Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Dream Journal: Once Upon A Time In The West

I’m in a pub.

They’re putting white table cloths and candles on the tables and I ask this woman what’s going on and she says “They’re celebrating Hanuka”. “They” meaning the Jews. I remember pegging her as a racist.
I know I need to go out because I have the house all for myself. It’s a long weekend because of Rosh Hashana and everybody will be out. “Everybody” means my family.

Then I go outside. It’s night. I get lost. Can’t find the streetcar stop. Someone approaches with a pickup truck – I’m standing on this sandy pit and he drives backwards and doesn’t see me and almost runs me over.

I go down to the fork in the road and choose another street, there’s police or something like that blocking the street.
Coincidentally, this is the way to my work. Apparently in the dream I’m equating “going to work” with “going home”.

Somehow I find myself in the station but I don’t recognize it. It’s white and clean and I see stairs spiraling up. It’s more like a fire station then a subway station. On the stairs I find this pale green cloth, or piece of clothing. Can’t remember exactly. It’s wrapped up in a nylon bag, I think. I take it out of the wrap and wear it because I think I need to if I want to get on the train. Then I realize it doesn’t even fit me and I take it off. At that point this guy comes out of a room and offers me coffee – expensive kind of coffee, with foam and all that crap – in a small china cup, on a plate, like in a coffee shop. The room where he was in, there are other people there. Looks like the lunch room or something, or the kitchenette. I ask him where’s the train and he tells me.

The platform is outside, and it’s day time. It looks like it came out of a western. Bushes, and rocks and pebbles. I’m looking for a place to put my coffee cup (which I hardly touched) and eventually just puts it on a rock, but then I look to the side and see there’s a bunch of similar cups on the sandy ground not far from where I stand, so I go and put the plate with the cup on the ground next to the other cups.
At some point this petite Asian girl comes along. She hugs two ugly monstrous green lizards with her arms, and between her fingers she holds a wreathing, live cockroach (recurring symbol #1: Bugs). She proceeds to put the cockroach on the ground and then releases the lizards after it. She explains to us that she’s an artist who creates tattoos on the ground. When the green lizards kill the cockroach they use this greenish goo which they shoot from their mouths. The girl uses this goo to create her paintings. She turns over some rocks to show us other works she did in the area. You know how you usually find snakes and scorpions if you turn over a rock in a western? Well, here you find “earth tattoos”. The paintings themselves are imprinted on the bottom of the rock, and not on the ground, and interestingly enough, they’re not green but pretty colorful. That’s all I remember from them.
Then the girl collects her little monsters and the dead, squashed cockroach and walks away. I remember feeling disgusted.

Then I go back to the platform and wait for the train. I meet this kid, maybe 15 years old, and he says something about “filmmakers don’t have to wait for trains” or “don’t have to” something. I don’t remember exactly what. I tell him some filmmakers do. Oh, and he’s there with his mother.

Then the train arrives and we all get in. Of course, the inside of the train is quite different than a subway train. It’s wide, the seats are arranged in rows in the middle of the space, and there’s a screen on the wall facing the seats (recurring symbol #2: screens). The interior reminds me more of a ship then of a train. There’s other stuff going on in the train, some talk about something, with the kid and his mother, but I don’t remember what. There’s also something showing on the screen, I think, but I don’t remember what it was either. I do remember that at some point, either on the train or afterward, I’m meeting a couple of my friends, a husband and wife, and joins them in my hurry to get home, maybe they’ll show me the way, but we end up in the same pub where the dream began (now that I think of it, the pub also has this strong Western vibe to it. Wooden tables and chairs, and just the layout of a saloon).
They look very tired. I almost feel guilty for dragging them along.
Anyway, it’s night again, and the pub is pretty empty. We sit and talk, I don’t remember about what. But they keep telling me to lower my voice because I disturb this lonely, middle-aged (bald?) guy sitting next to us. So I try and lower my voice.
At some point I realize I finally went the wrong way again, so I tell them I have to go, and then I leave. Outside, There’s heavy rain. I open my black umbrella but it doesn’t help, the rain is so hard the umbrella is actually sagging in my hand, and the pole is leaning to one side and almost breaking.
So I go back inside.
I’m not sure what comes before or after here, but I find myself talking with the bald guy and apologizing if I disturbed him, he seems depressed and tells me about the incident where this Arab guy came to him earlier and threatened him with a knife. According to my response, I was supposed to have witnessed this incident, but if you read back, you’ll see I have no recollection of that in the dream sequence. I proceed to tell him that the guy was just showing off and that he had no real intention of hurting him.

Then I find that my friends have switched tables. In order to get to where they’re seating now I need to go through this attractive couple who are blocking the pass. I ask them politely to let me pass and they politely do. Then the guy stands up and mentions my shirt. Apparently, I’m wearing my Scarface shirt, or a version of it. He talks about the quote which is on the shirt. It’s a real quote from the movie: “Say hello to my little friend”. But it doesn’t appear on my real shirt. But on my dream shirt, apparently it is. I look down and see it written in small letters. I smile at the guy. He seems to be ecstatic by the shirt. His blond wife/girlfriend also smiles, I think.

I join my friends but then I notice someone coming in. It’s a girl. She’s very familiar to me but I can’t peg her down a 100 percent. She’s brunette, with short hair, and a beauty spot above her lip, like Madonna’s or Cindy Crawford’s. She’s looking around and then notices me and starts asking me something (I think she says she was late for something but I’m not sure). Suddenly she stops, as if she forgot the etiquette, and hugs me. I hug her back and plant a kiss on her cheek. She lets go of me and gets back to her business, which is asking her question, which for the life of me I can’t remember.

I also don’t think I had an answer for her.

I go back to my friends while the girl sits in another table, alone. My friends tell me something like “what are you doing sitting here with us, go talk with this girl.”

But I don’t think I’m going. I think the dream ended at this point, in the anti-climactic way in which dreams often do.

Shooting Stars

It was a particularly clear night, and the skies were filled with stars, like millions of flashlights in a dark cave.

He pulled at a blade of grass next to the blanket, tearing it out of the ground. Then he let it go, and the wind caught it.
It flew away like a green little bird.

The wind was picking up. It was a rather chilly night. Summer was coming to an end. He looked to his left, where she lay, her face upturned, bathed by the moonlight.
“A penny for your thoughts,” he said.
“I’m not thinking. I’m just lookin’.”
He smiled. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
She nodded. “Yeah, it’s amazing.”
He propped himself up, his left elbow sinking into the blanket.
“Looking at all this magnificence, I feel insignificant and significant at the same time,” she added.
Then she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing her eyes, relishing the breath.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
“Just a little bit.”
“I’ll get the sweater from the car.”
“No. It’s okay.” she touched his arm. “Stay.”
“Alright.”
He sat cross-legged on the blanket.
“Hey!” he said in a tone to suggest he just discovered the wheel.
“What?”
“I have a question for you.”
She looked at him.
“What is it?”
“Well… do you love me?”
“What kind of a question is that?”
“Well, do you?”
“Of course I do”.
“Then why are you leaving?”
Now she sat up too.
“Didn’t we have that conversation already?”
“I don’t want you to leave.”
“It’s not my call.”
“You can stay at my place. I’m sure my parents won’t mind.”
“Tim…” She touched his thigh with manicured fingers. “Tim, I can’t. I have to be with my family.”
“Then you don’t love me.”
“Tim…”
“How can you say you love me and then leave? If you have no problem leaving, then you don’t really love me. If you loved me, you would’ve stayed.”
“Tim, it’s not forever. I’m not leaving you. I’m leaving this town.”
“Same thing. And don’t tell me you won’t meet another guy in the big city… come on, they’ll be all over you like flies. They don’t take no for an answer over there.”
She turned her face towards the stars again, saying:
“You don’t need to worry about it.”
“Oh, really?”
“Really. And you’re ruining this beautiful night for me. For us.”
“Well, you’re leaving in the morning.”
“Exactly, So I want this night to be special.”
He dropped on his back again, pouting. She shook her head.
Suddenly, her eyes caught something.
“Look!” she said, pointing up.
“What?”
“Up there! A shooting star!”
He followed her finger and saw it. Saw them, A group of shooting stars flying across the night sky from east to west, like streams of confetti.
“Oh, they’re beautiful! Go on, Tim, make a wish! I’ll make one too! Quickly, before they disappear!”
He looked up.
She looked up.
And then the shooting stars were gone, vanishing behind the horizon.

After a while it started getting cold, so they went back to the car.
Tim turned on the heating, but it didn’t seem to work.
He punched the dashboard with frustration, shouting: “What a goddamn jalopy!”
“Relax,” she said.
He grabbed the wheel, pushed the gas pedal, and turned the car around, ready to leave the hill and descend down the path.
But before hitting the marked dirt road, he stopped the car, and turned his face to look at her, grabbing the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turned red.
She put her hand on his shoulder, and smiled a smile as soft as sunrise. The car was cramped and small, but he managed to put his arms around her, and hugged her fiercely. She, in turn, put her arms over his back, sliding up and down, up and down, comforting him.

When he let go of her, he felt that his cheeks were wet. There was also this buzzing anger inside of him when he saw that her cheeks were quite dry, but he decided to let it go.
“I’ll write to you every day,” he said, “or at least every two days.”
She laughed.
“I’ll come visit. I promise” she said. And after a pause, added: “I wish things were different, but that’s how it is.”
“It’s okay, I understand.”
“I’m sorry if you’re hurting.”
“I’m okay.”
She studied him.
“Okay,” she said finally.
They sat in silence for a few seconds.
“I don’t wanna drive back to town,” he said. “I just wanna stay here with you.”
“We can stay for a little while longer. Mom’s doing most of the packing anyway.”
He smiled and leaned back, opening the window, saying,
“I’m suddenly hot. Go figure.”
He looked out. The moon was hidden behind a cloud.
“Can I ask you what you wished for?” He said.
“You’re not supposed to tell.”
“I know. But you won’t even tell me?”
“Okay, I wished the heating in your car will work.”
“You’re lying.”
“You got me.” she laughed.
“Come on!”
“Nope.”
“Alright, then. I don’t mind telling you what I wished for.”
“You wished that I won’t leave.”
“Am I that obvious?”
“You are.”
“Hmm… And you?”
She took a deep breath.
“Well, it already came true,” she said.
He seemed confused. “What do you mean?”
She shrugged.
“I wished to stay up here with you for just a little while longer.”

And a tear rolled down her cheek, just like a shooting star.