Anyone need a spleen while I’m there?

Last night I dreamt that I had a rapid onset illness where my body stopped producing new cells. Untreated, I had a life expectancy of three days. We somehow caught it right away. My parents came over to Canada then whisked me away to London so one of the world’s top doctors could figure out what to do. It happened in what seemed like an instant and there was no chance to say goodbye to anyone. When I asked how long I’d be staying in this London lab I was told in an unwavering manner “this is your home now.” I asked about my girlfriend back home, our flat, my job. All my friends. They told me that was all over now, that there was science to be done. I was ostensibly not dying, but it didn’t seem like they had care for my quality of life. It felt a lot more like they were just intrigued by my condition and what a cure could mean for them on the global stage.

I got a message out to my girlfriend and told her our dark family secret. That my real estate parents had hidden genetic clones of me and my brothers in cryostasis, in the basements of three houses they’d sold over the years. She travelled to New Zealand and met up with one of my childhood friends. They cross-referenced every house my parents had sold with all houses currently on the market. They then posed as newlyweds pretending to be buying their first home and infiltrated every open home on the list, sneaking off to try find secret basements and hidden passages where my clone could be kept. Meanwhile I was wasting away as a London lab rat. Still alive, but barely more than a test subject.

I woke up really wanting to know how it ended. Did I die? Did my girlfriend find my clone? Was he an actualised person? Did I ever see her again?

It felt like a weird prescient dream given the events of last night. A friend hosted a birthday bonfire on the eve of Beltane. She read a passage on the Death card in Tarot rising with the pink moon. It emphasised the importance of letting old patterns and behaviours go. Beltane is a time of renewal and growth, part of that being death to held customs and anxieties. That in order to grow, it’s necessary to shed the known self and discover new potential. A time of transformation and the awakening of sexual energies. To discover your fertile self in every layer of meaning. Also we lit sparklers, which was dandy.

My spiritual belief cache has been barren for quite some time. It was nice, however, that the passage was written in a pretty down-to-earth manner that was easily relatable. We all feel stale from time to time, like we’d benefit from widened perspective. The idea of taking stock of where you’re at and questioning what brought you there is rarely a wasted exercise. It’d be no surprise for regular readers to hear that I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit a wall and stagnated. That I’ve been treading water long enough I’ve started to question weather or not my head is still above water. That not being dead doesn’t hold the same place as feeling truly alive.

Maybe the answer is to burn away those things inside me that no longer serve a purpose. Have I been getting in my way this entire time? What version of myself has yet to come out of cryostasis, held in reserve by a simulacrum past its expiration date?

Once I figure it out, I’ll make sure to light some sparklers.


In Brussels do they just call them sprouts?

It’s around 7pm and I’m almost falling asleep. If I don’t do this now, my writing will consist of nothing but “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” as my head thumps down onto the keyboard.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and you know what that means. It’s list-o-mania:

  • I thought today about that song “Easy”. You know what? Sunday morning is pretty average. Most of the time it’s a sleep in or hangover drudgery. Either I’ll miss it entirely or it’ll be unremarkable. I guess that is “easy”, but being hungover counts that one out. What I realised is that Sunday afternoons are where it’s at. Either you’re doing errands or vegging out and eating delicious things. You could be hanging out with friends or eating delicious things while running errands. Maybe a little washing or something. Sunday afternoons excel without plans, but plans are fine too. In closing, Sunday afternoons. Good stuff.
  • Our landlord replaced the sump pump (which, for the record, is as fun to type as it is to say) downstairs and the noise is cacophonous. I think it’s from the pump, anyway. Our spare room must be directly above it or something, because while I’m on the computer the churning of the pump (is it evident I don’t know what pumps are yet?) has become our new flavour of white noise. It sounds like an army marching or some kind of production line assembling small robots. Maybe even a steam engine. Whatever it is, I have no idea how our downstairs neighbour sleeps any more. If it’s this noisy on our level, he must be using industrial strength earplugs to get to sleep.
  • I went to a party last night, because I’m that damn popular. Something remarkable happened when it came time to sing Happy Birthday. They handed out cake pops, which they assured us were gluten free. We sang the song, cheered and all chomped down. I don’t think anyone wasn’t surprised. Under that thick chocolate ganache shell were steamed Brussels sprouts. Honestly, I didn’t mind them. I love steamed veggies. Most people got “got” though and put their half eaten pops back on the platter. One of the best executed pranks I’ve seen in ages. Altogether pretty harmless, plus I got to eat tasty Brussels sprouts. Who doesn’t love fiber?
  • This story about a Wellington cat wandering the town may be the most New Zealand story I’ve heard in a while. Apparently it’s just entering people’s homes and businesses of its own volition and hanging out. Seems totally benign and friendly.
  • For maybe the second or third time I introduced myself into a certain woman at a party and she was like “oh we’ve met. We went on a date once.” Same woman, I’m not forgetting scores of women or anything. I simply don’t and didn’t date around that much. She wasn’t angry or anything and we laughed about it afterwards. From what I remember, nobody had a super shit time on the date, we just didn’t have much chemistry. I added her on Facebook a) because she’s friendly and swell but maybe more importantly b) because I’m petrified of forgetting her next time. I’ve heard if you forget someone who you went on a date with at three consecutive parties, Candyman appears to tear out your flaccid, useless heart.
  • Both Verne Troyer and Avicii died in the past week. Troyer was 49 and Avicii was a mere 28 years of age. Not that a stranger’s death is really anything other than surprising, but it’s ever strange to consider just how haphazard death can be. One minute you’re doing Reddit AMAs and the next you’re a decomposing husk of skin, flesh, muscles and bones. #YOLO in whatever manner that represents for you.
  • I found out recently that some venues in Toronto have cheaper tickets in person at their box office than online. The Sony Centre, for instance, waives the Ticketmaster fee. I saved $16 on a St Vincent ticket because I had nothing better to do on my lunch break (and was having issues with the site anyway). Knowledge is power and $16 is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Speaking of “nothing to sneeze at”, I’ve still got this bloody cold I picked up in London. Most of the symptoms have passed, but I’m still flooded with an uncanny quantity of mucus. It’s unreal how much my body contains. No matter how much I fling into tissues, there’s still more. I’ll clear it out in the shower, then by the time I go to towel off, I’ll be congested again. I don’t know how many trees I’ve downed for tissues thus far, but their sacrifice was not in vain. Wait, what am I talking about? Of course it was in vain, I’m still congested. Cuuuurses.

Is perfunctory still my word of the moment? Because that was pure perfunction over perform.

No sleep till London

Haaarumph. I’m starting this London trip off with a grumbly old whinge. And you know what? I’m waay up in the air, so there’s not a goddamn thing you can do to stop me. Let’s jump in and explore the plethora of things I can complain about.

First off, sleep. I want it. I didn’t get it. I did all the adequate preparation. I put in earplugs. I had a full belly and a glass of wine. I dunno, I saw an episode of Rugrats where Tommy had a glass of warm milk and it made him sleepy, so I guessed the adult equivalent should’ve worked. Did the wine need to be warm? I’m still wearing one of those goofy travel pillow things around my neck. I didn’t even toss on any in-flight entertainment. I just assumed if I was a good boy. did my chores and dreamed hard enough, literal dreams would come my way. Instead I felt uncomfortable in my seat for many hours, squirmed a lot and couldn’t drift off to sleep. I kept trying to sit up, then slunk down unintentionally. I put my socks back on (yeah, I’m one of those trash bags who goes bare footed on a flight) for traction but stil couldn’t get comfortable. Reclined or straight up, it didn’t matter. No rest for the wicked, wicked sick or Wicked the Musical, which is still running at the West End after all of these years. Maybe if the flight were longer than 6.5 hours I could’ve mustered something. As it stands, there’s an hour left and I’ve given up. I’ll just have to let those dreams be dreams.

What else? Oh, I know, everyone around me was watching Kingsman: Golden circle. Maybe not everyone, but enough of everyone to matter. The lady diagonally in front of me must’ve started as soon as she boarded. The lady to my direct right put it on about an hour and a half later. Have you ever tried not to watch the screens of those around you in-flight? It’s a Sisyphean task. You look away, then your eyes dart back to the screens again and that rock rolls right down. Because their screening schedules pincered me in, I feel like I’ve already seen the plot points play out. It looks like a fun, trashy, silly film. I’d love to watch it, but I feel like I already have. This of course was compounded by the fact that the gal in front of me chose to use subtitles. Brutal. I’ll save it for the flight back.

Actually, that’s one more point of contention. The film selection is fucking great and there’s no way I’m gonna have the time to see everthing I want to. Kingsman is a given now, but they also have Shape of Water, The Square, Dunkirk, and Coco. It’s only an 8 hour flight back. How am I meant to watch all those films. Plus it’s a daytime flight, which means there’s zero point in sleeping. What’s the bet I’ll conk out as soon as my ass hits the seat? London, you better have several ass-loads of coffee, that’s all I’m sayin’. Coffee: For when you need to compensate for sleep and a personality simultaneously.

WHAT ELSE? I need to hurry, because the sense of completion I’m getting through accomplishing this entry is rapidly diminishing my (admittedly put-upon) stroppy mood. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a task and a half being bitter when I’m en route to one of the biggest cities in the world. I’ve got over a week of visiting old friends, drinking delicious ales, eating too much and maybe seeing a West End show ahead of me. I hope you appreciate the effort I’m putting in to maintain dourness for your amusement. So what if I maybe managed ten minutes of sleep in the past 24 hours? They’re serving morning drinks! Plus I still have half a manwich in my bag.  Life is defiantly great right now, so any harumph I can muster only has half my heart behind it. I’m trying, folks.

Ugh, sorry. I’m all out of grumbles to give. I dunno, my lips are really chapped or something? Nah, I’m out. I’ll catch you all up tomorrow. Maybe after a decent rest.

Apparently sweet dreams are made of cheese.

I often have odd dreams. Don’t know why. Last night I had a bunch to drink and ate a considerable quantity of cheese before bed. I was prepped. I think my subconsciousness delivered.

I was on holiday with two of my friends somewhere. Let’s call them Friend Q and X. I’m not sure where, it was a dream. We had to get to our Air BnB but we’d drastically underestimated how far it was. We stopped off at a car rental place to check out their deals, in case it worked out more affordable that way. Q went to talk to the clerk while I looked around. A couple of seconds later, X came up to me giggling mischievously. He had some woman’s magazine with a sealed section in the middle. He looked at me and pulled out the sealed section, putting the magazine back.

An alarm sounded, panels on the walls shifted and folks in hazmat suits walked out. I grabbed my friend at the counter and yelled “we’ve gotta scram!” X called out and told us to follow him. He bolted and we scrambled to catch up. We got outside and couldn’t see him. Suddenly we heard him yell “hey guys” and a huge horn sounded out. He was in the driver’s seat of one of those massive trucks that transport cars. We jumped in and drove off.

The hazmat folks were chasing us Terminator 2 style. We were in reverse and driving up an impossibly steep road (physically unreal roads are a common motif in my dreams. Don’t know why). They started gaining on us. Q said she had an idea. And jumped out to the back of the truck. She began undoing the chains holding the cars in. I nodded and signalled to X to serve back and forth. I joined Q in the back and pushed the cars with all my uncanny dream strength. They tumbled out the sides and down the hill to take down the hazmat people. With the weight lifted, we zipped up the hill and made our escape.

We got to the Air BnB and couldn’t believe how spacious it was. A Japanese house, complete with sliding doors and futons. There were nigh endless rooms and the place was all ours. It was astounding. I congratulated Q on finding such an awesome place on a tight budget. X whispered to me “hey Leon, check it out”. He was holding up the sealed section he’d swiped earlier and grinning like a loon.

A fun, silly, action packed adventure. Pete Holmes is right in saying how cool it is that every night we get to close our eyes and our brain makes movies for us. I don’t know why my friend was so mischievously pervy, but I do know the journey would’ve been far less fun without his odd proclivities.

My dreams are better writers than I’ve ever been.

Was my post yesterday portent? Or merely self-fulfilling prophecy? I didn’t take today off work for my sniffly nostrils. The sniffles and sneezes subsided. I took it off work because I felt slightly dizzy, my skin was weirdly sensitive and I was bone tired. I don’t know what’s either possessing my body or just passing through, but it makes sense to let it run its course before getting back to the office.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I instead spent long periods trapped in the delirium between rest and wakefulness. I knew I was awake, but my thoughts became unchained, drifting like clouds across the night sky. Occasionally I’d close my eyes, then open them with the knowledge that some time had passed. 1am, 4am, 5.30am. I’d hear my girlfriend rustle and go to the bathroom, then realise I’d been awake for the past half hour. Circuitous thoughts with no malice. Questioning my quick onset sickness. Wondering if I’d be well enough to go to work in the morning. Would I want to? I feel like most of the sickness has passed and the lingering mental fatigue could be contributed to my lack of sleep.

I know I dreamt fragmented throughout the night. Most dreams I’ve forgotten. One stuck with me. I was back home in Auckland by Victoria Park Market. I knew I’d been out late in town and needed to catch a bus across the bridge. Minutes stretched into hours as light split the sky. As the dawn rose, errant cars became traffic. I was exhausted, but knew the bus wasn’t far off. I absentmindedly looked to the bridge on-ramp and noticed for the first time just how steep it was. It was unreal, the road curved like a coaster loop towards the bridge above. How had I lived there for 20+ years and never noticed the insanity. Cars were lined up, motors running, as they tried one by one to make it. A few speedy sports cars revved their way up. Larger trucks tried a few times, but made it about half way before backing up and turning around.

Was my bus even gonna get there? Was there point in waiting? I noticed a little green VW Beetle rev its engine and go for gold. It got 60% of the way there before sliding back down. Again it tried, to lesser results. Half way up. Again. No dice. Cars started beeping for it to get out of the way. I found myself yelling “just turn around. It’s too dangerous”. The Beetle driver shook her head and slammed her foot down. The Beetle tried and tried, slowly making it up. 50%, 60%, 70%, 75%. It veered to the right and drove straight off the ramp, before crashing onto the traffic beneath.

Panic erupted around me. Screams hurtled through the air. The constant blare of car horns was a shock to the system. Time dilated. I tried to think what to do. I saw someone reach for their phone and call an ambulance. Should I run to help? A crowd broke past and ran towards her. Would I just be in the way? Or could I do something practical? Think for fuck’s sake I thought to myself. I felt a tugging on my leg. It was my niece. I was confused to see her there. I turned back to the site of the accident and saw swarms of people. Some had gotten out of their cars. Horns subsided. I looked back to my niece who was coming in for a hug. I noticed her face was flooded with swelling boils. Spooked, I held her at arm’s length as I looked around for her parents. They were sitting at the side of the road on beach chairs, a large umbrella shading them from the morning sun. I still held my niece aloft as I questioned my brother. “Is there anything wrong with her?” I asked quietly, not wanting to hurt her feelings. “Not as far as I know.” He replied, before gestured to the chaos behind me. “So what’s up with that over there?”

Thanks to my alarm, I’ll never know.

To know him is to love him. No question.

My dreams have been an orgy of starfucking lately. Not sure why. Perhaps innate delusions of grandeur or my subconsciousness compensating for my pervasive dour mood. Whatever it is, in moments of reverie I’ve been partying with the rich and famous. The weird thing is, it’s all been tied into this idea that I’m back home in New Zealand. I haven’t lived there in over four years. Why now?

The other night I dreamt that Harmontown was on another tour, except this time it was a world tour. They were travelling around the globe on a combination of flights and tour buses. Thing was, with such a lengthy trip, they wanted all the comforts of home. Accordingly, they were making stops along the route to sleep over at fans’ houses. In the dream it made sense. They wanted hot meals, soft beds and showers. It was part outreach, but mostly for comfort’s sake. I’d volunteered my parents’ place, since it had gratuitous bedrooms and more than all of the comforts of home. Dan, Jeff, Spencer et al drove the bus down their long, steep driveway and somehow parked on that slanty bastard of a hill.

It was a dream come true (in the dream, at least). We all sat around the table, wolfing down pancakes and orange juice. Somehow in my dream I knew it was dinner time, which only made it better. Why not breakfast for dinner when you’re hosting company? There was an amicable, familial atmosphere and nothing performative. I didn’t feel nervous, there was no status imbalance, nothing. Just a nice meal around the table. Then one of my friends (a fellow fan) came around to join in and I started waking up. As I roused from rest, I blamed her for bringing me back to this harsh, unforgiving reality. Several days later, I still do.

Last night I dreamt that I had a decent part in The Big Sick, the Kumail Nanjiani/Emily V. Gordon romantic comedy. As a fan of their previous work, it was gratifying to be able to not only meet them, but have an active role in bringing the story of their relationship to light. They were warm and friendly on-set and off. Enough that once the job was over, we still kept in touch.

Not only that, but I had an unexpected and newfound celebrity in public. The kind that rarely exists in real life, but dream logic had no issue spoon feeding me. I did talk shows, podcasts, etc. People on the street would say hi, but not be pushy demanding my time. The role hadn’t been big enough to warrant it, after all. It was nice to feel respected and admired, but I didn’t feel like my privacy was being compromised. Lucky, eh?

I awoke from the dream, went to the bathroom and fell back asleep. The next dream retained my dream logic from the previous one. In this dream, however, I met Jeff Goldblum. Kind of. In this dream I’d supposedly always known Jeff Goldblum. I was walking past the Bridgeway Theatre in Northcote Point and Jeff waved at me. “Hey bud, remember me?” He asked. I paused for a second. Did we meet on set somewhere? I thought. How would I know Jeff Goldblum? He’s many rungs above my level. He did my job for me. “Don’t you remember the time you went for a bike ride and got locked out?” He inquired.

I thought to myself for a second and it sprang to mind. Of course, I was a little kid and I’d whipped out on my BMX to bike under the bridge. I had a great ride around The Point, but when I arrived back nobody was home. I didn’t have my key on me and this was a pre-cellphone time. I’d knocked on the door of my mysterious new neighbour to ask if they could help me out. A tall man welcomed me in (zero fear of stranger danger) and I used his phone to ring my parents at the office. My mum came to pick me up and Jeff became a close family friend. It was mega weird that I’d forgotten all that history with someone I’d grown up around. I chastised myself and my poor memory.

Even as I woke, the dream logic still seemed so real. I’ve thought to myself a bunch of times today did I really not know Goldblum?

Though that begs the question, can anyone really know Jeff Goldblum?

So we part-y-ed ways?

A night of fitful sleep meant I had a cluster of bizarre dreams. It’s not uncommon for me(as you probably know by now), but it’s weird for me to have dreams so obviously steeped in purpose. It is uncommon for me to believe in messages from dreams (cut to the anthropomorphic evocation of my subconscious shaking its fist at the sky and muttering under its breath). I’m still not sure where last night’s visions sit on the scale. Maybe that’ll click once they’re down on the page.

The main dream I remember involved being at work. Do I get overtime for this? There was some kind of company-wide festival going on. Tons of departments were hosting their own little soirees. I was walking around the building with my boss, working our way around the different parties. Totally innocent, we just wanted to scavenge food and drinks. Totally just scabbing. Between his rank and my bullshitting over-friendliness, we were playing a good game. After scoffing and scarfing (oh wow, I didn’t realise that had a different meaning) all we could, it was time to go back to work. Neither of us really felt like it, so said I could skive off work all I liked as long as I stayed in the building.

I stopped off at my friend’s desk to see if he had anything fun to do (dream logic, it was a friend I grew up with. In reality this person doesn’t even live in Canada). He said that he was throwing a party for a mutual friend of mine (also doesn’t live in Canada) and he was getting overloaded with actual work as well. He asked if I could help by inflating a bunch of balloons. I said sure and followed him into a small party room. All the decorations and the cake were in place, there was a helium tank, some ribbon and a bunch of uninflated balloons. I attached the helium canister’s nozzle and got to work.

While I was in university I worked at a party store part time. Dream me obviously remembered this. I checked the balloons to see what kind of quality they were. They weren’t great. I tried stretching them out a bit and it only helped so much. I pulled my ribbon close and cut off a bunch of strands. With my little battlestation set up, I started filling. They were a cluster of different patterns, but it was bugging me that I wasn’t getting the pleasant lightbulb shape into these shitty balloons. Still, I persisted. I blew them up, knotted them and tied the ribbon on the end. It took a while, but I was finally getting down to the last few balloons when my friend whose party it was walked in.

The party guy barely said hi and started calling the shots. He looked at the balloons and said they were bullshit and looked lame. He ridiculed them, which I felt sort of bummed about because of some vague (misguided. I was never that great at the job IRL) professional pride. Also the fact that I’d been helping out of my own generousity. He said the balloons had to go and they’d get some better ones instead. He told me they’d go off to pick them up and I could fill them when he got back.

I’d had it. I told my friend to fuck off and shove the helium canister up his ass. I told him that he was always like this, ever since we were kids. That he constantly mooched off others and took advantage of any generousity he could. I told him that’s why we’d stopped spending much time around each other as we grew older and grew apart. I told him that we were through. I meant it. I walked out and met my other friend. We left work and went fishing with a six pack of beer.

It’s weird, because I basically have cut ties with this friend outside my dreams. The scenario in my dream was simultaneously more farcical and dramatic than what happened. As I grew up he stopped being a relevant person in my life. I wanted to hang around him less and less. He only got in touch when he wanted something and never reciprocated. It’s odd that my brain has held onto this for so long, considering I haven’t thought of him in ages.

Why now?