Archive for the 'just another dream' Category

friday five

1. Yeah so that happened and it was awful. I ordered flowers for Milton’s funeral which made me mad and sad, not that I grudged him the flowers but that I was so angry with him for being dead. I think I also wanted to be at the funeral so that I could be with other people who knew him and could understand what his death meant. Jeremy met him a few times but didn’t know him well and otherwise I was alone with it, which always sucks and is boring.

2. Otherwise and weirdly I am feeling much better, having shaken off the last of the horrible Chicago cold and consequent lingering bronchitis and what was evidently some kind of post-viral malaise that plunged me back into the worst days of having an undiagnosed anxiety disorder in my teens and 20s. I gotta give myself credit for spending the last dozen years taking meds and getting enough exercise and sleep and healthy food, because given the opportunity to directly compare my current and former emotional states, it’s clear that in spite of all the, you know, wrenching grief, my baseline mood is way better than it used to be.

3. I am finally reading (listening in the car to) And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts’ beautifully furious book about the early years of the AIDS epidemic; uneasy stuff when you are well, let alone when you are paranoid and sick. Excellent narrative history turns you into the Doctor visiting a Fixed Point In Time: it is 1980 and I am standing in the Ice Palace on Fire Island at 1am, looking at all the gorgeous men on the dance floor, knowing that there is nothing I or anyone else can do to save them. I am so, so sorry.

4. Speaking of beautiful fury, the new Mad Max movie is an exquisitely-researched and historically accurate documentary about my childhood and it gives me life. I got properly into the spirit of it too, getting rear-ended hard on the way to the cinema, jumping out of poor banged-up Mercy of Kalr in the middle of Van Ness and screaming at the other driver and kicking his license plate. He was at fault like San Andreas, of course, so his insurance covers everything including the rental on the piece-of-garbage Chevy Sonic I am driving around while Mercy is at the body shop. Her name is Lieutenant Seivarden, and she self-identifies as a small war rig.

5. Last night I dreamed I checked into a hotel where I was shown to a suite that I had to share with strangers who invaded my personal space, and when I complained to the staff they made fun of my accent and lost my favourite jacket, and when I realized that I was in a dramatization of my own mundane fears and insecurities I decided I was probably dreaming and that if I was, I might as well see Mum, so I turned around and there she was, wearing red and orange and gold and looking radiantly well and laughing. So I hugged her a lot.


I dreamed that we and everyone we know had been drawn into a large corporate cult. We walked around the glassed atrium of a sandstone building with excellent natural light. I kept running up to friends – Shannon Lee, Shannon Engelbrecht – and saying “Cult! Cult!” They’d nod gravely but edge away from me.

I found a terminal and tried to message Jeremy, but the screen said: “Blocked.” I saw someone leading the a group of children outside, Claire and Julia among them, and I ran after them calling their names, but they had been told to ignore me.

I woke up in a panic. The cult is life itself, and when you notice that it is a cult: that is death.

this is what you dream about

I dreamed Jeremy and I were invited to a party being held by a prominent Utah ladyblogger – no, not her. The other one. She and her husband lived on five acres with a barn down the back that was managed by her trainer. They had a small ranch home but had built a much larger house on the property, and the party was held there. This is what you dream about while trying to refinance your mortgage after watching The Queen of Versailles.

Its living room was entirely decorated in marble parquetry, which, sure, sounds attractive, but the stone was all pink and beige so it was like being inside a patchwork liver. Even the television surrounds were made of entraily marble. Envious of our hosts’s tract of land, I tittered unkindly at their lack of taste.

The other guests included Jim Carrey and Julian Assange. I sucked up to Carrey, who tried not to seem bored.

Julian acted like a douche.

in dreams begin responsibilities

Claire said: “I had my first dream in Spanish. I was at Maestra Lisa’s house and I said to her: ‘I don’t know how I got here! What am I doing here?'”

“In Spanish?”

“In Spanish!”

She knew I’d been waiting for this moment for years.

I dreamed I was in a medieval courtyard-tavern attending a spontaneous Adacamp. As I was telling people about how the movement had started as a gleam in Val’s and Mary’s eyes, more and more women arrived, hundreds of women from all over the world: some sat at tables hacking on laptops plastered with stickers, some built huge Carnival masks covered in LEDs and held a parade, some played guitars and jammed. I wandered out onto a dock on a lake, and saw Danny and Emily Candy sitting on a sand dune waiting for a concert to begin. A hopey-changey dream.

level 41

For my birthday, my subconscious gave me a Constellation Games dream. My sister and I were science bloggers a la Xeni Jardin, and we’d spent months living with and getting to know the Farang. Now they were taking us diving in their ice lake. I held onto my host’s thick, muscular tail as we went down, down, down into the black cold. Then we surfaced in a brightly lit cave and I flailed around in surprise and delight while my Farang friend(s) laughed and laughed.

Well done, my id! Boy, do you know the kind of thing I like!

our son the snake

Me: I dreamed I was giving birth again and was very annoyed with my substandard care. “Where’s my doula? I can’t work under these conditions!” Then the baby was born and it was a boy and I was ambivalent. We argued about whether to call it William or Gabriel. You said Gabriel would get him teased at school. I said “Of coure he’s going to get teased at school. He’s a snake.” Have you ever breastfed a snake?

J: No.

Me: I have. He was a colicky little snake too, always writhing if I put him down. And I was all, we’re not going to be celebrating your first steps now are we? Then he tried to slither into the new shelves, and the inevitable happened. My dream actually had captions at this point: “The inevitable happened.” Julia trod on him.

Julia, round-eyed: I did?

Me: And that was the end of our son the snake.

one sad, one happy

The night before last I dreamed that I was minding a store and couldn’t make change because the cash register was neatly filled with empty tubes of toothpaste.

Last night I dreamed that Alfie and Sugar were alive, and that they and Bebe were my animal friends and we and the girls were out having adventures. We went to a beautiful island like Kirrin Island, except that it was in Sydney Harbour. I parked Hedwig on the tidal flats and she was flooded, but we floated her to shore and there was magically no damage.

The dreams of Alfie are often especially vivid and concrete. In this one, he was occupied with business of his own but came, obligingly, when I called. I had to adjust his saddle because it had slipped back, and I saw and remembered how the blonde and chestnut hairs grew all crazy and hedgehog at the top of his tail. His red mane was almost a foot long and tangled in the salt spray. I lifted Julia onto him and she wound her hands in its strands.

how does my garden grow

When Kay and I were kids living in the far-flung suburbs of Sydney, we used to dream of living in New York City. The appeal, to me, was specifically being able to order Thai food at 3am. Now, of course, my digestive system rebels at such outlandish notions. I do eat home-delivered Thai about once a week, but at a civilized hour.

That said, my daily life in this very dense neighbourhood is far better than long-ago lonely teenager could ever have dreamed. Yesterday I bumped into Ann Hughes and Jakie, Julia’s future husband, as I exchanged library books in the Mission branch of the SFPL. I got home in time to take Claire to wushu, and then I put on gardening gloves and attacked the weeds in our flower bed. Gilbert and Ada came out and found me there, so Gilbert went off to run errands while Ada helped me in the garden and Julia sat on the stoop and made up stories to entertain us. And then we all went to collect Claire from wushu. Did I mention she has her green belt? No? Really?

I’ve been sleeping erratically, waking at 4am and drowsing fitfully until the alarm goes off at dawn, so it was a bit surprising that last night, squashed between Importunate Cat and Julia, I had the best night’s sleep I’d had in ages. Not to mention an elaborate and escapist dream. He was an exiled North African prince. I was a cypherpunk anarchist whose help he sought, but instead I subjected him to long lectures on the evils of kleptocracies. We lived in a sunny north-Mediterranean city whose skyscrapers could be raised on pneumatic lifts to avoid tsunamis. You know. That old story.

We all woke very late and had to scuttle to get to school in time for the bell.

i guess he could go in the goldfish bowl

I dreamed I was trying to tidy up my room at Bluegum Crescent. Stuff was stacked six feet high and sliding; a maze had been built between the stacks. “Got somewhere for this little one to live?” asked Sarah, who had caught a shiny brown mouse in her hands. There was also a rat, which turned out on closer inspection to be a calico guinea pig with a baby.


Just a fragment, really, hopelessly idealized, I mean really, a meadow beside a waterfall, there might as well have been Tom Selleck and a sandwich. What the fragment was really of though was the sunlight shining on, indeed reflecting off, a side view of his white ass and thighs that were always his best features (“What an ass!” heheh) and us being sweet to each other and happy together, as we seldom if ever were in life. And waking to remember that we will probably never speak to each other again, with excellent reason. A reminder as if reminders were needed that I am turning 39 tomorrow. Mothers! Lock up your sons!

And falling asleep again to visit the house, loved house, lost house, changed in dreamlike ways, ways that Richard both would and would not approve. The polished concrete floor half-stripped of red and green paint was beautiful, and all the rough bricks were true to life. But this version had an imperious view of rooftops and the Harbour, and it was not at all clear why Jeremy’s room did not have a door, so that we had to climb through an internal window. And waking to remember that the house has been sold to a half-Scottish half-Danish lover of Sydney School houses, whose three young sons will, I hope, love it as much as I do, although how can they?

No wonder I spent most of yesterday verklempt and listening to depressing songs of youth. I was emo before the word was coined! Last night was a lot better, a very liberal Anglican church up near Coso and Mirabel somewhere, with a friendly (two-humped?) llama eating nasturtiums out of the front garden and chickens wandering around during the service. Thussy would have loved it. We all went, Bryan and the boys, Shannon, Salome and Milo, us Fitzchalmers and even Janny and Gemma when they came to visit; there was a treehouse in a spreading live oak where they could conveniently stay. Testimony took the form of people writing famous mathematical proofs on the whiteboard, with all of us in the congregation chanting along with them. “DIVISION BY ZERO! CONTRADICTION!” A straightforwardly happy San Francisco dream.

political meetings, eh, i do ’em in my sleep

R: “Didn’t sleep very well.”

J: “Why not?”

R: “Well the president came by.”

J: “Oh?”

R: “Yeah and he was all handsome with his sticky-outy ears, and he smelled good. So I was all girlcrushy and starstruck.”

J: “Ah.”

R: “We discussed health insurance reform. I did remember to declare my support for a strong public option; I’m proud of that.”

Reminds me of the time I was pregnant with Julia, and the entire Supreme Court dropped in.

attention conservation notice: retold dream

Julia protested the human condition at 3am and so came into bed with us, where she promptly peed. Potty training is going well, one just has to allow for these setbacks. I didn’t really sleep again until about five, when I found myself being chased by a sweaty cowboy around the old Sydney Showground, trying to get to a riding lesson on time; and then there was a series of flashes and pops above the San Bruno Mountains, and first one mushroom cloud and then another and another rose against the dark cloudy sky. “Oh shit,” I said eloquently, for the terrorists had finally obtained nukes, and I wished fervently that it could be just another atomic war dream.

And then I woke up. So however swinish and spectral today might be, at least it isn’t that.


I dreamed I had him back. He was strong and young and happy, his coat shining orange, his mane long and tangled, his expression intelligent and wry. I can still feel the hot sun on his neck, and smell his unforgettable scent, mixed with the eucalyptus flowers.

This time I had enough money, and he wasn’t going to die of cancer, and everything was going to be okay.

the dream

We walked along the beach again as we have done a thousand, ten thousand times. The grey sky glowered. Sand scrunched between my toes. Cold waves pushed up and over our feet, all salt and foam. Wave succeeded wave like shaken-out bolts of silk. We wandered back to the car, teasing and jeering, lost in the parking lot.

“Where is Claire?” he said. I looked up, startled. And suddenly it wasn’t Alain, my childhood’s constant companion. It was Jeremy, and I had forgotten the girls, and I was racing back to the rough water’s edge and praying “Please please please…”

My distress woke me up. I lay, heart hammering, in my quiet room beside my sleeping husband. The sky over Noe Valley was blushing indigo and orange.

The girls, I knew, were safe in their own beds.

I have made myself a responsible adult because I love my daughters as I love sunrise and the sea.

But some small part of my soul is still twelve, with my brother, on a beach.

now, bed

Can you tell how tired I am from my intermittent posting and general lack of coherence? I stay up late and sleep badly and get up early. Last night I dreamed there was a huge earthquake in Grantchester. Shockwaves ran out under the green grass like ripples on a pond.


The children were perfectly behaved on the flight home; Julia slept on my lap for four hours. The house is much smaller than I remembered. The cat is frenetically overjoyed to see us. Jetlag’s a little bit easier to deal with when you’re flying west and it’s staying up late rather than going to bed early.

I dreamed Veronica Mars had murdered someone and covered it up brilliantly. An odd, depressing dream, set in Oxford.

I’m reading a biography of Rosebery. Little thrills me more than cracking the spine of a new book about a Victorian liberal. Because I am an old coot.

green card

Approved on April Fool’s Day. We started the process when Claire was six weeks old. She’s five and a half. For those of you keeping score, yes, this does mean I got European citizenship, US residency and a good public school for my daughter, all in the space of about six months. I know what you’re thinking: bitch. And fair enough.

(I’d been waiting till I got my green card to unleash hell’s fury on the DHS, but now it’s here I find myself thinking warmly of the hardworking individuals who approved it.)

In other news, Julia found my secret stash of Lindor truffles this morning. There were two. She gave me one.


And held up the other, saying shyly:


So we started the day with chocolate. Why not? It’s cold and Mr Jeremy is away; we need to indulge ourselves a little.

The children are being delightful, suggesting that Jeremy is in fact a bad influence. (Joke.) I read Horton Hears a Who to Julia, who heard me out and then asked politely to be put in bed, curled up and went to sleep. Claire carefully washed her toothbrush:

“If you don’t wash it properly the bristles get stiff. That’s what Ada told me.”

I dreamed last night that I got pregnant again, not that I really want to, I think, but that the bewildering vastness of my love for my daughters remains almost impossible to believe. Dreaming about pregnancy is like running my hands through heaps of gold. Mine!