Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dreams.

Recently I had the flu and an ear infection, and it knocked me out for about two weeks. While I was recovering I started a quiet little project where I would draw the Nyquil-induced dreams I was having every night. I've had so much fun that I'm continuing this project--and drawing dreams from long ago in addition to current ones. Today I was shocked to realize that, in my zeal, I've drawn more than 60 pages!

Generally when I have a really vivid dream about someone I know, I'll write it down and email it to him or her--and then I'll think about that person all day. Tonight I took a little journey down memory lane by searching for the word "dream" my email archives. I found the most astoundingly strange collection of dreams I had about my family and friends. I realize that this is a little self-indulgent, but I can't help myself: here are a few of my dreams.

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Written to my friend T:
Last night I had a dream that you, I and Sir Ian McKellan went swimming together in a big tidal pool. The water was rising and falling really quickly, and we were all floating on the surface, engaging in watery acrobatics. Blood of Eden by Peter Gabriel and Sinead O'Connor was playing in the background, and we would all occasionally chime in to the repeated "the man in the woman, and the woman in the man" lines.

***

Written to my friend B:
I had a weird dream last night that R had a cottontail. Like a rabbit, you know? He and I were taking a hike in the woods, somewhere near a roaring river. We both fell in and were scraped along the bottom, sucked under dead branches and big rocks. And R's cottontail was pulled off by a dead branch in the river. When we finally escaped the river and got to shore, he was tailless. Poor R.

***

Written to my sister:
I had a dream last night that you started playing a newly invented instrument called the "George-i-fier", which you played by putting a wire coil in your belly button and then manipulating a bunch of knobs on a fist-sized electronic thing. In the dream, you were playing the George-i-fier for me at our house in MD. You played it like an air guitar, and it produced monster ballads with melancholy guitar licks... like November Rain by Guns 'n' Roses.

***

Written to my mother:
Last night I dreamed that [my sister] E and I were still in school and had motorized snowboards that we would use to glide down the driveway and catch the bus. You packed lunches for us for school, and I picked up mine before getting on my snowboard. There was a note on it from you that said, "Have a yummy lunch!" And a note on it from E saying, "We desperately need to tell her about juice-boxes." I looked inside the lunch and was horrified to see that there was an entire gallon of fruit punch in it, a six-pack of pre-packaged ice cream cones, three huge muffins, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Amazingly, it all fit into one of those traditional lunch bags. E's lunch was similarly enormous, and she gave me a sad look as she hefted the densely packed lunch into her backpack.

***

Written to S:
I dreamed that you and I were hand-feeding a huge family of baby mouse/donkey/seahorse hybrid things that were tiny and pink and helpless. They would look up at us with huge, sleepy, sad eyes and open their mouths but not make any sound. We were feeding them pedialyte (you know, that stuff for hydrating babies) out of little eye droppers. And they would secrete weird little pools of fluid from their skin, so we kept having to move them around so they wouldn't drown in their own secretions. It was a huge project, because hundreds of the baby pinky hybrid things were all living in a miniature set of cliffs that was set into the walls of my apartment.

***

Written to my friend J:
I had a dream last night that you and I jointly threw a party in my apartment. But when all the guests arrived, you decided you weren't in the mood for festivities at all, so for the rest of the party you hid in the cabinets under my sink. And you made me promise not to tell anyone you were there. Later in the dream, you switched bodies with my sister, but it all gets fuzzy from there.

***

Written to my sister:
I dreamed there were two of you! One of you was telling an emotional story about how much you love Portland, Oregon. You were giving a monologue about Portland in a range of theatrical voices, from lowest to highest. The other you started gently playing the harmonica in the background, and it was very emotional. But then the you that was playing the harmonica played louder and louder and started rocking out, and the you that was talking got really pissed.

***

Written to my friend M:
Last night I had a dream about you and your friend J. The three of us were in a small kitchen in an old Victorian farmhouse. In my dream, J was tall and heavy set with long dark hair and glasses, and he was boiling hemlock to make poison. He hardly talked at all, but he and I immediately got along in a quiet way. The three of us were drinking strange wine together; it was nearly black. And J was gingerly stirring the bubbling pot of hemlock with a wooden spoon. I didn't ask what the poison was for, but I was pretty sure it was for a dinner party we were going to later with all of my friends from my residency at Blue Mountain Center. I knew in my mind that he was going to kill them all, but in my dream I trusted you both so completely that I accepted this fact, albeit a little sadly. At the end of the dream J put a little spoonful of the hemlock mixture into our black wine, so we would become immune to it. It was scary to drink it, and I felt like crying, but you held my hand and said, "It's OK, Julia; we will drink it together."

***

Written to my dad:
I dreamed that you were running for president... of Arizona. And you had a really good chance of being elected.

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