A young man has worked out how to talk to evil spirits. You have to use a raspy voice, high in the hertz.
He screws his face up as he demonstrates. Listening to his voice, I feel the world change a little, like something new is looking our way, the way a bear might look at ripe fruit hanging high in a tree. Or it's like a window has been pushed open a few inches and a distant wind blows through our world.
As I hang up washing, I hear someone complaining about me. They are saying that I am evil.
I finish hanging the washing.
Thought I'd see if I could capture my dreams through drawing and painting. This one's a bit ambitious. Not recognisably Jackie, but I'll get there!
If I dream of a bowl of fruit by next Wednesday, I'll have a more recognisable drawing to post..
Here's the dream:
I couldn't find a good clip of the exact fight scene that this dream reminds me of. But here is a trailer for the film it's from, Police Story, and it's sequel, Police Story 2.
I sidestep from wakefulness into a lucid dream in which I'm outside, on a hill, on a bike;. Stationary, but balancing on two wheels, I hop and make the bike clear the ground by a foot.
I do it again. Two feet.
Again. Three feet.
On descent, I feel my stomach rising, that thrilling sensation of falling. I find it unpleasant, but there's something compelling about bouncing,
I bounce onto an old stony wall that separates the garden I was in from the rest of the world. The rest of the world is no less green or lush, but it goes on further. The land slopes downward for a long way and ahead I can see the bottom of the valley and then another mound of earth rising in a great hill, not quite a mountain, on the other side.
Still on the stationary bike, I hop down to the ground, landing on the "rest of the world" side. My stomach rises into my chest, giving me butterflies.
The sky is red. Beautiful. It looks like something somewhere is on fire and the sky is gradually reflecting the colour and movement of flames. The clouds are slow, black shadows. In the distance, trees are silhouettes.
I bounce higher so I can see more.
I bounce higher, to see how high I can bounce.
The butterfly sensation becomes so intense that I can't stand it anymore
I wake up.
There's a beautiful woman at work. She might be Iranian. She's tall and sullen. We've never seen eye to eye, I don't know why, but when I see a crowd around her and I hear her saying googbye to people, I go over.
She's wearing a denim dress with a short jacket. Her hair is naturally brown and blonde, very short and curly.
When I'm near enough for us to hear each other and we make eye contact, I say:
"It sounds like you're leaving for a long time."
"I'm fired," she says with no hint of emotion.
"Oh," I say. "Look, I'm sorry we didn't talk more, but ..."
She raises one hand, like a police officer stopping traffic.
She moves on to the next conversation with the next person.
Delighted by my humiliation, my boss smiles at me from her podium.
I check on the animals. They are in a field, penned into a small area by electric fence wire.
The goat has a great capacity for kicking things and is currently kicking a bail of hay over the fence line so that the animals can't eat.
"Why are animals such assholes?" I ask myself.
Later, the goat challenges the bull to a fight. The goat soon charges, but instead of butting heads, it jumps, runs over the bull's back and jumps off the other side.
"BACK IN THE OFFICE"
I try to get on with my work. I fix a computer screen. I chat to an old friend I used to work with IRL; she too is spiky and uncommunicative, as if she is upset with me.
Later, a female colleague I don't know sidles closer and closer until she is clinging to my arm. A man is staring at us, distressed.
"If you want to break up with him," I suggest to the woman, "you should probably be more direct."
After thinking it over, she relinquishes my arm and breaks into song. She sings to her partner about how she feels. Trapped. Like he doesn't appreciate her.
He sings back, operatically. He loves her really. He just doesn't know how to show it.
"That was great," I say.
They look at me blankly, until I sing something like:
"That was great
what you said;
put the past
in its bed."
The happy couple beam at me.
In the toilets, a white, enamel sink that stretches the length of the room. By the chrome-plated taps, there is a 6-octave piano.
I don't even pee. I just wash my hands and play the piano. Everything I play on this piano sounds beautiful. The sound reverberates and swells, pushed around by the dank, grey-brown walls.
I play a sad song with deep, sorrowful chords and a wistful, heart-rending melody.
I worry that anyone hearing this outside the toilet will worry about my mental state, but I'm ok. I just need some time.
A prophecy says the Hound can only be killed on Valyrian soil. When he stops a caravan on its way to Highgarden and demands that the occupants come out, therefore, he thinks he is safe.
From inside the caravan, Ser Loras Tyrell fires two arrows.
The first arrow merely pierces the wall and sprays the Hound with dust.
The Hound looks at his already soiled cloak and realizes that this new dust is from Valyria.
"Oh, fffuck!" he says, more pissed off and disgusted than afraid, though he knows what is coming.
A second arrow pierces his armor and thumps into his chest.
He drops to his knees.
The ground drinks his blood.
Dee from Battlestar Galactica is on a date with an astronaut.
He underestimates her, like everyone else. She tells a witty joke about opening the emergency door on a space shuttle, but her heart isn't in the conversation.
She ends up alone, at a table in the middle of the bar, tapping on her forehead with a pen.
I'm writing the scene, putting words in her mouth and mind. I too am tapping my forehead with the end of my Biro.
They find me in my tent, tending a long, slow fire, dozing.
"It's warm in here," the boy remarks.
I glare up at him, but the whole world seems upside down.
Later, at dinner, the truth of my thoughts drifts back to me.
"You look like you're very far away," the maester notes.
"Not me," I say. "We're fine. It's the world that's gone."
"Gone," he chuckles, his blue eyes twinkling. "Gone where?"
"I don't know," I reply thoughtfully as I push the grey meat around my plate. "But I know we're dreaming."
I look up at him to pierce him with the accusation. He seems shocked. Whether it's because I found out his secret or because he doesn't know himself, I don't know. But I will.
I go back to mopping up bloody gravy with mashed potato. He goes back to pretending I'm a silly little girl.
A giant elephant rampages in the shadowy garden.
It's not just an elephant, but a giant elephant.
It bats trees out of the way like twigs, thunders in and out of the darkness, devastating the stillness.
My friend suggests putting it on a lead.
"It'll be fine," he says, running alongside her with the rope..
Trembling inside the relative but not absolute safety of the stone house, I become #lucid.
I float for a better perspective, but get
when I pass through the ceiling into the attic.
Dusty material. Cardboard boxes. Corridors.
Unknown people in casual clothes perform science experiments in converted classrooms.
A strange-looking woman mistakes me for someone else, hugs me, and tells me she'll be right back, but this is a dream; real as it seemed to her, as real as I seemed, her entire world is gone before she returns.
Almost in silhouette, I see Winona Ryder stomping across a hilltop towards our barn. She is wearing a long, black dress and boots. I hear her furious thoughts.
"I HATE it when he hides in the other room," she thinks, "and pretends I've discovered him doing something!"
When Winona enters the barn, I make sure to stumble into view, looking harried.
"Sorry," I say, breathless. "I was just in the other room."
I gesticulate towards the other room,
On the other side of the room is an open door, which, even now, is closing its secrets to us - to her - in a slow arc.
Winona smiles warmly.
I’m falling asleep and see a large red sky, gently swirling. In the process of watching, I realize that I’m dreaming and I jump into the dream, like a bird taking flight.
I hang in the sky, sort of sliding along, carried by the sky. Ahead of me is a sharp image, like a mandala. It contains many hexagons. In each hexagon is an icon. The floating mandala thing spins and slides away from me just as fast as I slide towards it.
Between you and me, I’m a bit disappointed by this.
The sky is red. The ground is green. The world is blurred, except for the mandala.
Physically uncomfortable, I open my eyes briefly, shift in my seat and lose the dream. I shut my eyes again and try to get back into the dream.
This time the blurred sky is grey-blue. I jump into it again and hang there, floating like before, but the mandala is gone. The world is still blurred.
I then dream about living in a rustic commune and sharing responsibilities and facilities, including a cooker that has its symbols drawn on in pen and if you rub your finger over it the symbols disappear, which complicates things for people who don’t know how to use the cooker.
I rub one mark away with my thumb and it disappears as cleanly as if it were never there.
I should come back and redraw them, I think.
I’m playing a game where I get to choose a vampire from a range of contestants. I have them walking around in the dark like they are sharks.
In this round, I eliminate almost everyone.
The dark is gloopy. It has grey, yellow streaks in it. Although they are above ground, it’s like they are underwater, in the depths of the ocean.
Two women circle. One of them is young, goth pale, and dressed in black. She has large, dark, dead eyes. They don’t seem to focus on anything.
She keeps her mouth open, like she’s filtering water. Or, again, like she’s dead. She makes big circles.
She’s going to make a fantastic vampire.
Later, we break into somebody's apartment.
I'm with a my friend's boyfriend, a flat-nosed, orange-skinned gangster.
We enjoy the stuff in the apartment, like we are in "The Bling Ring." There's a modern, brown, leather armchair that looks like it belongs in a museum. Even its shadow is beautiful.
I'm rolling a cigarette when I spot the shared bathroom. It is shared by other apartments. Across an acre of wet tile floor, black grills and plugholes. In the distance, there is a portly young man in a towel. Unsurprisingly, he looks surprised to see me.
I shut the door.
It's too late. Within a minute, there are people at every door, either banging for us to open up or preventing us from leaving, demanding to know who we are.
Angry faces everywhere. They chatter at us, at each other.
Thus cornered, I wake myself
Lying in the dark, scared of the consequences of breaking and entering.
I shouldn't have done it.
But then I realize it's over.
Which means that I managed to wake up.
Which means it really was a dream.
And now I feel like a wimp.
to the dream.
In a shared room, now, with bunk beds and friends. An orthodox Jew is making us watch TV.
A young boy of about eight years old, his personal student, is looking up at him and asking questions.
The old Jew answers, but always in a way that is derogatory to me and my friends.
"Would you like my chair," I ask the old man, standing, conciliatory, "so you can be more comfortable?"
He accepts, but in a way that suggests any discomfort, therefore, was directly my fault.
Although I'm burning with anger, I move away from the chair. I don't want my friends to see how furious I am. I want them to see the best in people. I want to set the example.
"What does that word mean?" the boy says, pointing to a page in his book.
"That means: 'two things helping each other,'" the old man replies, and he gives the boy a loving smile.
"It's the opposite of internecine," I spit, "which is where two things destroy each other."
"Yes," I think, glaring at them. "I'm implying that you're going to destroy each other."
They just look at me, like I've walked in on them in the middle of something.
Image source: Your Best Digs
A girl takes me to her apartment in Japan. Her apartment has an anti-gravity setting.
She and her roommate clamber over the walls and ceiling. It's like the dorm is turning slowly, like in an 80s music video, but I can attest that it's not. I'm on the ground and the room is not moving at all.
She turns the setting to neutral to make breakfast. Toast.
Meanwhile, she listens to her favorite song, which is backwards.
After two bars, I guess the track.
I can see from her shocked face that I'm correct.
"Are you not impressed?" I ask. "I got the right answer. After two bars!"
There are some beautiful moments, particularly how it begins and how it ends.
If you don't have software to have fun reversing your own tracks, here's a link to a site that will take care of it - https://www.mp3-reverser.com/en/
This is handy, too. - https://www.online-convert.com/result/a7835e98-5da6-4c1b-b1eb-49f616203153
The movie projectionist keeps moving the image on the screen. He makes it larger. Centres it. Pulls out. Moves to another area.
The audience groans.
Finally, the film starts.
Young US college kids are joking around. They jump into the sea.
Under the water, they cling to each other and kick and finally jump as one to break the surface again.
Then they're in a bar. Chatting.
I'm with them, in the movie. They requested audience participation and I'm it.
The college kids are joking around. There's an edge to it though. Jibes. Taunts. Not a sentence is said without it being at someone else's expense.
They dive into the sea.
They kick. Bubbles.
As one, they attempt to break the surface, but this time they can't manage it without a boost.
I wade into the beautiful, cold water to help.
Chatting in the bar, I'm smiling at the college kids' jokes.
There's a man there, drinking himself to death. He has about sixteen glasses of various kinds of alcohol lined up in front of him, taking over the bar.
He's pissing off the kids and they're pissing him off.
To cool off, the kids jump/fall into the beautiful, blue water and it's all white bubbles and thrashing legs and shorts billowing out like jellyfish, red and blue and white.
Underwater, it's all grimaces and silent screams.
They scrabble and push for the surface, hampering one another, like a bait ball inviting destruction not protection.
The boys finally break the surface, gasping.
In the bar, the guys are chatting while trying to put an elastic band around a lightbulb.
I start to join in with the conversation. I don't know if I'm meant to talk or not. If I talk, and go off script, will they improvise around me? Am I supposed to say something to break the cycle of drowning and drinking? There are no instructions. So perhaps I'm supposed to ask questions.
I open my mouth to speak and the camera moves away from me.
The alcoholic is no longer at the bar.
He is in the audience.
The woman sitting in the row behind him is stuffing a plastic bag into his mouth and he is trying to spit it out to scream.
A guy next to him is spraying his face with water through a straw, effecting a bizarre cinema water boarding incident.
Everyone but one woman ignores this, because they are watching the movie. They've not noticed that the alcoholic from the movie has stepped from the screen into their reality.
I watch from the screen as the woman gets up to save the alcoholic.
I leave my scene and cycle up a hill where there is a remote house built by a survivalist.
I cross the impressive green grounds where vegetables should really be growing, but instead it's all lawn.
There is a steep drop off one side, which I avoid.
In the modern house, which is grey and square, like blocks placed randomly beside each other and on top of each other, I examine the kitchen and storage areas.
A survival expert enters to help. He gives me advice about the granite sink, surfaces, and storage units.
He is unimpressed, but he says:
"We can make this work."
I observe myself, having turned into a crab during a kind of escape game.
"We're all crawling up together," I say, encouragingly, to the other purple-blue lobster crabs. "That's how it should be."
The gamesmistress tries to help me solve the next puzzle by showing me where to find the means to pick a lock.
Dismayed by our performance, she advises us to avoid the brothel owner.
"People lose hours in there," she warns.
To leave, we all climb up through a trapdoor.
My friend, let's call her Sara, is the last to come.
We ask her to pass up the food before she climbs.
She passes up cake.
"The meat!" one of us yells. "Pass up the meat, love. Meat and frozen things. The meat! Fackin' 'ell."
Sara is feckless. She doesn't follow any of the instructions we give her.
I get frustrated with her, too, until I realize that the door is unlocked and we don't need to use the trapdoor at all.
I open the door for her and she just sits there, crying into her hands.
"Let's go," I say, gently.
She doesn't look up. She sits there, sobbing, until I wake up.
Mom's talking to me, but I'm ... n o t ... l i s t e n i n g ... because there are giant bugs crawling out of the sky.
They descend on near-invisible strings. Silent.
A few dozen feet from the ground, they crawl before each one takes its final step to the ground, the way an elderly person might step from a train onto the platform.
The world - our world - is volcanic black, ashy yet watery, as if an ocean has just been drained. Perhaps, the sea went down a plughole.
Everywhere, I see craters of shimmering water. Rivulets shiver, begging us to drink them. They seem to be flowing, except they start and end nowhere.
The wetness reflects the sky, which must contain red and yellow and blue although it is night, like 1 or 2am. The water must be reflecting astral bodies that I can't see, beyond the stars.
The blackness of the sky is heavy and close and seemingly full of holes. The stars are like an engineer's schema, an elaborate dot-to-dot.
In the distance, beetles the size of buses prepare to do battle amid squashed volcanoes and perfect, black gravel.
Through a dirty window. A utilities OFFICIAL sits to chat and drink with the householder, PETER.
It’s all very convivial and neighborly. The OFFICIAL, grey-haired and in blue overalls, is glad to get off his feet.
Unfortunately, PETER mis-hears something I say.
PETER’s face slackens and he glares at the OFFICIAL.
I should be leaving.
PETER grabs OFFICIAL's arm.
PETER appears to be having a terrible headache.
You tried to trick me.
That was a dirty trick. Now I’m going to play a trick on you.
PETER drags the OFFICIAL over to glowing BOOKSHELVES.
“I should be going.”
PETER holds his head as if he is trying to stop it breaking apart.
OFFICIAL is backing away, until he backs himself against the dusty BOOKSHELVES.
There is nowhere to go.
There is no way out.
I take my mom on a train to a popular French meeting place. For years, people didn’t realize how two particular villages were physically linked. They seemed distant, but they are, in fact, side by side.
Now, once a week, coachloads go to a nearby park or cafe to meet semi-formally near this fabled spot.
On the way, we see two forests of giant sunflowers. One forest looms over an entire village at the bottom of a hill. The flowers are bowed like ancient trees, heavy with foreboding.
The village exists as if completely unaware of the sunflowers’ doleful heads, bobbing in the breeze. They seem close to sleep. A terrible, nightmarish sleep.
The train rolls on.
There is little more to see and mom seems okay, so I decide to take thirty minutes writing time on my laptop.
I’m sharing the screen remotely with a friend. Depending on how I focus my eyes, I can either see my words in a text editor, or I can see her face and whatever she is working on from her remote location. She’s using a drawing and photo manipulation program.
The train doesn’t stop where I thought it would. I get off at a stop called “Lion.” My mom will go another stop or two to get to the true destination.
At Lion, all is grey and flat. Aside from the train, pulling away and then gone, it is devoid of vehicles.
I’m at a gigantic crossroads. One direction stretches as far as the eye can see.
Someone has made or shaped hedges and they run the length of the main road.
I am alone aside from about ten men nearby. They are wearing huge helmets like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The helmets are painted red and yellow and white, with gaudy images, like playing cards or children's toys. The headwear makes them well over 6 foot in height.
The helmets are made of wood and completely cover the sides of their heads, but not their faces. When I do see glimpses of their faces, they are looking down from that great height with disapproving looks. There is something horse-like about their wide, rolling eyes and their fixed facial expressions.
I try to talk to them, but they just shuffle and stamp their feet, coming to attention sharply but out of sync.
I ask them if I can go through the gate they appear to be guarding. No sooner have I spoken than they march me through it. I have to move with them to avoid being stomped, noting as I go that they march very effectively, but backwards.
Inside the gate, I’m inside the grounds of a house the size of a village.
“Thank you,” I tell the men.
They stamp and clomp into some kind of formation.
I look ahead to my destination. A house in grounds the size of a village and no more light than the world beyond the gate.
It’s getting dark. The greens are becoming grey. The grey is darkening; lengthening.
I take a deep breath and … my alarm is going off.
My friend picks seeds from the top of what look like grass stems. The seeds look like dried out chips. They feel soft and we collect them to go in a curry. An onlooker watches, fascinated.
While cooking in the forest, my friend shows me a clip of herself narrating her computer game progress for her followers online.
I could do that, I think. I remember my character from City of Heroes. Mannikin, the powerful ash-black midget with glowing eyes and healing powers. There is a framed painting of him on the wall, like he is a member of the family.
Andy Sirkis plays a traumatised soldier bent on revenge. His eyes glisten.
This is not make-up.
His captors perform experiments on him to learn more about his condition. He has the freedom of his cell. There, he listens to audio recordings and breaks down the component words for his unseen guards.
“Six “ofs,” three “as,” two “froms,” Seven “thes,” and so on.
When played a Shakespearean scene about revenge, he turns away, soliloquising.
“Reetablissement!” he cries. “From there to retribution. And revenge! But then death, immediately!”
Meanwhile, several hundred blue-uniformed soldiers with swords in their belts attack a building that houses royalty.
“There has never yet been one of us with fear!” a leader says. “If you have fear in your heart, leave now!”
They cut through the imposing, wooden double-door, thrusting blindly to stab anyone brave or stupid enough to try to stop them. From inside, they are all blue legs and swords and pounding on the door so that the wood shatters, the ornamentation cracking and splintering and becoming kindling.
Inside, the several dozen members of the royal, red-uniformed army look on in amazement and make plans to retreat up the stairs.
I'm walking around the hospital, but everyone's packing up. There are people with tubes coming out of them, sitting up in bed, having machines disconnected. The machines are whirring and then click, click, click, they go off.
People are hopping off beds and getting their clothes out of plastic bags.
Everyone's calm, but nobody's working except to pack things away.
"What's going on?" I say.
"There was a really big order last night," a nurse tells me while winding some cable. She's just unmade a bed. "So the hospital's closed."
The hospital is where you go to be healed. It's where you go, in theory, to get the things that will make you well.
The big order is ... a big order. at work.
My subconscious appears to be waving a red (or white) flag.
I'm clearing out my phone at the moment and came across this dream journal entry among my notes.
Fantasy landscape. Terrifying landscape. I run until I reach what looks like the edge of a map in a computer game, except this is real. The land is flat and eggshell smooth. It is like ice in that it seems breakable and there is something beneath.
I am being chased, so I continue.
I run carefully so that I don’t break the ground.
I walk and crawl over a fallen tree. Black bark.
I am tempted to wade through bubbling, black water, but it turns out to be too deep and I don't fancy swimming in it.
Soon, I reach a teleport spot where skilled people like me can inhabit another body in another part of the world. We make our choice and leave our towel in a peaceful, cosmic waiting room.
There is someone ahead of me. I listen in to find out where he is going and decide to follow.
I peek through gaping holes in the amphitheatre.
Doors, windows, beautiful, perfect ruins.
So here's the lucid dream, but first how it happened, so you can try it yourself if you haven't already.
All you need is a girl with a tummy ache, some dirty dishes, and a twitter account.
Dean's Dream Journal
My writing is sometimes inspired by my dreams.
"How to Remember Your Dreams" will help you with:
Exchange your front row seat for a starring role.
Available on Amazon.