22 October 2008

Further evidence that the mind is a subtle and deeply strange thing

I have just awoken from a dream of startling complexity, duration, and eccentricity, even for me. This is everything I can remember.

I was working at some sort of university/monastery doing some kind of IT work for an art museum they ran. The museum was co-located with an indoor discus training facility, where I was previously employed on a research project to develop new materials and techniques for padding gymnasium floors to somehow improve the indoor discus experience. The museum/discus facility looked a lot like Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, although the rest of the setting looked more like the buildings of Princeton plunked down on the campus of a summer camp I went to back in elementary school.

There was also caravan of Buddhist pilgrims transporting a mystical flute while being chased by horse-mounted park rangers of some kind. (That part was reminiscent of Warriors of Heaven and Earth, which I haven't seen in years.) The park rangers may have been Uruk-hai, I was never clear on that. It was my responsibility to read one page of a book once a day and thereby make sure the park rangers never caught up to them, but if anybody else heard me read it, they would be transported out to the wilderness with the caravan the next time I read the book, whether they were around then or not.

Now we come to the weird part. The computer system I was responsible for also controlled the physical layout of main building I was working and living in. For instance using mkdir to create a new directory also created a new room, a soft link to another directory would create a door which take you to the corresponding room. (The main residential hallway was called /users, the trash chute was /dev/null, and so on) The building itself worked hard to resolve conflicts in Euclidean space and keep everything in order. Everyone else seemed to have developed a sense for finding their way around effortlessly even though the building rearranged itself with alarming alacrity. Furthermore there were only certain areas where you could access the computer system controlling the house, so you had to hustle around inspecting the physical changes and then go back to a work area to get control of things. It was very reminiscent of Myst, although I was the only person I talked to in my dream that had ever heard of Myst or computer games in general. If you were really good you didn't need a terminal at all any more, and you could just invoke commands out loud. It had a very Snowcrash vibe, but instead of VR you were actually controlling the world, sort of like a techno version of the Wizard of Earthsea. (Actually the whole facility reminded me, in-dream, of the labyrinths of the Nameless Ones from The Tombs of Atuan.)

And my best friend's old high school girlfriend was there and had an extensive collection of paperweights shaped like guns. Security guards smashed them all, so I had to spend some time soldiering them back together for her, which I chose to do sitting outside on a window sill very much like the one in an apartment I once stayed in in London. And my boss was my high school physics teachers, and his boss was the chair of my undergrad department, and the security guard who did all the smashing was my JV football coach, and the guy in charge of the discus floor research team was Kurt Russel, except he was still sort of in character as Herb Brooks from Miracle.

Oh, there was also a capture the flag tournament ongoing, and I was consistently running late for team practice. And I insisted on wearing a scarf while we played even thought it was nice out.

Update: I just remembered the part where Special Lady Friend's best friend left some things in her car while it was parked in front of my house, at which point they were stolen by a kid who lives across the street from me. I went to find the kid, and he turned up at a house party down the block with a bunch of guys I knew from high school, and Turtle from Entourage. Then the cops showed up and asked me to file a noise complaint because I was a neighbor of this mid-afternoon party, but they had problems with their citation-writing devices, so they took everyone's shoes instead. Anyway, I couldn't get the stolen goods back from the kid from across the street, so I took a bag full of skateboards from him instead. Then I went back to my house and helped the friend unpack a teddy bear collection from the trunk of her car. The end.


  1. Begin slow clap......

    Can you actually dream in that much detail? That's pretty amazing.

  2. Were you asleep for 2 weeks? That is an incredible amount of information.

  3. Yeah, that's a typical amount of detail but way more than I usually remember. I happened to have my laptop next to my bed when I woke up, so I just started pounding out what I could remember.

  4. What psychadelic drug did you imbibe before this dream? Dude, you are one weird dude...

  5. I think you could get that published as a Sci-FI novel.

  6. What? You were sleeping in a very close proximity to a computer? I don't believe you.