I had a dream last night that I told my mom that I’m ready for something real with someone, someone who really treats me well. So she went and arranged for a marriage between DJ and I, and when he showed up in a white suit, knowing that I had accepted his hand in marriage, he glowed, in that shy way of his. The families were ecstatic because we’re both such amazing people, and I could tell that he and I had it in us to get along well, but of course, we’d only met once before, we never dated so it was awkward. He was in the kitchen making some appetizers while our parents talked in the living room and I remember admiring him, his gentle energy, his hands, knowing that this was a man I could someday love, but again, that awkward feeling that here we were, having accepted that we would be tied together for the rest of our lives, but we barely knew each other.

I had accepted everything, but a week down the line, before the ceremony was arranged, we found out that there was something wrong with his house. It was like a faultline had split it in two, and it was not habitable. He came to our house to tell us that, and apologized sincerely, saying that he could not go through with this knowing he could not provide a solid home for me. It was very honorable and it made me realize what an honest and respectable man he was.

I was very philosophical in my dreams last night. I remember flashes of me sitting by the water, thinking through life. I remember all those times I would cringe at things C would say but not understand why, and in those moments of clarity by the water, I could see it was like talking intimately with someone while he was holding hands with another person. I always felt it, but didn’t dig deeper because I wanted to trust him. I realized that I am not accountable for his decisions or his understanding of the effects of his decisions, I could only know if he is a safe person for me or an unsafe person. After having been in that dream, standing in that kitchen with DJ feeling so safe even though I was nervous because we barely knew each other, the one thing I could trust for sure was that here was a good, considerate man who I could trust to take care of the things that are valuable to me. I had been provided an example in my dream world of how it should intuitively feel. And it felt so safe, it was such a good feeling that in a way, I understand what I’m looking for.

When I woke up, it was a really good feeling. I know the dream was not about DJ, but used DJ’s image to show me something, the way the right thing should feel. I think about how important it is, in a relationship, for me to make a person feel safe and loved, and usually how a person treats others is how they want to be treated themselves. I’ve been working hard to treat myself the same way, to give myself a safe place to explore my own hopes and dreams without being self-critical, dismissive or cruel, because on the flipside, you shouldn’t give to others expecting to get back the same if you won’t extend the same towards yourself. In that dream, it was like seeing that caring and consideration from the outside in, to see someone else treat me that way, embody that spirit of kindness, respect and protection.

I am getting very close to what I want. Because I am recognizing it on an instinctual level, and because I am welcoming it in. I feel like a ship finally approaching its harbor.

Last night’s dream.

I ran into Beau (Missed Connections Guy) and he said he was going to be racing in Daytona (he’s a sound mixer on big budget movies and also races BMW’s professionally in real life). In my dream world, Daytona was in CA and not too far, so he said I should come by and check it out. So I went with my mom, my aunt Jodie and Michael. It was a huge event, with different races, some serious, some not. As we were leaving in the car, they were doing an old car race, with old school Fords vs Amish horse buggies. It was a ridiculous sight so I took Jodie’s Nikon and was taking pictures. A black BMW drove by and my mom said, “There goes Julia’s boyfriend,” but she said it in Chinese meaning, “the guy Julia knows who is the reason we’re here.” I looked up and sure enough, it was Beau with a girl in the passenger seat. “Every time Julia’s seen him, he’s been with a different girl,” my mom told Jodie. I remembered I’d told her that he seems to have an open arrangement, sleeping with a lot of girls in rotation who all seem to know each other and accept it. It’s why I’ve always been kind of wary of him.

We went home and I went back to “Seattle,” which was like a giant campus. I lived in Apt #4700 on the fourth floor of this huge complex of interlinked buildings (think a college dorm complex in the shape of a honeycomb). Laura, this girl I went to college with, had come to visit me, but in this dream we were closer friends than we were in real life. We were on this hill overlooking the sound, throwing a ball around. There was a Celebrity cruise ship docked at the port below. There were people below, in particular, a tall guy in a white shirt with a woman. The guy moved in a very familiar way but I didn’t think much of it, didn’t want to think too much of it, so I kept talking to Laura, even though the back of my neck and ears were tingling. I kept telling myself it wasn’t possible. Then they started walking up the hill, and a familiar voice said, “Hello Julia.” It was Christian. I was flabbergasted. “What the f–what are you doing here?” He got me again! He said he hadn’t come on the ship, he was en route from a vacation in Hawaii, and I melted, saying, “Isn’t Hawaii amazing? I’ve been trying to make my way there.” The girl he was with, his girlfriend, was friendly but quiet and never introduced. I introduced him to Laura, and Laura knew right away who he was because she knew the back story. So we walked around, and he wanted all of us to go back to my place, but then I remembered how messy my place was. I definitely hadn’t made my bed and since no one ever visited me, I’d given up on keeping it tidy. I told him I wish he’d visited months ago, when I was still keeping it neat. We got to our lobby, and I asked if they would hang out in the lounge on my floor and give me 5 minutes to clean up the place. He said he didn’t care, but I insisted. So as we waited for the elevator, I asked what his girlfriend’s name was. Hannah, he said, but like HanNAH. I said, “Accent on the 2nd syllable?” And he said, “More like one and a half,” sounding mildly irritated, not from the pronunciation but more that we were talking about it. I told him that’s the exact name and pronunciation that Rie wants to name her daughter if she has one. We got to the lounge and I asked them to give me 5 minutes, and went off, but for some reason, we’d entered through a different entrance, so I was lost. The room numbers were in the 10000’s, and I realized I was in the wrong area of the honeycomb. I had to leave the building again to try to get my bearings on the complex, and for the first time, I realized that the buildings featured an inner open square with a giant, elaborate statue of black as big as the building built into one of its angles, like an Egyptian god, whose name was Om. I just looked it up, and there is no god named Om…Om (Ohm) is the measurement of electrical impedance symbolized by the symbol omega, or the Hindu symbol of the Absolute. I remember looking up, seeing the statue, the biggest, most breathtaking structure blotting out the sun, and being struck with absolute awe. Humans built that.

I had to get to my apartment quickly because I knew my friends would get impatient, but I couldn’t seem to walk fast. I found I could walk faster turning around and walking backwards, but then I couldn’t see where I was going. I woke up as I was trying to get back to my place, trying to get there on feet that couldn’t cover ground quick enough, and being completely lost.

last night’s dream

i was on a cruise with my family and my loyal friend, whitney. she’s a scorpio with sage-like wisdom.

i discovered that a man i know, someone i wasn’t sure if i would ever see again, was also on the boat with his family.

i was overjoyed–i’ve been wondering how it would be if we ever saw each other again.

we were both so happy to see each other, neither of us having expected it. finally, our moment had come. it felt amazing. he was wearing a red shirt.

but then something happened. we were around a lot of people–his family, my family, and there were these girls on the boat, the standard dumb, shallow american girls who were just looking for a good time.

i held my feelings close. i didn’t spill my most honest words. i didn’t want to tell him all i’d been holding for him, in case he didn’t feel the same way. i wanted him to break the ice, tell me that it’s been the same for him, this longing. but then this girl with long curly, blond hair, she wasn’t pretty but she was drunk and aggressive, kept hitting on him. and i was patiently biding my time for us to be alone. there was so much to say. i wanted him to open it.

but then he disappeared with her. just left. and i asked whitney where he was and i can always tell when she knows the truth but doesn’t want to tell me because she knows it will hurt.

so we just hung out, had a good time, and i tried not to think about it. dinner was formal that night, and when we showed up at the dining room, i looked over at his table and he wasn’t there.

he’s fucking her, isn’t he?, i asked whitney. i could see him taking off his red shirt and fucking this empty, empty girl in my mind. i knew it wasn’t imagination or fear.

she didn’t answer right away, choosing her words carefully.

sometimes guys will choose a lesser girl because it’s easier, she said. being with someone like you can be a lot of pressure for a guy who’s not good enough, or doesn’t think he’s good enough. it just means he’s a lesser guy. lesser guys go for lesser girls.

i felt so defeated. didn’t know if i was more disappointed in him, or in myself for believing in him. i had waited a long time for this moment, and by fate and chance, we found each other on this boat, a perfect reunion, proof of magic, and he’d run off with another girl. i had already been told about the rules of us–that we would have to give each other maximum freedom to allow each other to be ourselves…to be tied to this person means we each must give each other a long leash, even if that meant losing the person in the arms of someone else.

i couldn’t believe it was happening again, but this time, it really hurt. it was insulting. i was angry. i was jealous. i felt so stupid for everything i’d ever believed in.

my group and i were in our cabin, hanging out, and i didn’t want to go out and see them together. i looked over and whitney was sitting in a chair nearby, reading, and i realized what a faithful friend she is. and that i was preventing her from fully enjoying her vacation.

let’s get out of here, i said. i was filled with fire, a need to get beyond this or burn up trying. i was going to throw my belief in fate and destiny into the fire because i didn’t want it anymore–i would use it as fuel to get me past this caring, because i didn’t want to care anymore. this was just one stupid boy who didn’t want me, so i didn’t want him anymore either.

so we got ready and i was going to wear a red shirt, but i couldn’t find it. instead, i found an identical one, but it was white.

and i went out, eyes filled with burning. i didn’t know if i was going to go take ownership of my man, rip his world inside out with all that could have been then leave him standing alone, naked, or tear the night up around us. power was surging through me because i was burning it all up, and i’d lost my faith.

i woke up before i saw what happened next. i kept falling asleep and it kept returning to the boat, but now i was aware it was a dream, so all the characters were kind of fuzzy and unreal; it was like they interacted like people but i knew they were figments of a dream world, therefore meaningless. but this guy, he didn’t waver. he was real. and no matter how many times i woke up and fell back to sleep, everyone else was a fuzzy dream figment that i could control, but he was there as solid as day, standing in front of me. watching me. with this little smile like he already knows, but he’s just waiting for me to know it, too.

last night’s dream featured an appearance from the man who’s more familiar to me than time. except this time, he appeared as my friend, max, an actor with an electrifying smile i haven’t seen in almost a decade. max had the most amazing smile–it was like a disco ball lighting up a dark room. but he was a really quiet guy, kind of strange. and he used to call me and not talk, so we would have these long, uncomfortable silences. he once gave me a ride to the airport at 6 in the morning. on his birthday. and my friends swore to me that a guy wouldn’t do that unless he likes you. but he told me he was really shy, and in terms of initiating anything, i’m very shy, so at the end of the day, neither of us was willing (able?) to initiate anything. or maybe we both intuitively knew we weren’t romantically compatible. i think over the years, life’s been hard for max. i once wrote him an email to say happy birthday, and he wrote back a strange email about how he doesn’t know much about this world, but he knows that i am a really good person, and there aren’t a lot of truly good people in this world. it made me think there was something going on in his life that he wasn’t willing to talk about. even recently, we connected over facebook and he mentioned that the last year has been really tough but didn’t go into details. he was always like that. a beautiful smile hiding a dark enigma.

so in my dream, i ran into max and he looked the way he did, 10 years ago, with that same smile. but i knew it wasn’t really him, it was the guy from my dreams, and when we hugged, it felt like home. my heart cried in relief. he said he’d spent this time apart getting things ready, and had finally bought a home for us. that he hadn’t moved in yet, because he needed to find me first, so that we could start our new lives in this new home together.

he took me to it and it was a duplex by the beach, but the construction wasn’t completely finished. you had to use the communal bathrooms outside. it was dusk, the sky a rich blue, those few moments before night where it’s not dark, but there’s a complete absence of light. i didn’t want to go into the bathroom because it was crowded, i was wearing socks, and it didn’t look clean. so i turned around to go back to the house, but it was empty. he was gone again.

fell asleep watching amores perros on the couch and it was needed.

i dreamt i was a massive black dog filled with angst that tore up windows of reality like they were bloodied flaps of burlap. while the pages bled together, i broke out of prison and visited people. i visited a married man who couldn’t come out to play, but was surprised by the visit (i was a little embarrassed). i felt david but i firmly made it clear i wasn’t ready to visit him. i visited a factory in the sky, which was the most efficient thing ever made, and i hung out on the banks of its moat thinking in awe, i own this whole thing. then i was waiting for a ride, waiting for a phone call.

the radio pulled me to the surface as i was walking down a sidewalk in new york on a crisp day wearing a yellow parka.

left my dreamworld for a dreamlike day. overall, the day was unpredictable and bizarre, though i interacted with more strangers than usual (mostly african american women who were very very nice, and i also went out of my way to be very polite). got a lot of stares from both women and men but i kept to myself.

later at night as i was cleaning the kitchen, i realized that something had unfolded in real life the way it had in my dream the night before.

thinking about my dream, i remembered how it ended:

we’d found ourselves in the middle of a parade or crowd and somehow in the confusion, we escaped to an egyptian museum whose feel and echoes and smells felt comfortably familiar. we were shy at first, talking but afraid to look at each other, until we saw the exhibit with the image of the queen. then suddenly, it was this moment of relief and recognition, as if it were her image that had brought us together, meaning everything was as it should be.

later, you showed me my new house. the walls were lavendar. that’s the color of one of the rooms in my place now, i said. i know, you said.

I had a dream last night that I left my world, my “movie” to participate in another one. I was young again, maybe in college, maybe not but I wasn’t working or going to class. I had borrowed my parents car, but when there was a problem with the tires, I abandoned it and asked some girls to pick me up. They were on their way to meet their boyfriends, these cholos in this hood. I was at this house that didn’t belong to them but that they were squatting in, and I was going through my CDs to put something good in. These guys came back and they wanted to start a gang, like a Fight Club gang. I was familiar with these but I told them there are people here who aren’t loyal and had evil intentions. I knew two for sure, because psychically, I had seen that they were spies for a rival gang. I tell one guy who I know is loyal, and he pulled out these two guys and shoots them in the head. It was brutal. But then this other guy insisted on pulling this other guy out who was a good man, and insisted that he needed to be sacrificed as well. I felt I could have stopped him, but suddenly I was popped out of the scene and I was only watching a movie, where you have no power to stop the scene unfolding. It was like the moment hung in the air, him with the gun in his hand, arm outstretched. Then I saw the gun fire, and seconds later, the sound of a body hit the ground. And it hurt me, deep through my insides, that a good man was killed.

last night i dreamed that i was in vegas with my family running around somewhere, and had a secret date with the dark dc. we had planned to meet at a restaurant at one of the casinos on the strip, one that was really nice. We were finally going to have a big official date. but i was running around trying to get something done, and the next thing i knew it was 3am. i called him and he told me the restaurant was closed. i realized i’d fucked up and got scared that i wouldn’t get a second chance, but then i remembered, i don’t like the dark dc. there’s no reason why i was supposed to be at a date with him. so i dropped that storyline and just explored the rooms in this casino.

in one of them, a little dry cleaners, i ran into tina fey. i told her i had great respect for her work, especially for surviving as head writer at snl. i figured she’d be dismissive but she was cool. we started joking around and i felt really comfortable around her. but then i knew this was just a dream and even though she’s brilliant, she’s probably not that warm in person, so i said goodbye and floated into another dream, one that had a forest.

To the Recurring Guy in My Dreams Whose Face I Can’t See–

Whoever you are, I can’t ever remember your face so sorry if I have no idea who you are. But thanks for always dropping by my dreamscape and hanging out. Do you like how the entire place is white and soft? Yeah, I love it. Anyway, I know I always say that I’m going to remember you when I wake up, but I’ll be honest, I’m not a good waker-upper. I’m so groggy in the morning that by the time I figure out who I am and where I am, I’ve forgotten most of the visuals of my dreams. I’m just happy when I recognize if the seat cover is up or down before I pee. This is all I know:

1. you spend a lot of time alone at home listening to music.
2. your energy feels very mature in that your energy is stable and protective, but there’s something childlike about you.
3. you drive a dark-colored car.
4. your name starts with a D i think. There’s a hard D.
5. you seem significantly bigger than me. your shoulders look nice in a sweater, which surprised me because i usually think men look stupid in sweaters.
6. you’re a warm person who makes me feel comfortable.

Yeah so, stop dancing around me. Run into me, or I’ll run into you. And we’ll go out. It’ll be like a Match.com date. But much much more surreal.

There’s this girl I used to work with who was like my doppelganger. I didn’t think she looked that much like me because I thought her face was really crude, and something about her energy was very manic and uneven. She had issues with her Asian-ness. She was in a band and was covered in tattoos, and she projected this persona that was hyper-sexual and domineering as well as a “true” persona that was intelligent and prudent. She did have a lot of power over men.

I say she was my doppelganger, because I showed my brother a picture of her once, and he thought it was me (I was kind of insulted because like I said, there was something very crude and cruel about her energy and her face that I would hope I don’t carry), and also, the guy I was dating left me for her, and wanted me to keep our previous relationship a secret (he was a dick so they really deserved each other).

Well, I always knew she was gunning to seduce him. We were the only Asian girls in the office so we would chat in Chinese and she would ask me about him. I realized at some point that she was asking me very pointed questions, and that’s when I knew that something had already started between the two…she was trying to figure out what was going on between him and I. I knew it was happening but I didn’t say anything or confront him. I wanted to see how it played out. Even after he broke up with me because “you’re the kind of girl a guy marries, and I don’t know if I ever want to get married” (haha, please), she would keep trying to figure out what was going on in my life romantically, which made me think he wasn’t making her feel very secure either (like I said, the guy’s a jerk).

Well, I knew it was her for sure because one night, I had a dream where I called him and she answered the phone, even though I had never seen them together in my waking life. But one day, we hung out and he was telling me how much he missed having intelligent conversations. But then the conversation turned (I can’t remember how), and he blurts out that he doesn’t want to get back together because he’s seeing someone. So I laugh and say, “Is it []” and he freaks out. He used to always freak out when I pulled seemingly psychic crap on him. Well, of course it was her. And later, he wanted me to keep it quiet that we had ever dated cuz this guy has a history of dating girls in our office. I ended up quitting because I just want to go to work to work, not be involved in drama with stupid people.

Anyway, so I had this dream last night. I was in med school and it had just started so I was really excited and proud of myself. I was there with my new friends, including this guy that I had briefly dated a couple months ago and still have some lingering feelings for. So I ran into her and it was friendly, like she knew what she had done and I knew what she had done, but we chalked it up to us having gotten involved with a shitty dude. So I invited her out with us and she was really relieved and said how she was really excited to be able to go out and not have to wear name brands (I guess she was working in retail and she was happy to be able to dress closer to her personality).

So we’re all riding in this van and we go to pick her up and she’s dressed up the way she dresses, real hip and punk. The guy I liked was sitting in the front seat, and I was really happy because he and I had just started dating and were in the phase of being excited about each other (though a part of me remembered that things had gotten broken down in the past). It was like we were in this new place and excited, though it was still a precarious connection. So she gets in and she sees him. We’re driving along and she whispers, hey I know that guy. We met a few years ago at a concert and dated for a bit, and I totally fucked him a few times.

Oh man.

See, in real life, we had never slept together, and it wasn’t from lack of desire on my end. But to hear that this girl who had already lured away someone I had dated, had also had a history with someone I was currently into, and had not only fucked him but currently, appeared interested in getting something started with him again…it was like my insides collapsed.

When I woke up, I was very, very sad. I just felt like this girl, this dark, stormy hyper-sexed persona, steals everything that I cherish, and at the end of the day, the people I want will always want her more.

I know this is an easy dream to analyze. I am resisting being that person, my dark side who knows how to use her power to get what she wants, my Scorpio energy.

In my dreams lately, I’ve been working out my understanding of my world and my psychic perceptions. Last night in my dream, I was driving down this freeway that was incredibly pristine and white. I was in a convertible and wearing all white, and even though I was going incredibly fast, the air was peaceful and everything smelled good. The road was completely empty, and all I could see was this pristine highway stretching out infinitely into the horizon. Just miles and miles of it. So I’m driving along feeling peaceful when all of a sudden, I see one other car, also white, being driven by a man dressed in white. I catch up to him and he looks over, surprised to see me. We both slow down a little so we’re at the same speed, then smile at each other. We’re happy that we’ve found each other. So we’re driving along together, and even though we haven’t said a single word, we’re both at such peace to be accompanying each other for this stretch of road. He got off at an exit a little while later, saying goodbye with a smile and a nod, and I sped up, continuing on my way, until the next person I might find on this highway might appear.

I think this is how my inner core feels, and how it feels when a soul connection comes in. It’s this incredible feeling of joy and peace, where you can be close to this stranger that you don’t really know and we’re both inhabiting this inner private place that you suddenly share, empty except for the two of you. And when you part, you smile and nod at each other, and you’re thankful for the time spent knowing that the other exists, and will continue to exist somewhere out there.

Woke up to the sound of the ocean which is the second most beautiful sound to fall asleep/wake up to, second only to the sounds of a rainstorm.

I had an interesting dream last night. I was back in college, but it wasn’t Ann Arbor. I liked this guy who was really elusive (he kind of looked like this jerk I dated for like 5 minutes in college, but with a better body); it was obvious that he really liked me, but it’s like, he just couldn’t give me enough, you know? Like he was holding something or a part of himself back. Like he wasn’t fully coming to the table, so he was making me struggle internally and hurting me. So at one point, I hadn’t seen him in a while, but we ran into each other. The moment was electric and we started kissing and it was really uninhibitedly passionate (finally). It was amazing because he was present and our chemistry is so good. We were literally in this concrete room around the corner from our dorms and I thought, I could invite him to my place where it would be more comfortable than a concrete room, but it might break the moment by him getting too cerebral during the walk over and this moment being lost. So we were kissing and i think he realized it would be too uncomfortable for sex, so he said, let me go get a blanket. So he left and I waited and waited and he didn’t come back. I went looking for him, in the area, at the dorms and even asked our friends if they’d seen him. No one had. I started getting really irritated, because I figured he’d chickened out again and it pissed me off. There was no doubt that he was really interested in me and connected to me, but he was a ghost…one moment totally there, the next minute he had disappeared making me wonder if he ever existed.

So while I was looking for him, I walked by this guy in a green jacket who was carrying this one beautiful flower. We didn’t make eye contact when I walked by because I was busy being irritated and looking for this ghost who was breaking my heart. I realized I didn’t care anymore, that the moment was gone and I went to class. When I walked in, I saw the guy with the flower and remembered that he’s in this class with me. He walked up to me and gave me the flower along with a ten page handwritten note written journal style. He smiled and walked away. I read the note, and it talked about how he knows who I really am because he watches me and he truly appreciates me. He had little examples of days when I felt down and little things I did that he noticed. While now that I’m awake, it sounds a little stalkerish, it was actually really sweet, one of those things that comes out of the blue that you weren’t expecting, but it was something deep and private where I realized this person I’d never really noticed before could see the real me. I finished reading and I looked up at him, I smiled at him and it felt like we’d known each other our entire lives.

I woke up feeling really content. I hope that person exists.

Today is my birthday and I got an email from Macy’s Online that said, “For your birthday, FREE SH….” (apparently the subject line was too long to display). I was hoping that it said “free shit” but it turned out to be “free shipping.”

I had a dream last night that I went back to college to walk around and I walked into this room that looked like some A/V Club’s lair. Lots of techie/geeky stuff laying around as well as personal items. I started leaving notes for one of the guys on his desk, telling him I was in love with him and had been watching him from afar for a while, and we started leaving notes back and forth. I could tell he was surprised but really into it, wanting to meet me, but to me, it was a joke and I kept stringing him along. One day, I walked in and left a note and as I walked towards the door, he stepped into the frame, catching me red-handed. He was this really tall guy with red hair, about 6’3, bulky in that he’d be considered straight up fat if he weren’t so tall. He really wasn’t attractive, looked like he wasn’t the most hygienic person and didn’t have much of a sense of humor. So he looks me dead in the eye and says, “So you’re the one.” And I’m thinking, oh crap, this was all a joke and now I’m being confronted. Plus, he was blocking the door. So I’m blubbering because I’m caught and this was all a cruel, awful joke I was playing on the poor guy, when I realize he’s Kevin Ray Underwood. And I’m thinking, he’s basically a guy who’s really sensitive and not that socially adjusted, but also has the potential to be seriously violent if he feels he’s been humiliated, so I’m freaking out. I’m looking at him like, can I pretend convincingly enough that I’m someone who’s been into him to get myself out of the room, and even if I can, if I try to disappear, is he going to stalk me? I’m trying to act like I was really into him even though I’m shy and embarrassed now but I can tell that he’s looking at me and he knows that I’m scared of him and not into him like all my letters have said. So I can tell he’s getting suspicious and a little angry, and I’m blubbering because I’m scared of him and trapped in a room and I know he’s going to kill me or seriously hurt me when he realizes I was playing a cruel joke on him. I woke up just as I was half-apologizing/half-begging for him to understand that it was just a stupid, stupid mistake I made that wasn’t funny at all and begging for him to forgive me.

I think this dream was spawned by an exchange I had with Brian late last night, when I said, “Hey Brian, my bologna has a first name.” And he said, “O-S-C-A-R?” And I said, “No. Kevin.”

*****
Last weekend Michael graduated. He goes to a school for kids with special needs, and they graduate the year they turn 22. The graduation was held on the basketball court of the school with all the chairs from the classrooms and offices pulled together for the audience to sit on. There were 5 kids graduating, 3 from Michael’s class and 2 from another, with varying levels of functionality. The kids put on some skits that were written by one of the students (one of them was titled “The Frustrated Corpse,” a detective murder mystery narrated by the corpse) which were surprisingly good and not worse or less developed than skits put on by normal high school students. Michael’s teacher, in his speech, described Michael as the “Alex P. Keaton of Room 18, the businessman of the class.” I got a kick out of that. Michael and one of his graduating classmates had each prepared a speech, but when they were asked to go up, they both refused to go first. The teacher asked Michael if he wanted to go first and Michael said no, so he asked the othe girl who said no, so he asked Michael again who growled at him, so he asked the girl who said, “No, have Michael go first.” Finally, he made the girl go up first and she spent nearly her entire speech thanking God and assigning him adjectives. It was kind of sweet though, the power and conviction of her faith. Michael still wouldn’t go up so his teacher offered to read his speech for him.

The teacher started off reading, “Hello, my name is Michael J. Shih” and one of the kids yelled (very seriously), “YOU’RE NOT MICHAEL SHIH!” Halfway through the speech, Michael went up and read the speech over his teacher’s shoulder.

They opened up the floor to the students who had parting words for their graduating classmates. One girl stood up and said, “I’m really going to miss you guys now that you’re graduating…but I’m glad you’re leaving.” Another kid told this girl, Frances, that he was going to miss her even though she once threw him into a wall. He steamrolled over teachers trying to shush him as he described the incident and informed her that he was still going to miss her despite that. Overall though, many students had very nice, sentimental parting words for their classmates. After a while, the same kids kept raising their hands so they ended the ceremony and proceeded to the BBQ.

I’ll tell you, Michael is a lucky kid because he has a family that is supportive and protective of him, and also, has the financial means to support him and give him the care he needs. There was one kid, a really interesting character and nice kid, even though he rapid-fires questions that cause conversations with him to go in a circle [ie one 1 minute conversation I had with him:

who are you?
I’m Michael’s-
Why are you Michael’s mother?
I’m actually Michael’s sister.
What color is that smoke?
I’d say gray or–
What color is that tree?
Oh I’d say–
Do you know how I turned on the grill–?
I suppose, uh–
I turned a knob. Why are you Michael’s sister? ]

My mom told me this kid’s father wasn’t around and his mother had died when he was young so he was raised by his grandmother who looked to be in her 70s, wheelchair-bound and very feeble. There really wouldn’t be anyone to take care of him, especially now that his grandmother was so old. Near the end of the BBQ, he beelined over to me from across the entire school where I was on the basketball courts playing basketball. He walked right through the middle of the game and said to me, “Before you leave, I want to do this.” He clasped both hands tightly and shook them. At first I was confused because he was kinda doing that close to his crotch. I asked him what he meant and he said the exact same thing with the exact same motion, in the exact same location. I asked him, “Shake my hand?” He nodded. I told him, “I’ll shake your hand right now!” He smiled so broadly it lit up his entire face and shook my hand enthusiastically. That made me feel really good.

With most graduations, there’s this electricity in the air, a feeling of excitement, of all the possibilities that could be in the future of these kids set free into the great wide open. With this graduation, it seemed like everyone was proud of the graduates, but underneath was the unspoken question of, “What’s going to happen to them?” It’s very bittersweet.

As for Michael, he’s going to be working at my parents company doing data entry while we look for some kinds of classes he can take that can teach him work skills. We’re trying to cut back on his medications to see if that can give him a better balance, and hopefully, as he matures and gains independence, with the right guidance and structure, he can succeed within his individual potential in life and attain a satisfactory level of autonomy.

My goal is to become financially stable enough to afford a place for him in LA, and perhaps start some kind of company where he can do simple tasks that would occupy his day and give him a sense of achievement. I would like my parents to move down here permanently too in order to keep him close, because I really do worry about his health and think it
would help his development to be around peers more instead of his parents and other symbols of authority all the time.

My mom’s dream is that one day, Michael will be able to get married and have kids. I would like to see that happen as well, but that’s something that will come if it’s there. We can’t push it. The best we can do is help Michael develop within himself, to raise his self-esteem and guide him through his quest for independence, help him and protect him when he hits one of the limitations of his disability, and ultimately give him unconditional love in hopes that he lives a happy, uncompromised life.

It’s an exciting time and a scary time. It’s all very bittersweet.

I had these dreams last night that have kept me feeling really off and disturbed all day. Maybe there are things brewing under the surface that haven’t broken into my consciousness yet, but I know I’m feeling really off and need my space right now.

The first one, my conscious self decided that I needed to experience the immediate inevitability of death (it was like I was conscious before the dream started). Then I went into this museum where they were showing executioner’s equipment. I was with a tour group or something, but they separated me from the group and said that I was scheduled to be executed because people have to be sacrificed at random for the good of the whole. They showed me this machine that was like a guillotine, except it cuts people in half and they bleed to death. It was supposedly much worse than a regular guillotine because you are conscious longer before you die. As they prepped me, the executioner explained that the person lays down and then they douse their torso with boiling water to burn away the skin and fat that may inhibit the blade’s ability to cut through the body cleanly. They laid me down and I was terrified, and kept trying to imagine what it would feel like at each point of the procedure, and ultimately, what it would feel like to die. The executioner took pity on me and instead of dousing me with boiling water, he poured a bowl of water that was only lukewarm. But then the blade rushed down and cut me in half.

Then I was bumped into another dream…like it was another life.

In this one, I was in a good place in my life, and I was living back in a college town where I was comfortable, making money and ultimately happy. Brian lived with me in this dreamscape as he does in real life. There’s this little corner diner that we loved to go to in the dream, a place where we could hang out, mess around and everyone was cool. It was a comfortable space. I think I may have owned it.

One day, this guy I used to date walked in. We had run into each other in real life a few weeks ago and it was a bit of a shock to the system because after a while, you forget (or force yourself to forget) that certain people even exist anymore. So he walks in in my dream and it’s like that scene all over again. We see each other and we’re both caught off guard; out of the pure reflexivity of honesty, we’re civil and a bit happy to see each other because it’s like seeing someone you used to care about, even if a lot of bad things happened to bury that connection. He looked tired and worn out from life and it truly made me sad. I asked him how our boss was doing (we used to work together) and he said, “Good,” paused, then said, “Actually, not so good. He was just diagnosed with a brain tumor.” This hit me hard because as awkward as things were left between my boss and I, it really devastated me that he would be going through that experience, as much that he was in pain as it brought to forefront the reality that just by being born, we’re all destined for some very difficult, devastating times.

As this person and I stood across from each other, I think our brains started catching up with our messy emotional history, and I remembered how much anger I had towards him. As the hate crept back (and I could see him shoring up his own defenses), I just said goodbye and left.

I was walking home when it began to rain. Since I had previously been at the gym, I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt and it was very cold. I had gone down a long way when he happened to drive by. He offered me a ride and even though I wanted to be proud and decline, it also seem fated that this interaction with him was necessary, that it was the universe moving us together for us to finalize closure.

He drove me home and I still had a lot of anger swirling around in my head–I was being catty and passive aggressive with my comments. I think he got irritated too so when his phone rang (the ring was “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce), he picked it up and said, “Oh hi [his girlfriend at the time we last spoke years ago],” like she was so important to him, even though I knew they were broken up. So we get to my place and I jump out of the car, slamming the door and saying, “Have a great life.” Totally bitchy. But then I hesitated. I was thinking, for better or worse, this is my chance at closure, and I would be spiting myself if I walked away from it. He must have seen me hesitate because he broke the moment down to the truth. “I’ve missed you, too,” he said. It was the one thing I could never have brought myself to admit.

I got back into the car and what followed was kind of an emotional epilogue–I knew that life was not about all the things that derail a relationship or make it messy, not about who the people are as their manifestations in this lifetime, but about something deeper that connects us. I think we really do recognize people we were once very close to in a past life or in another manifestation, and I think it’s very hard and confusing when society prevents these people from being close to one another, or when it keeps them from ever being truthful to each other. I think the very inherent loss that comes with being born is something that tinges my personal human experience and my outlook on life. I’m always searching for those connections that remind me of something that was so beautiful and safe and whole a long time ago, but no matter what, I still can’t remember what it is exactly. It’s always on the edges of my mind, just out of my grasp, driving me crazy, because in some way, I suspect it’s the key to my own complete inner unity and peace.

I think at the end of the day, none of this really matters. All it is after all the smoke clears and the mirrors are boxed up and carted away is that connection between people. And as more and more things disrupt our daily lives and cause us to challenge the things that we value or use as currency within our society, all the facades and trivialities will be stripped away and only the truth that exists in the honest most basic connections between people will be revealed as the only thing that has absolute value.

Last night I had this dream that I went over to that Coffee Bean across from my office, except it was this really unique, social landmark type of cafe with a red exterior. They were going to tear it down to make way for some commercial developments, and people were protesting. I saw Coffee Bean guy and that overtalkative (and self-promoting) lawyer who’s always there, as well as one other recurring character who I always see there. They had signs and I noticed how it was funny that even though everyone was chanting something, CB guy was just quietly holding up his sign because, you know, he doesn’t talk in real life.

So I was there with my boyfriend and my brother, except my boyfriend was played by Brett, my cinematographer. I’m thinking, yeah, this place is cool and it would be great if they didn’t tear it down, when we all look up and we see what looks like a spaceship amongst the dark storm clouds disappearing into the upper layers of the atmosphere. The crowd gets electric, like we can’t believe what we just saw, and I remember thinking, I wish I had my camera. We were all just amazed that we saw this thing that we could tell our friends (and the tabloids) about. The thing looked like one of those helicopters with dual rotors up top and in the rear, but much larger and flatter on top (and without rotors). But then, before we could really process seeing that spacecraft, another one came down. I noted how fluid it moved, particularly laterally, not like a helicopter or any kind of craft we had. It came down above us and we all got scared. I remember thinking, this was a huge moment in human history…that I was experiencing an exact moment when we as a collective interacted with another type of being and this was an undeniably monumental piece of reality. It was huge, knowing that for a fact, there had been contact made and from this point forward, human history and existence would never be the same. But then this huge red beam came out of it and it was washing over people, shortcircuiting their hearts.

We all ran and I felt the most terrifying thing I have ever felt–the knowledge that I was going to die very soon, and that there was no way around it.

I managed to stop the dream but not wake up, and I spent the rest of my sleeptime going over the meaning the dream, even though I wasn’t awake. I thought about it’s important not to live in a large city as they are most susceptible to being targets of an attack. And that my brother was safe because he was in Fremont, and Fremont was a suburb. I made a mental note that I needed to move out of the city ASAP. I also thought about how my brother gets when he gets scared…he locks up and starts screaming and you can’t reason with him. I realized that realistically, it would come down to a choice when an attack came down–of staying with him and dying, and of having to leave him behind.

When I finally woke up in the morning, I was pretty freaked out. The dream was so vivid and realistic, and most disturbing of all–rational in its “post dream” analysis of the dream’s message, that it hung over me the rest of the day and I found myself lost in thought, thinking about it.

I’m not saying the dream means that we are in danger of an alien attack. But it did make me think of how sooner or later, we are going to have to be introduced to a world outside of our planet and make contact with other intelligent, sentient species, and as has been a theme in human history, there will be conflicts over dominance and a race to find which group has the better technology when it comes to warfare to dominate the other side into submission. There will need to be an ambassador who represents the world, and of course, the U.S. will want to play that part or be a large part of that group. I would not want anyone from the Bush administration representing us, with hidden agendas and a dominate first before being dominated. Why does our first instinct have to be one of suspicion and fear? That’s why all these movies about aliens involve us being attack. I feel like if they attacked us, it’d be because we’re scared assholes who did something first. If they’re so much more advanced than us, I don’t think they would care enough about us to attack us, just like we don’t attack ant hills that we see in our backyards unless they’re doing something intrusive or biting us. We really don’t give a fuck about them.

In other news, a huge cockroach landed on me today, but it flew away as quickly as it landed.

My Dream Last Night (aka The Return of Coffee Bean Guy)

I was walking down these stairs leading to a cafe and my knee (which has had multiple surgeries) felt weak so I was holding the banister; it was a lot of work making it down those stairs because my knee felt like it was on the verge of giving out. I noticed there was a table at the bottom, and sitting there was Coffee Bean Guy, talking with some people. I hadn’t seen him since our encounter when he invited me to his table and then ignored me, so still feeling slighted, I wouldn’t look at him but I was trying to walk like a normal person, but my knee wasn’t having it.

I get to the bottom and he looks at me and says, “I don’t have time to talk.” Totally insulted that he would think I had shown up just to talk to him, I say, “I wasn’t going to.” He replies, “I would like to though. I’m really glad you did last time. Isn’t it funny how you can really want to do something but then get scared and don’t know how? I was showing up hoping to see you every day but didn’t know how to talk to you.” This threw me for a loop so I just stared at him. He says, “If you have trouble approaching people, I can help you think up ways to approach people.” Offended again, I say, “I’m normally a lot more outgoing and sociable. I just…had no idea what to make of you.” Then this granola-y Mother-Earth type of woman sitting at his table says, “It must be hard approaching people when your knee’s like that.” I thought she meant “crippled” so I said, “Look. I play basketball 4 times a week.” Then I look down at my legs and realize that I must not have been paying attention when I got dressed this morning because I was wearing one white athletic sock and one black dress sock, with shorts and dress shoes. I was totally embarrassed for being dressed like a retard but trying not to show it.

CB guy gets up and says, “Well, maybe we can talk again sometime.” He gets in line for coffee which was where I was headed, but two people get in line just as I get there so rather than standing behind him, I’m standing behind the Mother-Earth chick. She looks like she wants to chat. So rather than talk to her, I call Urethra to tell her about CB guy and the latest freakish conversation.

I’m talking to her and I’m getting the feeling she doesn’t want to talk about him. I figure it’s because this guy is clearly weird and a freak, and she doesn’t want me obsessing over someone who is clearly fucked up. I see that Reggie is trying to call in, but I don’t feel like taking the call just yet, so instead, we chat about Ice Blendeds and fat content. We hang up and I call Reggie but it goes straight to voice mail. I ask him if he wants to hang out tonight. I realize that as I’m leaving the message, I’m walking across what looks like a facsimile of the University of Michigan campus, but I know it’s in LA. I figure it’s an extension campus, but my legs are getting so heavy and I’m still on the eastside of campus, so I duck into a building to rest.

Inside, is some kind of exhibition having to do with alcohol and drug abuse. Each exhibition is set up in what looks like a tiny cubicle. I walk into the one closest to the door and CB guy and that Mother Earth chick are there along with some random minglers. The walls have inspirational quotes having to do with alcohol abuse on these little cards all over the walls, as well as a lot of pictures. I overhear CB guy mentioning that this one guy who’s in a lot of the pictures was his mentor. I pick up a hardcover book that contains quotes on the first page. CB guy tries to look over my shoulder so I show him that page, pointing to the quote and saying, “That’s a good one.” He grabs the book out of my hands and starts reading it. A red flag goes up in my mind that this guy lacks social skills.

The other people leave and it’s just me and CB guy. My legs are tired so I sit on the ground, looking at the pictures. I’m looking at one of his mentor at a political demonstration and CB guy is telling me about being there and I’m thinking, this guy must have been an abuser for a while before he started working at the rehab house, when I notice that he’s getting short of breath. I look over and see that he has taken off his pants and is wearing white briefs underneath, and that he’s reached into them and started masturbating while scooting over towards me. I freak out. “What are you doing?!?” I ask him. He gets confused then says, “I’m sorry, I thought that’s what we were headed towards.” He puts his pants back on and starts making small talk, asking me, “Where did your lunar calendar start?” I’m confused and worried but trying to act like nothing’s wrong; I think he’s trying to ask me for my Chinese astrological sign when I’m thinking, doesn’t the lunar calendar start around the same time every year regardless of the sign? “How old do you think I am?”, I ask him. “28,” he says. I’m relieved he didn’t say 18 or something, making him a pervert [note: Because according to dream logic, the evidence hadn’t made him a “pervert” quite yet]. He adds, “Which is about right based on family statistics in the U.S.” “How old are you?”, I ask. He doesn’t say, just crawls over towards me and in my head, I hear my mom’s voice echoing, “You choose your own future.” I know I’m scared and uncomfortable, but I don’t know how to extract myself from this situation.

So I fell asleep at 5pm today and just woke up and I’m UP. Freakin’ jetlag. I’ve been listening a lot to my lucid dreaming cd on my ipod, since it’s best to listen with headphones and I was never inclined to fall asleep with my cd player (my ipod, now that’s a different story). It has brainwave frequencies and/or subliminal messages underneath the sound of ocean waves, so it’s very much like a normal relaxation soundtrack used for meditation or sleep aid. I listened to it more frequently last year, when I was trying to be able to remember more details of certain dreams, because I often dream of developing ideas for scripts and working out issues with current scripts, but then could never remember the details after I woke up. Very frustrating for a writer. I couldn’t tell if it was helpful since I wasn’t very diligent about it (and didn’t use headphones). I’ve been doing it a lot this last week because the plane ride and the jetlag in Taiwan were a bitch, and the sound of waves made it the most relaxing thing I had on my ipod to induce sleep. I’ve found that I’ve been having really vivid dreams where I’m present in them and I can have total thought processes, thinking out what to say to people and have insights on people during the dream. Like the dreams are in real time and I can remember processions of thoughts and emotions. And observations. I can also say to myself, this is a dream and instantly remove things that are frightening to me in the dream (like the presence of a threat), or skip something that’s boring (like waiting for someone to finish doing something. I can skip it like a dvd so that they’re done). It’s really great and has been helpful to understanding some of my subconscious stressors in waking life, and working them out so that I feel better when I wake up, without necessarily knowing the specifics of why.

I dreamed last night that some kids were being murdered in a high school and they suspected it was another kid. I was me and I accompanied the two men who were brought in to investigate (I think I had gone to that high school back in the day and these guys were friends of mine so I tagged along), but at one point, I realized that I was alone by the locker rooms after school and became terrified. I fast forwarded to a point where they had suspects, and this one kid was suspected. We went to his house to interview him and I remember thinking, I don’t think it’s him. He’s too innocent. At that point in the timeline, two more students had been killed for a total of four. We were outside when I jumped perspectives and followed someone else who was in the backyard, 3rd person. Nobody in the house knew he was there. He was some independent investigator who was foreign (I knew he had a foreign accent), and he was using the distraction of the interrogation inside to search the backyard, and he found a buried human skull. I remember thinking, in my 3rd person state, that here I was, watching proof being found that the kid was guilty, but my true self was inside the house with a killer whom I thought was innocent. I became terrified so I woke up. I can remember with good detail the way the school looked and certain physical and psychological elements of the characters encountered in that dream.

Tonight I dreamed that I was interning at KCRW and they agreed to let me put together a compilation CD in their name. I was psyched and I was putting toghether random songs, which I could hear at the time, but which I think my mind made up. They were all kind of electronic dance-ish, ala Timo Maas. I was in Fremont for some reason and I knocked on this door and my friend Rebecca Marko answered. I was PSYCHED because she’s a cool chick. I was happy to see her but then I noticed my ex-boyfriend standing behind her. I was cordial but wouldn’t look him in the eye, because in my mind, I thought, he doesn’t deserve to see into my eyes and have me speak to him from my soul (I believe that people can communicate a lot psychically through eye contact because the eyes are the window to the soul). The house had wood paneling and kind of looked like a trailer home, but it was big and I was impressed that he was living in a big house. I also think, so it’s true…he moved. So I was talking to her and he was sitting there next to her being the attentive boyfriend, but I managed to black him out so that when I glanced over there, his head had a black mist over it so I didn’t have to look at him. He offered me a mini Snickers bar which I declined, and then he left the room. Rebecca was talking to me about my KCRW gig but I couldn’t hold it in so I asked her what she was doing with him. She said, “You won’t believe what happened. She went crazy on him.” I immediately knew two things–that she was talking about the girl he dated after me, and that he when he hooked up with my friend, he had told her that his last girlfriend went crazy to get sympathy for him, poor him, victimized by a girl who made him suffer. I got angry that he was playing the victim to a friend whose kindness was genuine so I cut in and told her, “Rebecca, he always says things like that. He either goes for girls who are crazy to martyr himself, or when a girl proves to normal and healthy, he’ll be sadistic to her to the point she either acts crazy in frustration or leaves, at which point he gets to play the victim again. He’s manipulative.” I asked her how they met and she said, through friends. She gushed that this was the first night she had spent the whole night because they were taking things slow. I asked how long they’d been dating and she said, a couple of weeks. So I said, oh, you’re still in the honeymoon period. I got really scared because she was so innocent about it and so enamored, and this is this creep’s MO. So I grabbed her hands, looked her in the eye and said, listen, Rebecca, you know I care about you and I wouldn’t say these things unless I was looking out for you and concerned with your wellbeing. You have to keep your eye on this guy. He’s bad news and he’s toxic and he hurts people. He can play the role of amazing boyfriend until the times when he remembers that he hates himself, and then he’ll break everything around him that has any value or beauty, in particular, innocence and kindness. I don’t want you there when he goes on his rampages, and I don’t want him taking advantage of your kindness and understanding when he decides that the person he wants to most destroy is the person who’s nicest to him. She says, oh, I know, but he’s been great so far…and I said, he always starts out that way, then turns into a monster. He’s incredibly abusive. It’s like she doesn’t want to hear me. She says to me, you’re a very, very lucky woman. And I know she’s talking about the fact that I was with him and that she was implying that he still cared. The alarm bells in my head were going nuts because this guy was going to hurt her. So I said, no I’m not. I’m lucky that I got out. He came back into the room and said he had to go to work. He comes over and tenderly kisses me on the top of my head (I had jerked my head away from him out of instinctual revulsion) and whispers, “I’ve missed you.” And then he doesn’t even kiss her, but does say, “Bye,” looking at her like he’s completely lovestruck and it makes me sick because this guy is going to hurt her with his insane game. After he leaves, I get up to go, too and just say, “Please keep your eye open and don’t let him push you around.” I hug her and leave. I drive around but I’m worried. And I realize that I don’t know what’s worse…that he’s going to fuck with my good friend, or that maybe he has changed and become a better person. But I think, I doubt it. The whole time he was there, he was doing his thing…playing two girls off of each other. I go home and try to think about music for the CD, but by 2 am, I’m really bugged. I leave a message for Linda to see if I can drop by in the morning instead of the evening as planned for the next day. Then I call Sarita, misdialing once, leave a message asking her if she’d talked to Reb
ecca lately. She calls back and I tell her what happened and she’s surprised, since she didn’t know Rebecca was dating anyone even though she had talked to her very recently. I was again worried because this guy likes to keep his relationships a secret because he likes to date in the same pool (getting one thing guaranteed before he ends another) so he doesn’t want his game cramped, and I think, deep down, he doesn’t want the girls to talk. He also likes to breed animosity and competition between the girls he dates for this reason. A really bad character. So the fact that she hasn’t even told her friends about it worries me. In my dream, Sarita and I talk and analyze it the way we talk about things, and I feel better talking to her. While I drive home to my parents house, I notice that they’ve installed streetlights around the last curve of the hill. My car’s engine is roaring as it tries to go from 0 to whatever on such a steep incline and the noise and effort of the engine really is incredibly abrasive in my dream, so I decide to wake up.

So those are the details of my last two dreams. I wrote them down here because it’s easier to maintain the memory of your dreams if you write them down.