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" ... it's Saturday Night!"

In the middle of the tropical ocean, I am watching a live taping of Saturday Night Live. Mike Myers and two other cast members (one dressed in a mascot-like shark suit and the other in an octopus) sit in front of the lone camera, relaxing in their inflatable chairs with those awesome holes for you to put your beer in.

There is no land visible, but the water is relatively shallow. The water is that beautiful color of blue that you only see near the shore of white tropical beaches. It's like a coral reef in the middle of the ocean, maybe thirty feet deep all around.

The filming at this location is done, and the camera disappears. The chairs and mascot-suits also disappear, and now I am one of the cast members. We are all wearing wetsuits and antique snorkel gear. We put our heads down and start swimming to the west. Behind us, far to the east and barely visible, is a boat chasing us. One of those inflatable boats used by navy SEALs. We keep swimming as the boat gets closer and closer.

Unlike most of my dreams which involve deep water or the ocean, this one is relatively calm and peaceful. Maybe it's my love of the tropics offsetting my general unwarranted apprehension towards open ocean and strong hatred for all species of fish and most aquatic life. Although I am snorkeling, I haven't yet seen beneath the near-waveless surface of this ocean. The boat, however, is now almost upon us. We don't even see it coming.

I watch it happen like it's a wide-screen movie with no music and muted sound. The boat strikes. All of a sudden, all I can see is bubbles. The other cast members, the boat, the boat's operator, myself, everything is swirling through the coral towards the sandy seafloor in a cloud of bubbles. As we near the bottom the bubbles dissipate and we stop moving. Then, simultaneously, we all see it.

Sitting on the ocean floor in an open area of sand is a single folding chair and a table. It's a small table, only made for one person. It's all set up for lunch. Red with white plaid tablecloth, a daisy in a flowerpot, a plate and some silverware. We start filming again, through one of those crappy cameras that they have on deep sea research submarines. We all stare with our crappy-camera-vision at the chair and table, like it's some sort of magical, all-powerful, mystery-of-the-universe-revealing artifact of the ancients. Appropriately, I wake up.

My friend Ann, Becky with the Boobs, three other girls that I can't identify and myself went to a 'seminar' which was held at Eric Bogosian's house which was in Oak Park Illinois, in a brick bungalow. He was going to speak to us about being famous and also having a family. This included a tour of his home.

After the standard tour we were lead to a room that was almost all windows, like a green house. Except near the top, where a transom would be, the room was lined with stained glass panels, dark and a bit foreboding. They were in blood red and emerald green and a midnight blue that barely let in any sun, and the panels themselves were like fragments of bodies and faces, an eye, a hand...no definitive picture. The furniture in the windowed room was all wrought iron and quite bizarre. There were chairs with three legs and spiked headrests and a chaise lounge that had shackles attached to the legs, and hanging from the walls were thick, rusted, iron chains, some too big to move, others almost thin enough to be necklaces, but about eight feet long. There had to be at least a dozen of them. Eric Bogosian stood in the middle of the room with his hands on his hips and said,

"What is this room?"

It was a test. Ann said "It's like a museum".

He shook his head.

Becky said, "A porch."

He shrugged and said, "It's sort of a porch. I'll accept porch."

I leaned over to my friend and whispered, "It looks like a dungeon." and she elbowed me in the ribs. We giggled.

"What did you say?" He said, walking right up to me.

"I said it looks like a dungeon."

And then he winked at me and said, "Maybe it is."

So then we had to leave and I couldn't get my boots on, because they kept turning inside out no matter how I pulled at the leather, and Eric Bogosian said, "You're just stalling for time. You want to stay at my house."

There was this weird silence and Ann grabbed me and said, "We're leaving. Now."

And so we went to brunch.

It is a dark, crisp, windy night. I find myself standing on a small island of grass, surrounded by icy water. The shore is jumping distance away, I must have jumped here for some reason. Suddenly a small child, toddler even, runs up to the brink of the water and looks up to me.

I must go in and drown myself!” he states to me with a broad smile. He runs into the icy water and falls forward. Instantly he begins to sink towards the bottom. And just as suddenly as the child had appeared his father comes, wads into the water, pulls the child out by his hair, and walks away.


Orange Tree Magick

  • We are walking in a meadow close to dusk, Ali, Allen, August and I. We have no direction so Ali suggests we find one via a Nature spell. He walks about fifty yards away and turns to face us. An incantation rises from his lips, directed towards a dead tree standing a few feet from us. A visible wind blows from Ali to the tree and quite suddenly the dead tree is now crowded with ripe oranges. The dream feels like a repeat--I know what's was going to happen and what people are going to say. According to the spell, we must eat as many oranges as we can, and every orange that touches or falls to the ground. As one of us explains it, Nature is a novelty-conserving engine. The extremely novel manifestation of the orange tree must be balanced out by a correspondingly non-novel event somewhere else (or the balance may come from a slight decrease in novelty spread out over the whole universe). By eating the oranges, the novelty concentrated within is transferred to us, so that our adventures in the coming hours will themselves be highly improbable. Just as I metabolize the energy content of the fruit--storing most of it and losing the rest to entropy--so that I can use the energy to move my body, the novel may also be metabolized, stored and utilized for the expression of improbable events.

    As we stand there eating, someone asks Ali if we have to eat all the oranges. He replies by saying some other person or animal will eat any fruit that falls to the ground. I get the feeling the tree will only keep the fruit for a couple of days at the most. Taking a big bite of juicy orange, I think a thought to myself. Instantly someone else speaks it aloud: "This is the sweetest orange I have ever eaten."

School of Dreaming

When I awoke this morning, I finally learned a lesson that's been taught to me over the past weeks: dream recall is highly affected by body position. If you wake up from a dream and want to remember the details, don't roll over or change position before going over it in your head. Stay as still as possible, with your eyes closed. Dreaming and waking are not discrete states of consciousness; there is a smooth transition from one to the other. By remaining in your dream posture you keep the transition speed slow. Meanwhile, consciously recall the details of the dream so that you encode them in short term memory (as opposed to leaving them behind in subconscious storage). If by accident you do move (or have to reach for the alarm clock), go back as soon as possible to the position you were in when you woke up. Dream recall will be clearest then.

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