In 80 Days...

This morning I dreamed that Nath Khamnark and I were wandering inside a huge F.W. Woolworth in Bangkok (none exists here) that was built like a huge British colonial, monumental ramblling building, partly like an Indian railway station, partly like a wooden house with many verandas. The shop had very little on sale. But Nath said to me, "Upstairs, on the top floor, there's a very interesting historical movie costume exhibit. You must see it."

We go up and there are fewer and fewer customers and goods, but big glass doors open out into an exhibition level. We go in but the exhibition doesn't seem to be open. There is a rack of turquoise polyester fake historical shirts — tunic-like — a round rotating rack like in a clothing store. From another room, I hear brass rehearsing epic music and I know (from where I am, I don't really see them) but I recognize them as members of our orchestra just by the sound they make. They must be preparing for when the exhibition opens, maybe there will be a movie music concert accompanying it.

Going a little further into the carpeted room, there is a long sales counter with books spread out, face up, all along the left half. It's like a huckster table at am SF convention. They are colorful, old, rather skinny paperbacks and they are all in Thai. The right half contains a different set of paperbacks — a different size maybe. Behind the counter is a middle aged rather grumpy women asking what we want. I see, sitting on the right side of the counter and poring over the books, an old friend from the 1970s, Witaya Tumornsoontorn.

He says, "these are all books from the old days." I see they're in Thai, but most are translations from the classics, with quite a bit of Jules Verne lying around. I start turning over the books and examining then. "What are you looking for?" says Witaya.

"I'm trying to see if any of my old titles could be adapted into movies," I tell him, but I don't turn over any of my own books, only more Jules Verne. Presently, the theme from "Around the world in 80 days" plays from the inner room where the brass have been rehearsing.

A vision of Shirley McLaine as the Indian princess in that movie comes to mind. I say aloud, "if an indian princess trying to escape suttee is 1% naughty, most women in California are about 2%. Women around the world are not much different after all."

Meat of Horror....

Last night's dream ... I went with my whole family to have dinner in some building, maybe a mall, but not brightly lit, rather gloomy, with an upstairs wooden corridor reached by steps.

I heard someone say, "How about Japanese?" and I said, "not if we have to sit on the floor." But we peeked into the restaurant and the floor had shallow, square openings so one could actually sit normally and hide ones legs (although they were too shallow to stretch properly) … we went in anyway.

There was a long rectangular opening in the floor big enough to accommodate my family … but it had no table. So we sat around it, as if our legs were dangling over an empty swimming pool. My sister Pinky said, "O look! This is a very famous dish - Prakhanong beef!"

Someone was serving it on a platter. It was about eight pieces of sushi, topped with raw meat. Prakhanong, of course, is the well known location of the horror story "Mae Naak" - subject of one of my operas. It has nothing to do with Japanese food. Seeing this sushi makes me think of horror.…

Then, someone in Japanese clothing is pan-frying some potatoes by the side of non-existent table. The potatoes are cut in circles — so these are home fries.

My mother says, "Wait for Bruce, Bruce is coming soon."

I wake up.

Gangster Mummies

I had a very peculiar dream. I was a research assistant for an old professor who liked to dissect mummies. He had lots of them lying around in his office. We were having a grand old time unwinding them and looking inside.

Suddenly, he told me had accepted an outside job. He was now going to be working for a government agency. In this capacity he will be doing forensics.

Suddenly all the ancient Egyptians were gone from the office and were replaced by dead members of the mafia and gangsters in 1940s outfits. They were all lying around half embalmed and reeking. My professor seemed very happy. But these particular corpses were much request wetter and harder to handle.

Horse Hotel

Dreamed we got lost in a vast and wild alien landscape, I and several friends including Christian Ham. I can't describe how alien except that it was truly psychedelic: bright shifting primary colours, "purple rain", vistas of shifting color and everything contrary to the expected colors of our world. 

Anyway we are lost and wandering. No sign of human (or alien) habitation except a strange dread that the world is deserted, that its inhabitants have long abandoned it. A roaring, whistling wind blows the very landscape hither and thither.

We are lost and hungry. Way in the distance a tall, square building — looks a bit like the UN building in NYC except it is brilliant red and orange and glowing — and someone says, it's a hotel, we can get refreshments there. Our journey leads us out of nature into a passageway with turquoise doors. Through an opening we can still see the distant hotel. We send out an exploring party and eventually they come back. It's not a hotel for people, but for horses, they say.

I turn to Christian and say "c'est un hôtel des chevaux." We all decide to remain in this passageway and to the left we suddenly see a kind of bar or saloon with glass exterior walls we can look inside, and red velvet drapes, sort of "New Orleans Whorehouse" decor. But there are no people. There's activity; something is happening, we sense it, but people are invisble (though drinks are being served."

We turn to the turquoise doors which are behind us, and turn back down the corridor the way we came. There are about four doors, in a bend in the passage. They're hotel rooms.

We open one. The walls, everything is pale blue-green. The sheets on the bed are unmade. There is half eaten food on the table. Room service. Half drunk wine bottle. How can we rest here? How do we know they are not coming back?

There was a lot more to this dream at the beginning, but I don't recollect the huge adventure that brought us to the alien landscape....

Dirty Linen in Public

Last night I dreamed I was in Em Quartier's gourmet market trying to buy laundry detergent. I was carrying dirty clothes in a laundry bag. I came across a plastic bottle of TIDE.

I said to Mikey, "Funny, this is powder, but it's a liquid detergent container." I decided to try to use it. I touched the bottle and it miraculously split into two. Enough for two loads. Like magic, a pale green washing machine appeared behind me in the back of the grocery store. "Let's try it out," I said. I emptied the sack of laundry into the machine, realizing there was no dryer and I would have to hang the clothes in the supermarket.

So that was my dream - no flying, no magical creatures - the very mundanity of the dream was in a sense fantastical....

Birth Canal

I had a strange and beautiful dream. I was in a vast gleaming underground complex, a museum of humanity's great ideas. There were all sorts of passageways and tunnels, neon lights, glass, metal, light everywhere, and all the great philosophies and scientific discoveries on exhibit. All the passageways led to a central junction and in this junction was a tiny passage only big enough for one person to squeeze through.

This passage was marked with a bright neon sign: "the birth canal of ideas."

I manage to get myself through. This is an ever-expanding spiral, like the cross section of a conch. There are exhibits on either side of this spiralling pathway. There's a lot of light. I realize that in between the exhibits of great human inventions and ideas, there are shoe shops. 

More and more shoe shops, with more and more different kinds of shoes, as I negotiate myself through the spiral....

Surf and Turf

I had a dream two days ago that I thought I would forget and so didn't bother to write down, but it bothers me....

It's about sitting at an outdoor dinner on a bench (redwood) with redwook plank table, very California-ish. But as I am eating, I notice something weird. On the inside of my trouser leg — against the left calf I think, there's a strange itch. I look at my leg at it looks like a shrimp has escaped the barbecue and it's running around, nipping at my leg with little claws. I shake it off me. 

Later - no dream - I wake up for real, screaming from a godawful leg cramp. I have to pee. I stand up with great difficulty and stagger to the bathroom. I go back to sleep.

In my next dream I'm sitting at the same table. A plastic bag of shrimp is attached to my calf. I can feel them walking around, but they're in plastic. But the bag breaks. The shrimp are walking around on my skin. It's a hideously creepy crawly feeling as I wake again.

Maybe a metaphor for my life right now.

Lost in the Embassy

I dreamed that I had to go to the U.S. Embassy to receive a check. That it was a really complicated bureaucratic process and involved getting an endorsement from a desk in a small room in an upper floor. The clerk downstairs was behind a counter with bars. He said, "Oh, we streamlined the process. We don't have to sent you up to get the other stamp. The official for that now has a desk right behind me." He pointed to an area in the back of the room. There was a desk and a chair, but no one was sitting there. "I guess you'll have to come back," he said. I woke up.

Grand Master of Vampires

So: I dreamed I was the grand master of vampires and in my dream, I was dreaming about how to impart my knowledge of the dark to a young apprentice.

In the dream within the dream, words came to me:
a single breath
a single story
a single death
leads on to glory

at least, that's what I think I heard in the dream within the dream, but when I woke up inside the dream, those words were slipping and I was now sure if they were right … so I spent time trying to reconstruct them …

then (inside the first layer of the dream) I'm putting together a brochure about how to be a vampire. I start to read it and there are pages and pages of acknowledgments and introductions and chapter lists and I realize I am never going to get to the actual text …

that's when I wake up, still trying to figure out if I remembered the words correctly…

Bookstore....

I dreamed that I was in a huge American bookstore, like a Borders or B&N, athough only the front third of it was a real bookstore; the rest of it, going as far as the eye could see, was a trompe l'oeil effect of some kind. 

It's America but it's also some kind of Chinatown or Little Tokyo — an Asian neighborhood. And I am looking specifically for a copy of a Noh play. Wherever I go, however, the "Asian Lit" section is full of Thai classics. I find a few pieces of Japanese Literature, mostly slim volumes of poetry.

I go over to another section of the store that specializes in Thai books and find dozens of very thin, uniform editions of classic Thai plays that I never knew existed before. They're shrink wrapped in plastic so I cannot open them.

My Grandmother

I had an incredible dream ... no, flashback. I saw my grandmother, Prapaipis, who died sixty years ago. I was crawling on a highly polished wooden floor. She was watching me. It was very vivid.

Behind her there were some voices speaking in Chinese. I don't know who they were. 

It wasn't really a dream. It was more like a memory. The texture of the floor was real. It was so highly polished.

Art Imitates Art

This is a very long and complex dream but it is slipping away. Let me try to remember ....

First, I am a wealthy art collector in Beverly Hills. I wake up one morning and admire all my paintings. First one that hangs just outside my bedroom, then when I go downstairs, the bulk of the paintings which are in an exterior gallery on a veranda. But when I go down, I discover that the walls outside the house, including a lengthy passageway that leads out to the street, have been fantastically graffitied. A huge complex picture of incredible beauty has been painted .... and then, in the blink of an eye it seems, it is replaced by another.

I wonder who has done this. As I walk back through my art collection, I start to notice that my paintings have been replaced by other paintings. There is a huge yellow period Picasso (note: he didn't have a yellow period) - and a Van Gogh is missing. After some agony I nptice tat the old paintings are still there, UNDER the replacements. I wonder whether the new ones are real or fake.

I wake up, but no I am still dreaming and in my dream, I saty "I must write this down before I forget it." But I am no longer at home. I am in a stranger's house and my computer is gone. 

I am lying on the floor in the house of a stranger, except that it appears to be my late friend Robert Bloch (author of PSYCHO) only it;s not EXACTLY him. He tells me to use his typewriter and throws me a pile of paper.

I sit at the typewriter which is an old manual, but when I put the paper in I discover that ther things are already typed on it. When I use the carriage return, it sends me way back to beyond the left margin, so I can only type onto the platen. The ink is green. I turn the paper over to type on the other side and discover that it's one of my old music manuscripts.

It's no good, I say, I have to use a computer. Eventually I find a computer, but it's an old one, looks like an Apple II, very hard to remember how to use it. I keep thinking, the stuff I already typed, I can't transfer it to this computer's memory.

But I still start typing. I explain about the mansion and the paintings but in reliving the dream, it's different. I am married now, and my wife appears to be Elly, (Bob's wife) except she kis also conflated with the Dutch opera singer Elly Ameling. (The first time around I was living alone.)

This time around I am in my office, listing the paintings which were in my dream within a dream. The yellow picasso is held up. I point out that I bought that painting with miles, not money. There's a Chagall, as well — my favorite — yes, I say, THAT one I paid money for. Then I say but we are forgetting the Van Gogh!

In fact, as we continue to catalog the paintings and I type all this down, I am telling myself no, no, if we go on cataloguing I will forget about the art thief in the veranda gallery, because we will never get to that part of my dream! And we don't, because I wake up in mid-typing of a sentence.

An Alien Hand

Today I did, in fact, have a dream, a rather frightening one. In my dream, my family seem to be on holiday somewhere. Mikey and I decide to sleep in my father's room because we are worried that he may start sleepwalking. We are in one large bed and my father is sleeping behind a partition.

So, in the middle of my dream, I wake up (still in the dream) and I see that my father is wandering around, muttering "red wine, red wine." He has moved towards a huge kitchen counter with a gigantic refrigerator behind it, more like an industrial sized storage unit with row upon row of bottles of wine.

Suddenly I am outside the bedroom. A door is flung wide open and an old woman whose face is painted bright blue and yellow is cackling hideously. The doorway seems to open out into a kind of primordial forest. Terrified, I step away. I find myself in another room. Two mafiosi are in the room, and the taller, fatter one seems to be their leader. "We have you now!" he is shouting. "We shall violate you in every way!" He advances towards me with his arms swinging and I feel a hand over my face, choking, strangling — except then I wake up to find my own hand is covering my own face.… but at first I think it is an alien hand...

The Nature of God....

I am still on the plane and I had a dream so vivid I actually thought it had really happened, long after it was over and I was semiconscious.

In this dream I am a reporter and I have gone to write about a very charismtic preacher who is well known for being a bit syncretistic. I am travelling with my friend K., a German writer married to an Indian, and a small group of other friends including Trisdee.

The preacher welcomes us at the doorstep and invites us warmly to step through a wooden, curved door into a huge, dakr, cruciform cathedral. We go inside and the congregants are dressed in strange, archaic robes. In thje center of the cross, dark and shadowy, is a tableau of Thai scultptures including a menacing Totsakan (the ten headed demon king of the Ramayana. "Look," I say to Trisdee, "something Thai in the midst of all this!"

I walk further into the smoky darkness. There is incense. But the closer I get to the Thai tableau, the more it changes. It becomes something more ancient, half Tibetan, half Babylonian, or maybe like a Phoenician Baal/Moloch, a gaping head, golden and glinting but mostly swallowed up in darkness..

The chanting begins. It's a barbaric sound, with clanging insttiments and guttural moanings. It's infectious, scary. I wonder where K. is and go further into the cathedral.

I hear her screaming. She ermerges from an inner room where she has been trying to interview the preacher. Her clothes are torn and she is bruised. "Did he hurt you?" I ask her.

"Yes..."

"Did he sexually attack you?"

"Yes..."

We carry her outside to the door. Our team is all there including the preacher's teenage son, who is a apostate from the sect and has joined the team. K. is weeping and clearly has been deeply violated.

The preacher's son is furious. "That's what happened to me," he says. 

I say "He is an evangelical, isn't he?"

The son nods.

"But this church contains no symbols of christianity at all, I said …more like satanism." I say, "I am going to write this story, I don't care what happens. As soon as I go home, I am going to start typing it into Facebook."

When I woke up, I was already typing this....

Buddha's Fifth Symphony

As I lie in bed sick, I had a really unusual dream. It starts when I'm finishing some unfinished work by Schubert. I know what it is because it has a portrait of Schubert on the cover. 

My mother says, Stop for a moment. There is someone we have to see. It is very important for funding.

We go for a walk. I open a wooden gate and we are crossing a grassy area and I am thinking: what about this program: Schubert 5, Beethoven 5, and Mozart 5? Will it sell? I remind myself that Trisdee would prefer Beethoven 6. Maybe I should do three sixes?

We reach an alley lined with curiously shaped houses on left and a wall on the right. The houses are weird and small, almost ot houses at all. "Who are we going to see?"

"It's your aunt," she says, "Lilly Sucharitkul." I have no Aunt by that name but instead I think of Lilith, the Ur-temptress.

We reach the last house on the left and open a rickety gate. We pass a succession of areas including a purple balcony populated only by a large Buddha image, (it's a white Buddha, seated with hands in blessing position, appears to be in Burmese style, and then we enter a house. Suddenly two children, twins, a boy and a girl, come giggling out of the house. First the girl starts jumping up and down and pulling my hand. We go down steep stairs, through level after level, basement after basement — there is a wooden bannister. The boy clambers onto me, clutching my waist and the steps get steeper and steeper, until it looks almost vertical like a ladder, and the boy holds onto me almost as though I am a parachute, and we glide down from step to step on this ladder-staircase … and then …

we come out on the deck of a yacht. There is open sea and a distant vista of cliffs. A blonde surfer-looking guy in a polo shirt and shorts welcomes me. "Oh, you've come to see Lilly? What's that you've brought?"

"Oh it's a Schubert symphony I am finishing."

I walk out on to this splendid deck. There is no trace of the long descent through the house. The air is warm and the sea is glittering. That's when I woke up and discovered it was already 1 pm.

Ants

Been sick as a dog for days. Weird dreams though. Last night a vivid dream about an extremely young Kento Shiba. In the dream he looks about 8 years old. We are at some kind of orchestra camp and he’s having trouble eating the food. 

I explain to him, “it’s just a bear’s tongue with fresh ants. I don’t understand why you’re having such a problem.

His mother says to me, “he’s not used to eating live ants“

Later I dream that we are in a huge beach resort and we’re trying to enlist a local music school to join the opera company.

School is a long building on one side of an alley, right side. First there’s a music division. The doors all glass and we can see inside a boy playing Chopin on a white piano. However there is no way in.

Remove further up the street. A young teacher with long black hair beckons to us but we still cannot get in. Finally we reach a large hall a very sophisticated modern dance class. Now the doors open up. The Downs students are in some kind of fluorescent clothing. I tell the teacher who we are. I explain that we are coming to cooperate with them.

“That’s great,” he says. “But where could we perform?”

I say, “the cultural center” and he says but how can we get it? I say trust me.

The dance school opens up into a shopping mall.

Being the Dream

A nightmare of sorts.... at least I thought it was but maybe just an ordinary dream.…

I dream I am going to bed and as I draw the covers aside to get it there is a woman lying to my left. The woman has long black hair and she is young and I realize that she is dreaming.

I entire the woman's dream and the woman is dreaming that she is on the bed with me (in other words, I am something in her dream and not the reverse.) And the woman is thinking, I am about to have a nightmare. I am going to dream that a corpse or monster will lift the sheets and horrifically glide under them to do terrifying things to me.

But when I look up at the foot of the bed it is not a monster. It is an aged crone, and she holds a huge staff which she has slid beneath the covers, And she appears to be stirring something. My bed is a cauldron and the sleeping woman is a magic potion.

I don’t know if I am HAVING a dream, or IN the dream, or OBSERVING the dream, or whether I am myself the dream.

Eating on Starships

So my dream was entirely about food. Mikey and I were enjoying a delicious buffet, item after item. Absolutely incredible.

Then we were walking around in the same mall and it was time for another meal. We entered this restaurant and realized that we were too full to eat. There was room at the counter for two, all you can eat.

"Never mind," I said. "Our whole ship can eat." Apparently we have a starship parked on the roof of the mall. I instruct the entire troop to prepare black, alien-mecha-looking prosthetics. Every few minutes, one of us leaves and a fake "alien" joins the table, and they all look alike, so the entire ship's crew gets to eat a meal for two ...

Kafka without Cockroaches

Have awoken from a rather curious dream. I am back in school. There are two classes; I am supposed to go to one of them (downstairs, male teacher) but sneaked away to a different one (upstairs, (female teacher.) The dream appears to be in Thailand, pre-air conditioning — the 1960s.

The upstairs class is airy, pastel-cream-white walls, sparsely attended, high ceilings. The teacher is a middleaged (well maybe in her 50s) blond but greying, some wrinkles, always smiling, and though Caucasian reminds me greatly of M.R. Smansnid, my brilliant teacher at Patana.

The downstairs class is infested with cockroaches; I had secretly sprayed the class that morning which I why I don't want to be there.

I do go downstairs for a while. There is a staircase, wooden, angled with a landing. The wood is painted grey. I come down and stand on the landing/ I can hear the other teacher droning away in the other classroom and know there is only one student left there, a girl. I already smell the cockroach spray. It is sickening and I go back up. 

When I get back to the class they are watching a video about the moon landing (putting this dream squarely in my childhood years). The teacher says, "Oh you've come back. You been gone twice, without any excuse, a total absence of two hours. Why?"

Very guiltily I tell her about how there was an infestation downstairs and how the smell of cockroach spray has driven me up to her classroom.

She says, "I would feel that way myself." And smiles a wrinkly smile, showing me all is forgiven.

The moon landing continues to play on big monitors in the schoolroom.

(Though I don't see the cockroaches I can help but think of Kafka.)