I'm on a couch in the middle of what looks like a Washington Square-sized coffee shop. My favorite professor, Dr. H-K, is leading a class behind me. I've got a story to tell him, but one of his students needs my seat. I move to another couch and sit next to Danny Glover. He'll have to do for now. I tell him the story instead:

I was walking in the mountains when someone stole my pickup truck and began to chase me. Before the bad guy could run me over, a woman in a Chinese bodega-TCBY combo shot a poison dart up through her ceiling, hitting the thief in the ass and saving my life.



I am hanging out with my gifted class -- as well as a few other people from high school who were not part of the gifted class -- and we are riding in a moving restaurant. It's like a reunion of sorts, as everyone seems to be the adult version of him/herself. I haven't seen most of these people in eight years or so.

The moving restaurant is moving fast. It's almost like we're in train cars, but we're bustling through city streets. I see tall highrises around us. It's night and the city is twinkling. Things are getting jostled around from the speed at which we're moving. I can see into the kitchen and the line cook is swaying with the dining car as we make a right.

Everyone sits down at a long table -- we seem to have stopped moving or perhaps moved to a stationary outdoor table. We're talking (about what, I don't know) but Brandy T. shows me a painting I apparently gave her back in the day. It's a rudimentary and very bad version of a painting I did for Amber (the one whose background is based on a pattern that can be found on a pair of underwear I have) in real life.

At some point, everyone's mellow is seriously harshed because we realize that Jacob H. is not with us. Because he's dead. Electrocuted, to be exact. He is apparently the first of our group to have passed away.

***This is an example of dream content for which my brain plucks situations directly from real life and turns them into barely filtered craziness. The gifted class bit comes from my conversation with Palm Tree last Friday night, when we drunkenly mused about the good old days and how we'd love to reunite with Mrs. Gilchrist's class again just to see everyone. And the electrocution bit had to come from my conversation with Lighthouse Pilot yesterday about being electrocuted: by fences, by wires, by Coke machines. And the bit about the dining car no doubt was taken from my excitement yesterday over learning that you can go from Memphis to New Orleans for $50 each way on an Amtrak.***


Crime scene

I have found myself and two of my friends — X and Y — in the hospital, though I don't think any of us are sick or hurt. X is wearing hospital garb, though, and reclining in one of the room's twin beds. She seems in good enough spirits, and I find myself wondering where her boyfriend is, as they're usually together. I also notice that Y has a sister there with us, although in real life he doesn't have a sister at all. I also realize that Y's dream sister is the real-life sister of my first boyfriend Jeremy (I'll call her C.A.).

We're hanging out in the hospital room, being generally goofy and making each other laugh, which is what we normally do in real life. Y does or says something — I don't remember which — that is so perfectly amusing that I can barely contain myself and lean over to give him a quick smooch. He quickly turns and presents his cheek to me, and then reconsiders and kisses me on the mouth. We don't think another thing about it, but X gets really upset and starts berating us. She storms out of the room. The three of us are left wondering exactly what we did to incite such a lecture.

Somehow we discern that there's a commotion going on outside. We leave the hospital room and follow the labyrinthine corridors to the hospital's back exit. There are tons of people doing exactly what we're doing — going toward where the action supposedly is. We reach the outside and continue walking along the sidewalks of a residential neighborhood. I see my mother walk right past me, and I stop her "Mom! momomomommom! Hey!" — and hug her and walk with her, even though she's acting incredibly distant and very much unlike how my mother would act if she randomly saw me out somewhere.

As I'm walking with her, I notice I'm leaving Y and C.A. behind, but I figure I'll catch up to them later; it's my mom! We finally arrive at where the supposed action is and I realize there's been a horrible murder and everyone is standing around gawking at a crime scene. I briefly glance in the direction of a house surrounded by police tape, and see a body under a white sheet on a stretcher. There's blood flecked on the sheet and pooling on the stretcher below. I look away and don't notice anything else about the crime scene.

I infer from the conversations around me that there had been a horrible knife fight in the house, and many people had been carved up. No one seemed to know the victims. Or the killer. I notice that Y and C.A. are gone, so I tell my mom bye and head back to the hospital to tell them what I found out. Once inside the hospital, I can't for the life of me find the outpatient corridor. It's a swank hospital. Think something done in the design style of CSI: Miami, except classy. I rush past the nurses' station and head down a hallway toward surgery. I double back. I head down another hallway, and find a fucking aquarium. Double back. Two more false starts down unfamiliar halls and I finally find the outpatient hall beneath the stairwell. I don't remember which room we had, but I find one that has a post-it with "Lindsey Turner's blog" written on it. Um, okay.

I go inside, and Y and C.A. are there, but X is still nowhere to be found. C.A. has blood all over her face, except it's theatrical blood — bright red and goopy — so I don't think much of it. I tell them all about what I know about the crime scene, and C.A. asks me if I saw the other bodies. No, I said. But she did! She said one of them had "xoxo" carved into the chest.

Somehow I missed that.


My name is Lindsey, and I have an inferiority complex

I am at Amber's place, only it's unlike any actual place she's ever lived in. It's more like a dorm or compound of sorts, where lots of people live crammed into a small space. There's sleeping bags and living accoutrement everywhere. I make my way to a small space behind a curtain — a dressing area perhaps — and hey, there's Chan Marshall (Cat Power), wearing all black. She sees me take a pair of green striped workout pants from my bag, and she gestures to them as if she recognizes them. I tell her they're my ex's.

A flicker of recognition passes over her face. "You're Lindsey," she says, as I realize she somehow knows Phil. She has some kind of muddled nearly British accent, which is weird, because she really doesn't.

"Who do you love now?" she asks me. A hundred thoughts flash through my head, but I tell her that I can't possibly get into that. It's too complicated.

The group — Chan, Amber, and a couple of unidentifiable people my brain sorta made up — heads out for a night on the town. I shove some piece of important paper into my back pocket, throw my purse over my shoulder, and hurry out the door. I feel rushed and unsure. We walk a few blocks (it feels like we are in the city, presumably New York, but what part, I have no idea; later it feels like we're back on Long Island) and get to this outdoor concert space where, apparently, Led Zeppelin is playing. We can't actually see the band, but we can hear them and we can see the lights reflecting off the partial walls around us. Wow, they sound just like they do on the albums I have. Hmm.

The concert venue is oddly shaped — there are big rectangular slabs of slate interrupting the flow of the place. I feel like I need to draw exactly what it looked like to accurately describe it. It doesn't really seem like a music venue at all, but more like a public park art sculpture. Occasionally, and to our subdued amusement, we will see the guitar player — Jimmy Page, presumably — walk on the slate walls for an extended length of time, and the round a corner out of our sight. Ordinarily, people walking on walls would creep me out, but it was a rock show, so it was awesome.

I realize that I don't think I locked my car. I just imagine random passersby trying the handle and being delighted when it opens. I fumble around in my enormous and noisy purse for my keys, and manage to accidentally dislodge the important paper in my back pocket. I quickly hit the lock button on my remote, in the hopes that I'm still within remote range. And then I see the piece of paper skitter along the ground toward a giant fountain. I run away from the group, which has more or less been ignoring me anyway (we don't know each other very well) and chase the piece of paper. Every time I grab at it, it lunges toward the fountain a little quicker. I just know the damn thing is going to end up in the fountain and I'm going to lose whatever essential info was on it. I can feel people watching me and silently judging my stupid ass. I make one final leap and nearly go careening into the fountain, but I catch myself and the note, and for one triumphant second, I don't care what people think.

But then I come back to reality and realize that I am a mess. I feel frazzled and disorganized and uncool and frumpy and unattractive and unworthy of hanging out with these new people (this is a feeling I often have in real life, yay). So I take off walking around this harbor/marina-type thing, gazing off into the misty distance, at the boats and the gulls and the ropes. It's beautiful, and I just sort of take it all in. I feel someone behind me, and turn to see it's Amber, who's come to check on me. She's following close behind me, mimicking my steps, trying to make me laugh.


The dream parade made a stop in my skull last night and the grand marshall was a demon who tried to possess me

You ever think that maybe certain locations are more fruitful when it comes to dreams? Like your brain feeds on the residue there -- if it can pick it up -- and just runs with the craziness?

I ask because any time I spend the night in my childhood bedroom, I seem to have lots of dreams, and some of them fill me with anxiety. Like, not run-of-the-mill anxiety, but life-and-death-of-my-soul anxiety.

So last night I'm having a sweet fix of a dream about a boy (whose reality I knew was hopeless to be had), when suddenly a metaphorical night falls on me and I feel hunted by evil forces. I wake up -- or do I? -- and realize that my mouth is slightly open and A) I am being observed by something malevolent and B) some evil force is possessing me by pushing itself into my open mouth. I can't move my body (damned night paralysis!) so I exhale to expel the evil -- and I make the craziest moan/growl noise in the process. But I feel the evil leaving me. My heart is racing and I lie there and wonder why I always have these horrible demon-related dreams at my parents' house. Because really, I can't think of a time when I've had a demon-related dream anywhere BUT my parents' house.

I finally fall back asleep (if I was truly awake at all) and go into another dream or two ... which I swear I remembered until I started typing this; maybe they will come to me and I can come back and fill this in (stay tuned).


And then I am sitting at a table with The Harmony Brothers -- the full quartet -- and I am apparently drunk. We're at some sort of celebration. I don't know that I've ever been drunk in a dream before, but I am totally drunk and unable to control the volume of voice. When I can focus long enough, I realize that Jeff and Jeremy are giving me the most humiliating looks I can possibly imagine -- it's pure disdain mixed with just a hint of embarrassment at how pathetic I am.

I realize that I shouldn't be around them so I scoop up Felix and run inside my parents' house -- much to Phil's protests about how of course I should be there -- and lock myself in the bedroom where there's a window overlooking the party and where Felix can roam around freely.



There is some kind of bug on my floor — a centipede or something — and I can't seem to catch up to it quickly enough to smash it. It's running all over and I'm searching for things to use to thwack it. I finally settle on something — something sturdy like a can — and squash it. When I pull back, the damned thing keeps running. I try to kill it again and again. I don't remember if I ever succeed.


I wore my smoking patches again last night

The abridged version:

After the bucktoothed, spittoon-toting pastor delivers a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an asbestos-ridden Presbyterian church in rural Tennessee, my mother feels moved by the spirit.

She retreats to a backroom to get saved, but ends up with the pastor groping her chest. Furious that the pastor is a lecherous old perv, my family decides to go all I Piss on Your Grave on his ass.

I begin conversing with a ham sandwich shellacked in careful detail as a shrine to the Nativity scene with the little sprigs of lettuce denoting a goodwill Olive branch.

"The Nun Bun doesn't have nothing on my ass," the shellacked Nativity scene sandwich tells me.

For some reason, I become convinced that this sandwich is Jesus.

At the last minute, right before my family exacts revenge, a cavalcade of cops barrels through a side door. They arrest the pastor on embezzlement charges.

As the end credits roll (end credits?), I grapple with the death of Sandwich Jesus. It seems that one of the cops has chomped him to bits.

"Oh, my Lord," I wail as I comb through pieces of lettuce and Swiss cheese. "Father, I have forsaken you."


Dream residue

So, I can't remember much of what I dreamt about last night, but I can remember that I had a lot of fitful dreams that made me wake up repeatedly. I remember waking up at one point because I flailed my arms around and knocked my glasses off my passenger-side pillow and onto the floor and the clattering woke me up.

I'm almost positive I had a lucid flying dream, though, and another dream where I was trying to focus my eyes but couldn't see anything. I'm not sure I've ever dreamed about my horrible vision before.

Oh, and I kissed the same dude again.


Baby, my snake is a shark tonight

I had a long and meandering dream last night. I've mostly forgotten all the details, except this bit:

I'm hanging out with this guy I like, and we're just sort of sitting there, kind of facing each other casually. There's not a lot of distance between us. I'm petting my cat Jack, and Jack goes in for some headbutt nuzzle action, and I oblige for a minute. And then I just sort of lean over and kiss the guy straight on the mouth. He seems surprised, but not weirded out at all. In fact, I begin to hesitate and apologize for being so forward, but he tells me, no, it's totally cool. Really. And he kisses me back.

It's a good kiss, too.

Murder and Botox

I am working in a hair salon with Alicia and another woman, who is the only one allowed to "cut" hair. I think to myself, wow, I finally got into a creative career I can get into. And then I think to myself, but it's hairdressing. I walk in and am having fun goofing off with Alicia and fluffing the locks of happy clients. Then I am at the Hippy Shack, and I am alone playing pool, but I feel like Jeff is around somewhere. I am waiting, hoping someone will show up. I raise the cover of my piano and look at the strings. Inside is a compartment. I open it and my Dad has a secret CD stash there. I wonder why they're secrets and open the padded, zippered pouch to inspect them. I look at the first one, which is a purple disk, and I hear people on the porch. I thrust it back in, quickly, and wince when I realize that Dad will notice it's unzipped. It's Mom and Carolyn, although Carolyn looks like someone else. "What are you guys doing here?" I ask. "We's wantin' to see if you and Jeff wanted to play some pool," Mom answered. I said, "I'll ask him - he's just over in the main house." But I meant another segment of the Hippy Shack that wasn't attached to the pool room, not my parents' actual house. I opened the front door to the Hippy Shack and it was pouring down rain. "Oh, wow," I said, and Mom answered, "I know." I jumped off the front porch and made for the carport but it seemed to take longer than it should've. Mom was in the background, screaming, "Faster, Tamara! Faster!" But when I got under it I was in the middle bathroom of my parents' house. Jeff said, "No, I don't want to play pool." He looked like he was in serious mode (like last night at his high school band's concert). "The last thing I have time for right now is playing pool with you and your mother." Then Mom was beside him, nodding at me as if to say, "Duh, Tamara, why would you even ask him?" Then I realized that I was sitting on a toilet, needing to pee. "Could you guys get out? I'm trying to use the bathroom." Then I was locking up the Hippy Shack, and on the way out I noticed a large blue planter with a coat of maroon paint on the inside. I remembered trying to take it with me once, and a policeman wouldn't let me, saying they were using it to look for evidence of a murder. He was laughing, but I wasn't, because I realized that I had killed my late uncle with an electric drill, drilling a hole in his head, and then chopped it off and faked a car accident. He was still all jokes, staring at me in the rain in his soaking wet police uniform, "You shoulda said to 'em, 'Djew find a head inside of it? Alright, then, I reckon I'm taking this planter.'" I faked a brief smile and headed for my car. I knew he was suddenly suspicious of me, but I looked up at the pear tree's leaves swaying in the rain and thought, I guess these are the feelings you deal with when the choices you make in life include drill-killing and beheading your uncle. Then my dad's friend Hop pulled up in his truck and I tried to rush into my car but he jumped out and said, "Tamara, I need your number. I need to talk to you about this." [In my last dream, my mother told me not to talk to Hop, and I remembered this.] "Let me give you my mom's number," I said. "This is really between you two." Then Mom appeared and they were talking out of my range. I started to drive away, but I thought Dad would be mad that I left her. Then I started to just get in my car and wait to escape the rain, but I thought that would be rude. Then I'm sitting outside of my hair salon, and I inject myself with Botox, right on the chin. I didn't want to - my mind was telling me how I didn't need it and it was poison and there was no rational reason for me to do it - but I just uncontrollably stabbed myself with the needle and pressed the plunger. Then I thought, Oh great, I am SO going to have a bad reaction to this. My mind answered, "You? You of all people will have a terrible allergic reaction to this. There's no way your body will tolerate it. You'd better take supplies." I dig in my purse, realizing with embarrassment that Other Lady in the salon is swamped, and staring at my car outside, wondering what the hell I'm doing. I'll be even more embarrassed when I tell her. I open a set of instructions, like it was a haircolor kit, and notice that what I injected was malleable, and I was supposed to manually sculpt it inside my skin. I look into a mirror and think, Great, just what I need - my lip area to be BIGGER. Then I hop out of the car and hurry around to the passenger seat to grab my stuff. It's dark and raining. I think, Well, Alicia isn't here yet, either, but then I see her maroon car parked there. I think, Shit.


The Bottom of the Well

My teeth are falling out again. According to the FreakyDreams.com, this translates into a "loss of honor, fear of failure and feeling out of control." Spot-on. They're like the frickin' SparkNotes of Subtext Becoming Rapidly Text.

I'm standing in my family's foyer. It's Christmasy all around. Sweet Baby Jesus is lying in the manger. My cousin is a six-figure MD, sitting out on the porch with his recently Botoxed missus. My other cousin is a Baptist preacher.

And I'm standing in my family's foyer with my pants bunched around my ankles, smoking a pathetic looking spliff through cud chewers.

But at least, I seem happy.