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November 15, 2020

Last night I dreamed I was living in an apartment building that was formerly a multi-story house in the Bronx. I went to take a shower, but the showers were in rooms off the brightly-lit walled off basement full of women doing laundry. Each of them was up very large steps like the rises of many auditoria if their seals were absent, and these were covered in square-inch jade covered title that the washerwomen were using to dry clothes. Similar to when I was at CAMBA Opportunity House, the rooms were large enough that only part of it would get wet, so there was space to put a full change of clothes without them getting wet, which is far preferable to going around in a bathrobe. Interestingly, the shirt I was carrying to change into is the same one in which I fell asleep wearing (and am actually still wearing). In the dream, in addition to the steps being really awkward, there was no way to go to the shower rooms at that tie without creating a problem for others already there.

Then I dreamed that I was holed up in my parents’ house, looking just as it did as I last remembered it, with new owners encroaching on the space. First, in the backyard, someone was doing something to one of the trees, and another person was walling in the patio with red brick much more evenly colored than that of the brick (there are views of what the house actually looks like on my mom’s memorialized Facebook page) and a bit darker, too. I think she would have hated that. I was having weird feelings both that I didn’t belong in there and that my personal space was being invaded.

My bedroom looked as it was when I lived there (the bed and many of the same bookcases are in my apartment currently–they have held up better than some of those I bought and assembled on my own), but there was stuff going on in the front yard. There was a freestanding folding ladder in front of my window looking like it was close enough to be in the flower beds, which my mom would have hated. She was very proud of her yard and garden work until the end. She insisted on putting down fifty bags of mulch before she started chemotherapy for her pancreatic cancer. She was able to finish that task, then passed away before she could start chemotherapy, if she was going to have it at all (her prognosis the week before she passed was two months).

The person on the ladder was a woman in a red dress of a sort we might associate with Carmen. I also saw two guys who looked rather gothic (one wearing shades in daylight) putting up a sign holder as though they wanted to turn the house into a club, which would be illegal under zoning laws. My dad used to say that if our attic were finished, you could hold a dance in there. A lot of what was in the attic was mine, stuff that’s now in storage about a mile away from the house. One of the things in there I most want with me is my Monster in My Pocket collection, which is the last toy I ever collected. When I was writing my screenplay version, i was acquiring imported figures from England even though the series had long since jumped the shark thanks to fundamentalists Christians and Hindus.

No one in the dream gave any indication that they had noticed that I was inside the house. I turned and looked at my Monster in My Pocket collection on display in its usual place, series 1 figures in a Monster Mountain wall display and the others on a top shelf of a short bookshelf. I knew I was dreaming when the figures did not look right. There was a creature in the standard neon orange color of Series 2 and 3 raising a spear over its head. It strongly resembled a character from a different toy line that I never owned called Oscar I-Rot, which was much larger and not solid colored (and doesn’t carry a spear), part of Mattel’s Mad Scientist collection. I remember Amy Astley, who now works in publicity at Disney, liked these (I don’t know if she actually owned any). I was absolutely repulsed by the Monster Lab commercial, in which one created monsters and then dissolved them in an acid bath that, unlike with Play-Doh, destroyed the materials (perfect epitome of a capitalism in toy development), but did eventually but some of the monster molds. I had to do some internet searching to even identify this particular character, which I did not own (it was a figure made of rubber that shot “Alien Blood” from its eyes when squeezed, not one to be built and destroyed by the user). A lot of the figures looked tacky like this with a knock-off feel, and knowing that these were not Monster in My Pocket, the dream soon ended.

After a dream like this, it’s not too surprising that I posted a rant on Facebook about how Courtney Solomon was able to get a license to make an appallingly bad film based on Dungeons & Dragons because his mom worked in the film industry, and then not have it kill his career despite being a critical and commercial failure whereas I could and did write a script based on Monster in My Pocket that the owners humored me about reading only to turn around and decline in response to an article talking about how almost all successful people got there through family connections. (And before you ask about Amy, all I’ve gotten from her are some “likes” on my Instagram comments about pictures of the lake trip they went on for her wife’s birthday celebration, and, when I was still on Twitter, mentioning that I noticed her name on the credits of Frozen–her Twitter photos verified without doubt that the Amy Astley who works for Disney is the one I knew at school. She didn’t respond when I asked her about job possibilities based on my credentials, but Disney is doing mass layoffs right now so maybe it wouldn’t have been that great.)

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