Good morning, everybody.
I was either myself or some guy kind of like me, but maybe with paler skin, more stubble, and a knobbier, but still skinny, body.
I was walking through a crowd of people. The people were all heading off somewhere in the same direction, kind of like they had gotten off the train and were now heading to work.
I was walking in the opposite direction. But as I moved through the crowd, they all seemed to part for me. It wasn't like they were paying attention to me. They didn't even seem to be aware of me. They just moved out of my way.
All this time I was doing the arm movements from the chorus section of the j-pop band Perfume's song "Fushizen na Girl."
I was kind of shocked that I knew how to do these movements. But I was also worried that people would know I was doing dances from a girl's song. I wondered if they would think I was weird.
I was in some place like a brewery-grill kind of bar. The place was really big, with a light, airy feel to it, and with brick walls. But it was packed with people. There was something like a singing contest going on. But even though the atmosphere was packed and a little competitive, there seemed to be very little tension. Everybody seemed to be having a good time.
The singing contest was apparently for amateurs. But there were some professional rock singers who were also performing as part of the show.
From behind me came the voice of a woman who was pretty insistent about the fact that she used to be a rock star. She was kind of tall and kind of overweight. She had kind of short, really frizzy, brown-black hair. She looked almost like a guy wearing an afro wig and trying to pass himself off as a woman. The insistent woman seemed to be making rather matter-of-fact demands for something because she'd been a rock star. But I didn't think she was a big deal.
The MC for the show was also a famous rock singer. She looked like the Malaysian pop star Atilia Haron, except with dark black and blonde hair and a darker complexion. She was very kind with everybody in the audience. I got the feeling that she thought of herself as a kind of mother and mentor for all the contestants.
I had originally been standing near the front of the audience and near the center of the stage. But now I was sitting on a stool kind of away and off to the right of the stage. There was a good amount of open space in front of me, like a little clearing where people might dance. But all around that space the crowd was still full.
But across the empty space I saw another woman. She sat on a stool as well. She had her elbows propped up on the stage like the stage was a counter. She looked like a mix between Atilia and the Japanese R&B singer Toko Furuuchi. I knew she was really famous. But nobody seemed to be paying attention to her.
Somebody, possibly on stage, had been speaking with this woman, possibly letting her know that her turn to perform was coming up. But she seemed really shy about performing, for some reason.
But now from behind me came the voice of the insistent woman with the frizzy, black hair. Somebody like an event staff member had asked her who she was, possibly so the staff member could get the insistent woman coordinated for some part of the performance.
But the woman said in her normal loud but matter-of-fact way, "I don't like to say out loud who I am, because I don't want people getting all excited about me and following me all over the place. I'd rather just give you my card and let you read who I am. That way it stays secret and quiet."
I knew this was silliness. The woman spoke loud to draw attention to herself. And she used the secrecy to get people interested in figuring out who she might be.
But the woman now handed me her business card. I was, I somehow knew, supposed to hand the card off to the person the woman had been speaking to. This person was up on stage.
I reflexively, naturally took the card and brought it over to the pretty girl on the stool near the stage. The girl probably then handed the business card up to some guy on stage. During the exchange, I caught a glimpse of the insistent woman's first name -- something like "Marisol."
I was in a car with my mom. My mom was driving. I was in the front passenger seat. We were driving along a highway during the daytime.
I had been speaking with my mom about something like giving her $75. This was probably money I owed her. But I had felt it was important to give my mom this money because it seemed like she really needed it for something. I felt like I had just barely gotten the money on time so that my mom could do whatever she'd needed to do.
But now that I'd given my mom the money (or now that it was settled that I'd give her the money?), my mom began talking about some big TV she and my sister were planning on getting. The $75 would put them right in the range of getting the TV.
My mom talked about this TV like it was so great. But I felt betrayed. I thought my mom had really needed the money. But now she was just using it to go out and buy a TV. I was getting anrgier and angrier. I felt like I was about to start yelling at my mom.
We seemed to be getting off the highway, heading onto some exit ramp. There was a huge semi-truck in front of us. The truck seemed to stop all of the sudden.
We had been going really fast. My mom tried to stop the car as soon as she saw the truck stop. But the car was going too fast. We were veering toward the truck's rear end. I knew we were definitely going to crash. But as we approached the truck, I hoped the crash would only be minor.
I was in some place like a kind of dimly lit kitchen. The kitchen seemed to be pretty quiet. But it felt like some kind of party was winding down in some other room. There were no lights on in the kitchen. The only light seemed to be coming from this other room.
I was having some conversation in my head. I was probably talking through some old and recent memories. I thought about how I'd recently come back home after living in New York City. But now I was thinking about moving back to New York City.
I was thinking about the sadness this might cause for the people close to me in my hometown. But I was trying to justify to these people, in my head, why I needed to move back. As I was doing this I was either licking or thinking about licking the orange dishsoap that had dripped and slimed down the side of a large dishsoap bottle that sat near the sink.
I was now standing over a plastic garbage can. I was in a kitchen. But this kitchen was big and well-lit. My old friend R and his wife L may have been sitting at a table in the kitchen.
I was tying up bags that were in the garbage can. On the left side of the can there seemed to be three bags. On the right side there was just one bag. The three bags on the left side were pretty easy to tie up. But they were kind of like grocery bags, way too small for an outdoor-sized garbage can like this one. The garbage in all the bags seemed to be recyclable materials, like plastic 2-liter soda bottles.
I was having a conversation, either out loud or in my head, with R. It may have had to do with disappointing my family or making them sad. But my R was also trying to work some angle into the conversation. He was looking for some way to take advantage of me, or to stop me from having success in anything I did. I had to monitor everything I was saying very carefully, I felt, so that I didn't say anything to give R an advantage.
I may have started talking with L as well. It seemed a lot nicer to be talking with her, even though I was probably still wary.
I had now moved to tying up the garbage bag on the right side of the garbage can. This bag was really full, and it was a lot harder to tie it shut. I struggled with it for a while, never, I think, quite getting the thing shut.