Saturday, January 10, 2015

The BFG's B-sides

Twenty more unexciting entries from the dream journal. No attempts at psychoanalysis this time, I'll let the insanity speak for itself.

I'm Here to Rescue You

I'm browsing a 7-Eleven and see a Korean boy being verbally abused by the owners, so I rescue him. In my dream, this just involves announcing that I'm doing that and taking the kid around with me wherever I go.

I figure that the responsibility of having a child to care for will turn me around from a slacker student into a mature adult, as well as making me more appealing to... the women's basketball team? I'm working off sleepy notes here.


Simon Whitby (from off of school) finds himself in a dark room, empty but for ghostly silhouettes of people sitting in the corner. Approaching the spectral shadows, he hears whispers from another plane, some of which seem to be referring to him. One of the whispers includes the word "autopsy."

Take the Unnecessarily Life-Threatening Route

Visitors to the massively tall skyscraper have several options for reaching their floor. You can head inside and take the lift, like a normal person, or you can climb inside a dangerously rickety open air cable car and haul yourself along the antiquated rope track manually. Join me.

I Can't Look After Animals/Children Vol. LXXXIV

We have a baby - great, not going to be any anxiety here - which is the size of a hamster and can be carried around on a single finger. Unfortunately, it gets behind the TV and I struggle to retrieve it before it starts to chomp the cables. Maybe it's actually just a hamster? I'm not even any good with those.

Through Churchyard Gates

Hanging out with poets in a fictional uni, I find myself charmed by Winona Ryder (from off of Beetlejuice)'s descriptive poetry that turns out to be an accurate map of the route she takes to a secret hideaway. Since this is one of my dreams, I don't follow the directions and wait there like a stalker. Instead, I try to impress her back with spontaneous poetry of my own, but the best I can manage is a rubbish shaggy dog story about a robot or something.

I wake up feeling inspired to write something beautiful, and see a beautiful sunrise outside. I make coffee and then probably just started checking blogs or whatever and didn't bother, dick.

YouTube Pop

In an even more cynical display of my ineptitude where living things are concerned, I have the bright idea to combine a kitten and tortoise into one super pet. "What could possibly go wrong?" you might ask, as I place the kitten inside the shell, tiny head poking out, and - inexplicably - push down on the shell until there's a piercing shriek from one or both of the doomed animals and their heads shoot off across the room.

I feel absolutely mortified by what I've done and notice that the debacle is already up on YouTube and receiving its first horrified comments from viewers. I can't disagree with them and keep reading.

Core, Blimey

I arrive at a lab to offer my knowledge and assistance to a pair of scientists who are investigating the cause behind The Event, noticing with horror that their equipment is rigged up to cause another one.

"You have a Core???" I ask, flabbergasted at their recklessness. "Don't you realise what could happen if..." But it's too late, as alarms sound and presumably a countdown clock flips to pictures of hieroglyphics as a vacuum erupts in the lab, and we have to grab on to props to prevent being sucked into its devastating maw.

"It's a Core Event!" I helpfully explain over the howling winds. "Like happened in Tunguska in 1908!"

It was either a cliffhanger ending or I was just so embarrassed by the script that I woke up. Still, it's pretty impressive that I remembered the date of the Tunguska event in my sleep. Am I using the word "impressive" correctly?

Who Needs Drunken Revelry and Threesomes? I'm Going to Sleep

I'm getting ready to meet up with old friends, and after the slight embarrassment of last time I tried that six years ago, a doctor informs me not to rely too much on alcohol. I nurse one beer all night as the group gets increasingly drunk and incoherent, watching with detached, sober confusion as they pool their money to buy a techno album that's apparently exciting and all join a long line to ride a space shuttle simulator. I decide to head home.

I arrive at the house and greet Jackie and Sherilyn Fenn (from off of Twin Peaks), who lives with us. We all get into bed together and - because this is my dream - immediately go to sleep.

Carry That Weight

You know how you can choose to wear your wife/girlfriend's breasts sometimes, just around the home, to ease the burden? I give it my best shot, but the adjustment is a bit annoying.

Flying Low

I undertake some extreme flight training in a hi-tech Japanese lab with an instructor who may be insane, an impostor or just part of the test. It's all psychological you see, with less actual flight training involved than I would have expected.

The instructor feeds me a strange brew that makes me paranoid, distrusting of everyone and mildly homicidal, but I fight its effects by forcing myself to become face-blind and de-personalising each facial feature of the various people he recklessly sends into the chamber. The dream helps me along by turning some of these people into crows, wind-up toys, liquid, etc.

At one point a second instructor arrives and tells me the first guy isn't an instructor at all, just a mad Japanese scientist who gets his kicks out of feeding hallucinogenic concoctions to people and watching the resulting chaos, but I don't pay any heed. Well, you have to pick a side in life and blindly follow it in spite of the evidence, don't you? I think I passed.

A Japanese Man's Home Is Literally His Castle

While travelling in Japan, I make a friend (a tell-tale sign that it's a dream) who invites me to come along to his house at the weekend for a party he's having. I only realise when my taxi pulls up at a magnificent Edo period castle, and see celebrities such as Charlie Brooker hanging around with champagne glasses, that I severely underestimated the scale of the bash, and feel extremely out of place. I didn't even bring a gift!

I retreat to my castle suite as soon as I can to soak up the guilt, then soak in the bath. Well, no point wasting it.

Acid Flashback

Continuing with a couple of themes, I meet up with the comedian Stewart Lee and other imaginary old friends for a reunion in some kind of trendy bar/barn(?), presumably in London. I head up the spiral staircase to take a look out from the top of the stone watch tower (it has one), and as I ascend I hear Stewart start to relay a story about something embarrassing I apparently did one time when drunk, involving acid. As in the corrosive liquid, not the hallucinogen. As I continue up the stairs, I can't hear him any more.

After I return to the group, they all act like they aren't privy to some embarrassing secret information about me, but I see the smirks. I wonder what I did?

Sleep Commenting Again

I have the bad feeling that I've been sleep commenting again. I check the comment sections of my daily websites and there it is: an irrelevant, largely illegible scrawl,

  formatted and embarrassing,
credited to my username.

The discussion has continued around it, the community having silently agreed to just ignore the babble. Apart from one person who's upvoted it. Cheers for that! Delete.

The Nougat

We're taking a package day tour of a generic tropical Asian destination, and didn't realise that one of the items bundled into that package is a demonstration of how to eat an elephant alive, trunk-first, conducted by that type of macho, meat-loving, poof-disliking Australian who isn't my favourite type of Australian.

I feel terrible for the poor, chained pachyderm, which howls in pain and ineffectually stamps its feet as the Aussie chews and chomps at its trunk (definitely not phallic imagery). He stops when he reaches the centre, which he explains is the unappetising part between the good bits ("it's the nougat"), but by that time I've had enough and plead with him to stop.

"You're eating it alive!" I wail. He deliberately misinterprets my request, shoots the creature in the head and continues snacking. I wake up flustered, and promise myself not to take any more elephant rides.

Ghost of a Holiday Yet to Come

A glimpse of my curmudgeonly future. Zooming over the water and around the white sand contours of a tropical paradise, I'm the sole passenger on some sort of futuristic hovering craft or other. With my magnificent white beard I look exactly like James Randi, but I lack his enthusiasm for life, and I'm aware that my unimpressed attitude is disappointing my driver/guide.

"Would you like me to say it's 'bitching'?'" I ask, bitterly enunciating the contemporary parlance. The driver replies that, yes, he'd like that.

I take out a smartphone attached to a Selfie Stick™ - which I purchased exclusively for the purpose of mocking the youth trend - striking a pose and flicking the peace sign. "Bitching," I flatly state. Doesn't life drag on?

Picking Up Strays

In a charming dream about class stratification and insecurity that I hope you won't look into too deeply, I live in a tenement flat in the rough part of town and have to stay constantly vigilant for thieves and 'strays' - a cross between a street dog and a clingy human being that's always waiting to bolt inside your open door at the first opportunity and is a bloody pain to send back outside again if you have anything approaching a heart. I know they're only pretending to like me because they want my resources, I've been here before.

Pea Green Bread

Me and the guys (I don't have guys) are setting off on a rafting expedition in an worryingly rickety looking craft, and without a firm list of provisions we've all been casually tasked with bringing along whatever we think will be needed on the trip. One of the guys brought a notebook filled with his own poetry, which I guess could be useful, thanks, and another one brought beer, because you know what he's like!

I figured we might want to eat at some point during our voyage, so I brought peanut butter sandwiches, which I've already prepared and stacked on a plate for convenience. As I clear a space for the plate between my feet, trying not to step on the sandwiches with my filthy shoes, I realise for the first time that there's a risk of them getting slightly manky over the next few days and consider whether I should have brought something less perishable, or at least some Tupperware. At least I didn't bring poetry.

Nesquik Airlines

Giant milkshake cups the size of houses are falling from the sky and are naturally causing widespread panic. I find my family in the chaos and we take shelter inside one of the fallen cups (no, they don't have any milkshake in them - how would that make sense?)

We lunge against the wall to right the toppled cup and one of my brothers somehow figures out how to operate it, so that I don't need to think about that bit. We lift off on a James and the Giant Peach style adventure, only more implausible.

You're Removing That Rib Cage Far Too Often

You know how you can remove your rib cage when you're not using it and store it in the freezer overnight to slightly extend your lifespan each time? Well, I've been doing that a lot lately, and have started to feel some discomfort in the joints where it connects.

I visit a doctor, who informs me that the rib cage apparently wasn't designed for such repeated extraction and insertion, and the next time I remove it could be my last. So now I have to go around with my rib cage inside my body all the time - what kind of life is that?


I just woke from what feels like an uncharacteristically realistic and mature dream in which I returned home to visit the family (it's been a lot of years) and was informed that this would be the last time I could see the cat, whose health had started to decline (in the dream: in reality, he's apparently a sprightly 16-year-old vole catcher).

I spend a lot of time with the old guy, stroking his head, reminiscing one-way about the old times and regretting having been absent for so long. I'm not in a hurry to leave, I'll try to make up for all the lost time.

Pleasant dreams.

Art by Zdzisław Beksiński

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