Last night I had another DOUBLE DREAM. It feels like dipping into a little dream pocket from which you emerge again later on, be it in the original dream or back into reality itself (maybe??). I experience these about once a month. They usually occur when I am in a especially deep REM cycle because of all the flower supplements I have to take to sedate myself every night. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if I can uhh “activate” a double dream any other way.
In this particular dream, I went into a two-story deli in New York City, like the one I slept in one New Year’s Eve a long time ago now. I walked up the stairs to the second floor and there was a large family table with a plushy red wraparound booth. There were no other tables open, so the people at the family table invited me to sit down. All of them were strangers and were talking and eating. I felt exhausted, so I lay down and fell asleep on the booth, which is to say I went further down into my dream, and dreamed within my dream.
When I awoke inside the second dream, I was lying on a booth in the observation car of a train headed for Austin, where I used to live. I have taken this train before in real life. I knew that I was on an infinite loop around the city, which doesn’t actually exist. I knew also that I was on my second lap. Eventually we pulled into a station and I got off. By then it was nighttime and it was warm outside. I was alone in a fancy shopping center that was moodily lit and there were fountains and little pools everywhere, which were lit from below.
For some reason I was holding Dante, and it stressed me out that I was in public with my cat, even if there were no people around. I walked up a flight of marble stairs to get to one of the square-shaped pools, and Dante jumped out of my arms and into the water, which he would of course never do in real life. He paddled around and I put my hand in the water and realized it was a hot tub. I climbed inside and picked Dante up and slung him over my shoulder and panicked a little because I didn’t know where to go with him. We wandered through the abandoned shopping center, alone in all directions with the lights still on and the fountains still flowing, and thought that if I could just catch the next train, I could get us back to Hyde Park in Austin where my old house was. And then I felt a great sadness remembering that that house wasn’t mine anymore, that I could never enter it again, and that my life in that city had ended and that I was now trapped inside of it with my cat with nowhere to go. With no other option I kept walking as Dante clung to my wet shirt.
And then I woke up.
I went out into the kitchen and fed Dante. I’ll be honest: I told him about my dream, I reckon just to get it straight in my head. I was still coasting on dream fumes and not altogether there, which is something that happens to me when I eat those flower capsules. And I wondered at it, and realized I have not been to Austin since just before Laura Rokas moved from Canada into my house in West Oakland, which was seven years ago. That’s insane. I spent a fair amount of my life there and I rarely ever think about that time. Now I feel compelled to see it again, though I know it is ruined, or at least a completely different city than the one I had known.
In a week and a half it will have been eight years since I left Texas to move to California. I had a real good time there a long time ago. I loved my neighborhood and my street and my strange little house. But I think it would almost make me sick to see it again. Sometimes I’ll decide to never watch a film I like again, so that I can keep it frozen in time and remember it exactly the way it was, and maybe that is what I should do with Austin . . . though I suppose there is no getting around it if that is where my mind takes me in a dream.