Excerpts from my Dream Journal

Excerpts from Daniel S. Duvall’s Dream Journal

(late January 2000 – late December 2004)

Wading Through My Subconscious Symbol Space

A Longitudinal Study In Metadreaming

written by Daniel S. Duvall

© 2017 Daniel S. Duvall – all rights reserved

January 20, 2000

Stone staircase in the middle of Los Angeles. In the dream context, it was supposed to be near my apartment. There were gas jets spaced evenly on either side; I had a flash of how beautiful the staircase would look at night with these miniature torches all ignited. As I neared the top, I noted how dense the smog was all around me. I could see down into a canal at the base of the stairs, and a single, beautiful golden fish was visible beneath the surface. I watched as it swam from one edge of the canal to the other, and then I trotted down the stairs. I floated across the water, presumably in a boat, though perhaps I was literally floating and thought nothing odd of it. More golden fish flitted about up close. I wiggled my toes in the water, and they came to investigate, along with a larger white fish (perhaps a foot long). Suddenly to my right was a giant war ship, and I was afraid it would block my exit. But I got around it and climbed onto dry land in a block I recognized as being close to my apartment in the dream context, though in reality it looked nothing like my neighborhood.

This dream occurred on the first night in which I was able to sleep naturally (until I woke up without an alarm clock) after four consecutive days of extreme sleep deprivation.

January 31, 2000

I napped after work and dreamed that [REDACTED – one of my friends from college] and I were strolling around a shopping mall at Christmas. We were puzzled by the frenzied consumers. Then suddenly we were walking down a sidewalk at night, and there were these two-foot-tall vases made of brightly-colored translucent glass (red, yellow, green, orange) balanced on top of a short grassy slope to our right. A truck rumbled past on the street, and the vibration caused some of the vases to fall and shatter behind us.

Fleeting memories of another dream in which I was in a dark car in shadows parked on the side of a road on a rainy hill. And another in which a disembodied voice was calling out of the dark outside of my parents’ house.

February 11, 2000

Postman knocked on the door and woke me up in the middle of a dream in which I was sketching [REDACTED] the cat. I think I’m only just now beginning to grieve the absence of [three names REDACTED].

March 4, 2000

Had a weird dream in which I found a movie theater ticket booth inside my apartment. I opened the door, stepped inside, and found a room that was larger on the inside than on the outside (like those tents in old Arabian folk tales as depicted in the Bugs Bunny cartoons that educated me about world culture). Inside was a bed, and under the bed were piles of videotapes: some blank and in shrink-wrap, others of movies (I spotted the Indiana Jones trilogy, but didn’t notice any other titles). As I was scooping the Indiana Jones tapes out from under the bed, a loud vacuum in an adjacent apartment (in the real world) woke me up. This dream occurred during an afternoon nap after a week of sleep deprivation (average 5 hours sleep per night).

April 24, 2000

Weird one. Only fragments remain in memory. Something about a small dog-like animal being frightened by an evil/demonic invisible presence in the B-W [Baldwin Wallace] Student Union (in the stretch of hallway that heads from the lobby to the exit that faces Heritage Hall). Also something about me having a car in storage an hour’s drive from where I was living (which in the dream was not my real apartment). Also in the dream, I had read a novel and was giving advice to one of the novel’s characters (who manifested as a real person) about the direction her life would take given the events of the book. That is, the novel was totally fictional, too (not a book that exists outside of my dream), and I believe it centered around the invisible evil presence that spooked the dog near the start of the dream.

May 24, 2000

This one started in a high school math class taught by [REDACTED], though I was my present age – as were my classmates, all real people with whom I attended school. I knew instantly that we were in some bizarre reunion in which the participants re-enacted high school classes. We then walked to an auditorium to see a play, but the auditorium looked more like the Senate chambers from Phantom Menace than a theater. [REDACTED – a public school classmate of mine from grades 3 – 12] sat to my right. The place was filled with former classmates, though suddenly they all looked the way I remembered them (around age 17). Someone yelled at the actors onstage (who I couldn’t see clearly), and someone else said “No heckling!” The first voice responded, “We’re not heckling, we’re jamming!” Someone else yelled, “And we’re gonna jam from the proscenium!” [REDACTED] called out, “You’re gonna do what with my what?” This got a good laugh from the crowd.

May 25, 2000

Had one dream in which Alley Cat and I were living in a different apartment with an additional cat. [REDACTED] came to visit for some reason, and we went for a walk outside. I saw that the cats had somehow gotten out too, and they were heading for a gate. I was worried that they could slip between the posts and get lost beyond the fence, so I rounded them up and took them back inside. When I finished, [REDACTED] was gone.

Another dream: I was walking down a movie theater corridor with the actor Mike Myers. We passed a guy in an Austin Powers Halloween costume, who squinted in our direction, like, “Is that the real Mike Myers?” In the theater, we sat down to watch a movie. He climbed up and over the seats to a different row with a better view.

June 14, 2000

In a library-like facility where author Judy Blume had an office, I congregated with other Blume fans for a meet-and-greet.

Image fragment from another dream, same night: dozens of drones in office garb typing at adjacent high-tech metal terminals with keyboards, monitors, and headphones. As given info, I knew they were Echelon workers transcribing monitored phone conversations. The odd part about the image: I was viewing the terminals from overhead, and they were all clumped together with no aisles. So how did the workers in the center get to their desks? Ah, the subconscious. What symbols will you dredge up tonight?

July 11, 2000

Dewey was standing outside the dorm house at the corner of Front & Bagley in Berea. He was playing a cool Douglas-Hopkins-style tune on an electric guitar. He had a new girlfriend there, and he assured her that he wasn’t going to reunite the Porkbellies.

July 17, 2000

Only fragments in memory: something about going to a weird small town with Milo Miller and 2 or 3 other people. Standing next to our parked car on a street in this town, I saw something weird happen to a guy on a tall building, but I can’t clearly remember what. Seems like he was on a ledge and vanished. But at the same time he was on the ledge, I also saw him on the street. 2 places at once. Later, Milo told me a computer had told him that the town receives signals from Sirius. Wish I remembered more of this one.

Had another dream, same night, in which I was wearing a toupee. Decided to toss it aside and stick with my own natural thinning hair instead. (And it’s not that thin right now, but in the dream, my hairline had receded further.)

August 4, 2000

Something about a great white shark sending letters via U.S. mail.

August 21, 2000

Dewey and the Porkbellies played a reunion gig at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Actually it was more of an informal jam session than a gig, with a handful of friends around. Though the dream was meant to be present-day, I was living in my old Berea apartment, and I think [REDACTED] was living with me. We hauled our gear to the gig together. At one point, walking along, [REDACTED] joined us, and she & I said something in unison. I remember the start of the gig kept getting delayed because I had to run back and forth to my apartment for more equipment like the video camera, and I was afraid that Dewey would get impatient and vanish. He didn’t, and we tuned up together, and I suddenly noticed that my bass had all kinds of built-in effects (reverb and such) that it doesn’t have in real life. Alas, I woke up (or that part of the dream ended) before I heard any of our music. I believe we were planning to open with a 12-bar-blues tune.

This is the latest in a series of Dewey & The Porkbellies reunion dreams that I’ve had ever since I moved to Los Angeles. Another such dream earlier this year took place on a beach.

October 23, 2000

Attended a screening of Halloween at which Harry Knowles and Moriarty of the web site Ain’t It Cool News were present. Illogically, the “real” Michael Myers (the character, not an actor) showed up at these annual screenings and would stride down the aisle right past a group of front-row seats. I was considering sitting down there, but I was terrified that Myers would “rewrite the ending” and go on a killing spree in the theater. I sought out Knowles in the men’s room and told him of this fear.

The dream reality then shifted so that I was in the lobby of another theater that was planning to screen Halloween 4. Myers walked in and knifed the manager/owner. I fled toward the rear exit and burst out into a parking lot, triggering an alarm in the process (an emergency exit door) while thinking “Good, this will summon help.” I ran toward a sport utility vehicle (mine, which I had conjured as an escape vessel in a semi-lucid state), but then inexplicably opted to dart around to the front of the building on foot.

Out front, I could see a medical doctor peering into the theater as Myers gutted the owner and tossed his innards to the wall, where they magically turned into black goo that spelled out something (can’t recall what). The doctor was screaming something to the effect of “How dare you! How dare you!” Funny: I think there was actually no English or true verbal language spoken in this dream, but rather radiating impressions of meaning.

I fled deeper into town; at first it was like a small-town downtown area (I sensed that I was in Haddonfield though it didn’t look like the town as depicted in the films). Then I reached a field of grass, and painted on the grass were weird runes. I sensed that I was near the high school, and I thought something like “those runes are burnt into every high school in America.” I ran up a curved ramp into a circular room, greenish decaying metal walls, and found there was no exit except the way I’d come in. I started back down the ramp, terrified that Myers would have me cornered. I woke up with true fight-or-flight dread pumping through me. For a minute or so, while I was half-awake, I had an irrational fear that Myers might burst through my apartment door.

As I became more and more fully awake, I thought, “The dream means something like ‘high school socializes people to follow paths that lead to death.’”

It should be noted that the part of the dream involving the grassy area was very bizarre and surreal; all the colors were bright and vivid, hyper-real, like after the eye doctor dilates your pupils. Also there seemed to be odd echoing sounds, as if my ears were underwater. The runes were orange and white, the sky blue, the grass green. I had a fleeting impression of a translation of the runes; something like “the next step,” but not phrased like that. Also, it was daytime there, though the dream started at night.

I can’t stress enough how terrifying the dream was; I felt as if I’d actually crossed paths with an unstoppable preternatural killing force.

October 24, 2000

I recall one dream. I was here in the Los Angeles apartment (Yucca Street), and I noticed a large pair of glass doors built into the wall where (in reality) the heater and litter box are. I thought, “Never noticed those before,” and I opened them and strode through. I was in a wide hallway, plain, about fifty yards long. At the end, there was a security camera hanging from the ceiling, and I wondered who had been taping me when I thought I was in the privacy of my living room. I walked through an entrance to the right and found a bustling food court, and I realized I was in LAX. “Huh,” I thought, “And here I’ve been taking the bus to get to the airport.” Woke up shortly thereafter.

November 20, 2000

Fragments of images remain from what may have been one long individual dream with a disjointed narrative. Not sure how these were linked exactly. Anyhow, the bits I remember: I was in an auditorium the size of a college gymnasium with a few hundred other people. Most of us had musical instruments; I had a flute, though I’ve been playing bass guitar exclusively for several years. We were all jamming along with a song I now cannot remember. Later: I was outdoors in an urban environment, a normal city street except for a floating spherical building three times the size of the Cinerama Dome movie theater. It hovered about two hundred yards over an empty lot, and I was aware that it was some sort of superhero headquarters. I believe I’d been dispatched to intercept several bad guys and delay their entrance to the building while the heroes within untangled themselves from a trap or mess or incapacitating dilemma of some sort. What I cannot remember is if the flute part of the dream took place within that building or not, but I have a vague sense that it did.

Approximately one week ago, I had a notable dream experience that I didn’t record at the time. What I remember of it: I was in my Yucca Street apartment at night with the lights off, but there was some ambient light from outside. The phone/fax machine was vibrating strangely. I touched it, felt a strong electrical jolt, and feared I was losing consciousness. I thought something like, “Oh God, I hope that wasn’t fatal. I better call 9-1-1 while I still can.” In between the jolt and the thought, I saw a bright point of light hovering in the room to my left, between the window and myself. I abstractly wondered what the hell it was; I think I perceived it as a hallucination caused by certain brain circuits being overloaded by the electrical shock.

What made this dream especially memorable and disconcerting was the odd vividness of that floating point of light (which was roughly the size of a marble or dime – I’m not sure if it was spherical). The quality of its glow was unlike anything I’ve perceived before in a dream or in “reality.” It shocked me the way the “colour out of space” shocked Lovecraft’s characters, or the way the monolith shocked the ape-beasts in 2001. It was a New Thing that seemed unreal and out of place.

November 25, 2000

Approximately three nights ago, I had a dream in which I was running through a high-tech maze (gleaming metal walls, discreet panels of lights and buttons) with three cats. The cats could speak English, and we arrived at an elevator that led to a different level of the maze. A table of donuts sat by the elevator door, and the cats told me which donuts they wanted. They were not cats I’ve ever met in real life; that is, one wasn’t Alley Cat. They were fictional cats.

November 26, 2000

Another dream of a reunion concert by Dewey & The Porkbellies. This time, we were in a fairly large venue that was supposed to be in Berea; the stage resembled the B-W main theater, though there were many more seats in the dream auditorium than there are in reality. Per usual, the dream focused on the prep for the gig rather than the show itself; have I ever actually heard us play in one of these reunion dreams? This time, we were setting up the gear and tuning up while the audience filed in. The crowd was huge; the theater was packed. I remember feeling confident that it would be a kick-ass gig; I wish just once I’d dream about the music itself.

November 28, 2000

Dreamed that Alley Cat got loose outside at night by the front gate. I called him back and coaxed him over, carried him upstairs, and got him inside.

November 30, 2000

Addendum to the above: in reality, Alley Cat just had a visit from a pair of veterinarians who make house calls. Had to be taken downstairs to the van for some work. As I was carrying him back in a cardboard box, the bottom of the box fell out as I was standing in front of the gate. I reflexively dropped my keys and secured Alley Cat with both hands, all the while thinking, “Oh… it’s the dream. It’s happening, and he’s going to run away.” But he didn’t, and a nearby neighbor picked up my keys and opened the gate for me, and soon he was safe inside again.

December 9, 2000

Last night, I dreamed of a weird old house somewhere in California. It was an almost stereotypical haunted house: weathered brown siding, gloomy clouds behind it, an eerie purple light emanating from within. I participated in a nightly ritual in which I’d stroll the grounds of the house and cross paths with a creepy guy who looked like a cross between a ghost and a zombie, but who I knew was really just a person in a costume. Why we went through this routine, I have no idea. Then one night the house somehow rotated so it faced the surrounding terrain at a slightly different angle, and this threw off the whole routine.

September 28, 2001

Well, after 9 months away from recording these dreams, I’m back. Had a slew of interesting ones in the meantime, but for some reason I lost my motivation to document them. Until now.

Bizarre one.

In the dream, I was tailing screenwriter [REDACTED] around inside a building that was alternately a mental hospital, a corporate headquarters, and a military research facility. He showed me a “plasma glove” top secret weapon. I wore it and startled a few of the mental patients by sprinting down a corridor, leaping in the air, and firing off a few test shots (only at walls, not at people).

We speculated about who had conceived of such a glove. The screenwriter urged me to find out, as the inventor might make an interesting subject for a biopic. I convinced myself (though in the dream I had no hard evidence yet about who had invented the glove) that the way to tell the story would be to explore the relationship between the inventor and one of his naïve test subjects – what if he fell in love with a young woman while knowing that his invention was filling the bones in her hand and arm with cancer, and that it would eventually have to be amputated? I saw him as a modern day Stanley Milgrim who himself is following orders from others to the point of exploiting a woman he loves to create something expressly designed to kill other human beings more efficiently.

In the dream, I actually got some commencement money. In the weird corporate headquarters that was sometimes a mental hospital, [REDACTED] and I were alone (the whole skyscraper had been evacuated, but we remained).

Then I woke up and realized there is no such glove and inventor, so the story is not a biopic, but it could be fiction – satire! And the “inventor” didn’t create the glove itself – he’s a psychologist, a modern-day Milgrim, whose job is to convince people that the glove is safe to wear. And what if they’re miniaturized and mass-marketed as the new tool of self-defense: better than pepper spray! Better than hand guns! And what if he’s only pretending to follow orders so that he can later expose the completely unethical nature of this research, as well as dozens of other instances (some real like the Cincinnati radiation experiments, some fictional for dramatic and satirical emphasis)? And what if he triumphantly succeeds in making all this evidence public – his lifelong plan to expose the beast and rally the people to overthrow the government – and the masses just ignore it? He’s carted off to the military prison that supplied all the test subjects that he and his peers use in the early stages of research, before moving on to a pool from the public. The End.

October 19, 2001

Been feeding several stray cats (in real life) recently. In a dream last night, about eight of them came upstairs en masse (including the grey & white one I’ve tried to befriend). So suddenly my apartment had all these cats hiding and napping in various nooks and crannies. Alley Cat got into a minor scuffle with one, but I broke up the fight.

October 31, 2001

Woke up this morning from a dream in which [REDACTED] & [REDACTED] were visiting. They left the front door open, and Alley Cat wandered out. I went after him and saw him chasing a young raccoon in a clean suburban neighborhood (very unlike my real neighborhood, though the apartment in the dream was my real one).

November 6, 2001

In one dream, I ended up in a convenience store where the display cases of sandwiches and such were too deep for customers to easily reach food at the back. A mouse appeared on top of some sandwiches.

January 31, 2002

Two bits still in memory. One: went to The Bourgeois Pig and found it had been re-modeled so that the stretch of wall that leads to the bathroom was longer, and a whole second bar had been installed along it. (Of course, the building would jut out into the street in real life with such an addition. And why would they need two baristas in different locations?) Two: was stocking up on groceries due to a warning that the “coldest storm in history” was heading for Los Angeles. It has been damned chilly here at night lately, but I got the sense that this dream storm would be so cold as to keep people housebound day and night.

February 2, 2002

Was in a neo-bohemian coffee house and was horrified to see that it had become infected with corporate management mentality.

February 3, 2002

I was in a structure that was more mazelike than houselike: a set of interconnected unfurnished rooms that seemed to form a vague loop, though I was unclear on the exact geography of the place. Outside was a river of chocolate. I dipped a coffee mug into the river and drank.

Back inside, I noticed clear panels that would periodically fill up with honey in one room. I heard bees (and saw a few, but was unafraid for they seemed tame) and knew that they somehow produced honey at incredible speed, gallons per minute. Where it all went after it passed through the clear panels, I do not know.

Then some sort of gladiator game commenced within this environment. I knew that I was in a “kill or be killed” situation (though it felt non-lethal, like lasertag or paintball) and grabbed a sword and ran around searching for my opponent. As I was dashing around from room to room, I’d see a single bee in the center of each floor. I’d say “fly” and it would take off.

A different dream same morning: I went to work for a giant corporate mega-store and somehow messed with the sign outside, altering its name to something silly. Don’t recall what. I did this while I was ostensibly on the clock, and the owner/manager didn’t notice that I’d left my station.

April 24, 2002

Dreamt I was at my parents’ house in Ohio. Fred, the beagle I grew up with, was there too. He was sniffing around the backyard. I called him up to the back porch and let him into the house.

He hid behind curtains and under piles of junk in closets and accidentally startled my dad, who didn’t know he was there.

He rooted around inside a large closet, and I thought I heard him eating something. I looked and found the remains of an old makeup kit, and I was worried that something in there had smelled like food to him and he’d eaten it. He seemed okay, though. I took the makeup kit into the bathroom to examine it under better light and discovered that Fred had peed on it, too.

Different dream, same night: The Bourgeois Pig was remodeled to accommodate grills and whatnot behind the bar (like a greasy spoon diner) and patrons were eating hamburgers. Director [REDACTED] was there, and I planned to go over and tell him about the time I visited the [REDACTED TV show] set while he was working there.

May 22, 2002

I was in a college/grad school setting that didn’t resemble any actual academic environment that I recognized. I ranted at the school’s president about how the human race is at a critical juncture where we really need to choose to evolve away from violence. I got the sense that he was pressuring students to partake of hamburgers and such.

‘Twas a very strange setting, like some sort of giant house full of apartment/dorm rooms with sprawling common areas.

June 14, 2002

Had a dream in which I was being chased by some sort of bipedal monsters with telekinetic powers that they derived by draping smaller primates around the backs of their necks. They were strong and almost totally subverted my will (psychically), preventing me from running away – almost. As far as I can tell, we were on the “bridge” in [REDACTED] that leads from the main upstairs hallway to the social science wing (near the elevator). There was some sort of trap on the bridge that I kept jumping over to escape the monsters. Once I was across, I somehow ended up back in my parents’ house. I got the sense that I was trying to protect someone else from the monsters.

June 15, 2002

Was underwater in a scuba suit. Talked with a sentient dolphin. Somehow we made mutually comprehensible vocalizations (I think I had translation hardware built into my scuba mask).

At one point in that dream, I was inside a vehicle (still underwater) and looked up just as a gray demon thing rushed at the windshield and cracked it.

August 20, 2002

Dreamed about walking down an urban street. Part of the street was in Los Angeles, and the other end was in Cleveland. Seemed like a message of “your past and present are reaching equilibrium at last.”

November 25, 2002

Vivid nightmare. Was on the couch with the cats both sleeping atop my blanket (in reality) and drifted back to sleep. The dream mirrored reality exactly at first: I thought I was still awake and noticing the cats. Then I heard someone race up the stairway, and whoever it was opened my apartment door, which was inexplicably unlocked. I couldn’t see who it was, but I was naked under the blanket and felt vulnerable. When the intruder didn’t immediately backpedal and shut the door, I felt rising terror. I called out “HELP” and jolted awake – and I think I even really vocalized “help” in “reality.”

May 8, 2003

Have not been recording dreams lately. May resume.

November 18, 2003

In last night’s fear-inducing nightmare, I was in my bedroom at night when I heard the apartment’s front door move; it sounded as if someone had tried to open the door only to be thwarted by the one deadbolt that can only be turned from inside (the one with no keyhole on the other side).

So I went to the living room and saw that the door was partially ajar, just a quarter inch or so, but for whatever reason the person or people on the other side couldn’t open it further.

In a fit of stupidity and/or courage, I strode to the door and flung it open to confront the intruders.

There was only pure pitch-black on the other side. I couldn’t see the hallway or anyone in it.

And that’s when I felt sheer terror well up; I was standing on the threshold of my current home as my cats’ last line of defense against whatever was out there, and something malevolent was right in front of me, but I could not see it.

I tried to close the door –

And something pushed back.

And it was overpowering me.

I lashed out with my left arm, clawing blindly in the darkness.

And then the door blew inward and threw me back.

That’s when I woke up terrified. I think I actually walked into the other room just to make sure the door was secure, but maybe not; I was sleepy but well aware that the scary stuff was just a dream.

November 30, 2003

Last night I dreamed about walking down a semi-urban street; I think I was heading for a restaurant. It was night. The area was a combo residential/business area, but with lots of space between each building (not a dense one-structure-right-next-to-another kinda place). There were trees in the spaces between each house/business.

And then a guy dressed as Michael Myers (and carrying a big ol’ kitchen knife) stepped onto the sidewalk half a block in front of me.

Somehow I knew that he wasn’t the “real” fictional Michael Myers, the character from the Halloween films, but rather somebody imitating him.

But whoever he was, he wanted to scare me – approached me with the knife in hand, acting all determined to hurt me.

I don’t recall exactly how, but I evaded him; there was some verbal interaction, with me asking “why are you doing this?” (I think he replied, but I don’t recall what he said.)

December 15, 2003

Had a long set of vivid dreams last night.

I was in a basement tunnel of some sort, gray cinder blocks making up the walls, and in a room off the tunnel there was a lil room on which bodies lay under sheets on tables.

And as I was lookin’ at them and getting creeped out, someone shoved a fresh corpse on a cart into the room.

A different dream last night: I was in a classroom that seemed to be in a high school facility (no place I recognize from real life), and there was an art class in progress, and vocalist/fiddler Mary Ramsey was in the class too (we were both students, but our present ages). We looked at each other but didn’t speak. I felt shy in her presence.

In a hallway outside the classroom (where I walked en route to outside) were many people who seemed to be of high school age.

Then outside, I was on a lawn with the school (red brick) to my left and a green-grass lawn stretching out ahead of me. Warm weather. Blue skies.

Yet another dream: I was on some sort of long road trip, and another vehicle was accompanying mine – the other one was driven by my old pal [REDACTED].

Started on a city street, and I stared at all the different gaudy neon signs and giant hotels and restaurants. Then got on a highway.

My car broke down, and I parked it on the berm, and then [REDACTED] and I walked from there (or maybe he drove me to the next location), and we wound up at some sort of extensive nature park… lots of trees and plants and such. And there were edible berries, and I ate a lot of those, and I also ate some sort of dehydrated honey pellets.

I woke up thinking something like, “I haven’t had that many long and vivid dreams for months.” Really felt like I’d spent the whole night dreaming in real time. I know that the details I’m recording here are only a fraction of all I experienced last night.

December 20, 2003

Had a dream last night in which I opened the door of my apartment and found a thin brown cat in the hallway outside. Then another cat darted into the apartment from the staircase, and at first I thought she was Thalia (who must have gotten out there somehow). When I got a good look at her, though, I realized she was another Turkish Van Cat with markings similar to Thalia’s, but not quite the same. And then she and Thalia were side by side, and I could see the differences clearly. The new kitty (the Turkish Van) and Thalia seemed immediately comfortable with each other, as if they were long-lost siblings, whereas Alley Cat was wary of the newbie. The brown cat in the hallway may have entered my apartment in the dream, too; I don’t really recall. I do remember worrying that Thalia’s new pal might have FIV or feline leukemia and/or fleas.

Different dream last night: I was in a large residential building (seemed to be apartments, though the layout was like a luxury hotel with elevators and plush carpeting and such), and one door had been smashed in. The living space beyond was trashed. I went in search of the perp(s) and somehow got outside, where I encountered [REDACTED] (an old pal who I met when we were in high school), who was also in search of the perp(s). We climbed a steep hill toward a parking lot. It was night, and the hill was covered in grass (though it seemed like there should have been a sidewalk or staircase or something). About halfway up the hill, we encountered kids playing some sort of hopscotch-type game. I don’t recall much about the dream beyond these details except that in the trashed apartment there was a glass-fronted beverage cooler, the sort normally found in convenience stores (where one finds beer and soft drinks). The cooler has been smashed open and the contents (aluminum cans) scattered around the floor. I think it was then (while studying the scattered cans) that I concluded something like, “I’ve got to catch the person or people who did this; they’re a threat to the community.”

December 21, 2003

I just remember a fragment of a dream: I walked into a theater (the sort where plays are staged) while a rehearsal was in progress for a show featuring some of my old high school friends plus a few strangers who (in the dream context) seemed to know me; they waved hello and nodded at me as I walked into the room and took a seat near the front row. On stage, a woman (who might have been [REDACTED]) was carrying a giant (four feet long or so) prop syringe. She mimed injecting someone who was out of sight behind a curtain at the rear of the stage, and then someone in the “wooly mammoth” costume from Skin of Our Teeth appeared elsewhere on stage.

In the dream context, I think I was awaiting the end of this rehearsal so that I could use the space for my own production.

December 22, 2003

Early morning (circa 6 AM) dreams:

Was at a party where I kept encountering people who claimed to have had recent Andy Kaufman sightings, which fueled my suspicion that he really had faked his death. One of the witnesses was [REDACTED], who claimed she saw him in a Parma Heights (Ohio) grocery store in the mid-1990s. She also kissed me and held my neck gently in her hands and said something like, “…except for this amazing coincidence, which is you.” Before the elipses, the gist of her thought was, “There’d be no reason to investigate Andy’s alleged death any longer.”

In a dream that may or may not have related to the Kaufman dream somehow (I can’t recall if I was also seeking Kaufman spotters in this location or not), I was in a University swimming pool with someone who I now realize was [REDACTED]. I was telling her The Horrible Nature of a Game that I thought was real: star players in all arenas/fields (music, literature, film directing, etc) are literally murdered via elaborate conspiracies in order to send messages to up-and-comers, with the primary message being “You’re so good that this person died to make space for you, and you better get even better lest you die to make way for someone else.” I was crying and scared as I told her this, but she didn’t believe me. Then a “man in black” kinda character showed up and subtly warned me to stop giving away these secrets.

I also vaguelly recall being in a Berea, OH restaurant near train tracks and seeing someone who looked sort of like Andy Kaufman. I wondered if this was the place where I’d eventually meet him for a “congratulations: you found me, and here’s how I faked my death” interview.

Fragment image from somewhere in last night’s dreams: I was in a new apartment, presumably mine, where a large laserdisc collection filled many shelves. I also recall something about moving a mattress from a small sleeping space, but the details of that bit are fuzzy. No context.

December 25, 2003

I was outdoors among a crowd of maybe three dozen or so other people, all milling about on a stretch of road with flat yards on either side and wooded areas beyond. There seemed to be a few buildings here and there, too, but I’m not sure if they were houses or businesses or neither. There were several stray kittens running around, and some of the people were trying to calm the kittens down and befriend them.

December 27, 2003

Only remember a fragment: Procol Harum was playing “Shadow Boxed” in studio 8H (apparently a rehearsal, since the studio was otherwise deserted). I was wandering around listening and observing when I noticed [REDACTED] sitting in with the band. Oddly, he was singing backing vocals (the bits that guest vocalist Roger Taylor sings on the studio album version) and not playing guitar.

December 28, 2003

Don’t recall any of last night’s dreams. Damn.

December 31, 2003

A recent dream of perhaps two nights ago (not last night, though perhaps as many as three nights ago) included images of a fictional college campus on which I trudged around with two of my elementary school classmates. We were our present-day ages.  I sensed that the dream took place in California. [REDACTED] & [REDACTED] and I were, at one point, walking through an indoor corridor in what I perceived as the campus law school. Then we went outside. Warm weather. Summerish. There was a chapel on the campus, and there was an anomalous light show in progress outside: a fixture of scaffolding that could (and did) rotate like a windmill. And the scaffolding was wired with electric lights of orangish and yellow hues.

January 1, 2004

Nothing to report. Nothing recalled of last night’s dreams.

January 2, 2004

Only a few images remain in memory. I was sometimes in and sometimes near a parked car, an older type from circa 1950s America, though the dream occurred in the present day. I was on call as the body guard of one particular secret agent while she was on some gig or other (the nature of the investigation was not proffered up from Muse Central in the course of the dream). I realized that I’d misplaced the communication device by which she would contact me in the event my presence was required. A cell phone, I think, but the sort not available at a consumer level just yet.

Outdoors. Summer. Small-town shops in strip-mall architecture to the left, right, and ahead. The secret agent character, who looked a lot like [REDACTED], was nearby in some perimeter or other. And, oh yeah, we were workin’ for some Mafia family or other.

January 5, two-thousand-and-four (At The Dawn of the Twenty-First Century)

Had a dream that took place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio. I shall describe the dream in Haiku form:

Dusk in October

Heard, to my left, odd old riffs

Dewey was playing.

Wandered on over

Magnolia, in the crowd

Called for “Patty Melt.”

Was a full band there

A new bassist, right handed

Electric five-string

Dissolve to “backstage”

Yammered avec ol’ Dewey

Then wandered elsewhere

January 8, 2004

At a dinner party, there were four dogs (big mean-lookin’ ones) who growled at each other for what felt like a whole minute or more. Very uncomfortable. And their human companions were doing damn little to prevent a dog fight from erupting right in the middle of this civilized party. I noticed an alcove where I intended to dash in case the dogs started fighting (lest I accidentally get caught in the middle of the snapping jaws).

Later in the same dream, at a new location, I borrowed a computer (a laptop) and sent an e-mail and tried to order some magazines online while [REDACTED] went to a bathroom in a building that looked a lot like the UCLA Public Policy ground level.

Earlier in the night: nightmares.

Watching a horror movie with [REDACTED]. Dream took place circa winter 1997-1998. And in the horror movie, there was a boy, late teens, shirtless, who (in the space of a few seconds) spontaneously developed bleeding wounds all over his arms and shoulders and torso. He was sweating and making tortured cries/vocalizations.

And then his eyes welled up with blood and turned into big bloody ovals on the screen, and I knew that the image was re-traumatizing [REDACTED], and I sensed her pain and anguish as she sat next to me, and I turned to her and said something like, “I didn’t know the movie included this.” I think that in the dream we were watching the movie on a big-screen TV, but I’m not sure where. Nowhere I recognized from “reality.”

Last night’s dreams were largely in real time, moment by moment. There was some sort of time/space transition when [REDACTED] and I left the dinner party and headed out together on some sort of date, and another between the initial “outside the party” bit and a “looking for a place to be alone” moment.

At one point, in a combo mall/residential place, she purchased two compact diary-type books and pens. She wanted us to use them for some sort of writing game whenever we found our “place to be alone,” but I’m not sure exactly what the game was.

Much earlier in the night, before the horror movie nightmare, was a dream in which I was on a road trip to somewhere with my [REDACTED], and we stopped off at a greasy-spoon diner and got pancakes to go. I guess I intended to eat ‘em out of the styrofoam carry-out box.

January 9, 2004

Only two fragments left in memory from last night’s dreams, both from different parts of the same one:

a) On a stage in some sort of theater, a keyboard player (who I did not recognize) played a short melody and told me that more and more bands are (as part of a trend) replacing electronic keyboards with strings (violins and violas).

b) Up in a small recording studio about three stories above ground level (with a window overlooking a town square in summer, which in reality wouldn’t work too well in terms of keeping ambient outdoor noise out of the mix), I was learning a new song (oddly, playing a fiddle instead of a left-handed bass). I couldn’t focus and remember the structure of the song, and so the guy at the mixing desk pushed a slider switch all the way down (thus removing my feed from the tune). Later, he cranked that slider switch way up, and I knew that whatever I played would be broadcast over speakers out on the town quad.

January 10, 2004

I was on the UCLA campus in a building that only vaguelly resembled MacGowan Hall, though I sensed that I was in TFT territory. I was looking for a restroom. I saw a sign that seemed to indicate there was a unisex restroom beyond that door, but then I noticed the fine print; something like “…is not here but further down the hall.” I kept on lookin’ and eventually found a place to pee.

Then, outside, I noticed a Luke Skywalker action figure on the sidewalk (one of the earliest Kenner ones). I picked it up and remembered the time (spring 1997) when I carried around a Return of the Jedi Skywalker action figure as a talisman. Then a lookalike of [REDACTED] rode by on a bicycle, and I perceived the person on the bike as a malevolent presence. I hopped onto a nearby bus and asked, “Did anyone lose this action figure?” I held it up. Nobody on the crowded bus claimed it. Then I bellowed, “Has anybody seen Sam Lowry?” That got a few chuckles from some of the bus riders. By then, the bus was in motion. I hopped off about three blocks away and found myself stranded on a traffic island with no crosswalks. But I saw that all the cars on the street were far enough away that I could dash to the sidewalk, so I did just that. I think the bike rider was still circling around the area, but I don’t recall what happened after that.

January 11, 2004

Two fragments in memory from different dreams. In one, I was outside in a parking lot with some friends (mostly fictional, but the one from reality was [REDACTED]). About six of us stood near where the pavement bordered on a stretch of wilderness (mostly flat grassland with some dips and bumps/mounds in the topography here and there). Grey overcast sky overhead; cool air. Felt like fall. We were milling around talking when suddenly something (moving almost too fast to be seen) tackled [REDACTED] and started beating the shit out of him. I dived in and yanked him away from whatever the thing was – it then zipped away and out of sight. It was all blurry and white. So then my friends and I opted to go indoors lest that thing return, and the nearest house (right there by the parking lot) was the one where [REDACTED] grew up. Inside, I checked the fridge and saw 3 gallons of bottled water and thought, “Good – I won’t have to go out for water any time soon.” Meanwhile, one of the fellows remained outdoors and was chatting with someone about the attack. I was thinking, like, “if you stay out there, that thing will tackle you next.”

The other fragment I recall: four astronauts were in a small shuttlecraft of some sort (the cabin was about the size of a compact car), and one of them noted that they were moving into a field where audio/video transmissions would tap directly into their brains. Nobody seemed alarmed, and the speaking astronaut seemed fascinated by the phenomenon. It was like their craft was moving into a dense “cloud” of pure information that they’d be able to perceive with non-ordinary senses.

January 13, 2004

Awoke aware that I’d had another long night of dreaming, but the details faded from memory so quickly that I can’t articulate what I dreamed about.

January 14, 2004

Something about jogging around a crowded exercise track while listening to heretofore-unreleased live Jethro Tull music (piped in over speakers).

January 15, 2004

Winter. Lots of snow and ice all around. Plowed suburban roads, but yards with baseline depths (below the artificial drifts) of fully one yard (three feet) visible all around.

January 18, 2004

Last night I had a dream in which Dan Aykroyd Circa 1978 was running on an oversized hamster exercise wheel and lookin’ none too happy as he did so; looking, rather, like he was in a mood similar to that of Daffy Duck in the Chuck Jones painting called September Morn.

February 12, 2004

I recall a fragment of one dream from last night. I was in a residential area, like a cul-de-sac of condos and suburban-style small-family homes. Winter. Deep snow drifts all around with dense sheets of flakes still falling.

I had several (six or so) caged mammals with me, and my goal was to get them somewhere safe and warm. For some reason I can’t recall what sort of mammals they were, though they were all the same species and aproximately cat-sized. I think they may have been penguins, though I wouldn’t have been so hurried to get them out of the snow if they really were penguins.

There was another person there with me, male, about my age. Nobody I know in reality. Not sure who he was supposed to be in the dream context.

I found one of the condo doors unlocked and had a sense that the residents wouldn’t be back for several weeks, so I wanted to use that space to house the mammals. The other human there tried to talk me out of that plan, though I don’t recall his exact line of reasoning.

I found a different space unlocked, too, but I don’t recall what that home looked like. I worried about what would happen if the residents of that place came home and found me hanging out with a bunch of animals.

That’s all I recall. The most vivid impression is the sense of urgency I felt about getting those mammals to warmth and safety as soon as possible.

February 17, 2004

I recall two dream fragments from last night’s subconscious adventures.

One: Was in my apartment with [REDACTED]. She and I were laying on the floor observing Alley Cat and Thalia. [REDACTED] seemed to be in a relaxed and playful mood. Felt like an afternoon of leisure. And for a while she and I made prolonged eye contact and talked.

Two: I was walking down Franklin Avenue at night (heading east) and crossed paths with [REDACTED] outside the Mayfair Market (on the sidewalk at the Northeast corner of Franklin and whatever that cross-street is, the one that’s a block east of Tamarind).

I said, “[REDACTED]?” She stopped and looked at me. I said, “May I speak with you for a moment?” She said something that implied, like, “Yeah, but I’m in a hurry so don’t waste my time.” (That’s a paraphrasing, not an exact quotation.) I introduced myself as Dan Duvall, and she said, “I know.” I blinked and said, “Wow. I still slip into sleeper mode really easily. I’m still not used to people knowing who I am.” Then I said something that was basically like, “Can we talk openly about exactly how and why you know who I am, or do we still have to act like that’s all secret?” I don’t remember how she answered that or what exactly we said to each other in the next snippet of the conversation, but I do recall that she told me an anecdote about a large bay window in her house.

February 23, 2004

Had a dream last night in which I and [REDACTED] and another guy (I think the third party was fictional) walked into the Daily Planet and then into the coffee shop beyond, only instead of the Bourgeois Pig the coffeehouse had become Thinkers as that place looked in Berea OH circa 1995. Once we stepped inside, not one of the three of us knew why we were there. We were just following orders, you see.

February 25, 2004

I know that I had a bunch of dreams last night, but I only remember one moment out of all of them. Thalia was perched on my lap, and I looked at her and said, “You’re an A.I. cat, aren’t you?” By which I meant, “You’re a cyborg Artificial Intelligence cat with some sort of technology augmenting your brain and nervous system, aren’t you?”

February 27, 2004

In one of last night’s dreams, I was posing for a photo shoot inside Counterpoint Books on Franklin Avenue. I had my bass guitar with me. Standing off to the side, observing, was a fellow who attended Baldwin-Wallace at the same time that I did; I won’t mention his name, but I’ll just say that he was a creepy stalker-type guy who (I learned from friends after the fact) had fixated on me, grown jealous of me, and tried to trash my reputation.

February 28, 2004

I was outdoors in a residential suburban neighborhood. Not a location I recognized from reality. I was near the end of somebody’s driveway, and there was a mini-van parked there. Out on the sidewalks and streets, there was a steady stream of people being chased and killed by monsters; some resembled the bugs from the film version of Starship Troopers, and others looked like the “boneguard skeletons” from the Icewind Dale II computer game. There were other people in the driveway with me, and I got the sense that we were figuring out a way to stay the hell alive and get away from the monsters. Somebody went to fetch weapons and advised me to use the mini-van as a temporary shelter until he returned. The other humans ranged in age from about 14 to 50 and were mostly clad in denim jeans with either t-shirts or flannel shirts. All were English-speakers and seemed to be the residents of the neighborhood that had been invaded by these weird predators. I climbed into the mini-van, but I was very tense and frightened since the vehicle’s metal-and-glass skin would probably not withstand a full-on attack from one of those things. Still, I reckoned that I’d be better off with some armor rather than none.

March 1, 2004

I recall three dream fragments that share a common location (albeit different areas within a larger space) plus bits of one dream that took place back at the Yucca/Argyle apartment building.

The first moments/images I remember took place outdoors in a woodsy summer camp of some sort with lots of hiking trails and dense patches of nature (trees, creeks, foliage). I don’t have any sense of where on the globe the dream took place, but my gut instinct is Ohio. At one point, I received a box (about two feet by two feet by two feet in size) of food. I’m not sure who was distributing the boxes, but other people there got similar ones. Mine contained, among other items, snack-size bags of potato chips and pretzels. I was glad to see that I had a half dozen bags of sour-cream-and-onion-flavored chips, since I like that flavor a lot. But when I returned to the box later, I found that all the chips were gone, and I was pissed that someone had pilfered part of my food supply. When I investigated, [REDACTED] explained that someone had shown up and offered to trade a guitar for food, so the sour cream chips had been “donated” on my behalf without my consent. At night, somebody spotted a glowing sphere in the sky, off-white in color. I witnessed it, too. Then the next day, standing in a line at a cafeteria-type place, I described the incident to somebody else and said something like “…and then he had a massive UFO sighting.” Seems like I was making a weird connection of cause-and-effect, something like “because he did this, he saw the UFO,” although I can’t recall what “he” (the fictional UFO spotter) did just before the sighting. I do remember thinking something like, “Doesn’t really seem like that would lead to the appearance of a glowing sphere in the sky.”

Last dream fragment in that location: I was at one end of the camp with Fairport Convention’s Simon Nicol, and I wanted to hike to the other edge of the camp and into town beyond, but Simon opined that the path I was on was “not a through-road,” meaning I’d come to a dead-end and have to take another route. I shrugged and decided to try my plan anyhow, and Simon trotted along with me. We half-jogged, half-walked while singing “Who Knows Where The Time Goes,” and strangely I was able to stay in key (in reality, I’m not such a great singer). And I found the path to town, and Simon said, “I guess it is a through-road after all.”

March 2, 2004

Only a few images and fragments remain in memory from what I believe was another long night of active dreaming.

The most vivid dream memory: I was in a shopping mall (not one I recognize from reality) and somehow knew that bipedal robots (sort of like the skeletal ones with red eyes and gleaming skulls in the Terminator films) were en route to attack me and the other patrons. One of them came barreling around a corner. I tossed some sort of grenade-like explosive at it and fled in the other direction. I was stuck in some sort of loop where I re-enacted this scene over and over with different outcomes; once, for example, the explosive bounced back toward me, and I scooped it up and quickly re-threw it. Another time, I was fleeing down a corridor in the mall with other patrons (with the robots in pursuit), and for some reason I handed like seven dollars in cash to the person next to me.

I also recall something about a dream that took place at night near Hollywood Boulevard (I think near Vine and Yucca Street). There was some sort of shrine built out of plastic bottles and photos there, and [REDACTED] appeared and threw a temper tantrum and kicked pieces of this shrine down toward Hollywood Boulevard. I was standing up the block observing; I’m not sure why he was so pissed off or what exactly the shrine represented.

March 3, 2004

Just recall very brief moments from a larger dream. I was talking with [REDACTED] in and around a cabin in a woodsy area; the location was not a place I know in reality. There were other people around, too, but I’m not sure who (about a half dozen others). I mentioned that I had recently sent some postcards to [REDACTED] in an effort to re-establish contact with her.

March 4, 2004

In one dream last night, I was noodling around on a piano, playing a short and simple melody (about six notes long) over and over very slowly. Then a “fluent” piano player (an Asian woman in her late twenties who I don’t recognize from reality) sat down at another piano next to me and played the melody a little bit faster and added some variations and embellishments on different passes. I played along, sticking to the basic riff that I’d memorized. After a minute or so, she and I stopped playing and I asked if she’d teach me how to play piano. She said no; she didn’t have time to teach. (Oddly, these side-by-side pianos were outdoors in Hollywood, I think on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood near Vine. And dark outside, night, I’d guess about 9 PM.) She had a bicycle and was about to ride away when I asked her to wait for a moment. I don’t recall what I said, but she smiled and said, “It’s funny how you usually play music all by yourself.” I thought about quoting the “you walk the Earth alone” bit from the John & Mary “Pinwheel Galaxy” CD to her and decided not to, but I did say this: “There’s a movie called The Haunting of Hill House. Rather, there’s a novel called The Haunting of Hill House, and a 1963 movie called The Haunting based on it. The movie ends with the line ‘We who walk here, walk alone.’ Over the last couple of years, I’ve started to really understand that line.” I was sad and on the verge of tears as I said that. The woman hugged me and then rode away on her bicycle.

March 5, 2004

Woke up, remembered no dreams. Fell back asleep for about three hours and awoke with a dream fresh in memory. I was in a vast multi-level library, some sections of which resembled the “book stacks” area of the UCLA Powell Library (known as the “College Library” in some catalog entries). [REDACTED] was there, and as always her sheer beauty took my breath away. She was seated on a couch-like piece of furniture, and a handsome blonde fellow in his twenties (looked a bit like [REDACTED]) was massaging her sock-clad feet. Then I walked up a wide staircase (similar to the one in the Arclight multiplex) and found a bathroom in which I intended to brush my teeth and take a shower, only there were three toothbrushes that all looked like mine near the sink, and I wasn’t sure which one was really mine. The bathroom was crowded with about five other guys, strangers, all about my age or slightly younger (mid-late twenties). I felt a surge of “I really miss [REDACTED]” grief overtake me, and I burst out crying and said, “This is what a cancer feels like, gentlemen. A cancer of the soul.” (By “this” I meant “her absence.”) Then I found myself back out in the library area, and I saw that there were like three different showering areas, but they were all occupied. I had on my olive-colored zip-up hooded sweatshirt over a t-shirt, and I unzipped it and tried to toss it up another level to where I intuited that I’d be re-dressing after my shower, but it didn’t reach that ledge and instead fell back to ground level. I sighed and trudged down the stairs to retrieve it. At some point while climbing back up the stairs, I passed [REDACTED] (who was wearing black sweatpants and a matching sweater with double yellow stripes down one side), and she looked at me and said, “Stop.” I wasn’t sure what she meant – stop here on the stairs and talk, stop visiting this library, or what. But I was so intent on reaching my destination, wherever that was, that I continued up the stairs without pausing or looking back. She never broke stride either, and I lost sight of her after that. As I reflect on that moment now, I realize that it’s a microcosm of our whole relationship.

March 6, 2004

I was riding a bicycle across a field in a fictional location. Warmish weather, green grass, some trees here and there. Not too far from some sidewalks and buildings, though I’m not sure what the buildings were (I think one was a public school). I was trying to get away from some guy who I sensed had malevolent intentions. I steered into a different section of the field and noticed it was criss-crossed with brown stripes, as if lots of other people had ridden bikes here before and left tire tracks. The Mean Guy (whoever he was – nobody I recognized from reality) caught up to me on a different bike. He was asking me questions in a haughty judgmental tone, as if he felt a some sort of right to berate anyone who dares to exist in ways that they perceive as Radically Outside The Way Everyone Is Supposed To Be. He had that sort of zealous “there’s something wrong with you because you are not like me” arrogance.

Then [REDACTED] showed up, also on a bicycle, and scared this dude off; he reacted as if he were a vampire and she were a renowned Slayer. Except at this point in the dream (as I discovered in the next section), [REDACTED] was a character and not herself (but later she became herself, an off-the-clock actress).

After the Mean Guy left, [REDACTED] asked me, “Why are you riding over the mushroom field?” I asked what she meant. She said something like, “Mushrooms grow here, but they won’t if you keep riding over them.”

I followed her off the field toward a road. She had some camera equipment strapped to her bicycle, and she told me that she was going to try to get a gig. We approached a parked trailer; just outside of it, a harried woman in her late fifties was talking on a cell phone. When she finished that call, [REDACTED] introduced herself (and here’s where I realized that she was a character, for she used a different name that I don’t remember now and said that she’s a freelance documentarian). The Harried Woman said something like, “And why are you here right now?” The character said something like, “I spoke with you on the phone about maybe making a documentary about ________.” (I don’t recall the topic of the documentary, but it had to do with whatever the Harried Woman was up to.) The Harried Woman explained that she already had a documentarian on her crew, but she might consider splicing in additional footage from another camera.

Then the [REDACTED] character and I rode our bicycles back to the mushroom field, and en route she explained that it’s like a shared communal psilocybin source and the locals respect a tradition of only taking as much as one needs while leaving more for Others. When we got back to the field, it was dense with mushrooms even though just a few minutes earlier there’d been only grass and bicycle tracks there. Some of the mushrooms looked like mushrooms, while others were shaped like animals.

[REDACTED] picked some of the mushroom-shaped ones and ate a small quantity (undried and fresh out of the ground, which I don’t think is wise to do in reality; there’s normally a drying phase). I picked up one that was shaped like a small cow, broke it open, and ate it. Had a raw earthy flavor.

We rode our bicycles to a house, a fictional one. She started to prepare some food in the kitchen (I don’t recall what sort of food).

I paused to see if the mushrooms were kicking in yet. I felt relaxed and a little bit “different” (hard to articulate how – psychedelic experiences really don’t translate well into words). Time passed – seemed like about half an hour or so. [REDACTED] re-appeared, and somehow I knew that she was now the person and actress, not the documentarian character from earlier. I smiled at her and asked, “How are you?” She said, “Let’s go downstairs, and you can see for yourself.”

We walked down a staircase into a basement. There were some blankets and pillows and comforters on the floor atop mats (the soft padded mats as used in high school gym classes for wrestling). We stretched out atop one of the mats. I think I asked, “Are the mushrooms working for you yet” or something like that, but maybe I just wondered it and didn’t ask. I think we ate some more mushrooms then, too. And there was a TV set down there, and we started to watch a movie (not one that exists in reality).

And then we snuggled and cuddled in a big heap of blankets and pillows, and I felt really content and happy and relaxed.

Then I woke up and thought, “I’ve got to write down this dream about the weird communal mushroom field.”

March 7, 2004

The snippets I recall from my most recent dreams:

A few people (no more than six) who I didn’t know were building a houseboat within an in-ground pool; that is, the pool was filled with water, and these people had nearly completed construction of a houseboat that floated on the water within the pool. And the pool was right next to the ocean. I don’t know who the boat builders were; they were all caucasian and ranged in age from about 25 to 35. In the dream context, I had some sort of friendly affiliation with them and had access to the houseboat. The dream started during daylight hours, and one of the boat builders (who, now that I think about it, looked a lot like [REDACTED]) mentioned repeatedly that he had an intuition that “fleeing now would be wise” and words to that effect; he sensed some sort of pending natural disaster like an earthquake.

At one point in the dream, I think in the second “scene,” there was a mobile espresso bar set up on the beach near the houseboat-containing pool. I said to a female barista, “I’m debating whether or not I want a latte or something. I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine intake.”

Then during another daytime segment, [REDACTED] was hanging around near the houseboat pool. I talked with her (don’t recall about what), and then she left to get her car, which she then drove along the beach. She stopped near the houseboat again.  I sensed that I (for some unknown reason) had to travel via bus/subway to one particular fast food restaurant somewhere across town (I think the dream took place in the Los Angeles area). I thought about asking [REDACTED] for a ride but got shy in her presence. So she drove away, and then I found myself on a weird oversized bus that contained a miniature mall-style fast food place. So I was essentially riding within one fast food place to get to a different fast food place. And I realized that I didn’t know exactly where my destination was, so I checked the address on a slip of paper and then got up to ask the bus driver if he’d tell me when we were near that location.

(Later on March 7, 2004)

Fell back asleep. Dreamed that I was walking down an urban city street at night in search of a particular library. (In reality, I’m planning an expedition to the Margaret Herrick library.) I found the address and walked toward two oversized wooden doors, presumably the library entrance, and opened them. Beyond the doors: a wide (perhaps twenty feet across) carpeted staircase heading down. The carpet had an intricate pattern with red and orange as the dominant background colors with some smaller bits of yellow, blue, and greenish hues. There was a hand railing, and I held onto it with my right hand as I trotted down the stairs really damn quickly. Even at top speed, it took me nearly a minute to reach the bottom of the stairs. When I got about halfway down, I heard the doors behind me open again, and I heard two people (one male and one female) talking to each other as they descended the stairs behind me. I accelerated and thought, “It’s probably not safe to take these stairs so quickly. Maybe I should slow down.” When I reached the bottom, I went through a smaller set of double doors and then looked back. I didn’t recognize the two people behind me, but I was startled to see that they were only ten feet behind me or so; they must have descended the stairs at a physically impossible speed in order to catch up to me like that. In the library, I turned to my left in search of a restroom, for I had to pee urgently. I followed “restroom” signs around a corner, but where I expected the mens’ room to be I found only a key embedded in a wall with a white tag attached to it. The tag had “LASHER” written upon it.

Then I woke up and realized that I urgently had to pee in reality, so I used my real toilet.

I also remember a dream (before the library one) in which I was in an office somewhere within the UCLA film department, and there was a filing cabinet in which all of my earliest spec scripts were kept, including all the spec TV stuff I wrote in the early-mid 1990s: the two Parker Lewis specs, X-Files, etc. And [REDACTED], my first original feature spec (from 1996, I think). And I was terribly embarassed that this material was on file. [REDACTED] was there, and I looked at her and said, “You’ve probably already read all this crap, haven’t you?” She nodded.

March 8, 2004

I was outdoors in a parking lot near a giant sports arena, and I was “suiting up” in bits of chainmail armor, a football helmet, hockey pads, and such. Apparently, I was about to become a contestant on “Alpha Prisoner” from my Zombie Gladiator speculative feature film screenplay.

Another dream: I took a short taxi ride from Hollywood Boulevard (a few blocks west of Vine) back to my previous apartment, where I still lived in the dream context. I knew the taxi driver (who looked a lot like bassist [REDACTED]) socially.

March 11, 2004

I awoke with no memory of last night’s dreams, but with an awareness that I had dreamt.

March 12, 2004


(And later on March 12 – I napped and awoke around 11:20 PM aware that I’d been dreaming but with no memory of the content.)

March 13, 2004

Two dreams remain in memory this morning, or at least bits of the dreams. I shall summarize the latter one in haiku form:

Candlelit snuggles


“You’re safe now,” she said.

In the former dream, I was walking around a foliage-filled “property” with multiple buildings peppering the landscape. All of the buildings had reddish-brown roofs and off-white walls. Some of the buildings had two stories, some three, some just one. As I walked around, I heard someone playing an instrumental version of a Fairport Convention song (though I cannot now recall which song, oddly). I wandered in that direction and saw a lone guitarist plucking out the melody on an acoustic guitar. Nobody I know from reality; the busker was a fictional dream character. Then I walked around and examined some more of the buildings, and I encountered [REDACTED] and said something like, “There’s more than enough space here to install a recording studio so that the songs of the Berea, Ohio underground folk-rock scene can at last be properly recorded.” He concurred.

That dream (the stroll among the buildings) took place in a summertime environment – warmish comfortable weather, blue skies, and a slight breeze.

March 14, 2004

Nothin’ recalled from the dream realm last night, though I’m fairly certain that I had one dream that took place in the Bourgeois Pig coffee shop.

March 15, 2004

Napped from about 1 AM to 5 AM. Nothing to report.

March 16, 2004 (7:41 AM Western Spring time, not late afternoon)

Nothing to report.

March 17, 2004

Awoke around 1:10 AM after a nap. I recall no dreams from this sleep session.

March 18, 2004

Drifted off to sleep briefly circa 9:00 AM. Dreamed I was standing in a cafeteria-style line with a tray. My old high school friend [REDACTED] was in line next to me, and we were our present-day ages; I was clad in my recent all-black outfit with the denim jacket, and I had a copy of my [REDACTED] script with me. My friend was staring at me with an expression that seemed to express fear and disgust simultaneously, and he said, “Dan, I never thought I’d say this, but you’re evil.” And then he fled to elsewhere in the cafeteria.

March 18, 2004

Ice Cream Shop nightmare

Wounded turtle served on plate

Nobody noticed

Different dream same night

Told some tales about cats

Made [REDACTED] smile

Later on March 18: napped in the afternoon. Dreamed that I was visiting Borders Books in Westlake OH. Entered via the café doors. Saw Paul “Milo” Miller across the store at the info desk. He looked harried and overworked. I walked over to say hello. Don’t recall much more “plot” to this dream; was more of a vignette.

March 19, 2004 – 4:40 AM Pacific Standard Time, Late Afternoon Elsewhere on Earth

Awoke aware that I’d just had a long cycle of active dreaming. The only bit I remember: I was at my parents’ house. Coldish weather outside; rainy, windy, gray skies. The door from the house to the garage was open. I was my present-day age, yet Fred [a beagle I grew up with who died in the early 1990s] was around. When I saw the open door, I worried that he might have wandered toward the road (when I was a kid, I once saw him almost get hit by a car and have harbored an anxiety about that scenario ever since). I went outside to look for him, walked to the front of the house, saw a different dog walking in the road, went back into the house, and found my parents talking to a dog they thought was Fred but who was clearly (to me) not. Then I saw Fred (looking even older than I remember him ever looking in his final months) elsewhere in the room, and I pointed him out to my parents and said, “You can’t tell the difference between Fred and this other dog?” (I was alarmed and baffled, since the two dogs were so very different-looking in my eyes.)

March 20, 2004

Awoke around 5:30 AM Pacific Time aware that I’d just had lots of dreams, but they quickly slipped out of memory. Hence, nothing to report.

(Later on March 20, 2004 – circa 3:50 pm)

During an afternoon nap, I dreamed about traveling down a Sunset Blvd. Sidewalk at faster-than-possible-on-foot speed; I’m not sure what sort of propulsion system I was using, but I was whizzing west (on the north side) and dodging other pedestrians at about twenty miles per hour.

March 21, 2004

The only fragment I remember: I was in a library and asked the staffer behind the reference desk (a woman in her late thirties with frizzy darkish-blonde hair) if she could obtain a book through Interlibrary Loan for me. I said, “The author’s name is Leak, and the title is The Secret Common-Wealth. Wait, the author’s name is Kirk, not Leak.”

March 23, 2004

Dreamed I was in the Bourgeois Pig, sitting at the bar swilling caffeine. Somebody (not sure who) suggested that I start drinking alcohol instead. (Maybe that was [REDACTED].) I said something like, “No. I’ll stick with the stimulants for now.” Then I went to the restroom, where I urinated into the soil of a potted plant.

March 24, 2004

No dreams recalled.

March 25, 2004

[REDACTED] front porch

Pizza delivery guy

Carried a coffin

Talked with [REDACTED]

Told him too many secrets

House: “Stop proclaiming.”

(Fell back asleep. Later on March 25, 2004…)

I moved into a spacious new office with an overall color scheme of gray, and the view out my window included an oversized decorative “stop and go” light. In the office was an oversized litterbox for Alley Cat and Thalia, who were there with me.

(After an afternoon nap) – No new dreams remembered.

March 26, 2004 – 7:15 AM Pacific Time

No dreams remembered upon awakening.

March 29, 2004

Long night of active dreaming. The only bit I remember clearly: I played Claude Cahn’s “New Song” with Dewey in a coffee shop (a fictional one) with me on fretted left-handed four-string electric bass guitar and Dewey on vocals and acoustic guitar. There were maybe eight people in the audience: two sitting at a bar, the barista, and five lurking about at tables in the back. The shop resembled Thinkers’ Coffee House circa 1995 in terms of layout (window positions, the presence of that ‘divider’ fixture between the counter and some of the tables), but was larger; Thinkers’ Coffee House didn’t have a bar where people could sit at the counter, for example. And the dream coffee shop had a gray and bluish color scheme rather than the brown of Thinkers.

March 30, 2004

Nightmares. Best not remembered.

April 1, 2004

Napped from about 3 PM to 4:30 PM. Awoke from a dream in which I was falling asleep in a dark bedroom with hardwood floors and maple-colored walls. I was in a comfortable bed, and I could see a reflection on the wall; either a mirror or a highly-polished wooden surface. And in the reflection, I saw a candle’s flame moving closer and closer; someone was in the room with me, and she was carrying a candle.

And somehow, I knew who she was.

And I said, “Hello, [REDACTED].”

[REDACTED] was there for a visit, if only in my dream.

Incidentally, I think I dreamed about different rooms in this same dream location last night, but I didn’t record those dreams upon awakening earlier today. All I recall now is lookin’ down one hallway.

April 2, 2004 – 3:10 AM

Awoke aware that I’d been dreaming a lot, but I don’t recall any details except that the 10,000 Maniacs song The Latin One was “playing” on a loop in my mind when I awoke; I practiced it on bass a couple of times shortly before falling asleep. At least once when I was living in my apartment in Berea OH [mid-1990s], I dreamed about practicing bass in real time and awoke able to play new patterns; perhaps tonight I had another session of focused “dream bass practice.”

April 5, 2004

Two dream fragments recalled, the first just a moment and the other a whole sequence. In the first, I was on the Baldwin-Wallace campus and crossed paths with [REDACTED] outside Ritter Library. I woke up briefly right after that image.

The longer sequence that I recall, which is from a different dream after I fell back asleep: I had rented a new apartment that was on the fourth floor or so of some weird loft building, and my first day there, I got confused about which staircase led to my unit. So I climbed up the stairs and found that I was at the door of my new neighbors, who I hadn’t met. They had a peep-window (covered with a screen) installed in the door, and it was open. Two young ladies were near the door, and one said, “Hello?” I introduced myself, and her friend opened the door. The place was sprawling and spacious, far larger than any real apartment, with room after room after room. Near the front door, to the right, was a closet that contained many costumes. A young lady (blonde, early twenties) in a nightgown tumbled out and said to the one who answered the door, “Where we we?” The one who had initially said “hello” offered to take me on a tour. We walked around the apartment, and I spotted at least three cats living there (one perched in a window). One “wing” was like a miniature dungeon, but with bright yellow walls on which restraints and leather straps hung. On my way back out (to go to my apartment, which was across a chasm – I’d have to go downstairs and take a different staircase back up to the same level), I found a section of the apartment that had slippery wooden floors and lots of space; some guy was gliding across the floor in his socks. When I got to my apartment, I found two notes taped to the door; I’d missed visits from two friends.

(later on April 5, 2004)

Napped for a few hours. Dreamed that I bumped into [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] in a liquor store. I cracked open a bottle of beer (without paying for it) and took a few sips and said, “Here’s something you probably thought you would never see.” Then I suggested that the three of us go get coffee up the street and yammer and catch up with each other. They agreed. On the walk to this theoretical coffee shop (the environment was utterly fictional, not my real neighborhood), the sidewalk tilted up and up until I actually had to crawl on all fours to keep climbing. [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] had reached some sort of platform atop this anomalous hill, and [REDACTED] pulled me up. I said, “I’m afraid of heights.” She hugged me and told me everything would be okay. Then I woke up.

April 7, 2004

Awoke aware that I’d had lots of dreams, but I didn’t write ‘em up right away and now forget them. Ditto after an afternoon nap. I recall that one of the nighttime dreams involved a bunch of fictional cats.

April 8, 2004

Wood between worlds

Feminine alien there


Translation of the above Haiku (penned on April 9 at about 6:15 AM about a dream that took place 24 hours earlier)… had a really vivid and bizarre dream about being within a series of interdimensional corridors, orangish and yellow as the dominant colors (but muted, not bright), with a distinctly feminine being walking alongside me to my right. She had silvery/metallic hair with some dark/brunette streaks. She was humanoid but not human; her facial features were mostly human, but she had a weird left hand that I thought of as a “claw” (though that word doesn’t describe That Which Was Beyond Her Left Wrist very accurately). I discovered this oddity when I went to hold her hand; I was curious rather than frightened. I felt utterly safe.

I had the sense that we were moving through a space where beings hang out before reincarnating in the “normal” physical human world. And I returned to this space with her about three times in the course of the dream, as if I went to Earth and promptly died a couple of times.

Whenever I tried to look directly at the walls and ceiling, I couldn’t; it was as if my normal human senses just weren’t equipped to process whatever I was seeing. They seemed to be both solid and pulsing/rippling at the same time, and I had the sense that I could just as easily have strolled “up” into the ceiling as I could walk within the ground-level corridor.

I had the sense that the being to my right was a personification [REDACTED]. I said something like, “Who were you this time?” Meaning, “Who were you in my most recent mortal incarnation?”

I can’t stress enough the vividness and bizareness of this dream environment; it was a nearly psychedelic experience and might have been an actual glimpse of another dimension, for all I know. Didn’t feel like a traditional fictional dream.

9 April 2004

Lots o’dreams. The bits I remember:

I had my photo taken near a fire engine that was there specifically as a background prop for the photos. Took place in a woodsy area with a hill; I was atop the hill so that the photos would feature the roof of the fire engine.

Different dream: I was in a hollowed-out version of Klein Hall (the dorm I lived in as a freshman at Baldwin-Wallace). It had been remodeled and converted into a single large gray-walled facility, though the shape of the space in the dream was slightly different (with a lower ceiling and different dimensions, less narrow) than an actual hollow version of Klein would be. There were a few chairs scattered around.

Another dream: I was at a record convention and found some rare vinyl bootlegs of an early live Gin Blossoms MTV session (not one that exists in reality, as far as I know). In that same dream, [REDACTED] & [REDACTED] were talking about how some consumer-level audio gear was about to be unleashed as the new standard (to replace CD players), but you still can’t go wrong with a good vinyl turntable and high-quality speakers.

April 21, 2004

Have had dreams over the last few days, but they’ve been slipping out of memory quickly upon awakening. I think one of last night’s involved walking around a house and examining it with a “is it safe for the cats” frame-of-mind.

14 May 2004

Woke up, wrote a bit, and then took a brief nap during which I dreamed about being in a hotel room only to notice two microphones taped to a wall next to the bed.

22 May 2004

Dreamed I was in an apartment similar to the one where I am now, only there were other apartments across the hallway.

I heard a male voice yell “help” from one of the apartments across the hall. I ventured to my door and listened while pondering whether to call 911 and/or investigate. As I stood at the door, an arm and hand appeared in my field of vision as if someone else was in my apartment with me, standing to my left and slightly behind me, and had thrust a file folder into the space just in front of my upper torso. The person was wearing black sleeves, or at least the one I saw was black; I didn’t see the person or the rest of his or her outfit, for I was so shocked by the presence of someone else that I froze, and then the dream “cut to” a new location (downstairs at mailboxes in a lobby that doesn’t resemble the one in this building). I found a small package (about three times the size of a deck of cards) in my mailbox and opened it. It contained a box of Crayola crayons.

That’s all I recall. I’d like to emphasize that the “fear” reaction I felt when that arm and hand appeared in my field of vision was off-the-scale and in the “ultra-terrified” realm; imagine being home alone and having THAT happen.

25 May 2004

Had a dream in which I was outside a house on an affluent-looking suburban street (summertime weather, blue skies, green trees and lawns). I had my Primary Computer with me (this one on which I am now typing). I went inside the house. [REDACTED] gestured for me to follow her into an elevator. I did. We rode.

The elevator door opened, and we walked across a hall into a room that had a couch and a TV set; the lighting was natural sunlight filtering through off-white curtains.

We talked about something, some event in which I’d been involved, but I don’t recall what. She said something like, “That’s one of the nights that’s in dispute among those who are arguing about your fate.” Then she left the room to get a videotape.

3 June 2004

I was walking down Hollywood Blvd. A car moving against traffic whipped by, horn blaring, almost smashing into other vehicles and people. I remember thinking that an old friend was further down Hollywood in the direction that runaway car was moving, and I was afraid that she’d be injured. I tried to call her on my cell phone to warn her, but I couldn’t get through.

Later on 3 June 2004

Napped in the early afternoon. I just recall a brief fragment of a dream: I was in this apartment and felt stomach cramps after drinking some bottled water. Tasted like plastic. I realized that I’d left the water sitting in sunlight for too long and felt, like, “What a waste of good water.”

Early morning (circa 5 AM Pacific Time) on 5 June 2004

Just awoke. I recall some images and moments from two different dreams.

In the first, Michael Myers (the Halloween character) was terrorizing some caucasian teenagers outdoors in broad daylight. ‘Twas an urban setting in winter: knee-high snow drifts on the sidewalks, weathered brick tenement buildings with black metal fire escape ladders on the right (from my point-of-view, which was a “not present in the scene” voyeur viewpoint; I’m usually an active character in my dreams, but this was one of the rare ones in which I was observing events unfold without being there).  Not sure what was off to the left in much detail: more buildings, probably residential. Same in the distance, stretching down the street.

So there was this gang of maybe a half dozen kids, aged about 14 to 18, all boys. Michael Myers, traditional knife from the first Halloween film in hand, was wading among them in full “kill” mode, but inexplicably the kids kept dodging his blade. Then one of the kids made a joke (I forget exactly what he said), and Myers paused; I had the sense that he’d actually been amused by the banter, which is wholly out of character. Then, the weirdest bit: Myers turned into a pig (a literal four-legged snout-nosed animal) and somehow got onto one of the tenement’s fire escape porch-landings. And then the dream reality shifted so that people in a movie theater were complaining about the lame and unrealistic “ending” of this particular Halloween tale.

The other dream fragment I recall: at night, in my present neighborhood, I went to visit a guy who was some sort of buddy/ally (nobody from my real life). I walked to an apartment complex that doesn’t actually exist, though the surrounding streets do; the dream location would be about three blocks west and maybe one or two blocks north of Franklin & Tamarind, though the neighborhood geography got more “fictional” the further I walked; I saw trees and landmarks that don’t exist in reality.

So I got to this guy’s apartment, and I think I was there to borrow a videotape of a film. (Maybe it was the Myers-turns-into-a-pig cut of Halloween 52.) In a second-floor “courtyard” of sorts, with doors to apartments on three sides and the staircase to my right, I rang a doorbell. This guy (late twenties, disheveled light brown hair, clad in sweatshorts and a t-shirt) stumbled out of his apartment. Apparently, I’d woken him up. He gave me the videotape, and then one of his neighbors insisted that I take like six sticks of chewing gum, too. I accepted them and left.

9 June 2004

Circa 4:25 AM, I awoke from some dreams. The only image I recall: a photo of [REDACTED] and the contemporary (Noyce/Barre/Perry/Anderson/Giddings) Jethro Tull lineup. Apparently, she had sat in with the band for either a live gig or some studio sessions. In the photo, all six people were smiling and facing the camera. [REDACTED] had an alto concert flute in her left hand and was standing on the “right” (from the POV of me looking at the pic) edge of the image.

I also saw a listing of like 6 song titles from whatever collaboration had occurred, but I don’t remember any of ‘em.

On 10 June 2004, I recalled no dreams.

27 June 2004

Awoke with no dreams in memory. Went for a walk, returned home, and fell asleep again around 7 am. Awoke around 8:20 AM with a dream fragment in memory: I strolled around 30 Rockefeller Center (NBC). Had some sort of appointment in studio 6H, which in the dream context housed The Today Show (in reality, I’m not even sure if there is a 6H). En route, I seemed to make a complete loop around the sixth floor without finding 6H. I also had to pee and found a restroom. About halfway through this dream, I saw a spacious open area and thought, “I wish the cats and I could move there and have all that floor space and build a customized habitat around us.” I worried that people would constantly perceive such a habitat as a set and, like, wander in and out.

After the NBC section, the dream shifted outdoors and involved me driving around (not NYC) with old friends, but I don’t recall that part very clearly.

29 June 2004

I remember just one dream fragment from last night: I was at a party where I met a young woman who was workin’ as a staff writer on a new animated Super Friends TV cartoon based on the D.C. Comics mythos. I did a respectful genuflectish gesture toward her.

30 June 2004

Dreamed I was drivin’ a truck (like, an eighteen-wheeler, which I don’t know how to drive in reality) at night in winter. Lots of trees and foliage to both sides. The topography reminded me a bit of some areas just off the highway exit in Ashland (Ohio) along the route I’d take from Northeast Ohio to [REDACTED] sometimes, but more flat and with a clear view down a long and straight stretch of road. There was some snow falling, but not enough to make driving feel dangerous.

A fictional woman in her late twenties was riding in my passenger seat; brunette, cranky. We arrived at a hotel and took a spacious suite with two beds. The color scheme of the suite was yellowish overall, with some tan and brown furniture.

I ventured out of the room (I forget why) and encountered a guy in a hotel staff uniform, a big burly guy in his forties. He coerced me with a weapon (either a knife or a gun) into going outside to the truck and giving him my keys. He drove off.

I dashed back to the room and barked “lock the door” at Ms. Cranky Brunette (which is odd since I could have just, like, slammed the door and locked it behind me faster than she could) and ran to the phone to call the cops. That’s all I recall.

I had another dream last night about a piece of cat furniture, like a scratch-post/perch combo, but I don’t recall much from that one except that some people I don’t know in reality were examining and commenting upon this new innovation in kitty comfort.

3 July 2004

Awoke avec a few moments and images from one dream in memory: I was walking and climbing on a hillside that had “ledges” and nooks suitable for humans to pause on; I had the sense that I was in a sort of public park where people sometimes congregated for events like concerts. A fellow (fortyish, burly, with a beer gut) who frequented the place was telling me how innocent bystanders sometimes get caught in a crossfire when people on one ledge throw things at people on other ledges. Seemed like late summer/early fall Ohio weather, though I’m not sure exactly where this place was; the location wasn’t part of the “given” info about the dream.

I also had a dream about a college kid who had received an entire House of Blues location via bequeathment and was brainstorming ways to program the place with high-quality entertainment.

5 July 2004

I awoke and remembered a bit of a dream that took place in Ohio. I was outdoors and walking toward a car that was “mine” in the dream context (not a vehicle from reality). I saw legs jutting out from under the car; a young lady in a purple dress was for some reason fussing with the underbelly of this automobile. I said, “Hello?” She stood up: ’twas Ohio native [REDACTED]. We somehow knew each other, and I asked if she wanted to accompany me to Perkins for a meal. She said sure, but she wanted to take her own car and she’d meet me there. That’s all I recall. I’ve been awake since about 7 AM today (about four hours ago), but I made a mental note upon awakening to document the Perkins dream.

6 July 2004

I remember only about two seconds of imagery out of what I sense was a cycle (at least twenty minutes in duration) of active nighttime dreaming. I saw a black stretch limousine (moving left-to-right across the “frame” of my field-of-vision) at night on a paved urban road that was apparently lit by street lamps (one reflected on the limo’s right side during a “moving toward and then away from me” manuever). My automobile jargon vocabulary includes few words, and I don’t parse much information about vehicular makes and models, but I believe this vehicle was of a non-contemporary design (perhaps from the 1970s).

14 July 2004 (around 8:30 am)

Had one dream that took place in and around [REDACTED]’s house; I was visiting there, saw something inside that alarmed me (evidence of an intruder’s presence), called the cops, and exited via a patio door. I walked down the driveway toward the front yard and (though only a minute had passed since I placed the call) found a black-and-white police car parked near the walkway that leads to the porch. Two officers, both middle-aged caucasian males, stood outside the car; one was cuffing a stout teenaged boy with blonde hair. The non-cuffing officer told me that they’d seen him exiting the house through a window. I believe the season of this dream was winter.

15 July 2004

Awoke around 8:40 AM from a dream in which I was in the “Greek Life” residence areas (outdoors at first) on a fictional college campus, or at least one I didn’t recognize as anywhere I’ve ever been (if I’m receiving images of actual places psychically, I might not know when that happens). A half-dozen young ladies were discussing (and demonstrating to each other) techniques to clone plants. This was at dusk. One of the plants was a diamond-shaped flower with purple edges and a lighter whitish interior in a clay pot; that flower was about the size of a slice of bread. Then one of the ladies, who radiated a happy-and-playful aura, invited me inside to a party.

Inside, about three dozen college-age (undergrad) students mingled and drank beverages (both alcoholic, like beer, and not, like punch).

16 July 2004

Dreamed I was in a computer lab (in what seemed like a collegiate academic setting) where the only application on the machines was a display and bartering system for artists and potential art collectors; I logged in and found an offer of $10.00 for one of my paintings. (In reality, I do not paint.) The offer came from another painter, and I looked at one of her paintings (a portrait of a humanoid figure with grayish-brown skin, sort of like a gargoyle).

Had another dream in which I was looking for shoes of the right size for my feet. I heard about someone who had spent $125.00 for a van full of costume parts including shoes of my size; most of the items were Jedi/Sith pieces. Someone (I don’t know who, as I barely remember this dream) said, “The lightsabers alone are worth the hundred and twenty-five bucks, and she got those shoes, too.”

Had a long night of active dreaming, but these are the only pieces I really remember. There was one about Ghostbusters in which I was checking messages on an answering machine (one that I shared with Ray Stantz) with this outgoing message: “If you wish to leave a message for Egon Spengler or Peter Venkman or Winston Zeddemore, you have the wrong number. Please speak after the tone if you wish to leave a message for Dr. Ray Stantz or Daniel S. Duvall.” That was in a crappy tenement apartment with brown crumbling walls.

In another dream, a psychiatrist visited me at home and asked about my claim that spirits sometimes steer or guide me. I said, “It’s not like they manifest and I see them. It’s more like subtle impulses that would translate in english to ‘look here now, Danny.'”

19 July 2004

I recall a bit of a dream in a theater (the sort where plays are staged). The space had two aisles that divided the seats into three main sections: narrow bands left and right with most seats in the middle. It was mostly full of patrons clad in upper-class expensive “night on the town” attire. I, clad in denim, sat next to the aisle at the far right of the center section. Someone on stage introduced the woman next to me to the audience; she (clad in a black dress) stood while people applauded. She was part of some sort of “Academy Orchestra.”

I also recall driving around New York City at some point, and I think the theater described above was in Manhattan. I looked for landmarks along a highway.

28 July 2004

Had one dream that took place outdoors in a small-townish setting. Vandals were cruising around and stripping the outer shells off of soda vending machines, exposing the cans and money-collecting mechanisms within. I was guarding one such machine when a cop car pulled up. One of the cops handed me a rock hammer and encouraged me to use the sharp edge on the carbonated-beverage-dispensing construct. I tore open a rectangle (about one foot by two feet) on one side panel; with that outer layer stripped away, I could see the lightbulbs that normally illuminate that side panel.

Then later in the dream (I don’t recall the transition), I was driving around trying to figure out how to explain what happened to the machine. I concluded that “a cop handed me a weapon and urged me to commit a crime” (though true) sounds made up.

Earlier, I had a different dream that had something to do with great white shark attacks; I was wearing a t-shirt that had a photo of “Bruce” from Jaws on the front, and I believe I was interviewing survivors of actual shark encounters, some of whom were re-traumatized by the image on my shirt.

29 July 2004

Long night of active dreaming. The only image that remains in memory: I sat at the Bourgeois Pig bar and enjoyed a plate of spaghetti – not on the actual Pig menu.

1 August 2004

Awoke with bits of a dream in memory, but the images slipped away quickly as I became increasingly conscious.

One aspect of the dream seemed at the time qualitatively different from any other state of consciousness I’ve ever experienced; I wish I could recall more details beyond those encoded in the poem below.

Column of eyeballs

receiving data across

“time” and space. Welcome.

All I recall is that in the dream I seemed to be experimenting with new senses, ones available only in certain forms of sleep. I felt, like, “Oh, of course, this is how these tools work,” as if I had stumbled into a natural-but-rarely-used set of mind functions.

I think one key is to minimize linear thinking, or to recognize a linear “time” sense as an artificial construct. Maybe I’m phrasing that badly to get at a concept that’s more like this: information (sensory data) really can flow across time and space in ways that seem “psychic,” but corporeal flesh is stuck moving along the time axis in one direction.

Maybe I’m puzzled by the discrepancy between what my linear flesh feels and my non-linear mind sometimes perceives in the dream realm, and these ramblings are my attempt to articulate concepts that I really can’t grok right now. I can’t really articulate how my eyes and ears work, let alone whatever senses enable me to sometimes perceive non-local-and-non-linear information.

7 August 2004

In the evening of 5 August 2004 in reality, I walked into a location in reality and felt a surge of electric excitement and fear, for I realized that I’d visited that place in a dream. ‘Twas a until-that-moment forgotten and undocumented dream; I estimate that I dreamt it within the last two years.

The location is near the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Harvard in the Thai Town neighborhood. I was walking north when I noticed the shape of a building to my left; that shape, combined with the angle of inclination of the road and overall gestalt of the place, triggered a memory of a dream in which I was “there” at that same spot, only the building to my left in the dream was a restaurant rather than a residential place. In the dream, I went restaurant hopping with [REDACTED] and had many long conversations with her. Each restaurant served food of different ethnic origin. Unlike reality, there was fog outdoors in the dream.

oval-shaped plant leaf

black, white, and gray human shape

“knew where to find me”

10 August 2004

I only recall fragments. One: I was driving at night with a passenger in the car. I’m not sure who the passenger was, though my instinct is that I know this person in reality. I was on an elevated highway when I looked to my left and saw an impossibly large owl hovering in the sky maybe three hundred yards away. This owl was, like, the size of a blue whale.

Two: I had taken a job (not sure what kind) that required me to clock in and out with a punchcard, and I had a wave of anxiety a few days into the gig that I’d forgotten to clock in for all my shifts.

I’m certain that I had many other dreams last night, but those are the only bits I recall.

15 August 2004

Awoke from a long series of dreams. The most vivid: I was climbing up a narrow staircase on the outside of a building in daytime. I knew that I was going to a college classroom in which algebra classes were taught. I was worried that I might slip and fall off the very narrow staircase, so I crawled on all fours and used my hands to grip each step. Within a minute after I got into the classroom, someone else arrived: a blonde-haired fellow in his twenties who I recognized as an actor (nobody from reality) who had recently gone swimming with dolphins as part of a feature film project. He knew my first name (not sure how). I asked him about the dolphins. He told me that they sometimes “rallied him through his paces” and encouraged him to swim laps with them. He had seen my unusual ascent up the stairs and asked about that; I explained that I’m afraid of heights, and the very narrow steps alarmed me.

I know I had at least one other dream last night, but I cannot recall much from that one, except in one “scene” I walked through a hallway in a museum-like setting while somebody threw things at me. I’m not sure what was being thrown.

16 August 2004

Dreamed about driving on I-480 near Cleveland (Ohio), though the dream freeway didn’t look like any real stretches of 480 that I remember. In the dream, I somehow ended up on foot walking around an area near the highway that I realized was meant as a “trap” of sorts for vehicles that would crash off the road at a tight curve. There was a grassy hill that descended from the highway with periodic trees and ledges. I’m not sure how I knew that this was intended to be a “catch crashing cars” area.

The dream sparked a memory of a different “driving near Cleveland” dream that I’d had within the last two years or so; the depiction of the highway was the same in both dreams, so last night I essentially returned to a fictionalized version of northeast Ohio roadways that my subconscious had conjured earlier. I don’t recall much about that earlier dream except that I took a couple of different routes back and forth from one section of Cleveland to another.

23 August 2004

Two nights ago, I had a dream in which I was strolling around an Imperial Base (the Star Wars mythos kind) in corridors that resembled those in the “New Hope” Death Star. I was clad in black denim jeans and my short-sleeved gray-white “glyphs” shirt. I had a plan in case anyone stopped me to ask what I was doing there: I’d tug at my shirt and say “It’s a disguise” and then breeze past them. Within this base, film clips from contemporary American films were being shown, which makes no sense.

Last night, I had a dream that involved a series of puns centered around Thalia’s name, but I don’t recall any details from that one. I also had a dream in which I saw [REDACTED] performing a solo show at a University theater (not a venue that I know from reality).

29 August 2004

Dreamed that Hunter S. Thompson published a new book, and I sought out Johnny Depp to read excerpts from it in his HST voice.

30 August 2004

One dream involved walking around a large non-rectangular swimming pool that somehow was built into a slanting hillside (with the water sort of defying gravity and acting like a 45-degree-angle waterfall). I tossed a white ping-pong ball into the pool.

31 August 2004

The subconscious mind works in mysterious ways.

3 September 2004

Dreamed about Ms. [REDACTED]. I saw a newspaper ad for a gig: she was scheduled to play guitar one night, but there were three possible venues where she might be. When I tried to call to verify where she’d be, I couldn’t get through for assorted reasons: my phone malfunctioned, and then one number was disconnected. I drove to one of the venues. I never saw her playing guitar in the dream, but I did see her in the weirdest context: as a guest star on The Simpsons. In her entrance scene, she was seated amongst about two dozen other people inside a building that was either a church or a funeral home (I think there may have been a funeral in progress, but I’m not certain). Some guy entered and asked, “Is Maggie here?” Someone else (a lady who greeted this guy) gestured to Marge and Maggie and said, “Over there.” Then the “camera” moved to the back of Ms. [REDACTED]’s head, and she turned as if reacting to the presence of the fellow who had just arrived. She looked beautiful (even as a cartoon character). She asked the person next to her, “Do you have a shower?”

The “guitar venue” portions of the dream were “live action.” During the cartoon “broadcast,” I was lookin’ for a tape to record the episode. I didn’t tape her entrance scene but recorded the rest of the episode (though I didn’t get to see the denouement before I awoke).

There was one section of the dream in which I told several people how much I was looking forward to the guitar gig.

4 September 2004

During an afternoon nap, I dreamed that [REDACTED] and I visited a fictional film school. There was a rain storm with thunder and lightning in progress outside.

5 September 2004

Had a sequence of dreams involving Fairport Convention in different contexts. One: the current lineup (Pegg, Nicol, Conway, Leslie, Sanders) was rehearsing in studio 8H for a Saturday Night Live appearance. Two: the band circa 1970 was rehearsing outdoors, and a video crew taped them, and then Simon Nicol was mis-identified in a TV broadcast’s graphics as “Llama Nicol.” Three: the current lineup was sitting outside [REDACTED] with assorted prank signs that suggested that the building was for sale.

6 September 2004

Awoke from a dream about swimming in the Hollywood Hills. In the first part of the dream, I was for some reason visiting a mansion in the Hills, and the owner had a giant swimming pool that more or less surrounded the house. I went swimming and found that the outdoor part of the pool connected with an indoor section.

I don’t recall much more of the dream, but subsequent sections involved me swimming in different pools throughout the Hills.

8 September 2004

Bits of two dreams recalled:

Ripley (from the Alien films) wrestled an alien into a furnace, where they both presumably died.

I co-hosted a radio show with [REDACTED].

9 September 2004

I was sifting through a bunch of gems and jewels in search of one particular one. I concluded that I wouldn’t have time just then to find it, so I loaded up my pockets with the stash with the intent of locating the Particular Gem later.

Also had a dream about eating hummus, roasted red pepper flavor with onions. The hummus had gotten watery, so I stirred it.

10 September 2004

Awoke from a dream about a tiger in the basement of Rockefeller Center.

In a different and earlier part of what I think was the same dream, some panels within that basement wall broke off, and water flooded out. The corridors were all dry during the tiger section, though.

11 September 2004

Many dreams. The moments and images I recall include one outdoor scene of firefighters (me and two others, though in reality I don’t know anything about the art of extinguishing large-scale fires). My colleagues and I were hosing down some blazing trees near a residential area. The other two firefighters were fictional, not people I know in reality. One of them said sarcastically to me and the other guy, “You missed a spot.” He then turned his hose on one of the trees that the other guy and I had “extinguished” — there were still some flames at the very top.

Just as we put out the last of the fire, a massive rainstorm began — sheets of rain saturated the environment. My co-workers and I got soaked as we piled into a car (not a truck) and drove away.

I also recall a different dream in which I felt tremendous relief upon arriving at a restroom atop a staircase.

(Later on 11 September 2004)

Fell back asleep and had a lucid dream — my first one in many years. In the lucid dream, I was in my bedroom, and I noticed red and green flashing lights in a wall outlet. At that moment, I still believed that I was in a real waking situation; when I saw the light flashes, I thought, “Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe this is now a lucid dream.” I was astonished by how real the experience felt; it was indistinguishable from real waking consciousness. I was very startled at first and couldn’t believe that I was dreaming. Then for some reason I wanted to study my toes, so I looked at my feet. Then I ventured forward to study the flashing lights, which were inside an electrical outlet where (in reality) the phone cord goes into the wall. As I got closer, there was a rectangular opening in the wall; that is, part of the wall seemed cut open where the electrical outlet had been. Inside this opening, I could see a phone-shaped piece of plastic (white with blue trim) next to some weird electronics. The color scheme of the phone-shaped thing for some reason reminded me of Freddie from the Scooby Doo mythos. And then the electronic things next to the phone flashed. There were several colors of light that flashed swiftly, ending with a flourish of bright purple flashes. Again, I must stress how real this all felt. As I stared at the sources of the flashing lights, the image sort of faded to black and I thought, like, “Oh no, I’m waking up.” I opened my eyes.

(Still later on 11 September 2004)

Fell back asleep hoping to re-enter the lucid state. I didn’t, but I did have another fictional dream. Something about a mom and son working on a computer in an upstairs room in Suburbia (I think this dream took place in Ohio). I was there and at one point offered a spelling suggestion to the mother.

12 September 2004

Awoke with memories of two dreams. In the first, a third cat started hanging out with Alley Cat and Thalia. The new cat had similar markings to Thalia (mostly white fur with a dark tail) but was larger and male.

The second dream I remember: I was younger than my present age, perhaps in my early twenties, and I was at some sort of school or academy where a fitness instructor (female, about 22 years old, blonde hair) asked me to participate as a “second room goalie” in some weird variation of kickball. Basically I and a player (who turned out to be my friend [REDACTED]) from another team hung out in a gymnasium while the rest of our teams played in a room next door. If the players got the ball to this gym, John would try to get it to the far end to score a goal while I’d try to stop him.

At one point in this dream, I was swinging on a rope and observing the fitness instructor, who (according to rumors among the other, uh, students) had recently lost a lot of money and was adjusting to her new social status.

13 September 2004

Fragments of a dream remain in my memory. I was alone in a farmhouse in Ohio, and I was performing camera tests with a camcorder, framing parts of a dining room. I looked out some windows and noticed how some houses and businesses had been built awfully close to the property. I was planning to make a “student film” there.

14 September 2004

Dreamed about playing Monopoly with [REDACTED]. Each property had the name of a different magazine — so, like, “Time” and “Newsweek” were on the board instead of “Illinois Avenue” and “Park Place” etc.

15 September 2004

Lots of dreams. In one, The Daily Planet [an actual store next to The Bourgeois Pig] had been expanded into a sort of multi-level mall-like department store. I stopped by, picked up some black jeans, put them on, and then went to a meeting with a college dean who told me anecdotes about a shopping mall in Boston. His tale had something to do with how the people who worked at that mall could have instead been working on a Whale-Human communication research team, and the mall eventually went out of business anyhow, and one of his friends who had worked there went insane. I asked the dean if he’d be willing to discuss these matters on the record, on videotape, and he said yes.

When I left that meeting, I put on a light blue denim jacket over my black denim jacket, and I noticed the logo of a pizza place sewn on one corner. Also, I was carrying a textbook that had a brown paper covering (like the way students in high school used to cover books with old grocery bag material). There was a list of about 15 names on the book cover with my name at the top; I got the sense that I was sharing that book with all those other people.

Then I went to visit [REDACTED] at the new store location. She was testing some new retail point-of-sale checkout systems, so I wasn’t able to speak with her much.

Then I went to meet one of the dean’s friends, maybe the one who had gone insane, who claimed to have important information about what the whales of the oceans want to communicate to humans.

Earlier, I had a different dream in which I flew like Superman. Somebody warned me about flying in one area where bees might sting me.

18 September 2004

Dreamed about preparing to play Car Wars, the tabletop game manufactured by Steve Jackson Games. The per-vehicle budget was $30,000. Other players included [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. The latter told a humorous anecdote about how her driver (the game character) rigged up a soda machine in a gas station with explosives, like a safecracker, because the clerk there liked soda and gave her free gasoline. She even deducted money from her vehicle budget for the soda machine explosives. The other player had built a mock-up mailbox with the corporate logo for the fictional company that manufactured his game car; that is, he built a prop to make his car’s manufacturer seem more real.

I puzzled over some pre-made vehicle designs since I didn’t have time to create a customized from-scratch car. In reality, back when I used to play Car Wars, I always designed my own cars.

Also dreamed about crossing paths with [REDACTED] outside the Arclight movie theater, which had been upgraded and was even more plush and had more theaters. I told him that I hadn’t been to the Chinese Theatre for like a year.

Another dream took place on a football field and had something to do with a documentary that [REDACTED] was making about a high school team.

20 September 2004

Dreamed about transcribing Fairport Convention lyrics for to-be-officially-released chord sheets; Pegg and Sanders were nearby jotting down the chord sequences for various songs while I prepared the lyrics.

21 September 2004

Dreamed I was at a crowded party in a mansion. At night, I parked in the front yard per the direction of someone who waved me to an open spot. That person asked me how late I’d be staying. I said until probably about two or three in the morning.

Inside, I found one long narrow corridor with rooms off to the left but not the right. Some of the rooms looked like shops and restaurants. In one lounge, I met a woman about my age who intrigued me at once; we had good conversational chemistry. Then she vanished for a while, and I spent part of the party walking around looking for her.

I crossed paths with [REDACTED], realized that she was dead [as in reality], and said, “Well, it’s a good place for it.” Meaning, if I’m going to bump into a ghost, why not here? (That line will make no sense to anyone but me, for I know more about this dream than I’m documenting here.) [REDACTED] asked me to go outside with her, and I said no. She looked distressed and sad. I said, “But we keep crossing paths, right? I’ll see you again.” She went outside, and I had a strong sense that if I’d followed her, I would have died too. I walked away with tears streaming down my face and continued my search for the mystery woman.

I listened to a recording of a pro basketball player performing a Doors song (backed by the Doors drummer), and then I heard Terry Gilliam tell an anecdote about J. Depp. (“…trapped in a keg!”)

Then I found the mystery woman again: she stood behind a computer monitor on which I was reading some online material. She had changed her hairstyle and clothes. She directed me to a booth in a diner-like setting, and we spoke some more. Then I awoke.

23 September 2004

Had a long cycle of active dreaming. I didn’t record these impressions upon first awakening but am doing so approximately eight hours later. The pieces I remember most vividly: in one dream, I was a college freshman again, and I’d joined a student club that mostly went around seeing movies. I attended a double feature of Scream and Scream 2, and the group included my old pal [REDACTED], who claimed to have never seen either film though I had a vivid memory of seeing Scream with him (in reality, I didn’t attend that film with him). At one point, I noticed that a theater would soon be showing Brazil and stated my intention to go to that screening; a young lady (fictional) mentioned that she had never seen it. This dream included something about a phone call from the club organizer to arrange carpooling, but I don’t recall that part clearly.

In a different dream, I was “painting” with luminescent goo, drawing lines and dots on the underside of a desk.

24 September 2004

Something about being chased by a grizzly bear.

25 September 2004

Dreamed I was at my maternal grandfather’s house. Outside, I noticed a house next door (not like any real house in that neighborhood) and decided I’d like to see Grandpa’s house from the angle of the neighbor’s porch. I went to that house, knocked on the door, and said “knock knock.” A guy inside said, “It’s open.” When I walked in, there were three people there, all about forty years old. I asked if I could use the bathroom.

27 September 2004

Last night, I had a brief flash of lucidity but awoke out of that dream within thirty seconds. I noticed a door in my apartment that does not exist in reality and realized that I was dreaming after I wondered, “What’s this doing here?” I gazed out into the living room from the bedroom doorway and thought, “You’re dreaming. Looks real, doesn’t it? Try not to wake up.” I awoke as I ventured out into the living room.

I later had a long dream cycle in which I went to the home of Fairport drummer Gerry Conway and watched some footage from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I’m not sure how Conway had obtained this footage. Within that same dream, at one point I was back in Los Angeles walking somewhere when [REDACTED] stopped nearby in a car and hailed me. I got in the car with him, and we drove to a Story Structure class.

Later in the dream, I was talking with [REDACTED] and telling him about my adventures in the United Kingdom — I was very excited about having watched Sith footage at Conway’s house.

6 October 2004

Something about some old dude deliberately losing a copy of my old X-Files spec script.

7 October 2004

“…and one of them writes a lot of haiku and imagines what local businesses might be like after conversion to a poetry-based economy.”

8 October 2004

Dreamed about listening to previously-unreleased live Mary-Ramsey-era 10,000 Maniacs music on vinyl at my parents’ house.

I had purchased the vinyl as a gift for someone else, but I opted to keep that one and get another for the intended recipient.

I’m not sure if the LP was “official” or a bootleg.

9 October 2004

Dreamed about Alley Cat bolting down a pitch-black crumbling corridor in an unfamiliar environment. I chased after him and found a staircase down where he may have gone. I opted to follow the corridor around a bend, and I found Alley Cat waiting for me outside.

11 October 2004

Dreamed that I was outside some residential apartment buildings at night with about a half dozen other people in some sort of communal meal configuration, like an evening picnic. [REDACTED] was there, and I saw her kissing some dude, and I felt not one twinge of jealousy.

17 October 2004

Something about seeing two vampires dusted (leaving only fangs behind) on the ceiling of a house. I later tried to again find the room where the vamps had been and couldn’t.

Also dreamed about watching coffee brew in a kitchen.

18 October 2004

Dreamed about finding heretofor unwatched footage from 1995 of Dewey & The Porkbellies (the ill-fated four-piece coffee house band in which I played bass).

Later napped and dreamed about finding a mattress affixed to the ceiling of my apartment with some sort of attic-trapdoorish rope dangling from it. I was afraid that the mattress might swing open and be a connecting portal to the apartment above.

Documented Dewey & The Porkbellies Dreams between Fall 1999 and the present: 11 July 2000, 21 August 2000, 26 November 2000, 5 January 2004, 29 March 2004, 18 October 2004.

20 October 2004

I had a dream in which I observed brain surgeries three Friday nights per month.

21 October 2004

Had a dream about Batman investigating a breaking-and-entering at a Hollywood Boulevard shop.

And something about bubblegum-flavored ice cream.

22 October 2004

I awoke with an awareness that I’d just had a dream involving bass guitars, but I retain no other aspect of the dream in conscious memory.

24 October 2004

Dreamed that I found a photograph in which [REDACTED] sat next to me at the dining room table of my parents’ house, where a game of Dungeons & Dragons was in progress. In the photo, I wore the blue denim jacket with green and purple sides that [REDACTED] of the Cleveland Freenet Kiosk Zone presented to me as a gift on my 21st birthday. The photo seemed to be circa 1992 based on my appearance. [REDACTED] and I were both looking at the camera and smiling.

I had another dream last night in which someone said “Four-thousand feet over Los Angeles,” but I don’t recall the context of those words.

26 October 2004

I do not recall any of last night’s dreams.

29 October 2004

I dreamed about showering in some sort of tiled communal bathing area, a vast one. I realized that I was paying attention to hygiene due to an upcoming meeting avec [REDACTED]. She and I spoke, but I do not recall the conversation in waking consciousness. When I was en route to the meeting, as I walked from the showering place to wherever I’d dress, I passed through (only for a few seconds) a large retail department store that resembled the Westwood (California) Borders bookstore.

I sense a memory of a scene before the tiled communal bathing area in which I was in bed at home, only the bed and home were not my real-life present-day environment but a fictionalized variant on my childhood bedroom, though I was my present-day age.

I climbed up and into a portal over the bed to get to the bathing place.

30 October 2004

Many dreams last night. The fragments I remember:

I had one dream in which I was living in a high-rise apartment complex, and somebody notified the tenants that a West Nile Virus outbreak had occurred in the building.

Had a different dream in which I walked down an urban street in search of a restroom in the daytime. I found one and peed.

In a dream that may have been linked narratively to the West Nile one, I recall phoning someone and saying, “I’m feeling a little under the weather, so I might not attend the Humanitas seminar.”

1 November 2004

One vivid image still in memory: a tricycle in the middle of a road near some suburban houses. Most of the houses had tall gates, fences, or walls around them. I saw the tricycle fly from a front yard into the middle of the street as if someone had pushed it. I worried that a car might hit it or a driver might get in an accident swerving to avoid it.

I had another dream about watching Dewey & The Porkbellies video footage, but I don’t recall the context.

Something about sharing a bag of cookies that tasted like breakfast cereals with [REDACTED] after we’d gone through a drive-through beverage area in which I (a passenger in the car) told a young lady in her early twenties who sort of resembled a young [REDACTED] (the attendant on duty in the drive-through) about a new sort of futon I’d heard about.

2 November 2004

Had a dream in which I was walking around a dormitory with wide hallways that were cluttered with detritus; outside each doorway were piles of books and clothing.

4 November 2004

Awoke with moments from two dreams in memory. In one, I saw a large chunk of ice (in lieu of liquid) sitting in my cats’ water dish; Thalia walked by with her ears pressed down to her skull in “scared cat” mode. This dream probably relates to the “water shortage anxiety” that was on my mind when I fell asleep; I’d bought one gallon of water at a grocery store, but at home I found that it tasted like plastic, so I had no good water on hand for morning.

5 November 2004

I awoke with no memories of dreams but a sense that I’d dreamt a lot.

6 November 2004

Had one dream in which I was seated in a plush armchair within a mansion’s home office. Seated directly across from me (with nary a desk nor table in between us) was a young lady (early twenties) who resembled the actress [REDACTED]. She said, “Seriously, whoever you want to have walk through that door” — meaning the dark-hued wooden door elsewhere in the room — “just think of that person, and he or she will be here.” I thought, “That would be like a lucid dream, and I’m clearly in ‘reality’ right now, so how can that be?” Then I woke up and realized that I had beem dreaming and could have entered a state of lucidity just then, which is what the dream character of the Young Lady might have been trying to tell me with the “door” exercise.

Then I fell back asleep and dreamed that I was in a billiard parlor, where I told someone (I don’t recall who) about the previous dream. I was like, “that could’ve become a lucid dream.”

The billiard parlor resembled the pool table area of The Bourgeois Pig coffee house, only there was a sofa (where I sat) along one wall where in reality there is no sofa (if the dream environment had been the Pig, from the sofa I would’ve been able to see the pool table in the foreground and the Moroccan room in the background). I lounged on that sofa and watched a billiard game progress while I talked about the dream that could have become a lucid dream.

I wonder if false-awakening dreams are previews of what the transition to after-death consciousness is like.

I had another dream last night in which I was observing a highway that was moving relative to me as if I were in a vehicle (though I was in “passenger” rather than “driver” mode). I noticed that I was not in a vehicle and then thought, “I’m riding on top of this truck that I can see in front of me,” only then the truck moved away from me such that I could see the whole truck, so I was clearly not actually riding on it. Then I thought, “So I’m flying and therefore dreaming,” at which point the imagery in front of me deconstructed like a computer simulation shutting down aspect by aspect; the blue color drained out of the sky, a bridge turned into simple lines and then vanished altogether, the other vehicles dissolved away, and all sense of movement stopped. Then I awoke.

8 November 2004

I saw a giant glowing white outline in the sky over Hollywood. The outline was in the shape of [REDACTED] as he appears in the 20 November 2001 photo that I snapped.

The outline was visible from the sidewalk just east of Hollywood Blvd. and Western Avenue, the northern side of which was my point-of-view location in the dream.

In reality, yesterday there I saw a rectangular section of a rainbow next to a saucer-shaped cloud after meditating on the rainbow colors within a theoretical Marsh Wolf sequel. “We’re up here, Danny. You’re learning how to ‘tune.'”

10 November 2004

I was in L.A. with some friends (outdoors at night) when there was a widespread blackout/power failure.

In another dream, I was walking down Harold Way in the daytime. As I passed two other pedestrians (teenage boys), one of them yelled an insult to the driver of a car who was pulling out of a driveway. I was afraid that the driver would think I was with them and might retaliate.

13 November 2004

Four dream moments recalled:

I saw [REDACTED] standing outside somewhere at night. He looked much like he did circa 1991-1992. He was smiling and seemed happy to see me. We had a cordial conversation, but I don’t recall about what.

The second dream I remember was nightmarish. I was in a cave with about a half dozen other people.

I also recall a dream about a fellow who had to sleep inside a doghouse for some reason; the dream seemed quite funny at the time, like his going to the doghouse was the punchline to a larger sequence, but I don’t recall much about the context except that he usually slept in a bed with his girlfriend.

14 November 2004

Most vivid and strange dream last night: I was in a spacious apartment with three other people, one of whom (a woman) was my roommate there. Something seemed “off” or wrong about one of the others, as if he wasn’t quite himself; he was a tall fellow in his forties, balding and dressed all in blue. I somehow knew that I was looking at an evil spirit that had taken corporeal form and was trying to pass as the person it looked like. It sensed that I was onto it, and it said something like, “I got the appearance close, right?” I said, “Close in the way that powder blue is close to mauve.” It then attacked the third person (not my roommate), who engaged it in some sort of violent martial arts exchange. I got the sense that the place was haunted, and the malevolent spirit (who often manifested in the guise of real people) was tied to the place, so my goal became to get the hell away from there. I did, but I think the evil spirit killed the other two people who’d been there.

Had a dream in which I went to visit my old apartment. When I got there, the layout of the place was more like the B-W dorm rooms in Heritage 3E than the actual apartment. There were a few of my possessions there, as if I were still renting the place but not living there. I also found three bags of litterbox sand that seemed to have been dropped off there on my behalf.

15 November 2004

I had one dream in which [REDACTED] played piano, accompanying a vocalist. He looked nervous and had expressed fear that he wouldn’t be able to play the piece. He perspired as he played, and by the end he was soaked in sweat. My ears didn’t detect any dissonance, and he seemed to have played the whole piece correctly. I don’t recall any of the lyrics that the vocalist sang. I’m not sure if [REDACTED] was himself or if he was playing a character. I was not present in the dream environment; this was one of those rare dreams in which I’m observing from “outside” in the same way that one watches TV.

Had another dream that I was exploring L.A. with some guy (a fictional dream character) who wanted to see some mountain. We’d just left the area near the mountain when he decided to circle back on his own and go see it. I agreed to meet him later at a sandwich shop at a nearby mall. That section of the dream was in the daytime, but earlier in my “exploring L.A.” dream, there was a night section in a seedy part of town. Outside a convenience store, I overheard someone ranting about how he’d just mugged two people. Also within this section, I saw [REDACTED] on the cover of a magazine while listening to the mountain-seeking fellow compare and contrast New York City and Los Angeles.

Had another dream in which I found “whirlybird” type tree seeds, some regular-sized and some with the seed section as large as tennis balls. I collected these with the intent of planting them.

16 November 2004

No dreams recalled.

18 November 2004

Awoke aware that I’d dreamt, with a fleeting glimmer of one aspect of a dream still in memory. I no longer recall what that glimmer was.

22 November 2004

Long night of many dreams. In one dream, I saw a black luxury bus parked outside a concert venue at night with the words “Jethro Tull on tour” painted along one side. There was a banner with about six photos outside the venue too; all the photos were of Martin Barre.

In another dream, I was websurfing at my parents’ house and was absolutely certain that the time was around seven in the evening. When I looked at a clock, I was astonished to see a time of “10:00 AM.” This was followed by another dream in which I was certain that I was awake, and I told someone else about the “7 PM / 10 AM” dream.

I had another dream that took place in a restaurant, and somebody said “this is about to go really fast,” but I don’t recall the context of the comment.

23 November 2004

Dreamed that I was in an office corridor within Larry Flynt Publications. Someone told me that Larry Flynt was planning to “return his full attention to Hustler.”

24 November 2004

Dreamed about watching TV with [REDACTED] at my parents’ house. She was clad all in black. I don’t recall what we watched, but she picked the channel.

I also dreamed that AC and Thalia were with me at that house, and both somehow got outside. I chased after them and tried to coax them back into the house; this took place at night, and I watched as AC ran from the patio to the driveway. I didn’t actually see Thalia outdoors but guessed that she too was loose since I’d last seen her in the garage, and the garage door was open.

25 November 2004

No dreams recalled.

26 November 2004

I had a zillion dreams; I feel like I was almost continuously dreaming throughout my most recent sleep cycle. The ones I remember:

I was back at my old apartment, and Thalia leaped at the living room window screen and squeezed through a crack between the screen and the wall. I raced to the window and looked out. Thalia was on a sort of ledge off to my right just below the window, a ledge that’s not a part of the real building. I called to her and tried to coax her into leaping back up into the apartment while wondering if I should go outside and coax her down instead.

Another dream: I was enrolled at Baldwin-Wallace again, and I was hiking across campus to class (near the Student Activity Center).

Another: I was walking to the Sunset Five movie theather with [REDACTED], who was dressed like a superhero in black leather. On Gower, just south of Sunset, we found some woods and a pedestrian bridge (one that’s not there in reality). We paused on the bridge and talked while I photographed her. She asked how I was doing.

Last one I recall: I was in a spacious cathedral with a ceiling that must’ve been about three hundred feet above the floor. For some reason, people were climbing up a “rope” (a bundle of electrical cords) that dangled from the ceiling. Three of them were almost to the top when the cord snapped, and they fell to their deaths.

27 November 2004

I awoke aware that I’d been dreaming a lot, but the only piece I remembered involved watching a horror movie with a scene similar to the one in Poltergeist where the clown doll attacks Robbie, only in my dream the doll was not a clown but [REDACTED].

5 Dec 2004

Dreamed about preparing a pot of tea. I accidentally tore two tea bags in half.

6 Dec 2004

Dreamed I was in a boarding house with a mischievous red-haired fellow who was about thirty years old.

12 December 2004

Dreamed about sitting at a table with Dewey and two other guys while listening to the live version of “Poor Will and the Jolly Hangman” from the Fairport Convention Cropredy Box (live 1997). Dewey apparently didn’t like the music and turned the volume down. I asked about recording some Dewey & The Porkbellies sessions, but Dewey dodged the question.

15 December 2004

In a lucid dream, I initiated the Global Awakening of Earth (21st-Century version).

I hope this works better than the 1904 debacle.

26 December 2004

Had a dream about vampires and a different one about being inside a shopping mall.

In the former, I was a vampire in a colony of hundreds; we had an underground base with elevator lifts, caverns full of coffins, and around-the-clock guards. I was riding on a lift with about two dozen other vampires, and someone said, “When we’re ready for the attack, there won’t be any empty space on this lift.”

I then entered a restaurant in search of information from a human; I scared her and got the info but was recognized as a vampire by some other people, who chased me out of there in broad daylight. For whatever reason, I was immune to the light.

I returned to the base and found some “nerdy” vampires who asked if I’d be joining them for the planning of the pending massive assault on the nearby human town.

29 December 2004

No dreams recalled.

Daniel S. Duvall


TWITTER: @RealDooovall


My Plan for a Global Poetry-Based Economy

I have registered the domain Leisure-for-all dot net and seek volunteers (expert site designers, lawyers, artists, musicians, and occultists) to create a web page to redistribute the artificial construct known as “money” with funds supplied by people who voluntarily donate.

The site would/will allow anyone on Earth to sign up to receive regular disbursements — probably daily, perhaps weekly.

The “community chest” on any given disbursement day would/will be divided by the number of people registered with equal amounts sent to all.

Safeguards would have to be in place to make sure no fake accounts slip through.

Let’s call the bluff of the 1% who assert that the amount of “money” in circulation is finite.

Recipients would have the option to leave a “tip” in the form of a poem of his or her or whatever’s own devising.  A repository of poetry from around the world would/will accumulate over time.

If you would like to volunteer to help create Leisure-for-all dot net, contact me:

Daniel S. Duvall


“United” States mobile phone number: (440) 623-4680


Reflections from Just Before the Turn of the Millennium

Twelfth Bar, Fourth Beat, Last Time

non-fiction by Daniel S. Duvall

written in late 1998 or early 1999 (about the mid-1990s)

We really should have taped at least one of the 3 AM dope-saturated basement jam sessions, but my friends and I naively figured there would always be another party together down the line.

“You’re always so damned concerned with keeping the chord changes together,” BG bellowed. “Loosen up. It’s still music when we’re off. Hell, let’s intentionally split off from the chord pattern.”

It seemed as reasonable as any directive one hears in a college tribe’s smoke-filled basement at three in the morning.

How had we found each other, this patchwork surrogate family of young artists and experimenters? How did our lives weave together so comfortably for a couple of years as we took care of each other in fluid, ever-morphing relationships, part siblings, part parents, part lovers? How did we reach that paradoxical state of having a comfortable equilibrium filled with electric, limitless possibility?

We knew our surrogate family would always be around for coffee and conversation at Thinkers’ (a shadowed cave of a bohemian coffeehouse that has since shut down) or [REDACTED] (a corporate restaurant still thriving at the intersection of B_____ and some damned street). We could count on each other for a road trip to any exotic location that had caught our attention. Whatever spontaneous project (be it the filming of a home movie or a poetry reading or the invention of a musical instrument out of kitchen utensils) seemed of dire importance that day, we had each other to create with. And we had each other for the basement parties and jam sessions. Those I miss the most, for under the ever-shifting colored lights and swirling clouds of pot smoke, we sparked strings of epiphanies through conversation and music in quantities and quality unmatched in any environment I’ve encountered before or since.

I don’t remember how it began, how our lives gravitated together and wove into that beautiful patchwork equilibrium that was simultaneously silk, sandpaper, and skin. But I’ll never forget how it ended.

“On the fourth beat of the twelfth bar, last time through the pattern,” BG suggested, “everybody start playing whatever the hell you want. Screw the chords, forget structure at that point, just play.”

It was the last weekend of the school year, and the party jam session tasted like honey and champagne. We were contentedly inventing new rhythmic patterns and melodies, me plucking my left-handed bass guitar, CB keeping us together with his perfect percussion time, KA singing through her violin and L_ through her flute. BG and CNL strummed chords on acoustic guitars, sometimes joined by Brunette Hippie Chick when she wasn’t tooting on a plastic recorder. JMT and Blonde Hippie Chick hadn’t played any instruments that night, but their voices and laughter were music enough.

“How do we know which time is the last time?” KA asked. I can still hear her voice, though it’s been over two years since our break-up.

“Three times,” I exhaled another cloud of marijuana smoke. “On the third time through the pattern, fourth beat on the twelfth bar, we’ll go nuts.”

The number three seemed natural somehow. Three acts in a screenplay, third party that week, three o’clock in the morning, third bag of pot that night.

I wish we had taped it. I hope it was as exquisite as it is in my memory. CB’s syncopated drum rhythms echoed off the low ceiling while CNL and BG hit every other beat with their rhythm guitar strums. KA waited a couple of bars, then wove a meandering melody, her violin channeling an ocean siren. L_’s flute slurred from the root of each chord to the fifth and octave and all harmonic points in between. JMT just danced in the corner, her guitar and keyboard silent, her beautiful form gliding in and out of the shadows. Brunette Hippie Chick punctuated every third beat with a blast on the recorder, while Blonde Hippie Chick added rhythm by clapping her palms against her thighs in patterns that changed from bar to bar. I let my fingers explore my bass fretboard, sticking close to a familiar blues pattern but emphasizing the start of each chord change with an octave jump.

As we began that third time through the pattern, our instruments perfectly in sync, I didn’t want the song to end. Why had I suggested only three runs? We were creating a beautiful sound, a natural blend, a window of creative contentment free from the judgment and measures of the outside world.

But we knew it had to end, and that fourth beat on the twelfth bar rushed to meet us.

We lost our sync on purpose, damning the rules and conventions of musicians before us, curious to hear the sound of collective wandering. I ran one finger along the D-string of my bass, creating a climbing pitch of eighth notes. CB pounded a quick burst of staccato beats on the rim of his drum, then fell silent. The violin and flute warbled off in different keys, singing beautiful but dissonant melodies. The recorder found yet a third key, the guitars no key at all. JMT and Blonde hippie chick froze and listened, then sighed loudly over the last dying notes.

We were all silent for at least a minute, replaying that last bar together over and over in our heads, reflecting on the unprecedented beauty of the dissonance that had followed.

It may have dawned on some of us, during that silent minute, that the school year was over and it was time to say goodbye. No more early-morning parties. No more joints, pipes, and bongs passed among us. No more choosing of chords. The voices of our instruments would converse together only in our memories.

Some of us keep in touch through the occasional phone call and e-mail. I hear that KA and CNL are even living together not far from the basement. BG exists across the ocean in Japan, CB was last spotted in Columbus, and here I type in Los Angeles as I pine for a time machine to whisk me back for one last night with that lost family. I’m pretty sure JMT is still somewhere in Ohio, and I suspect the Hippie Chicks are still in Berea, the town where our lives wove together; they were the youngest and may not have graduated yet. But an occasional phone call or e-mail? How can that replace the gestalt of our intertwined souls during the days when we effectively lived together?

Maybe it’s best that we didn’t tape any of the 3 AM dope-saturated jam sessions. Better to live with the promise that we’ll somehow find each other again than to acknowledge that those days are over by filing them away on magnetic tape.


Vintage Ramblings

Vintage Ramblings from a Former Wage Slave


Written in 1997 by Daniel S. Duvall

The ethical and righteous should avoid retail work lest they suffer from intense cognitive dissonance. Retail drones are paid to lie to customers. My paycheck depends on my ability to look another human being in the eye as my tongue transforms the darkest bullshit into believable gold. When a wealthy businessman saunters up to the counter, plops down several hundred dollars-worth of stock-investment books and trendy bestsellers, whips out a platinum credit card, and asks, “How are you?” it is mandatory that I lie. The company expects me to grin like a chocoholic who has just stumbled upon Willie Wonka’s personal stash and then deliver a two-pronged lie by exclaiming, “Just fine, sir, and you?” Prong one: I actually have no interest in knowing how the customer is. The customer is a stranger whose presence at the counter has interrupted my daydreams of swooping and soaring (like Sam Lowry in the film Brazil) among fluffy clouds. I’m never terribly curious about the health and well-being of one who pulls me out of my comforting fantasies. Prong two: I am not “fine.” No one who must deal with a never-ending line of insipid, often verbally-abusive customers while jockeying a cash register is “fine.” An honest response would get me fired. An honest response might sound something like, “How am I? Thank you for your sincere interest in how I am feeling and growing as an individual today. Since you asked, let me interrupt your life for a few minutes to give you a detailed report on my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I’m not well, you see, because Corporate America is tossing me around six bucks an hour to stand here and watch elitists like you spend enough money to feed me for three months on books that will just sit unread on your shelves and coffee tables, gathering dust as props to make your friends think you’re well-read. My feet are cramped and numb because I’ll get fired if I sit down, and I’m slowly developing carpal tunnel syndrome from waiting on you and your bourgeois kind. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in months, and I can’t afford antibiotics for my sinus infection because the fine print in my health insurance says that the company will pay only for two asprin and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide every three months. My brain is withering because I only use the lobes and circuits involved in operating a cash register, and I’m so exhausted when I leave this pit that all I can do is sleep until my next shift. When I close my eyes, all I see are barcodes. That’s how I am, sir. I am terrified by how robot-like this company has made me in so short a time. And you, sir, how are you and your family? Take a long time to answer so I can tune you out and dream that I am a free bird dancing in the heavens.” The company frowns on responses like that. The company pats you on the back and gives you a few pennies more per hour if you get really good at grinning and responding with “Just fine, just fine.” I utter this lie so often to protect those who are slowly killing me that I am now numb to the anguish.

If you think you’ll have ethical hang-ups about covering such a deep truth with such a thin lie several thousand times per week, don’t apply for a job in retail.

“Just fine” is merely one stock response in a vast lie repertoire that retail drones develop for common customer questions. The words “You must love working in a bookstore, right?” make me grind my teeth so hard that sparks dance between my fillings. Yeah, I love shelving books until my hands bleed like a hemophilic stigmatic. I love helping semi-literate high-school students find the Cliffs Notes that enable them to keep most of their weekends free for beer-guzzling and mall-wandering. I love filling out half a tree’s-worth of bureaucratic paperwork every time a customer returns a book. I want to share these answers with the presumptuous twits who insist I must love my job, but instead I fish around the lie repertoire and bubble, “It’s a fun place to be.” (If the managers overhear this response from me often enough, they might one day pay me enough to afford those antibiotics I remember reading about in junior high biology.)

The bastards ground me down.



Dear sentient mammals of Earth and elsewhere:

Please fill in the following blanks after you read the words below.

I wrote through much of the night just now.



GENRE: ____________________________________________________________________________________

OTHER THOUGHTS:_______________________________________________________________________



The text below is…

. fiction


. neither of the above choices

. both of the above options

. ?


Let’s End Violence, Fellow Mammals!

Another Plea for World Peace

[gaze within and find your own soul]

written by

Daniel Steven Duvall



What do you call this document? How do YOU say it? What else might you title this set of letters?

How may love translate into readily-perceived information across time and space?


(who was born on the 2nd* day of January in 1971 in one place on Earth currently known as Ohio)

* though the first iteration of my birth certificate suggested that I was born on the 1st of January in 1971

on the 29th of April in 2018

while light from one star (the sun of Earth) was only visible to my senses via imagination and reflections off one moon


From even before my birth, I had to feel my way via ALL the senses that this current flesh features.

I have forever attempted to assist my birth parents and my biological sibling to feel love.

They may have dormant souls.

I’m not sure how to spark their inner flames.

I’ve long been reluctant to seek help.

A succession of wee felines assisted my personal enlightenment, but I fear that my three closest relatives have never experienced love.

Simulated love, sure. Feigned. Some glimmers of the “real” sort now and again, but not sustained, certainly not eternal.

My parents are nearing the end of their corporeal existences.

I would like both of my birth parents (“DBD” & “DD” [nee Cotton]) to tap the love hive of the quasiverse while they are “here now” lest I be — returned to some form of flesh to again locate them, attempt to heal, fail, rinse, repeat.

My brother, “DDD,” has forever expounded upon what I (DSD) cannot accomplish.

His negative vibes threw me badly off-course for most of this iteration of my existence, at least the moments I’ve experienced thus far.

I am weary. When my current flesh wears out, I’d like to slip to a portion of the quasiverse in which flesh is optional — someplace I might guise in assorted material form when I opt to, but where these pain-absorbing layers aren’t mandatory.

I don’t know what “DDD” believes in terms of the natures of eternity and infinity. I’m not certain, but my father and my mother have left indicators around that they believe in the one who has been known as Jesus Christ.

I once read a science fiction book, or at least some of the words therein, and this tome/tale included a concept: BLESHING.

The souls of mammals have the capacity to “blesh” with others, and the “best” results occur when clusters of two or more choose each other freely — and with love.

Perhaps this time around, my mission was to help the least-aware trio feel the light of infinite love through eternity.

I have not yet accomplished this mission, and my mother and father won’t be in their current forms much longer. Not in this wee corner of the quasiverse.

Should I not complete this goal, please see that my chosen “playgrounds” are well-protected from any and all intrusive, primitive souls. I seem to have been a magnet for such individuals for all or most of this go-round while also encountering those at the other end of whatever spectrum I’m in. Here. Now.




Daniel S. Duvall Rambles About Slasher Movies from the 1980s

Daniel S. Duvall Rambles About 1980s Slasher Films


[10 & 11 April 2018]

I’ve been watching at least one slasher movie from the 1980s every night for the past couple of weeks as research for a prose fiction project that I’m noodling with.

As a teen in the 1980s, I watched the first four FRIDAY THE 13TH films repeatedly thanks to their heavy rotation on cable television.

I’d gotten the bug for slashers earlier in my life, when John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN seared its way deep into my mind – an experience that must have in some ways been traumatic given that I have no conscious memories of my first few viewings of that film, yet I remember moments from even earlier in my life, like watching original broadcasts of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries on ABC in the late 1970s.

However I first encountered the 1978 iteration of HALLOWEEN, I immediately sought out HALLOWEEN II and the novelization — thankfully, the indie paperback shop I frequented back then had a couple of copies of the novelization, and I snagged both — good thing, since an asshole at my junior high school snatched away one of my copies and tossed it in the air during shop class, and the book landed atop a ventilation duct near the ceiling and did not come back down. I don’t know if the tome was still there gathering dust when that building was ultimately razed and rebuilt — I’d long since graduated by then.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve watched HELL NIGHT twice (once with the commentary), BLOOD RAGE (for the first time in my life), DISCONNECTED (I’d never heard of it until recently), HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, GRADUATION DAY, ALONE IN THE DARK, PROM NIGHT 2, PROM NIGHT 3, PROM NIGHT 4, and others.

I’ve got my DVDs of APRIL FOOL’S DAY and HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW on standby, though I’m not wild about either of those.

I just procured Blu-rays of FINAL EXAM & NIGHT SCHOOL, a pair of slashers I’ve never seen before.

I used to enjoy the spookiness of HELL NIGHT when it was on cable TV in my youth. Denise, with her flask of Jack Daniel’s and baggie of Quaaludes, made a major impression on me – one of my early crushes on a fictional character.

PROM NIGHT 4 rocked — a supernatural slasher with the look and vibe of serious, dramatic films from the bygone 1970s — stuff like THE EXORCIST. I loved it, but I perused many reviews after I watched it and saw that I’m in a select minority.


So — Monday night (9 April 2018), I watched THE MUTILATOR for the first time in my life, and the film traumatized me. I popped the Arrow Video Blu-ray into the player, sat down, and dug the hell out of the first 70 minutes, lulled in by the witty chatter, the well-individuated characters, and the locations — sometimes downright breathtaking — including a beach and a trippy tented pool.

The death scene 71 minutes along in THE MUTILATOR traumatized me.

I’ve watched countless body count movies over the decades.

Nothing has ever affected me like that scene (when the character named Sue dies a slow, agonizing death).

I feel like I imagine I must have felt after that first viewing of 1978’s HALLOWEEN — profoundly affected.

I’ve gotten the slasher bug again.

I had no idea that THE MUTILATOR would scar my mind.

Sue’s death scene is unspeakable, but I’m not sorry that I cannot unsee it.


[12 April 2018]

John Carpenter’s 1978 film HALLOWEEN influenced the burgeoning slasher genre to an explosive degree, and some of the imitations are more overt than others in terms of borrowing character types, musical styles, and other elements.

FINAL EXAM flirts with the line between homage and ripoff, sometimes crossing over that line.

PART ONE: Daniel S. Duvall Presents an Inchoate Hypothesis About the 1981 Slasher Film FINAL EXAM After Watching the First 17 Minutes

I’m experiencing the 1981 slasher movie FINAL EXAM for the first time in my life. Observations thus far:

The thought I had during the first image of the killer (his face not revealed) was like, “Oh, Michael Myers is approaching two necking college students who are in a parked car.” The clothes, the slow gait — pure Shape.

The introduction of the character who I’m intuiting is the Final Girl — “Okay, so it’s like Laurie Strode is now at college and worked up the courage to ask out Ben Tramer even though she really should be with that other guy over there – the one who wasn’t Xeroxed from HALLOWEEN.” We meet these FINAL EXAM characters thus: the long-haired, intelligent, kinda shy gal walks along with her “Ben Tramer” (who was never seen in HALLOWEEN, only discussed, though he shows up in HALLOWEEN II). They cross paths with a male variation of Laurie, and either this new character is gay (not yet revealed) or the actor was and didn’t have the chops to play straight.

Then we meet this film’s iteration of “Lynda,” the sexy blonde — a character who here is sleeping with an overtly sleazy professor.

I should have been less surprised just now when two more characters were quickly introduced — I’m calling it now that they are “Annie” and “Paul.”

Which makes the sleazy professor “Bob.”

In HALLOWEEN, Bob Simms is Lynda’s lover. He ends up knifed to a kitchen wall.

Hypothesis: I’ll find additional stuff (characters, perhaps plot points, and imagery) that seems derived from John Carpenter’s 1978 film HALLOWEEN.

Back to the other room to watch the rest of FINAL EXAM.

PART TWO: Daniel S. Duvall Types Up His Impressions After Watching the Whole Movie

Act III is visually an overt homage to HALLOWEEN with the Final Girl (here in FINAL EXAM named Courtney) facing off against the killer almost entirely alone, fleeing down shadowed staircases, inexplicably not retaining possession of a knife, cowering and crying like Laurie Strode did on 31 October in 1978 over in Haddonfield, IL.

The score, which throughout the movie is similar in timbres to the soundtrack of HALLOWEEN, sounds more and more similar to a John Carpenter composition as act three progresses.

FINAL EXAM improves upon HALLOWEEN in one significant way: at the climax, the Final Girl of FINAL EXAM personally does a thorough job of killing the silent, knife-wielding personification of Death. In HALLOWEEN, Laurie survives only because Dr. Sam Loomis arrives in a deus ex machina moment and repeatedly shoots the antagonist until The Shape topples out of an upstairs window. In FINAL EXAM, there was a moment when I thought I’d see a variation on that with the killer standing in front of an upstairs window and a man with (rather than a gun) a bow and arrow arriving in the nick of time to save the cowering protagonist — but FINAL EXAM surprised me, for the killer (who, unlike Michael Myers, wears no mask and sports denim jeans & an olive-colored shirt) snatches the arrow out of the air and uses it to stab he who fired it at him. Final Girl Courtney then dispatches him in an active, kick-ass way.

HALLOWEEN is far and away a stronger film and has long been my favorite cinematic tale, but I was always bothered by how Laurie Strode remained passive at key moments.

During the third act, Courtney runs around banging on dorm room doors screaming for help. This bit is evocative of Laurie Strode pounding on a suburban home’s front door at a neighbor’s place next to the Wallace house, then fleeing across the street and doing the same on the locked door of the Doyle house (where her initial babysitting charge, Tommy Doyle, has dozed off, as has his friend L. Wallace).

While the character in FINAL EXAM named Lisa is pretty much a direct correlate of Lynda from HALLOWEEN, the protagonist Courtney in the 1981 film is more of a conflation — 70% Laurie Strode, 30% Annie Brackett.

There are no correlates of either Dr. Sam Loomis or Sheriff Leigh Brackett here — the adults in FINAL EXAM are utterly incompetent to a fault save for the sleazy professor, who is never seen again after the first 17 minutes.

FINAL EXAM is a glimpse of a more barbaric, uncivilized era in which fraternity brothers could stage a fake mass shooting on a campus with impunity, then break into a gymnasium in search of amphetamines to sell to students who need something to keep them awake while they study. And, uh, these brutes have no qualms about torturing a pledge by stripping him to his underwear and leaving him roped to a tree for many hours.

This concludes Daniel S. Duvall’s initial thoughts about the 1981 slasher film FINAL EXAM.


[Jumping back in time to the end of March 2018…]

I just finished watching DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE and am about to pop in the Blu-ray of OFFERINGS, which I’ve never seen but have heard is a blatant HALLOWEEN ripoff.

DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE rocked — I noted immediately that the filmmakers had a keen grasp of certain aspects of human psychology. The main character, who weirdly functions as both protagonist and antagonist, is a survivor of childhood abuse by his mother, and her death amplifies his misogyny exponentially, turning him into a serial killer who lures women home, burns them with a flamethrower, and then dresses the charred corpses in his mother’s clothes and poses/displays them in a sitting room.

There’s a dream sequence that’s visually beautiful.  There’s a sequence set in a disco that ends with a shocking action by the killer.  And there’s an epilogue that I imagine is probably a backward nod to HALLOWEEN in which a child named Michael gets slapped around by his mom.

This isn’t exactly a “slasher” in the sense that the murderer — like many actual serial killers — is fascinated with fire (and, like only some real perps, burns all of his victims).  There’s no slashing with blades.  But the vibe of serious horror with realistic settings and characters is strong and well-crafted here — some truly creative low-budget filmmaking techniques impressed me, especially the eerie voices that Donny Kohler hears.  Also, there’s an industrial accident in the prologue that features an impressive practical burning of one of the lead character’s co-workers.

I’m curious to find out if the filmmakers had in fact seen HALLOWEEN — seems like for it to be a direct inspiration, there would have to be a longer gap between the films with DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE having been released at the end of March in 1980.  Maybe they’d been developing this project for some time and added the “Michael” epilogue, or maybe that kid’s name was just a coincidence.

Probably there are some interviews around that could shed light on this matter.  But for now, I’m gonna go watch OFFERINGS.

The First 24 Minutes of OFFERINGS

I’d heard reports that OFFERINGS totally (ha ha) rips off HALLOWEEN.

The legends are true.

I’m only 24 minutes in and am stupefied by the level of “homage” here. OFFERINGS was released in 1989 and in its earliest scenes exhibits big chunks of HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN II, and HALLOWEEN 4. Mostly the original HALLOWEEN, but cripes — it’s beyond blatant.

The score contains a multi-note piano riff that is more or less directly taken from the HALLOWEEN score.

The female protagonist is resting in her room when the phone rings and nobody says anything. She hangs up, spooked — and it rings again! And it’s her brunette friend on the other end!

The Dr. Loomis equivalent and the Sheriff Brackett clone find half-eaten ducks at the pond where someone reported seeing someone snooping around the morning after local boogeyman John Radley has escaped from a sanitarium after having been comatose for a decade — and during his escape, he stabs a nurse in the eye with a needle, thereby ripping off HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN II, and HALLOWEEN 4 in one fell swoop.

So anyhow, instead of eating a dog, the antagonist here ate ducks. The defense rests its case.

24 minutes in, and the only original bits involve a prologue showing the killer and the future female protagonist as kids, playing checkers and then getting bullied — and a tiny amusing bit of dialogue about another patient in the mental hospital.

I will finish watching this movie at some point, but not now.

Also, the actor playing the Loomis correlate is no Donald Pleasence, I tell ya.


Nine Poems from 13 June 1999

In the summer of 1999, I wrote a series of Haiku themed around the Mythos of legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Here are the first nine.

Eldritch horror close
Must scribble my last memoirs
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

Colour out of space
Drains plant life of chlorophyll
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

Thing on the doorstep
Knocks a familiar rhythm
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

Shadow out of time
Stirs memories long-buried
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

That fucker Derleth
Cashed in on my formula
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

The beast in the cave
Had at one time been a MAN!!!
Oh dear God no AAARGH!!!!

In the walls of Eryx
Asphyxiation chokes me
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

Thing in the moonlight
Trapped in terrible dream-world
Oh dear God no AAARGH!

Beyond wall of sleep
No star had been visible
Oh dear God no AAARGH!