My brain never fucking sleeps, I swear

Last night's sleep was riddled with all sorts of stupid dreams.

There was one in which Felix was being snipped at by a snapping turtle. They were both snapping at each other, and every time the turtle would head for Felix's, neck, Felix would contort into this weird cartoony version of himself. Shaking violently. It sucked.

There was another in which I was staying in some huge, ritzy dorm-type situation with lots of other girls. I discovered that if you went up to the fifth level, it looked like a posh foreign hotel, with lots of people milling about, lots of twinkling lights everywhere, and some sort of amusement park ride on the roof that we could see through the window every time a car of screaming tourists whizzed by.

I was looking for a bathroom — really had to pee — but they were all occupied (I accidentally walked in on one girl and didn't even notice that she was sitting there on the toilet, reading a magazine until she spoke up) until I found one I hadn't known about. It was tiny, with a window near the ceiling and toiletries and various ladies' accoutrements everywhere. I sat down to do my business and noticed a Simpsons box set on the floor. It was bright magenta, and the shape of the head of some little girl character I have never seen before and probably doesn't exist. It was a "Treehouse of Horrors" collection. I was like, When did they start making these?!


More falling

My sister is driving a big yellow school bus. I am sitting in the back seat, only it's facing the back window. Something happens (I don't know where we were) but we are falling, falling, falling, and the high-rise buildings outside the window are going by so quickly and so geometrically that I get my camera out to take my daily picture. Even as I plunge toward death.

When we see the ground rising to meet us, everyone jumps at the same time to lessen the impact. We hit the ground hard, but are not crushed into a big yellow people pancake. We drive on, past a gathering of some people, where I see my sister standing. Except she's also driving the bus. I point out this minor hiccup in the space-time continuum but before Stephen Hawking can enter and explain it all, I wake up.


I need to stop wearing smoking patches while asleep

A large black man is making sweet love to me in the church rectory. (Hey-o!)

There's liquorice whips, a contraption that suspends lovers in mid-air and a cartoonishly oversized black dildo that looks as if it could possibly impale my esophagus.

"Quickly now, cracker," the large black man says, "once Father O' Nan comes back from the Food Lion, it's all over but the shoutin.'"


California dreamin'

I have walked into some kind of unconventional classroom headed by Hugo Schwyzer. He seems annoyed that I have walked in late. And annoyed, perhaps, because he's never seen me before and suddenly I'm in his class.

They're all doing elaborate and painful-looking yoga poses. I don't join in, but instead gaze out the huge picture window into the California sunset, dipping into the massive Pacific.

I go outside and it's dark. I can hear the ocean, and even feel its presence, but it's so dark that I can't see it. I walk down the beach toward it, fearing the moment that I feel it overtake me. I know deep down that once I'm in, I can't get back out. I retreat to the beach, and then realize that it doesn't matter how far I retreat; the tide is climbing and the water will greet me anyway.


Driving while Grandmaw

[This one's from last week.]

My grandmother and I are in a bigger version of her modest, newish silver SUV. We are driving -- er, trying to park, more accurately -- atop some kind of platform structure where the ground is actually a series of sunken trays that hold moving water. Please don't expect me to explain it any better than that. It makes no sense. Why moving water instead of asphalt? Hell if I know. It almost sounds like some stupid Fear Factor stunt.

Anyway, we're moving slowly, backing up, going this way and that, and I'm nervous that we're going to fall off the platform. She maneuvers us onto a piece of platform that looks as though it's for authorized personnel only. I tell her we should go somewhere else, and as she's backing up, we careen off the platform -- the fall feels like it takes forever, and I am aware of my own screaming -- and we hit the concrete below with a thud and a pop of the tires blowing out. Luckily, we land on all four tires and are not hurt. And no one -- since there are people everywhere around us -- seems to have been crushed by our vehicle.

I am freaking out, of course. I make sure Grandmaw is okay before getting out of the car and just walking around for a bit to collect myself.

Doing it wrong. Again.

Last night's brief foray into the world of my anxiety-ridden subconscious mind involved me and my camera and the feeling that, once again, I'm not doing things right.

I've been dreaming like this for years and years now. It's getting really tedious.

Anyway, once again, I was at my parents' house, and I had been commissioned to take photographs of my dad and/or my uncle as they simulated working-man activities. Or something. Except, the lighting was low and I wasn't getting good shots inside. There felt like a time limit was looming. I gave up, frustrated, and then realized, stupidly, that they had gone outside to continue posing, and I was missing my chance to get good shots. It was almost like I was competing with someone else for the best shots. This is no doubt because the last thing on TV before I went to bed was that show The Shot, about photogs competing against one another.


No nookie for old men

I don't usually dream about things the night that they enter my consciousness. Usually it takes time for ideas and places and people to marinate in my skull before they begin popping up in my dreams.

Not so with Javier Bardem, the actor who plays the psycho in No Country for Old Men. He showed up in my dreams last night, uh, in a big way.

We're in some kind of confined space — a big room, maybe, though I don't know where. There's furniture in it, though I don't know what kind. We are wearing pajamas, I think, almost like we're having to sleep somewhere unexpectedly. I don't know how I know him, or even that I do know him, but any time someone leaves the room and we are alone, he approaches me in his best seductive swagger — which is not even a swagger at all, but a full-court press — and transfers some of his heat to me as his mouth — large and firm and prickly — presses against mine.

He follows me around, literally hounding me, telling me things like, "But I neeeed you" in that molten accent of his. I am flattered, of course — every woman likes the chance to play hard to get just a little bit — but I am wary of him. I know his reputation as a prolific lover and ladies' man. I suspect he is a womanizer, playing me for a fool. I rummage through his luggage (his BAGGAGE!!!), and pull out two pairs of women's underwear.

"Either you have some interesting hobbies or we have a problem," I tell him as he laughs sheepishly, caught.

[this next bit edited out because you should have to pay good money for my cheesy erotica!]


My old house.

(*In reality, I have recently moved and there is someone already living in my previous residence.)

I going inside my old duplex to get some of my stuff, apparently before anyone moves in. It's really dark and cold. The light switch in the front foyer doesn't work. I stumble around, my eyes gradually getting used to the dark, and I realize that the duplex has grown new rooms, and that my stuff isn't the only stuff that's there. There are children's toys and books, men's clothing, nasty hairbrushes, etc. Things that absolutely do not belong to me, and that I don't recognize. As I walk through the house, I'm more and more overcome by fear and sadness. The hallway is completely different; it's exposed brick and has dirty stained glass along the top, which of course lets in no light because it's solid wall behind the glass. There's only one bathroom instead of two, and I have a feeling that I need to avoid it. Every time I pass by it, I get scared. My mom shows up to help me gather my stuff, but as we look around, we decide not to take anything because it all seems so nasty and we think my things have been tainted. We look around for anything that hasn't been "tainted" and can't find anything. Along the way, we find a lot of clothes for a young (?) woman who must be a serious barfly. Short skirts, sequined belly-shirts, t-shirts with trashy sexual innuendo, etc. There are used condoms and empty alcohol bottles everywhere, strewn amid the Dr. Suess books and E-Z Bake oven and the tricycle. We keep going past the bathroom, which feels worse every time we pass it. The last time, I stop and look inside. There's an energy-feeling coming from it that's actually audible, like a buzzing. Directly through the doorway is the sink, the toilet is on the left, and the shower is on the right. I don't know this bathroom. I've never been in this bathroom, that I can recall. I start to step inside and my mom slaps my arm and tells me there's an absence of pressure and she doesn't like it. Apparently, this terrifies us and we run through the living room and out the front door. As I'm closing the door and pulling out my keys to lock it, a dark grey cat darts out and disappears into the bushes. That's all.

*This is the second time I've heard that buzzing-energy sound in a dream. Wonder what a recurring buzzing means.

Surely somehow this can be blamed on the media

I don't think I hung on to this dream in its entirety, so I'll have to pick up where my memory allows:

I am in the passenger seat of a car. We are sitting in a street and there are lots of people and cars around. It's either a parade or a mass gathering of some sort. It seems vaguely celebratory, but in a politically tense way. I don't know who had been driving the car — or whose car it was (I want to say I kept thinking that I was just trying to get to my grandmother's) — but the driver's side door was ajar and suddenly there's commotion outside and Vladimir Putin hops into the car, throws it into gear, and we take off to the back roads of rural Russia, presumably.

There is the constant cacophony of machine-gun fire behind our speeding car. I am hunched down and overtaken by both excitement — something is happening! — and fear — something horrible is happening!

I try to appeal to Putin — I am not a part of whatever is happening here, sir! — but he has morphed into a young Tom Cruise, very handsome and manic with an ever-spreading grin that glints with mischief. We are going so, so fact, and he's trying to talk to me and see what my story is. I'm only able to speak in broken sentences — the roads are winding and it's dark out and the machine guns, which way are they pointing, anyway? It's to my great relief that he tells me that they are on our side, keeping other cars and people away from us. It seems like we drive and have a stilted, stressful conversation for longer than I can bear. I am star-struck and quite confused. I ask him if I can take his picture, and then I realize all I have with me is my busted-ass point-and-shoot, so I don't even bother. A blurry pic of Tom Cruise is as useful as a half-obscured pic of Bigfoot. No one's gonna buy it. He finally decides to quickly pull over and let me out to stand with a police officer up on a hill, and the chase continues — car after car after car after car — without me.

I'm relieved, and kind of stupidly sad to see the action go on past.

Funny that my anxiety in that dream — about political intrigue, Tom Cruise, and machine guns — was so much lower than my anxiety in most of my other dreams, which tend to be mundane and much less violent. Hell, the tick dream stressed me out more.


The other night, I dreamed that I was scratching the inside of my right ear and I felt a bump. I tried to pick at it and quickly realized it was not a bump that was native to my body. I yanked it out and saw that it was a tick. I dabbed my finger back on the place where it had been attached and saw that I was bleeding.

I blame this dream on the fact that just before bed I had watched Brokedown Palace, and Darlene gets an ear infection when a roach crawls into her ear.


Horror Movie

A group of people and myself were at a party when Michael Myers attacked. The power was disconnected and people panicked and scattered. For a long time I found myself alone and sought out nooks and crannies in the old house in which to kneel, duck, and slip. I quivered with my inadequate weapon every time I heard someone coming. It kept turning out to be other party guests who found my hiding place to their liking. After a large gathering of them had populated my crevice we realized Michael was coming. Like a frightened herd we circled the room and somehow managed to lose him. We decided to move like a pack to decrease our chances of dying. I eventually came up with a meat cleaver and was instantaneously voted group leader. Trembling, I led the harried group through the creaky halls until someone pointed out that by crawling into the kitchen cabinets and shoving the napkins out of the way you could access a trap door that spit you into a shelf in the basement. They all awkwardly squeezed in while my heartbeat quickened and I suddenly felt very hot. I turned in quick circles as my group slowly disappeared and I waited to be the last one. I decided, instead, to run to the basement to meet them because I was afraid Michael would hear my heart beating in the trapdoor. Once I got down there they had disappeared and I was all alone. I'd say about ten minutes' worth of terrified sneaking ensued, and then, inevitably, I met up with Mikey. My meat cleaver had somehow turned into several pairs of pliers. I started stabbing him with them everywhere I could - stomach, heart, neck, temple - then I mashed two pairs into his eyes and pressed harder as white ooze and little blobs of eyeballs came running out. I backed away quickly but froze because he came out of that chair I pinned him down on like a bullet. I held my breath and silently freaked while he groped all around me, arms on both sides of me, trying to find me in his blindness. Somehow that skipped directly to his still body collapsed over the bathtub, his mask submerged. I walked, drained, back to the basement to ask the ominous-looking man who had somehow saved the day to stay til I got my friends to safety. He had been about to tote a big log upstairs to burn Michael, but he turned slowly to me - a black man with gray hair and gray eyes - and laughed in a foreboding way. The realization washed over me just before he spoke. "You will never be safe," he said, and a woman screamed from upstairs. I darted up a few steps to see a splatter of blood on the shower curtain. I ran back to the basement and screamed, "GUYS!" They all opened their cubby doors in unison like they were little elves in little elf tree-coffins. "We have to get out of here RIGHT NOW!!" Somehow that idea got interpreted as, "Let's get out of here right now - in two waves! You guys go second." So I found myself, holding an ax and the bathroom door shut, with a gang of terrified partygoers in my charge. We were waiting til the first group of people successfully escaped. Suddenly I looked down at my feet and thought, for a second, that I was Alicia, and had only 80's-style flats or ill-fitting slippers as footwear. Then it was time to move and I was me again. I came out of the bathroom swinging the ax, determined it was safe, and pointed toward the hall that led to the front door. "Let's go!" I screamed. Suddenly a party of two, the guys came out of the bathroom and looked at the hallway in terror. "What if that way's a trap?!" one guy plead, pointing to the balcony door that was less than five feet away from us. "OK, go, go, go!" I screamed, and the three of us bolted out the doors and up the grass embankment to a parking lot that was filled with cars. I spotted my Eclipse and, luckily, had my keys right in my palm. I frantically surveyed the area around the car as I got closer, silently praying that a butcher knife wouldn't sweep out from under the car next to me and slice my tendon. Then I awakened, terrified, in my darkened room.


No butts about it

A surefire sign that my television options should expand beyond the confines of The View and Oprah: I dreamt that Greg completed a monologue show and as the audience milled around outside, I spotted Whoopi Goldberg taking concentrated puffs off a cig.

"Aren't you filming the segment 'Kickin Butts with Whoopi' currently? I thought you were trying to quit smoking," I told Ms. Goldberg.

As a fellow smoker, I somehow felt cheated by Ms. Goldberg's refusal to nip the habit in the bud.


Going Down

I dreamt I was in Hell watching admissions. One guy stepped on an elevator and said, "I'm really excited this time around, because I was shooting for the second level!" Someone nearby said, "You lit two children on fire! You're going to level three!"

Apparently there are only three levels.


One of the weirdest.

Last night, my husband was working and I spent the night at my parents' house.
In reality, I am an only child of two historians/park rangers, and they live in an antebellum house that was fomerly a B&B, in the heart of the historic district in our city. I say this because:

In this dream, I have a younger sister and am still living at home with my parents, who are not my reality parents at all, and we live in a one story brick house in a suburb. In what I'm guessing is the early 70's.

Now please bear with me, because this is gonna get cheesy. But while I was actually having the dream, it seemed very real and I was absolutely terrified.

Anyhoo, (in my dream), I'm asleep and having a bad dream about ghosts. I wake up and there are black shadowy things moving around in the corners of my room. There's a nightlight beside my bed and one of the shadows passes it and completely blocks out the light for a moment. I hear whispers and a low humming that's kind of electrical. I start to scream, and am thrown out of bed and am knocked unconscious. When I awake (still in the dream), the lights are on, I'm lying on my back in bed, and my family is sitting on the bed. They tell me that when they heard me scream they ran in and I was on the floor. They lift my shirt and show me that I have human-looking bite marks all over my torso. At that moment, things start flying all over my room by themselves. The nightlight comes out of the wall and is "thrown" to the floor, where it shatters. I run to my closet and close the door and sit down. Now, I don't know who the hell this dream self is, but I/She has to quit with the dolls. In this closet, there are shelves up to the ceiling lined with dolls and stuffed animals. I'm sitting there, crying and hearing all the noise on the other side of the door, and one of the dolls falls off the shelf. One by one, they start falling. I start screaming again and try to open the door, and it won't open. All of the dolls fall on me at once. So I'm, like, siwimming in all these dolls and stuffed animals, and the whispering and humming is really loud but I can't make out any words. The door opens. My sister is levitating. I run to my parents' room (why did they leave us??) and jump into bed between them. I'm crying, lying face down and wondering why they won't comfort me. I feel a tapping on my lower right shoulder blade. Instinctively, I know it's not my mom or dad, that it's whatever this evil thing is. I burrow my face more into the pillow and try to think about happy, ordinary things and the tapping gets more insistent. The "finger" starts pressing really hard into my muscles, and it really hurts. I'm crying and writhing and trying to think about some birthday party that's coming up.
In reality, the phone rang and I woke up at that point.

This was almost four a.m. when I woke up the first time. I was shaken enough to turn on the lamp and glance around the room. Then I turned out the light and went back to sleep and had another dream.

Part two: I'm myself, with my real family, and at my parents' real house. In the guest room I stay in, there are these big, old windows that go from ceiling to about two feet from the floor (the house has 15 ft ceilings). It's Christmastime and I'm lounging about. It's getting dark and snowing heavily outside. I walk over to the window and am enjoying watching the snow falling in the beam from the lamp-post. Suddenly there's a huge, shaggy, brown bear on the other side of the window, and he means business. He raises back on his hind legs and does the standard bear growl-roar thing, but to me it sounds like the T-Rex roar from Jurassic Park. He starts pawing and clawing at the window. He can't get in, so he walks over to a nearby tree and swings at it and it falls over. I don't know if he 's just displaying his prowess or what, but I'm really scared. I duck down, thinking maybe if he can't see me, he'll go away. I hear a snuflling on the other side of the window, sit up, and peep through. And down. He's digging his way under the house, really fast. A big paw bursts up through the floor beside me, and I wake up. My dad's dog has jumped up on my bed and is pawing at me to take her outside.

So there it is. The first sounds like a "scary" Lifetime movie and the second ended up kinda funny.

*The phone call was a wrong number.


Back to England

I'm in a rickety cottage in the English countryside, marveling at how small the rooms are and how they have such different knick-knacks from those you'd find in an American house. The bedrooms contain no people (people seem to be gathered in the common areas of the house), but I sneak through them quietly, opening cabinets and peering at souvenirs on shelves. I note that everyone has a tiny black and white television in his bedroom (I seem to be in the house inhabited by a group of males), and one guy even has a collection of these weird small discs that play music in these tiny plastic music players. I kind of remember something like this back in the states several years ago, but it never really caught on.

A truck rumbles by on the dusty road just outside the window and I think to myself, I wonder if I lived here, if the thin walls would drive me crazy.

Back in the living room, Phil is there with a group of guys I don't know — presumably the people who live in the house. They don't seem British, but perhaps like American ex-pats. I say something to one of them and he insults me and laughs. I defend myself weakly.

Then we're in Phil's crappy car driving on a grassy hillside. The boys are talking about a car sale coming up, and how they're going to check it out. It finally sinks in that I am living in a whole new country now, and not just a whole new country, but a whole new universe.


The operation

I am in a hospital, alone but surrounded by familiar people, and I am there to have an operation to fix ... something. I keep wondering why my parents or friends or someone isn't there with me. I'm called back but leave my bag in the front room, and have to request it once I get to the back waiting area. The nurses are skeptical that the bag is mine. They request ID with my name on it to match with any ID in the bag. They go to retrieve the bag but take so long that I suspect something bigger is happening.

I amuse myself by farting around in the back waiting area, where it's seemingly empty. On a counter nearby is a giant tub of multi-colored pills of all shapes and sizes, some as big as those nasty orange marshmallow peanut-shaped things my grandmother used to eat all the time. I chuckle to myself that I will be taking the bucket home with me after the surgery. In an instant I am trying to take a photo of the pill bucket for my daily picture. I'm worried that I'll get in trouble for photographing the giant, unprotected bucket of painkillers.

The the paparazzi show up. There are maybe eight of them, including a blonde reporter with a microphone and a dude with a giant light he sticks in my face. And big cameras they shove toward me. I sit down, sure that they're trying to humiliate me, and put my head down as far as possible, taking care to not speak at all. If I don't say anything, they can't use but the most brief clip on the news or whatever they're planning to use the footage for.

It takes a while and some creative footwork, but I finally evade them with the help of some burly dancing men who are apparently starring in an impromptu musical all around me. They gather in droves around the back entrance to the clinic and, with coordinated creative flourishes, erect a big sign over the door that says "Blogger Entrance" to distract the media into thinking that's where I'll be heading. I am grateful for their assistance, but still wondering what the fuck is taking so long with my upcoming surgery. I just want to get it over with.

There's a bit more, but it would be unwise to post it here.


Hungry Like New York

I'm in a huge house with several women, including New York/Tiffany from Flavor of Love. We're being filmed and it's obviously for a reality show but I don't know if it is indeed FoL or not. It's very stormy, early morning. New York comes in, wearing a Gucci-logo printed raincoat and swearing a lot about how we'd better not tell anyone that she's coming home drunk in the wee hours. She shoves me on her way to her bedroom. There are injured animals everywhere. I'm trying to follow a cat whose right front paw is bleeding, and I get distracted by Brandon and Luke, who are in the kitchen trying to make me breakfast. I start helping them. We're gathering ingredients, and we hear a low growl. An enormous, slinking black wolf is in the kitchen with us. We all jump up on the counters. The wolf is trying to jump up (why can't he?) and has his front paws on the counter in front of me. I try to punch his face but I'm afraid I'll fall, so I have Brandon hold on to one of my hands while I try to punch with the other, which doesn't work. Luke jumps off the counter and onto the wolf. He grasps the wolf's head and pulls its jaw all the way back, breaking it. Suddenly Luke has a gun and he shoots the suffering wolf as I wake up. I'm so disturbed by the jaw-breaking scene that I wake up crying.


Ummm, yeah

I'm walking through a biodome ruled by penguins. I have to make water, so I find a restroom. I'm comfortably snug in my little stall until a penguin attempts to stick its head under the divider and spy on me while I pee.


Across the pond

We are in England, probably London to be specific, and it's my first time there and things are just weird. Tamara is there, as well as some other people I can't quite place. We are marveling at how the streets of London are covered entirely in cobblestone and brick. We're in some kind of covered outdoor mall that seems almost to be underground. It's huge and there's no sign of grass or anything living — besides incredibly sophisticated Brits — anywhere.

Somehow we get out to the countryside to an apartment building, and I make my way through the rooms — an empty living room, a bright-colored bedroom, a crisply appointed nursery — and wonder who lives there.

We (me and a dude, maybe Phil? not sure) are on a bed in a room that is not ours. We have decided to pass some time by doing what people do... And things are going unremarkably until someone — a youngish blonde Brit — walks into the room, spies us, and walks directly into the bathroom. In our embarrassment, we try to cover ourselves, but end up feeling sheepish. Was this her bed?

Outside there's a rolling field and some children playing. I'm walking down a gravel road with Phil when I remember I wanted to get a picture of something, so I grab my camera and sprint back to the direction we came from. I'm standing atop a hill and looking over some trees across the countryside, when I notice that the sky is darkening and churning at one point. And there it is, a huge, wide, Kansas-tastic tornado on the horizon, twisting and bubbling its way toward me. I snap several pictures and curl my lip in disappointment that the majesty and enormity of such a spectacle can't be captured by my little digital camera.


My feet are always dirty, so I'd never look there

I love dreams like the one I had last night; dreams in which I simply wander around a significant place from my past. My grandmother's house in Nashville is quite possibly the most important setting from my most formative, pleasant, and angsty childhood memories. Last night I wandered from room to room taking in the exaggerated green carpet, the doorways from room to room, the dark wood beams over the den where I wasn't allowed to watch Family Matters if my grandpa was in the room. It was like a ghost town. No one was around and I was slightly aware that the place as I knew it doesn't exist anymore, yet I was as there as I am here right now. I felt the sad sensation of knowing I'll have to leave a place way before I'm ready.

I wonder, was I there? Is there some dimension of memory open to spiritual traveling, as long as I'm asleep? I loved Stephen King's Bag of Bones for several reasons, but the dreams his character described were finished off with the most terrific descriptions of waking up with cuts on his knuckles and dirt on his feet from whipping through the woods in the middle of the night. Or whatever time it gets dark in the Dreamiverse.

I'd like that. I'd like to wake up with sore fingers from whammying the organ in the living room proper or the smell of that green lye soap wafting up from my armpits.


It's weird what taking a Vicodin before bed will do to your brain as it tries to shift from full consciousness to sleep mode. I can't speak for everyone, but for me, it's like it turns off some kind of focus filter in my head, so that every fleeting thought — no matter how random or scary or funny or weird — just goes ahead and voices itself in my mind instead of being stifled by whatever mechanism usually keeps my thoughts fairly consistent and targeted, even just before sleep.

I just wish I could remember some of these fleeting thoughts. They are like bits of fiction I've not yet created. Names and locations and actions and scenarios that aren't from my life or any other life I recall observing. They are almost like pieces of collective consciousness. And maybe they really are, floating in the ether.

So, last night I dreamt a long and epic dream about running from something ... in the dark ... in a car ... though it didn't feel like I was me. I was just there.

And then later I had to choose from a shelf of archetypal outfits to be judged by who, I'm not really sure. Each outfit was contained in a small themed jar of sorts, and each was labeled with a name that was as much a hint as to its contents as it was a confusing bit of extraneous information.

One greenish outfit (that had a lot of weird camouflage-colored plaid) was labeled reporter, while another outfit that was more glammy yet stark white was labeled Interpol (I assume this one and not this one). There were lots of others, and matching handbags to go with each outfit.

I picked the reporter jar and then had to run back to get the right size. Not sure what the hurry was, but I felt I was being timed and would be judged on my choice of outfit. I don't remember actually getting the outfit on or how I looked in it. I just remember frantically thumbing through jars and boxes of the outfit's component, looking for my size.


Baby bump

[from Friday night]

I look down, and there's this thing on me -- this distended, somewhat lumpy belly -- that feels not entirely of me and yet mine all the same. I have no idea where it came from, but I observe it for long enough to hazard a guess that, if I am indeed pregnant, I must be seven months along.

Instantly, panic sets in. I didn't plan for a pregnancy. What am I going to do about my job? (For some reason, I start feeling guilty because I am yet another woman on the design desk who has recently gotten knocked up, which means they'll have to find a temporary replacement for me.) What am I going to do about my life? The fear grows as I realize that I probably would not be okay with getting an abortion this late in the term. I tell myself that it will be fine; lots of women have unplanned pregnancies and it ends up being a great thing for them.

Then I try to figure out how exactly I got pregnant. I try to recall the last time I got laid and quickly do the math. No ... it doesn't add up. I have no idea how long my tummy has been growing, and I don't know when any of this could have happened. So I wonder if I'm even pregnant at all.

I'm in some kind of big, bustling room. There are lots of people around. I'm searching for a doctor of sorts. I finally find one. Seems like I recall him being a middle-aged man with wiry reddish hair and a copper-colored beard and mustache. He seems frazzled enough without having to diagnose whether or not I'm pregnant or carrying around a giant tumor in my stomach.

As he takes notes, I can tell that, yes, even if I can't remember how it happened, the reality is I'm going to be having a kid in two months. And the fear, it grows.


I Don't Speak Jazz

I was playing in my old high school band at a carnival at night. Lindsey Turner was sitting beside me with her trombone. Mr. Haffly was directing, and he kept telling Lindsey to be quiet and behave. But she was comical and agitated - like she had just slammed twelve shots of espresso. Lindsey kept pushing her luck and sniping under her breath. He finally ordered her out of the ensemble and to the equivalent of the carnival's "principal's office." She sat there a second and then said, "Really?" but he was serious. I grabbed her sleeve as she passed and whispered, "Meet me outside and I'll drive you home!" Then Haffly told me to be quiet.

Then I was slogging through the carnival looking for Lindsey. The ground was muddy and wet and the cuffs of my jeans were being dragged through the muck. My feet felt wet. I walked all over the carnival grounds, inside and outside the fence. I had a companion, but I don't know who it was. "Where the hell is Lindsey?!" I kept saying. My companion said, "She's with Phil - way over there. Look!" I looked across a great big field and there was Phil, walking through waist-high weeds at night. "Hey, Phil, is Lindsey with you?!" I yelled. "No!" He hollered back and kept trucking. "Why the hell is Phil in that field?" I asked my companion. "Because he's a hiker," Companion replied.

Suddenly I was walking with my sax, so I started improvving while I was looking for Lindsey. I walked past a fence gate, noodling around the "All I Know Is Tonight" tune by Jaga Jazzist, and I walked right past Mrs. Haffly. I didn't realize it was her til I passed her and she said, "Hel-LO?!" I turned and she was glaring at me like, "What the hell?!" I turned and said, "Hey! How are you!" but then I remembered that she was mad at me because I skipped my lesson that day. Steve Haffly sidled up and asked, "Cindy, how did Tamara do at her audition?" and she replied, "She did awful. She informed the judge that jazz is another language and she doesn't speak it." I was appalled. "HEY!" I started to yell, but she walked away. "I did not!" I called after her, and Companion led me away to find Lindsey. My sax was suddenly gone. We rounded a warehouse and I found Lindsey and Mrs. Haffly with their arms around each other heading into the warehouse to hang out with everyone else. "There she is!" I said to Companion, and headed in. "Hey!" I said to Lindsey, and she gave Mrs. Haffly a funny look. Mrs. Haffly said, "Egotistical bitch!" I asked Lindsey who she meant and Lindsey shrugged. "Where were you?" I asked. "Around. Cindy is mad because all three of her female sax players skipped their lessons today." I felt awful. Then Mrs. Haffly walked back by and she said, "Tamara, if you want to do your lesson tomorrow I will drive you home." I smiled, "Okay, sounds good!' I felt relieved.

Then the dream segued into a long storyline about electricity and muddy trails that I can't recall now.

Then Alicia came running in to a doorway, crying hysterically. I asked her what the matter was, and she replied, "A lot is the matter!" And I followed her outside and the wheel to her father's maroon Buick that she's using while her car is in the shop has turned sideways and been pushed out from under the car like the axle had snapped into.

If you'd ever ridden in this car, you'd know why I dreamt that.



I was in downtown Corinth, and thre was some kind of event going that everyone was flocking to. I was uninterested, and really just wanted to go home and make some ramen. As I walked toward my house, a bigass storm blew up out of nowhere and hovered right on the edge of the historic area, threatening to wreak havoc. Big, bruise-colored clouds, eerie wind, etc. And since I'm terrified of that kind of storm, I started hauling ass. But there was a big swimming pool in the middle of the street. And since I guess it made more sense to me at the time to swim it instead of simply running around it, I jumped in. While madly doing the butterfly stroke across the pool (the butterfly being my least strongest stroke), my pants and underwear came off. I looked behind me, and the pool had become ridiculously huge and the clothes were floating too far away for me to go after them. I reached the end of the pool, jumped out, and ran toward my house. The storm disappeared. People walking by gave me dirty looks and mumbled under their breath, obviously disapproving of my lack of skivvies. *weird dreamy lapse in time* I'm fully clothed and driving toward Savannah. I get a call on my cell phone, and it's a woman at the TennTucky wanting me to approve a $200 purchase on my debit card. I tell her I'm not even at the station, and she tells me that my husband is. Then she asks me to verify that my name is Jessica Barrier Brown, at which point I start screaming to call the cops because someone has stolen my cousin's debit card and is attempting a $200 fraud. I'm suddenly at TennTucky, and this really fat, unattractive redneck is the one with the card but he's threatening to beat me up if I call Jessie and tell her her card's been stolen. Tamara's working behind the counter and saying she can't do anything about it but maybe we should go cruise around in Pickwick. I decide this is a good idea and we go to Freddy T's for sushi and then bump into that Keenan girl we knew in high school. She's turned black. Like, she has literally become a black woman. We chat for a few minutes and she walks away. Tamara sighs and says she always loved Keenan's car.

That's all I remember.


Youza a Big Fine Woman When You Back that Ass Up!

I like sleeping in the nude.

It isn't a mere dalliance in exhibitionism, but a confirmation of my laziness.

It's hotter than Clay Aiken's balls in a bathhouse parking lot outdoors. So I plunge into the crevices of my couch because I'm too damned pooped to hazily unfold my Serta pullout and scrounge around in a stupor for my pajamas.

So in my dream last night, I find Lindsey Turner sitting on my couch jabberjawing about her childhood in rural Tennessee.

My mind is racked with paranoia. Did I remember to turn over the seat cushions and vigorously Febreeze away the possible asshole-and-balls stench?

Lindsey continues to talk, beaming in her Lindsey Turner way.

I get down on all-fours and frantically begin sniffing the couch cushions.

"Continue recalling your childhood," I say.

"What are you doing?"

I sniff a line of couch, convinced that I smell ass.

"I think I dropped some change or something," I say, continuing to snort line after line.

I can't remember much else.


Changing channels

I am at my parents', my dad's in the recliner watching a sporting event of some sort, and he calls me into the den because Phil is part of the teeming crowd, and the camera has zoomed in on him. My dad shushes everyone in the room as the announcer says, "And now we have a very special message from someone in the crowd," and the camera zooms in on the Jumbotron image of Phil, who starts to say something about a very special woman in his life...

I lean in to the television and try to turn the volume up, but the channel changes. I panic. Everyone in the room is all, "TURN IT BACK!!" I try going back to the channel, but I can't find it anywhere.


Highway (Back) to Hell

I've accepted a new job at Satan's Journal. This time, the powers-that-be wisely divvied up the workload. So instead of filling four different positions, my new title is simply "editorial assistant."

For the first time in a long while, I'm literally twiddling my thumbs and watching YouTube clips of The 700 Club.

I look over to see the new intern Kevid smacking his lips to my friend Ryan about my penchant for Pat Robertson. Of course, I decide to mosey over to the cubicle and proceed to chew his ass out.

Kevid cowers in the corner, shielding his face like I'm some goddamned wife beater. "If you have a problem with my watching Pat Robertson, you should come over and tell me like a fucking adult. Grow some goddamned balls," I tell him.

And I pivot smoothly and decide to clean up the office restroom. What else am I gonna do? I'm watching episodes of The 700 Club for chrissakes.

While scrubbing the toilet, the CEO chums up beside me with a glint in his eye. They've hired yet another intern.

"Be nicer to this one, too," he goes. "I've been talking to Kevid again."

"Well, Kevid is a fucking idiot, so of course, you'd side with him," I tell him, looking up from scrubbing the toilet. "It's the one trait you've managed to a tee: hiring fucking idiots."

The CEO steps back and throws his hands up in mock resignation.

"Bye bye," I say sweetly as he ambles out the door. The acid in my voice could burn the enamels off your molars.

As I look down at the doodoo-encrusted rim, I think to myself, "honestly, didn't I quit this job weeks ago?"

How to Keep a Good Man Down

We're watching a low rent Hedwig and the Angry Inch-esque routine at a dive bar in Manhattan.

It's in the Hedwig vein, but with cheap stage production and characters you wouldn't give two shakes of a rat's ass about. In fact, the lead singer is wearing leather pants that hug his package so tightly, you can easily deduct that he isn't a Jew.

It's basically him jumping around on stage for two-and-a-half-hours with butt-rock guitar riffs worthy of the love child of Scott Stapp and a 4 Non Blondes-era Linda Perry.

Kristin Hall and Matt Anderson are there. And we're all pretty hammered. We're talking about ageism in popular music, and Anderson is using that tattered trump card of "oh, once you hit 40, you need to give up on any hopes of being a respectable musician."

"But that's not true," I tell him. "See that woman over there."

And Kristin and Matt crane their drunken necks in unison.

"Her name is Sharon Jones. I just interviewed her for American Songwriter and she's just now getting famous at 50-years-old."

Sharon Jones, looking very much like the queenly matron of funk-soul that she is, sasses herself with a stereotypical fingersap. We clasp hands like two old friends.

"Whatever she is. Whatever she is," Ms. Jones says.

It doesn't make a lick of sense. But since everyone's shit-faced, it seems to make perfect sense.

And here I become a groveling fan. "I loved you since your last album," I tell her. "I'm coming to see you at River to River this summer, too."

"Okay sweet honeychild," Sharon goes. She gets up from her throne. "Whatever she is, whatever she is."

I shoot Matt a knowing look of "see there" and begin yammering about Sharon's music, which sounds suspiciously lifted from my Nashville Scene Critic's Pick of Sharon Jones' Exit/In concert.

"And didn't you know, she's in movie produced by Oprah? I just touched hands with a woman who's touched the hands of Oprah."

I reach under the table and bust out a roll of Saran Wrap, only to begin mummifying both of my hands in clear plastic.


A complete misunderstanding of history

I'm at work, in a newer, more high-tech building (think a more blue-grey version of the HQ in CSI: Miami), going up the elevator, when who but my third-grade best friend Christy Gogle gets on. We apparently work together. She tells me that my co-worker H. is annoyed with me. I don't understand how H. could be annoyed with me; she'd been acting perfectly normal to me! Christy says she's fine now, but she had been really fed up with how I'd been making proofs.

Talk about passive-aggressive.

Then Christy mentions that Anne Frank is doing a book signing downstairs. "Or Ahn-na Frahnk, as what's-her-face would say!" we say simultaneously, referring to the way eighth-grade teacher Mrs. Sharp demanded her class pronounce the historic icon's name.

I get to my desk (by the window!) and put my stuff down, only to head back to the elevator to go down to catch Anne Frank before she leaves. I'm wrestling with cloudy dream facts in my head: Isn't Anne Frank dead? How did she die? Old age? If she's not dead, shouldn't she be really old?

I step out of the elevator into the lobby and see people lined up, all headed toward a table in the middle of the room. Behind the table is Regina Spektor with a mustache — thick and beautiful, with alternating streaks of grey and white — and I think to myself, This can't be the real Anne Frank; this must be her daughter or something. She is hawking some sort of chick lit, with pink curly writing on the cover.


Pueblo Waltz

There's a gay Mexican orgy going down in my bedroom.

Limbs are flying in every which direction, appendages flapping with a wet thhack, thaack thaack...there's also the smell of suspiciously sweet seaweed.

I stand there in the corner, my mouth utterly agog. Who are these people? More importantly, who gave them permission to have a Mexican orgy in my bedroom?

"Look at the chulo, papi," one submissive bottom goes.

I don't know these people from Adam, but I decide to join in. The vocal Mexican guy cringes as I bend over to kiss him.

There's suddenly a loud rap at the door.

"FBI. This is the FBI."

The gay Mexicans dart like mad little ducks, trying to find their clothes. Appendages are flapping, but this time in a not so pleasurable way.

I usher them out my bedroom window ("Wouldn't the house be surrounded by FBI," my rational mind thinks) and slowly open the bedroom door.

"Were there gay Mexicans in your room?" a plainclothes officer asks through the door crack.

"Um, no," I say, biting my bottom lip.

At this point, a visually distraught Mexican woman barges into my room. She's shaking all over.

"Oi, mis ninos," she warbles over and over again.

I point to the FBI agent with a look of what's-up-with-her.

"Oh. That's their mother. These gay Mexicans go across the country, breaking into residential houses and performing sex acts on each other for pornographic Web sites."

I look contemplatively out the window. Should I tell them? But by that same card, it would implicate me in some way, right?

I guess I learned my lesson. The next time strangers are having sex in my bedroom, I won't join in.


Get Behind the Mule

Tom Waits, the mangy old recluse with a voice hardened by molasses and rusty nails, is gracing Middle Tennessee State University's Murphy Center with his presence.

And as any good Waits-o-phile knows, the man rarely makes public appearances. He almost makes J.D. Salinger look like Kiki Preston.

But there's Tom Waits in the flesh. He looks very much like the '70s era Blue Valentine cover, brimming with a raw sexuality and dangerous masculinity. I just want him to pin me against his baby blue corvette a la his Valentine harem, and whisper filthy nothings in my ear.

Instead, Mr. Waits flirts with my roommate, Kevin, licking his lips like a dirty old man while singing about "Chocolate Jesus."

Dejected, I leave Murphy Center in search of cheap booze and nicotine. But the campus doesn't look anything like MTSU as I remembered it.

For starters, there's an Applebee's* right in the middle of campus. I try to find my back to Mr. Waits. (When I left he was playing 'Big in Japan,' wonderfully ironic in its own way since the concert was so sparsely attended.)

But I keep having copious amounts of trouble finding my way back. The bread crumbs didn't work.

I end up in a landfill, tramping through muck as neatly scrubbed Chinese workers shovel away blocks of human feces.

I begin to cry, crumpling up in a pile of shit and smearing it across my forehead for full dramatic effect.

"I need to see Tom Waits," I bemoan, my face literally covered in shit.

The neatly scrubbed Chinese worker laughs her cruel little laugh. Even though she shovels shit for a living, her white suit looks almost heavenly.

*Why do I always dream about Applebee's?


Dystopic Threesome

*I've been pretty excited that water has been absent in my dreams for a while. Methinks it was associated with the soul-death my former job was causing me. But last night it made its reappearance - fortunately in a friendly guise.*

In a darkened apartment with large portions of walls missing I cowered behind a dresser to wait for the bomb's aftermath. I realized the wall I was against was closest to the impact but I was too terrified to move. I had watched the three bombs launch on TV. They had spiraled upward and then their homing devices kicked in and they streaked off to their respective destinations. One went to Alaska. I don't think I heard where the second one went. The third one was headed directly toward the part of Tennessee I was in. "What are the chances?!" I thought. I wondered why the people shooting bombs at us had chosen such remote locations. The bomb blast sent me and the house sliding sideways.

I went to check on Brooke after the impact. She and I were alone in the apartment and it felt like we were children again, left home alone and suddenly sure that an intruder lurked outside the house. We looked for internet access, but both computer stations has been blown away. I walked in off the smoldering balcony from the still night and Brooke gave me a knowing look. I knew I had been in this dream-house before, and she knew I knew how to find the internet. I moved the couch and pulled some iron rails away from the wall and discovered sliding glass doors that led to another darker balcony. I had to help Brooke. I knew this balcony had wireless if I could only find my laptop...

Brooke was talking to me and being open and honest. She was talking about her feelings - and not in the frank, bitter way she does now, with her blue eyes looking jaded and tired through a haze of cigarette smoke. She was talking sweetly and honestly with the innocent expressions of the child that she used to be. I could only stare in wonder and awe.

Then I was on a balcony with lots of people, still at night, and there was a party going on. Sarah Saint and I stood talking. She told me she'd be right back, but soon I found her passed out in a corner. I carried her to bed. I went back onto the balcony and discovered Danny talking to Zach Braff. I quickly joined the conversation and starting petitioning them for a threesome. Zach started to kiss Dan, and Dan backed away a little. "Oh, please!" I begged. "That is fucking hot!" So Zach and Dan kissed, and then the three of us kissed, and I was overcome with elation. We retired to a bedroom.

The next morning I checked on Sarah, but we were in her parents' house. I was trying to show her a sex cream I had apparently used the night before, but her mother walked in. I turned the label toward the wall and thought that if her mother asked what it was I'd tell her "Balsamic Vinaigrette."

I wanted to blog about my experience with Dan and Zach, but I realized that I couldn't betray Zach that way. I also couldn't post the pictures I'd taken on Flickr. I couldn't believe I couldn't tell anyone.

Dan, Zach, and myself walked up a huge down escalator with water cascading down it to reach a park. It was clear that the world had been bombed to hell. We were on our way to the airport, and we were a dating threesome. I realized I could call Alicia and tell her, but she doesn't think Zach is cute, so she wouldn't be excited for me. I decided to call Lindsey and tell her.


falling brides

I was at some band expo to see Danny's band. I was waiting around for them to go on when I heard this amazing jazz fusion band totally rocking out upstairs. So I climbed the mazelike wooden stairs and found them. I stood there with other people from our party who had ditched Dan's band for the horn rockers and watched. They were incredible. I talked briefly with the sax player but I can't remember what he said. And then some guy yelled, "Somebody's falling out of a window!" I ran to look and saw a woman in a wedding dress dangling from an upper window and then let go. I ran to aid her. Her heart was beating but she wasn't breathing. I gave her breaths. Finally medics arrived and asked if I performed CPR. I said, "Her heart was beating but she wasn't breathing so I gave her breaths." Then I was suddenly terrified that her heart had stopped while I was giving breaths and I hadn't noticed. I listened to her chest and heard a heartbeat. "Yeah, her heart's beating," I confirmed. Then we were at a friend's house having drinks and Bob walked in. I said, "BAAAAAAAHHHHHH-B!" and then I noticed he was wearing makeup.



I wish to make it implicitly clear that I use disparging terms such as "Satan's Journal" to describe my job at a fourth-tier subpondscum bar rag for reasons that I find morally objectionable.

Morally objectionable, not as a "Christian," whatever connation that terms dredges up in some people, but as a forward-thinking feminist and homosexual.

To see comely male bodies, slathered in oil, packages neatly enshrouded in layers of spandex to deliver that one-two punch of homosexual males as nothing more than cases of meat, subject to their own hedonistic whims. Well, to me, that is nothing short of pure evil. I don't care if I did get to interview Tori Amos and Cyndi Lauper.

For my roommate's birthday, I smoked a bowl, of course. And my mind and inner consciousness thought about the daily moral struggles I encounter there.

"I really need to find another job" was the common refrain.

And in dreamland, my mind continued on that same, beaten path.

There I sat, in a sterilized Chelsea veggie burger joint, my napkin crumpled after a fit of tears. Happyhappyjoyjoy was there. While others consider their job to be a mindfuck of Office Space and Requiem for a Dream, Happyhappyjoyjoy thinks Satan's Journal is the best place on earth. A homo DisneyWorld.

"You will have miles to go before you sleep," he told me. "Miles to go before you sleep."


Depp Trials

I am making out with Johnny Depp. I find myself in the backseat of a car with him and I'm having a crisis of conscience. He leans over to kiss me and I freeze with wide eyes (exactly like the scene in Back to the Future where Lorraine leans across the car at the dance to kiss Marty McFly) . "I am dating Dan," I think to myself. "I can't do this." Then Johnny asks me to come back to his hotel room and I agree. We encounter Dan on the way, and he is crestfallen. "But, honey, I love you!" He pleads. "I'm sorry, Dan," I reply. "It's Johnny Depp."


Don't Stop Believin'

A milquetoast family of whitebred, Country Living subscribing Americans debates me on the moral clarity of my Repub aunt at a posh Brentwood country club.

"Well I think she's a real bitch," the mother of the clan sniffs, throwing back her cardigan over her hunchback shoulders.

"She's Southern Baptist. They have the moral clarity of Nazis," the Dad remarks.
I can't believe what I'm hearing. Sure, my Repub aunt's no saint, but who is really?

"You know," I tell them, "she really means well. And to people who don't know her, sometimes she can come across as pushy or overbearing. But don't call her a bitch.
She's a good person and certainly not that."

All four of the Family Milquetoast look at me like I just ripped a noxious fart.

We're now standing in the salad line and junior Milquetoast is lifting his plates to the heavens as if they are some holy sacrament.

"And by the way," I tell them, "you aren't exactly the harbingers of liberal tolerance yourselves. I heard what you said to the black couple over there."

Mama Milquetoast is aghast. She nearly chokes on the ice cubes she's been sucking.
"Me?" she says, putting her hands on her heart, all emotionally wounded.

"What's next? Are you going to berate an Asian family?" I ask. "Are you gonna go, 'ching-chong-ching, please to meet you, sir. Ching-chong-ching?'"

Daughter Milquetoast, bless her heart, strokes her flowered hairpin and looks about ready to burst into a fit of tears.

"And you son," I say, pointing to junior Milquetoast, "are you going to befuddle Mexicans with all your 'yo quiero Taco Bell' talk?"

By now, a crowd of onlookers puddles around the proceedings and you can hear the collective gasp. Spoons are dropped into bowfuls of french onion soup.

I turn to leave and now, to me (the dreamer), it's painstakingly clear. I'm the hero of a new ABC television series from the creators of Ugly Betty. The series follows the misadventures of a twentysomething with a heart of gold and his sidekick, a Stuart Little-esque titmouse. We've just witnessed a crucial scene in the series finale.

The camera pans as a black hand reaches out to grab me. It's the hand of Isaiah Washington, the disgraced fag-spewing actor from Grey's Anatomy. He's playing the role of the country club owner who yearns to kick me to curb after my "ching-chong" incident.

"Talk to the civil rights leader I befriended in episode one," I tell Isaiah. "He's a good character reference."

Music swells (is it a power ballad from Journey?) as I reach the staircase and dig through the confines of my shoebox. Sure enough, Stuart Little is there crumpled up over a mouse-sized issue of Satan's Journal. It's the one with Rufus Wainwright on the cover.

When Stuart sees that I spot his deviant homosexual ways, he scurries into the corner of the shoebox under his miniature lamp.

"Aw Stuart," I croon, "I love you even if you like taking it up the ass."
And cue commercial break.


Manifestos and monkey bars

I guess I'm a teacher, 'cause I'm wandering around an elementary school like I've got some authority. A Muslim child is following me around, bugging me about the buggery going on in the minds of Americans. He's spouting some serious propaganda, but I can't recall any specific sentences (or words, even) coming from his diatribe. He's loud and obnoxious and clearly believes in everything he's saying, but I keep shooing him away.

"We have nothing to talk about," I say.

He continues to follow me until I try losing him by crossing a cavern by way of monkey bars. As soon as I turn my back to him and begin to cross, it occurs to me that he could easily shoot me in the back of the head.


In the year 2000

Rosie O' Donnell has a new syndication deal. Oddly enough, it bears a striking resemblance to the previous Rosie O' Donnell Show, except she's more lesbiany. Instead of a faux love affair with Tom Cruise, she talks about Manheiming Camryn Manheim on the set of The Practice.

Her first guests are Steven Segal and Salma Hayek.

That is all I can remember at this point.

Thanks for your time.


Keep your eyes on the prize

I'm meeting with the big fish of Satan's Journal. He's peering down at me from behind his wood-paneled desk and rattling off his usual list of offenses while I sit on his couch with a measured indifference.

"I find your little feministy digs at this organization to be abhorrent," he says. "You need to go out and schmooze at gay clubs more and masturbate to porn every once in awhile."

While he impugns my gayness further, I begin licking myself like a bloodhound dog, my leg jutting against the wall as I lick my crotch.

"What the hell are you doing?" he wants to know.

There's a dead pause, and without missing a beat, I say, "I think I might have chiggers."

I crumple to the ground and begin smudging my ass against his carpeting. "I'm pretty sure I have tapeworms, too," I tell him.

"Jesus Christ," he goes, "and you call yourself a Manhattan homosexual."


Don't read this, Universe

I finish a month of birth control pills and realize that I forgot to take the first little white guy marked "Take me first!" So I've screwed up a whole month and could be in danger of going pregs. I decide to find a doctor willing to prescribe Plan B but encounter religious types and judges pointing out that this is my second time resorting to such measures.

"But I'm being responsible," I whine.

I have the feeling of been-all-over-town-and-still-coming-up-short, so I decide that I have no qualms with taking RU-486. I am 486, as long as 486ers don't have unwanted children.

Breaking bottles

For some reason, I'm alone and walking through the parking lot of that gourmet pasta shop and eye doctor on the corner of McLean and Madison. It's just me and my purse, and I think I'm in pajamas. I stake out an unoccupied area of the lot (for what purpose, I have no idea), and notice that there are several people standing around, throwing beer bottles and delighting as they shatter on the asphalt.

One woman engaging in this apparently sanctioned activity sees me, and I laugh with her about how I don't want her to start chucking those things at me. She has no problem with that. Which is why it surprises me when some other dude at the far end of the lot starts chucking bottles just over my head, lobbed high at first, so they'll miss me, but later thrown just past my fucking face.

And then another dude starts throwing bottles toward me. A few near-misses later, and I'm abandoning my purse and taking off across the street, admonishing these assholes for having their fun a little closer to my skull than I'd normally prefer. I realize with a sinking feeling that my purse has all my earthly belongings in it, and I'm leaving it there in the lot. The asshole dudes are descending upon it, and one other dude is coming straight for me. So this is what it must feel like to know things are going to end badly, I think. I reach my purse and wonder why I didn't just sit in my car — which is apparently there — to avoid the bottles. One dude puts his hands on my and another grabs at my purse. I try to yank it away.

I notice, before I come to, that a soundtrack of gangster rap had been swelling in the background as the conflict got more and more heated. I think to myself, Do my dreams always have music?

I honestly can't say.


I am in an upscale walk-up apartment, completely alone. I've seen this apartment before, either in another dream or on TV or somewhere. Never in real life, that I recall. It feels like I'm babysitting, because I have an obligation to be there, but there's no kid around. In fact, most of the rooms are completely empty.

I start out at the front door and give myself a little tour of the place. The apartment is classy, with nice hardwood floors, white-paneled walls, molding, the whole deal. As I walk through the rooms, I notice that it's dark outside, and every light in the place is on. First off the foyer is the office, I presume, which leads to another foyer-type room that I suspect would be a kid's playroom (that contains nothing but a set of dumbells), and then finally what I suspect would be the kid's room. It's trimmed out with mirrors on the two far walls, making it look like an incredibly huge room. It is also completely creepy. I stand there, looking at myself and around the room through the mirror. The pressure and weirdness becomes intense.

So I scurry out, and back through all the rooms. I notice that I'm hearing some kind of low drone coming from the walls. It also freaks me out. I feel completely alone and yet so not alone. I make my way back through the foyer and into the other wing of the house, where the living room is. It's well-lit and furnished, unlike the other wing of the apartment. I look around and realize that there's no TV (I instantly think of Amber's TV-less babysitting duties), so I grab something to read (a newspaper?) and sit on the plush leather couch. I settle in and lean back, only to see a little spider web with several huge egg sacks hanging between two cushions. I jump up and do a little ew-gross-spider! jig, and continue walking around the place.

Keep moving, keep moving.

The living room is trimmed out with the craziest details. Chandeliers and mirrors — even mirror illusions. There is a white baby grand piano behind a wall, but the wall is bent and mirrored so that it's like you're looking at the piano right there in front of you. Beside it is a little room, sort of shaped like a squared bubble, that's trimmed in tiny mirrors that look like diamonds sparkling. Inside is a tiny stool you can sit on to watch someone play that piano. Only it looks like no one should sit on the stool because it's a valuable heirloom from the Renaissance.

I sit down in a chair and realize that there is a TV after all — it's one of those old floor units that looks like furniture. I turn it on and watch a bit, trying to turn it down to not disturb the downstairs neighbors, but realizing that after to turn the volume down all the way, if you keep trying to inch the volume down, it just gets louder. Even the mute button doesn't eradicate the noise. So I turn the TV off and pass by the couch again, to give those egg sacks a closer look.

How can a spider have enough time to spit out this many egg sacks on a couch that's regularly used? I wonder. And then I see it — crawling up the back of the center cushion. It's big — not bird-eating tarantula big, but at least half-dollar big — and a deep red color that I don't see to many real-life spiders in.

It skittered up the back of the couch cushion and — get this — took a flying leap onto the floor like it owned the fucking place. (Which, I suppose, maybe it did; no one else seemed to be taking care of the place.) It skittered around on the floor, toward me, away from me, with business to do, and I instantly launched into KILL IT mode. I looked for things to use to squish it and came up short. I chased it around with a folded newspaper and realized that its super-spider speed would present my scared ass a challenge. Every time I'd lunge for it, it would scuttle toward my feet or — horrifyingly — leap over my head. I finally gave up when I realized it was hopeless. And when I realized I was drooling everywhere and woke up.

Return to AHMC

I am back at AHMC, and I am nervous as hell. Al leans in my face and says, "How's it going, Uncle Tamara?" I am nervous again. Something's wrong that I can't fix and need to keep everyone from finding out. A sick knot of anxiety sinks into my stomach. I am at the back desk under a flourescent light next to Ericka. Everything I say she is discounting, attacking, and being snarky about. She is deliberately antagonizing me, like a cat staking its territorial claim. Al walks back by and says, "What's new, Flash?" I reply, "I don't know, Al, I guess I'm just realizing that some things never change."


My roommate proceeded to get plastered last night, coming home with a shit-faced grin, rubbery lips and fumbly stutter. Ah, the language of a drunkard.
And last night as I dozed to sleep and committed myself to a dream about the Rolling Stone intern, I could detect the faint blubbering from his room across the hall. It sounded like a sputtering car.
Since my roommate is a world renowned douche, I chalked it up to his being a drunken idiot.
"If you don't shut the fuck up, so help me God, I'm going to come across the hall and beat your ass," I hollered.
The blubbering continued followed by a high-pitched whine. He sounded like a kitty going through a vasectomy.
Again, I didn't know he was puking his guts out in a bag perched beside his bed. I thought he was just trying to piss me off, and keep me from hazy homosex.
"Motherfucker," I yelled again, "you need to shut that shit up! Nobody wants to hear your goddamned drunken horseshit."
I didn't hear from him the rest of the night. Sadly, I couldn't return to dreamland.
And thank Oprah that I apologized to him the next morning.


No — not the camera!!

I am taking a picture of my grandmother and noticing that the autofocus is being a little bitchy. So I switch to manual and zoom in and try to focus on her face. But it still looks blurry and weird. As soon as I press the shutter, I hear this sickening metallic pop — like a spring has exploded inside a small tin can — and I look down to see that my beloved camera has blown out like a popcorn bag — its sides bulging and revealing the parts inside that should stay hidden.

I wince and cradle the thing to the ground, taking special care — and instructing everyone around me eager to get all grabby with the trainwreck of a camera — to not touch the sensor, as if it's even remotely salvageable.

The sight of my camera in such a state launches me into guilty panic mode. Panic because I LOVE THIS CAMERA and guilt because I feel like I probably did something stupid to cause its implosion. My dad is there and, being the one who financed the thing to begin with, he instantly (and this is not what Real World Dad would have done) gets gruff and makes it clear that I'm on my own when it comes to paying for the repairs.

My mind spins as I realize there is no way I can afford a new camera or even the repairs on this one (as if it can be repaired). Phil and I run around some asphalt parking lot between strip-mall stores and restaurants, looking for my car so we can track down the paperwork that came with the camera. I realize with a sick feeling in my gut that I never filled out the warranty card. So I run around with a bleak vision of the apocalypse in my head. I flit past a table of sorority girls in some restaurant and dump water on them. And again when I pass back by. One of them follows me and pours water on me. So I respond (sillily) by tossing my glass of red wine on her velour sweatsuit-clad ass.

None of those things brought my camera back, though. Only forcing myself to wake up ended my terror.


I have a new job.
When people ask me what I do, I tell him, "I'm a specter into other people's lives...kind of like Jennifer Love Hewitt on The Ghost Whisperer."
"I'll be home for Christmas when they pay for some goddamn vacay time," I say, rather blase.
My first job assignment is travelling back into the 1960s and reclaiming the fists of justice for a 5-year-old who was urinated upon by his physical education teacher.
"Honey, what he did to you was wrong. And I'm going to right that wrong."
I can't recall what I did to exact justice. It probably involved a golden shower of some sort.


I'm showering with the cute hetero intern from Rolling Stone. His pubes are splendid. They're all bushy tailed and neatly plucked, his adorable eyebrows arching upward as I soap my balls. The downside is that the shower is emitting toxic chemicals and we're soon bespotted in chemical burns. Our skin gradually turns into a bloody landscape of gaping holes and pockmarked grayish pus. We look like rejects from a Cesar Romero pic.
"See what happens when you have the homosex," my Repub aunt says, "your pecker nearly burns off for Jesus."


I'm interviewing George W. Bush for Satan's Journal. But upon hearing that it's a mag for fags and that the interviewer plans to milk his balls, porkpie isn't having any of it.
"Well, it's not like you're immune to false pretenses. Your entire career has been based on false pretenses," I mutter to myself in reference to porkpie.
Even though I'm interviewing George Bush for Satan's Journal, I'm in the offices of Pus Weekly. And the Secret Service isn't amused that I claimed press cred with Christianity Today, either.
"Shitballs," I tell the Secret Service agent, "you could've tapped my ass long ago, but instead, you just assumed I wrote for Christianity Today. What kind of bullshit is that?"
My immediate boss at Pus keeps making flirty glances at the Secret Service agent, too. This unravels me.
"Nina, he's a Republican! Curb your vaginal impulses," I tell her.



Last night a slew of miniature dinosaurs populated my dreams. They were everywhere — like in some kind of Jurassic daycare center. And all I could think was, "They really are just big fucking lizards!"


Short but sweet

I'm crushing on an adolescent black boy who wears a retainer made of hay in my favorite picture of him. We have the same friends and all live together in one giant house. My father and stepmother also live there.

My crush and our friends and I go to the movies, where we're serenaded by a gospel choir prior to the film. The singers hand out beaded Sunday hats filled with sips of wine. I keep glancing over to my crush, who catches my eye and looks away. He's so young. I'm not sure how old I am, but my college roommate is there, just hanging out.

Next I'm in the bathtub trying to sludge through all my bathtub duties -- shaving, washing, scrubbing, conditioning -- but I fall asleep. I wake up upset because my family, friends, and crush have all enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner without me.


Closer to God

The potential boyfriend has made the leap from conjugal frivolity to serious "gay lover" and now must Meet the Parents.

Like a wacky Ben Stiller touchstone, the downhome visit dissolves into a series of sitcommy hijinks, with all that's missing is the painfully canned laughter.

We're in the backseat of my parents' Volvo (Volvo?! My parents are Ford pickup men. They do anything Toby Keith tells them), and I keep making not-so-subtle gestures such as groping him in the backseat while my parents natter on about the new Applebee's.

"Have you tried their chicken fried chicken?" my Mom asks Dad while I fondle PB. "It's literally to die for. In fact, I'd kill someone for it."

We're now in the parking lot of the United Methodist Church, and Dad is having trouble parking the Volvo. In fact, he goes into a space lopsided.

"You're doing it all wrong," my sister tells Dad as I continue to prod PB's gonads.

"I know what I'm doing," my Dad says all belligerent, puffing his cheeks like Bill O' Reilly. "I've been driving for 40 years!"

My sister gets out of the Volvo and begins directing Dad into the parking space. He's not amused.

The whole time this is going on, I'm still poking PB's balls. "Maybe after they're done, we can get tacos," I tell him.


Buses gone wild

We are careening along on the interstate in California, past shores and hotels and up and down mountains and in and out of thick smog, obscuring what I've been told is fabulously beautiful countryside. We are in a chartered bus, on a tour or vacation, perhaps, and somehow we've gotten ourselves in a race with another bus — a Girls Gone Wild bus that keeps passing us and going slow and getting passed and then passing us again.

There are three men tethered to what might as well be a noose on the back of the GGW bus, they are hanging there — alive — their faces bruised and dirty and bloody from the abuse they've taken from the ass-end of that bus. They are yelling things at our bus. Our driver gets us close enough to them to realize that they are telling us stories. I can't quite make them out, but they seem frantic.

I can't help but notice that we're speeding along at speeds generally considered unhealthy for big, lumbering buses. Every time we lurch around a curve, I think of that poor team on that bus that crashed in Atlanta, and how awful that situation must have been.

It doesn't take too long, though, for our bus to meet a similar fate. Almost.

We top a hill way too fast, so fast that we take to the air and go flying, flying flying, bracing for impact, wondering what we'll hit — ocean or earth — flying, flying, I don't want to die because my guts were squeezed out, flying, flying, awake.


Sexx Laws

[Full disclosure: I might be dating this bisexual dude, hence my trepidation about entering the bedroom and finding a slithering wet vagina awaiting me for a threesome.]

So last night, I fucked a woman. A forty-year-old virgin.

She had discolored skin, blue plugs of it drooping from her chin and bubbled scars a la Seal. Clearly, this poor woman had been parched in the biggest five-alarm blaze since Ron Howard's Backdraft.

"I like it hard and slow," she told me, even though she never had 'it' in her forty years. She reminded me very much of Ms. Crabtree on South Park, the constantly bedraggled ragamuffin bus driver who says things such as "my cooch hasn't been paid this much attention since I was a ripe flower."

I remember saying to myself, "just picture it as your potential boyfriend's ass...just picture it as your potential boyfriend's sphinx."

In a later dream segment, I started gettin' hot and heavy with the openly gay indie-rocker from Nashville who shall remain nameless.

In real life, I've been crushin' hardcore on this Roxy Music-era guitar slinger, sending him steamy text messages that could make Sue Johanson blush.

But last night in the dream...man. Let's just say that when my cell phone alarm clock blared, I cursed Cingular Wireless president Kathleen L. Dowling's mother.

Sleepy McActiondream!

I'm in New York Ciy, although it is entirely unlike any New York I have ever set foot in. I'm on a narrow, curving beach with what appears to be throngs of Spring Breakers. We are mulling about in the shadow of a very large hi-rise whose architecture is quite unconventional. Its contours undulate as they climb toward the sky, so that every other floor bulges outward past the others.

Suddenly I look up and see something flying right into the building, near the base. It looks like a small plane. It crumples as it hits the building, and some middle-aged white guy comes stumbling — miraculously — out of the plane, only to collapse and, presumably, die there in the pile of rubble the crash created.

Everyone panics and starts running around. I inexplicably head toward the water.

We see more planes in the sky, flying low.

Everyone has to decide where to take cover. There are these large concrete block things floating on the water. I and about three other women — who are all blonde and really annoying — head inside the concrete blocks, which someone seals off from the outside so that we're trapped inside. We realize that we've been sealed inside some scary-ass ancient tomb or something, and work to get ourselves out.

I'm not sure how we do it, but by the time the sealed door is open, we are dozens of feet off the water, and someone has attached a rope ladder to the doorway so that we can climb down and swim to the helicopter waiting on us.

The blondes bravely jump all the way down, a la Fear Factor, and I'm the last one out. I self-consciously make my way halfway down the rope ladder and then jump into the water (I can't recall feeling wet in my dream). One of the blondes is struggling and tells me she can't swim. I grab her arm and tell her to kick her legs. We make it to the helicopter. I tell her to watch her head as we hoist ourselves into the thing and take off for unknown destinations.


Political Science

I ripped a page from the Lindsey Turner Dreambook.

Fox News, fresh off their Demo-snubbing at the hands of John Edwards, invited Nashville, Tenn. bloggers to a Town Hall discussion about the hot little 2008 prez race.

Bloggers would introduce themselves to Fox viewers with cheeseball lines such as, "My name is Katherine Coble of Just A Pretty Farce. I want the government to stay the hell out of our lives. In 2008, I want to see Jacob Sullum in the White House. You guessed it, Fred Barnes. I'm a Libertarian."

And then you would have some cocky celeb such as libertarian Denis Leary and he would say something like "Amen, sister!" to Coble's admission.

When time came for me, I wanted to say something like "I'm a liberal with libertarian tendencies. Plus, I've been researching libertarian-socialism on the Internet lately, and I think that label best fits me despite being somewhat of an oxymoron."

But the Fox News brass said something to the effect of "our viewers are dumb as rocks. Your identity would only cause their brain cells to fissure because they're retarded."

So I went with liberal. And here's what I said.

"My name is Joey Hood. I used to have a blog called TV on the Fritz. I believe in equal rights for gays and universal health care. In 2008, I want to see a tranny in the White House. Holyfuck, I must be a liberal!"

Then I had some fat lesbian celeb such as Rosie O' Donnell who snapped, "you go sister friend."


Food in the House

Jenifer has returned from a "life-changing" trip to the Netherlands and needs some kind of nourishment.

Even though we both currently reside in New York, Jenifer and I find ourselves on my grandmother's piss-yellow linoleum floor kitchen, where I'm rummaging through the refrigerator for grub.

"She has stir-fry and fake chicken," I fib. (My grandmother definitely has stir-fry but has raised a klan of ravenous, gluttonous carnivores. Vegetarianism denotes sissyisms, and a sign of moral decay.)

"Ooh, that sounds perfect," Jenifer says about the faux-chicken, clasping her hands together in eager anticipation.

I pocket the Ziploc package of "real" chicken," deep-fried in sticky fat and oozing lard from its bloody-red pores.

I don't know why I'm telling tales to Jenifer. Maybe it's because I like fucking with vegetarians.


My Happy Place

Dr. Cox gave me naughty punishment sex all over my kitchen. It was ha-ha-ha-ha-hot. John C. McGinley is an attractive man, and right before bed I watched an interview with him wherein he stated that his character's whistling was just a bad habit (organic!!), and that he started calling Zach Braff women's names from the get-go, because Zach is a little bit of a girl (organic, again!!). So his two most attractive features are features that came from the man, not the writers. So I guess, in my I-need-a-sex-dream state, John C. McGinley and Zach Braff played rock paper scissors, and "Johnnie C." crushed Zach Braff's hand.

And I'm so glad he did because that's the hottest dream sex I've ever had. And I'd give details here, but it'd be dirty, dirty, dirrrrrty. God, so dirty.

Long hair blues

I discover a seldomly used front door to my apartment, and on it, a stack of weathered memos and notes is tacked, including one from my landlord telling me to clean out my drains once and a while.

Instantly I know this is because I shed like a Persian cat with the mange.

The Dope Show

I'm currently reading Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, which was ghost-penned by Neil Strauss! So excuse moi for my altered subconsciousness last night.

I found myself bosom buddies with Marilyn Manson, who waddled around his mansion in Prada house shoes with a tottering glass of rum.

"Should we go for a swim?" Marilyn asked. After years of drug abuse, frankly, Mr. Manson looked hard-up and worn out.

He held up powder blue spandex speedos for my perusal. Since I don't like people inspecting my package, I told Marilyn that I was fine in aqua jammies, you know, the ones the British Commonwealth would wear in grainy black-and-white films about public bathing?

Anyhoo, Marilyn's mother came into the picture at this point. And it was none other than Mrs. Cradell, a fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptist from my long-forgotten high school career.

"Hello, Mrs. Cradell," I go, excited to see someone from my past.

Mrs. Cradell takes a long toke from her cigarette which hangs precariously from her lips.

"Oh hello...Joey," she mutters.

As she leaves the room, I corner Marilyn with my neurotic firing line of questions including the priceless "How come your mother doesn't like me?"

Marilyn's answer is simple. "Because you're a faggot," he says matter-of-factly.

I don't understand how this woman loves Marilyn Manson. I mean, the Anti-Christ Superstar crawled from her loins, and she's offended that I have butt sex with men? Outrageous!

Mrs. Cradell returns to the room with a Long Island Ice Tea.

"Marilyn," she says, "everyone in our family thinks that you're mentally retarded."

Well, that settles it.


Even Steph/vens

I'm spending time with Wendy, a friend from looooong ago, who I haven't seen in many years. And together, for some reason, we're hanging out with Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. And they are wearing business suits, just like they stepped right off the set of the Daily Show.

It's night and we're at some sort of outdoor gathering. The details have faded at this point.

I just remember Wendy confiding in me that she doesn't trust Colbert.

Which, at the time, made perfect sense.

Creepy Crawlies

I'm not sure where I am, but I'm on the move, heading somewhere with something to do, and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and notice something hanging out of my nose. It's long and dark. I reach for it to remove it, and am met with resistance as it does not want to come out. It is attached to the inside of my nose, whatever it is.

A closer inspection reveals that it is a fekking MILLIPEDE up in my nose, attached with its little pinchers. So I tug hard to get that bastard out, and do a little dance of revulsion as I fling it onto a nearby table, where it proceeds to writhe on its back, unable to flip over onto its million little legs.


At some point after that, I am in my parents' kitchen, when I see another millipede crawling on the wall. And another millipede, FLYING AROUND (do millipedes even having wings?), heading straight for me. They are red and aggressive, and each is about two inches long. My mom and I realize that they are coming from inside a duct in the wall separating the kitchen and the stairs to the loft. We watch as another millipede worms its way through a small hole and takes flight in the kitchen. There have to be dozens flying around and crawling up the walls now.

You've not seen creepy until you've watched millipedes flying around, heading straight for your hair. It's fucking demonic!

Mom somehow pulls the infected duct through the small hole, and I imagine millions of millipedes writhing inside it, just waiting to be set free.

THANK GOD I wake up at some point before that happened.

Go right ahead

I'm driving a yellow van these days. I go outside to find it parked in a no-parking zone. The police have left me a note: "If you don't move your car, we'll tow it and fandangle your children."


I like the way you move

There's this guy I like. A situation has presented itself that has allowed us, fortuitously, to be sitting somewhere, making out. For the first time, presumably. It's not all that hot, really, but mostly because he is using his tongue entirely too much. He's sticking it my mouth and swirling it around and around and around and I'm beginning to wonder if he's joking with me and I'm supposed to pull back and laugh at him. With him. But I don't pull back because I want to keep going, I want this to mean something, I'm afraid I won't get the chance again, etc.

And mostly I figure — if this is seriously how he kisses — that I can teach him a better technique some other time. Practicing will be fun.

So kissing leads to more, as it so often does, and I'm relieved because the more is much better than the kissing. There is a rhythm that wasn't there before, a skill, a compatibility.

And that's a relief.


Hair-Hatched Cats

Brooke says to me incredulously, "I can't believe that woman keeps eggs in her hair!" I concur. But then I discover an egg in my own hair. I pull it out and realize that I've been keeping it warm because it's about to hatch. I watch it slowly break open, but there is a clear liquid filling it, that I try not to spill, as the kitten hatches. Then the kitten rolls out and begins to clean himself, a lot bigger than most kittens. I realize that he looks just like Sabian. I think to myself, "Ohh. Cats that get hatched out of eggs must all have that coloration."


The Lynnster Dream Zone

For some reason I've decided to trek down the road from my parents' house. (I am finding it curious by this point in my dreamblogging that I dream about my parents' house more often than I dream about my own apartment, or any apartment I've ever had.) It feels like I'm westward bound, though the landscape is unfamiliar and I see a sort of suburban cluster of stores and a McDonald's on the horizon. I think to myself, Wow, I never knew there was a McDonald's so close to my house. So I head toward it. Along the way, the paved road becomes a dusty, rutted gravel road, passing between expansive, grassy fields lined with rustling trees. I can hear the crickets and the katydids in the grass — their chirps and hums make the air vibrate.

There is a group of young people playing football in the field to my right. Actually, they're probably practicing. It seems more repetitive and stressful than a pickup game. I reach the end of the road and climb up into some twisted piece of farm equipment whose windowed caboose looks down over the group playing ball. Inside, I encounter other people there, and I realize that they are looking at me in frustration, as if to imply that I shouldn't be there and that I'm disturbing this holy practice session. Which, if it's a high school football team, makes sense.

So I climb down and double back. I can't figure out how to get to the cluster of life I saw on the horizon earlier.

[vague and blurry]

I am heading back to my parents' house with the feeling that I'm in trouble. That someone's following me. I think Amy Rose is there. Someone else is with us — someone she knows. We are snickering at the possibility of getting in trouble. I, of course, and wracked with guilt. But we press on.

[vague and blurry]

I am in my parents' house and I come downstairs and there's Lynnster, who I've never met (add that to the tally of bloggers I've dreamt about), but whose blog I read just before bed last night. I've never even seen a recent picture of Lynnster, but my brain managed to take earlier pictures of her and show me what she might look like today. Very interesting trick, brain. Kudos.

Anyway, so Lynnster comes to hug me and is all "Let me see you!!" She is acting like a long-lost aunt, marveling at how I've grown. We chat briefly and then she and my mom go back to kvetching about things, and I completely forget the rest of the dream.

Look at me, I'm an angry Sim

I keep dreaming that I've had sex with someone other than Craig and now have to tell him what I've done. This no doubt comes from the terrible experience of having betrayed a couple of boyfriends when I was slightly younger, slightly dumber, and providing one part of two in immature relationships.

In these dreams, I agonize over hurting Craig because my dream self wants more than anything to be her best self for such a joyful, unconditionally kind man. I get a sense of longing to get back to my sleeping self, who would rather eat a bucket of flaming needles over whole wheat pasta than stay stuck reliving this particular past.

I wake up with a certain ex-boyfriend on my mind, feeling angry that he dare think himself pure enough to punish me the way he did in November. Clearly, we pay our own debts when we hurt someone. Hope that fits in his pocket, but I doubt there's room with such a huge ego taking up so much space.


Frozen Foods Hissy Fit

I am the manager of a grocery store. I am secretly seeing S.T. and hanging out with her daughter, who is adorable (I've never met her in reality). I deal with staff issues, which include employees ducking into the coolers when I'm not looking and ignoring the people waiting to be checked out. I'm in heels, and I keep having to march from one side of the store to the other, reaming people. I can barely find time to hang out with S.T., except when we duck out together for cigarettes. We end up getting in a fight in the frozen foods aisle, and I throw a barrel of raw chicken in the floor in front of her and stomp away. I get outside to smoke and decide I had probably better clean that up, since I'm a manager. I change into work clothes and fetch a barrel of cleaning supplies. On my way in, however, S.T. is by the side entrance with her daughter, crying. I know what she's doing. She's going back to her husband. I don't beg her, because I can't. I just stand and cry, and she cries, and her daughter cries. And then the door opens and a chap (her husband) looks at me and leads her inside. I feel empty.

Then she and I are outside smoking and discussing how it's been since she left. "April is worst for me," I say. "And Christmas." She says, "Christmas is bad for me, too." "Yeah, but you have a family," I remind her. And then she is gone.

She has left "our" gold Oldsmobile there, door open and everything. Lori says, "Did she leave the key?" "Yeah, I think it's this funny-shaped one." I stick it in the ignition, and when I turn it my alarm goes off.


Algor and the Rhythms

I'm back in college, again unable to graduate because I skipped my math class all semester.

My mother and I are sitting at a restaurant table. Someone else is there, but I don't have a positive ID. I'm making a case for my screw-up.

"Do you know what algorithms are?" I ask my mother. "It's that ten times this to this power and you have to count zero, zero, zero, zero, all the way up."

As I'm saying this I'm making air zeros with my finger. Mom is laughing.

What's truly funny is that algorithms are much more complicated than the second-grade process I described. Which might explain why I'm not making it through college in my dreams.

Joey and the Fatman

I don't hate fat people. But last night, I killed a poor rotund bastard in my dreams.

The Fatman would loiter by my apartment stairwell, licking his chops as I hovered on the top stairs.

"Top of the morning to ya," he'd say.

"You're not fucking British," I'd tell The Fatman. He wasn't British, and his cockney Westchester accent really pissed me off.

But the little dog-and-pony show and cockney-isms continued, so I eventually I pulled out a handgun. "You're not fucking British," I stammered again waving the handgun at his head.

The Fatman had a splooge of wax encrusted in his puffy brown mane and these big soulful brown eyes, which drooped pathetically as he stared down the barrel of the handgun.

"I'm sorry. You're right. I'm not British," he started.

But I didn't let him finish. I just emptied the chamber into his hunks of lard.

Ka-plunk. Ka-plunk.

The Fatman crumpled up in a ball on the floor. He looked like a beached whale.

But I didn't care. I just stepped over his body and went back into my apartment. Clearly, I had paid my debt to society, ridding the world of one more faux Briton.

All in a day's work.

I lit up a cigarette.



Something about running away from a murderer stalking me and three kids in the movie theater, Demi Moore giving her husband a striptease, and trying to dial a phone with a busted keypad.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just isn't the same...