When I first considered writing a blog, one of the ideas I thought might be interesting was to keep a dream journal. I tend to be a very deep sleeper, and rarely remember a dream upon waking, maybe 3-6 times per year at most. But the ones I do remember...
There have been a dozen or so over the years that I can still remember vividly today....real brain-fucks. They tend to be long, richly detailed, plotted along some ridiculous and often ambiguous narrative, and deeply weird. Not usually violent or gory, but weird to the point of being more than a bit disturbing. Today's early morning dream was no exception, and yes, this is honestly what I dreamed. I only put down what I could remember immediately afterward.
I am sitting in the front passenger seat of a moving car, looking out at passing fog and dim shapes, lost in a reverie. The murky outside scene passing by reminds me of morning rides to school in the wintertime. I'm aware that my mom is driving the car, and saying something I can't quite make out in my daze. I try to hear what she's saying, and start to gather my senses...
We're both adults, our current ages, but we're in our old family car- a grey 1985 Chevy Cavalier which is now long gone. I've missed what she said, and ask "I'm sorry, what was that?"
She replies, somewhat aware that I wasn't paying attention, "Oh, nothing, I just said 'thank you for coming with me for this', you didn't have to, but I appreciate your help."
"Of course, no problem! Good to get out and about anyway!", I reply.
I have no idea where we're going....I almost ask, but then I remember.....that's right....we're going to the Valley Plaza Mall in Bakersfield, to buy a harmonica for....someone, and she wanted to make sure she got a good one. It occurs to me that nobody sells harmonicas at the mall....and why drive to Bakersfield to get one anyway?
Ming Ave, southwest Bakersfield. Right turn into the Valley Plaza lot. My mother pulls into the parking lot, and drives to the side with the Sears store and drive-up key-cutting shack. For some reason, we park behind an adjacent building. Suddenly, I'm driving instead of her. I steer it into a spot, shut off the engine, and we both get out of my old blue 1990 Chevy Cavalier.
The building we're parked behind has never existed, yet I remember it. It's a long, straight, vaguely institutional-looking building...it looks like a wing of classrooms from a school, or maybe old business offices....it also reminds me slightly of a church near my Grandmother's house. But the entire building looks old and unused, and it's been painted over entirely in a thick, uniform coat of flat grey paint. Grey covers everything, even the windows and doorknobs. It looks like a real-life version of a set piece from Pink Floyd's "The Wall". We start to walk around the building we parked behind for no reason, and after a few steps, I can tell the asphalt is old and crumbling. I can feel the loose gravel poking my feet. I stop. Looking down, I can see I'm fully clothed, except that I am not wearing shoes, only socks. A pair of double thick work socks that I lost one of years ago. Annoyed, I turn back to walk to the car to get my shoes. The car is a good 30 yards away...but after only a few steps? Even more annoyed, I wonder to myself how I managed to leave my shoes in the car in the first place. As I walk back to the car, another car rounds the building behind me, and then passes by...it's a small economy sedan, being driven by a chimpanzee in a yellow clown suit with large red and blue polka dots all over it.
He barks a quick acknowledging chimp-screech at me as he drives by, and throws some litter out of the window...It looks like the foil wrapper from an Am/Pm Mini-Mart hot dog. The chimp pulls into the spot just beyond my car and gets out of the car. It then climbs on top of my car, sits down legs crossed, puts a matching yellow-and-polka-dot, pointed clown hat on his head, and screeches some more while gesturing at me.
To hell with that, I decide to shop in socks instead. We turn again, and walk toward the mall. As we round the pointless grey building, I look back at the two cars....the chimp is still there, now silently waiting and grinning. He nods once at me, as if to say "yeah, what?". Stupid asshole chimp.
I see that the front corners of the building had rough, terracotta brick planters at one time. I remember some kind of yucca or small desert tree once grew there, maybe a small pine. Now the tree is gone, and it is all painted grey, even the lava rocks in the planter. I complain, "I hate it when people do that, just making things ugly on purpose...whatever they use this place for, why take out the plants?"
Mom replies, "Maybe they didn't want to pay the water bill."
As we walk on, another car pulls up, almost cutting us off but stopping short. A dark-complexioned man with black and grey, medium length, somewhat receding hair gets out of the car. He looks at us with a nervous, confused half-smile and says, "It's my daughter, I don't know..."
I ask, "What?"
"It's my daughter, she just gets crazy sometimes...she gets in a little argument and just goes crazy, I don't know..."
The man and his car both seem familiar to me. The grey light of early afternoon has quickly faded to dark evening. I look closely, and recognize that the car is the same Pontiac Firebird that James Garner drove on The Rockford Files, except very badly over-painted in red...I can even see the old gold color shimmering on the inner edges of the open door. And I recognize the man as the actor who played one of the terrorist bad guys in the movie True Lies. I am suddenly suspicious of him.
(Actor Art Malik....except now he's in my dream, driving Jim Rockford's stolen TV Firebird and babbling about his daughter.)
A second car pulls up a few yards away with a hysterically screaming and weeping woman at the wheel. Now there are actors involved, and they don't even show up on cue. Her car is the same model as his, and also has a fresh, badly done paint job, but white. I am extremely suspicious now.
The man asks my mother if she could talk to his daughter. "She won't talk to me...please, can you just see if she's O.K?", he asks. I start to warn my mom to not go near, but with a leery and cautious look, she steps toward the vehicle. As she approaches, the woman, also vaguely Pakistani/Indian in appearance, stops weeping and forcefully pulls my mother into the car (how is she fitting both of their bodies through that sports coupe door, I wonder, and why is she so strong?...what the hell???) The car lurches and screeches off. I jump to give chase...useless, too late. I try to read the license plate number, but I can't make it out. I glare at the man, who smiles laughingly at me.
My mother has been kidnapped by Southern Asian gypsy car thieves played by actors, and their chimpanzee accomplice.
Confusion and Rage.
I advance toward the man and raise my hands to grab and attack him. As I look at my right hand, I find a large, very shiny, chrome-polished automatic pistol there... it's like some Desert Eagle show piece or something....definitely not my style, but whatever.
Taking a risk, I carefully aim at the tires of the receding car, but only make sparks on asphalt, and the car disappears down the road. I turn to the man and point the gun at him.
"Where is she taking my mother?!?", I demand.
He laughs long and loud, and says, "Go ahead, shoot me....then you will never find her! He has his eyes open wide for effect, his lips curled back in a menacing smile.
Realizing the truth of his statement, I lower the gun. But then he moves to get back in his car so I aim at him again and squeeze the trigger....
...but I am only pointing my finger at him.
He laughs again. I look down to read his license number, and though it is right in front of me, my eyes can't make out the sequence. Before he can leave, I start to run back to my car to give chase, chimpanzee be damned. As I run towards the anticipating chimp, I start to hear loud voices from nowhere, out of the sky. The voices get louder, and a violent rumbling and sudden ear-splitting grating sound of heavy machinery begins. Finally reaching the car, I attack the chimpanzee, who is also trying to attack me and keep me out of the car. The voices and noise grow louder again, and the grey sky and building start to shake and split, like an old tattered film going off the reel...everything is jumbled confusion and madness....
I'm awake now, still blind in the dark bedroom. I know immediately that it's between 6:30 and 7:00AM on Tuesday morning. I can hear the loud voices and machinery of the garbage collectors in the apartment parking lot just outside the window. As I lie still and blink into the darkness, the only thing I'm thinking is...What the Fuck was that all about?
If anybody who reads this wants to comment or share their own, feel free.