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Talking Cats and Ramen

23 Jan

I dreamed I was one of three people who died and became cats. We were talking cats in the Bardo or some such place. The three of us gathered together, and I was expecting a dharma talk and expected the other two to be Enlightened, so I was surprised that one of them, a chubby white and brown cat—maybe a short-haired Persian—was curled up in a giant bowl of ramen and spilled noodles over the edge and onto the flat white surface we occupied. This cat was somewhat wiggly and, at the end of the dream, was reaching over the edge to grab the spilled ramen.

*

Earlier, I dreamed that I just moved to the house in Kansas, but it was a bigger and more elegant house furnished beautifully with antiques, mostly Victorian and Edwardian. Other people were there, but they weren’t nasty relatives harassing me; they were friendly people being nice to me, people I happened to know who’d moved to the area or neighborhood.

I wandered around the house a little and was impressed with the antiques. In one room, I think a bedroom, there was a dark brown cabinet. I thought a yellow armchair was attached to it before I realized that no, it was in front of it.

Someone came to visit, and it was a jerk from elementary and high school, but now he was being nice and polite. In the midst of conversation, I paused and asked, “Wait a minute. You lived in Indiana. What are you doing in Kansas?”

I was so enamored with the house that it wasn’t until toward the end of the dream that I started to remember in the back of my head that this was Kansas, a horrible place full of overt misogynists, and I began to wonder, despite the house, if I could stand dwelling in such a place. (In real life, the answer turned out to be an emphatic NO.)

My House has a Wormhole

17 Aug

This house is so weird. The invisible smoke detector is back to chirping, and it seems to be coming from downstairs in the back of the house…just not from any visible smoke detector (and I found 3). That part of the house is in chaos right now, because I had to get everything off the library carpet to redo the floor.

This morning, Virginia followed me when I went to double check a smoke detector that’s upstairs in the back of the house. She asked to get into a crawl space, so I opened a door into one of the crawl spaces, and she walked in.

A few minutes ago, I heard Virginia meowing. I’d forgotten about that crawl space and looked around inside and out, calling for her…before I finally remembered the crawl space and checked it. I haven’t found her yet.

This house has a wormhole or something….

A minute after I wrote the above, Virginia strolled into the living room. Apparently Virginia’s collar is in the wormhole, but I’m glad she isn’t.

Campus Dream/ House Dream

3 May

I was a grad student and was in a classroom full of students. The instructor was a middle-aged Tibetan man (I’m currently reading a travel memoir). Someone announced a protest march on campus, and people started leaving the room. I was confused, because nobody said where or when to meet for the march. I was slow and one of the last people in the room–everyone packing their backpacks and rustling and bustling–and finally I asked someone a question such as what’s going on or where do we meet. The person, I think a young male student in black, looked at me like I was an idiot and just repeated the info that there’s a March. He glared at me suspiciously. ‘You are attending, aren’t you?”

“Yes, of course!”

I wandered through the building and saw other students hurrying away.

Next I dreamed that I bought a large, quirky, somewhat old, two-story house out of pocket. Inside the new house, I found a sort of hidden crawl space…where there were a lot of things still inside, bags and boxes and a big fake gargoyle that startled me when I first came across it.

While I was looking through stuff, I suddenly remembered the political march and felt guilty that I was missing it and wondered if I could join it in time. (There was no break between dreams, and this suggests that the campus dream and the house dream were one and the same.)

While looking around the house and going through stuff, I talked on the phone with my mother, who informed me–she didn’t ask permission–that she and some other relatives were moving into my house.

Upstairs, I had an odd bedroom–at least, the long, narrow bathroom attached to it was odd. It was covered in tiny yellow glass mosaics and included a curved corner cabinet that swung open near the door to the room. Right next to that was a closet where I had several bright calico tunics hanging.

I took off my shirt and began putting on two of the tunics together, when I heard a door opening and voices; family members were as already there, at least my dad and brother.

I was anxious to be neatly and fully dressed before anyone found me; I was struggling to button up the multiple tunics (or shirts) I was wearing.

Soon a bunch of relatives were stomping around the house and claiming their bedrooms. It was harrowing. My brother and dad were okay so far as I was concerned, but my mother, Aunt Asshole and Uncle NRA, and Batshit Aunt Bev were all invading and claiming bedrooms without my permission. I was in shock and wanted to enjoy my new home. They somehow already had beds and other furniture in “their” rooms in no time, and one of them was lounging in a queen-size bed and watching a loud tv. The evil relatives paid pretty much no attention to me. Remorseless, empathy-less, and self-entitled as ever. They had absolutely no permission to invade and move into my new home, obviously.

After seeing them and hurrying back to the big empty room with the odd crawl space, I was able to begin thinking. I reminded myself: I bought this house for myself and for my cats. I didn’t invite these monsters. I don’t owe them anything—quite the contrary, they owe me my mental health, self-esteem, etc. (okay, admittedly, this last sentence wasn’t actually in the dream and just occurred to me). They had no right to take over my house.

My brother joined me, and what may have started as an internal monologue became a conversation with him. He agreed with me but was passive and probably wouldn’t do anything to help; I knew I had to do it all myself, but I didn’t know what to do. They’d already moved in! They had their furniture already in my house! I was freaking out. As large as the house was, there’s no way in hell that I was going to live with these nightmarish monsters. This was yet another betrayal.

At some point in the dream, I was showing my brother my quirky bathroom, swinging out the curved corner cabinet and all. Most of the house wasn’t painted—indeed, most of it, from what I remember, was wooden and the color of unpainted wood, even the walls (which, realistically, would be plaster).

A striking element of the dream was that my parents were still both alive, but that often happens in my dreams. Sometimes I dream that even though I’m an adult, I’m living with or moving in with my parents.

Because of the toxic relatives, what should have been a happy dream turned into a nightmare. Of course, something like that wouldn’t really happen, because I’d be at the door locking it before the monsters could get a single foot through the door, and I wouldn’t care if one of them ended up with a broken foot. Realistically, the front and back doors wouldn’t have been unlocked while I was upstairs looking around. Post-2002, I wouldn’t have let such toxic relatives have a key to my house.

Just recently I was thinking about how two evil aunts stole a house from me… but the joke is on them, because I now have a bigger house that’s far away from any evil relatives and that has absolutely no associations with toxic relatives. A home is supposed to be a haven—not to mention a home rather than only a house—and the house an uncle left me was never truly my home and haven, thanks to toxic relatives breaking in whenever they pleased. (I’m sure that if I were the same person then as I am now, I would have changed the locks and thus prevented Evil Aunt Ethel from breaking in…well, except for the fact that she was usually my cat sitter.) Not only do none of them have a key to my house, but they’re not invited (and some of them are deceased now). When I think of putting a “no soliciting” sign in my front window, I also think of adding: “No sociopaths, no narcissists, no fundamentalist xians, no creepers, no trespassers, no meth addicts, no assholes of any sort, especially not manipulative assholes.” In short, such thoughts probably helped to conjure that dream. Something else that influenced the dream: I’m often distracted by my home and cats (that’s my family) and haven’t been to a political rally or march in a while. I need balance.

An Architecture Dream

12 Apr

I dreamed that I was visiting a slender, elegant, blond woman at her apartment and wasn’t the only guest; the other was a friend who arrived with me. We sat down to a long table in her dining room, where the paneled walls were an old and faded mixture of off-white and pale green. They may have been solid green originally, over 200 years ago. I became really fascinated by a particular wall, because matched into the paneling and not quite fitting together were two large, tall rectangles, also paneled like the rest of the wall. It was as though two rectangles had been cut out of the wall and later replaced. Gazing at this wall in fascination, I said, “They used to be windows!” We talked about that for a bit.

The old building belonged to this arrogant white man, youngish and good-looking and blond–he could have been his tenant’s brother. I think it was before I was in her dining room, there was a scene in a very large room with him overseeing and yelling at workers.

An eighteenth-century apartment was on wheels, each room folded up so that they were all these tall, upright, paneled, wooden boxes on casters. The boxes were much larger than coffins. These workers were moving them around. Some of the upright wooden boxes were blue, or white, or paper yellow. The workers were moving them around, lining them up.

While we were in the dining room, we were disturbed by something pushing against a wall. The tenant was annoyed with her landlord and pushed back.

Next, the scene was back to the landlord and workers with the apartment on wheels, and they were perplexed that one of the rooms moved slightly on its own.

It seems that the room we occupied used Time Lord technology (which only just occurred to me–not in the dream), because it was one of the boxes on wheels. It wasn’t a large room, but based on the exteriors of the rooms on wheels, we couldn’t have all fit in there, and the dimensions were off.

Return to Normal Life

4 Jan

Yesterday evening I arrived at home after spending a month with family in Phoenix, AZ.

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I was startled at how much weight the cats gained; the cat sitter didn’t have time to hang out with the cats and dashed in, fed them, and changed their litter boxes, and these are very sociable cats, so I figure they spent most of the time eating and sleeping. Fortunately, now that I’m with them, they’re happy again, aside from my attempting to turn them into indoor cats.

I knew the return to cold weather would be a shock; the highs in Phoenix were between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time I was there, and when I arrived in Oregon, it was thirty-seven degrees; but at least there isn’t any ice.

What I didn’t anticipate was that returning to my own house, where I live alone with cats, and returning to normal life, would be something of a shock. I felt somewhat disappointed and lonely after a month as a houseguest, even though I’m not compelled to live with people, only with cats, and I’ve read that this is typical of empaths. I also felt overwhelmed with the home improvements and cleaning up that the house needs. It has a new quirk: the door to the hall closet (or cupboard under the stairs) no longer clicks shut. The lack of central heat is a considerable problem; even the house in Phoenix has central heat.

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The cats are extremely cuddly and fight over my lap. I can and shall get used to this life again. Dressing in layers helps.

On the front porch were two bins of mail, in addition to many packages, so I’ve been streaming the second season of The Crown while sorting through snail mail and cuddling the cats. That first night, one cat purred ecstatically, while another cat sat nearby and stared jealously. They took turns doing this; Virginia sprawled out on her back, and facing us was her sister Vita, huddled on a chair and glaring. Fortunately, they’re handling the situation better today; Virginia and Gabriel both occupied my lap without any growls from Gabriel, perhaps for the first time ever. I’m making a point of staying at home as much as I can, to reassure them.