Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Devil's Den Dream

I had another very strange dream this morning that went on forever. Stay with me here. Get a cuppa Joe and get comfortable, this is gonna take a while.

The dream starts at some unknown distant relative's house. It is a special occasion, but I don't know what occasion. The house looks more like a commercial building than a home. It has white cinderblock walls, white square tile floors, fluorescent lighting, and suspended ceilings like a dorm, frat house, or insane asylum. The rooms are huge, and the "family room" has three couches in one corner around a TV. There are 50 or so people milling about from room to room.

I'm sitting on a 1960's harvest gold couch and a girl who looks vaguely familiar sits beside me and snuggles up to me like she knows me. Humm....she tells me who she is, but her name doesn't ring any bells. More milling about, then most of the people mill out of the family room to other parts of the house. The hostess, a short blonde lady, comes into the family room and looks at the floor in disgust. There is a checkerboard pattern of sticky yellow wetness on the floor. I look up to see the suspended ceiling tiles have gotten wet and fallen. There is a leak from the second floor bathroom. The yellow stickiness on the floor is urine.

As I'm looking at the bottom of the floor above, it starts to collapse. I run for the door. It's a double glass push bar door like in commercial buildings. Outside to my right is a long, buff brick wall. Extending for about 50 yards is a corrugated tin walkway cover. The far end of the cover is starting to collapse and the collapsing tin is coming at me in a rolling wave. I realize I will be crushed by the metal in seconds. However, when it reaches me, it is not tin at all. It is actually strings of flat, white, lightweight plastic beads. They made "curtains" for teenagers out of the stuff several years ago.

I turn and go back in the building, but it's no longer the family room. It's a big vacant warehouse. The roof is collapsing because of a deluge of a reddish-brown substance, like wheat or rice grains. It's like a blowing sandstorm this stuff, and it's causing the buildings to collapse from the weight. As I go from room to room the ceilings are all collapsing. This is an apocalyptic end-of-the-world sandstorm of red rice.

I figure if I get under a doorway opening, or better yet, the fire escape stairwell, that the building won't collapse on me. I realized that was a bad idea because the red rice was filling the stairwell and now I was going to suffocate.

The red rice was coming in but I saw a hole underneath an AC duct and wiggled through to another larger room. But that room was filling up with the red rice too and it covered me in seconds. I was now suspended in and trapped by the red rice. I was holding my breath and trying to "swim" to the top but getting nowhere. As I was swimming away, I realized I was breathing normally and the red rice wasn't getting in my nose or mouth.


I am running diagonally across the junior high gymnasium screaming, "Get out! Get out of the building! It's collapsing! Get out NOW!" There is a P.E. class sitting on the floor in rows and the teacher is taking roll. They are all wearing white T-shirts and navy blue, double-knit gym shorts. They just stare at me as I scream across in front of them and out another set of double glass doors.

Outside is a large parking lot with another of those corrugated tin walkways. People are running wild-eyed towards the building, or away from something terrible. They are yelling "Devil's den, devil's den!" Apparently there has been an expedition to find seven markers around the world which have been lost for ages. They have just uncovered the sixth one outside the building. There is a ceremony to recognize the discovery.

The marker looks like a heavy iron manhole cover. It has strange markings on it and sits atop a concrete pillar. A tall scaffolding has been erected around the top of the pillar so people can get up there and look at the marker. I'm suddenly up on the scaffolding with a small crowd of people. The devil is coming up the stairs shaking hands. He is six or seven feet tall and wearing an ugly green zoot suit made of a rough material like burlap.

I know he is the devil, but everyone else knows him as the wealthy businessman who has financed the search for the marker expedition. He is coming up for the grand unveiling. The devil is not powerful now, but when the seventh marker is uncovered he will unleash his devilness on the world and it will be destroyed.

So the devil is coming up the stairs shaking hands. But I don't want to shake the devil's hand. I know somehow that if I do not extend my hand, he will not be able to harm me. I stand with my hands clasped in the fig leaf position. The devil extends his hand but then sees that mine is not out. He gets an embarrassed look on his face in the awkward social moment, and kinda hangs his head with an embarrassed grin. He then lightly swipes his hands a couple of times along the hem of my jacket.

And his hands, oh my. He had four hands. One set looked like human hands but were a pale green. The other set were fake and wooden looking and were on rods coming from his elbows. The wooden hands were small, painted black, and were covered with yellow-green puss filled blisters.


I am in a small electronic control room high above the world's largest fair. It is nighttime and through the large plate glass window I see the vast expanse of the fair with all the pretty lights. Between the fair and the control room is a lake and the lights of the Ferris wheel are reflected in the dark water. I remember Blonde Hostess had mentioned something about going to the fair after the party was over.

I am exhausted from running from the apocalyptic red rice and the encounter with the devil. I don't feel well. In the room are three 3' x 3' x 3' black flight cases for shipping electronic equipment. I kneel behind one, suddenly naked, dizzy. I know this is a dream, and a bad one at that. I am wanting it to be over in the worst way.

The door to the room opens and Blonde Hostess and Snuggly Girl come up to me. Blonde Hostess says, "There you are! We were wondering where you had gotten off to." When I look up at them, they and the room around me are fuzzy and suddenly in black and white. Through my fuzzy fog I tell them about my dream....using a British accent. I realize that people with head injuries sometimes awake from a coma and suddenly have strange accents. I wonder if that is what has been happening to me. I laugh and exclaim, "Where did this British accent come from????"

They give me knowing smiles and help me to my feet. My clothes have suddenly reappeared. The control room is actually the garage of Blonde Hostess's house. They explain that the weird dream was caused by a party drug that was spiked in the food at the gathering. It is usually quite harmless, but had a bad effect on me because I still had my appendix. They thought everyone at the gathering had had an appendectomy. They didn't know I still had mine and were very sorry about my bad dream trip. Snuggly Girl explained to me she was the one with whom I had a one-night lesbian fling when I lived in Texas. Oh! I remember her now...vaguely.

We walked back in the family room where I found my cousin John and his best friend Paul wearing silly long blonde wigs. I knew they were the ones who spiked the food. I ran over to John, jumped on him and pinned him to the couch. I hadn't seen him in a long time and was glad to see him. He was laughing and so was I.


I'm at my mother's house and I'm helping her clean out stacks and stacks of old magazines, notably Popular Computing and National Enquirer. I'm hauling the stacks out on the front porch when my friend John Allen stops by. He asks if he can have the magazines to take to his mother. I go back in the house and there is a blonde lady sitting at Mom's kitchen table. I start telling her about my weird dream. She says she knows Snuggly Girl and explains who she is. When I go outside with the stack of mags for John Allen, I suddenly realize Snuggly Girl is probably Jackie Sue's (yellowdog granny's) daughter. I go back inside to ask the lady and she explains that *she* is Jackie Sue's daughter, not Snuggly Girl.


Phew! I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 5:30 a.m., just two hours after I had gone to sleep. Cheezburger the cat was yowling to go outside like he always does at 5:30. Today I'm glad he woke me up.

Like all dreams, some of the images and people were real and some came from the dark recesses of my mind. Here's a rundown:

1.) Snuggly Girl is a real person. I've seen often in the past but I don't see her now. I can't quite place her. I think she works at the local hospital. If I were to have a lesbian tryst, she wouldn't be the one.

2.) Blonde Hostess is the face my imagination has assigned to Kate Johnson, a watercolor artist in the on-line sketch group. I know her only by a sketched, self-portrait icon. I don't know what she really looks like.

3.) The devil looked just like Jim Carey's character in "The Mask", except for the rough textured suit.

4.) My cousin John, his friend Paul, and my friend John Allen all are real people in my life and had their actual faces. John Allen's picture was in the paper yesterday. Hubby asked yesterday if my family was going to have our big Cousin's Christmas party this year. I would have seen my cousin John there. That may be the family gathering occasion in the dream. I have no idea why Paul showed up.

5.) The blonde lady at my Mom's kitchen table was totally unknown to me.

6.) Jackie Sue (Yellowdog Granny) is a real blogger person in Texas. I have guilt feelings because I haven't been over there to read her stuff lately.

7.) The "family room", control room and the fair were all unknown to me.

8.) The long, buff brick wall is outside the front door of my high school, but there's no covered walkway beyond it.

9.) The junior high gym is the actual local junior high gym.

10.) The stairwell with the AC duct was in my church when I was a kid. It was torn down in the 70's.

11.) The open room where I was covered with red rice was the actual gym in the junior high I attended.

12.) The P.E. class uniform was similar to the one I wore in high school in Texas.

13.) The scaffolding with the devil's marker is an actual location. It's between the science building and nursing building on my college campus. Some years ago they built a planetarium on that spot though.

14.) The manhole cover atop a concrete pillar is something I see frequently. I think there is one across the street from my bank, or maybe the post office. They are located in low, swampy areas prone to flooding, so they build the pipe way up in the air. I guess it's done that way so rainwater won't backwash the sewer system.

15.) The devil's marker is from a TV ad for a movie I think. I recall the image of a gloved hand brushing away snow from a marker that looks like an iron manhole cover. Does this sound familiar to anybody????

16.) The rolling wave of collapsing roofs/ceilings is from The Universe series where they describe Einstein's theory of General Relativity. The Earth is pushed towards the sun by space-time and they have a neat graphic to show the theory. The rolling wave is that graphic.

17.) The apocalyptic sandstorm of red rice is also from The Universe series. It's the red sandstorms on Mars.

18.) The lightweight plastic curtain beads were purchased by my sister for her granddaughter several years ago when they redecorated her room from little girl to teenager. I think the actual bead curtain was purple though.

19.) The devil made his appearance because I was reading an art history book just before I went to sleep. I was looking at a triptych painted by Hieronymus Bosch, c. 1510, titled The Garden of Earthly Delights. The first panel is The Garden of Eden, second is The World before the Flood, and the third is Hell. I looked at Hell and thought, "Hummm...Hell looks like fun." I immediately thought, "Oops, I shouldn't have said that." Nothing like a good dose of religious guilt right before bedtime.

20.) The British accent is from watching waaaaay too many "How to Paint with Watercolors" videos on You Tube produced in the U.K.

21.) I still have my appendix.

22.) There was never a single issue of Popular Computing in my mother's house. She had a subscription to National Enquirer though.

OK, anybody want to venture an analysis?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ain't Dead Yet

Good Grief! It's been two weeks since I've had an interesting thought that wasn't art related. I have however, been drawing and painting up a storm. I've been keeping a paper journal of my mundane life with a daily sketch. The pages are posted on my sketch blog if you are rillyrilly interested in reading all that.

If not, here are highlights of some of the artwork:

Cleaning the fridge coils:

Sketch of a cool old building with strange white capstones on top:

And a painting of that same building, but just the corner detail:

Big boys on big toys Thanksgiving day at the farm:

And a colored pencil study of the same apple:

And that's what I've been up to lately.

Still working on the farmhouse rehab. We're now ready to start the painting and that's always the fun part for me. Yay!