#117: The Library

library

There’s a library in my dreams. Now that I think about it I know I’ve visited it in several dreams, and it’s always a little different. Once it was a book store that I went to, driving in my old truck in the middle of the night. I browsed the shelves and the owner got a little annoyed because I was taking too long. Another time it was a kind of pawn shop though it had a lot of great books. On what feels like more than one occasion it was a real, grand library, and the sun shining in the windows was always yellowish golden, the shelves lined multiple floors and there were staircases. There is an attic I’ve been to once, where a woman who works there stores books. I think they’re about her children. On one occasion the man who runs the place was watching someone walk outside a side door, into the sunlight.

The man who runs the place changes. Sometimes he is an old, cranky man who wants to go home. Sometimes he is young and handsome with a charming smile, and he loves to be around the books. Sometimes the walks with me and others (a girl who joined me on one occasion) and tells us about the books, sometimes he just calls to ask if we need help. Sometimes when he is the old man he barks for me to hurry up. I think I usually find something I like, though I remember that one day the librarywas stocked with a lot of things i found boring.I dont think I have ever bought a book, though.

All of this is true. I just suddenly remembered it, standing in the kitchen. Any readers of Sandman are probably drawing some parallels. I wonder? Does the Lord of Dreams tend to the library I visit? Is he a cranky old man, or a handsome young gentleman? Do I never buy any books because i cant actually take them out of my dreams? What if one day I wake up to see one on the table my bedside? What would be in it, I wonder?

dream

#88: Dream Journal: Flying Dream

I apologize beforehand at the lack of structure in the following post. When I write down my dreams I’m usually sleepy and have just woke up, so I’m just writing it down as I remember it without any thought of form or sentence structure.

I had another flying dream last night. There was a lot going on, but the most important thing was that I was in my old neighborhood where I grew up, and I could get to an area where the wind was blowing, hold out my arms, and the wind would pick me up and carry me. Then I could angle myself in such a way that I flew much faster, or I could slow down. It was a little scary because the wind would give out sometimes and I would start to plummet, but if I just believed hard enough, it would pick me back up again, and I’d go back to soaring. I could go faster if I wanted to, and not just that, I had power over wind. I could wave my hand and move things around with the wind, I could affect the world around me.
A common theme in my dreams lately is that there is a story with characters and I examine the dream from a literary standpoint, thinking to myself “I need to remember to write all of this down when I wake up!” though usually, it’s pretty silly when I wake up. At a certain point, we had reached the end of the “first book,” and a lot of the characters were all killed by the villains, and I was mostly alone, flying down the road, but I met someone else with the same power as me (earlier on the dream I had been teaching kids to fly, they could do it too, but they had to be taught). This person saw me flying and joined me. I believe they started as a girl, but at some point became a guy. We flew threw some pretty weird things, there was a hallway (which appeared in a previous dream, with paintings all over the walls) that became a kind of mausoleum, where the characters who had died in the first story were being wrapped up and buried (oddly, Whitney Houston was one of them), or actually chopped up and disposed of. I know it sounds really scary, but in the dream I just remember telling my companion that I didn’t want to see it (we were flying through the indoor area now) and covering my eyes, but we made it outside into the parking lot.
The villain was Naraku from Inuyasha, who was trapped inside of a house from earlier in the story. It also turns out that the reason I could fly was that there was a spirit who was living inside my body who talked to me for the first time. It was a pretty standard “ooooh I’m a ghost,” kind of thing, but once again looking in from the outside, I seemed to understand that this spirit was a part of Naraku, and that even though Naraku would eventually escape and become the main villain, this spirit would purify him when he rejoined him. Interestingly another villain showed up in the parking lot and me and my friend were hiding from him. The last thing I remember is that after he left, we were seen flying by a woman and she tried to tell someone else, but I somehow made us look like red birds and managed to keep it secret, hiding in a tree and shaking the branches and dropping things on them to try and make them look down, and flying back out over the neighborhood.

There were some other random details. My grandmother was in the dream, though at times she became a different person entirely, who was outfitting me with some shoes that I would wear the in the “second book,” Sophia from the Golden Girls was one of the parents of another kid in the neighborhood, and there was a sequence at the end where all of the parents (or perhaps grandparents?) were saying goodbye to their children, as we were all going forward to fight the enemies of the story, though by the time I arrived at the entrance to the neighborhood where they were waiting (along with several magical animals that I believe were elephants), all of them had apparently been killed.

Interestingly I also had a separate dream in which I was at my grandmothers house and found a Bible that was actually a book filled with photographs of a young man and his girlfriend having sex. Wanting to keep it for myself, I hid it from my grandmother, but then the dream changed, and I was in this young man’s house, and he, the girlfriend, and the father of the house I believe, were all trying to keep me inside so that I didn’t tell the world about these sex photos. I was very audacious, especially considering that in this dream I was very young, maybe twelve or so, and told them that they couldn’t keep me inside forever, and eventually I would get away from them and find safety. I don’t remember them explicitly hitting or abusing me, but there was definitely an abusive atmosphere, and a lot of fear being there. Eventually I did somehow make it outside and ran from them but I don’t remember anything after this. This dream actually happened before the flying dream.

#86: Death And Rebirth

This was an email I sent to one of my friends after waking up after a particularly odd dream.

So I had the oddest dream last night and I have to recount it to someone before I lose all the details.

It began at Books-A-Million, and I ran into my high school chorus teacher who took me and my mother on a drive. Then I was in high school again (and being back in high school has happened to me several times in my dreams) and I was walking around the hallways skipping class by hanging out in the bathrooms. Then switch to me working at Walmart, which isn’t all that strange, but there was some kind of confusion over at the return counter and people kept going inside this office that had a cash register in front of it. It may have been when I went into the office that I died, I’m not sure.

Then I was Frasier, from Frasier, and I was informed that I had died, in a chemical explosion of some sort, though my memories were of driving a car (or a bicycle, I’m not sure) into a wall. At any rate I was alive again because Niles had switched bodies with me and I was now in Niles’ body, but I had lost my Frasier memories and if I tried to go back to my body without my memories I would die completely. Fun fact, when Roz entered and I didn’t remember her I thought she was a hooker. At some point we (the cast of Frasier) were on a huge field that may or may not have had a giant metal Daphne terrorizing people like Godzilla, I say may or may not because I honestly have some kind of memory of this but I’m not sure. It was then I regained my Frasier memories and so after Niles cried happily about this (oddly he looked like himself again) I passed out to wake up in my own body again.

When I woke up I was myself, not Frasier, and I had a roommate whose name might have been Jonathan and who might have been a real Jonathan I dated once, he had all kinds of questions about video games he hadn’t been able to ask me while I was dead. I also had to call in to work to explain I hadn’t been in for a couple of days because I’d been dead.

At this point I took my mother on a car drive to explain to her how I had died, and we found a house with a wall in front of it much like (but not the same) the wall I had crashed into. Also I was terrified to retrace any of the steps of what I had done that had actually killed me, though I can’t remember from the dream what exactly that was. Anyway the house with the wall in front of it was owned by a nice lady who invited us in, who had a very hot son. I was offered the guest bedroom to sleep in (my mother had left at this point) but I was informed that her husband had died in this room and she wanted everything kept the way it had been when he died, including the temperature. I ignored this and turned on the AC. I slept in the bed, or tried to, I don’t remember, when the hot son came in, informed me that I just had to put everything (including the temperature and making the bed) back the way it had been when his father died when I was done with the room. Then we started fooling around, which was awesome because as I mentioned he was hot, and also really skinny. Then after we (woke up? I’m not sure) were done, we went into the rest of the house where there was a maid, a piano, and all of the rooms were conjoined with no walls separating them, except for his bathroom. I peeked  at him in his bathroom to see him playing with his phone on the toilet, and then after he came out the maid started cleaning the bathroom.

Then I got into a battle with the maid because apparently one of us thought the way she was spraying stuff on the mirror and it bounced off was similar in some way to the Nazis trying to convert people to their cause, and so she and I started yelling and then I’m not sure if I fought her but I ran from her with my friend (who was now no longer the hot guy, he had left apparently, but was a friend of the hot guy, who was incidentally a hot skinny black guy) and when we got outside the road had turned to a river and as it happened, there was a raft with paddles attached to it and in the dream I was some kind of master raftsman, so we climbed on and paddled away from the maid who was now the angry stepfather of the house (he may have been the real father, even though he was dead).

We went downstream for a while until we were going through the woods and I found some people I knew from work, one of whom was my (incidentally gay) friend. Oh wait, before we got here we had made a pit stop at a gas station where Tori Amos had played a song on the radio that sounded exactly like Dear Jessie by Madonna with different lyrics. Also from the time we left the house until the pit stop there had been a third guy with us who was older and also may have been the father of that house, and who might have been the very same one we were running from except he was good.

So anyway we were in the woods and I carried some cute little creature with me (it may have been a cat I have no idea) up to my gay friend from work, put down the creature and grabbed him, by the back of his head to pull him close. He was freaked out because he thought I was trying to kiss him but I was just trying to whisper to him. I told him I’d had a terrible day, that I had died, and then recounted everything else to him. He felt bad for me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

And then, my gay friend and the hot black guy (who I believe I had now kissed and we had become more than just friends) went up the street to the gas station with some other people and I waited behind in the woods/neighborhood, and I peed off the side of a high porch onto everyone’s stores of fruits and vegetables. I was criticized by one of the girls there who was incidentally a character called Katara from a show called Avatar: the Last Airbender.

And… That’s it. Nothing happened after that because I woke up. I just really wanted to document all of that. So there’s my crazy dream for today. Fun fact: this is what most of my dreams are like.

#78: And The Only Solution Was To Stand And Fight

Me Stuff

There have been some developments in my life lately, some of which I’ve already talked about, the most pressing matter being that I quit the job I did have at Five Guys Burgers and Fries because, well, I hated it, and I couldn’t bare another moment of it. Well to be honest I probably would have eventually gotten used to it, but it was an awful feeling, and I couldn’t think about anything other than how much I hated the job, and maybe I psyched myself out, but whatever, it’s time to move on. I have another job now at Pottery Barn (retail? Heck yes), and while I’m nervous I’m also excited about this job, because I think I’ll enjoy it and I don’t have to flip burgers and come home covered in acne and smelling like potatoes; and I’m probably going to be doing mostly stocking, which would be great, it’s just the kind of repetitive job that doesn’t deal with people that I think I might enjoy.

Also I’ve been trying to meditate, or at least to calm down a little. I found these podcasts on iTunes for meditation and I go to sleep listening to them, not every night but when I do it helps a lot to calm me down. I think the most helpful thing I’ve found is that when you’re angry or you’re afraid or you’re panicking, the best thing to do is to embrace that emotion, to feel it fully and accept it, and it flows right through you and you’re left with peace. I found a video on YouTube earlier this year where someone said something similar about overcoming panic attacks, to embrace the fear, to give it love, and it no longer has power over you and you’re free from it and the anxiety leaves. It’s a very helpful philosophy, and I hope that if I need a way to calm down I can remember this and use it.

Really, I feel like I’m on the edge of being an adult, and I’m so happy about that, I just hate being near my family. I don’t feel like I can do anything when I’m around my mother, I don’t want to be here, but I need to be here because I’m provided for, even at the expense of some intense emotional issues, and to make things better I’m starting college in January. It’s this place called North Georgia College, it’s not specifically a military school but it seems very military-oriented. It is, however, a community college, so I’m sure that there’s a bit of everything (I, as you can perhaps tell, am not a military person). But the best part is that they offer student-housing, and I think I read something that said living in the dormitories is $200 a month, which I could easily pay if I save the money I make from this (possibly temporary/seasonal) job at Pottery Barn. Then, I’ll be out of my family’s house, living on my own but still closeby everyone, I have a truck here that belongs to my stepfather that I’m free to use (in fact, he may have even already given it to me), and once I get my license I should already have a lot of things in place for myself.

So, my goal for January is this: to have my license, to be driving regularly, to be doing well at my job, have money saved, and begin college living in student housing. I know this is odd, but living in a student dorm is literally one of my dreams. Like, along with being a famous musician and traveling the world and finding love, I want to live in a dorm and have college friends, and do college things, and go to parties, and not go to parties, and go to people’s rooms and fall asleep in people’s beds and have boyfriends and break up with them and play pianos in big auditoriums. It’s something I desperately yearn for, and unlike being a musician, it can’t wait forever, because I’m getting older. I’m 21 now and I’ve barely done anything close to growing up. I need college, on many levels. I need to have friendship and happiness and laughter in my life.

This whole Georgia thing has been a big clusterfuck shitfest ever since I got here. First there was the whole long-distance phone-flirting thing with Chris, then came the possible relationship that Jeremy that completely sunk when I found out I wasn’t attracted to him whatsoever, then dealing with his obsessive depression over me, the awful job at Five Guys, the multiple threats that I was going to be kicked out in the middle of nowhere Georgia, and then more recently I got involved with someone else who I knew from the beginning was a bad idea, had an uncomfortable experience and hurt his feelings, I mean really this whole fucking move has been terrible, and my life has been flipped upside-down, which is hard to do when I barely had a life to begin with. I live outside in a camper on an uncomfortable piece of foam stretched over a table that serves as a well-enough bed, I’m trapped in this house most of the time, I’m fighting to keep my agoraphobia from coming back, my vision seems to just be getting worse and worse so that I can barely see anything, it’s just a whole fuck of a lot to deal with.

But I’m going to do this job at Pottery Barn, it was what I wanted and I got it, seasonal or not. I have to get away from this family, I have to make friends, I have to play music and I have to do all the things I want to. The time for waiting is over. I’ve spent the time since I was 13 years old dreaming of life being different, and now I’m going to make it different, if it’s hard, I’ll just get stronger until it isn’t hard anymore.

Entertainment Stuff

Yesterday I started a new novel, The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know, please hold all comments ’till the end. I’ve read the Twilight series. Yes, it is true. I read them all before the first film ever went to theaters when I was in 12th grade. It was an okay series. Since the series blew up and became a massive fandom, a lot of people have made some pretty valid points about Stephenie Meyer’s writing style, but altogether, there are much worse author’s in the world, and I’ve always thought that she seems like a nice person in interviews, even if Twilight is just the teensiest bit fucked up. The Host does share some similarities with Twilight, but it’s a different story altogether, and it’s pretty immersive. The obvious similarities are the main character, a teenage, dark-haired female, falling madly in love at first sight with an overly masculine, musclebound hunk. However, their quick attachment to one another is somewhat more believable because The Host is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the western part of the US where 5 billion of the world’s human beings have been wiped out and their bodies possessed by alien parasites, as opposed to a rogue clan of moralized vampires going to high school in a rainy town in Washington. Also, the main protagonist, Melanie, is a thousand times better of a character than Bella. Melanie is driven, powerful and fearless, fighting to keep her younger brother alive, where Bella is an angsty, self-loathing pushover. The love story is also much more romantic, two people living in hiding, fearing death at any moment, as opposed to (ahem, let me equip my droning, robotic monotone and narrow my eyes) “Oh, Edward… you are… so… beautiful…” (yawn), “And I… cannot… stop loving…um… you… Please… I want you to have angry rough vampire sex with me… and please also stalk me… and watch me sleep at night…”

The story isn’t told from Melanie’s perspective entirely, because our main protagonist is an alien named Wanderer who has been placed inside Melanie’s body, but Melanie’s consciousness has not faded, and Wanderer is left sharing Melanie’s feelings of longing for Jared, along with her own feelings of inadequacy and weakness for not being able to control her host body. So far, all of Melanie’s story is told through dreams and flashbacks. As was the case with her previous series, Meyer does have a tendency to get a bit giddy with her descriptions of rippling pectorals and squared-off jawlines (seriously, what the HELL is this woman’s obsession with JAWS?), but so far The Host has been a far more rewarding read than Twilight.

And in other entertainment news, Florence + the Machine’s second album, Ceremonials, was released a few days ago. Due to a combination of me having no money and no patience, I went ahead and downloaded the leaked copy of the album a day before it’s release date, but I still intend to buy it when I get the chance. I haven’t heard the album in it’s entirety, I did however have a fantastic time listening to the studio version of Bedroom Hymns, the song I was most looking forward to. Both Bedroom Hymns and another song, Strangeness & Charm, which was our first glimpse into the new album (Florence performed the song live at the Hammersmith Apollo for Between Two Lungs, the UK re-release of her debut album, and many times on tour afterward) are featured on the second disc as B-Sides, but that doesn’t inply that they’re lesser quality songs.

In fact, I haven’t really been brave enough to listen to most of the album yet, because of the sheer LENGTH of the thing. Every single song is between four minutes long and five-and-a-half minutes long. The other thing about this album is that all the songs are very similar, they use the same instruments: harp, chamber choirs, tamberine, strings; however the interesting thing is that this doesn’t hurt the album. Usually when songs all blend together it makes for a bland, uninteresting album, but Florence is unbelievable as always and even though most of the songs are grand explosions of sound, using the same giant choirs and dramatic electronic effects, the songs still keep their own unique personalities. She’s still just as talented as she always was, and this album is a full, lush work of art, but it is very intimidating. Imagine if every song on Lungs were Cosmic Love, or a 5 minute long version of Drumming Song. It’d be grand and incredible, but a lot to take in all at once.

One reviewer said of the album, “Ceremonials suffers from a repetitiveness that’s akin to looking at a skyline filled with 100-story behemoths lined-up one after the other, blocking out everything but their own size.” I definitely see his point, but I’m not going to criticize Florence, this album is a triumph of creativity and sheer epicness, at least from what I’ve heard of it so far.

Surprise! Dream Stuff

Oh yeah, I also had a dream about Florence last night. This is actually the second time I’ve dreamt about her, the first time I was on a family camping trip and just ran into her at a campground. I remember that when I woke up I was really mad because I didn’t ask her why Swimming was never included on Lungs. In this dream, she and Tori Amos were performing, together, in a store in the mall that was a sort of combination of Hot Topic and a restaurant. Afterward I was sitting down and caught sight of Florence on a nearby couch, and we moved to a booth and started talking together, and I remembered this time to ask her why Swimming was never included on Lungs. She got sort of fidgety and kept saying, “Ummmm…” and couldn’t seem to come up with a good reason, but basically I got the impression that she felt that Swimming felt like a B-Side, and when I said this she agreed. Swimming is fucking awesome, by the way, so don’t blame me for what dream-Florence says to me. Interestingly after I woke up and went back to sleep, I had another dream about Tori, except that instead of it being modern-day Tori like in my previous dream, it was 1992 Little Earthquakes-era Tori (score!), and I was seeing things through her perspective, and she was doing an interview walking around on a sidewalk (in what felt to me a lot like a strip-mall across the street from where I used to live in South Carolina, where I once applied for a job at a sandwich ship) talking about being a musician and being famous, and she said that a store offered to tile her floor for free if she became a member of their store.

Oh! and one more thing, I’ve been listening to the Dresden Dolls lately. That’s not entirely news since I’ve mentioned Amanda Palmer in the last few blog posts, but if you want to get into this band I seriously suggest starting at the beginning: the first Dresden Dolls album is really a fun experience from beginning to end, I’ve listened to most of it, and it all flows very well together. I’ve heard bits and pieces from all of their other albums, I like the opening track, Sex Changes, from their second album. Amanda’s newer work seems to involve a lot of ukelele and sillyness, and while that’s all well and good, it seems like she’s stopped doing full-on studio albums for a while, since about three quarters of her second solo album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, are live recordings, and the follow up album in 2013, Amanda Palmer Goes Into The Bush, probably will be as well. But, people are allowed to make music however they want to, and her talent hasn’t stopped shining through on any of her projects.