Monday, May 31, 2004

I join this band. Zach Hill has apparently moved to Baltimore and plays drums for these other kids, one of them looks a lot like Steve Malkmus. I'm gonna play guitar in this band. We play a show at a bowling alley/arcade where the celing is really, really low. It's dark inside, smoky-- I think I've seen this exact venue in a different dream, but never in real in life. We're playing this show but I've never rehearsed with them. I'm confident about it anyway. We start playing this song when for some reason everyone else in the band stops and starts playing something doofy-- like "Happy Birthday," but not exactly "Happy Birthday," but like that. I get bummed out. After the show I get on this ride with some girl, a little car that goes really fast down this long lane in the arcade-- really long, way too long to be in a building--- and you hold a little plastic gun and shoot different faces and targets that are against the left wall. When you hit the faces in the right places, little plastic eggs full of candy or toys come out of one of those hen coin-op machines at the end of the lane. The girl and I ---something about her reminds me of Janis from MEAN GIRLS--- grab as many eggs as we can hold in our hands after getting off the ridiculously long ride. I see some of the band kids cleaning up their equipment and decide that I've made up my mind to quit the band.

Somehow, the back patio of my parents' house is right outside of this venue, and all the band kids are sitting there. I tell them I'm not going to play with them anymore, and start walking up towards my parents' garage. One dude, who reminds me of my old friend Kevin, is really nice to me about it, calling out to me, saying something that I don't really acknowledge.

I go back to the front of the venue somehow. I'm standing there, talking with that girl I shot the plastic gun with and her friend. Suddenly I'm aware that Mr. Kachurak, my eleventh-grade Spanish teacher who kind of resembeled The Penguin, is looking for me. I open up the door that I am leaning on, the door to a NYC-style walk-up apartment building, and I duck in the tiny lobby of the building. He starts opening the door so I book up the stairs. The staircase is really narrow and I'm sure there's not going to be another way out up here, and he's not going to just stop pursuing me.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I'm in high school. This girl Becky who used to live across the street has come back from wherever she went for lots of years and is a new student at the high school I'm going to. She's had a major boob job and collagen in her lips (which are slathered in bright-red lipstick) and her skin is really pale. A lot of people remember her from elementary school when she lived here and went to elementary school with us, but everybody's different now, especially Becky. On her first day back at school there are some problems and she walks out of class, then it is somehow it is decided by a group of young boys who like sports wearing bright orange shirts that I am the best person to talk to Becky and make sure she's OK, help her transition into this high school from wherever she was before.

So I have to go to find her, and me and this group of orange-clad young sports-boys leave the school and walk into the woods. In the woods we find this huge, nice house that has been built into the side of a gigantic tree. There are some suburban families visiting this place-- there are lines to get in. Apparently, there's an eight year-old girl that lives in this house with her parents. The parents are at work now, as they are every weekday, but the girl stays home and conducts tours and shows people the house. The house is tricked out with multiple extravagant and complicated Rube Goldberg inventions that this little girl creates. She demonstrates their use to the suburban families that come and pay to see them. She is very well-spoken for her age--- I don't talk directly to her, but I hear her addressing some touring families. The little orange-clad boys I am with all seem to be very smart, too, although they are indistinguishable from one another. I see Becky in the house, but I am not sure how to get to her from where we are standing, on a platform built on the gigantic tree.

Friday, May 28, 2004

I'm in a house I don't recognize. It's very white inside. I've got to practice with this new band for a show that is very soon-- maybe later today? Something causes everybody to have to leave the room to go into a back room I've never been to-- I think they are changing their clothes or putting something away. My sister is somewhere around here, too. Christy Carlson Romano kisses me on the mouth, to my surprise. We get into a white bed and make out. The door to the room that everyone is in is in the same wall that the headboard touches. They are taking a long time, and Christy and I get undressed and fool around. The door starst to open and she tells me to hide under the sheet. I do, even though I know it's going to be really obvious that a body is under the sheet. She says something to one of these guys that I'm practicing with, it's sorta awkward but nobody makes a big deal. I get up to get this practice stuff underway.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I wake up in my bunk in my quarters in a large, grey, chunky spaceship. Huge spaceship, shaped kind of like a wedge of cheese crossed with a rock from the quarry. I feel a little hungover, but not from the previous night-- from lots and lots of nights, from a whole era. I am tired as shit, and an old man -- a Pete Postlethwaite-esque guy, real proper and butlery-- politely informs me that I'm needed in the cockpit. I drag myself there with resignation.

There are a handful of other people on the ship and most of them are younger than me. I am not in charge officially, nor am I a part of any military or otherwise organization-- I am merely on the ship, and something about me (have I been on a lot of spaceships?) has the crew here looking to me for leadership. No one goes into light speed without checking with me first, to see if I think we have enough room to make the acceleration without smashing into anything.

I'm not sure if we were trying to get somewhere specific or what. There was a touchscreen I used to help set the course of the ship and it had planets and asteroids on it, some of which were marked with big icons-- a different fancily-dressed woman on each place marked this way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I'm playing a video game that requires me to be inside the game. It's an army game, and there's some kind of intrigue going on at an army camp in the Mid East desert. I am sneaking around the tents of the camp trying to avoid the soldiers, especially this one Asian guy with thin wire-framed glasses who maybe is specifically looking for me. I find this girl that I am looking for and we escape into a city that is definitely Baltimore, going to a tall, brick apartment building I have never seen before but that this girl lives in. On one of the balconies that face the street on the building, I see another girl I know wearing some wicked black heels and thigh-highs. This girl goes into her apartment right after I see her but I can't tell if she saw me or not. The girl I found in the army camp is younger than me but she has a really nice apartment. To my surprise, we get to dry-humping.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

There is a college in Baltimore that is based around one huge building on stilts, surrounded by a few smaller, satellite buildings which are connected to the large building by different bridges. Mostly rope bridges, although fairly sturdy ones. I am just beginning my first year at this college and I don't know anybody, except for Keith Becraft who I stumble on while I'm trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the main building. On one side of the main building is a chasm, and a long bridge goes over it connecting the main building to the city. In the chasm is a small forest where blonde-haired thieves live. If you somehow fall off the large bridge over the chasm, you can't enter the main building from the forest, you have to go back and climb the slowly-rising embankment to leave the chasm and find the bridge and cross over to the main building. I am having trouble doing this, although I only see one thief and he doesn't bother me, he just runs really fast and gracefully away when I look at him. Anyway, I bump into Keith who is with some other younger kids. They are going to get a shuttle into downtown so that they can go see wrestling. I don't think I am invited but I contemplate following them anyway, thinking, "Maybe I should stay on campus and try to meet some cool girls?" But instead I decide I will go on the shuttle with them--- I can always decide to skip wrestling and try to meet some cool girls in the downtown. My dad shows up briefly, he is going to wrestling, too.

Finding the shuttle is hard, we make a stop at Keith and his friends' room. I look through their CDs and notice they have a DVD of the movie OLD SCHOOL. I think that maybe I should join Keith and his friends' nerdy frat because at least they aren't trying to be something besides themselves and the rest of the school will probably love them for it in a year or two. I think that I have to start packing CDs I want to bring on tour with me when I go on tour in a few months.

We get downtown. We go into a mall and make a beeline for the ATM, but the line is too long. Keith knows about another ATM outside so we go out a door and find an even longer line for that ATM, but we stand in it anyway. I talk to some girls that seem really judgemental and I think we talk about pot but I don't remember exactly how it went down. I remember thinking that they didn't like me even though they weren't making that completely obvious.

Eventually I did get into the wrestling but I didn't sit down, I crawled through the arena looking for something or somebody. The wrestlers were all over 7 feet tall and most wore elaborate, almost ceremonial, masks. A lot of them were dropping from the ceiling to beat each other up. I could barely notice, I was looking for something or somebody else that I was convinced was at the wrestling place.

Monday, May 17, 2004

It's right after the last day of high school, but I'm older. But for some reason me and a lot of people my age that I remember are at the 7-11 in Jacksonville, Maryland. Standing around, waiting. I feel a little uncomfortable and decide to try to deal with it by being loud and confident. I talk with the guy behind the counter about the new fruit flavors of some weird health drink, and about some ranch-flavored chips that have been dipped in mangos. All these kids are waiting around for a party to start. There are two high school senior girls in their pajamas filming everything on a consumer-model video camera. Some busses arrive with teachers and students on them, and everyone starts rushing towards the tennis courts beside the 7-11.

I never really find out what exactly people are supposed to be doing. A bunch of people have their names read by a teacher standing in the tennis court but it seems like no one is paying attention. I get on one of the busses and it drives somewhere that it is night, where a bunch of kids are finishing taking a test in a large storefront-- like an Office Depot that's been emptied and filled with those chair-desks that lecture halls have. We're all disappointed for some reason-- I think we wanted to go in that building? We keep driving and it turns back into day, but not the next day-- the same afternoon that I first started waiting in the 7-11.

I think about going home. I get in a fight with a really tiny kid a few seats behind me--- I'm sitting at the very front, behind the driver, and the two teachers who are on the bus for some reason are sitting across on the other side of the aisle. The little kid is really small but has some real coarse language for me-- apparently I hit him with a ball or a rock or did something like that to him a while ago. I don't remember it, but I tell him I'm sorry if I did and try to squash the beef. He seemed ready to really let me have it, but drops it when I refuse to get amped up myself. We start talking. He mentions that the girls shooting with the video camera don't have any underwear on, and he uses some slang acronym I'd never heard before that means a girl with no underwear on. I tell him that it doesn't really matter because they're both buckled and he laughs. I ask where the bus is going and he says Kansas City. I think that maybe I should get off before the bus pulls out of Jacksonville again and go home, so at the stoplight of Sweet Air and Jarrettsville Pike, I lean forward and ask the driver where the bus is going. He says "Tennessee, maybe North Tennessee County," and I ask him how long that drive is and he says "Maybe 1 or 2 hours."

I think, "Hmm, I wonder if I should get off the bus. I'll probably just end up going home since I didn't know many of the kids at the 7-11 or the tennis court--- I'm not even their age or attending this school anymore..." but I don't really have anything to do that day, and the bus is in motion, so once we pull away from the light I'm pretty much going to Tennessee with these kids.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

There's this big boat, like a cruise liner, that these high school kids have rented for the "big game," and they're on the deck, but it's obvious nobody else is on the boat. I am not on the boat. I am watching it on a TV. I think I am near the harbor the boat is in, though. The kids on the boat are dressed up in school colors.

I'm going to class. The campus is as big as a city again, but it's a totally different city. Getting from place to place involves walking into an office building, going up flights of stairs, exiting through a different door, going into a parking garage, going down a bunch of stairs and through a service basement to get to the subway. I run into Justin Timberlake and he recognizes me and asks me what's up, all familiar-like. I am kind of bewlidered and am not sure how to play it, so I play it like of course JT recognizes me. Then it turns out he thinks I'm some dude named Eric, but he's pretty nice about it. We both have to go to class so we continue on in opposite directions. There's nobody else in the subway.

I'm in a class. We're all sitting around a huge rectangular table and we're watching some video we're working on. "Do I fall down all the time?" I ask, watching footage of myself falling down by accident. Everyone agrees casually that yeah, I'm always falling over. I get up and accidentally fall, and while I'm falling towards the ground I'm suddenly very sad that this is who I am, this guy that always falls on his face and it's kind of funny but kind of weird because it happens so often. I decide, while still falling, to go with it and make my fall more exaggerated. Then I just stay on the ground, face down, and don't move. Nobody bothers me. I try to think really fast, come up with a solution to this problem before I get up, but I know I can't stay down for too long or it will be awkward.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I have just gotten finished eating a meal at a camp for little kids, and now I'm walking down the streets of Manhattan, talking on my cell phone to Julianne, telling her the whole story of Ben Valis, how he was in these bands and he started the best all-ages club in Baltimore and then moved--- but I'm being really, really detailed and taking a long time. As I'm walking, some girl with a lot of freckles and light hair recognizes me and I have to wrap up the phone conversation because freckles starts walking up alongside me like she has something to tell me, even though I've never seen her before. At the end of my Ben story, I tell Julianne that just recently I read in the newspaper that Shepherd Fairey has pledged to give Ben and his new dance-squad that he's started 9% of the profits from all that Andre the Giant stuff that Shepherd Fairey sells.

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Somebody died.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Under my bed there is a severed head and some pale, disembodied hands. I have cut them off of a mafia-type dude. I have the head because there is a bullet in it that I want to get out, and I have the hands because of something about the knuckles or the knuckle bones.

I wake up and a boat with my class has landed at this dock. It is swarming with mafia-type guys. They are shooting at us. Everybody is scrambling to get onto little boats and get into the town. The town is on the water and there are few streets-- and these are not canals, this town is off-shore, out in the ocean. I get on a boat and think, "I have to take care of this mafia problem or the whole class is going to get killed because of me." Under my clothes I have a black ninja outfit, but it's not stupid looking. It looks pro. But I have never been taught how to be a ninja, I have only taken up this role recently out of necessity.

In a Chinese restaurant in this town's "downtown" area, a few classmates and I find a little safety. Some girl sits really close to me and then another girl starts touching my head at one point. I am confused because I don't think I have any history with either of them. All I can think about is putting an end to the violence.

All the other students hiding out in the restaurant decide it's time to go to class. I tell them I will join them shortly. They go through a secret passageway in the back of the restaurant and I am left alone. Some bad guys show up. I am really scared because I don't have any special powers that make me sure I will win. Scared as hell, I manage to not get shot and to kill all the bad guys with a sword that they didn't know I had.

I go into class late and find my seat. It is seat 62. It's a big lecture hall. I am embarrassed for being late. I am not able to think about the teacher's lecture because I am trying to figure out who the boss of the mafia guys is. If I figure that out, then I can probably stop the danger, although I am just a kid and I have no idea how I will get information about a mob boss. I think that maybe if I fight some more dudes and kill them all and stay alive, I could try to keep one sort-of alive too and make him tell me-- but realistically, I think, I was so scared out of my mind while I was fighting those guys that I don't really believe I have much chance of intentionally keeping a dude kind-of alive.

Soon, though, another student gets up to go to the bathroom, and something makes me realize that HE is the boss of the mafia guys! He is my age but he is big with a bald head and he is Asian, which completely throws me for a loop because I'm a ninja and all the bad guys are mob dudes. It's a perfect scheme. Why he wants to kill his class is not clear, but it's obvious that is what's up. I follow him out without saying anything.

He goes into a hallway and starts running. I jump on his back. We are in a narrow hallway and there are lots of framed pictures of varying sizes hanging up. You can touch both walls of this hallway if you stand in the center, that's how narrow it is. It is short, too, with no doors down it, and at the end there is a glass door that opens into the outside. I understand that he is trying to get to that door, and when he does, all of his bad dudes are going to be out there and see us and kill me instantly. So I can't let him get to the door, but I am on his shoulders and he is too strong for me to stop him. So I grab a little picture and bash him in the face, but he doesn't care. So I grab the biggest picture as we pass by it and I use the wire that's nailed to the back to strangle him. I don't take it off the picture or anything, I just loop it over his neck and start twisting the big picture around. The picture is in between our heads so I don't see him die but I feel wet blood on my fingers. He falls down.

I also realize now that the trouble is not over. I don't have any of my stuff-- at some point I took off my regular clothes and my passport was in my pants' pocket, and my other clothes and books are in my room on the boat that brought us here. I think and decide I probably don't need my walkman or my clothes, the passport is the only thing that bugs me because I will obviously have to get out of this country now that I've killed some people, including a powerful gang leader.

A horse-driven cart pulls up outside the glass door. Two old ladies from the Chinese restaurant are driving it. I had talked to them before, I realize, and told them to meet me here for a getaway. They are going to drive this horse cart to another part of China, a small town that is a ways away from here. I decide I am going to stay and learn some more fighting ninja shit-- that maybe the bad dudes will be expecting me to go back to the US and wait for me there, or get me enroute. Or maybe the government will think I am just a killer. I am really anxious and worried about living in China all abruptly like this, but I tell the old ladies that it's what I gotta do. They take off and I crouch in the back of the cart.

Nobody speaks Chinese at any point, everybody speaks English.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

I'm on tour with the Postal Service again. I'm about to start playing but there's something wrong-- like, I think I should be playing first but I'm playing last, or vice versa-- I can't remember the exact details. I'm not angry but things aren't ideal. We're playing at a college that is out there in rural Virginia. There's a lot of caves and caverns and mines in this town-- actually, that's really all there are, caves and long empty stretches of road and an occassional abandoned-looking barn. The classes are held in the caves. The show is in a little cabaret in a cave, with a small stage and when you're standing on it, your head almost touches the ceiling.

After the show I know everybody at the school because I suddenly go here, and have gone here for a while. In a huge cavernous room with giant stacks of bleachers on each side, there is a game/class going on. Kids on either side of the bleachers are on different teams and they are supposed to kill each other with toy weapons. There are toy rifles, toy pistols, and toy daggers. I am the "general" in charge of my side and I am very upset that at least half of the kids on either side don't seem to have a weapon at all and are just goofing around. When the game starts I aim at a kids' head way across the cave on the other bleachers and squeeze the trigger. These toy guns don't shoot any projectile, nor do they seem bulky enough to shoot some kind of light beam, so I don't know how kids are supposed to know that they've been shot, but I've seen a few go down in a realistic way, so I assume they work somehow. Some kids on the other side start throwing rocks and we're all really scared of them, they look like they hurt. A big group of jock boys stands up and turns their backs in my direction, so I use my toy rifle to unleash a torrent of pretend bullets at their backs. Nothing happens, they don't notice. I tell the kids immediately next to me that I'm going to crawl over to the room where they keep the toy guns and get new ones because I think the ones we have are broken. I crawl through the bleachers, trying to avoid incoming pretend-fire and actual rocks.

I find the gym teacher near the storage room and tell him that hardly anyone is actually trying to kill the kids on the other side, and that I'm not sure how the rocks fit in--- are they grenades? He smelts me a ring in the storage room, a ring that has a 1/4" triange facing down, two squares, and then another triangle. I love it. Each shape is divided in half and one half is smooth gold and the other half is cross-hatched with a grid of silver scratches. It looks like the ring I had made at Busch Gardens years ago when I told the lady at the monogrammed ring booth that my name was "BALLSOUT." (I actually did lose that ring in gym class, now that I think about it.)

I take the ring and leave the gym and walk into a music video that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are shooting live as it premieres on MTV. The singer is a lot younger and college-r looking than I would have expected. At the beginning of the video an animated flying purple furball flies past an animated dog-like creature to the place (in rural Virginia) where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are playing. The guitarist is playing piano and I recognize him from the time I met him in England. The drummer, at one point (in the video), tells some sound guy off screen to make his drum sound "more cripsy." There is the audible sound of the drum mic overloading for a second, then it returns to normal. I think to myself, "That's kind of a neat thing to put in a video."

After they're done, I walk up to them. I didn't see the crew shooting the video while I watched it, and I don't see them now, although I can kind of feel people walking around. I talk to the band and ask them some questions. They are very nice. They know who I am, which surprises me, but I play it off cool like no big deal, of course they know who I am. I ask them where they're going next, and they tell me the name of a venue that I don't recognizes. "Wingbirds" or "Winghouse" or "Wing-something." I think it might be in Pittsburgh but I don't know for sure, I ask them where that is. They ask a crew guy that is wandering around, taking down cables or other equipment from the video. He says the town is called "Andy" and I'm pretty positive that is in PA, but it doesn't seem to mean anything to the band.

I ask them if they are going north or south, and they say they don't know. The crew guy asks somebody else, a local guy who is helping out, if Andy, PA is north or south and they don't know either. I ask the band if they came from the north or the south when travelling from their last show and they scratch their chins but can't come up with the answer. Then somebody notices my ring.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

I am seated at the back of my science class. There are way too many kids in this class, and a girl named Shelly is giving a presentation. She is in the corner, singing a gospel song. A boy named Greg with really big eyes is standing behind her, doing back-up vocals, a job for which he is clearly not the right man. Towards the end of the song he starts visibly forgetting the right words and Shelly has to start whispering the right ones in his ear before she sings each line. Everybody laughs.

The science teacher, Mr. Wilson, who always reminded me of a more serious David Letterman, says something to the effect of, "I don't think it would be actually possible for anybody to give a presentation that makes you hate them." He's saying it as a joke, like "don't worry about anybody hating you because of this, it's not going to matter that much." I enthusiastically raise my hand and tell him that somebody could probably give a presentation that made you hate them-- say if, for instance the presentation involved giving you a disease and then curing you of it but they don't do the curing part right. I try to think of another example before he moves on to the next presentation.

Sunday, May 2, 2004

In the center of this school, there is a part of the building that rises up and if you go to this part, the topmost level, it is made up of one large conference room with many windows. You can see the roof of the rest of the building out of the windows.

On the roof, there are lots of middle school kids advancing, trying to get into this top room. Some of them have black masks on. The class I am in is small -- maybe only 6 students and a teacher ---- and our goal is to kill all the middle school kids before they kill us. This is the class. We fight huge crowds of kids. It is kind of scary because you never know what a little kid is going to do--- they frequently surprise with their erratic and extra-vicious attacks. Equally surprising is their varying attitudes toward what they are doing---- many are justifiably hesitant, but some seem to really relish the task of trying to kill these older students and their teacher.

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Tons of people have been flown to a German orphanage. I am only here for two days, but on the day I am supposed to leave I keep refusing to look at my plane tickets even though I am worried I am going to miss my plane since I haven't looked at the tickets to see what time it departs. Late in the day, I get out the tickets and look at them--- I have 2 tickets, one is mine and one is somebody else's. I want mine to be the earlier one, but I know it is not. My departure is not for another 20-30 minutes, though, luckily, so I go to one of the ladies in charge of the orphanage and say, "I need a car to the airport, how long does it take to get there?" And she tells me that it takes 2 hours. It is the worst thing-- there are so many people here at this orphanage, and most of them have to go to the airport, and I have no idea if the airline will give me another ticket for free, because I definitely can't afford to buy a whole new ticket back to the US myself.