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    Hong Kong Apartment + Trail of Smoke (DILDs + FAs)

    by , 03-08-2015 at 08:03 PM (390 Views)
    Ritual: WTB 12:30am, woke 7:30 with first DILD. No techniques, hadn't really intended to get lucid, but I was wearing a Jawbone fitness tracker on my wrist to bed for the first time. It's a bit tight and I think the unfamiliar sensation served as an anchor for consciousness.

    DILD (eventually), "Hong Kong Apartment": I am in Hong Kong with my husband, staying in the apartment of someone unknown to me. I'm curious who this guy is and why we're at his place, so I'm attentive to my surroundings. It is a one-bedroom apartment and the layout feels familiar; I figure it must be a common floorplan here. The first thing I remember is being in a small room of unclear function, a study maybe, and looking at a plaque on the wall. It depicts a Chinese character, the archaic version of that character, and the pinyin transliteration: sōng, corresponding to the English word "page"—not the leaf of a book but the job title. From this I suppose that the young man who lives here must be serving as a page in the Hong Kong government, in the same way that there are pages in the US Congress.

    My husband is talking to me, and I'm vaguely following his words but not entirely sure what he's going on about. I'm still trying to figure out why we're here: does my husband know the guy who owns this place, or is this some kind of Airbnb arrangement? Meanwhile I'm trying to wrap an enormous porkchop—the size of a prime rib steak—that I have for some reason. It is fully grilled but no one has eaten it yet, and I'm not hungry now so I want to put it away. It had been wrapped in butcher's paper but I'm having trouble re-wrapping it, and this distracts my attention for some time as I end up having to use a piece of foil to supplement the paper where it is torn. As I finally wrap the porkchop successfully and go to put it in the fridge, I see that there is fresh lettuce in the fridge, and I've also noticed dirty plates on the counter. I had assumed the apartment's owner was letting us stay because he was away somewhere, but these details make me think he must be currently living here and could walk in at any moment.

    I know my husband needs to leave for some meeting or event, and our conversation is delaying his departure, so finally I say in exasperation, "Get out of here already!" Right after he goes out the door, I worry that he might have misunderstood my tone of voice and thought I was angry, so I opened the door and called after his retreating form, "I didn't mean to speak harshly." Meanwhile a girl with short, curly blonde hair is walking from right to left in front of the apartment, and I think she might be someone he had just been referring to—at the time I even recalled her name, something with the initials "J.S."—so I gaze at her curiously. She looks back at me with the self-conscious but indifferent air of someone wondering why a stranger is staring at them. It seems like it would be awkward to start a conversation so I go back inside.

    Alone in the apartment, I look around at the decor. There are a lot of hand-carved wooden animal figures, and they remind me of a set that I bought in a museum shortly before Christmas, but couldn't figure out who to give them to. They seem to match this guy's tastes... maybe I should give them to him, in thanks for the loan of his apartment. It seems like a nice gesture so I plan on it. In the center of the main room, which has an open floor plan connected with the kitchenette, is a wide square column that is hollow inside to serve as storage space. I note with interest that there are a number of oversized books here. One of them is at least four feet tall, and the title on the spine reads Disney as Orientalism, accompanied by some Disney-style graphics. I make a mental note that later I'll want to pull that one out and flip through it. It's so big it won't fit on a table—I'll have to do this on the floor! It is the largest of the books in this closet, but none of them are small. Several others are about three feet tall with matching red covers, and I see that one of them is about Shanghai. Books of this size must have cost a fortune... this guy must be doing well here. I wonder if it would be rude to read his books without asking permission first, but figure there's no harm in it.

    I wonder how I'll explain my presence if this guy shows up while I'm here by myself, since I'm still not clear on who he exactly is or why I'm at his apartment. In fact, this question starts to bother me, because it seems like I should have a better explanation. Of course, it's always possible that I'm dreaming, but... I want to discount this at first, since it seems to contradict what I'm experiencing from this environment. It is so detailed, lifelike, and stable, it really doesn't feel like a dream. But I make myself take the time to think this over more carefully: if I am actually dreaming, that would explain a lot, like why I had a porkchop, something I almost never eat, and the difficulty I had wrapping it. It would explain why I am in Hong Kong with no idea why I am here, and why I find myself in the apartment of a guy I don't even know. I don't use any techniques to RC, I just think it over and gradually recognize the illusory nature of my surroundings: indeed I am dreaming!

    So now what? Normally I would apply myself to some task or other, but I had specifically made a point not to do so this time, if I got lucid, because I'm facing too much work today to spend hours writing up my report. So my plan was not to do anything specific, but simply to contemplate and enjoy the dream environment. (For some reason I had the idea that this would save me time writing things up later, although that is proving not to be the case!) I walk toward the back wall of the apartment, which is completely transparent, and look outside. It is still night, but there is a well-lit open-air bar just below, with a stream running behind it. There are a surprising number of people down there, and all seem to be relaxed and enjoying themselves, like guests at a resort. I sit down to watch the scene, while thinking back over what I've just experienced. I'm still impressed by how detailed and stable this dream was. For instance, that Chinese character on the wall—it was so clearly articulated, even though I don't think it was one I've ever seen before, and I strongly doubt it's even a real one. I wished I had looked at it more carefully, and focus on reviving the mental image. I think can remember the top elements of the modern version of the character, but I'm vague about what composed the bottom, which was complex, and I had not studied it closely at the time. The archaic version was simpler, and I can remember it much more distinctly. Concentrating on this inadvertently wakes me up.

    Interlude: After writing the above account and going back to bed at 8:45am, I certainly didn't intend to get lucid again, given that I've already spent a lot of time writing when I should be working, but I never want to rule it out. I ended up having several FAs, the later ones bringing on a very long bout of lucidity, in which I just wandered around exploring rather than working on specific tasks. There would still be a lot to write up but given time constraints I'll have to keep it brief. Woke for the day at 10:15.

    FA: I was in the bathroom thinking that I should make a more consistent effort to recognize those little discrepancies that might make me notice I'm dreaming, like I did in the last dream, without realizing that I was actually dreaming at that very moment.

    FA/DILD, "Trail of Smoke": I hovered for a long time on the border between sleep and waking and enjoyed observing its ambiguities. For instance, there was a point where I was convinced I was immersed in dream visuals but hearing everything perfectly accurately from waking life (I was probably wrong about this). I caught at least one FA and was pleased after my failure to catch the last one. Then a long dream followed where I was basically lucid the whole time, but also knew I wouldn't have time to write it up in much detail, so only certain episodes that were especially interesting stand out clearly in my memory. I really can't take the time to include them all here, but the last scene was worth mentioning:

    I am wandering through a dream environment typical for me, a labyrinthine enclosed public space, and having just seen someone smoking on a magazine cover, I now find myself smoking a cigarette. The smoke doesn't dissipate completely but lingers faintly in the air along the path I have walked, like that memorable scene from Donnie Darko (2001). It looks like I could potentially trace back the smoke and rediscover all the places I have visited in the course of this long dream. This makes me wonder: how big is the dream world? And the answer seems obvious: there are no boundaries, it is as big as mind itself. Standing in that world even as I recognize its boundlessness, I feel a sense of awe.

    I gaze at the glimmering smoke trails and murmur, "All the places I've been are like a trail of smoke that follows me."
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    Updated 03-12-2015 at 07:59 AM by 34973

    Categories
    lucid , non-lucid , false awakening , memorable

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