Messages from my subconscious

I was trying earlier to describe my relationship to my subconscious mind, and I was overextending a metaphor about ships being piloted through narrow passageways full of zombies and sharp rocks. Then it hit me: my subconscious is like a Magic 8-Ball. It’s got a kind of Tardis thing going on so that the inside of the ball is infinite. Things swim up from the mysterious depths and press their faces to the window. Sometimes if I don’t pay attention to them they start tapping on the glass. Then if I really don’t pay attention to them they start throwing pebbles.

These things are sometimes pretty straightforward, like fragments of memory or story ideas. Other times they are more inexplicable, and I ask the ball, “what do you mean by that?” and shake it to get a new object.

So I got very little sleep last night and had a dream about a vampire boat that comes around every seven years to feed, and in between the feedings you forget about it. But, in the words of the boat, which whispers darkly at all times, once you belong to the boat, you always will belong to the boat. And the boat can follow you around because in this dream world everywhere is full of canals, or maybe boats can glide on the water vapor in the air, I’m not too clear on that part.

This afternoon I fell asleep again and dreamed of a dog with three heads and four faces — conjoined triplets, with the middle triplet having two faces. The dog(s) was a golden retriever and it was very sweet and well-behaved, but every time I tried to take a picture of it something would get in my way. I followed it through the corridors of some kind of art project, where they hosted plays and concerts and such, but also had permanent installations of things like spinning oracular masks and people who would run down the hallways screaming in made-up languages. I found myself in the Republican Party headquarters, which was upstairs in the building where they rented out offices. All the elephants were pink. My old boss was there and I said goodbye.


  1. Sounds like some very strange dreams (or nightmares). I’ve had a few like those with my subconscious trying to tell me something as well, some being easier the others. At least you’re not having dreams about taking accounting exams on airplanes and time loses it’s feeling ;-)

    I’m afraid that I can’t make much of your dreams. Would the dog be a metaphor for Cerebus, guard dog of the underworld? I’m not too sure though

    The vampire boat could be representing goth, but I don’t know. It could be just me. You did say it follows you everywhere and there is a certain part of the goth community that say “Goth is for life, not just adolescence”. Go figure

    Also, I got word that the amazing goth band The Daughters of Bristol are going to be playing The Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle on September the 28th, so if you still enjoy the Sisters, this is one to go to.

    1. Author

      They weren’t what I call nightmares because I didn’t feel super-anxious about any of the things that happened. Although I think if you filmed them they would look like nightmares. I think this makes them a sort of Tim Burton-y or Neil Gaiman-y dark fantasy, where you have the general atmosphere of a nightmare, but nothing is terrifying.

      I thought of Cerebus too, in which case the fact that it was a really sweet dog seems like the dominant lesson. With the boat, I suspect it’s because I started reading Twilight and my brain started to think, “You know what would be scarier than a vampire that sparkles? A vampire that is a boat! Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s still scarier than a vampire that sparkles!”

      I’ll be having dreams about haunted can openers and vampire cheese graters next.

      Thanks for the heads up about the band. I will definitely try to see them.

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