Talking Cats and Climbing the Walls

I’m standing in my kitchen putting groceries away. It’s not a kitchen I have seen in my waking life. I’m searching for places to put the non-perishable groceries. I open cupboards and find them to be extremely ineffectively designed. Each cupboard has an inset that looks like the mailroom cubby holes at work. The inset takes up about 3/4 of the space in the cupboard, and the cubby holes are too small to put anything into. There is only a small band of space at the front of the cupboard to store anything.

As I’m puzzling over this situation, Merlin the cat walks by. I ask her if she wants to go out, and she responds “I don’t think so,” and walks toward the door. I ask again, “Are you sure?”. She says “Maybe, since I’m here already.” I open the door and she goes out. I watch her go, and she turns right and walks under the deck of the adjacent place. I hear a hissing and a shriek, and she comes running back. I step aside so she can come back in, and I take a better look at what distressed her. The grey fluffy cat from the neighbourhood emerges and struts toward the door, as usual. I tell him “not today” and close the door. I hear scratching and turn to see a massive grey paw groping around the floor, having reached through a large, jagged hole in the bottom of the door. The paw is huge, way out of proportion to the grey cat I left outside.

I arrive at work and go to my locker. The lockers are free standing towers, about 4′ tall and 8″ square, far to small to put anything in. I notice all the lockers are standing nicely, but mine is tipped over and some distance from it’s place, like it’s been thrown. I ask the guy who looks after the lockers why mine is in disarray while I move it back to it’s proper place. He says a young man comes and sits in it, and sometimes he gets angry and throws it. I ask how that is possible, and the locker is too narrow to hold my backpack, let alone a person, the guy shrugs.

I leave the area and start work. A signal sounds that indicates it’s time for staff to leave what they are doing and go climb the wall. I make my way with all the other staff back to the locker area. The locker guy stops me as I approach my locker and says, “He’s in there now.”.  Again, I can’t imagine how that is possible, as the locker is only about 8″ square, but sure enough, the door opens and a young fellow I used to play hockey with squeezes out. I say hello, and he just looks at me and walks away.

I gather my things for the wall, and start walking with my colleagues. I feel like something is making it very difficult to walk. I look down and there is a fellow from a past G Adventure tour hanging on my legs, and I am effectively dragging him along. For some reason I feel compelled to make small talk, so I ask if they have been on any other trips recently, knowing that he has, as we are friends on Facebook.

We arrive at our destination, and people set their belongings down and begin to get ready. Women are applying heavy make up, men are getting dressed in togas, kurtas, anything loose and flowing. I decide to just get the climb over with, so I approach the wall.  It’s wooden panelling, varnished with a glossy finish. I begin climbing, easily gripping the wooden panels and pulling myself up. I’m about 20′ from the ground when someone calls up to inform me I am climbing the wrong wall. I lower myself back to the ground and return to my colleagues. I wake up.

Sharks, Trolls, and Ugly Mermaids

I’m at the hair salon. Its a small space, there are only 2 chairs, but the atmosphere is chaotic. People are bustling about, the place is a network of pipes, vents, gears, and the odd burst of steam escaping from the floor and walls. There is a youngish stylist getting ready to put some highlights in my hair. She is mixing the dye in the little black pots with brushes. I remind her I only one one purple highlight, as she is mixing several pots of dye, and they are all white. She ignores me and keeps mixing. Once she is happy with her work, she tells me I have to move to the other chair, and someone else will apply the color. I do as I’m bid.

As I’m adjusting myself in the chair, a very large woman appears in front of me. I look closer, and I’m not entirely sure she is a woman at all. She is short, and very wide. She is wearing a dress, or maybe something wrapped around her, that’s not what catches my attention. Her legs that are visible below whatever she is wearing are connected together by an enormous roll of fatty flesh, right down to the ankles. Her feet stick out below the roll, splayed out to the sides with no toes. My first thought is “I guess this is what happens when you have a job that requires many hours of standing”, my second thought is “how the hell does she move?”.

It’s an idle question, as I’m now in an inflatable life raft on the open ocean. It’s night time, the water is calm, and the moon is bright. There are several people in the raft, I can hear them, though I don’t see them. I am looking out at the water and am amazed to see thousands of shark fins visible on the surface of the water. There are small ones, large ones, ones that look more like little spires than fins, thousands of them and they are mesmerizing to watch.  As I’m gazing out at the movement and the way the wet fins catch the moonlight, I hear a voice behind me in the raft complain that we paid all this money and we haven’t seen any sharks. I hear another voice contradict him, pointing out how the water seems to be teeming with sharks.

It becomes very important that we get in the water, and it’s my turn to do so. I lay on the side of the raft, then roll into the water, still holding on to the raft. I wait until I feel something bump into my legs, then I roll back onto the raft.

It’s still night time and we are still on the ocean, but now my family and I are in a large stone turret that is rising up out of the water. Some of the walls of the turret have crumbled, and there is a secondary wall around the most exposed half of it. My brother and I are at a control panel, and we are watching the secondary wall intently. Suddenly, one by one, big, clumsy, armoured trolls start climbing over the secondary wall and into the dark watery space between the wall and the turret we are in.  My brother and I start working the control panel, launching large foam boulders at the incoming trolls. They seem to like it.  My dad is standing nearby and asks in a exasperated way if we really need to be wasting our time on this.  I wake up.

Compliant Bears, LPs and Xylophones

A female coworker an I have been dropped off at the bottom of a gravel driveway in a rural area. The driveway is narrow and about 150 meters long, fairly steep, and veers off to the right at the top so we can’t quite see the house it leads to.

We are nearing the top when my colleague notices a large bear heading our direction. The bear is closing in on us, and there is nowhere to go, there is a bank and dense trees on either side of the driveway. We press ourselves against the bank and hope the bear will just pass. That’s when we notice there are actually several bears, many of them look like cubs and juveniles.

I step away from the bank and start directing the bears past us, starting with the mother bear. I’m waving them down the driveway as though I’m a deckhand on a ferry, or at least a traffic control person. The bears one by one pass us by and amble down the driveway. We carry on to the house.

I never arrive at the house, instead I arrive at a little shed. Inside I find my parents and my uncle sitting around a large old looking device. I ask what they are doing, and without looking up from their task they tell me they are recording jazz.

I inspect the machine they are working on more closely. It is cream coloured, sort of resembling a really large, old amplifier. On top is a record player of sorts, and there are slots for two cassettes on the front. There are records lying around everywhere, they are all different sizes and shapes, ranging from small and round to larger and more oval. Everything on the machine seems to be moving, but no sound is coming out. I watch for a while.

We are all around a large “L” shaped dinner table.  There is a small toy xylophone at each end of the table and several people, including myself, have small mallets. We randomly reach out and strike the xylophones with the mallets. As I watch, the xylophone nearest me changes from it’s rectangular shape, and the colorful keys shrink and warp into the shape of potato chips, freeing themselves from the body of the xylophone. People begin molding the newly shaped keys into the piles of silly putty that are on the table, and wondering aloud why the keys no longer make music.

Employment Confusion

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of an ambulance that is travelling down a dark road. There are strong winds and rain, and the road is winding along a lake. I’m not sure who is driving, and I’m a bit puzzled as to why I’m there as I haven’t worked as a paramedic in many years, and no longer hold a license. This becomes secondary as a figure appears in our headlights ahead. It is a man standing in our lane on the road. He stands motionless despite the storm around him. As we draw nearer, I realize I know the man. He is a well liked colleague from my current job.

I ask my partner to stop to see why my colleague is standing there, as he seemed to be staring intently at nothing. We pull up beside him. At first he doesn’t seem to notice we are there, I begin to roll the window down to call out to him. He slowly turns to look at me, and as he does his face morphs from his usually soft friendly expression, into an angry, contorted face. His usually shaved hair starts growing wildly, and by the time he crashes against my window (the one that that I’m now frantically trying to roll back up) he is unrecognizable. My partner accelerates away, and we leave him standing on the road.

We arrive back at the ambulance station. It’s a bit confusing, as it is laid out in densely packed cubicles rather than the ambulance bays and dayroom I was accustomed to in the past.  As we make our way down the narrow hallway between cubicles,  people congratulate me on rejoining the crew. This puzzles me as I have no license, and I can’t really recall why I was in the ambulance to begin with. Everytime I think about this, I’m reminded that I should probably tell someone about my colleague who we left standing on the road in a somewhat altered state.

As I pull my thoughts together about that, someone else approaches and congratulates me on my new managerial job. I try to ascertain from them what the new job entails, and can it be performed without an active license. I learn nothing new. This persists, encounter after encounter, until I finally wake up.

Fitful Sleep, Abbreviated Dreams

I had a restless sleep, frequently waking up. I had a series of short, seemingly unrelated dreams in between waking up. These are the vignettes I can remember.

I’m in a poorly lit small apartment. It is cluttered with things that are either from the 70’s or it IS the 70’s. I’m there for work, I’m with someone else. We move through the apartment and come to focus on the area around the small TV that is on a low table in front of an old dirty chair. Also on the table is a bundle of new, clean plastic tubes, like drinking straws but heavier and longer. I pick them up and start fitting them into the various bullet holes in the table, the nearby wall, and the chair. There are a lot of them, and they are all leaning the same direction out of their respective holes, like quills on a porcupine. I wake up.

I’m in a large crowd of people. Everyone is wearing subdued colors, navy blue, grey, lots of golf shirts and cargo pants, male and female alike. We are waiting for something. Soon the crowd starts moving, first being corralled toward a ramp then into a large building. As I approach the ramp, like those before me, I’m handed a bulky navy blue life vest and told to keep it on at all times.  There is no water in sight.

Even if I wished to comply with the instruction, there was no space in the jostling of the crowd to figure out the straps and adjustments, or even to pull the bulky device over my head. The narrow passage empties into an auditorium like space, I find myself about 3rd row back on the balcony. As I survey the scene, I notice most people have abandoned their life vests entirely, some are still holding them, and only a few have actually put them on.

As I look further, past the seating, I see a large deck or stage. On one side is a wave pool of sorts. It looks like swim lanes, but it is running water moving down a slope. There are people snowboarding down it. On the other side is a forest scene, with a sharp drop off the side of what would be stage left from where I stand. Suspended over the drop are two barrel, that have bars allowing us to see inside. The barrels are facing each other. I leave my seat and make my way up the walkway to the space between these two scenes.

As I get to the front of the stage, there are a few people standing around watching what is going on. In the wave pool there are folks learning to snowboard, and others who seem quite proficient at it. On the other side, there are two women who have been put into the barrels and are suspended above the drop facing each other. They don’t seem to be distressed to be there. One of them is someone I know well, and I’m puzzled as to why she would possibly be present, let alone suspended where she is.

As the crowd gathers, an announcer indicates it’s time to get them into the spirit of things, and two nozzles lower down and take aim at the face level of each barrel. Again, the women don’t seem concerned. The nozzles open and spray large quantities of what is announced to be beer, directly into the faces of the women. They laugh and drink what they can from the geysers aimed at them.

As this occurs, the announcer comes back on saying we are now going to hear how these lucky ladies got selected for this honour. A scene appears in the forested area of the stage, it almost seems like we are watching on a screen, it’s a bit fuzzy, and has a sepia tone to it. The woman I know is the subject, she is in a clearing with some other people, they all have long board skateboards. They are laughing and talking, then start boarding between the trees. In a voiceover with someone who nominated her for this, a male voice describes how she is the light of his life, and such a gentle soul. There is music, and lots of slo-motion footage of them boarding through the forest. I wake up.

I have a handful of tiny figurines of people. I’m walking around with a kid and we are discussing where they should go. We walk to a play area outside, and try to glue the figurines to the playground equipment, but they won’t stay, it just isn’t right.

We go indoors and find a matchbox car mat that has roads printed on it. We glue the little figurines in standing positions hand to hand along the edge of the road. One of the figurines is missing her foot and won’t stand up properly. I wake up.

 

 

 

 

Confusing Department Stores and Ineffective Drug Busts

I’m shopping for a mattress. I’m in a poorly lit, crowded area of a department store that has a stock of mattresses. I’m looking for a particular mattress called “Olivia”. As I walk through the cluttered aisles, I’m reluctant to look too closely at any of the mattresses, as they seem dingy and dirty. I finally see one the looks crisp and new, it’s even set up on a boxspring. I sit on the edge of the mattress to test wether it is firm or soft, and am surprised to sink down several inches. The boxspring is actually a waterbed, and the mattress is floating on top. I continue on, noticing now that all the mattresses are branded “Olivia”, and that any that are set up for display are floating on a water mattress, making assessment of the firmness of the mattress impossible.

I leave the area to find some assistance and come across an assortment of people, some I know and some I don’t. I tell them I’m looking for an “Olivia” mattress, and they tell me to follow them, they know just where they are.

We return to the same area of the store, it is filled with racks of high waisted jeans and skirts. I look at one rack and see that they are in fact “Olivia” jeans. It is now lighter in the store, and I can see that one wall is large windows to the outside. The store is on a residential street, there are large suburban houses with wide driveways directly across the street.

I decide I’m in the wrong place, and once again leave to find a mattress. After walking around for a short while, I return to the area and the mattresses are back. I still can’t find a sales person, and the mattresses are still irritatingly difficult to assess. I again leave the area and encounter a crowd of shoppers, who again lead me back to the same area, now filled with jeans.

As I am inspecting a gaudy high-waisted pink and grey skirt with another shopper, our attention is drawn to a commotion outside the window, across the street in one of the driveways. There is a large truck in the driveway, doors open, with two men in the truck. Police, a lot of police have surrounded the truck, at least 30 of them all dressed in black SWAT style uniforms, complete with helmets. As we watch, the police look all over and under the truck, before moving to the cab and pulling the men out, one from each side.

They haul the men around to the back of the truck, where we can see them both. The man from the drivers side has something in his fist, which, despite the incredible number of police, is not restrained. He throws it toward the other man, who is also not adequately restrained. The second man grabs the round package, about the size of a  baseball, off the driveway and stuffs it in his mouth.

Inside the store, the shoppers are pointing and commenting on the ineffectiveness of the takedown, “He’s just put the evidence in his mouth!”, and “There’s still time, you idiots, it’s too big for him to swallow!”. The second man is almost comically trying to chew and swallow whatever he put in his mouth.

I wake up.

 

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.