in dreams, part xi.

Still writing abut this so that other non-sleepers can have some Google results about combining Ambien/zolpidem with oxazepam during mirtazapine withdrawals.


So, as much as I would love for medication talking time to be over, my shit still isn't settled down. I've been trying to sleep without Ambien or Oxazepam just because I'm not sure if either one of those has been contributing to recent stomach distress.

The most obvious result of this has been a general lack of sleep over the past week or so, culminating in a 2.5-hour night's sleep last night, and resulting in that oh-so-familiar Fight Club feeling of being "never really awake....a copy of a copy of a copy".

On the less boring side, my brain has been so desperate to catch up on REM sleep that it has manufactured some crazily busy and vivid dreams the past three nights. Said brain also seems intent on incorporating whatever music I'm falling asleep to into these dreams, not in a totally positive way.

1) Tonight's: J-Kim and I are part of the Lee Konitz Quintet while he's in Amsterdam, along with Johnny D and a drummer who is a cross between our actual Norwegian drummer friend Tollef and Samantha's beauhunk Smith from Sex and the City.

This dream starts out as a typical "bringing wrong equipment to a gig" dream: I bring my Guild, which is unplayably strung with one bass string and four high E strings (iow, not a normal or useful tuning), and, since I'm two hours late to soundcheck, I hook my expression pedal up incorrectly so that instead of controlling my volume, it alters my pitch. So as the band starts playing (and as I am plugging in my guitar for the first time), I try to fade in with some subtle chords and instead of course sound like an air-raid siren or space laser beam.

After several disastrous attempts to contribute to the music, I stop playing and watch, mildly interested in why the music seems to repeat itself exactly every 8 minutes or so, and then after 48 minutes or so, the five of us start playing soccer/football, while wearing our instruments (this was planned...the concert is in a park at dusk).

This is only the first part of the dream, the rest involves me being drunk and caught in flagrante delicto by a baby wearing a gorilla costume bursting into my room, who I then bit on the nose repeatedly, and then some time later waking up with several people's wallets and phones in my pockets, who were pissed at me b/c I was supposed to be "holding on to them" (including my newest IRL employer), but I disappeared into the night. I'd also gone to sleep or "passed out" without acknowledging F.E. de Lange's whatsapp messages inviting me to play darts (?), and Mara's whatsapp requests to know how the gig had gone.

I woke up quite distressed by all of this because in one night I'd: ruined my musical reputation; pissed off Lee Konitz; disgruntled my new employer; gone off the wagon, and gone AWOL. The irony of all this is that I wasn't even listening to Lee Konitz IRL during the dream: I'd initially thought it was, during our "concert", but I think even in the dream after a few minutes of "Lee"'s solo I was thinking, "Mmm...I'm pretty sure this is Greg Osby". But my brain was not having any of that, so I got to watch "Lee Konitz" play the same Greg Osby solo over and over again for 45 minutes.

2) Last night: I was working at the smallest, busiest department store imaginable. It was my first day on the job, and I couldn't understand anything that was happening. Various supervisors kept trying to show me how to do various things, like ring customers up, calculate taxes, clean the washing machines, give refunds from the video games....etc.

But I couldn't hear anybody because of this enormous drone in my ears. I knew what it was, it was Éliane Radigue's Kyema from Trilogie de la Mort, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, until I reached up to touch my ears and realized I was wearing my raggedy white headphones/earbuds. Which, as soon as I noticed, I was a bit horrified by b/c this is my first day at work and my manager is trying to teach me something that I'm not understanding at all, and it's because I'm wearing headphones.

So I take the headphones out, but the sound is still there. Weird. I reach up to touch my ears and there's another set of headphones there, a black pair this time, which I remove, but the sound is still there. This goes on for a while.

Ultimately, I'm exhausted by trying to turn off this sound in my dream that I am listening to in real life. In reality, I'm asleep with my white headphones on, listening to Radigue; in my dream, I hear the sound and know what it is, but can't figure out where it's coming from. This is a new one for me.

3) Two nights ago: had a violent and protracted dream altercation with this literally schizophrenic guy who used to stalk me a bit back in Atlanta in the 1990s. IRL, he answered an ad of mine looking for musicians (NEVER put an ad in the paper looking for musicians), and we played together and the music was actually OK, but he was quite obviously dangerously unstable: he'd been arrested a couple of times for assault and was constantly getting worked up into a state about very irrational things.

Anyway, in the dream, we were in Seattle, in a giant downtown park, and it was dusk for like 6 hours of dream chase/fight. The weirdest part of this one was that at a certain point I was trying to throw an enormous and fully-packed/loaded suitcase of music gear at him, but I couldn't get it to move. It was one of those dream moments where you're trying to make something physically happen and it just won't, and you can't understand why not. I tried and tried to move this suitcase, but nothing.

When I woke up, I felt like I'd worked out the day before and done a couple too many dumbbell curls with my right arm: my bicep was throbbing. So....I injured my IRL self in a dream fight? Another exciting new twist.


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