midnight in the garden of my brain

i just had another nightmare about evil, and the devil in particular.

i dreamed a co-worker and i were sent to a huge luxury house in vancouver for something work-related. we arrived and had a hell of a time finding our way around the place. it was a labyrinth of opulent dining halls, bedrooms with views of an ocean painted red by the sunset, staircases going this way and that. eventually we realized that whatever we were sent there for must have been some kind of error, but the charming, gregarious people (all between the ages of 40-70 years old) at the house were having a lavish get-together with mountains of incredible food and invited us to stay and join them, so we did.

we ate a bunch and chatted with them and they were all really nice. then i wandered around the place and started getting spooked — something about it was creepy, ominous, but i couldn’t figure out what. then a kid i used to look after in summer camp (in real life) was there and did something to piss me off so i slapped him across the face, hard. i couldn’t believe what i’d just done. then i noticed he had a large, old bruise on the same side of his face already, and i realized i must have hit him before, that i had some sort of weird rage problem i had never been aware of. i was beside myself, i was so ashamed. eventually the party people came in the room and i thought, “that’s it, now the police are going to get involved. what an absurd thing i’ve done,” but the party people couldn’t have cared less. they laughed about it and that was that. on one hand, i was relieved, but on the other i was shocked by their lack of concern.

my co-worker and i were finally leaving the fancy house and the old couple who lived there were thanking us for coming. they had the glass i had drank water out of at dinner and asked me to hang it up on a weird, wooden chandelier-like thing before i left. i thought it was odd but said ok. when i climbed the step ladder to hang the glass, i saw that each spot on the chandelier for hanging these glasses had a different symbol that reminded me of markings i’d noticed before in the symbol of baphomet and on the cover of the necronomicon, like this:

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like the symbols at the points of the star

at this point, i became alarmed. it suddenly became clear to me that this old couple had lured me into their home to acquire this item that now had a personal connection to me, and were going to use it to seriously fuck with me somehow. i don’t remember the rest of the dream well but i think i was too chickenshit to say or do anything about it. i think i just left with my co-worker and was terrified for my immortal soul.

it was a vivid dream, and definitely the scariest i’ve had in a long time. i think it’s weird that most of my dreams revolve around abstract evil. i’m so legitimately obsessed with it that i think about it in my sleep. that’s pretty nuts.

but i can already see some inspirations for this dream that have come from my recent life:

  • ben read rosemary’s baby while on his honeymoon (he said the book was underwhelming, which i always thought was a distinct possibility — i figured polanski turning it into a film would be tantamount to kubrick making the shining), and the mansion and party people in my dream were basically rip-offs of the satanists in rosemary’s baby.
  • the mansion itself was quite similar to the venue of ben and madeline’s wedding last month. not identical, but it had the same sprawling opulence and incredible views.
  • i’m not as confident about this one but i think the slapping of the boy has to do with my recent efforts to try to be kinder to the people closest to me. it’s amazing how we get comfortable — too comfortable — with those people, and allow ourselves to treat them in ways that we would never dream of treating anyone else. or at least, that’s me. i have a suspicion that most people are better at this than me, but i’m aware of it and have added it to my laundry list of things i need to improve at unless i want to die alone.

i wonder if people who read these posts hate hearing about my dreams as much as jenn does. huh.

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going down to die

I think I’m afraid of falling to my death from a significant height.

A few years ago, there was a guy around here who lost his footing and fell over 50 meters from a cliff on his property. Not much bothers me usually, but this incident really did. I kept thinking about all the dreams I’ve had about falling a great distance, and how I usually think, “I’m clearly dreaming because I don’t fall from things in real life.” That helps me feel just fine with it in the dream, then I don’t care. Let my ass fall.

But when I thought about this guy losing his footing and first going over the cliff, I had a much stronger sense of empathy than usual. I could clearly imagine how quickly it would happen, and how he probably thought on the way down, “I must be dreaming. I’ll wake up in a second and everything will be fine.”

But I’m sure once he impacted the first jagged rock, reality came crashing down upon him. What a horrible moment that would be.

That was when I first realized I might have some kind of thing about falling. Since then, I’ve thought about that incident a fair amount and I still get the heebie jeebies from it. I can even feel my heart pounding in my chest as I write this.

And just now, I read a news article about a guy up in Nunavut who accidentally drove his snowmobile over a 30 meter cliff. It gave me the same terrible feeling, and made me wonder if this guy thought it was a dream until he hit the ground. There was another incident in BC a few years ago where a hang gliding instructor messed up and a girl flying with him fell 300 meters to her death. That’s a long fucking way. She would have had a lot of time to contemplate how helpless she was, to try to think of ways to save herself, to twist and grasp hopelessly in the wind, to wonder if the impact was going to hurt or if she was going to die instantly, to wonder if she was only dreaming.

It’s weird because I’ve skydived twice and had no problem with it. I actually loved it the first time and was bored out of my mind the second time — very different reactions from what I’m yammering on about here. So I don’t think falling or great heights are the root of my fear. I think it’s the feeling that it must be a dream and everything is going to be ok when in reality, the situation is terrible. I think there’s something nightmarish about that particular disconnect. It reminds me of a broken child’s toy, a little walking robot that has fallen over but the legs keep walking. It’s hopeless, pathetic. It doesn’t understand what’s going on and it can’t fix it.

I also think having time to consider what horrible fate is befalling you is part of the horror to me. Too much time to think about my skull caving in, my limbs snapping, my body becoming a mangled, deformed, unrecognizable wreck. That’s quite unpleasant as well.

Not sure why I decided to write about this. Now I feel awful. Oh well, we’re going out for pizza tonight. That’s a nice distraction.

drown in blue stones

last night i dreamed i was a heavyset female college student. i was in my early 20s but dressed like a dowdy, frumpy middle-aged woman — baggy sweater and corduroy pants in earth tones like orange and brown. i was in a house in a city and the downstairs floor was being flooded by small, round, robin’s egg blue stones. i have no idea how they were getting in but they were quickly piling up and i was afraid i was going to drown in/choke on the things. i ran upstairs and some nice guy who i seemed to know (i had the feeling he was my boyfriend) and who looked like my male equivalent helped me to climb out the window, i think. the next thing i knew, i was walking around the streets of this anonymous city. i was now wearing some kind of scarf over my head and face, trying to conceal my identity because i was now afraid of being caught — by who and for what, i have no idea.

that was it. what a weird one. i don’t think i’ve ever been a woman in my dreams before.

so many bad dreams

my mind has been on a real roll lately. two nights ago, i had two nightmares. the first was that jenn and i suddenly realized that our house was actually a very dilapidated, rotten, rat-infested log cabin. i pulled back some blankets that were hanging on the wall and found a massive rats nest full of hay, dust bunnies, and chunks of chewed foam. then i noticed that the logs that made up the walls were so damp and rotted that i could poke my finger right into the wood. i was disgusted, and bewildered as to how we could be so stupid as to have bought a complete piece of shit.

the second nightmare was that jenn and i were up in the arctic with some sort of outdoorsy, expedition-type people. it was dark. then a giant yeti attacked. it was at least 10 ft tall and effortlessly tossed members of our crew around. that’s about as far as that dream got. that one really surprises me because i have zero interest in yetis, bigfoots, or sasquatches, and have never found them remotely scary. i wonder why my mind picked that, and why i suddenly found it frightening.

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almost as boring as me recounting my dreams

after those, i was really looking forward to last night’s sleep but it was just as bad. i had a dream that i was getting married to someone — i don’t know who it was but i know it wasn’t jenn — and i had huge misgivings about it. i didn’t want to do it but felt like it was too late to pull the plug. then i noticed that my dick was hanging out of my suit pants. i was so embarrassed. i put it back in but moments later, there it was, out in the breeze again. i couldn’t believe it. i wound up borrowing someone’s spandex bicycling shorts and wore those with my shirt and suit jacket for the rest of the wedding. it looked almost as ridiculous as letting my dick hang out.

then i had another suit-related dream. i dreamed that i got my suit pants back from the dry cleaner but the silver checkered pattern had somehow partially worn off in the cleaning process. my expensive new suit now looked like a total piece of shit. the odd parts were that i wasn’t really that upset even though the suit cost almost $1000, and that in that dream, i thought a dark blue with painted-on silver checkers was an attractive suit.

tonight i’m going to try to direct my dreams in a happier direction before i go to sleep. i want some easy, pleasant adventures now. wish me luck.

everyone you love will break your heart if you don’t break theirs first

today i was thinking about how every time we allow someone into our lives and let ourselves care dearly for them, we sign up for yet another horrible, crushing loss when that person dies. because unless you die first, you’re going to see every one of those people you care about die slowly from cancer, mangled in the twisted wreck of a car against a telephone pole, lingering in a hospital bed with alzheimer’s, dead in a casket at their funeral…the list goes on. there are so many awful possibilities, and one of them is absolutely going to come to fruition.

and if you die first, of course, you’ll avoid that heartache and sense of loss yourself but will inflict it on those people you care about. it’s really a lose/lose situation.

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save for the off chance that you and the people that matter to you all die at the same time. that would really be something. i just noticed those coffins are set up in a 69 position. that’s weird.

i feel like we delude ourselves into believing everything will be fine forever, or we at least try to put stuff like this out of our minds so that we can keep enjoying today, and i don’t like that approach. what i’m saying is legit, and i want to be prepared for the things i know are bound to happen. i don’t want to be a basket case when finally confronted with something as assured as death. i’m sure i’ll still be a bit of one regardless of how much thought i give it beforehand but if i can save myself any grief at all by considering this kind of thing now when it doesn’t make me a sobbing mess, then why not? i think it makes sense.

coincidentally, i had a dream last night that jenn and i died at the same time. we were in hawaii and hurricane winds were whipping around and trees were exploding into flame for no reason. we were standing outside in the midst of this chaos, watching in terror and awe, when i saw a huge tree come crashing down towards us. it landed on us and everything went black. and that was that.

we should only be so lucky.

further annoying recounting of strange dreams

i had a very strange dream last night.

i dreamed i was on the phone with my investment guy, greg. i hadn’t meant to call him, i had mis-dialed but i was too embarrassed to admit it. so there i was, telling him about the first serious crush i ever had on a girl in grade 5. he was all ears. i told him her name was diane lamoureux and she had been a year older than me. i could hear his fingers clicking away on a computer keyboard, and a second later, he told me that it looked like she was now single and living in powell river. greg noted that with my band playing all over vancouver island and the sunshine coast (for the record, i haven’t played in a touring band for 10 years and have never played a show on the sunshine coast but i guess that was a subplot to the dream that was never expanded upon), it was quite plausible that i could meet up with her there at some point in the near future. suddenly i was no longer embarrassed for calling greg about this since he was so quick and helpful about it. he emailed me a clever, albeit lengthy, video diane had made for an online dating site, and i couldn’t believe how stunning she had turned out — she actually looked nothing like the skinny 11-yr old i had been so enamoured with back in 1990. go figure. she now looked like the titular character from the late 90’s/early 2000’s tv show, felicity, but with the most piercing and beautiful light blue eyes.

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diane, you’ve changed.

suddenly, there i was in powell river, except powell river was more like the set of degrassi junior high or beverly hills 90210. it was comprised of basically just a single street that housed everything necessary for filming a show. i walked into the diner where all the cool kids hung out, bumped into diane, and tried to play it cool with a quick “oh hello, crazy seeing you here.” i went outside and everything was tinted an apocalyptic orange colour, like the world was on fire. a voice boomed over loudspeakers on the tiny town/film set, saying something like “seek cover or be incinerated by purifying ray of the eye of horath” — i think my mind meant the eye of horus but got it wrong, which is kind of funny.

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the purifying eye of horus, you dummy

all the powell river inhabitants in the know calmly walked inside the closest establishment, chatting away with each other like nothing was up. i was ignorant so i just backed myself right up against a small water tower. then a thin red laser, like the kind emitted from the sight of a sniper rifle, began appearing from unknown origins. it would appear, arc slowly for a second or two across a surface while scorching it, disappear, and then reappear elsewhere in the town. i realized, “whoah, this is serious.” right then, i sensed it had found me so i jumped as high as i could so that it would fire at me at the same point that i started coming down from my jump. ingenious. it was just a normal jump, like two feet high, max. pretty pathetic but it worked. the laser came from the sky and only grazed my white t-shirt before i was out of its way. i fell to my side on the ground to get as far away from it as i could and watched it slowly burn the water tower as it crept toward me on a slight arc before it suddenly disappeared and started doing its thing elsewhere in the tiny town. my shirt had just a small black burn mark on it, like tetsuo in akira when kaneda’s laser rifle runs out of juice. i thought, “what’s the big deal about this stupid laser? i should have been instantly vaporized but all i got was this cigarette burn on my shirt.”

that’s the last thing i remember about the dream, although i think i just got up and continued walking through town, contemplating my next move for how i could casually bump into ol’ diane again.

i have no idea where most of this one comes from. i was thinking about my kindergarten class picture a few days ago, and whenever i think of diane i picture her from our split grade 5/6 class picture. seems like a bit of a stretch but that’s all i can think of for that. for powell river, we talked a bit about savory island last night and that’s near powell river, so i think that’s that. no idea why greg, my financial guy, was in there, and no idea about the laser, or the reference to the eye of horus in particular. i didn’t even know i was aware of the term, ‘eye of horus.’ i’ve been slowly reading a national geographic article on king akhenaten so that must be where the egyptian aspect came from but it hasn’t mentioned the eye of horus at all so that’s a very strange one.

time to look up diane and see what she really looks like now.

fuck! i can’t find anything! she must be hiding from the eye of horath.

for a few moments, i found myself wanting kids.

i recently had my dad over to help me with some yard work. he came in afterwards and also gave me a hand when he showed me how to refill the kerosene lamp my mother just gave me. once we were done with the lamp, i put it back on top of the cabinet and marveled at how the old lamp from my mom sat between the metal sculpture my maternal grandmother made in university and the shillelagh that originally belonged to my maternal great, great grandfather.

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this is what a shillelagh is, for all the uneducated clods out there. it’s an old irish walking/fighting stick made from blackthorn. pretty neat.

then i realized that all three of those items were from my mom’s side of the family, and i felt shitty that i didn’t have anything from my dad’s side.

then i remembered that the cabinet that all that crap sits atop was given to me by my dad, and it used to be a part of his father’s house in victoria (back when they built cabinets into houses way back when). i laughed and felt better.

but you know, all that thinking about family and heritage quietly stoked some awful, primordial instinct in me — an instinct to pass this cool shit on to my own progeny…

…TO PROCREATE.

egad.

a day or two later, i woke up with a feeling of longing for my own child. i must have had a dream about it because of how strongly i felt it. you know how the overall vibe of an especially powerful dream can sometimes permeate waking life.

so it’s been weird. i don’t think i’ve ever felt this urge to have kids, and if i have, it certainly hasn’t been this strong. i’m confident it’s just a phase that will pass but it’s still an odd, unsettling thing to feel when i’ve otherwise felt so happy and confident in my choice to lead a childless life.

don’t get any ideas though. i’m not flip flopping here because of a few trinkets in my living room and a dream i don’t even remember having. as soon as i start feeling wistful about kids, i close my eyes and picture myself changing diapers, struggling through sleepless nights, having less time for everything else in life i love, paying $50,000 for my kid to go to rehab at age 28, etc. that works pretty well for quelling any urge to make a little version of jenn and myself.

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oh yes, very cute now. but just you wait…

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…for this. not so cute anymore.