Do we create our own lives?

I was in my old room, sitting on the bed. My left knee had a big open hole right in the middle of it. It looked red and smooth inside the hole. Somehow it wasn’t supposed to matter, like it was temporary or make-believe, and I had a vague feeling that I was some character in a comic book. Still, although it didn’t hurt now, I wondered what would happen if I touched it. I didn’t have the nerve to feel it with my fingers, so I took a stack of papers and slapped them on my knee. It felt uncomfortable and there was some moisture from the rim of the hole that was transferred onto the papers. I wanted to go into the living room, but my mother and grandmother were there and I realized that I couldn’t go in looking like this. I thought about getting some bandages to cover up the hole.

I was now reading a comic book. A vague connection between the character in the book and the character I’d just felt like. The ending was strange; there were several page-wide panels of the protagonist driving into the desert. He was on the left side of the panels, while on the right side was an odd man standing in the desert. His appearance shifted from panel to panel; his face changed and he turned from fat to thin.

I was now driving the car, or maybe still observing somehow (but it was now real). The driver picked up a young boy, about 8 years old, with red-blond hair and a very distinct face. The boy had just been on a kind of experience where the fictional and the real mixed somehow. This was like something he had ordered. He said he had put in the last few people himself, but he wasn’t pleased with those. He wanted to think or try a bit more before making his decision. I understood it now. The boy said he was done with “bad boying” (being the only exact words I remember he used). I think this referred to an earlier part of the story.

The car was high up now, either flying or driving on some elevated road. There was a railroad track at the side of a mountain below, and the driver wanted to bring the car down there. He wanted to be clever, and used his “powers” to make the track into a dirt road, raised it up higher and landed the car there. Suddenly the train came. It managed to drive on the dirt, past the car and into the tunnel that was nearby. The man and the boy went into the tunnel too, by foot. I observed this from above, but I could also see inside the tunnel. Since the train had just passed, they/I thought it wouldn’t come again soon, but there was a bad feeling anyway. And then a train did come, from the other direction, speeding towards them. In panic they ran, crisscrossing the tracks. I thought the train seemed slow. But then it neared the boy, who could do nothing but press close to the tunnel wall. The train crashed into the wall, the boy horribly caught between. The man ran towards him. The boy’s body was mangled and bloody.

Now the police and ambulance personnel were at the scene. A man was treating the boy. The boy’s head was completely ruined and in pieces. I thought it was too much, over the top, like I would think if I were watching a movie. The boy’s face kept falling off as the man tried to treat him. I then realized it wasn’t a real head; there was no blood. Actually the boy’s body seemed to be made of building materials. The man was cranking something, as plaster and wood fell off the body in pieces, and the man seemed to be collecting it for reuse.

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A heartwarming Christmas tale

A dream from tonight. As usual only fragments remembered.

I was living in some kind of dystopia, or at least trapped in a terrible and dark building. I was sleeping on the floor, but I was accompanied by a dog-like creature (with a long snout, like a collie), and I cuddled up to it, and loved it very much. It had a name, which I believe was jackeman, or jack-e-man. I think this was the name of the type of creature rather than its personal name. I had to walk down a hallway and open a door, and on the other side there would sometimes be an evil of some sort. But in these instances the dog creature would reveal its power and magically protect me.

At some point later in the dream I was climbing around the top of a giant hall made of stone, looking for a way to escape before the inhabitant would come back. There were parts of one wall missing near the ceiling, but it was a steep drop on the outside. There was also the question of what world I would be escaping to.

Later I dreamt that I had woken up from this dream and was thinking about its meaning. The dog-like wizard creature seemed mostly like just a dog. Dogs are good companions that can be petted but can also show another side when ferociously protecting you from some attacker.

I remember the next part more vividly, it being the last part before I woke up.

As often happens the previous dream turned into a narrative I was observing instead of participating in. I was reading the book and at the same time watching the movie, comparing them side by side. They turned out to be very similar, the book being very visual. The protagonist was seemingly still living in the building but in his own room. The camera was showing me only close-ups, panning across the room. It was Christmas and there was glitter and a warm light, showing that he had found some measure of happiness. I never saw his face. The shot panning down over the floor and towards the open door, a bright symbol was being reflected on the floor. I noticed it was glimmering in the movie, something the book version had failed to reproduce. A box had been put down on the floor just inside the entrance. It was made of wood and glass. I tried to figure out what it was. The shot panning slightly up and through the entrance, I could see that a woman was standing there. She was about to enter, but didn’t yet. I only saw as far up as her hands. She was forming the fingers of both hands into a meditative gesture.

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Steely evil

Fragments from a dream, from 25 May 2011.

At this stage in the dream, as is often the case, I’m thinking back on something that happened earlier in the dream, but it’s unclear whether it actually happened earlier in the dream or I’m just dreaming that it did.

My brother, my mother and I are living in our old apartment. But in the dream we apparently have recently been living in a much worse, run-down apartment, since we were poor. A helpful angel is the cause of our good fortune of getting the opportunity to move to this nice place. I remember the angel using his/her/its powers to manifest this new apartment.

I’m with my brother in my old room. Maybe it’s his room in the dream. He’s looking at or doing something with some gray steel bars which are mounted horizontally a few feet above the floor. There are small holes, like screw holes, in them. He says that he sometimes put some of the meat, or the small bones, or some of the silver, into the holes. I’m thinking that he must mean during dinner, like chicken bones left over and pieces of chicken meat. “The silver” is mysterious, but I don’t question it in the dream. There’s some reason he does this, something to do with the holes or what’s inside them, like they want it.

I then think about seeing the angel creating the apartment. It didn’t have enough power on its own, so it summoned various demons or evil spirits to lend power. As a result, some of this malignant force remains, and I assume that this force is what’s wanting to be fed through these holes. I’m very concerned and warn my brother not to do this.

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This dream is from 27 March 2010. It was one of the most visually stunning dreams I’ve had in years, so I tried using it as the basis for a poem. That never really worked out, so here it is instead.

As in many other dreams I’m in a complex of rooms and hallways – maybe a mall, a school or a convention center. And as in many previous dreams I seek the passageway through and out – always by going further in.

The walls are white. A door leads to a big, cluttered storage room, which is almost completely dark. The dream becomes (as usual) more like a nightmare when I venture into the darkness. To the side of the room are some curtains. Behind the curtains is a kind of small stage area, even more run down and dirty. There I find another door, half hidden away. It leads to a smaller room, wherein is total blackness. Still I enter, feeling my way. I hit the far wall, and it feels like this is where I can never get through. But now there’s an opening…!

I tumble through, into a black sky. I’ve finally escaped! I race forward through black space. Then twinkling yellow lights appear. I’m above a city at night, tall buildings around me. Then I start falling down, points of light shooting up around me. I’m afraid, but force myself to change directions. I manage to fly up – black space again welcoming me.

I zoom through the void. Then an enormous yellowed skeleton rushes towards me, head first. But it’s a million miles long, so I slowly trace the huge bones from the cranium to the phalanges of the foot. After it has gone past me, several more skeletons appear, two or more at a time, moving from the vanishing point toward me. They’re perfectly still, but placed in different symmetrical patterns. When they go past I see that the ribcages are composed of petrified men. It all has an ethereal beauty.

Lastly a gigantic lone skull moves towards me, its mouth yawning open. I cannot avoid this huge opening, so I fly through. Inside is a brown rock, a boulder floating in space. I’m drawing closer and closer to this asteroid, until I descend upon its surface. It’s big enough that it’s like being on a planet.

I’m now in a canoe, the leader of a group of men paddling through the landscape. As I steer the vessel down the river I see something in the sky above us. An immense skeleton is floating up there, but only its skull can be seen between the craggy cliffs. Inside its mouth floats a rock, a world like this one, with its own flowing river. The gravitational pull between the two rocks makes the very land rear up, threatening to thrust us into the grinning head above.

But I maneuver the canoe onto the river banks, sliding over damp moss and slick rock, into the stream and back, barely avoiding the undulating hill directly underneath the jaw. We race uphill and down, a mad ride to find the right way.

Seeming to have escaped for now we disembark in a lush forest. Leaning against a grassy stone I feel a hardness on my hand. It’s a growth, a gray brown shape protruding out maybe an inch. It’s cylindrical with a concave base, tapering towards a half-burst top. Like a lid I open it. Inside is a clear amber liquid.

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Smoking baaaad (so is pun)

A dream from tonight.

I dreamt I was a smoker, and I had a sheep in order to use its tail to light my cigarettes.

When I was going to buy the sheep, the shady character who was selling it to me was going to demonstrate lighting its tail. But this was intercepted by some secret agent, in order to stop a major event that he had some foreknowledge about; maybe a big fire would be started. The seller left, angry that his sale had been ruined, but leaving the sheep.

After that I just sat around at the cafe were this had taken place, smoking and looking at my sheep grazing on the other side of the fence. I never did use it to light my smokes. Sometimes it came close to my cigarette, like it wanted a puff, but I deemed this wasn’t a good idea. Even in this dream it was more like I was playing a role than really being a smoker. I did inhale, but wasn’t taking too many puffs and it didn’t really do anything for me.

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Relosing control

This is a dream from 23 March. It’s really long so I’ll try to keep the language less elaborate.

I was waking up several times during this dream, but at all times it’s a little unclear whether I really woke up or it was a part of the dream. Also, I knew that I was dreaming, or half-knew, during most of the dream.

I was at home, in my current living room. I don’t remember that much about this part of the dream. I was going on a holiday and was packing lots of different items. I was stressed and looking for something, a piece of a cell phone, searching through bags.

I woke up in my bedroom, but in my old apartment now. I heard sounds from the living room, probably my mother. I called for her to come in, but she didn’t answer. I might have really been half-asleep at this point, really hearing things (having hypnagogic hallucinations). I heard lots of sounds from the apartment, and suddenly the sound of something heavy falling down. I was unsure of whether I was dreaming or awake, or was in my current apartment. Calling out didn’t help. I held my ears to shield from the noise.

I checked the cell phone by my bed. If the buttons didn’t work or a piece was missing, it must be a dream, I thought. It didn’t work, so I knew then I was dreaming.

I was in my old room, standing and looking in the mirror I had on the wall. Around my neck, under the shirt, was a necklace with some trinkets hanging from it. It was very important. I then tried to change my face by willing it so. A girl was there, maybe A (who I used to be great friends with growing up). I grew horns, but they were small. Then fangs; they were needle sharp in front. This was no good, so I started over. Now the corner teeth were fangs, but all my teeth grew like dripping icicles; all uneven. It was very difficult. Suddenly I had bat wings growing out of the top of my head, and I thought this was okay. I wanted bigger horns, but they became uneven and strange. I broke off the bat wings, which turned into a chicken-like bird. It was hurt somehow; I set it free through the window.

I was at work somewhere. (The place didn’t resemble any place I’ve been). I knew nobody there. Then I was flying through the rooms, maybe in an archive room, trying to avoid a flying villain. It was like an anime. He was throwing long pointed sticks like darts. I tried to avoid them like in the show (actually there is no show like this that I’ve seen), but was hit. The sticks were poisonous, but for some reason I wasn’t harmed. I threw some sticks back.

I was walking again, at this workplace. I was tired of it and wanted to leave. I went through a door. The corridor was leading down; it had gray cement walls, like a parking house. It got darker and was very scary and nightmarish. I though that this is the part were I should turn back, but like always in dreams like this, I thought, I wasn’t turning back. But then a door in the wall opened. There was some guy who lived there. He seemed annoyed, but allowed me to go through his apartment to get to the outside. He was also going out, so we went together. This guy was blond and tall. I wanted him to like me. We walked somewhat uphill, beside a street with traffic. We crossed where there was a roundabout in the middle of the street. I ran ahead. There was a bus coming, bus 54 going downtown. On the other side of the street we ran back downhill again, towards the bus stop. But it wasn’t the bus we wanted. On the side of the street where we had come from, we now saw flashing white lights and something projected on the wall of the building. It was my workplace, and the guy worked at the same place. It was some important event, which we had both ducked out of. We were kind of hiding behind some bushes or a bench.

There was an open area beside the bus stop, a small distance from the street. There were lots of people there, old class mates from junior high. I was trying to remember the trinkets I had seen in an earlier dream (earlier part of this dream), and this made them appear. These were important clues to my actual life! The first one was a key. I thought it was the key to my apartment, but A said it was the key to hers. I gave it to her. I made a list of the items, with three columns: an index number, a drawing of the item, and what it was. First, I wrote “1 <drawing> key.” The next few items were made of cheap plastic: There was a clear purple cube, and then maybe a flat square of some clear color. It was difficult cataloging this because of all the chatter and noise around me, and people hanging around. Some guy was sitting on me as I was laying down on my side to write.

At one point I was talking to a girl I used to have a crush on, a friend of two girls named A and M (not the same A as before), who I remember as the two “nice girls” in class. (In reality there was no third girl who was a friend of A and M, and the girl I really had a crush on was someone else.) Later I was talking to some other people, saying I had talked to this girl, but now I couldn’t remember her name, which I thought was funny.

Later again, at the same place, but near some hedges, I was trying to remember the last item. It was brown or beige, of an unknown shape, and with engravings. They were the same two letters repeated: ATATATA… But then I realized it only looked like that; it was actually real words, the first being “the”. Then the item disappeared. Was it my thumb? I studied it but couldn’t find any engravings.

Now I was in my grandfather’s room (when he was alive). But it was different. The floor was felt, the colors were orange and purple, and there was strange lighting. The furniture was lined up in the center. I knew I could just lie down there and close my eyes, and I would wake up. The “bed” was just an empty area between the furniture. I lied down and closed my eyes.

I woke up in my current apartment again. I thought, why not dream of a hot celebrity here in bed with me? I didn’t really think it would work. I was half-asleep now, and felt beside me, but it was just a pillow. Then I was in my old room again, and I was there with Debrah Farentino. (This was definitely because I’ve been watching old episodes of Hooperman lately.) The problem was that “I” was not me, but another person. So I was there watching Debrah and this other guy being “me,” and I said that I should be me. I then chased him out, which he wasn’t pleased about. But Debrah and I were now having a fight, and she left or went somewhere. I called for her. Someone answered, a person in the hall, standing on a stool facing the wall. It was a tall person with sand colored hair, who seemed to have stubble, but I wasn’t sure if it was a man or a woman. I tried calling again.

Then I was outside. There were some tiered rows of seats (benches), and Debrah was sitting there with some other people. I was standing beside her. Then she started decomposing, sinking into a pile of rotting vegetable matter. The pile was mostly brown, with insects crawling around in it, but I could still see her face in it. Either she or the other people said I had to pick her up and embrace her. Reluctantly I lifted her up and held her close. She had no arms or legs and was still rotting. I was feeling for insects crawling on my skin. It was summer and a lot of people were around, and it was on Aker Brygge, near Oslo harbor. I put her down on the pavement and she started to grow, turning back into Debrah. But as she did so she moved artificially and I heard mechanical sounds. Incredulous, I asked in a mocking way: And how long is the guarantee?

Earnestly she called to the side: Keith, what’s the guarantee?

Two months, was the reply.

Screw this, I thought, and willed myself to wake up. This worked.

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Giant robots at sea

A dream from a few days ago, 5 May.

The dream was about workers on big marine robotic vessels. These vessels were not ships, but huge humanoid robots (in that they had arms and legs). They were probably walking on the seabed rather than traveling on the surface. The crew in the dream was working above sea level. It seems I wasn’t personally in this dream, but I was there somehow still.

Embarking and disembarking were done by walking along the arms and hands of a robot, which it stretched out to the shore. The last part of walking ashore was atop the fingers, which were so long that it took a few minutes. A robot’s fingers were not round (that is, their cross section) but rather polygonal. To create a walkway it held two fingers together, each one forming a slanting side with no level floor in between, crew members having to step on these angled sides.

There was always the danger of a robot deciding it didn’t like the crew members and closing the two fingers, crushing the humans. This didn’t happen very often, but of course the thought of it took an emotional toll on the crew. A female crew member was contemplating whether feigning illness was a viable way of avoiding going ashore, because this time she feared for her life.

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Girls are more helpful than Swedes

I found this dream from 9 June 2011. This is the last of my old dreams except the epic one from 1997. Don’t know when I’ll get around to doing that one.

I was on my way to class, in a building that was a mix of Manglerud High school and the Vilhelm Bjerknes building at the Blindern university. The walls were made of red bricks. I was ten minutes late. I went up a floor towards the classroom, but at the top of the staircase the door was bricked off; I was startled and almost lost my balance, since there was nowhere to stand between the stairs and the new wall. I then remembered they had been doing renovations.

Back on the ground floor I went to the info desk to find out how I could get to my class. Only Swedes were working there. The guy I asked made a phone call to find out. I grabbed a pen and post-it, and jotted down the directions he repeated on the phone, sort of in code form. He did the same thing, and when he was done, we had the same notes on our post-its, except he had a few codes there from before. He was then going to explain the directions to me, but first he went on to explain his earlier notes, kind of to boast about how clever he was with his little codes. It was just mundane office stuff. I was getting impatient, and glanced at my watch. I was twenty minutes late now.

Somehow the info-desk people didn’t find out anyway. Annoyed I asked incredulously: So you mean to tell me the info desk at this school can’t tell me how to get to a classroom? Well, I’m sure some of the students know, he said, and stopped a girl at random who was walking by. She seemed very friendly and suggested she show me the way there. She said we had to walk to T’s office to get to the other floor. (T is a guy from my boardgaming club, who doesn’t work at a school as far as I know.)
That’s at the other end of the building! I said.
That’s right, she said. I can take you there later too if you want.
I thought this was an odd thing to say, I couldn’t see why I would need the way shown to me twice.

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Above it all

I’m having dreams-within-dreams with increasing frequency, that is to say, dreams wherein I wake up from a dream, often several times. (I think maybe it’s caused by thinking about writing down dreams for this blog.)

I was at some party with lots of people. Many things happened, but I only recall fragments, and will skip these events.

I woke up on a bus. C, a friend of mine from before (the same person from the dream of March 16) was also there, and a couple of other people. These had all been to the party. What was that thing anyway? I asked C. I think it was an event, he said. Maybe also connected to gaming, since I met a lot of gamers there, someone said. Still I was unsure whether I had really been to that party or if I’d dreamt it.

I think maybe that party was just a dream, I said. We had now left the bus and were walking on a country road. But that would mean this is also a dream, I continued. The others didn’t answer. I’ll prove it, I said, and walked down to a lake near the road. I planned on doing something outrageous that would only occur in a dream. I was barefoot anyway, so I walked until the water reached my ankles. But as a tank ship passed by quite closely the water seemed dirty somehow, and I had second thoughts.

I thought I’d try something else. The others were now a little ahead of me. I tried to fly, willing myself straight up into the air. It worked, and I flew past them. I looked back and down at the road, the trees around it and the people. It all looked like a plastic film. I reached down and picked up one of the guys, peeling him off the film. I held him between my fingers — a flat plastic, lifeless figure. I dropped him back onto the film, and then flew down and landed on the road. Everything now looked normal again. But the guy was lying on the ground, the others standing over him, and he looked like he was hurt.

I woke up in my old room, in the apartment I had lived with my mother and brother. They were there, and my brother was still a little boy. In this part of the dream I tried to “figure out” what I had dreamt, and also communicate it to my mother somehow. It involved a cell phone or pad-like device with a touch screen, and I had great difficulty making it do what I wanted. I don’t remember much detail.

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My summer vacation in France (not really)

Also a dream from tonight.

I was watching a movie or TV program. A scene showed the view from inside a car. A sign on a wall at the side of the road read C doesn’t live here. (C is guy I actually used to know. The sign had his full name, which is quite an unusual name.) I had to figure out this mystery, and so I went to visit the people living around where this was filmed. It was a man and a couple of women, living in a luxurious house with a swimming pool. The man seemed like a movie star or a rock star. It turned out they had put the sign up as some kind of joke, because they had had an encounter with C some time ago. He had come to sell them something, but they weren’t interested. For some reason he had hung around anyway, coming back several times. He had become interested in one of the women, pursuing her. They thought he was kind of pathetic. I was sitting outside by the pool, listening to this story. It was summer. I had a glass of Coke with ice cubes in it. I was trying to read the ice cubes, as they were each shaped like a letter, but it was hard because of the dark color of the liquid and the fact that they were partially melted. What I really wanted to do was rearrange them in some way, so as to use the ice cubes as a search engine to find out more about C and his history with this place.

Some parts of the dream may be missing, but I was now in a big house, with several rooms, halls and hallways. The decor was brown, classy, with leather and dim lights, and there were lots of people. I was walking down the stairs and C’s old girlfriend was walking past me. She didn’t recognize me. I thought that I had to consult my mother about this. (This is probably partially based on reality, since it turned out some time ago that my mother was working with C’s old girlfriend. She had never met her before, but I’d realized it was her from what my mother happened to say about her.)

I went down the stairs to a big hall and to a table where someone I thought was my mother was sitting with some other people. The person said that he was in fact F (a friend of mine). I then realized that they just looked alike. (In real life they don’t, and he doesn’t look like a woman nor my mother like a man.) I said to him that of course I knew it was him, because I recognized his voice. F told me that mothers and such were not allowed inside with the others, and had to stay in tents outside. It seems that this was some kind of convention. I asked him whether I could grant my mother permission to come inside, but he said that only the management could grant that permission.

I went outside to see her. Since I had no idea where the campsite was, I decided to call her on my cell phone. The place I was leaving was a huge castle, very tall. The word château came to my mind. There was a beautiful landscape all around, hills, clear blue sky, warm weather. Quite a distance behind the castle was another one, stretching up into the sky, its top in a haze. There were no other building in view. I reached my mother on the phone, but it was a bad connection. She told me the name of the place where she was; it was a French sounding name. I had no idea where it was and there was no one around. I was walking down a road, but didn’t know whether it was the right direction. She said that where she was it was very cold and lots of snow. A strong gale was blowing on her end, making it difficult to hear what she was saying as she was trying to explain her location. I said that it was odd, because the sky was blue where I was.

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