pipe dreams, become your actual dreams is dangerous because there is no process that is envisioned along with the outcomes.  My friend doesn’t see how they are going to get a house, or where all this happy-fun-super-great-awesome-money is going to come from.  They just see what they don’t have, fantasize about them having it and then label that their dream.  There’s something incredibly tragic about that to me, as if the pursuit of a “better life” is causing people to miss the glory that’s around us every day.

For the past few weeks I have been writing about things that annoy or irk me and to keep from making myself look like a callous, uncaring, ill-tempered ogre, I’ve made of list of things that fill my heart with joy and wonder.  Some of the things are just a scent or a sound, an image in my mind, while others are memories turned into rituals.  They are just moments that I live for, however small they may be.  These small things are treasures, gifts, and I am still discovering new ones all the time.

Click this link here before you begin, and listen to the song while you read.  And ask yourself, “What are the small pleasures that fill up my day, my life?”  And if you had the ability to fill spend your time doing these things, who cares about how nice your house is?

Blowing bubbles, taking off my socks, spinning in my chair, a windy day, driving with no destination at night, the pull of the tide, children playing and laughing, fixing something, spending the entire day at the beach/Disneyland, being exhausted after a fun day, taking a shower at 1 in the afternoon on a weekday, reading all day, listening to an LP, playing my guitar and singing when my voice is good, making my friend Amy Simpson laugh (we made a game in high school as to who could make her laugh the most in a year), rapping with George (a Chinese existentialist and a whatever-the-hell-I-am rapping “Hip Hop” by Dead Prez is awesome and ridiculous at the same time), being onstage in front of an audience, waking up to a kiss, a hot shower after a freezing day, cooking breakfast for my friends, morning fog, afternoon sunlight filtered through closed curtains, riding silently in a car with my friends, putting cold stones on my face, seeing two movies back to back at the movie theatre, choreographing stage combat with my friend John, hooking electronics up, the scents of sandalwood, sea salt, cedar, clean linen and bread baking, eating Chef Boyardee Ravioli cold from the can, watching a television series from start to end and back to back, talking to my mother for hours, the feel of grass under my feet, a sleeping dog laying its head on my lap, cooking something I never have before . . .

A Carpenter Speaks His Mind

Based off of a conversation I overheard years ago.

Mike the Carpenter:  Are you kidding me?  Those people aren’t LA folks.  You don’t know any true LA folks except me.  Los Angeles is a hub for the interstate immigrant.  All these people from across the country, across the fucking globe, come here in hopes for the quick bucks and star dreams.  They come out here, trying to be LA, act LA, but they don’t know the first thing about what it’s like because the people they learn from aren’t people who are from here!  They come out here and take our jobs, eat our food, live off our land, pack our freeways, drink our liquor and sleep with our women.  They flick their cigarette butts out their windows and pee in our oceans.  They act like dicks all in the name of “Pursuing the Dream” or some horseshit like that.  They give us a bad name.  And then after seven to fifteen years they realize they are nothing but a bunch of boring, country bumpkins and that they never stood a chance out here.  Then they move back to Bumfuck, Iowa or wherever they come from, marry the fat girl across the street, poop out a few kids and then live out the rest of their lives waiting for their children to put them in a home.  And what are we left with?  Scars.  They’ve turned a gorgeous land of boardwalks and orange groves into a dried husk.  And they’ll tell their friends back home, “Oh yeah, I hate LA.  It’s a shitty town covered in glitter and asphalt.”  But they know it was because it was filled with people just like them, fucking parasites.  And they’ll feel a pang of guilt, as they should!  But it won’t last long, because they never took the time to love this city.  Not like I do.

Phil the Student:  So what is the real Los Angeles?

Mike the Carpenter:  Not your Hollywood clubs or film openings, I can tell you that.  Los Angeles is the palm tree silhouette at sunset.  It’s sharing a cervesas with a few immigrants who don’t speak much English that you’ve hired to help you build a fence, and laughing together for no real reason.  It’s culture reinvented.  It’s the pull of the Pacific surf that carries away your troubles.  It’s good, hard working people who come here not to live the dream but to simply live.  It’s heat and sea breeze.  It’s a blooming rose all year long.   It’s all of that, piled under the trash left by tourists.

Phil the Student:  Do you have to be born here to be true LA?

Mike the Carpenter:  No, but the odds aren’t in their favor.

Phil the Student:  So . . . which one am I?

Mike the Carpenter: (pauses, swings his beer, stares at Phil)  How long have you been here?

Phil the Student:  About five years.

Mike the Carpenter:  Hmm.  Give it three more, and then we’ll see.