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    Verre

    Catbird Fish (DILD)

    by , 08-11-2015 at 08:39 PM (532 Views)
    Ritual: It's been over a month since I've done any deliberate dream practice, due to a combination of low motivation and being really busy in WL, so this morning I woke up early to feed the cats and decided to turn it into a WBTB. To reinforce my intention, I took a very small amount (2mg) of galantamine, backed up with alpha-gpc and l-theanine. I lay on my back and tried to concentrate on my intention to get lucid, but my focus was almost completely lacking, and eventually I dozed off only to be startled awake by my own snoring. I turned on my side and fell asleep without any further efforts.

    I am in a store that specializes in custom-made, artisanal candy and chocolates. There is a table covered with samples, and I am surprised to see one set labeled with the names of my dad and a cousin, apparently commissioned by them for some event. It consists of three types of chocolate meant to be dipped into three different flavored creams. I want to try all three, but there is only one sample of each flavor and I am competing for them with other customers, so I miss out on one or two.

    My disappointment is eased when the lady proprietor brings out more samples, but these turn out to be biscuits and candy, rather than the chocolates on the first table. Still, they are very appealing in all their colors and textures, and I am standing over the table unapologetically sampling one thing after another when I feel a strange tremor in the floor. The motion becomes more intense, and the other customers start to panic because they think it is an earthquake, but I recognize that it is a different kind of motion. It doesn't feel like the ground is shaking under the building, but rather like the building itself is sliding over the ground, which is of course impossible, unless...

    "Don't worry, everybody!" I say authoritatively. "This is a dream." I open the front door to see if I was right about the movement, and sure enough, the whole building is sliding sideways through a forest at great speed. While I wait for our journey to end, I continue munching confections: I was particularly enjoying one fennel-flavored cookie shaped like twining leaves and tinted delicately green. Recalling that I was planning to resume my diet tomorrow in waking life, I figured I should take advantage of this opportunity to stuff my face with calorie-free dream food!

    The building eventually came to a halt, and I went outside to explore the new environment. I recall it was now an urban area, but some of the transitional details are vague. Somehow I met up with my husband and another guy, no one I recognized, and we drove through the city in a really nice convertible sportscar (modeled on the picture of the BMW i8 he showed me last night in WL). I think we were going to see a movie but maybe it wasn't showing (I don't remember watching one) so we went back out to get the car. It was parked some distance away, so to retrieve it faster, I concentrated on making it drive itself back to us, and to speed things up even more, I had it fly through the air.

    "Thank you, robot valet," I said, as the car gently landed in front of us at the curb. My husband got in the driver's seat, and I got into the back again, but when the DC squeezed into some weird sidecar niche, I climbed over to take the passenger seat. For some reason the car had a British layout, so the driver sat on the right with the passenger seat to the left.

    Since I had demonstrated that the car could fly, we took off directly into the air to avoid street traffic. However, our flight path didn't feel stable: we were getting buffeted in strange ways. I pointed out that while this car was incredibly aerodynamic on the ground, it was not designed for flying: a sturdy little pod would be better for this purpose. We dropped back down to the pavement and now the car performed beautifully, hugging the ground with impressive traction even though the streets were wet, and roaring forward at incredible speed.

    "Where are we going?" I asked. Even though I wasn't in the driver's seat, as the dreamer I felt like I was actually the one steering. My husband said he wanted to pick up some things from the Hall of Records, and helped me locate the building. Inside, it turned out he was retrieving some parcels that had been mailed to him. He mentioned that one package was three days late, because the sender had needed to mail out a movie script first. "Why didn't he just bring them both to the post office at the same time?" I asked, to which there was no satisfactory answer. The parcels contained research materials, and now that my husband had them in hand, he wanted to do some work. "Okay, you work," I said. "I need to go do something."

    I had remained partly lucid the whole time, but I had been enjoying the dream enough to let the narrative play out. Now that things were wrapping up, I remembered that I had planned to catch a fish for the TOTMs. I went around behind the building and conveniently found a stream flowing by. The water was shallow and crystal clear, so I peered in to see if I could spot any fish. What I actually saw swimming underwater were... kittens!

    "Actually this will make things easier," I reflected. Now I wouldn't need to bother with a fishing rod, hook, and bait. Kittens were much easier to catch! I dangled a length of ribbon over the water until a kitten surfaced and started batting at it, then lured it closer to me until I could scoop it right up in my arms. I concluded that the creature I had caught was a "catbird fish" (I'm not sure why it wasn't just a "catfish," but this was the term that seemed right at the time) and knew I should examine it closely so that I could write a clear description in my report.

    Once I was holding the animal, it was no longer the size of a tiny kitten but had swelled into a plump armful. It was no longer quite cat-shaped, either: now looked more like a stuffed animal with the bodily proportions of a totoro: big rounded torso and very short arms and legs. Although my "catbird fish" didn't physically resemble a fish, I sensed that there was something fishlike about its bones, even if I couldn't see them.

    I studied the head first, which was still cartoonishly cat-like overall, but with significant differences. The mouth was very unusual: more narrow and vertical than that of a real cat, almost beaklike the way it protruded, but with large exposed teeth. There were two large incisors on the top and bottom, but both sets of incisors were adjacent to one another in the center, more like those of a rat than a cat, but wider and flatter.

    After studying the mouth closely, I looked back up and saw that the round, wideset eyes were now completely white. I recalled noticing normal pupils before and wondered if they were rolled back in the head. Just when I was thinking that the creature was starting to look a bit scary, with its weird mouth and whitened eyes, suddenly it spoke up in a very friendly voice: "Hello!" I responded in kind, smiled at it, and continued my examination.

    It had the fur of a cat, brown tabby stripes with patches of white here and there: a white triangle on the throat and chest, a little white on the belly, and white gloves. I checked and determined that all four paws were white. After looking over the creature thoroughly, I returned the "catbird fish" to the stream.

    The environment had shifted around me: the stream was no longer outside, but occupied a room in a building that had put together exhibits pertaining to different countries. I wondered which country had supplied my "catbird fish," and looked around until I saw the words "This is Canada," inscribed under the surface of the stream. I wondered what other countries were being exhibited—somehow I knew there were supposed to be five of them—and if I could find any rooms with bodies of water suitable for fishing. It would be cool to catch dream fish from several different countries!

    I wandered around the building looking for the other exhibits, but to my disappointment, all the others were closed. I went to the front desk to ask about this, and became even more incensed when I noticed a sign informing me that the price of admission was $898.99. I complained angrily to the desk clerk: how could they justify charging so much when only one of the five exhibits was even open?! He simply pointed me to a second sign, which listed a complicated set of refunds that reduced the price of admission to only $1.25.

    "Oh, alright then." I figured $1.25 was a reasonable fee for the one exhibit I had seen, and was willing to pay. I had a bunch of change in my left hand, and started trying to count out five quarters into my right palm. The first few attempts inexplicably failed due to the shifting numbers and appearances of the coins. "This is really hard to do in a dream," I commented, and wondered if it would be easier if, instead of trying to shift the correct number of coins from left hand to right, I put them directly down on the desk as I counted.

    I started making a little pile of quarters, but had only counted out two before coins that had initially resembled quarters turned out to be square when I set them down, and I had to start a separate pile for them. The third round, quarter-sized coin that I managed to produce had a square hole in the center like those old Chinese coins, and the fourth one had three triangular holes, but by this point I realized that this would never get done if I was too much of a perfectionist. All I needed was one more vaguely quarter-shaped coin to complete my stack of five, but suddenly all the ones still in my hand appeared to be the wrong shape and size. I picked something arbitrarily to finish the stack. I was well aware of the irony of going to so much effort to pay for something in a dream, but since it was so unexpectedly challenging, I felt that it would be a good exercise to try to see it through!
    ~Dreamer~ likes this.

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    Updated 08-11-2015 at 10:00 PM by 34973

    Categories
    lucid , task of the month

    Comments

    1. ~Dreamer~'s Avatar
      I'm glad to see you back, Verre!

      Your DJ entries are always so beautifully written, and your detailed descriptions make it easy to imagine the dream scenes.

      I love how relaxed you were as you slid along in the building, enjoying your dream snacks.

      What a cute and unexpected turn of events with your catbird fish! I like the name too, they did have beaklike mouths after all.

      Haha, I admire your perseverance with the quarters at the end.

      Your recall is so impressive, and it's great that you can choose to follow the dream plot without losing lucidity.
      Congrats on the TotM and this amazing dream!
      Verre likes this.
    2. Verre's Avatar
      Thank you, it's good to be back, both here at DV and in the dreamspace.

      It used to be that I would always lose lucidity when plot became a distraction, but happily this has been getting better with practice. For years I felt like I wasn't making any real progress with LDing because induction and dream control are still so erratic, but over time I've noticed that at least now when I get lucid I can maintain it for longer periods with a lot less effort than before... which is nice!

      I'll definitely credit DV with this. Having a community and especially the shared goals provided by the TOTMs has been a wonderful way to stay motivated and excited about LDing over the long term!
      ~Dreamer~ likes this.