Dream 20021205, 10 AM:
I don’t remember where I had been before this part started, but I know I was somewhere.
I’m walking down the street, and I duck into a club. I’m wearing some sort of unusual costume; it seems like it’s a Renaissance costume, bright yellow, with fur trim. It seems like I’m very oddly dressed, but the bar that I’ve ended up in is a weird Goth type bar anyway, it reminds me of the Church at the Lizard Lounge. I just lean up against a pole and watch people for a while.
I notice a machine up against one wall; it seems old-fashioned, parts of it are white porcelainized steel, and it has a glass plate on the front where the works show. It makes a printed paper tape that goes across from left to right (seems like it ought to go right to left, as the print advances) kind of like a ticker tape, and it seems like it’s spitting out specific information relative to my situation, percentages and chances of something. I watch it for a while, and then the tape says something about “BEWARE”… and then, there are three printed images – I remember that the center one is a twenties-looking starlet in black or sepia and white… the others are colorful, but I don’t recall what they are – the machine stops, and these three images are pinched up into little loops like a film projection machine does, and then they start to move. I know the woman in the center frame is singing. This part of the dream seems particularly visually intense, like the colors are brighter and more saturated than usual. I watch this for a while.
Then, I look up, and through a big window, I can see a row of people in these weird bondage machines – they look like toasting racks, with the people strapped in securely. As I watch for a minute, I realize that they are being tattoo’d, and the cages allow the tattoists to turn the people whichever way they need to in order to do the designs. One guy is getting a big tattoo on his butt, and they’ve got mirrors set up so you can see the back. The chairs are set up so that the tattooists don’t have to ask the people to position themselves, they just flip the chairs around to get the person in the right angle. It seems like this bondage experience is part of the whole tatooing ritual. I watch for a while, and the way the designs are being done is almost like it’s being done by machines, they are filling in several sections at once.
Then, I go to the right, and through a doorway and up a little winding path. This whole place is full of stuff – some of it is art, some is junk, some appears to be a collection of found items. I remember somebody asking if they have a life-sized Tom of Finland doll in the bathtub? We look into a little office, and a man in there says that they don’t, and the guy says, “Hah, I’ve got one at home!” As we’re walking down the hall, there’s a big muscular black guy in cop pants and no shirt, and I say maybe that’s the Tom of Finland doll right there!
We walk on further, and there is an odd little display, and it seems like a museum, but because it’s a private place, and not a real museum, they’re able to play with the artifacts more than they really ought to. There is a demonstration currently going on of somebody being embalmed – they’ve got this guy, can’t tell if he’s alive or dead, and are sewing him into a green canvas sheet, attaching it to parts of his body with stitches. I ask somebody what the pockets are for, and they think they’re for the organs. The guys in the exhibit doing the demo are chatting with one another as they work.
I leave that room, and go down a hallway, and end up on the top of a little platform. The only way that I can see that goes on from here is marked “PRIVATE,” so I don’t go there – but there is a little slippery-slide here, and it leads down just a few feet, and I realize that’s the rest of the path. I slide down, and then I’m on a different level, it looks very much like a flea market in here. There’s all kinds of stuff piled up, and attached to the walls. I think to myself that maybe I ought to write a letter to the guy who owns the place, because he has a lot of cool strainers, and I collect strainers too, and maybe he would be interested in trading some, or might have some for sale.
I walk on around a curve, and there is some furniture and some mirrors here. A lot of the items here are priced – some have tags, others are written on with black marker. I see a bunch of mirrors stacked leaning against a dresser, and one of them seems to be floppy – I wonder if the mirror is broken, then I think it might be some kind of flexible mirror. I move on, and pick up a little picture made of stained glass, but it’s not leaded with caming or Tiffany style, it has grouting in between the pieces. It’s an image of a greenman; it keeps shifting from one picture to another, and it seems like they’re all in there, just different ways of looking at it. One of them is a little boy holding a huge oak leaf, and it seems like the position he’s holding it in is significant. Another is a man in a green man mask. Another image is a woman and a group of men sitting on horses. There’s a little inscription at the bottom, and it says something about each picture as I look at it. When I pick it up, it’s small – like the size of a coaster; by the time I put it down, it’s the size of a large notebook. There is something on the back about the pieces being made of Kelmar, or Kemlar; I don’t want to get it because it’s not glass, it’s some kind of plastic. When I put it down, I see that it has a $5 marked on it with black marker.
I walk on, and look at some pieces that are silk; ties and scarves. Then, I go through a door that goes to the outside. There are a bunch of small ramshackle houses; it seems almost like a trailer park. Each house has a little flea-market style booth in front of it, and I go from one to another looking at the stuff. One that catches my eye is run by an Indian man and woman; the woman says something to the man about how she’ll handle the customer (me). The booth has a big table with printed Indian bedspreads, the thin cotton kind – I start to unroll one, because they’re kind of piled on one another, and I can’t see the whole thing. I expect that they’ll be in the six to eight dollar range. I pull one out, and the bottom is a pretty traditional design; the top part, though, is a weird abstract design. They start calculating prices as if I’m buying it and tell me that it’s a deal for 106 – which somehow translates to $600 – the man says it’s a real deal, it would have been a thousand. I am shocked that they’re so high. They’re way too expensive for what I want. I move on, because they’re so expensive.
I walk on to a booth with a bunch of feathers. It’s under an awning. I look at a bunch of long wing feathers, and pick them up and fan myself with them. They have some kind of knob on the bottom that holds together 2 or 3 feathers in a group. They seem very angular, and dark blues and dark reds. Then, I see a bunch of pheasant and a few peacock feathers. There is a man standing here, seems somewhere between hispanic and redneck – I ask if he gets a lot of pheasant, and he says that he gets one every once in a while. There are several different kinds of feathers separated by type, standing upright in cups. I look around, and see this whole display of tiny feathers and other tiny items – I remember seeing long hatpin-like pins with red metal heads on top. I am looking in this jar that has the pins, trying to find something like a metal soda straw. The shelf this is on reminds me of a little altar, and there are other cool items on it. One thing is like a miniature altar itself, about two inches tall by three inches wide, made like a large-scale altar in miniature; it has tiny mouse bones on it, I remember it has the jaws with the teeth, and they’re very minuscule. Then, there’s a tiny packet, probably an eighth of an ounce or so, sealed on all sides, and it says “YUP” on it, and it seems to be either gold dust or sa
ffron, but I know that it’s something that I’ve got already and don’t need. The guy is watching me very carefully as I handle anything on this shelf; I’m not sure if it’s just valuable, or if it has religious significance. When I get done looking, I turn to him and hold up my empty hands so he can see I didn’t pick up anything. Then, I turn and walk on, and the dream ends.