I’ve always had creepy dreams. They were never informed by my daily life so much as  horror films, or the chance conversation with a drummer. Used to be , they involved an automobile accident. When I was much younger, the accident took this form:

I am riding on the tailgate of a pickup truck that is overloaded with hay. The truck hits a deep rut and knocks a bail loose, which in turn knocks me to the road, where I experience a spectacularly violent cranial injury.

This,  I am led to believe, is a dream that is symptomatic of a desire for control.  OK. I’ll buy that one.

The next phase of nasty dreams involves a creature hacking at the back of my head with a knife. It leaps on me from a spectacular height, and begins scalping me. In my dreams, I kill it. Usually by turning to face it and looking at it.

I live in a ground floor apartment and I am drawn to something upstairs. The narrow staircase leads to vacant furnished rooms with nasty secrets. Strangely, the penultimate room is the vacant kitchen of a Howard Johnson’s. I make pancakes.

I am driving a car, and the steering mechanism is compromised. It’s a fairly tight  southern Virginia road and I don’t have a chance. I die in the dream.

I have taken a job as an architect to complete a vanity tower for a small block of offices. Near the completion of the project, the contractor is reviewing the work with me. We are at the summit of the tower when he expresses his disgust with the project and walks through a wall to leave. I lack this facility.

My dreams aren’t consistently bad.  A lot of them are hilarious, and I write them down for reference. They get more baroque as I get older. Last night’s series of related dreams were more entertaining than usual, but they had that speck of sadness where the brain is just discussing its death.

I have been discussing the difference in the American right and the British right with Kingsley Amis. He is good humored, and declines a drink, but suggests one for me and my wife through a narrow alley that opens on an andiron building and we are suddenly in a sort of happy restaurant of death. The clientele is mostly older folks, who tell us repeatedly, “If we didn’t get here this way, we chose it!”A very kind elderly woman tells us we have to keep going to find what we really want. I kind of like the bar we’re currently drinking at, and hearing stories about the Boer War and horses, but we move on, and it’s a panorama of cheap karmic retribution  (fuck you in the ass, dream weaver!)

Our next stop is a shredded chicken restaurant staffed by pimpled overweight kids overseen by a nervous man with a pompadour and mustache. I tell my wife this is clearly hell and we’ve got to get moving.

We next encounter our old friend who is a Grateful Dead fan. He has a narrow storefront whose display windows are crowded with giant plush animals. It’s called “The Blue Chihuahua”. He is entirely uncomfortable that we’ve chosen to visit on the occasion of the  annual sci-fi film festival. He reluctantly ushers us in to watch films about a spermatazoid creature being hurled into space through various hyperengineered tunnels.