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.

the dream of the abrupt ending

So I was in a dream, looking for a broomstick with which to combat this guy who keept trying to take stuff off my dinner plate with his fork, as you do in dreams, when I flipped the light switch a couple of times.

There was an electric BZOWNF sound and everything went dark. Not all at once, there was a very quick left to right transition of, like, an all-encompassing grid of bright blue-white wire frames of cubes popping in and being replaced by the dark room within which I was now floating, kind of lying on my side in the air.

“helff”, I muttered, through a mouth pressed into a weird shape, as I drifted.

And then I was wide awake. Lying in the pillow pile in the same position I'd been lying in in the abruptly terminated dream, with my mouth mushed into the pillow.

7:17, the tablet said when I picked it up to write this. And now it's a few minutes later, and my alarm is about to go off, because I need to get up and get ready for the third day of Emerald City Comic-Con.

What the fuck. My brain just did a “turned off the holodeck” transition and threw me out of dreaming into full awareness. Good morning.

I can usually will myself to wake up at a certain time, if I do it when I go to sleep and am getting enough sleep between then and my intended wake time. But I didn't do that last night. I just set a few alarms. And I've never had a dream end that decisively and abruptly. What the hell, brain.

the dream of the constantly moving library

I was in a giant library, mostly full of pulp novels and comic books. Some parts of the floors were covered in boxes of books, and constantly moving as if there were conveyor belts underneath, moving the books around under the shelves.

There was also something about being locked in there by a couple people who wanted to kill the two protagonists of this dream for some arcane reasons I cannot remember. We snuck up on one and killed them and took their flamethrower.

Morning came, I and four other people left the library to certain death unless our plan succeeded, and then I woke up with the title track from BÖC's “Fire Of Unknown Origin” in my head.

the dream of horrible printing fuckups

I dreamed that I got the advance copy of the omnibus while preparing for a con. It looked great up until the middle, when it started having pages of other comics, and falling out of the binding, and then was just pages of solid color to the end of the book.

Then I looked at it again and it looked fine. And then I woke up. Guh.

the dream of the impossible printing error

I dreamed that my books had come in! The Rita omnibus was printed, huzzah!

But the body of the book was just big dark grey spaces. After a moment the images would slowly load in. Somehow I had sent the printers an InDesign file that linked to images on my website instead of having them embedded in the file, and somehow they had managed to print books that loaded the images off the net. Slowly.

Charlie Stross had a copy and tried to console me, saying it looked wonderful anyway, but I knew he was wrong. “It does when the net dies,” I moaned. “I've got to come up with $10,000 to reprint it. Oh god.” And then I flipped forwards onto the ground, miserable, and woke up in exactly the same position.

Luckily I am pretty sure this is not a problem that is physically possible to have.

 

the dream of cartoon pitches

I dreamed I was looking at a few pitches for cartoons.

One was about a bunch of foxes, and every time the size of the device you were watching it on changed, there would be more or less foxes. Obviously you would have to rotate your phone/tablet regularly to show this off. It did not have a name. I don't think The Mobile-First Foxes is a hit.

The other one was one of those shows set in normal suburbia with a twist. This shows twist was that everyone was a cartoon thigh bone with little legs at one end and a face on the other. It was called The Bonely Walking Boners, and was mostly an excuse to say “boner” a lot. I don't think my subconscious is allowed to come up with tv show ideas any more.

And now I get up and go to the last day of ECCC.