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Dream Blog - S.P. Somtow • Somtow Sucharitkul
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Dream:

Viswa Subbaraman has managed to arrange a performance of my work THE SNOW DRAGON in some strange town. Actually it appears not to be my opera at all, but a spoken word stage play adapted from it. What's more, he has arranged for me to play the role of the villain, Stark, myself, but as it happens I arrive at the theater on the opening night, with my parents and sisters and their companions, and I have to see them to their seats before we begin.

We discover that they are seated in Row B, but this row isn't part of the tiered, bleacher-like seats that are the main part of the theater, instead there are two rows sort of tucked under the diagonal shelter created by the angle of the bleachers. These two rows are directly above one another and each accessible by their own stairs, and have a mini-wall in front so each is equally a "front row" seat.

We have the tickets but for some reason, we need to pay for them even though we're already at the seats. My mother hands me a wad of 500 baht notes, and the seats are 1,100 each. I am desperately trying to count out the 500 notes to come up to a correct number of 1,100 seats with no change. At length I realize it will never work, and the play will start soon and I have to change, so I leave them and go to find my dressing room.

However, I can't find it anywhere. I go up some stairs and enter a room where a small group of African Americans wearing period costume is rehearsing a costume drama, but it's not my play. Presently, I see, looking out a window, some of the characters from my work, warming up and getting ready to go on stage. I look down but don't see where they're coming from or what the access to the stage is. They are wearing Victorian dress and the lines are not familiar to me.

In one dialogue exchange, a man is trying to talk a woman into something (perhaps sexually harassing her) and he says, "But they all do this on Neptune!" and she responds, "Ha! I doubt you've even been to Neptune."

I start doubting the wisdom of appearing in this play since I've never been to a rehearsal, even though it is supposedly a version of my work. I keep thinking, How did Viswa Subbaraman get me this gig? He's a conductor, he's not in the spoken word world. Finally, I realize that whatever it is, it should be like my opera more or less, so whenever they push me onstage, my first line is going to be "I'll talk to him."

I come down the stairs to the foyer of the theater, I tell the usher, "You gotta tell me how to get into makeup and costume!" They are confused but finally one of them takes me outside. Across the street there is a a huge square not seen from the street because it is bordered by shops facing the street. "It's in the fair, in the square," says the usher. 

"Show me where! You realize this show is going to be totally different as it is. I will have to improvise my part. The other actors are going to have to wing it too."

I enter the concealed square where indeed, a fair is going on, with stalls, balloons, and stands selling toys. But where is the dressing room? Finally someone directs me to an entrance in the center that leads down to what he calls Level X. It looks like the entrance to an underground parking lot, and there are wide stairs with railings in the center leading downward. I dash down the steps, noting that everyone has already left, shouting, "The play is gonna be at least thirty minutes late, and won't even be the same play!"

Then I wake up.

1 month ago |
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Another dream. 

Mikey and I are at some kind of performance of a musical and there is a reception afterwards, and I end up chatting to a woman with long curly black hair dressed in black and white, who is a singer in the musical. In this reception I am wearing a tuxedo.

We look out onto a street and a huge, round barrel-like wooden thing is being rolled down the street by some workmen. It's like the sides of one of the stands that elephants get up on in the circus, minus the platform on top. The top is there too, being rolled separately on another trolley. 

"What on earth?" she says. 

"Oh, it's the stand for me to conduct on. They're taking it to the concert hall down the road. We are doing the Strauss Four Last Songs."

"Do you it often?"

"Yes, all over the world."

We talk a great deal about life and singing and she asks me, "Do you often work in Germany?" "Why do you ask?" I say. "Oh, I assumed, you're a conductor, you'd be working in Germany a lot." I don't want to tell her I haven't been there all year, so I just say, "Yes, I do go sometimes. In fact I am going next year." Which isn't true because as far as I know I am going to Austria and the U.S.

"And you," I said, "do YOU work in Germany?" She is distracted and doesn't answer. I realize it's the wrong question because it's a musical, not an opera. 

After a moment, I see her again, but she is with her family; a tall, fat, bearded son in a fake tuxedo and a eccentric, sightly scary other characters. The son says, "German, what do you mean, Germany?" and the family leaves.

I turn back and I see that Rit Parnichkun is sitting on the floor and leaning against a low railing and Mikey is sitting opposite him. They are rehearsing lines from a musical, all in German. They are memorizing the lines from big sheets that are spelled out phonetically in Thai and katakana.

"Why not English?" I say. "I thought it was a musical."

I am standing behind a counter and a shy woman (maybe a teenager) comes up. "I'm a total fan - you must tell me how she is - I understand you know her."

"Who?"

"Why, Beyoncé of course. You do know her! How is she?"

This woman is so earnest that I don't want to disappoint her so I just say, "Oh well, it's too much to say I actually KNOW her ... I mean, I've seen her across a room, but..."

She looks very disappointed so I start making up stuff and finally, we turn and see a table being set with giant triangular stemmed glasses (like martini glasses, only bigger) and in which one there is being placed a section from a pizza-like pastry, with cream and strawberries instead of tomato and cheese. Each glass is huge but there is only one huge slice of the strawberry/cream pizza in each. Thrilled, the Beyoncé fan grabs a piece and disappears into the crowd. It seems to be a sort of after party.

"Let's go home," Mikey says. Taking a right, we leave the party and are walking home. We are on the right side of a long boulevard which is lined with pink stucco arches, and behind each arch is a brightly lit shop. It's incredible, beautiful. 

I suddenly become aware that this is a dream and in my dream I think: "Claudio Sepulveda Schulz will kill me if I don't remember if we are walking right or left. But how can I know this when all I can see is straight ahead?"

We move faster and faster. The arches become a blur. Faster and faster, our feet hardly touching the pavement. As we leave the arches behind, I realize that we are flying. I wake up.

1 month ago |
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A dream. Okay this starts off inside some kind of Nordic, Mediaeval world and I am a God, wielding incredible power, battling forces of doom in some Ragnarok-like situation, and also terrifying the peasants and sweeping through the universe ... incredible power fantasy. 

The dream ends in more of science fiction mold as a huge wall of UFOS rains down from the sky and I have my back to the walls of a crenellated castle, waiting for the UFOs to transform into anime-like aliens.

Then, still in my dream, I wake up and I say to myself, I must write this down, it is so powerful, a dream where I was a god. I'm trying to write it all down and it's like some kind of cross between a computer screen and a piece of parchment. It's not going quickly enough so I get out of bed (still dreaming) and go down to my office.

There, there is a kind of pushbutton pink phone. I start typing this dream up on the phone, which also has some stenographer like half-formed set phrases in it. I look under the phone and see that buttons of a conventional phone are underneath. I go back to typing on the top of the phone, marvelling at the complexity of its technology (while being so retro at the same time.)

As I type on the pink phone I wake up and I walk over to my office for real and start typing this. The dream had so much more in it. The first episode was so dark and Mediaeval, and the second so brightly colored ... and the part about trying to write it down - and forgetting the harder I tried - was as long as the rest of the dream put together....

1 month ago |
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My dream: first, my house. There's a sloping street in front of it, narrow, and there's another house at the bottom of the hill, and this is a world where zombies are taking over. There is a sort of garage door in front of this other house and a white fence sort of rises up, containing the zombies inside.

My house is completely protected, I tell the person I am with. But I turn around and look up and it isn't that protected, although it's on a hilltop; the fences have gaps, and already I see one or two zombies.

I'm not worried about them. More afraid of the zombified domestic animals. Especially mice. I spot an Irish zombie mouse. 

A chart rolls out and a disembodied voice explains the differences between zombie mice of different nations, pointing out that the Irish zombie mouse is often confused with the English. Suddenly, Elgar's "Nimrod" begins to play.

I wake up for a minute, go to the bathroom, and when I return the dream seems to continue. Now I'm at an airport, in the same sort of crumbling world and I am with Damian Whiteley, and we have come to pick up someone ... an important female politician or even a goddess.

The airport is falling apart. In fact, as we stand in a corridor, the plane we are waiting for arrives and crashes through the ceiling then thrusts itself through a wall behind us - arousing no comment at all from passersby. 

There are two ways to get to the pickup area: a lift and some stairs. As the lift door opens, a strip of metal with brightly colored neon orange stripe (like on a traffic warning sign they put up in the street for construction) protrudes from above the lift. I hastily get in even though Damian tells me to take the stairs and we will meet upstairs.

We are both in the lift at the strip of metal just keeps pushing out, seemingly endless. The lift begins to move. As soon as the metal ends, the lift is going to jam. It moves very fast. Suddenly with a jerk, we stop and pry the door open.

We are in a hotel lobby. "Run" screams Damian so loud that I seem to hear this outside my dream, and he pushes us forward. There is a diplomatic reception going on in the hotel, and suddenly Damian is no longer there; he is the woman we have come to pick up. She stands amid the diplomats, completely at home, but I am conscious that we still have to escape.

"It's all right," she says, "enjoy the reception." I say, "That's all very well for you, you are used to these things."

But we need to get back to the house, and I run through the lobby out to the street. 

She says a few other choice things, but now that I am trying to write them down, they have slipped my mind.

Now that I look back on it, I am sure Damian actually turned into Cassandra Black, and she was a goddess.

1 month ago |
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This morning, I dreamed that my son Johnny has built me a sumptuous new home. It is a huge palatial structure and now he's showing me the entire complex he has created. I come down an elevator and we are standing in a central square of the complex. He's built the whole thing on three sides of the square; looking ahead, past the flagstones of the square, there is a stone railing and a sheer cliff. A magnificent view of the city below.

To my right (to my left is a more shadowy building that I do not really see) Johnny has built what looks like a sports stadium which is on the upper level of monumental building with a concrete façade. I say to him, "But what about the opera house you promised to build me?" And he says, "We can put it there."

I'm thinking why not, it would be very dramatic to have an opera house below a football field (or baseball, the dream seems to flit between the two.)

"Why not scout it out?" Johnny says. I cross the square with him. At first I am thinking, the area between the stadium and the railing, which is open space ending at the cliff, is the right size. I think, we could just attach it to the left of the stadium.

Then Johnny says why not immediately underneath. I see that the space beneath the stadium is divided into huge rooms, which I can see through the stone columns to my right as I walk past; between the columns I see various impressive vistas. "This one looks the right size!" I say, and we peer in and see a room all Roman and black marble, with some heroic Roman busts on columns, but as I enter I realize that floor is actually a mirror-still pool of water. I guess it won't work, I say.

Finally, we reach the last room, the corner area. Johnny has set it up as a huge art gallery with labyrinthine passageways. Wandering inside I come to a jade room, full of those big flowering plants and birds (all made of jade) that they sell in some slightly kitschig Chinese fake antique shops. On a table there's a number of jade birds, brooch-sized, sort of circular designs, crystal plumage against green foliage.

The objects on the table have signs in Korean, which I can't read; I only see the number 100, so I assume they are for sale. An old gentleman walks into the room. Johnny says, "We're not open yet." and he nevertheless picks out 4 of the bird brooches, counts out six dollar bills, and hands them to Johnny.

"Oh," Johnny says, "you should have some of the Swiss ice cream." He offers the old man a popsicle-like perfect cylinder in vanilla which is on a round dowel. Thoughtfully, the old man licks, and hands a chocolate one to a woman.

The woman is wearing an Islamic veil - not quite a burqa but in my dream it's called that, but it shows her face and only goes half way down, revealing a cream-colored cotton skirt. She doesn't take the ice cream. "You must forgive my wife," says the old man, "she is Mexican and not used to our ways."

The wife says, the chocolate tastes funny.

I wake up.

****

I'm wondering about the dream Korean labels and the veiled woman, thinking that it's actually a dream-pun on "Qur'an". She is not dressed as a Mexican, in fact in the dream she appears Persian. Well this is a matter for my oneiromancers to interpret. Many nationalities alluded to in this dream, from Roman, Mexican, Middle Eastern perhaps, Korean, Chinese, American (the stadium) ... but generally speaking the look and feel of the buildings is Italian Renaissance.

1 month ago |
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Another epic sleep disorder day when — this has become a sort of pattern — I can't keep my eyes open at 5 pm and have to sleep, then wake up 3 hours later bewildered and wide awake, usually with some kind of dream attached.

In this dream, I am rehearsing Beethoven's 9th, but not in the cultural center; it's some kind of hall on the odd side of Sukhumvit, around where the Siam Society is, but it's a building with a façade of thin trapeze shaped concrete buttresses that seem to emit a golden yellow light. 

I wake away from the hall and I am carrying a folded eiderdown comforter, as if I was planning to bed down somewhere. A car pulls up and I get in. It is a big, black embassy car and it's being driven by Peter Prügel, the German Ambassador.

"Lucky I came along!" he says. He tells me that even though it's not his concert, he could not help coming over to see how it is going because he is so excited about it. He drives down Sukhumvit a little way in the direction of my house (but the traffic is on the wrong side of the road, so it might not be Bangkok) and pulls into a tiny alley which I recognize as the way into the German Embassy. "Oh, you're not coming in?" he says, surprised. Halfway down the alley, on the left, there's a bungalow which appears to be his office. He steps out. Looking ahead, I see a woman doing laundry wearing a black dress, and I wonder why his wife is doing it hinself and not letting the maid do it. She is hanging it on a clothesline.

"My house is just a little farther," I say. "I could drop you off," says the ambassador, but I tell him, "Actually my own car is waiting and probably wondering why I came with you. I'll just call my driver."

Still clutching the eiderdown, I wander back out onto Sukhumvit. I realize I was just being polite and my driver wasn't with me or is lost somewhere, and I'll have to take a taxi. But taxis don't stop. Presently I see that a tuk-tuk driver has been stalking me and he says, 94 baht. I ask him to go to Soi 24, not sure why.

He goes for a while and then he asks me, "44?" I say, "24, but actually 33." (24 and 33 are approximately on opposite sides of Sukhumvit.) The thing is, 24 is my childhood home and 33 is where I live now. 

In the tuk-tuk, the driver's son is also sitting in the back. He has a page-boy hair cut and is wearing a blue "mor-hom", a Thai peasant shirt. As I sit down, he leans back and rests his head on my belly, which is kind of unnerving.

The driver leaves me on the street on the odd (low 50s) side of Sukhumvit and he seems to have overshot the alley, so I tell him I will walk. Only when I leave the tuk-tuk do I realize that I've left the eiderdown. But he is gone. The road is completely empty and the middle of it is all mud. I start to go towards 24, on the even side of Sukhumvit, towards my childhood home, even though I know I live on 33 now.

Walking down the muddy, earthen unpaved middle of the road, I stumble on a white cord and realize that there's an iphone attached to a white charger cable. I can't kick the phone free. It's silvery with a polished front and back totally devoid of any screen, in fact there is a silver-rose pattern instead of a screen. It's attached to a backpack which is also on the ground. The cord is sort of wrapped around my leg and though it is not my phone, I have to take it. My real phone is still in my trousers so I did not lose my phone.

I walk now with the found phone dangling weirdly from my belt from the cord. I am on the even side of the street now, and there's more and more mud, ramparts, in fact, of mud. It is tough slogging and the street is dark ... I am only a couple yards from the entrance to 24 and I realize the dangling phone is an obvious mugging target. Like a mantra, I repeat, "The streets of Bangkok are safe" over and over but a feeling of dread comes over me as I wake up.

This is one of several dreams I've had recently about walking home and going in the wrong direction to get there. The dreams are characterized by having very few of the psychedelic fantasy elements my dreams usually have, they are quite mundane in terms of resembling a real world setting. They are full of lefts and rights. This one, if you want to buy a lottery ticket, has a LOT of numbers: the 9th symphony, 94 baht, soi 44, 33, 24, and the low 50s.

1 month ago |
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A strange dream of war. I am leading a battle to free Virginia from either the British or French – it is unclear. After the battle, I'm in an inn and the former enemies are seated at various tables. I introduce the British (or French) general to a number of important figures in the war.

"You will need a new secretary of state," says the British (or French) general. "I have just the right man," I say. "His name is Alexander."

Alexander is sitting at a table in the back of the restaurant, and he is the only black man in the room. I bring him to our table, and say, "This man would be perfect."

The British (or French) general opines, "You're setting up a government for Virginia even before there's a federal government." And I wake up.

Don't understand it at all.

1 month ago |
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I went back to sleep around 4 am and had another dream. In this dream I was about to go and record a soundtrack for a film. 

There is a young girl who is a Thai film actress. She's rather chubby, with a ponytail and shorts, and she has been staying in my house. In this dream, my house has a covered passageway/driveway on either side, so it seems to lie between two tunnels.

The music I'm about to conduct appears to be Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack to "Rosemary's Baby". According to my dream, the composer has included a special trombone solo. The actress says "Yes, that's me. I'm supposed to play it, and I can." It's just the theme of the movie played on the trombone which I guess she is to record on top of an existing backing track.

I say let's go to the studio. She goes to the house to do something, maybe get her trombone. Mikey is with her, they will go together. I tell them the chauffeur will pick us all up and take us the studio.

Suddenly I realize that the person I thought was standing there with the girl who I thought was Mikey was actually someone else. Both the trombone playing girl and he are off somewhere.

I exit the tunnel and turn left and enter the other tunnel, where the front door of the house is located on my left. I shout for them to come. Then I call the chauffeur.

He says, "I'm in Yilin." Yilin? I scream. Why aren't you at work? "I don't know," he says, "I just happen to be in Yilin. It's many tens of kilometers away." I say, as I stalk into the house, "All you had to do was tell me. If this ever happens again, you're fired." Meanwhile, the theme from Rosemary's Baby keeps playing (on the trombone) louder and louder, in my head.

I wake up. Now of course, the actual theme by Schifrin is for a children's choir going "la la la" not for a trombone, so I have no clue what this means.

2 months ago |
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I need to record this dream before I forget it. It is 2 am.

I am walking home across a beautifully manicured field. I come to a long, perfectly shaped ditch, about three feet across. The ditch is formed like a half-pipe, the soil fresh, and it is dotted with small, chubby white pigs and a few black dogs. The pigs are incredibly cute. For some reason, I don't want to step into the ditch but want to try to jump over it to the other side. But I think it is slightly too wide.

The pig-herder, who is some kind of "Odin the Wanderer" type in a Norse-looking cloak and holding a staff, approaches, and says, it is easy to step over. I will demonstrate.

Getting himself off to a start about a hundred yards away, he does a strange sort of goosestep, turning the soles of his feet inward (like pointing to second position in ballet) but lifting his legs high like a fascist soldier. He executes this march and the size of the goosestep crosses the ditch exactly. "You see? You can do it!"

I think about it but I demur. I just walk to the right, following the ditch until it ends at a road. It is a small brick border and I tiptoe along the bricks to the other side, then cross the field towards my house. The pigs and the herder begin to follow me.

My house has a long driveway and it is lined with small sinklike pens on wooden stands where the pigs now go (not sure how they manage to climb up but they are suddenly there). So these pens/sinks are lining the driveway, and the house has no door; instead, it has only three walls; the driveway is the width of where the door should be and the paving leads straight into the living room.

In the living room are a series of couches, all in a line and facing the same way, so as I enter the line of couches (rather Victorian looking) is on my left. I enter and my mother is sitting on one of the couches as is a friend of mine from L.A., Ken Brady. The pig-herder/Odin the Wanderer enters, looking a bit like Gandalf as well. My mother welcomes him and urges him to sit, but adds, "Don't let the pigs in the house." She says, "Our dogs will attack them."

Too late because our dogs have run out to the and the pigs are being attacked. I run out to shoo them away but one pig is wounded. I bend down to lift it into my arms and I realize it's furry, more like rabbit than pig. In fact they all are rabbits as well as pigs but in the dream they continue to be called pigs. So, I hold the pig in my arms and bring it in.

Ken says in a very forensic-TV series like voice, "Oh, the bullet entered the left temporal lobe and went right through. It will be fine."

I put the pig down on the sofa's edge, the one on the end. It seems fine and everyone is saying how cute it is. Then it suddenly jumps down on the floor. It runs to the far wall where there is a space under the stairs that go up the next floor, and it starts spraying shit on the carpet. Literally spraying - it's like baby shit, no lumps, just a sort of gushing stream. 

My housekeeper runs in and starts trying to mop it up, and my mother says, "That's what happens when you let them into the house...."

Then I wake up!

2 months ago |
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I dreamt that I and some friends were being imprisoned in a beautiful red sandstone Palace with great buttresses and huge terraces. The walls were stucco and full of reliefs. 

Once in a while the Guards who sat on the veranda would behead somebody. The head would be displayed on a kind of lantern base, with a glowing flame beneath it.

In the dream, I escape and enjoying a beautiful ball with candelabra and waltzes. A Guard who has befriended me with a bushy red beard has let me sneak away.

I've danced away the night and then I go back up to my prison. I look on to the veranda and I see my friend the guard being hauled away by his feet. I hear a huge cracking sound they are hewing of his head. The terrifying sound of sawing flesh. 

Later I see the guard's head mounted in a lantern base. Remarkably, there is no flame beneath his head. I hear a voice cry out. It repeats, again and again, "ha pagata con la vita." Over and over until I wake up.

Surprise, it's sort of a nightmare and I wake up. It is 4 AM.

2 months ago |
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