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    Non-Lucid Dreams

    1. Teensy Tiny Trump (NLD)

      by , 01-23-2017 at 05:18 PM
      I was in a seemingly ordinary room, white-walled and minimally furnished, when something unusual caught my eye. Near the leg of a chair was a tiny little human, no more than two inches high. Closer inspection revealed that it was Donald Trump!

      Trying to figure out what was going on, I remembered hearing that this room had been designed as a sort of art installation by the punk rock impresario Malcolm MacLaren. All the furniture was subtly oversized in order to make one feel smaller, maybe even bring back memories of navigating the grown-up world as a child. But what I was seeing now was a much greater shift of scale than I would have expected. Just how big is this furniture, if it makes a grown man look only two inches tall? I knew that Malcolm MacLaren had been rich, but it would have cost a fortune to build an installation to a scale like that!

      Then I realized that my scale was perfectly ordinary in relation to the furniture, which could mean only one of two things. If the furniture were vastly oversized, then I too must be an enormous giant, so that if I left this room I would be blundering through the city like godzilla... but that seemed unlikely. I was pretty sure that I remembered being in ordinary scale to the world outside this room. The other possibility was that Donald Trump is actually only two inches tall. That made a lot more sense, given the extent of his overcompensatory bluster. I wondered if it might help if other people came to perceive this.

      Updated 01-23-2017 at 10:07 PM by 34973

      Tags: furniture, scale
      Categories
      non-lucid
    2. Category Error (NLD)

      by , 01-11-2017 at 06:22 PM
      Vague and poorly remembered dreams overall, linked by a pervasive feeling of threat, but in the end I came to an insightful realization.

      In one scene, the garage door was open, and I was with at least one other DC pointing a gun at some cats milling around just outside. I love cats, but I suspected that these might be evil spirits in disguise.

      In another scene, I saw a collection of malevolent dolls outside the front door of a house at night. Their malevolence was limited by the fact that most of them had no arms, except for one shaped like an octopus, which had its full complement of tentacles. That one was almost cute, though. Another doll was especially wicked but consisted of only a head, and I watched as a dog came up and carried it off. "It's just as well," I commented to someone standing nearby. "He was already almost dead."

      In the final and most notable scene, I was holding a door shut against some evil force that was trying to push it open. I was exerting as much strength as I could, hoping to lock the door to better secure it, but I couldn't get it closed tightly enough to fasten the latch. I felt the door beginning to open wider, despite all my efforts, and my anxiety increased... until I suddenly realized that I was making a category error.

      If this was my world, a physical threat, then yes, I would need to try to hold the door with physical force. But I recognized that this was not my world, and in this world, my attempts to push the door closed only gave more power to the threat. To avoid the threat I needed to deny it my strength by denying it my attention, just like in dreams. I did not actually recognize that I was dreaming, only that this was an analogous situation.

      There was a woman standing next to me, so I expressed my thoughts to her and distracted myself by caressing her face and shoulders. The sensuality quickly dissipated the anxiety I had felt about the door, and it ceased to be a threat even though I was no longer holding it closed.

      I was inspired by my realization, and inquired the woman's perspective on it. "So it works because we are aliens here?" I asked her. She replied that some groups held this point of view, but others disagreed, so that my standing in relation to this world remained controversial.
    3. Three Vials (NLD)

      by , 10-22-2016 at 04:16 PM
      Ritual: Ongoing dry spell. I'm not sure what caused my focus and motivation to diminish so drastically, but neither has been sufficient in months to deliberately achieve lucidity. Even when I thought I've been motivated, I haven't been able to concentrate properly, or pay sufficient attention to the stages of sleep. Less attention to dreaming in general means that even my NLDs have become intolerably drab and dull for the most part, and since I've been journaling less my ability to remember dreams has also dwindled. However, this morning I woke up with a dream that I found interesting enough to write down, and I'm posting it here to try to help get my head back in the game.

      NLD, "Three Vials": The container in my hand consisted of three conjoined steel vials closed with screwcaps. Each one held a different substance that would change me in some way. I was in a militarized compound full of soldiers and agents of some secretive organization; I was their experiment. Evidently one of their high level people, an old man with grey shoulder-length hair, had decided that it was time for my transformation. I began unscrewing the top of one of the vials while remembering the prophecy:

      His breath is the wind.

      The method of ingestion seemed straightforward. Breath? Wind? I held the end of the vial to my mouth and inhaled. It did feel like a great wind coursing into me. When the turmoil had settled and I spoke, my voice was changed. It was no longer a human voice, but impossibly deep and resonant.

      There were things going on around me but I don't remember the details. I saw a news briefing of some sort; apparently the nation was in a state of emergency. I was being transformed so that I could go do battle, perhaps with another creature similar to what I was becoming. I decided to use the second vial. I had a vague anxiety that I should consume all three vials before someone stopped me: the old man had wanted to go through with the procedure, but I could tell that a lot of the others did not think this was a good idea. I should finish the transformation before someone decided to organize the opposition and restrain me. I recalled another line of the prophecy:

      Sunlight fills his heart.

      I opened the second vial. At first I habitually started bringing the container to my mouth, but the prophecy suggested that it contained light, so I diverted it to my eyes instead. White light filled them, blinding me. When I could see again, I went to look at myself in a mirror. My eyes were white now, but not an undifferentiated white. The pupils were tiny little pinpricks at the center, literally no larger than if the tip of a pin pricked a hole in a piece of paper. I thought that made sense, given that pupils contract in the light, and they had just been exposed to more light than ever before. The irises were still differentiated, but they were an ivory white and glowed as if with inner light around the inside of their circular rims. The whites of my eyes were now pure white.

      I also noticed that my skin had turned white, but not smoothly or evenly, instead it left a mottled appearance, prompting me to comment wryly: "I hope the last vial contains a pore cleanser." No one laughed at my joke. The dream ended before I ever found out what was actually in the final vial.

      Notes: There are some straightforward influences, though the dream transformed them into an original scenario. But the concept of putting things to my eyes and mouth clearly derives from the Vive VR game "Accounting," which I played last night. (It was brief and hilarious, I totally recommend it!) Then before bed I was playing Witcher II and noticed how cool Geralt's eyes looked. (I recently finished Witcher I, since I wanted to play all three in order, and just started on II. It is a breath of fresh air compared to the first one.) Having the Witcher series fresh in mind probably also contributed to the concept of drinking potions to achieve transformational mutations.

      Updated 10-22-2016 at 04:24 PM by 34973

      Categories
      non-lucid
    4. Roan Unicorn (DEILD)

      by , 04-29-2016 at 06:00 AM
      Ritual: Was working *really* inefficiently yesterday—took me almost eight hours to finish a 22 page article (one with lots of pictures, even!) because I kept looking things up and building my powerpoint at the same time. It was already after midnight before I started reading the 50+ page article (with almost no images) that I was also supposed to finish before bed, so I crapped out at 2:30am without getting it done. I woke at 8am and continued reading in bed, then napped again at 9am—so it became an inadvertant WBTB. Woke at 10:15 after this amazing dream, so I guess all the stress and angst paid off (though it is now 11:15am after writing up my account, and I am no closer to finishing that article! Yikes!)

      Earlier NLD: Some interesting features actually. I'm in what I take to be the sheriff's office of a small lakeside town. The building is rustic and wooden. I am one of the cops, a man like the others. They're all macho, gruff, with mustaches. I notice a small boat in the lake just off shore. Although it looks like an innocent fishing expeditiion, I have a definite premonition of what is coming next. I know that someone is lying prone in that boat with a gun pointed toward us, and there are other shooters positioned strategically nearby, and any minute now they're going to fire. I know my colleagues brought this on themselves so I leave them to their fate, diving into a side room and locking the door. There's a random guy in here so I tell him to get down, we're going to be under fire. Meanwhile I make use of whatever time I have left to arrange the furniture to better blockade us, turning the tables and chairs over so that we can crouch behind them like shields. All of this feels like it has happened before—not in the vague sense of deja vu, but a very concrete and specific way like when you replay an encounter in a video game. For this reason I know that if we just position ourselves correctly and keep our heads low enough, we'll make it through this. The bullets start flying. I feel one zing very close to the left side my body, provoking a strange vibration. Did it hit me? Not quite. My sense of repetition is so strong that after the bullets stop, I predict even before lifting my head that I will see a bullet hole in the lower right hand corner of the window behind me. I turn around and there it is, just as I had predicted (not so astonishing in a dream, after all, but I hadn't realized I was dreaming yet). I pull out my phone and snap a picture of it to document this remarkable event before going back outside. I decide the only sensible thing to do is slip out of town immediately, so I take a side path through someone's backyard.

      DEILD: Around this time the dream destabilizes enough that I become lucid. I wonder if I can restabilize and continue. I remember the principle I've devised for this: don't worry about visuals, focus on physical movement. Tactile integration is what is needed, then the visuals will re-establish themselves naturally. I dance my way back into full dream state. Now what? I remember my goal to continue with the TOTYs, and decide to try the Unicorn task.

      I set my will to summoning a unicorn and soon see a suitable animal galloping toward me down a lane that bisects the fields. This is no ethereal being, but a sturdily built strawberry roan that just happens to have a horn on its head. I found a picture online that gives a good sense of the coat color, only in mine the red hues were more pronounced across the top of its rump.

      How old is everyone here?-strawberry-roan-2.jpg

      After it reaches me, I realize I don't actually know how to climb on a tall horse bareback, so I command it to kneel so that I can get astride. Now we need to find a portal and travel to another land, but I had a plan for this: I've been wanting to visit the Wood Between the World.

      I canter the roan unicorn back down the path it came from, priming my expectations to see a pool of water as we round the corner. We get halfway around and I still don't see water, but I keep my anticipation high. There it is, after all! I didn't see it at first because it is a very small pond, not much more than ten feet across, but sufficient for my task. "The Wood Between the World," I murmur, imagining what it will look like as I canter up to the pool and have the unicorn jump in. Although I've done my best to maintain conviction, we splash into the pool and... now the unicorn is standing in water up to its knees. We haven't gone anywhere.

      This portal was a bust, so decide to look for another, passing a group of teenagers as I leave. I travel down the road until I find myself in what looks to be a luggage store room, like the kind you might find in a train station. The oddest thing is how familiar it looks: I have the distinct impression that I remember this place from an earlier dream this very night, but I can't tell if it is false memory or true. Nothing useful here, but as I leave I spot the group of teenagers again, and ride up to them. I ask if they know of any portals nearby. They mention the pool.

      "I already tried that one, but it didn't work." The kids confirmed that, yeah, they don't work anymore, the magic is too weak. But the magic may not be gone entirely—one kid points out that if you stand near the pool and the background music fades, you can still hear something. This brings my attention to the music. I hadn't been paying attention to it, but a song has been playing in the background all along since I became lucid, like a soundtrack. It is a woman singing in a foreign language—it reminds me of the second half of the song "Bjarkan" from Wardruna's album Gap Var Ginnunga, which would make sense, because that's the main thing I've been listening to lately.

      The kids can't think of any way to strengthen the portal magic, so I ask if they know of any other portals nearby. They point back across the field and tell me to look for a small shack. I ride over and find the door slightly ajar, so I go in. The door swings shut and clicks behind me—it seems to have automatically locked. Nevermind, I was planning to use this as a portal anyway. How do I pass through? Maybe I should stand here astride the unicorn and let the environment around us shift phase. I begin to try to reimagine my surroundings... but I am interrupted by a cry of alarm.

      It comes from a young couple, a boy and girl, who had apparently been making out in a sort of nook or loft halfway up the side wall of this shack. They are startled by my presence and furious when they discover that I have accidentally locked the door. "We'll die in here!" wails the girl. I look around. This shack wasn't built of terribly sturdy materials, I'm sure we can find a way out, even if we have to dismantle it. Distracted by the unexpected crisis, I forget about portalling and even forget that a locked door should be no barrier to me as a dreamer.

      "This wasn't designed as a prison, we'll find something." I reassure them. I look around carefully and notice an opening halfway up the side wall in one corner. It's six or seven feet up: all we have to do is climb to it, then jump over a gap of a few feet to the low flat roof of an adjacent shed. I dismount and give the girl, Sarah, a boost to help her climb up. Next I go to help the boy, Tom. His head is now attached to a long pole, like a broomstick, instead of a body, so this is easy: I pick up the pole and pass it through the opening to Sarah. Now my cat is here for some reason and also needs rescuing, but there is a paper grocery bag handy, so I put the cat in the bag and try to hand that across to Sarah. Suddenly uncooperative, Sarah threatens to dump my cat out of the bag. I am flabbergasted. Why would she suddenly turn against me?

      "But I showed you the way out and helped you!" I protest. Sarah and Tom are unsympathetic; it is clear that they feel no obligation to return the favor. My annoyance reminds me what I am capable of. After all, there was another way this task could go—that wasn't how I planned to do it, but now that I've been provoked, maybe that's how this will play out. I look back at the door, remembering the classic "Knock" spell from D&D. "Unlock," I command, pointing at the door, and the latch obediently clicks open. I get back on the unicorn and walk calmly out. Tom and Sarah, who have just climbed down from the shed, are astounded to see this. They are even more shocked when the unicorn gores Sarah through the chest with its horn, tossing her body aside like a limp rag. Tom watches in horror, and then his turn comes. Despite my scruples about killing, once I felt that these DCs had justified it by their treachery, I dispatch them without hesitation or remorse. Instead, I find myself wondering if my unicorn will be transformed by this dreadful act—I was envisioning something like the "bog unicorn" in Dragon Age: Inquisition—but it remains a roan horse with a spiral horn protruding from its head.

      Okay, apparently now I'm committed to the murder version of the task, so I need a third victim. [Note: I was mistaken about this; the task only required two.] I remember that earlier in the NLD I had encountered some unpleasant people in town, so I ride back in that direction. On the way, I see a number of people working outdoors. I reflect how easy it would be to pick one at random... but that would be wrong. I can't just run up to a random DC and spear them, unprovoked. I do try to maintain *some* ethical standards.

      The people working outside resemble medieval peasants. Actually the whole scene has become more medieval in appearance. Just past the peasants I see the remnants of an old ruined stone structure, reduced to its foundations and a few half-standing walls. Congregating around it are men that I take to be warriors. They have brown or red hair, some balding, and many flaunt long beards decorated with bands and beading. I ride up without attracting any attention. What if I just pick the most evil one? "Show me a rapist," I instruct the dream. Surely among a band of what appear to be tribal warriors from some feudal period there must be no shortage of those, given that it was a standard aspect of warfare in many early societies. So I'd better be more specific: "Show me the worst one." The results are inconclusive: I look over the men again and there is no clear candidate.

      I recall D&D includes a spell that can be used to check alignment. Maybe I can frame it this way? I instruct the dream to reveal the most evil person by making them glow. Now I see one: the glow surrounds a burly guy with his back to me, looking out over the water. He has short brown hair shaved into a distinctive flat line where it meets his neck, and his head is bare on top, either bald or shaved. As I approach, he moves away and I lose sight of him, the glow fading. I study the crowd but since I only saw the guy from behind at a distance, it is hard to be sure which one he is. I don't want to pick the wrong guy. I attempt to cast the spell again, but now the glow seems to be targeting someone else. While trying to sort out this confusion, I spy something across the field, even better—no, perfect!

      It is a jousting tournament!

      The jousting is already under way, but I ride up and boldly demand to enter the lists. The organizers comply without too much fuss. But I also have demands to make about my opponent: "I wish to find the most immoral among the contenders."

      Meanwhile, the more honorable among the knights point out that without a saddle I will surely be unhorsed. Worse, without the protection of armor or a shield, the lance will surely pierce and kill me. I shrug off their objections, thinking that without saddle or armor maybe I can do some stunt riding and duck down to the side, avoiding the lance entirely. After all, my intention is not to strike my opponent with a lance—my unicorn's horn must fulfill that function to complete the task.

      I continue to insist that I be matched against the most immoral of the prospective opponents. There is some debate about who that should be. A man wearing ecclesiastical robes and a cross seems to be the top choice, which makes sense given everything I've heard about the medieval church. I realize that this is all taking a very long time and add to my demands:

      "Also, I demand to go next!"

      The organizers comply with this too. My bout is set up. But I'm not entirely happy with what I see. Facing me at the other end of the lists is a tall black woman on foot, wielding a club in each hand. This isn't what I had in mind: she is not even a jouster! And I sense that she is clearly not the right match: did they assume she was immoral from a medieval sense of racism or xenophobia? Or is she immoral in the fun kind of way, a free-spirited woman who lives large? Either or both seemed likely. This wasn't what I was looking for. If I have to dispatch someone, I prefer that they be genuinely evil.

      "No, this is not the right opponent!" I protest. "I mean, who is the most immoral to the people?" There is no response at first. I have the impression that people are intimidated from replying aloud, so I ride up close to the audience in the stands and ask again. Listening closely, I hear a whispered name: "Lüsswig." I ride along the stands and the whispers of "Lüsswig... Lüsswig..." are unmistakable, repeated everywhere by people trying to speak anonymously under their breath.

      I return to the center of the lists and announce: "I shall fight Lüsswig!"

      Lüsswig turns out to be a guy wearing a long grey cloak with a hood that is closed in the front, completely covering his face. He removes the hood, revealing himself to be a man with short dark brown hair and full cheeks covered with several days worth of stubble. A smug, sinister smile spreads across his face at the prospect of the coming match. [Note: I've spent a long time trying to figure out who Lüsswig resembled, and the best I can come up with is a badly shaven Jonathan Frakes.]

      "Yes, this is a better choice," I declare. His glee is slightly unnerving—he clearly thinks he will best me. I mentally prepare myself by deciding that it must be his destiny to die by unicorn.

      We take our places at opposite ends of the tilt and... I can feel the dream fading... oh fuck fuck I was so close... hold it together, surely I can... no, I'm in my body, in my bed, it's gone. Lüsswig you bastard... I guess you win after all.

      I can only assume this will augment Lüsswig's dastardly reputation. Stories will spread of the mysterious unicorn rider who disrupted the jousting tournament, arrogantly demanding to fight the most evil of men, but then fled the moment she realized was it was Lüsswig!

      Notes: So close! So very very close to completing the unicorn task! I could have finished easily had I taken the practical (but vicious) route and chosen a third victim at random. But no, I had to be honorable and look for someone who *deserved* it...

      Oh! Oh! I just looked up the terms of the task. For once I misremembered the details to my benefit—I thought I needed to murder three DCs, but now I see it was only two. So I did it after all! And then my mistaken conviction that I needed a third actually led to some pretty cool extra scenes.

      Updated 04-29-2016 at 07:01 AM by 34973

      Categories
      non-lucid , memorable , lucid , task of the year
    5. Garbage Pickers and Snowscape (DILD)

      by , 04-17-2016 at 10:54 PM
      Ritual: I've had a bit of a dry spell lately, and even worse than the lack of lucid dreams has been the sensation of diminished overall awareness: my sleep lately has been distressingly ordinary. I'm still waking up frequently during the night, but now I can't even tell what time it is—usually I can guess accurately within ten minutes or so. When sleeping properly I always wake up a few minutes before my alarm, no matter what time I set it for, but lately the alarm has been waking me. I've been having an ordinary number of dreams, but they too are lacking even in rudimentary awareness. In the past, stressful periods at work have boosted my LDing, but I feel like maybe I'm getting a bit burnt out, so I've started using sleep as a form of escapism, instead of an opportunity for more interesting kinds of work. I've become a lazy sleeper!

      Probably because of this lack of awareness, this time even when I started wondering if I was really dreaming, I continued to find the environment and events extremely persuasive and followed the plotline to its end. Only then did I take the time to deliberately RC. The only aspect of this that isn't disappointing is the fact that, once having noted I might be dreaming, I did manage to hold that thought and then come back to it, instead of just forgetting. I also felt as though my rational mind was functioning well in the way it recognized the dream sign, something that hasn't always been reliable.


      The dream plot was based on waking life residue. Last night (in WL) around 1:30am we heard the sound of someone going through our trash bins outside the house, even though the bins are through a gate which, although it has no lock, clearly demonstrates a property boundary. Unfortunately there is no window through which to observe that area, and by the time I went out with a flashlight the person was gone.

      The same thing happened in the dream, except that the person had left behind bags of newspapers, and I was worried they might contain criminal evidence. I wasn't sure if I should call the police, as I had already moved some of the bags, so my prints were now on them too. There were many more minor details and events that would only be tedious to record here, so I'll skip them.

      Later the garbage-pickers come back, and I realize I can see them if I get the right angle through a window (not true in RL). I want to take pictures for evidence, but I have trouble pulling up the camera on my phone, normally a very simple operation. Even when I do get the camera working, it is too zoomed in and I can't frame the shot properly. I recognize these technical difficulties as dream signs, but at the moment I'm too caught up in events to RC.

      The garbage-pickers leave before I can get a good shot, so I go around the front of the house for another try. The camera is still giving me trouble, and once again I notice how much it resembles a dream sign, even though this doesn't feel like a dream. After a few more minor incidents that plotline wraps up, and I now realize that I can give my full attention to checking whether or not I am dreaming. Everything has felt very real and convincing, but I know well how little that sensation can be trusted.

      I jump... inconclusive. I came down quickly enough, but the jumping itself felt easier than I think it should, as though I am not lifting my full body weight. I jump a couple more times, trying to draw out the moment at the apex. It might actually be lengthening as I focus on it. My suspicion grows, I jump a bit more, and then sure enough, I find that I can pause at the top, hovering in the air. That clinches it. It was a dream all along.

      What now? It's been so long since I've been lucid that I just want to explore and enjoy the environment. I look out the glass wall of the living room and see an expanse of snowy fields and pine forest stretching to a distant low mountain, utterly unlike the RL scenery. I feel satisfied with this prospect, so I fly through the glass without hesitation and start soaring over the landscape, looking down and enjoying the clarity of visual detail. I'm reminded of a recent conversation with a WL friend who also turned out to be an LDer, who mentioned that he prefers not to do tasks but would rather just fly around and enjoy the environment. Today that feels just fine.

      I fly to the top of the mountain and land, hoping to explore on foot. There is a problem with scale, however: I am huge in relation to the mountain. My feet cover its entire upper surface. I take off into the air again, hoping I didn't crush too many trees and little creatures. The distorted scale now makes everything feel artificial, and the dream destabilizes. I exert will to remain in the dream state as it deconstructs, and for a moment I find myself flying through a black boundless space marked with thin white lines running horizontally and vertically in three dimensions. It strongly resembles the conception of virtual space in the movie Tron. I recognize that this is unconstructed dream space, and try not to let it disconcert me that the dream has faded, and I feel very close to being awake... I remind myself that if I should be able to enter a new scene if I can just be patient and maybe suggest something.

      I'm trying to stay relaxed, so I imagine lying in a bath of warm water. This makes me realize that my flying feels like swimming so I use the idea. I am swimming underwater in a pool of water that is no different from my body temperature—that's why I don't feel it. And of course I can breathe underwater, because why not? These thoughts in mind, I now think I can see the glimmering underside of the water's surface just above my head, so I fly up and break it, preparing to find myself in a new scene. I notice how seamlessly my breathing remains the same as I transition from breathing water to air, and again this feels too artificial for my liking, but I try not to let it disrupt the dream.

      I am in an empty tiled space containing a pool. The lining of the pool is made of identical square beige tiles as the walkway around it and the low walls bounding the space. It appears to be outdoor because the walls don't go up all the way, but there is no impression of any surrounding environment, much less sky or weather. It is still very vague and plain and artificial; perhaps it could be described as "semi-constructed dream space." I look around for something notable, perhaps a DC, and I begin to hear music. It is a simple melody on a plucked string instrument, like a medieval lute. I don't see anyone else, but vision isn't perfect now, so I keep listening and looking. The song ends, and a woman's voice says, "Thanks, I really enjoyed this one song." There is a kind of parenthetical remark appended to the sentence in the same voice that I perceive simultaneously, though I don't seem to "hear" it as literally as the words just spoken. The parenthetical remark is: "...after a moment's reflection." In ordinary text one could write it as:

      "Thanks, I really enjoyed this one song (after a moment's reflection)."

      But that wouldn't quite convey the effect that the parenthetical part was not spoken aloud, and that it had a kind of simultaneity with the statement itself.

      Feeling confident that I will momentary see the singer, I keep looking around... and feel paws on my face, my real face. The cat has chosen just this moment to come back to bed, waking me. Damn!
    6. Dreaming of Insomnia (Failed RC)

      by , 02-23-2016 at 10:58 AM
      I got up because I couldn't sleep, and I went out to the balcony. I was several stories up, and the balcony looked out over a grassy lawn, on the far side of which lights twinkled from the windows of other apartment buildings. To my left, I could see more lights from the night skyline of the city.

      I was surprised at how dark the sky still was, though full of brilliant stars. Wasn't it almost morning? I remembered that I had gotten up for a while and didn't go back to bed until the sky was starting to lighten. (That part was true.) Shouldn't the sun be rising by now? For some reason I felt strangely tempted to jump off the balcony to see if I could fly, which made me wonder if I might actually be dreaming. But I realized that would be a terrible test, because if I was wrong, well...

      I didn't think it could be possible that I was dreaming, because I was sure that ever since I had gone back to bed, I had lain there unable to sleep. How could I be dreaming if I hadn't gone to sleep first? I'd better do a test anyway, just to be sure. I reached out my left hand and tried to invoke a ball of glowing white light in the air above it. Nothing happened. Oh well, I must be awake after all... was my last thought before I woke up. In retrospect, it was a terrible choice of RC, but the only one that occurred to me at the time.

      Waking up was confusing at first—hadn't I just been suffering from insomnia? But if I had been dreaming all along (and only now did I notice the profound discrepancies with WL: that I have no such balcony, and moreover live in a completely different kind of building with a completely different kind of view), then I must have been asleep the whole time, only dreaming of insomnia.
      Categories
      non-lucid
    7. Minor Antics (DILD/FA/NLD)

      by , 10-15-2015 at 06:46 PM
      Ritual: Woke up around 5am after four hours of sleep and decided to make a proper LD attempt. To reinforce my intention I used supplements, my usual stack of Alpha-GPC, L-Theanine, and Bacopa. Did some SSILD cycles until I felt too wakeful, and then breathing/counting. After falling half-asleep and waking up again, I turned on my side.

      DILD: My recall is poor from the fact that I haven't been journaling diligently, and I also didn't write more than a few notes promptly after the dream, so I don't clearly recall the onset of lucidity. I just remember that I was in a small, empty, square room with white walls and beige carpet, and I knew I was dreaming. I had the idea that I should better integrate with the dream through physical activity, so I did some high-knee running for a few circles around the room, and followed it up with jumping jacks. This felt absurdly easy compared to the physical strain of exercising in WL, and the sense of incongruity almost collapsed the dream.

      I managed to hold the dream together, but now I was feeling dissatisfied, and I decided that I didn't like this room with its ugly beige carpet. I went through the door and found myself outside, which was a nice change. I found myself in a small yard bordered by beautiful vegetation, glossy green leaves and vividly colorful flowers.

      FA-NLD: At this point I had an FA during which I lost lucidity by believing I was actually awake. I recall telling someone about how beautiful the outdoors was in the dream I just had, compared to the bland indoor environment. The dream proceeded to take the form of a meeting with colleagues at work, though the details have faded.

      DILD: At some point after the meeting, I was driving in a car with two women and realized I was dreaming again. I had reviewed the TOTMs during my WBTB, and was very confident in my recollection that one of the basic tasks was to blow a car horn! That will be easy, I figured, since I'm already driving a car... in fact, I feel bad because it's almost too easy. Dream took care of that, so when I pressed the horn, no sound came out. I ended up putting a lot of concentration into trying to coax some sound out of the horn, and the best I could get was a kind of doorbell buzz.

      After giving up on my efforts to make the car horn sound louder or more realistic, I pulled over to the side of the road, and got out of the car with the two women. We were on a small rural road with a nice view over some fields. Now I wanted to try one of the advanced tasks, to pass into a DC's body. As I approached one of the women with this intention, I noticed her appearance had changed: previously she had been a fully-clothed middle-aged woman of non-descript appearance. Now I was walking toward the body of a nude young woman with no head! It wasn't that the head had been chopped off, her body just ended at the neck, a smooth stump.

      I didn't let this deter me and walked right into the body. I realized that the lack of a head was handy: since the only "headspace" I was occupying was my own, I didn't feel any confusion about my identity—although it made the task less interesting than it might have been. However, I began to suspect that since the body had been facing me as I merged with it, now my head might be attached backwards! This thought was so disconcerting that I woke up before I could look down and check.
    8. Goddess of the Birds (NLD)

      by , 10-14-2015 at 07:43 PM
      I was a young man, standing on a verandah. Overhead the sky darkened with a migration of birds. Tiny hawks with red caps began to descend and line up on the verandah railing. As more birds appeared, I noticed that they were organizing themselves by color. The birds ahead of me were all white, those to the right were all green, those to the left were all red. Those behind me had dark, variegated plumage: mostly dark grey and brown, with streaks of yellow and white. Among the white birds on the front railing, the centermost began to sing. As she sang, her image fluctuated between bird and human. In the back of my mind, I—the dreamer and critical observer—noted that she was singing in the vernacular and was slightly disappointed. But I—the young man whose perspective I had taken—was fascinated and enthralled. "Goddess, goddess!" he exclaimed, rapt.

      Afterwards he went inside to tell his mother about this extraordinary experience. Then he went back out to find the moonstone he had left on the verandah. He went back in and started boarding up the window that looked outside. (I can't remember why.) Meanwhile, his mother was regarding him with a patient but slightly exasperated expression. If the young man were more observant—as was I, the dreamer—he would have understood that his experience was not unique, as he seemed to believe. She was looking at him this way because she had experienced the same thing at some point in her life. I was even aware that she had a moonstone of her own, and was considering whether to show it to him. But the young man seemed oblivious, perhaps preferring to believe that the experience had been for him alone, and the mother seemed to hesitate about whether or not to reveal that she had seen the goddess once too.
    9. Maguro Festival (NLD)

      by , 10-08-2015 at 05:49 PM
      Ritual: My LDs have all but vanished now that I am not actively working on it (not for lack of interest, but work is way too busy right now, and I'm not playing any computer games either!) However, when I got up before dawn to feed the cat and realized I was wakeful enough to call this a WBTB, it occurred to me that I didn't even know what the October TOTMs were, so I looked them over before returning to bed. I tried to do some counting but had no focus and fell asleep. I did end up complete one of the tasks, but essentially within the context of a non-lucid dream! The distinctions between LD and NLD used to seem a lot crisper when LDing was new to me, but I would call this an example of agency without dream awareness, which I'm not sure has happened to me before. I always thought dream awareness was the prerequisite for agency, but apparently not!

      NLD: I was in a community that was preparing for a special festival. They had a great deal of maguro (lean tuna meat) and slices of it were lining a long stone staircase that cut through a wooded park-like space. I wanted to marinate the maguro like I had done at last year's festival: it had been a big hit. I tried to remember the marinade recipe, and knew that it was very basic: pretty much just soy sauce and cilantro. Soy sauce was easy to come by, but I was out of cilantro. I had a limited time before all the maguro went bad, so I had to find cilantro right away.

      I went into town to see if I could get any. While walking down the sidewalk, I saw some women holding cameras. I assumed they were photographers for the festival. This reminded me of the TOTMs, so I tried to remember the one I had prioritized. Oh right: if I see a DC, I should follow him or her. I picked one of the photographers, a black woman with her hair bound in two pigtails, and started shadowing her as she walked down the street.

      The DC only walked about fifteen feet before she turned around again, so I turned as well and continued following her. She walked back to the place where I had first spotted her and stopped again. What was she doing? I studied her closely, trying to understand her behavior. She wasn't taking any pictures; her camera hung ignored around her neck. However, she seemed to be posing to display her fur coat to best advantage. Suddenly I understood: she had put on a gorgeous costume for the festival, so now she was walking up and down the sidewalk in order to be seen!

      I decided that continuing to follow her would be redundant if she was just going to hang out on that same stretch of sidewalk, so I went into a local bookstore to ask about the cilantro. There was a guy who had a piece of paper with pictures of the various types. Right now only the cilantro from China was available, he said, but it didn't have the best flavor: they had picked it too early. I told him I'd settle for that if I couldn't get anything else.

      Notes: Since I stopped doing active dream practice, not only my recall but even the content of my dreams has degraded. The more epic and story-like elements have dwindled and my dreams currently seem to be pieced together primarily from waking life residue. This one is full of it: I ate similar slices of maguro on Sunday night; on Monday I attended a lecture where the speaker used a fur coat as a metaphor; and in the back of my mind I had been wondering if it was true, as someone recently told me, that cilantro can lower the raised mercury levels one can get from eating too much maguro. Even marinating the maguro has a precedent, a very delicious form of sushi called zuke.

      Updated 10-08-2015 at 05:56 PM by 34973

      Categories
      non-lucid , task of the month
    10. Blue Rangit and Alaskan Battlecod (NLD)

      by , 08-10-2015 at 05:18 PM
      Last night I dreamed of fish in all shapes and sizes. I found some old aquariums that I had been neglecting: there were just a few inches of water in the bottom, and I worried that the fish might be close to suffocating. Worse still, on a shelf next to another aquarium I found two koi, one orange and one silver, that had completely dried out. I recalled making the discovery that they were happy living outside the tank for a few hours every day, but then one day I forgot to put them back in. That must have been months ago. Now the fish were completely hard and dry and basically mummified, and I realized guiltily that they were probably past reviving.

      I also had two very large fish, so big that if I kept them in my own tank, they would fill it completely and not have any room to swim. I decided to take them to the public aquarium, which had a room-sized tank that would give them plenty of space. They were each so big—around four or five feet long—that I needed a friend to help carry them, and we would have to make two separate trips. One of the fish was called a "Blue Rangit," with beautiful azure scales and long elegant reddish fins. The second was a plainer, silvery-tan fish called an "Alaskan Battlecod."

      As my friend and I carried the Blue Rangit through the city streets, a man on a motorcycle drove by and tried to grab it from us. He didn't succeed in getting it away from us, but a moment later, my friend noticed him talking to a female police officer. The cop then came over and accused us of stealing the fish from the man! Apparently that's the story he told her, and for some reason she was completely convinced by it.

      I tried to explain the situation, pointing out that the guy probably doesn't even know anything about the fish. Does he even know it is called a Blue Rangit? Well maybe he does, and that's why he's trying to steal it—they're quite rare—but does he even know what it's used for? I told her to go back and question him about it, and she would probably find him ignorant about the true nature of the fish. To make sure that the officer was well-informed when she did the questioning, so that she wouldn't fall for more of that man's lies, I explained that the Blue Rangit was used for lucid dreaming, and my other fish, the Alaskan Battlecod, was used for lucid dreaming and fish battles.

      I went on to tell the officer how I didn't have enough space for these fish in my aquarium at home, so I was taking them to the public aquarium. At this point she started telling me that I wasn't allowed to do that, and I woke up.

      Note: I don't have any fish in WL, but I suspect that I dreamed about them because this month's fish TOTM is the one I've been planning to work on first. It's cool how the dream was almost encouraging me to get lucid by connecting the fish with the idea of lucidity, but somehow I failed to completely pick up on this even as the words were coming out of my mouth!
      Categories
      non-lucid
    11. Notes on dream awareness

      by , 07-30-2015 at 05:58 PM
      Now that my extensive travels (Paris, Rome, Montreal, Montana) of this month have ended, and I'm back home and gradually returning to my normal sleep patterns, I find that dream awareness is stirring again, though so far it falls short of full lucidity. I had no trace of it while on my journeys, and I didn't even have any dreams I judged worth writing down. This was not overly disappointing because I was not actively engaged in any kind of dream practice and too busy to spend an hour updating my dream journal every day, so it felt okay to take a break.

      A couple days ago I had a dream that was atmospheric but not very interesting plotwise, so I didn't write it down at the time. However, one detail is notable: there was a giant white USB cord on the ground, at least twenty feet long, and arbitrarily I found myself wondering if I could bring it to life. I focused my attention on it and sure enough, it raised its "head" (the USB plug) and began to slither and writhe like a snake. This gave me an eerie sensation, because I found myself thinking, "This better not be happening in real life!" I decided I'd better check to see if I was dreaming. I levitated and was relieved to conclude that yes, indeed I was. However, true lucidity did not emerge because even though I now knew that I was dreaming, I did not stop and think what I could do with the dream state but unreflectively continued to go along with the dream events, which largely involved trying to take a good photograph of a distant landscape. It was a classic case of awareness without agency.

      Last night's dreaming included one of my classic dream signs, a public restroom of questionable functionality. Although I did not recognize the dream sign, I did find myself wondering if the facilities would be clean enough to use. Then I remembered, "I can keep them clean and functional by maintaining the right mental attitude." Though I fell short of actual dream awareness, I still recognized the causal link between my will and the surrounding environment.

      I find it interesting that, though I have still not done any sort of LD practice since early in the month when I left on my travels, simply returning home and restoring my ordinary sleep schedule has been enough to reawaken the potential for dream awareness that felt very distant while I was on the road.
    12. Plump Calico Cat (DILD)

      by , 07-04-2015 at 02:28 AM
      I was looking under the bed for my two cats, and they were there, but to my surprise I found a third! It was an enormous calico, at least twice the size of any other cat I'd ever seen, and unbelievably fat. Startled by this strange discovery, I pointed it out to my husband. He gave me a suspicious look and said, "That's Crowl," as if explaining the obvious.

      "He must have at least fifteen percent of the Internet!" I exclaimed, thinking that there's no way such an unusual cat could avoid becoming an Internet sensation. My husband nodded in confirmation.

      "Where did he come from?" I inquired. It seemed like a reasonable question, since I had never seen this cat before but my husband appeared to be familiar with him.

      Again my husband looked at me in wary confusion, as if he couldn't understand why he had to keep telling me things I should know perfectly well. "We got him from Donna Slope."

      "Who's Donna Slope?" The tension was growing with every question I asked. My husband was now staring at me as if he feared that I had finally lost my mind. I gathered that this was the name of someone we knew quite well, for for the life of me I could not remember a single detail about her.

      I noticed that the sliding door to the patio was open, and one of our own cats and Crowl had gone outside. I expressed alarm: ours is an elderly indoor cat, and definitely not allowed outside without close supervision. My husband seemed strangely unconcerned: "It's okay, he'll follow Crowl." I was not reassured. "We'll have to talk about this later," I said, indicating the events of the entire morning, and went out after the cats.

      The two were already walking along the side of the house toward the street. To my alarm I saw that the front gate was open, and they went right through it. For some reason after I caught up with them I picked up Crowl first. As I walked back along the side of the house I noticed an assortment of little pumpkins or round gourds next to the path. One green one was rattling violently as if something were trying to get out. This piqued my curiosity, but I could not investigate with my arms full of cat, so I resolved to take a closer look after both cats were secured back indoors. I unceremoniously dumped Crowl back inside the bedroom, making sure to close the screen door behind him, and then went back for the other cat.

      I was worried at having left my cat unattended, but reminded myself that he moved very slowly in his old age and he could not have gone far. As long as he hadn't blundered out into the street, he should be okay. I soon spotted him next to the sidewalk chewing on grass... but something was amiss. There were now two cats of his appearance. I studied them closely until I thought I was sure which one was him, and carried him back inside. After he was safely secured in the house, I went back to investigate those pumpkins.

      The pumpkins ranged in color from green to orange, and seams indicated that the tops could be lifted like those of jack-o-lanterns. What did I expect to find inside? What if it was a coiled up snake, and it bit me? I brushed aside the fear impatiently: the only reason to be afraid of a snake is if you think it might have deadly poison, but that is quite rare. Most snakebites are harmless. Still, why did I want to look inside the pumpkins? I needed a good reason. "Curiosity," I concluded. "Curiosity is the desire to know more." That seemed like a good enough reason in itself.

      The first few pumpkins were hollowed out as I anticipated, but they contained only vague shapes, like something was still buried in the pumpkin flesh. I peered closely at one and I thought it looked lizard-shaped. "Maybe they aren't ready to hatch yet," I concluded. I reached the green one that had been shaking violently. Surely this one was ready! I stopped and tried to imagine what I would most like to find inside, and decided on one of those little troll dolls. Wouldn't be cool to find one that had come to life? I lifted the top and... it was just another lizard. This was vaguely disappointing after I had gotten my hopes up for something more exotic.

      After going back in the house I started thinking hard. I realized something very strange was going on today, and I needed to figure out what it was. My husband was acting very uncharacteristically, and I was apparently unfamiliar with major details of my own life. What could it be? Was it related to time travel? My current situation felt very similar to the life I knew, but not identical... could I have somehow "jumped the tracks" to a different timeline, a different possible present?

      Later I was shelving some books in the kitchen when another possibility came to mind: I could be dreaming. At first this felt very unlikely, but I knew that apperances could be deceiving, and I would need to test thoroughly. I began by looking at a book on the shelf and trying to withdraw it through will alone. Nothing happened, but I thought it might just need a headstart, so I pulled it out about an inch with my fingers, then tried to finish using only mental strength. This time it worked! I let the book hover in the air above my palm to confirm that I was controlling it with my thoughts.

      Alright, so I'm definitely dreaming. Shit. That means I have to remember everything so I can write it down when I wake up. I started going over details from the morning, listing them aloud to better fix them in memory. "Crowl... Donna Slope... lizards in pumpkins..." I'm sure several other things happened that morning that I'm now forgetting, but I lost lucidity and had another long NLD before waking up, so some of the details have faded.
    13. Notes on dream memory

      by , 06-16-2015 at 09:20 PM
      I just woke from a night that was thick, rich, dense with dreaming, but the recall was scattered and sparse, which makes me ponder the nature of dream memory. After this last waking, I lay there for some minutes without being able to remember a single thing, not one detail, yet I knew for certain that I had been dreaming. This is a peculiar state of mind, the ultimate experience of ambiguity. I lay back down on the bed sideways across the covers so that I would not accidentally fall asleep again, and then let my mind drift, looking for the particulars. At first it seemed hopeless, like groping through mud, until through some mysterious process a tiny detail took shape...

      ...near my new house, a stream full of fish, all sizes and varieties...

      That detail links to more images and events, and then there all are, as vivid as life, all those memories that had seemed to be lost, and might have never been recovered had I not taken the time to seek them...

      ...I look forward to fishing, catching my own dinner... is the water clean enough? I need a fishing pole, I can buy one right now on Amazon, I'm sure they sell them, it will be here in two days... or is this the sort of thing I should buy in person? find a sporting goods store, feel the weight and balance in my hands first, try out the cast...

      ...and finally I'll have somewhere to shoot my bow! so nice to have space again.... but my bow and target are still in my old house, I won't have them until we complete the move... guess I'll have to be patient...

      ...a bit concerned about the neighbors, though, that father yelling at his children, hitting them with tires, and so openly, right in the yard! should I call and report? but surely someone has tried before, and nothing has changed. I walk back that way and he's still at it, now they're all carrying tires, all four or five children, and he's still hitting them, yelling "we don't put wood in the house!" what does that mean? all houses have wood in them, it's a basic building material... I should inquire with the other neighbors, something has to be done... at least my house is across the stream, away from here, secluded in the woods...


      And this reminds me of yet another dream...

      ...the two boys were living in such a house, alone in an open field, only woods on all sides. the old man must have been living off the grid, so no one knew when he died, and they quietly took over the house... his guests become his heirs... what did they do with the body, bury it in the yard? and then the seclusion let them build their operations, what was it, computers? what were they trying to accomplish... still can't remember...

      And another...

      ...but before that we were looking for someone, an uncle?...can't just "lose" someone these days, not unless they don't want to be found... it takes a lot of care not to show up on the internet, to avoid social media entirely. the only clue we had was a partial bag of english muffins, not sure what that can prove, but then I wonder if the city where it was purchased is printed on the bottom... sure enough it is... but it is the name of my own city! is he here, or is this not even the right bag?

      And so on... from no memories at all, to more than are worth writing down.

      What would have happened to those memories if I hadn't taken the trouble to consciously retrieve them? What happens to all the memories of the dreams we don't remember, or have forgotten? Is there a kind of deep storage? I think there must be, because from time to time they come swimming up in flashes, like fish catching the light near the surface...

      ....a gleam of light against the wall of the building across from us, like a tile of glass catching the sun... Arya isn't paying attention, I catch her eye and direct her toward it with my own... she looks the wrong way and I have to pantomime the gaze even more cartoonishly before she sees it... we are under observation and can't speak aloud... but at last she sees the gleam and we go over to find out what it is... I think it is magic itself, these signals... this isn't the first... but is it directed by a person or inherent in the world, plot, fate? we climb the stairs inside the building and open the door at the very top... with satisfaction I perceive it is a magical goods store, and actually tell the lady proprietor what brought us there... perhaps she or something she sells here can assist us in our predicament...

      That was yet another from last night, where my own turn of phrase, "catching the light," caught the memory. But often I'll be sitting around doing things in waking life and apparently random glimpses will surface of dreams I know I had years ago, probably ones I never even wrote down, yet in some obscure way they still shadow me. Where and what are memories when we're not remembering them? Dream memory feels like it is stored separately from waking life memory, which would make sense if we need to distinguish the two to maintain sanity. But maybe that sense of separateness only comes because dream memories do not fit into the established contexts of ordinary life... at least for me, where dreams and waking life have so few qualities in common.

      There are people who hardly remember their dreams at all... are those dream memories buried inside them as if in some secret vault? Could some odd balance of brain chemicals unlock it, bring them all flooding back, the dreams of a lifetime?
    14. Late to the Battle (NLD)

      by , 06-04-2015 at 10:19 PM
      I was lying on the floor in a foyer outside a kind of auditorium space, updating my dream notebook. Inside the auditorium I could hear the sounds of an epic battle taking place between a group of human defenders and a massive demon overlord and his infernal minions. The demon overlord kept shouting ominous things in his deep booming voice, which was a mildly annoying distraction as I tried to write.

      Finally I finished my entry and decided to go inside and intervene. I wondered if I should have helped the people earlier in their fight, but told myself that if I solved all their problems for them, they would never learn how to do things for themselves. That made me think of Aslan, from the Narnia series, who was always a bit of a dick that way: let the kids attempt to do something, wait until they inevitably failed, and then swoop in as a deus ex machina to save the day. Today I was going to be that dick.

      I went into the auditorium and conjured a metal sphere in the air above my hand, then sent it toward the huge demon. It began circling his body, and as it did so, metal parts began extending from the sphere. Soon it had transformed into a metal suit that completely encased the demon. The headpiece had a transparent pane, so we could see the spray of red when the suit dissolved the demon's body. The suit then retracted into a floating metallic sphere again, leaving nothing but a red mist in the air where the demon had been. The sphere now targeted the smaller demonic underlings, killing them with high-speed impact. Then it found its way up past the ceiling of the auditorium, which was another transparent pane, and overhead we could see the sphere shooting in all directions, crashing into the flying vehicles that belonged to the demon city that towered overhead. Our victory would be thorough.

      I started chatting with some people around me, expressing condolences for their comrades who had fallen in the battle earlier. "Where were you?" someone asked, and without thinking I admitted, "In the next room." Then I worried that they might be upset that I had taken so long before coming to help, when they realized I had been right there and could have come at any time. I didn't think it would improve matters if I tried explaining that I had delayed my arrival in order to update my dream journal.
    15. Make-up Artist (NLD)

      by , 05-31-2015 at 09:52 PM
      I've been an extremely lazy dreamer lately so there hasn't been much to write about, but this dream occurred the other night after creating my character for Dragon Age: Inquisition. The appearance editor was so detailed that I ended up spending almost three hours designing my character's face! So the "make-up artist" theme of this dream was obviously day residue, but toward the end it became a little stranger.

      I was a make-up artist, and a client came to me to have her rouge re-applied. She had attempted to do it herself but it hadn't been going well. She had chosen a very dark wine-red, and I started by trying to apply symmetrical circles of it on her cheekbones, that I planned to blend in later. I, too, was having trouble placing them symmetrically, and had to keep daubing on new circles.

      The young woman looked very different from when last I'd seen her. Normally she came to me once a week; how long had it been since we'd seen each other? I remembered that our schedules had been at variance for a couple weeks, and last week she had planned to come but I'd had to cancel, so we must have missed three appointments altogether. That meant I hadn't seen her in a month, and apparently during that time she had transformed her whole appearance.

      I had noticed some red scaly patches on her skin and diplomatically refrained commenting on them. I was glad of my tact when I realized they were a tattoo! Two lines ran from the back of her neck over the rim of her skull on both sides and down her face in a V-shape, down her forehead, skirting her eyes, and then down her cheeks to meet at a point on her chin. "How did they do the texture?" I asked, genuinely impressed, as I ran my fingers gently over the tattooed skin, impressed how life-like the crocodile-skin pattern was, how red and shiny and raised in individually structured squares. I thought I remembered reading something about this technique, about how the ridges of raised skin had to be individually sewn into shape until they set.

      I was dissatisfied with the outcome of my attempts to apply the blush and moistened a cloth to wipe it all off and start over. I realized that the color was wrong. I explained that the wine-red she had chosen was a good color for one in the peak of health, but she was under a lot of fatigue and needed to choose something more subtle for best effect. I had a sort of mauve that was way too bland and washed out, but decided finally on a softly muted orange-gold shade. Meanwhile I was only now noticing the full extent of the girl's new body modifications, and started asking about them.

      She explained that she had been trying out a new job in Portland, Oregon. That didn't surprise me at all, given her new look. Her reasons for going didn't sound like the best, though. She explained that a guy had started working at her company, and she had found him despicable, but then she thought she might try out being despicable too, so she was working a stint at his company, which was in Portland. I wasn't sure how long she thought this was going to last, but held my tongue and hoped for the best. But why would she get face tattoos for a job that probably wouldn't even last? It might not matter to her current employer, but it could make it hard to get hired somewhere else later. Attitudes about tattoos are becoming a lot more relaxed, but large face tattoos are still regarded as somewhat extreme. I noticed that in addition to the large lines of red scaly skin, there were two other smaller tattoos on her face in different colors that I hadn't noticed at first.

      "I can tell you've been to Portland," I commented obliquely, after she had finished her story.

      "How?"

      "It's the only place I've seen head piercings on a regular basis." I was deliberately choosing my words to describe an example of some extreme body-mod that she was not currently exhibiting, which was difficult because the longer I looked at her, the more modifications I saw. And even my attempt to be tactful by avoiding comment on her specific modifications backfired: at my words she promptly demonstrated that she had a head piercing as well, a thick chain threaded through two round holes in the crown of her skull. Hanging decoratively from the chain was an eight-ball. Had she been trepanned earlier, I wondered? If so then they only would have had to add a single extra hole to create the piercing. The rig looked very heavy, though. I remembered that pool balls were always a lot heavier than they looked. And why an eight-ball? Was she aware that it was a gang symbol in some places?

      Updated 06-04-2015 at 10:09 PM by 34973

      Categories
      non-lucid
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