2020 Dreams

So, about this year’s dreams.

Before 2020 went completely sideways, my friend Joel died. After that, he started showing up in my dreams, a lot. Like, an unhealthy amount. The dreams were nothing abnormal or psychotic; it either involved running into him at a party, or the company we used to work for somehow got re-formed and I had to move back to New York and work for him again. The dreams completely fed into my nostalgia obsession/problem, and whenever I woke up, I would know — I would assume — he was still alive. And then I would remember he wasn’t, and think maybe that was an alternate reality or some mistake was made and he was alive. And then the dreams got even more weird, because in the dream he would explain to me that he wasn’t dead, and it was a big prank or for tax purposes or I misunderstood the email or something.

(I realize there’s an easy psychological explanation for this, given the total lack of closure in his death. And duh, I should be talking to a therapist about this. I think everyone’s got bigger fish to fry at this moment.)

* * *

I don’t know exactly when the COVID dreams started. But I started having these intense dreams where I was walking around, like in the context of a normal weird dream, and then I would realize I didn’t have a mask on and suddenly needed one. It was like the typical “naked in front of class” terror dream, and fed into the same fear/paranoia/shame nerve.

I also would frequently have these dreams where someone was giving me COVID. Like I had this bizarre dream where I was competing in some kind of eco-challenge race through the desert with Joe Rogan. And every time he talked to me, he would lean in really close and spit would fly everywhere. And I woke up in a panic, trying to think if there was something I was supposed to overdose on to prevent the virus from catching, like eating a whole bottle of vitamins or drinking a gallon of Listerine.

I haven’t had the same nightmares I had during the SARS epidemic, though. They were based on a nightmare I had as a child. When I was a young kid, maybe four or five, I had a bad pneumonia or something that completely laid me out, and I had these insane fever dreams that everyone but me was dying of a mystery plague. Like I was watching the news, and the anchorman dropped dead, and bodies were piling up outside the house. And finally I was the only person alive, and the earth looked like the surface of the moon, and some alien Vincent Price-like voice or being was laughing at me. It’s one of my earliest memories, and that dream went back into heavy rotation when the SARS boom hit.

* * *

I have always had a lot of dreams about dead malls. Those still happen constantly. (Another big one is being back at IU, or some bizarro version of IU that has all new buildings, which I guess is IU now, since they’ve expanded everything in the last twenty years.)

My usual dead mall dreams — and these happen pretty much every third night or so — involve a strange composite mall. Like in my mind, the mall will be just outside of Queens, but it will remind me partly of Hilltop Mall in Richmond, mixed with some Factoria Square outside of Seattle, and maybe a dash of University Park in South Bend. There will always be vivid dashes of heavy deja vu around a particular store or sense memory, but when I wake, I’ll realize that there’s no way that mall exists at all.

This is also some weird sense of mourning, because I really miss these places and they don’t even exist. I have spent very little time at malls this year (obviously) and a lot of them probably won’t survive the plague, so I’ll miss them forever. So it’s fitting that they end up the backdrop of my bizarre nightmares.

* * *

Similar to the malls, I have a lot of dreams about Wards. These end up being two varieties. One is that Wards never went bankrupt, and they just closed the stores I knew about, and they had locations that still survived. The other is that some vulture cap company bought the name (which actually happened, but for online catalog purposes) and were somehow kickstarting a new retail presence. I’ve had many dreams where the old store #2258 in Elkhart has reopened, the existing Hobby Lobby shut down and the store converted back to its old glory, except it looks like a Sears with virtually no stock on the shelves.

In many of those dreams, I have a permutation of the “I forgot I had one more class to take to graduate” thing, and I’m somehow obligated to go back and work some shifts. (John said he gets the same thing with the Army, that a recruiter shows up at his house and says he didn’t finish his time thirty years ago and has to come back and do more.) In some of those dreams, my original coworkers are still there, although I’m certain that thirty years later, most of them are all dead. Sometimes I go back and I’m the only person who worked at the old Wards and that’s supposed to hold some cachet over the new people. (I have the same thing going on at my day job now.)

In last night’s version of this dream, I was back at the paint department, but as a manager. A weird little fact popped up in the dream that I’d almost completely forgotten. To mix paint, we had this big turntable thing with various pumps of pigment on it, and you would shoot specific amounts of each primary color into a can of base paint. This was all manual, no computers. We had a binder of formulas for the 863 premium colors and 768 standard colors. Each formula was something like 3-B, 6-C, 2Y-F. So you’d turn to the B color on the turntable, pull back the plunger three notches, shoot in that paint. Turn to C, six notches, go. The Y was significant, because that meant you pulled back the lever to its fullest extension, and gave it a full shot. I don’t remember the exact nomenclature or what the primary colors were, but I totally remember that Y.

* * *

I’ll occasionally have a full-on dream of a real mall, and it usually leaves me horribly depressed, and it’s almost always Concord Mall. I’ll leave you with a dream from a few weeks ago:

I was back at Concord Mall for a visit, and there was some major construction going on, like the whole fountain area was completely redone as this giant Rainforest Cafe-looking food court with a waterfall and a ton of mask-less people in it. I was a bit bummed most of the mall was all Simon-ized and bland, but then I found a semi-hidden staircase that went to a second floor that I never knew existed. The upstairs was basically a mirror of the first floor, with a duplicate of the shops below, but they were all in the 70s livery and configuration, mothballed and untouched for 40 years. I wandered an old JC Penney and everything had signs on it like it was a museum exhibition. I was then in the food court and met up with Kurt Vonnegut, who was talking about how he found an article on Dresden right before he wrote Slaughterhouse Five, and it was like the magical key that unlocked the whole novel in his head. He then gave me a mall directory from 1980 and said that was my key.


I think I have a dream about once a month that GG Allin is still alive, and I know him somehow.

Last night’s dream: I moved back to Bloomington, to hole up and work on a book. Rented a room in a house that GG owned. It was one of those typical student ghetto houses, cobbled together from various additions and enclosed porches and whatnot. My room was a lot like my old place in the Mitchell Street boarding house: not much bigger than a twin bed, low ceiling, wood paneling. It had one electrical outlet, with seven or eight power strips hanging precariously from its two unpolarized and ungrounded outlets.

GG must have been sixty now. Spent all day on a couch watching TV, with a girlfriend who looked like Roseanne Barr. He also collected vintage espionage radios, these tube transceivers that could be covertly hidden inside a breadbox in an East German flat.

It didn’t occur to me in the dream that he should be dead, and it wasn’t explained if he had a body double in that coffin, or the heroin didn’t really kill him, or what.

The one strange realization I had was that I wouldn’t have my own TV for the rest of the summer, and I was overjoyed that I wouldn’t be able to watch any shows anymore.

I wish the dream stayed alive for longer, but it somehow melded into some thing where I was supposed to meet Marc Maron at a seafood restaurant in San Diego, and sort of dissolved from there.


last night’s dream

i had a dream last night that i was taking an autocad class in the basement of a methodist church, taught by chef robert irvine and david lynch.

irvine had no syllabus and kept yelling at the dozen or so students asking what they wanted to learn, and nobody would say anything. he was like that urban legend professor that came in on the first say and asked “does anyone have any questions” and taught nothing else, until the people caught on that they needed to ask him what they wanted to learn, except he was much more mean.

i spoke up and said i thought it was neat that you could draw a two-dimensional spindle and then rotate it on one point and create a three-dimensional shape. i wasn’t sure if spindle was the correct term, or sprocket, but i drew a trapezoid on the ipad-like controller and spun it around to make a donut shape.

lynch was infatuated by this and kept saying “spindle, spindle, spindle” and talking about how film turned two-dimensional shapes into three-dimensional hallucinations using our mind. He drew an odd squiggly shape, rotated it, and it became a perfect pizza.

we went upstairs and crashed someone’s wedding and stole a bunch of cheese.


recent dreams

  • I was eating pancakes from the floor of a McDonald’s bathroom. It was an old-school seventies McDonald’s in Elkhart, Indiana, and had the bright orange floor tiles. I somehow thought the little packets of syrup would kill germs.
  • It was my birthday. I was in Guam or the Philippines, on the set of a remake of the Chuck Norris Missing in Action movie. Months earlier, I’d deleted my birthday from Facebook, and I was now upset because zero people had remembered my birthday and posted on my wall. I tried turning back on my birthday, but the Facebook phone app was (is) shit, and every time I would click on something, it would press the thing next to it.
  • I was in a food court in the Midway airport in Chicago. I was with Richard Rhodes (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb) and we were having an argument about John Lennon’s misogyny, and how the Sweet Sixteen has ruined NCAA basketball. We were at the Taco Bell, waiting for them to change from the breakfast to lunch menu, and I was debating whether or not I should just get both.

Audience of One

I’m probably too old to be listening to Rise Against, but for some reason I am, and I’m supposed to be editing this fucking book, and I’m not.  It’s still getting there, I guess.  I wish it was done though so I could work on something else.

I had an involved dream the other night that I was in Cambodia on New Year’s.  And I needed to get out of the hotel and take a cab somewhere, but I couldn’t talk in Khmer and nobody spoke English, so I told the cab driver to take me to McDonald’s.  The McDonald’s was actually two rooms in a walk-up apartment, run by a pair of hillbillies and completely off the radar from the franchise. They had bottles of generic Fanta that had probably been refilled dozens of times with hepatitis-infused kool-aid, and soy hamburgers that tasted like death, wrapped in photocopies of McDonald’s wrappers. The french fries were made of smashed plantains, and a 500-pound woman with no teeth kept telling me it was all real, and I could only buy things with cash, American dollars.  I don’t remember what happened after that, something about explaining to my step-dad how on-demand cable TV worked.

I think I can start talking about this now: I signed a contract with a production company who will be recording an audio book for Atmospheres. They sent the first fifteen minutes the other day, and it’s pretty phenomenal.  I mean, the book’s great and you should read it (of course), but hearing someone else read it makes it even better.  I don’t know all of the details on the release yet, but it will probably happen by the fall, and it will be an exclusive through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes, for download.  I don’t know how much it will cost, and they set the price, but it’s targeted to be a 6.5-hour book, so it might be $25 or so.  There will probably be deals through Audible though, like if you sign up for an account, you could get it for free or something like that.  Stay tuned for more details, because it will be awesome when it’s done.

I am reading the new Henry Rollins book, which is sort of a mixed bag.  It’s essentially two years of his daily journals, or about 500 pages of tales of travel and work.  He has some amazing adventures, going to crazy countries in Africa and south Asia that require you to have a map and a wikipedia connection to find where he is.  But some of it also gets monotonous, like when he’s on a speaking tour and the daily entries are not much more than “drunk people at show/this bus sucks/this club owner is a jackass/repeat.”  And it’s sort of dangerous for me to read this sort of thing, because I have hundreds of thousands of words of journals like this, and a strong compulsion to throw them together, drop in some pics, and send them off to CreateSpace and the Kindle store for consumption.  But I’m not a famous punk rock dude, so that’s not an option.

I do sometimes think about unloading half-baked writing like that.  Like maybe I should compile a book called “First Thirds” that is the front end of three failed NaNo novels.  Or it would be vaguely interesting to take a thousand pages of my sent mail and stitch it into a book.  Or maybe not.  And I’ve got enough on my plate that I don’t need to chase those dragons.

I am also slowly dumping new words into a book that could become the next Atmospheres, or maybe it’s a breeding ground for new flash fiction.  I’ll leave you with a short bit that was written last March.  Enjoy.

I couldn’t go to the meetings anymore, because the urge to scream “SHUT THE FUCK UP” every three seconds became too huge. I knew I’d eventually snap and tell someone from marketing to stick their tongue in my asshole, and there’s no taking that back. But they brought free donuts every Tuesday, the good kinds, drenched in syrups and candies. You’d fart the yeast-cloud of death for hours after gorging on four thousand calories of that shit, but it was totally worth it.

He carried the back rim from an electric bike over his shoulder as we hopped from bar to bar in the east village, searching for a place with Absinthe milkshakes for St. Patrick’s day. “It’s going to cost 50 billion dollars a foot to dig a new subway,” he said, chugging Jaegermeister. “And by the time it’s done, everybody’s going to be taking autonomous cars everywhere.  We’re basically paying ten trillion dollars for a new urinal for the homeless.”

Someone charged me twenty dollars cash to explain how Gravity’s Rainbow predicted 9/11. It involved rockets, but that’s all I remembered. She told me she’d meet me at the Irish bar, but it was too loud, and they tore it down before the end of the evening, something about zoning laws or new condominiums. Everything’s condominiums now; even Duane Reade is building drug store-themed co-ops to sell to insane Japanese businessmen.

I tried to sleep on the train platform, while a guy explained to his wife why their cats needed Roth IRAs.  She mostly argued not about the absurdity of cat retirement, but the tax implications about not using a traditional IRA. I got on the F and saw a girl that looked like a doppelgänger of one I let go a dozen years before, intently reading whatever book was hot that week through her librarian glasses on the long train ride to Bay Ridge.  This war will never end, I thought.




The Evil Pink Mistress

Trying to shake a benadryl hangover, the evil pink mistress clogging every mental channel in my head with dizziness, apathy, and the dark grey dread and doubt and apathy that logjams any serious attempts at life. I remember waking at two or three, after the cursed recurring dream of being back in high school again, decades after escaping that hell, and spending hours in the parking lot, trying to find my car, the kind of realistic dreamscape that makes me worry if my car got towed or stolen for twenty minutes after waking, until I can convince myself that the torture of being back in Bighikistan and dealing with the preppies and assholes and evangelical christian taliban groups is nothing but an evil burn pulled on my conscious mind by the demons of my subconscious.

And then I did the infamous dizzying mental math of “it’s three, and my alarm goes off until seven, and this pill fucks me up for eight hours, but maybe I can cut it in half, and then shotgun coke zeroes when the alarm tries to fracture my sleeping brain.” And benadryl knocks me the fuck out, but plays with those REM dream settings, steps on them and fucks them so I sleep too deep, and skip the important step, the one where my subconscious plays, let loose on the playground with no recess monitors, just a blank brainscape occasionally jarred by the footsteps of a nocturnal cat that wants her breakfast four hours early. I can’t do this stuff every day.

I remember a fragment of a dream last night, where I returned to 414 Mitchell, and met some guy that lived there, tried explaining to him my previous tenure at the boarding house. He looked like one of those meathead hippy types, like the old bass player from Van Halen, a stocky guy with a mullety hairdo and a Jack Daniel’s obsession, who listened to jam bands seriously and called strangers “brah”. He acted antagonizing when we first traded words, but became a guarded friend when I mentioned my residence there decades before. He asked me why I left, implying some greater community at the house now, a fraternal bonding among the roommates, a utopian kinship. I started to explain the problems when I was there, the infighting and thefts and hostility, a dozen people living a dozen disparate lives under a single roof, endlessly at war with each other like a score of micronations feuding over a single set of vital resources. His look of doubt and hurt made me realize something changed in the last dozen years, either some transformation in the membership of the house, or more likely, a social failing in my own interpersonal skills. I left without pursuing it further, went off to find whatever the dream brought me to find, a distant landscape a common trope for my unconscious rambling.

But the night I first took Huperzine A — three nights ago — the dreams were markedly different. The shrink recommended the supplement, an ancient Chinese moss said to improve cognition, and I ordered a small vial from Amazon. The tiny pill, a 200 microgram dose, went on top of the usual gabapentin (the anticonvulsant probably causing my memory problems) but with no benadryl. The night’s sleep furtive, I couldn’t tell if I was asleep or awake for hours of the slumber, except my dreamscape was completely abnormal.

My usual boring dreams always take place in familiar scenery, the parental house or the aforementioned high school, or the constant theme of working at Wards. But this time, the altered sets were completely unfamiliar, an unrecognizable stage. I worked at an Alaskan factory, far north of the Arctic circle, making guns or weapons of some sort, and had a long conversation with a secretary about the kinds of doors required in an environment where it snowed eight feet a month. Then I took a car service in a city melded from Bloomington and Denver, a strange grey Vauxhall car with mini side wings like a Star Wars rebel ship. Inside, my co-rider started massaging the driver, a therapeutic massage tracing the various degenerative disk damage a frequent driver would have. The dreams continued like this, a lucid state between life and unconsciousness, and I woke untired, but also unrested, wondering if the drug would always have the effect, wondering how I could capture these dream-slips onto paper.


Dream Scenery

Last night was an evening of NyQuil dreams, a single dose of the caplets right before bed to mask up a touch of a cold I’ve had for a few days.  I woke with memories of strange dreams, including one where I joined a medical marijuana co-op that was like one of those CSA services that gives you a box of produce every week.  The first delivery was a huge tupperware box of what looked like bright green stems of asparagus, and I didn’t know if I needed to dry them out or maybe dump them in the food processor and make a soup.  The box came with some attached literature, a pamphlet that I thought might contain some usage instructions, but it was all of this mumbo-jumbo about how the herb was small-batch artisan crafted from the finest genetic strains.  I tried chopping up a stem into small pieces and chewing on it and a handful of dentyne cinnamon gum, but it tasted horrid.

I wish I kept better dream journals, but it would involve a substantial change in my morning routine.  It was somewhat easier to do when I lived alone in an apartment the size of my office.  I could take two steps and travel from bed to computer, fire up an emacs window, and dump what I remembered before it quickly faded away.  Now the computer isn’t even on the same floor as the bed, and by the time I get up, go downstairs, feed cats, do everything else, I’m fully awake and the dream is gone.  It’s too bad, because I get some great fragments of stories that way.  I re-read Rumored to Exist recently, and was amazed at how many stories started as pieces of dreams.

What fascinates me, when looking at all of my dreams, is the location or setting.  When I was trying to remember this pot-CSA dream, I scoured my brain looking for details, and vividly remember what the apartment looked like.  It wasn’t anywhere I’d lived before; I think it was an amalgam of my last New York apartment, turned sideways, and mixed with one of the sets from Boogie Nights.

A dream’s scenery is like any memory – you don’t know why some stick and some don’t.  A lot of my dreams take place in my old house in Edwardsburg, where I lived from about age 1 to 7, but I’m almost always an adult in the dreams, and they aren’t period pieces where I’m looking back at the mid-70s; they are in modern time or the near future, with just the setting retained.  Any time the dream involves multiple stories, like if I am falling down stairs, it’s my old house in Elkhart.  I’ve lived in a dozen other places since then, and I’ve lived away from Elkhart for twice as long as I lived there, but those are the constant sets, the stages always used by my mind.

I don’t know if it’s a function of time I spent there or because it happened at a certain point in my mental development cycle, but that’s somewhat understandable, dreaming about things I know.  What baffles me is when I have dreams that are in settings that I’ve never seen, or don’t even exist.  Another part of last night’s dream was that the President decided not to live in the White House anymore, and built his own mansion outside of Chicago, where he’d run the government.  And I swear the mansion was one of the sets in the movie True Lies. Later in the dream, I was walking around outside, and I definitely know the scene took place in one of the instant-play levels of a Need for Speed video game I haven’t played since 2007.  How did my brain decide to use that for the dream?

I don’t know a lot about dream theory, and it’s a k-hole I don’t want to fall down today, but there’s this theory called emotional selection, which basically says that our brains construct and then test scenarios that are then developed into thought patterns our brains integrate.  Dreams can have bizarre content because of these tests.  I don’t know that this “means” anything, like that because I dream about my old house, I have a fear of lumber or something.  And I don’t feel that having some deep understanding of my dream cycle will unlock some boss level in life, or make it so I can suddenly read 8000 words a minute or only sleep 27.6 minutes a day.

And with that, I now have a thousand wikipedia articles to read about this, starting with this one and working my way south.


6:14 AM

It’s 6:14 AM. This is typically the only time I get to spend on here, although sometimes I might get a few minutes at night. I’m pretty heavily firewalled at work, and way too busy to spend any time writing. Maybe if there was a way to do voice-to-text in the car, I’d have more time. But I imagine most of that translation would be scattered, and mostly “um, um, uh…”.

Had a weird dream last night, the typical “it’s halfway through the semester and I haven’t gone to any classes and suddenly need to learn everything before midterms.” A lot of people have this dream, but this happened pretty regularly for me, so it’s a little more grounded in reality. This time around, I remember one of the classes was an intro to astronomy class, and I didn’t have any of the books. I had one study hall to learn the name and position of every major star and constellation. The alarm went off before the test.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and audio books lately. My grand scheme earlier this year was to start a music web site and spend two hours a day listening to demos and reviewing them. I had a lot of trouble getting momentum, though. It’s all but dead since the car wreck and house buying madness in about April or so. I also found I was getting almost zero music to review, and was spending too much of my own money on iTunes, trying to track down albums.

It’s somewhat hypnotic to be awake at this hour and hear the I-880 traffic in the distance, punctuated by the rumble of an occasional train. Our view is of the port, and there’s a train line that’s usually populated with Union Pacific freight cars, and the occasional Amtrak coach. You can only see a small subset of the port, though. I’ve driven over there, and there’s an insane amount of cargo containers, almost all of them from China, probably filled with junk going to Wal-Mart. The area just up from our place used to be the 16th street station, the terminus of the UP railroad. There’s a giant grand station sitting there abandoned, unsafe since the 1989 earthquake, and surrounded by chain-link and barbed wire. There’s a long-range plan to convert it into some kind of restored mixed-use retail space, but it’s going to take years of paperwork and zoning to get it anywhere near initiation. And given the economy, nobody’s rushing to get that started. But I’m hoping in five or ten years, they get something in there.

I have to get a cat into a carrier and off to the vet soon. Into the carrier is always the fun part.


Journey of major dental restoration

I had some dental work done yesterday. Nothing serious, just two fillings, one that was very minor, both were re-dos of older fillings. I started this journey of major dental restoration ten years ago, almost to the day, and I’m now finding that some of those fillings are at the end of their lifespan. I always thought of fillings and crowns as permanent, but now I’m seeing it’s more like working on your house, and having to repaint or reside or replumb every decade or two. At least my new dentist is okay, and cheap. He’s also about 100 yards from our apartment, which helps.

BUT… last night I had an extremely horrific dental trauma nightmare. I dreamed that some of my front teeth were fucked up, and I didn’t have the money/time/gumption to go to the dentist. So I took some of those gold-colored helical roofing nails, and nailed them into my mouth, so the rounded heads of the nails would look like a gold tooth, ala Flavor Flav or whatever. Then I got really nervous that I did permanent damage (no shit, I had nails going into the roof of my mouth) and was freaking out trying to find a dentist before some bacterial plague would set in. Then I woke up and ran to the bathroom faster than a Taco Bell-induced colon explosion, so I could look in the mirror and see if all of my fucking teeth were intact. I hate that feeling, but also love it – the feeling that you’ve dodged a major bullet, missed getting killed in a major accident. I’ve heard that it’s similar to doing cocaine, which is why I’m glad I don’t, or I would have cashed out my 401K long ago and bought stock in a Columbian processing plant so I could buy direct.

Speaking of unending nervousness, I am still working on the zine, trying to get the next issue squared away. I have some very good stories in the can, and I’m trying to finish my own story, which might be pretty good. (It might be horrible, nobody’s seen it yet, so who knows.) I am nervous about pagecount, though. It was about 57,000 words last time, which is about 170 pages. I wanted it closer to 200, maybe more. I have 10 stories, 35,000 words now, which is about 100 pages, plus another 7500 words in my story. I guess I want like 20 stories, and I need some killers as far as length, because I have some shorter pieces, and only a couple of longer ones. I realize all of this nervousness is completely masturbatory right now, but I’m always nervous about this shit right down to the point where I send in the PDFs.

I bought this pencam thing for like $30. It’s about as big as a snickers bar, maybe a little smaller, and takes 1.3MP pictures, albeit with a shitty plastic lens. I bought it thinking maybe I could hide it in my bag and easily get it places my current huge camera wouldn’t go, like in museums or something. Or just so I could walk around with the big tourist cam out. But I’ve found that the pictures are mostly awful, unless you’re outside in broad daylight. They do have a sort of artsy-fartsy lo-fi thing, though, like an old 110 camera. The other problem is that it beeps incessantly and loudly, when you turn it on, off, take a picture, low light, etc etc. I wish I could crack it open and cut the speaker out of it. Maybe I will.

Going to brunch in an hour. I should probably work on my story more and then find some shoes and socks.


Sadaam’s gun course

This has been the longest week in the god damned world since they switched to the 7-day calendar. I forget when they actually did that, but I remember writing the Gregorian to Julian crap in Pascal about 15 years ago, and I seem to remember something about the Mayans using ten-day weeks, but maybe I just made that up, I’m not sure. Anyway, I’ve been slogging through a cold all week that hasn’t done a lot to my respiratory system, but has made my eyes all runny and gunky and crud-encrusted, and it’s made it impossible to focus on the screen for too long. To add to the mix, I’ve got this differently-resolutioned tablet PC that I use in bed, and today I got a new LCD panel at work, and it supports higher resolution, hence tinier fonts. So my eyes have felt about ready to explode all week, and I think I might just sleep all weekend, except for the thing about wanting to write.

Wanting to write: I am still picking away at this book, or ideas about this book. I hate the story I have written so far, but I read all of my random notes are really incredibly funny. So I need to spend more time on getting that stuff to work out, or drink a bunch of Robitussen, or something. But mostly, I need to get more time into this thing. I wish I could work out some kind of short stories from this material so I could put them up here and get some reaction, but everything’s in too much of a jumble right now.

I had this intensely realistic dream this morning that I was riding in some bike race around the city, and I had it planned that after the first ten miles, I would be right at the front of my apartment and I could stop to get a drink and go to the bathroom. So I chugged this entire 64-ounce glass of cold water, and then I went to the bathroom to pee, and I pissed for a moment and then started urinating pure blood. The dream continued and I was trying to clean up this blood, and then I woke up and it was about six in the morning, and I really had to pee. Let me tell you, that was the scariest piss in my entire life, because I was 100% certain I would start bleeding and need to rush to the ER to get a new set of kidneys installed. But all was well.

A few weeks ago, I had another very vivid dream in which I went to this gun place in Florida  and I was going to take an AK-47 class. When I got to the classroom, there were 4 or 5 other dudes, and… Saddam Hussein! He was secretly being held at a prison outside of Tampa, and through some kind of federal work-release school tuition program, he was allowed to take classes, so he took this gun course. I was really scared to even look at him or say anything, because I was certain if I somehow disrespected him in some subtle way, a couple of Iraqi expatriate goons would jump out of an alley some night and destroy me ten times over. But, surprisingly, he turned out to be a really cool guy. He was cracking a lot of jokes as the instructor taught us how to field-strip the AK-47, and he even gave me his mini-butterfinger bar from his Lunchables when we all stopped for lunch break. At the end of the class, I got him to change my answering machine message to freak people out. It was a pretty abnormal dream.

That said, I’m about ready to hit it. I haven’t been taking any Nyquil lately, but I might just dose up a bit to make sure I sleep in tomorrow morning.