Morphing Ships, Lost Clothes, and a Hapless Jerk

I am on a ship anchored just off-shore somewhere in Europe, through a porthole I can see the colorful houses of a coastal town.

I’m waiting for my brother to arrive, he has been traveling and is joining me me onboard this vessel. Night falls before he arrives. He comes on board carrying only a small black bag, he says that’s all he has, and all he needs.

As we walk back toward my cabin the ship changes, it begins to feel more like a floating town. There are open walkways between sections of the structure, and many of the walls have fallen away, leaving it open to the water below. This doesn’t seem alarming.

We arrive at my cabin, which is now open to outside, the hull is gone and there is a walkway or a beam about 6 feet out, paralleling my cabin. My brother chucks his bag toward a chair that is near the open area. He misses the chair and his bag falls to the water, about 30′ below. He says everything he owns is in the bag, but he doesn’t seem distressed. We wander through the vessel for some time, but his belongings are on my mind. Eventually we get back to the cabin, it’s now daylight. My brother is not really a water guy, he doesn’t swim to my knowledge. Nor do I with any sort of competence, but I convince him I should at least go take a look for his belongings. Somehow I arrive on the beam that is adjacent to my cabin. I look down at the turquoise water below and jump.

I’m wading though waist deep water on beautiful sand. There are metal structures all around, materials moving about through the water, cloth, bags, machinery, and there are people everywhere.  I see my brother’s bag drift by and I grab it. I feel it’s weight, it has several items in it. I put it over my shoulder, and find myself back in the cabin.

My brother is disinterested in the contents of the bag, and says what he really needs are the clothes that were in there, that still seem to be missing.

I jump from the beam again, but find myself walking on a metal walkway through low doorways. I pass through a doorway into the vestibule of what seems like a pub. There is an older man there with his wife. He notices me walk in starts making obnoxious comments, telling my all the off-color things he plans to do to me. His wife doesn’t take it well, grabs him and hauls him out of the pub area, past me, and onto the walk way.

I proceed into the poorly lit space and ask a few people if they have seen any clothes floating around in the water. I collect no useful information.

I leave the way I came in, along the walkway. As I exit the vestibule I see the old man that was mouthing off.  He is hanging from a metal beam by a rope that is tied around his chest.  His legs are missing, they look like they have been removed with some force at the waist. He’s still unpleasant, but much less threatening. As I stand and observe him with curiosity, he is mumbling away about getting his legs out of the rope, and is grotesquely trying to twist around his torso, as if to free it from the rope. I find it fascinating that he hasn’t noticed he could just use his hands and arms to free himself.

I wake up.

Plugged Toilets and Biting Fish

I’m in a field, I can’t quite recall what is planted there, or who I’m with. A man and woman, each on a horse approaches. I notice they are actors, I know them by sight but don’t know their names. I crouch down so they don’t see me as they ride by.

The next thing I recall is being in a hotel room. It’s a standard room, with two queen beds. I have taken the provided robe from the cupboard and put it on when the door opens and the same man and woman enter. They don’t seem to see me as they enter the room, take off their own robes, and lay face down on each bed, as though they are preparing for a couples massage. I walk out of the main part of the room unnoticed, and decide to use the washroom before I leave. I go into the bathroom and close the door. I notice the toilet is full and possibly plugged. I flush it. Although the toilet doesn’t overflow, the room starts filling with water. It fills until it’s almost to my knees. There is toilet paper swirling around and hundreds of spiky little fish, like rockfish swimming around. I begin to feel the little fish bump into my feet and legs, then start to nibble, not a dissimilar sensation to those little fish that are in tanks for you to put your feet into to have the dead skin eaten.

The toilet finishes flushing, and I use it, my legs still in the water on the floor. As I finish, the fish start to become more aggressive, biting hard, and firmly attaching themselves where they bite. I try to brush them off, but they are spiny, and are not easily moved.

The water drains from the room when I flush the toilet for the second time, and many but not all of the fish detach and disappear. I remove the remaining ones by pinching and pulling on them. The fish pulls off, leaving behind a jelly like lump like the inside of a jelly bean. Those too eventually can be pried off the skin.

I survey the messes that are my lower legs with curiosity, and wake up.

Jacked Up Truck and Miniature Elf Babies

It’s winter in a rural area. I’m driving a pickup truck, it’s jacked up, I’m high up off the ground. I drive into the yard of a property. There are adjacent parking lots, separated by a fences and a snowbank that comes to the top rail of the fence. Beyond that I can see a few guys working, they glance up as my truck pulls into the lot. Although there are no other vehicles in either parking area, I’m dissatisfied with my first parking choice. I back the truck up to reposition it. As I put it in gear to move forward, I give it a bit too much gas, hit an icy spot, or some combination of both, and find myself smoothly soaring over the fence into the second parking area. As I fly clear the fence in slow motion, I see a child crouched down playing in the second lot. I am airborne and cannot control the direction of the vehicle. I land gently, but the truck is so high I have no idea whether I have hit the child or not. As I jump out, I feel the glare of the men who are working just beyond the lot. I take a few steps to the front of the truck and relief floods through me as I find the child undisturbed, still engrossed in his play.

Something catches my eye under the truck, and I crouch down to take a better look. I see at least 3 tiny children/babies, the largest no more than 6″ long. They are laying in a pile under the truck. They are all dressed the same, in light blue one piece sleepers, with long light blue sleep caps that have been starched to a sharp point, they look like tiny blue elves. The caps are pulled down over their eyes, and for a moment I think they might be little dolls. I reach under the truck and pull one out. It is the smallest one, no more than 5″ long, it lays in the palm of my hand. I gently pull the sleep cap up to reveal it’s eyes, and am startled when it’s eyes pop open and it laughs. I keep it in my hand and reach for a second one. It is slightly bigger. It crosses my mind that I should not be moving them until they have been cleared for a spinal injury, but they are so small I decide to just keep them as still as possible until I know more about what they are.

I gently lay the second one alongside the first in the palm of my hand. I pull the sleep cap up on the second one and my stomach sinks as it’s eyes do not pop open, and rather as I pull the cap up to expose more of it’s tiny forehead, there is a bruise above it’s right eye.

I reach for the third, and am woken by my alarm.

Spiders, Sandwiches, and a Little Improv

I am driving, there is a woman in the seat beside me, it might be a coworker. We come to a tree fallen across the road, it seems normal that it’s there. I park the car and we get out to proceed on foot. I pull a large deli sandwich that is on a tiny ambulance stretcher out of the back of the vehicle and start pushing it toward the tree. As I approach I notice that a huge spider has made a very dense web in the fallen tree, and the web is in the way when we try to pass under the tree.

I find a stick to start dismantling the web, the spider is hanging from a single strand of web to my left watching. I create a big enough opening for us to pass though, pushing the sandwich. As I pass directly under the tree, where there are still strands of web hanging down, the stretcher jars over a root or something, and the sandwich falls off onto the ground. I look down and note there are now 3 sandwiches, the original one, and 2 medium sized meatball and cheese sandwiches. One of them looks like if has been trampled, but the other one looks ok. I heft the original sandwich back onto the stretcher and pick off the twigs, leaves and spider web, and gather up the most intact meatball sandwich as well.  We proceed down the road.

I enter a large auditorium. There are bleachers from wall to wall, with only a narrow walkway between the lower bleachers and the wall.  The place is packed, it’s standing room only. I walk along the walkway by the bottom bleachers and am surprised to find a large old TV that is projecting grey static. I carry on to the far wall, then turn around for the return trip. As I pass by the crowd for the second time, I meet a troupe of improve performers running out from the far side of the auditorium with microphones and a few props.

I pass by them with as little disruption as possible and move up into the bleachers until I find a place I can stand. One of the performers runs up the bleachers with a microphone and begins talking to a person standing behind me. He asks a question, then there is an unintelligible mumble in response. I turn around to see who he’s talking to, and find myself staring at the navel of a behemoth of a person. From the angle I’m at, as I look up I can’t really tell much about the person, I’m looking up at their chin. I decide to look down for clues instead, and see huge puffy feet plugged into sandals that are several sizes too small.  The feet are in bad shape, save for cherry red polish on the few nails that weren’t too damaged or twisted to paint.

The next thing I know I’m in a darkened hallway, pushing the stretcher of sandwiches toward a set of double doors. I wake up.

Giving Speeches and Negotiating with Cats

Cohort 35 has completed their program. I’m advised by a former colleague that I must give a talk, either at the beginning or end of what I assume to be the graduation celebration. Despite a battery of questions, I can’t conclude what the celebration is specifically for, why I need to address the gathered crowd twice, where the event will be, what sort of remarks would be appropriate, etc.

I spend some time trying to acquire this information. I come across two exchange students in the middle of the lake. It’s not clear whether we are in the lake, on the lake, or above the lake. After I explain why I need the information, they tell me they don’t know, but maybe I’ll find out if I jump from a height into the water. I do jump from a height into the water, I’m not sure what I jump off of.

I’m back with my former colleague, who tells me I will only be doing the opening address, as I don’t have the rank to deliver the closing address. I ask more questions about who I will be addressing, who’s attending, what the content should be, etc. There are no answers.

I find myself sitting clothed on a bed. My cousin is in the room telling me I MUST run a Discover Software class in Southbank, because that is the only program they will consider. She has brought friends to provide testimonials. Three cats jump up on the bed, an adorable little kitten, a smaller grey cat, and a huge orange tom cat. The tom cat has the most to say about the merits of the course, but turns the conversation back to the opening remarks I need to make, and asks me how I’m preparing. He then questions what time I’m planning to head to the venue, and what time the event actually starts. I tell him I have not been preparing, and I don’t know what time the event starts, or even where it is. He tells me maybe there is something that can be done, if only the Southside could access the Discover Software course. We start negotiating times and dates for the course. I wake up.




My mom is in the passenger seat and I am driving a cream coloured Wesfalia camper van. We are on what can only be described as a narrow footpath that hugs the side of a canyon. There is a sheer rock face rising up outside my driver’s window, and an abyss dropping down below the window on my mom’s side.

Somehow, the van stays on the path that is clearly too narrow for it. The impossibly narrow trail veers to the left and for some reason, my mom leaps out the passenger side of the vehicle, hanging on to the vehicle like a spider. I try to focus on navigating the corner, while yelling at my mother to get back inside the freaking vehicle.

As we round the corner an arch looms ahead. It looks like it’s made of huge styrofoam boulders, but is still way too narrow for the van. Mom is still hanging onto the outside of the vehicle, and I become more anxious as I try to coax her back inside. I’m worried she will be brushed off as we go under the arch. She re-enters through the window just as we hit the arch, and boulders fly everywhere.

The trail sharply descends, and we find ourselves parked on a sandy beach at the base of the bluff. I turn to my mom to give her a piece of my mind for being so reckless, but she has climbed out the window again.


Was I at a Rally Last Night?

I’m in a large meeting space, possibly a conference room in a hotel. There are hundreds of other people there, all managers and employees from a previous employer I used to work for. Everyone is dressed in business wear, and the mood is light. Though it’s not clear why we are gathered, I get the sense it is to hear a good news announcement of some nature. As I look around the room, each person who I settle my gaze on, I know. There is a very comfortable familiarity in the room.

Before it becomes clear why exactly we are there, several of us find ourselves riding mountain bikes, still in our business wear on a fairly technical, very muddy narrow trail. I observe one former coworker lose control, and he and his bike veer off the trail, through some bushes and toward some boulders. I stop with the intention to help, but he waves me on. The trail widens and out of nowhere a large truck is behind me. There is nowhere for me to go to get off the road so I try to pedal faster. The mud and the steepness of the trail make it difficult. After rounding a corner, there is a small trail that leads off the road, and I take that.

In the next moment, we are rejoining the large crowd, but in a new hotel that seems to have multiple entrances on multiple levels. I get the sense it is very new and fancy. There are even more people there now, and the mood has become a little uneasy. As I am greeting a few new people, I notice a group of individuals in dark suits entering. They look like lawyers, and I recognize a few past union executives and union representatives with them. The chatter falls away, and a few others who have been there the whole time, who, like me used to work with the union, or currently do including the current union president,  look visibly uncomfortable.

A few of the people I have known the longest in the room get up and leave, and I follow them. As we go outside we are now in the small town where I first started working for this employer. The others I’m with produce what looks like pickets signs, seemingly out of nowhere. The signs are facing away from me, and are all really odd shapes. They walk to an intersection on two rarely traveled residential streets and start displaying the signs. Before I can catch up to them and see what the signs depict, I wake up.

Elusive Sunsets and Tiny Lighthouses

It’s dusk in a forested area. I’m there with my brother, and he points out a break in the underbrush that shows a glimpse of the sun setting over on the far side of a lake. I want to take a photograph of the scene, but there is still a lot of brush between where we are and the lake. We begin to make our way through the brush toward the lake, but there always seems to be more, taller, denser brush, the further we go. As we move toward the lake, the view entirely disappears. Before that can become worrying, we are entering a large warehouse style building.

The building is filled with 1000’s of lighthouses, some stacked to the ceiling in rows, some still in production. There are craftsmen and labourers bustling about, very serious in their work. The variety and volume of lighthouses, some no more than 4 feet tall, others much taller, strike me as funny, and I start to laugh. This seems to seriously offend one of the workers, who aggressively points out the fine workmanship that has gone into each lighthouse. Indeed, on close inspection of one near where we are standing, there are 1000’s of tiny nails, perfectly spaced, in perfectly straight lines in every surface. The nails are sticking out of the wood by a few millimeters each, giving the lighthouse a slightly furry look.

Once we have conceded to the fine craftsmanship, we are guided back and forth down the long rows of stacked and stored lighthouses to painstakingly appreciate each one.

Mercifully I woke up after inspecting about a third of the lighthouses on hand.