zombies: the dream.

Two nights ago I had one of the most exciting dreams of my whole life.  It was about zombies, but it wasn’t a nightmare…it was an action-adventure story starring me.  Several times during my life, I’ve woken up from a cool dream and tried to go back to sleep and continue the dream, but it has never worked.  This time, it worked!  I woke up like five different times, hit the snooze button on my alarm, and continued the dream.  Seriously!  I was ecstatic when I finally had to get out of bed to get to work on time, because I felt that the dream had pretty much run its course.  If I had any talent for script writing (ahem, Hugel) I would turn this into the next summer blockbuster, but alas!  My subconscious is the only moviemaker amongst us, and it refuses to produce written evidence.  So here’s my retelling.

In my dream I was the same person I am now, except I was taller and had short hair…a black, choppy bob that looked something like this.  I was wearing a white jersey dress for most of the dream, and somehow it never got dirty even with all the zombies.  My boyfriend in the dream was some guy named Rick who bears no resemblance to anyone I know IRL, but he seems like someone I would dream up.  Tall, pale, a shock of black hair.  He looked kind of like Conor Oberst (WIN!).  He was wearing a red t-shirt.

Rick worked for a lab developing soma-esque mind-altering drugs, and recently he had produced a drug designed to enhance the experience of this sort of medieval fantasty-type theme park.  Basically there were a lot of LARPers who went to this amusement park and simulated battles, running the gauntlet, majestic horse rides, etc. etc.  Well after people at the park had been given the drug, instead of becoming more enthralled and engrossed with the activities (which is what Rick had designed the drug to do), they became rabid and turned into zombies.  When we heard that trouble was brewing at the amusement park, we went to check it out.  One of the most vivid scenes from the dream is being in a forest, peering down into a deep ravine, and in the ravine was a swarming crowd with torches.  The crowd was chanting, although incoherently, and steam was rising through the dewy mist.  Yikes!  It was true.

So the zombies were coming for us, and on top of that, lots of non-zombies were angry with Rick for developing the drug in the first place.  We took a group of Rick’s friends and holed up in Rick’s boss’ house — a huge, resort-ish house with a pool, balconies, etc., and we all patrolled the house and made sure it was secure at all times.  While we fought off zombie intruders, Rick got to work on developing an antidote for the drug.  I’m not too clear about how we fought the zombies, but I think we made a series of netted-off areas that became traps.  I would run through one of the predetermined netted-off areas (the house was huge, so it could be a whole hallway) and somehow shut it behind me as I exited, leaving the zombie stuck inside.

It seemed like this went on for months.  Big groups of zombies moved in waves, and there were times of zombie mayhem and then times of relative peace where we could roam around the city pretty much unbothered.  We went on walks and everything was eerily quiet and dark, just like after Hurricane Isabel came through Richmond.

At some point (no doubt from all this zombie-trapping) I became a zombie too.  You would think that one wouldn’t be able to remember one’s experiences as a zombie, but because this is the BEST DREAM EVER I was able to remember mine.  At first I was running around in the woods near the house, yelling and convulsing and causing a ruckus.  I don’t think anyone knew I was missing yet.  I wandered the streets looking for brains and eventually was captured by a group of four huge guys who looked like mob leaders operating under the ruse of being musicians.  Each of them was about 300 pounds, and wearing black pinstriped suits with fedoras adorned with snazzy black feathers.  They popped the trunk of their Cadillac and placed me inside, and placed their instruments on top of me so I couldn’t move: a tuba, a trumpet, a saxophone, a drum.  I was driven around for what seemed like a long time, and when the car stopped and I was removed from the trunk, we were outside of Rick’s boss’ house.  They dodged the gaze of Rick’s friends who were patrolling the grounds, hustled me over to a window very quietly, opened it, and shoved me inside.  They were using me kill my own boyfriend for them.

Inside the house, I went back to acting like a zombie: frothing at the mouth, flailing my limbs around, running around haphazardly, etc.  As I came around a corner, I was grabbed with my arms flattened to my sides.  I could do nothing but head-bang angrily.  Just as they were about to do whatever it is you do to kill zombies, Rick ran into the room and recognized me.  “Wait!” he screamed.  He administered the antidote he had just finished making, and they transferred me to one of the netted-off areas for a while to make sure it would actually turn me back to normal.  I began to feel like myself again, and started begging to be let out, but they kept saying “No, let’s wait a little longer; we’re not absolutely sure you’re done being a zombie.  You could be bluffing.”  But I was like “Zombies can’t bluff!”

So anyway I waited.  But soon more zombies broke into the house, and we could hear them approaching by the sounds of glass breaking and such.  “Please!” I was yelling.  “Let me out of here!  I’m not a zombie anymore!”  At the last minute they let me out, just in time for us to capture the new zombies in our net and run to safety.

After this chaos it seemed appropriate to start looking for a large tumbler of whiskey, so I decided to go see what had become of Ipanema.  I walked there like I would walk from my house now, and it was right where I expected it to be.  When I got there there were a bunch of people outside that I knew, and everyone was talking about some show coming up, and things seemed pretty fine.  Maybe people were just trying to divert themselves from the zombie apocalypse…and that was okay, because I knew we were going to be able to mass-produce the antidote soon and then carry it with us like a sort of magical pepper spray.  I went inside the bar and Dan was sitting at one of the tables!  I hadn’t thought he existed in this world, so a huge sense of relief and comfort washed over me.  I ran up and sat down with him and was like “Hey!  I’m soooo glad to see you.”  And he was glad to see me too.  So I was sitting at a booth at Ipanema with my REAL boyfriend, and then I woke up.

THE END.

Seriously, was that the best dream ever or WHAT?!  I can go back to having boring dreams or dreams that don’t make any sense or have any structure, because this dream far exceeded my wildest expectations.

And if you’re still in the mood for zombies, check these links out:

  • The dream may have been inspired my the fact that this book came out recently.
  • Probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet was a story from 2005 about a group of kids who found out where the nerds were LARPing, dressed up like zombies, and attacked them in the middle of the day.  The article is long-gone and so’s the flickr set that had AMAZING, hilarious pictures of zombies fighting some very surprised LARPers, but here’s an article that summarizes.  Aaand I just found a participant’s account of the story here.
  • Aw, a zombie love story.
  • You too can be a zombie.
  • So many zombiewalk pictures on Flickr.
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the carriage and the girl.

I never, EVER have cool, creepy dreams, which is why I got up out of bed to write this one down.

In the dream we lived in the country, and our neighbors lived in a very fine house on an estate just on the other side of a hedge of trees.  We were friendly with them and would often go over to visit them.  One night I dropped in and was talking to the servants, and I asked them to tell me if there were any ghost stories associated with the house.  They told me that many years ago, a little girl was often seen walking in a certain part of the garden, and she would vanish randomly beneath the watcher’s gaze.  But she hadn’t been seen in years.  I enjoyed the story, even though there weren’t many details or theories about who the girl was.

PawPaw must have come to visit us in the country or something, because although this part wasn’t in the dream, for some reason I knew that he had died, and that we were now in the days leading up to his funeral.  One night we needed to borrow something (sugar?  I have no idea what), so although it was late we decided to walk next door.  If the lights were on, we’d knock and see if we could borrow whatever it was that we needed.  When we emerged from the trees we saw that all the lights in the house were on, like they were having a party or something.  After knocking for a while and getting no response, I just went ahead and opened the door myself, and in the kitchen I found the servants sleeping in their chairs by the fire.  We kind of laughed to ourselves a little, and I went around the room turning off all the lights so they could nap in peace.  When I got to the big bay window facing the east garden and reached over to switch off a lamp, I noticed something big and black outside on the gravel loop.  I leaned closer to the window glass and peered at it.  After my eyes adjusted, I could see that it was a black carriage, covered in this same exact fabric as a dress I have (the one I wore this NYE, with the weird curly frills on it, which someone once called my “Tim Burton dress”).  For some reason in my head I knew it was PawPaw’s fancy carriage (although duh, of course PawPaw doesn’t have a carriage).  “They must’ve had it sent over for the funeral,” I thought to myself.  I was just thinking that I’d like to go outside and run my hand along the smooth fabric, when someone else approached the carriage from the south side of the garden.  It was a girl, about 11 years old, in formal mourning attire (Edward Gorey style) with lots of lace and a hat and gloves.  I wasn’t really doing anything besides thinking about how cool her clothes were until she passed in front of the carriage, and I noticed that I could see through her. I could see that carriage right through her body.  I had this weird sensation because just as my stomach went to drop out of my body, my mind thrilled and I thought to myself, “Finally!  I’ve finally seen a real, legit, see-through ghost!”  She ran her hand along the carriage, and then turned toward the bay window where I stood.  She was followed by a woman I recognized as her mother because of their resemblance, and what appeared to be a servant or governess.  Both were also in mourning.  The mother wore a black lacy dress buttoned way up to her neck as well.  She looked just like Aunt Jackie.

They approached the window where I stood, and I was kind of terrified.  But as they neared the house, I could see that they had friendly expressions on their faces.  The girl made a loop and started heading back down the garden toward the south, passing just next to the bay window.  As she passed she looked inside, and I waved and mouthed “hello.”  I wanted to see if she could see me.  She waved back and said “hello,” audibly, as she passed the window.  Her mother smiled and waved too.  I stared, open-mouthed.  I turned to see that my mom was now standing next to me, also looking out the window.  “Mom, did you see that?!  That lady looks just like Aunt Jackie!” and she was like “I know!”

And then I woke up.  So surreal!

of stir-fries and mudslides

Today we were able “sleep in,” which means we didn’t have to be at the fest super early.  The merch tent didn’t technically open ’til 6pm, so we had all day to set up.  Which is good, because we needed it.  I had a lot of help in all of this, but there was lots to be done.  We hung the banner and the backdrop, duct-taped all the shirts to their correctly folded states, safety-pinned them onto the backdrop, and labeled them for price.  Laid CDs out according to price and labeled them.  Organized t-shirts according to size, and CDs stacked in boxes under the table.  Kept track of sales via a little notebook.

That took hours.

Once that was all done, we walked over to fill up water bottles and watch The Gentleman Homicide play a generator stage.  Tons of technical difficulties, but just as fun and all over the place as ever.  Their current guitar player makes for a very mathy addition, but without losing any of the music’s conduciveness to head-bobbing (a la Dillinger).   Today was incredibly hot and sunny and oppressive, so thank goodness for borrowing a huge scarf to lay over my pale shoulders.

Expensive vegetarian dinner shared with Dan, but we lucked out because they accidentally made us two orders of our stir-fry.  Bonus.  The rice was boring and gross, but the squash was excellent.

Then we sold merch all night, and hugged old friends, and met new people, and watched Dan do magic tricks.  Magic tricks were probably the highlight of the evening.  Well, that and having Harry Gore come by the table (legendary Richmond staple).

The worst part of the day was when it suddenly started monsoon-ing on Cornerstone Festival.  Water ran in sheets down the side of the tent and into our booth, all over the t-shirts and CDs and everything else.  We shuffled things around and stacked everything on tables to avoid the incoming mud bath.  When it rains, ye olde dust bowl turns into ye olde mud bowl.  Completely not helpful for things that aren’t supposed to get wet (like good hair cuts, and electric fans).

Today was better than yesterday, and I think tomorrow will be even more fun now that we’re settled in and ready to just hang out.  And now that all the youngsters are sufficiently sunburned to want to spend all their time sitting in their tents.  Pass the word along: free black nail polish (1 coat) and free black eyeliner (1 application) at the Blood & Ink booth.

Also, last night I dreamed that I lived in a mansion in a mountainous region where it was always snowing.  We were at war with the vampires.  It was terrifying.

a very small cake, on which the words “EAT ME” were beautifully marked in currants

I can’t figure out if I’m just really energetic lately, or so tired that I’m crazy enough to feel energetic. Sometimes I can laze around all day and feel still more lazy when I try to do something later…but then when I ping-pong from activity to activity all day from 5:30am to 10:30pm, I’m fine. Bizarre. As far as I know, the only side effects I’m seeing from it all are the strange dreams I’m having.

Last night I dreamed that I was walking along with some people, one of which was Maddie, and I just started floating up in the air. As if I had lost all gravity, and everybody else still had it. I just floated up like a balloon, fast. Maddie was like “Are you doing that on purpose?” And I’m like “No!” And she’s like “Come down!” and I’m like “I can’t! Goodbyyyyyyyyyyyyye….” And I floated off into oblivion, and then I woke up.

I’m having fun with the bass lately. Now I can almost play “Iron Man” and make it sound like an actual song. Finally! I am now at the level of 12-year-old boys everywhere. What really helped was going to Sam Ash yesterday and getting a cord that doesn’t crackle constantly. I’m better already.

This week I’ve finished the audiobooks of both Huckleberry Finn and The Importance of Being Earnest. Both were funny, both were excellent. Importance is one of the most bitingly sarcastic stories I’ve ever read, and I love the way it lampoons the English method of matchmaking.

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I’ve ordered a catalog.
— We’re saving up to put one of these in the backyard. Starting…right now.
— These open letters are hilarious. Particularly this one, which reminds me of “trash lady.”
— Some of the coolest plates / bowls / cups I’ve ever seen. Too bad they’re only in Germany.
Emo, but nice.