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This week I dreamt that I was secretly bald—like Mr. Clean bald—but only on the front half of my head. My daily style was to do an elaborate combover with the hair that was left. In another dream, I was trying to have illicit relations with someone in a public bathroom, but they ended up just peeing on my leg. And the next night made me the star of a weird sitcom in which I ended up inheriting custody of an angry but brilliant 14-year-old girl who wouldn’t do chores and would say things like “A Duchampian LOSER” into the cell phone she kept plastered to her ear. For the record I feel like any of these could be pilots (I call dibs for any television writers reading this), perhaps Combover on Netflix, Pee Leg on Showtime, and Loser on CBS? I don’t know. Call my agent.
Back in June, Derrick Clifton talked to sleep psychologists and other health care professionals about odd sleep patterns that we may all be experiencing during this pandemic. I did gain some insight from his story (and encourage anyone who has similar “crazy” dreams to check it out) but lucid dreaming and sometimes nightmares have been a part of my sleeptime existence since childhood. In some ways, harnessing a bit of these dreams has helped my waking life. When faced with real-life terrors, I was able to change them in my dreams into strange scenarios where a solution was possible. An abusive ex-lover appeared in a boxing ring in a dream and I kicked them in the groin, something I wasn’t able to do in real life. When I was a child, I had a recurring dream for a few years where I was unable to control the steering wheel of a car hurtling toward a cliff. Once I decided to let the car do its thing I dreamt that I projected out the window but landed safely in a mountain of snow.
But the other night I had a whopper: I was getting on a huge plane headed to the Netherlands, and things on the plane were not good. No one was getting into their assigned seating (many seats had no numbers, to make it more complicated), and those who were seated were either too hot or too cold. All of the buzzers to notify flight attendants were going off. Other passengers were starting to fight each other with their carry-on bags. I sat down in a seat and soon heard the voice of 45 on the intercom. It seemed that he was on this flight too, but he was delaying the safety check by insisting on telling knock-knock jokes to a laughing crowd. It took forever but finally it looked like we were all locked in and ready for takeoff . . . and then I realized I didn’t have any masks with me and we couldn’t go anywhere. I think it’s going to take more than my personal dreams this time to solve whatever is going on in our collective daily lives.
Look at and listen:
- Maryland’s Jenny Hates Techno says that other people have called them “soul punk” and “urban indie rock” but I just think their album Alien Pond is straight up good rawk ‘n’ roll.
- I can attest that Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall is everything. Here are 24 other books to try.
- I was reminded of one of my favorite Chicago movies, My Bodyguard, when listening to friend Mike McPadden talk about his book Teen Movie Hell on Lumpen Radio’s Eye 94 program last week. You can see it on some of the streaming services (including the free one that the public library offers!).
Virtual and in-person events coming up:
- Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project (livestreaming from Constellation) on Fri 7/31 at 8:30 PM
- Sage Smith presents an artist talk in conjunction with “The Barriers That Create Us” at Connect Gallery on Sun 8/2 at 4 PM
- Lollapalooza’s virtual livestream festival started already but you can catch the free programming Fri 7/31, Sat 8/1, or Sun 8/2 after 5 PM
- Aya performs at Tack Room’s outdoor patio on Wed 8/5 at 5:30 PM