dream fragment: maternal visitations

Nick had brought back a cold or something from the flight home, and I’d caught it. So we were both sleeping pretty fitfully.

I dreamed that various dead women related to me were coming to my door. Most notably my mother and my father’s mother. All dressed in white, bright against the dark night. And you know that thing where you see someone coming through the window and try to get out of sight so you can pretend you’re not home? I did that.

Then I woke up and wanted to poke Nick to make sure he was still alive. But I could barely breathe. Couldn’t talk, my throat wouldn’t move.

And then I woke up for real and cleared my sinuses out. I’m glad I wasn’t stuck in a half-awake state barely able to breathe for a while, that would have been a hell of a nightmare.

the dream of a pregnant unicorn

This morning I dreamed that I was talking with Dana, who was presenting as a ten year old girl. She told me she was pregnant and challenged me to guess who by.

I woke up as I was starting to explain why I was ruling out her husband.

the dream of my first home, crumbling

Now and then, I dream about the house I grew up in. It’s been happening less often over the years; I lived there for the first twenty-five years of my life, but it’s been about twenty years since I left for good. I don’t think I was ever inside it again; my mother moved out into an apartment before I came back from California for my first visit.

Last night, it was falling apart around me. I tried to close and lock the back door and the lock halfway sheared out of the door. The ground beneath the place was clearly shifting and it clearly wasn’t long for this world. Clearly. Nothing else of import happened in that dream; a lot of the time when I dream I’m there I’m afraid of Something coming to get me and need to make sure the doors are closed, draw the blinds in my room lest They see me. But this time? Just an old shell of a place, falling apart.

Which is a thing it did already. When Marie-Jeanne sold it, there were cracks developing in the ceiling between one corner and the other of the house, as the concrete slab it had been built on was sinking unevenly. Not a good choice for building in a swampy city at all, really. I visited it when I came back the first year after Katrina, and it was still standing, but somewhere between then and now it’s been torn down and replaced with a two-story building. The trees in the front and back are gone, too – the little ones my family planted when I was a kid out on the servitude, the pine in the front yard, and the big sycamore tree that dominated the back yard. The only remnant is a bent line of wire fence between that plot and the one behind it; I think it’s probably the same one left over from when I was a kid.

The house on the plot behind it, and the one next door, are still the same houses that were there my whole life. But the single-story mustard-yellow one I grew up in is, indeed, gone, and has been since at least 2007. Street View won’t go any earlier than that, when it shows the lot with the two big trees but no house; the next image is 2011, when the new place is starting to go up.

The last time I dreamed of it, Mom was there, but we kinda knew she was really dead. This time it was just me. Me and entropy. I wonder if I’ll ever dream about the place again.

oh god the little strip mall up on Chef Menteur Highway is a Wal-Mart now.

the dream of being rescued

A brief snippet of dream from last night: I was trying to get into a room whose door was closed; it was as if there was someone inside holding it shut. Then it slightly opened and as I put my hand in to turn on the light, I was pulled inside into the darkness. And suddenly this became a nightmare.

Then Nick charged in and started to pull me out, and I woke up with a start. And I smiled, and snuggled into the bed next to him, and went back to sleep.

That’s all. There was some stuff beforehand but I can’t remember it and I’m pretty sure it was another narrative.


Dream me will comment on a school's font choice (one of those circussy ones with heavy serifs and a few flourishes; “well I guess it was the seventies”) but not on the fact that its letter listing every new student for this year alphabetizes “Dhadradessi” after names starting with X,Y, and Z. Then again after I blinked the last few names were listed in awkward attempts at constructing non-English characters out of a monospace typewriter font.

Also that is a hell of a name, which is still bouncing around my head. This post may serve as a reminder to ask Google if it's an actual name once I actually get up; I'm going back to sleep right now.

the dream of something like a family reunion

So there I was in a dream house full of what feels in retrospect like a family reunion. Grandpa was there, then I left to get something and came back, and Grandma and Mom were there. No Dad, no Grandma M. And an assortment of Black people who had the aura of “relative” to me and is there something nobody ever told me about my family tree. Maybe it's just something to do with whoever bought my grandparents' house, I dunno. Or maybe it's just what my brain chose to make up while dreaming.

There was some wandering around and chatting and a lady who was cosplaying some kind of circuit-themed character whose outfit I complimented but nothing much happened. Just kind of a family reunion.

Never went to one of those in real life. My family was pretty fragmented. But there you are.

the dream of avoiding tinysex

I dreamt I was trying to hook up with someone on Furrymuck for textsex. Didn't want to but felt obligated. So I took my sweet time navigating to our rendezvous location in its map. At the same time I was in a store with someone attempting to persuade me to have a run of custom printed ties done, with bats on them; somehow this design ended up being a blue head of a cartoon dog, and I very politely said I needed to think about the colors for a bit as a way to get the hell out of this interaction.

Then I woke up,

the dream of a thievin’ yokai

I think I dreamed that a kappa stole my phone. Admittedly it’s hard to tell as it was replaced by a stand-in – the best one yet, I think this one actually ran a weird Android variant and had belonged to someone else. I never get my real phone when I pull it out in a dream; I always get a fake phone. It’s slowly catching up; it used to be a horrible clunky device with an LCD screen and multiple physical buttons, this one was recognizably A Post-iPhone Smartphone. It had a case with a single home button and a touch screen and everything. But it was a plastic case, that was sort of opening when I pulled it out and had to be snapped back together. And it said it belonged to some dude who was definitely not me (and no, this phone wasn’t owned by pre-transition me either).

She also managed to steal my tablets and my laptop from the hotel room I was staying in. This dream was taking place at a furry con that was somehow also happening in an airport, it seemed.

Really I feel like the “what is this janky substitute for my phone” thing should be a sign to me that I Am Dreaming by now. It’s been going on for several years. But like the “casually pissing in a really horribly unusable toilet” thing (which made an appearance too; I didn’t use it but the bathrooms in this dream sure were weirdly set up), I just try to use it anyway.

At least the last time I dreamed of peeing in an inappropriate toilet, I actually asked myself if I was dreaming. Maybe next time I get a Comedically Fake Phone I’ll ask myself that question too. And maybe next time I casually pee in a wildly inappropriate toilet and ask myself if I’m dreaming, I’ll take out my phone and see what I get.

I still don’t know what I’d do in a lucid dream, mind you.

the dream of not realizing I’m dreaming

Huh. So usually going to a bathroom with a broken toilet and using it anyway is a sign that (a) I am dreaming and (b) I am about to wake up. I haven't dreamed this in a while, but I did tonight – I was in the house I grew up in, and the toilet was just gone, with a neat little hole in the floor, and I still casually pissed all over the floor where it used to be.

I even asked myself “hey, this feels like a dream toilet, am I dreaming?” but kept on proceeding as if it was not. Go figure. Maybe next time this happens I'll actually have a lucid dream or something. I would say that would be nice but I'm not sure I really have any idea what I'd do in one.

Oddly enough I did not wake up with a bursting bladder, either. Or in a puddle.

There were also some brief appearances by my mom in this dream. I haven't dreamt about her much lately. Not sure I've really dreamt much that lingers after waking at all, lately.

A fragment of memory

So. Let me tell you about a little sore tooth in my mind. A fragment of memory that just doesn’t fit with the narrative of the rest of my life as I remember it. Every now and then it bubbles up and I wonder what the hell was happening; the other day I went for a long walk through the park and… poked at it.
The scene: upstairs in a sunny house in New Orleans. Probably summer. Probably next to Bayou St. John. Probably around 1986-88.
There are two children sitting there listening to a man, dutifully taking notes. One of them is a skinny boy with black hair, who would eventually grow up to be me. One of them is a girl. Was she someone I knew in school? I don’t know. I don’t even have a solid memory of her ethnicity, let alone her name. The guy is white. I want to say he’s slim and possibly balding. I don’t have a solid memory of that either.
My brain says this is somehow related to Future Problem Solving, which was a thing I did in high school. Which is where I get the 1986 guess from.
But the content of what this man is telling me and this girl doesn’t seem to match with any kind of preparation for this very rational exercise in Creative Sci-Fi Thinking. Because I am being told a bunch of New Age sounding stuff about… well, that’s misty too. I mostly recall being shown diagrams. Concentric circles. Rounded off teardrops. A general sense of the text being about the Shape of Reality. Mystical stuff. In a relatively new book.

Something vaguely like this? I dunno. There were labels.

I dutifully took notes on a yellow legal pad. I don’t know if I copied any of the diagrams. Or wrote down the name of this book.
I don’t know where those notes went.
I don’t remember talking to this man ever again. Or anything else along these lines.
I have a memory of wondering what the hell this new age bullshit had to do with anything but this might actually be a memory of remembering this later on and wondering just that.
I’m pretty sure my mother was there. As was the other kid’s mother. I don’t know if she was listening to all this. I don’t remember talking with her about it later. And I can’t ask her about this any more; I’d have to perform a seance for that.
I can’t recall any more details. And to be honest I would be suspicious of the truth of any more details I managed to dredge up; I’ve read enough about how easy it is to get people to remember things that never happened.
It feels weird. It feels like something that tugging on hard enough could be the start of a paranoid conspiracy novel set in the eighties, with children being recruited and programmed into… well, pick your own narrative here, really. Indigo Children becoming soldiers in a secret psychic war or whatever.
My memory of most of my teenage years is a tapestry of holes. I’ve always just assumed it’s due to the depression I fell into after my father died; when every day is grey and sad despite the blazing New Orleans sun, it’s easy to disassociate and just… forget. But pulling this out into the light suggests an alternate story of… something. Something secret and buried and hidden from me.
Part of me is reluctant to talk about this publicly. What if there is some kind of Secret Society involved? What if They see this and decide it’s finally time to activate my programming or whatever? What if I really am in a Phillip K Dick novel instead of the sensible mundane life I’ve always thought I had? Maybe you’ve only ever heard of me because this was a test that I failed, so I was left to make my own way through the normal world instead of being a character in a real-life version of Psychonauts. Or the X-Men I guess but I’d rather imagine the goofy cartoon version.
I wish I could remember anything about the title of that book with the diagrams. Anything to ask Google about. But I can’t.
It might just be a dream I had. I’m pretty sure the time I walked into my parents’ bedroom at night when I was five and saw a glittering crystal cavern hidden behind their dresser was a dream, for instance. But this feels like a thing that really happened.
Welcome to the hole in my head. I don’t know how deep it goes. I don’t know if I want to find out.