Tent Hopping and a Honduran Gangster

Cast of characters:

  • Me
  • A Honduran gangster

Historical context:

  • I don’t like sleeping in tents.  It’s just kind of gross.  All I can think of is condensation on the bottom side of my sleeping bag and the smell of stale Doritos.  I’d be more apt to sleep in a tent if it was cold outside.
  • I don’t own a tent.
  • When I was 11, I bought my very first Panasonic boom box for $88.  It had a double tape deck!  It still exists and is swimming around my parents’ house somewhere…
  • I don’t know any Hondurans that I can think of, and I have never been to Honduras.

The dream:

This dream was weird, and I’ll do my best to try to describe it.  I was sitting on a large grassy hill facing north.  The hill was absolutely expansive, and I was sitting high over a lake so large that it was more like a sea.  The grass was yellow green, and there were dark green forests far away to the east and west.  The lake was slate gray.  There were a few people around… kids playing, adults at picnic tables.  It seemed that we were in a park of some sort, and it was absolutely silent.  Suddenly, I was sitting inside a royal blue, 4-person tent far to the east near the forest.  It was my tent, and I had dirty clothes sprawled upon the floor of the tent.  My black boom box was along the back wall.  I was sitting among the dirty clothes, when I realized that I wanted to move the tent further west towards the center of the park and along the major road that ran along the south side of the park.  My tent was magically meant to move on its own, with me inside, but all of the dirty clothes weighed it down too much, so my magic tent was having a hard time moving.  It just shuddered when it tried to move.  So I picked up the dirty clothes and put them in a mesh laundry bag.  So now, there was a laundry bag full of dirty clothes, my boom box, and me in the tent.  With this arrangement, with the clothes placed in a laundry bag, the tent was able to move on its own.  We slid across the grass until we were in the center of the park, about 10 feet from the busy road at the southern end.  I unzipped the door of the tent to look out over the traffic.  My line of vision was at about the same level as a big, gray, steel guard rail, but I could see the cars whizzing by in both directions.  I could hear the loud traffic.

Flash to a vision on a black and white TV of a Honduran gangster.  It was his mugshot, and we was wearing a black shirt with white writing.  He was short and round, and he had a round head with black hair about an inch long.  There was news commentary in the background about the gangster wanting to shave his head.  His dad didn’t want him to shave his head.  Flash to the Honduran gangster’s knuckles being  directly in front of my face in real life.  He showed me both sets of knuckles, across which “True Bloods” was tattooed in black ink.  That was the name of his gang.

The end.

An Inexplicable Series of Dreams…

Cast of characters:

  • Dad
  • A young, 1970s-version of my grama (mom’s mom).  It was my grama as she looked in my parents’ 1973 wedding photos.
  • Jan and Harry – Two clients with whom I traveled to Bhutan in October 2013.
  • A gigantic cast of randoms.

Historical context:

  • I have been on a hot air balloon ride in Turkey.  I did not crash.
  • I like banana pancakes; berry ones, not as much.
  • I’ve read the Hunger Games series.
  • Nothin’ else!

The dream:

This dream consisted of six, separate, unrelated scenes.  It was a bad dream.  The whole thing was very quiet with an overwhelming sense of foreboding.  When I think of all of these scenes, and how they quickly flashed from one to the other, I do think I’m probably a little bit insane…

Scene 1:  I was sitting in a dingy, gray, cement room in the middle of the desert in Mexico.  The room was probably only 12 ft x 12 ft.  There was a long, skinny window about 5 feet off the ground along the North side of the room.  The sunlight coming through the window was the only light in the room.  There were cobwebs and dust covering the window and the walls.  There was a round, wood table in the middle of the room.  I was sitting at the table with three other people, playing poker.  I don’t know if they were men or women.  I was about to lay down my cards and win the game.  But I had cheated.  I don’t know how I cheated, but I had cheated.  And the others knew I had cheated.  But I was going to lay down my hand anyway and “throw the match.”  As soon as I laid down my hand, I knew that war would break out around the world, and the world would end.  I laid down my hand.

Scene 2:  I was in a dark tent, sitting in the blackness.  The wind was howling outside, and it was freezing in my pitch-black tent.  I opened the zipper of the door and looked out.  All of a sudden I had a view of my little black tent from hundreds of feet above.  It was daytime, and my tent was high in the mountains, pitched in snow.  All there was to see for miles was snow and rocky outcrops of mountain.  Snow was whipping around my little tent, and the sky was gray.  There was nothing but snow and rock for hundreds of miles.  I realized that my Dad was out walking in the snow and was lost.  I got very worried.  I then had a view of him trudging through the snow.  He was wearing animal skins and furry boots.  Suddenly I was back in the tent, and he opened the door and came in.  He was drenched.  He said he’d been walking in a circle for 12 miles, just like he did every day.

Scene 3:  I was in a hot air ballon with Jan and Harry.  We were in a small basket by ourselves with no pilot.  The sky was gray, and it was very windy.  Our balloon was rainbow colored.  We were flying to the west, completely out of control.  Our balloon was being torn up by the wind.  We knew we were going to crash and just hoped we would survive.  Our basket skimmed a large oak tree, and part of the balloon fabric was torn by the tree branches.  We then flew only another couple hundred yards and skidded to a landing in a rock-solid field of dried and cracked mud.  We were thrown onto the ground, but we survived.  We realized that, before we hit the tree, we had flown over a decrepit little village.  We started to walk back to the village for help, and as we approached, we could see people peeking out of their windows with deep suspicion.  The roads of the village were dirt, and the homes were shacks, at best.  The whole village was falling apart.  The villagers started to come out of their homes and descend upon us.  The old women wore white kerchiefs on their heads, and the men wore cabbie hats and smoked pipes.  The entire village, including the clothes of the people, was gray and brown.  We were in a village in Eastern Europe.  The people were all old and had no color in their skin.  As they started to circle around us, we knew there were going to kill us.

Scene 4:  I was sitting in a long, white breakfast room at someone’s house in Europe.  There was a long plank table on the west side of the room with long benches along each side.  My grama and some others were sitting on the bench closest to the wall, and I was sitting on the opposite side with some others.  There were no lights on in the room, but plenty of sunlight was flooding into the room from a large window on the south side of the room.  I looked down onto a plate of very flat pancakes.  There was some sort of berry compote on top.  My vision then moved around the table from plate to plate, with a birds eye view of all the pancakes.  All were flat with berry compote, and all were on terra cotta plates.  Then I was back in my seat and looking diagonally across the table at Grama.  She was the 1970s version of my grama… big dark brown beehive, royal blue lace dress.  Grama had a big fluffy pancake on her plate, and it started to grow.  The more she poked it with her fork, the more it grew.  It grew until it was about a foot tall and two feet wide.  We all looked on in wonder.  It was going to explode.

Scene 5:  This one was the worst.  I was standing in the middle of a grassy field.  The grass was about a foot tall… half of it was tan and dead, the other half was barely green and still alive.  I was standing with someone’s brother, and there was blonde girl (maybe early 20s) about 30 yards away from us.  The sky was gray and the day was calm.  We were dressed in mesh armor from the middle ages.  All of our armor was silver, and we all had on maroon felt shoes.  I was standing facing the girl, who was trying to kill someone’s brother who was standing behind me.  My only mission in life was to protect the brother.  It was a stand off for what seemed like hours.  The girl and I just stood and stared at each other, as a bit of wind tousled our hair every now and then.  The brother just stood behind me.  After what seemed like forever, I thought I could better protect him if I turned around and hugged him.  I hugged him so tightly.  He was about my height with light brown hair.  This is the first time I ever saw him.   I hugged him and hugged him and hugged him.  Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the girl lift her hand, and in one quick motion, she threw some sort of weapon at him and it sunk deep into his neck.  The weapon was made of shiny lead and was about 6 inches long.  It had a long handle with what was like a spur at the end.  It was the spur that stuck into his neck and killed him almost immediately.  I had failed at protecting him, and we both sunk to the ground.  I held his bloody head in my lap as I screamed and screamed and screamed.  I just sat in the long grass with the dead brother wailing for a lifetime.  I’ve never felt so sad in a dream.

Scene 6:  I was standing in a dark room, alone, with only the faintest brown light.  All of these scenes had been manipulated by some supreme power.  This was the Hunger Games.

The end.

PS – I had the aforementioned sequence of dreams three nights ago.  This morning, I woke up from a dream thinking, “I am a mall rat.”  That’s all I remember. ???

 

“You Ruined Yellow!”

Cast of characters:

  • Eddie:  My first Chicago roomie who I found on Craigslist 7 years ago.  I don’t see him very often anymore, but he’s one of those friends that will always be there… one of my favs.
  • A full cast of random extras.

Historical context:

  • My favorite color is yellow.
  • My favorite number is 11.
  • I was in Vegas last month.
  • I lived in Chicago for 6 years… a Chicagoan at heart.
  • I die in dreams sometimes, and when I do, it’s always from being shot.  Other locales where I have been shot and died… in an outhouse in rural Spain, in a long, dark blue hallway in the Amsterdam airport, and under an overpass on John Nolan Drive in Madison, WI.

The dream:

This is not a fun one, folks.  I had this dream a few weeks ago.  It is still crystal clear in my mind.

I entered a fancy hotel in Las Vegas with my fellow assassins.  I don’t know if we were good or bad, just assassins.  I was with a handful of men, all dressed in black suits and wearing black sunglasses.  I was also wearing a black suit coat, skirt, and sunglasses.  I had on a black wig… a bob.  The hotel lobby was cozy and dimly lit and had dark red velvet curtains lining the walls.  The chairs and couches in the lobby were also dark red velvet with gold rivets.  The carpet was a deep red paisley.  There were people lounging around the lobby, both sitting and standing.  We walked through the lobby to check in at reception.  We knew that we had to be very careful during check in so that no one became suspicious about who we were and why we were there.  The group of men (5 or 6 of them) checked in first.  They were all going to be staying in a suite.  They checked in with no problem and without eliciting suspicion.  They walked away to the right, and then it was my turn to check in.  I was staying in a standard room next to their suite.  The man checking me in was tall and thin, with short sandy blonde hair.  He was wearing a button-up white shirt with a pin-striped vest and black pants.  I also checked in with no problem, until the very end.  When the man handed me my key card and told me my room number, he looked me in the eye, and I knew that he knew we were up to something.  I was so nervous that I had been detected as an assassin, but I tried to brush it off as nothing.  I turned to my right and walked to the elevator.

All of a sudden we, my fellow male assassins and I, were in a ballroom upstairs.  It was a very bland and large ballroom… white walls and ceiling with beige swirly carpet.  There were several round tables with white table cloths set up at the other end of the ballroom.  It was as if all the round tables were pushed against the back wall to create a big empty space in the middle of the room.  There were several metal and beige chairs sitting around the tables.  The ballroom was set up to hold a conference of a few thousand people.  Behind us, there were a few long tables against the wall, covered with white table cloths, with a few leftover appetizers… little sandwiches on silver colored plastic trays with white doilies.  My fellow assassins and I were standing in front of the long tables, relaxing and talking.  We were all dressed casually… the men were wearing white t-shirts and jeans.  I don’t know what I was wearing, but it wasn’t my fancy suit.  We were waiting to carry out or mission… the assassination of a lot of people.  All of a sudden, the room was “full” of people, and by full, I mean that there were about a dozen other men milling around the long tables along with us.  We were chatting and making small talk, when one of my fellow assassins screamed “DOWN!” and all the assassins hit the floor.  All of a sudden, the guns that we had hidden in the fake trees on the other side of the now much-smaller room started shooting the other men in the room.  We all knew that, after we heard the eleventh gun shot, all the other men in the room should be dead.  I laid on my stomach next to one of my fellow assassins who had short brown hair.  He and I looked at each other as the eleven shots went off, counting each one silently together, one by one.  After the eleventh shot,  we all looked around at our fellow assassins, before slowly standing up to assess the situation.  All the assassins had survived the shooting, and it appeared that all of the other men in the room were now dead, as planned.  As we became more comfortable in our belief that all the other men were dead, we started talking in normal voices about how to get rid of the bodies.  That’s when I turned around, and then everything moved in slow motion.  One of the bleeding men on the ground was not dead, and when I turned around, he was standing there holding a pistol, pointing it at me from about 5 feet away.  He was a small, middle-aged man with brown spiky hair and pale skin.  We was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with some sort of red emblem on it.  He was bullet-ridden on the left side of his body and held the gun with his right hand.  As he began to collapse back to the ground, he screamed at me, “YOU RUINED YELLOW!” and then shot me six times on the left side of my torso.  I fell back and stared at the white ceiling, speechless, as I started to bleed to death.  All of my fellow assassins were standing above me, screaming at me, trying to save me, when I closed my eyes.

When I opened my eyes, I was sitting in the front seat of the right side of a bus against a window.  It was pitch black outside, and we were driving down an endless street in Chicago.  The bus driver was just driving straight, with no reason to stop.  There were no street lights or any signs of life outside, just blackness.  The front of the inside of the bus was bright red, and the side walls of the bus were bright yellow.  The bus was well lit inside.  Next to me, in the aisle seat, a woman sat.  She was my friend.  I was wrapped tightly in white gauze, but my gunshot wounds were bleeding through the gauze.  I was dying.  The woman and I were so sad, but we had come to terms with the fact that I was close to death.  I looked across the aisle and saw that Eddie was sitting in the aisle seat on the left side of the bus.  I walked over to him and sat in the window seat next to him.  I leaned over and laid in his lap.  He put his left arm over me, and we both started sobbing.  The sadness we felt was overwhelming.  After a few moments, I died.