Sunday, March 16, 2014

I dreamed my family and I were on a flight, returning from a vacation in some tropical place. We were flying low over Newark. It was Jenofur, my in-laws, my two kids, and me on a crowded plane (I'm sure this was inspired in part by the Malaysia plane thing). I noted to my wife that the pilot was flying really low over the city, literally dodging the tops of buildings; she said don't be such a ninny. We were flying into the sunset, and you could somehow see the light. Then we just froze, the plane hanging right there in midair. What happened? Jenofur asked. We hit a building, I told her. There was no explosion that we could see, but I knew for certain we were all dead.

We watched the aftermath of the crash on a TV in an aging mall in suburban Ohio (it was a combination of Short Hills mall and that little walk-through area near the Clairidge theater in Montclair). The crash took out an abandoned building; we had all died, but now we were ghosts, confined to this mall, for some reason. My kids didn't know any different, and just scampered about. There were lots of living people about, and they looked pretty much like us ghosts. The difference was the living couldn't see the dead, but the dead could interact with them, to some degree; if you touched them or threw things, the living would experience the effects of your actions, but you were still invisible. And if you talked, say, to your ghost wife, nobody could hear you. But if you talked into a corner, or against the wall NOT in a direction of a person, the living would hear a distant, eerie voice. We walked around the mall, Jenofur and I, learning the rules of ghostdom. I learned from another ghost that there was a different layer of the afterlife, also--if you grew weary of the world of the living, you would gradually fade until you joined this other stratum of consciousness that no longer could interact with their world (sadly, my father had faded into this level). However there were still some really old ghosts about that couldn't give it up: there was this Roman soldier/ruler who resembled Vlad Putin stomping about, complaining bitterly about the way the government operated these days. He was convinced he could find some ancient artifact hidden in the mall that would allow him to cross back over Styx into the realm of the living and resume his reign, but we all knew he was just nuts.

Jenofur and I went into one of these chain drugstores, bunch of old ladies shopping. I started throwing shampoo all over the place, making spooky ghost voices. Old ladies stopped shopping for a second and looked about in wonder. My plan was to make enough of a ghostly ruckus that reports would circulate about this haunted Ohio mall, and that this would somehow draw the attention of my mother and brother, and then I could somehow get the message to them that yes, we were dead, but it was okay, we were ghosts just making problems in this here mall.

Jenofur just shook her head. Then she picked up a bottle of conditioner and flung it at the wall.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Did I ever tell you my afterlife dream? In honor of True Detective, then: After my grandfather passed in the late '90s, I had a recurring dream that I was sitting on a beach with him, my father, and old Asian man (I believed him to be Chinese.) It's always late afternoon, and we're sitting under a large tree right where the grass meets the sand. We're in a sort of circle, playing some kind of game--cards or dominoes. The old Asian man is sort of laughing at some private joke, and everybody is at ease. There are other people on the beach, milling around campfires. I know my girl and others are there just out of reach. We play a few rounds of the game, the old man laughs...and that's it.

*

I dreamed Steve Buscemi and I were going undercover, infiltrating the mob. We were going to some large family banquet situated on some kind of giant dirigible with purple leather-lined interiors, and had about two minutes to come up with a plausible, in-depth family history about how we knew each other and how we had gotten there. I was desperately trying to recite the names of the fictional people in our supposed family, but Buscemi didn't seem concerned at all. He was going to freelance, I knew, and that would put us both in jeopardy if people starting asking questions and our stories didn't agree. We got there and everybody greeted us, but then it turned out just to be a scene in a movie. Why had I been concentrating so damn hard?

Steve invited all his co-workers to his place for an after-work party, which happened to be in Australia, like the friggin' desert. We flew out there, people were sunbathing, some ladies topless, koalas were scampering about. Steve showed me his entire collection of pristine Carl Barks comics--turns out he was an aficionado, too. Then he kicked us out.

*

I dreamed i was on some long quest. Me and my kids had been at sea on like this pirate shit for weeks, and we finally put in down this river in South Jersey. My in-laws had a house there, so we hung out with them. I told them we were trying to cross the Atlantic, but ended up just getting lost. They told me it was no big deal, that it took about as long to get down there by them via car. Which I didn't think was true, but it was a nice enough sentiment. I fell asleep in a chair, waiting for the tide to come in.

*

My daughter just told me her dream is that everything is free and everyone is rich.

So there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I dreamed we were in the office. Everyone on the staff was carrying on famously, a grand old time. Then my boss showed up with a Doberman, and unleashed it on us all.

**

I dreamed I was in a small, cave-like bar in a train station with some colleagues. We were at a convention, of course, and someone said rumor had it that our keynote speaker was a wife-beater. "Here comes the captain now," I says. "Captain?" My colleague says. "Why didn't you tell me? I hate captains." I thought that was a pretty good line. The guy in question comes stomping into the room, dressed up in epaulets and a giant white mustache. "Try not to look at the backside of his knuckles," the first guy who told us of the rumor says.

Then I was in a sequel to this movie I starred in with Owen Wilson. In the first flick, I am married to this foxy Indian woman, who is then wooed and stolen away by my supposed best friend, who is played by Wilson. In the sequel, I am in Australia working in solitude on a big mansion on a ranch in the outback. The mansion is made out of what seem to be giant children's playing blocks, each a different color. I am filthy and dressed in rags, and it's my job to repaint these blocks various lustrous shades: purple, red, yellow, blue. I look up in the distance and wipe my eyes, and who should I see walking towards me on the dust-filled horizon but Owen Wilson (this is how the sequel begins). He says, "I'll give you a diamond and a dash," which is apparently some sort of reference to a video game that only exists in the world of dreams. I ask him what he's doin here and he tells me that he broke up with my old lady and that he wants my help in getting her back. I tell him no way, that I have to paint this mansion. He looks at the paint and says, "Hey, aren't those your favorite colors?" I explain to him that yes, they just so happen to be my favorite colors, but I don't choose what colors to paint, I'm just the help. And he says, "That's some coincidence."

And that's it.