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My latest series of dreams follows a very repetitive cycle. It begins with me being at work, not the place where I currently work but a workplace I don't think I've ever been at in waking life. This workplace feels familiar to me in the dream, as if I've been there before in other dreams. There are familiar co-workers, who I don't know in waking life, and it feels like we've all known each other for a very long time. There is a period in the dream where we are all sitting around talking and something causes me to get up and leave, walk out of the office or warehouse floor, get into my car and travel to a job I'd held previously. The job I go to is usually an actual workplace that employed me in my waking life, one that I remember fondly, and I try to convince them to rehire me. The only exception to this is the most frequent dream cycle in which I am working in an office on the second floor of a building and I go down to the first floor, which is apparently where I used to work, and try to convince them to rehire me. The second floor company is very clean, modern and successful while the first floor company is a chaotic mess, but there is a strong sense that I would rather be there and that I feel very much out of place on the second floor.

At first it would seem these dreams are about the futility of trying to go backwards. Instead it is more likely a reflection on what happens when I take the easier road instead of the more desired path. There is a sense of regret, that the decision made was one I wish I could change in the present tense, but that is impossible as things have already been set in motion.

It is a reminder that my Three Queens mythos is not just about women, it is more than that relatively literal translation, it is the pattern that defines my life in all things. I pursue a deeply desired goal that becomes elusive and settle for a replacement, an easier pursuit that offers less challenge and become disenchanted in the end, always then needing someone or something to come along to inspire me once again. This pattern, woven through every aspect of my life, the same pattern that drove me to suicide once upon a time, is one I must resolve if I am ever to find true peace.

This is also represented in recurring dreams that place me in my home away from home, Rancho Nuevo. The Jack sets out from the Blackjack Saloon, at the heart of Rancho Nuevo, and travels to the river that defines the border between Rancho Nuevo and the First Kingdom. At the river he is stopped by two seraphs on horseback who tell him he cannot cross the border. They follow him, badger him, insult him, push him around and generally make things miserable for him. They never actually prevent him from crossing, but their actions continue as he moves along the river until he reaches the border of the Second Kingdom. There they leave him alone, allowing him to cross into the Second Kingdom unmolested.

Crossing that threshold and entering the First Kingdom is my quest. Time and again I face it, throughout so many aspects of my life but defined most clearly by the Three Queens, and time and again I follow the river and enter the Second Kingdom. There was a great emptiness in me in 1994 when I looked at myself and realized I always settled for second best in life and at that time was driven to madness by a belief that I was unworthy of anything I truly desired, that this made me a failure. This was then revealed to me and I was challenged to break the pattern and told that I had the ability to do so, that I had the ability to cross the threshold and enter the First Kingdom.

Taunted by seraphs, those pesky red riders, my faith and my skills questioned, my manhood and my strength belittled, I am standing on the banks of that river once more. A queen of the Second Kingdom is calling to me, offering me a safe haven from all of this, but I am not moved. I'm building a bridge across the river and the red riders are tearing it down as fast as I am building it. I am going to cross this threshold, one way or another.

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