Monthly Archives: February 2013

Not that kind of cougar

Dusk was falling as I stepped outside my apartment to tend to the laundry. When I got onto the balcony, I saw a big light-colored cougar lurking at the foot of the stairs. Or a panther, or jaguar. One of the big felids. I started to go down the steps and it turned and ran, but it didn’t move like a big cat. It bounded away like a dog and hurtled the low fence surrounding my building, jumping right past a small child and his mother that were walking by. “This is dangerous, to have that thing loose,” I thought as I frantically tried to open the small side door to my garage so I could get inside where it was safe. When I did I immediately closed the door behind me, as I could see the cougar pacing back and forth just outside the fence, staring at me.

It was hot in there, so of course I decided to hit the button to open the big garage door and let some of the cool evening air in. While I nervously scanned the alleyway for any sign of the creature, I tried to quickly move my laundry over from the washer to the dryer. Again, great decision making on my part. Suddenly the thing was inside the garage with me, circling around me, then attacking, going for my throat. That’s when I woke up, knowing exactly what I’d find when I went back to sleep.

Cookies ‘n Dubstep

First one: I literally only remember one image from this dream, sort of like the snapshot mode your memory goes into when you approach blackout drunk: I was at the beach in a storm. This is a pretty regular dream setup for me, as we’ll see later on.

Second one: I was at an outdoor ice cream store, like in a mall or on a boardwalk. Just a clerk behind a counter, no seating. At this one, though, the clerk was nowhere to be found. I was with Xandie and Ally Nelson. Xandie went off somewhere and Ally and I decided to get some ice cream. Then Xandie came back and I felt bad for not buying her any, but suddenly she had some in her hand. Apparently I didn’t even have mine yet, because every time I went to order Cookies ‘n Cream it disappeared from the menu. Finally a girl popped up from behind a stack of boxes outside the store. She looked at me and said, “Cookies ‘n Cream?” Bewildered, I told her yes, and she went behind the counter and got me some.

Third one: I was with someone else, but I don’t remember who. We were walking in Lompoc by my old house. We came around the corner of Chestnut and T, walking east and then turning south toward my old complex and Bobby’s current house. There was music playing from somewhere, like we were in a movie. In my head I knew the music was dubstep, but I kept listening for the bass to drop and it never did.

Overflowing toilets and fighting robots

First dream: I got out of bed in the morning and went into the bathroom, but I felt an uncomfortable sensation in my bowels, and when I reached down and put a hand there I felt something (intestine? food?) sort of sticking out beneath my skin. I could clearly feel the outline of it protruding. But I couldn’t poop because the toilet was clogged with water and floating pieces of shit almost to the brim. So of course I flushed the toilet and it overflowed everywhere, all over the floor.

For some reason this was Dan’s shit clogging the toilet, so I made him come in and clean it up, even though I was naked. I remember telling him something like, “It won’t kill you to see my dick.” I also remember him making a face as he picked a piece of shit up off the floor with his bare hands. That’s it for the dream, but when I woke up I was lying across a section of bunched-up covers, right on my bowels. So that explains that.


Second dream: I walked with a friend into a crowded theater in the middle of a movie and started talking loudly with him in the back. I shouted something about Real Steel (2011) and fighting robots, and after a minute a theater manager came up to kick us out, and suddenly it wasn’t so much a movie theater as a big arena for giant robots to fight, like in Real Steel. I don’t remember if the manager ended up being a human or a robot, but I think I killed him. We had also imprisoned some people in the back corner of the hallway outside the theater, and we were making them fight one-on-one against the robots.

It came time for a new guy to fight, and the announcer called his name over the loudspeaker. A middle-aged man was released from the holding area in the back and walked over to us. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and he was pretty cut. At the same time, his wife ran up to him, knowing he was about to fight a ten-ton metal robot and probably die, and they shared a long, romantic, sad kiss before I woke up.

An elevator dream

Do you ever have one of those nightmares where you wake up screaming and try to lie there awake as long as you can, with your eyes open, even though you’re a grown man, because you’re scared to go back to sleep?

In this dream, I was in a hotel chasing after someone who had taken an elevator downstairs (I have a lot of dreams about elevators). I got into the empty elevator to go after him, and while I was waiting for the doors to close, the elevator started shaking/sliding almost violently back and forth. “This can’t be good,” I thought.

When the doors closed, sure enough, the elevator went into freefall. I was only going four floors down (this detail is clear in my memory for some reason), but the fall seemed to take at least five or ten seconds. I finally crashed into the ground, breaking both my legs, but of course there was no real pain in the dream. The real fear came from the fact that I was stuck there at night with no one around to help me. I kept looking at my phone and it had no reception. The doors of the elevator had opened, and I could see out into the dark, deserted lobby of the hotel and through the opaque glass door. There was a storm going on outside, and I kept screaming, “Help! HELP! HELP!!!”

After a long time the door opened and I heard someone come in from out of the rain. I thought it was another patron of the hotel, someone who would help me, but instead a shadowy figure swept in and started stabbing me. It was dark except for the occasional flash of lightning outside, and I couldn’t make out much. I just knew he was wearing a cloak, and he was dark, and he was evil, and he wouldn’t stop stabbing me. This is the only dream I can remember where I actually woke up shouting.

Here’s another old one

This is a pretty short one, but it had a big impact on me. Something may have happened in the dream before this (oftentimes I don’t recall the beginnings), but I just remember standing outside in a heavy mist. It was dead silent and the mist was slowly swirling about me, and it was strangely peaceful. I looked up and saw the silent shadow of a MiG jet fly overhead. I knew it was a MiG because of the twin vertical stabilizers near the tail. The shadow flickered across the fog for a few seconds and was gone. Then I looked back down, and from the mist in front of me emerged a beautiful woman with long flowing black hair billowing out around her. I don’t know who she was, but because of the MiG I assume she was a Russian spy. Then I woke up.

Let’s start at the beginning

The first dream I remember goes way back to the first apartment I remember living in, on Via Real in Carpinteria. I must have been around three years old. It was nighttime in my bedroom, and I got up because I heard a voice talking to me from inside the wall. In that room there was a big wooden structure that my parents had built for me. It had a ladder on one side, a square platform on top that you could hang out on, and a slide to get down. The voice was coming from the wall underneath that structure. There was open space beneath the platform, and I walked into the shadows under it and up to the wall. I don’t know what the voice was saying, but whatever it was, I knew there was a malevolent force behind it.

As I stood there watching the blank wall, a goat head emerged from it and looked at me. Then two long horns came out of either side of the head and stabbed me in the stomach. Then the horns retracted into the head and the head retracted into the wall. It might have come out and stabbed me once more, I’m not sure.

I woke up crying and ran into the living room where my parents were still awake. I told them about the dream, and they comforted me. And I swear I had two little red marks where the horns had stabbed me.

For years afterward they kept referring to a dream I had where some guy punched me in the stomach, and it took a long time for me to realize that they were talking about this dream. I must not have described it very well at the time.


The next dream takes place at my preschool. I was a big fan of King Kong (1933) when I was little, and I had probably just watched it for the first time. In the dream I was out behind the preschool in Carpinteria, in the big playground area, and King Kong was roaming around terrorizing the kids and trying to catch one. As far as I remember, the playground consisted of a big dirt lot behind the classrooms, set a few feet below the ground level of the buildings. There was a jungle gym way over on one side, a seesaw, some other little structures, and a bunch of empty space to run around.

I was near the jungle gym, and I managed to run most of the way back over to the classroom buildings before King Kong took notice of me. I ducked inside, and he reached his hand in after me, but he was too big. He couldn’t get at me. Finally he gave up and went to try and eat someone else. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to go back outside, and when I did I saw a stegosaurus lumbering by on the far end of the dirt lot. King Kong was nearby, but not within immediate reach, and he was going after some other little kid.

Then, because I was so fucking terrified, I tried to wake up. The only thing I could think to do was try to open my eyes, so in the dream I opened them as wide as I could, and a strange thing happened. An eye-shaped hole opened up in the scenery, obscuring the trees beyond the dirt lot by the stegosaur, and through it I could see my bedroom, bright morning light illuminating it. Then the hole closed. Like an eye blinking open and shut, the top and bottom lines meeting at sharp angles on either side. I tried this a couple more times, and finally I woke up. I tried and tried to open an eye-hole in my dreams after that, but I never could.


Years later I had another dinosaur dream. This time I was in second or third grade, and I was at my school in Santa Barbara. There was a T-rex chasing us around and trying to eat us, but I don’t think it was as big as it should have been, because I came up almost to its chest. So really it wasn’t much bigger than a man. I just remember being on one side of it and having nowhere to go; the only escape was on the other side. So I tried to run past it, but it put its hands on its hips like an angry mother (I know T-rexes can’t really do this with their stubbly little arms) and then stuck its right arm out to block my path. That’s it.