Map of Dreams

It's my great grandmothers house. The general feel of the place
is the same as it is in my memory, but the floor plan is a little different.
The front door is replaced with a screechy glass porch door that will
never shut quite right. The antique floral wallpaper I used to love so
much is torn and peeling off of the walls, and there are huge ornate
frames with oil paintings hung to conceal the holes. I never seem to
see Granny--either she isn't home, or I remember that she passed
away ages ago and I'm left wandering her empty house. Sometimes
I'm sifting through her old things and pocketing them as momentos
from when she was still around. For some reason though, when I
return to this place at night--the whole thing has the look of being
covered in ice. The windows are open with the frilly curtains billowing
in the wind, and there are shards of broken glass covering the floor.
Everything is sparkling in the blue-black light of midnight. I feel both
sad and serene.

I'm at my town library, and the main floor is about the same as
it is in real life, but there's a second floor we all call "the attic".
The attic's wood-paneled walls are a faded gray color, similar
to the color of the cedar shingles that are used on New England
beach houses. There's a bunch of mis-matched furniture--a beat up
old couch and recliner, and a few wooden chairs around a
circular table. The small windows look out over the parking lot,
framed by delicate lace curtains. There's a tiny little bathroom there
that looks more like a closet, and the light is always burnt out so it's super
dark inside. There are bookshelves here like downstairs, but the librarians
seem to hint at that they keep unwanted books and junk up there.
There's also stacks of VHS tapes about. I get excited digging through these
things--I always find something relevant to whatever I'm interested in at the time.
Every time I try to walk away with an armful of books, though, someone stops me.
There's always a gang of wayward teenagers hanging around the attic,
asking me questions about what I'm doing. Sometimes I lose my patience
and run off, trying to avoid them. They always try to stop me from taking
whatever I grab.

There's this huge movie theater--sometimes it's built more
like a mall, but my brain reads it as a movie theater. It looks
how you imagine a 90s movie theater to be--patterned carpet
in primary colors, illuminated posters on the walls, etc. The
theaters themselves are huge, with a big hanging screen and
a wide wooden stage in front...sometimes there are actors
performing alongside a movie showing, sometimes there isn't.
Sometimes there's a janitor sweeping the stage. The seats are
the folding kind from school auditoriums, that go back for rows
and rows on all sides of the stage. Somehow I always sneak
away from the movie to go do other things. There's an arcade
with pastel pink walls with blue neon signs. There's the front end
of a red vintage Cadillac mounted on the wall for decoration, to look
as if it's crashing through. The games there are absolutely wild--huge
cabinets with multiple screens and control panels. Most times I end up
leaving and going to the McDonald's on the other side of the building. I
always order vanilla ice cream, and am served by a young man with a thin
mustache every time. Someone there is always heckling me--either the
guy working or someone in line behind me, and I just want to eat my ice cream.

I'm in my childhood home, and entering the basement shrinks me
in size until I'm very small, and I'm forced to enter some kind of
arena. I'm barefoot and cold and in this dark space with a lot of
people I don't know--but somehow there's still a feeling of safety
mixed with fear, because we all seem to be in this weird predicament
together. Everything seems to have a plastic-looking colorful design on
it (bright enough that you can see it in the dark)--kind of like we're in
a giant toy? One by one, we leave this dark space and climb some
stairs into the giant arena...but the stairs are made up by people,
pantless and clapping? Like there's hundreds of people sitting in two
rows, facing each other, with their legs in the middle, and you have to climb up
their legs to get to the top. Eventually I'm forced to climb this weird leg
staircase, stumbling upwards on all fours with the touch of bare skin
against mine grossing me out. I come to the top in a bright flash of light--
and I'm standing at the edge of a sprawling obstacle course. There's flashing
lights and the sound of a crowd cheering (I never seem to see the audience,
but I still get the sense I'm very small--like I'm a rat in a maze or something),
and I see others jumping across platforms on a pool of water in front of me.
A horn goes off and I start running--suddenly winning this challenge feels
like a life-or-death situation! I've never made it to the end of the obstacle
course...sometimes I fall and fail something right away, and sometimes I
almost make it to the end. But I always wake up before I reach the finish line.

There's a decrepit carnival rotting in the forest, sitting in a big
dirt clearing. The rides are chipping paint and falling apart, and
there are what seem to be empty booths for games and concessions
covered in striped circus tents. Almost all the rides are the spinning
variety (like tilt-a-whirl and spinning tea cups) and despite the place
seeming barren, everything is still staffed and running? And there's
even a decent crowd of people enjoying the sights! The time of day
differs depending on the dream--sometimes there's a bright blue sky,
sometimes it's a humid dusk and everything is lit by dull lamps.
Sometimes I'm wandering this place alone, sometimes I'm with a
friend. Said friend usually tries to drag me on one of the rides...which
I do everything in my power to avoid, being terrified of being injured
in a freak accident of some sort. Eventually, though, I get dragged on...
sometimes I live, sometimes I throw up after, and sometimes the ride I'm
on breaks and I go flying off into the trees!

go back.