Experimentalist Writing Submissions: Entry 004 / by Brandon Mitchell

"I'm locked out of the apartment again and I'm still in my underwear!" -- Ogle B Straight


I was pissed at first. I woke up at 6am and. . . got up to piss.  Walking through the dark hallway, I realized what I had done. I was dreaming and the dream was repeating. I was doing things slightly different the second time around but didn’t register that it was repeating because I was dreaming all of this stuff up.
    One of the hardest things to do is stay in a dream once you’ve realized that you are indeed dreaming. Or think you might be dreaming. When I have the experience that I might be dreaming, I tend to get excited and jerk myself out of it and wake up. I am working on a solution to that problem. First I try to calm myself down. I’ll think, “Oh, this is a dream” then freeze. I try not to do anything. Just chill and look straight ahead. Keep my heart beat slow. Then, I have test things I can do. At the moment, I can’t remember a lot of the test things. One could be: trying to hover off the ground. Or simply focus on movements. How am I moving? Is it slowed down? Who’s around me? Do I really know all of this? Sometimes focusing on these things will allow me to discover that I am dreaming and keep me in it for the moment.
    After discovering that I’m in a dream state, I tell myself that I can do anything I want. This is a risky maneuver because I can become excited again and my eyes open up immediately. So, knowing you can do anything doesn’t mean you can just start doing anything. You have to choose something different from the pattern that had been going on which is mainly being conscious of things. Recently I’ll start to hover and coast around my surroundings in the air. I never had flying dreams before. Maybe some falling dreams where I wake up before hitting the ground, but never flying until I’ve made the decision to fly inside the dream. Again, the trick is to stay calm. Sometimes I’ll touch things or people. I’ll realize that in dreams I rarely experience the sensation of touch. So I’ll look for a person. Most times I have never seen that person before in real life. Sometimes when I hold on to a person’s arm and pull them close to me, their face will change. I’ll have a thought that I can kiss them because it is not my normal reality so it will not have the same consequences. All of these things can be the tests to discover if it is really a dream or not.

    Last night, I experienced this new thing. It happened once before and the first time it was amazing. It was a continuous dream that was repetitive. Meaning: It would go from point A to point B to point C to point A to point B to C and so on. C would cleanly lead right into where I remembered the dream starting. Somewhere in the second time through I had the idea that it was a dream but I also knew where it was heading. I started changing some of my actions to see how it would effect the events that I was expecting to happen later. Then, I would get closer to point A and watch how it comes around. Point A was:
    Entering an apartment and getting some people together and saying, “Check out this video.” Pulling out a small TV with a VCR and playing a tape. Point A was on the screen. We started watching until we were in it doing the things. Each time going through the events of the dream, we could make subtle changes and get more and more involved. Small details that didn’t make complete sense the first time through would show back up in different ways. For example: The first time through, and this won’t make any sense but, the during the first pass I read a comic page of a newspaper with a character who would show up later in the dream. I just remember seeing this comic page with the text bubble and he was some sort of action hero. Later in the dream, he (which happened to be TV’s Ken Marino) was part of a crew of dudes walking down a path outside in an open park. Ken Marino was skateboarding. They were basically extras. . .oh yeah, on the 3rd time through I was noticing a lot of the camera shots of the dream. They were wild. Instead of me doing the weird things like trying to fly and whatever, I was controlling the shots and doing next to impossible things with long tracking shots where the weather changes mid take and the camera tracks along side a car for a bit and then leaves that and zooms across a field with hills and. . .this crew of dudes is walking, and Ken Marino is skateboarding but the camera whirls around him to show that he wasn’t really a part of that gang at all. Based on the perspective of the shot on the 1st or 2nd go through, he seemed to be skateboarding along side of them, but on this take where the camera flew over there, he was actually way in the foreground, and he was just an action figure. Some kid was playing with him much closer to the camera and it gave the illusion that he was part of that gang of dude. But he was a small, plastic skateboardy guy and somehow that linked back to me seeing that comic early on.
    This is a new thing for me in dreams. Seeing repetition like the whole dream repeating itself and going through it but being more involved each time. It can take that initial excitement of ‘Woah, I’m dreaming. I can do anything! Oh. . .Oh shit, I’m awake,’ away because you know what to expect, you pay attention, see how you would like to change it and how it gets affected.

    Last night, on the 2nd go through, Karsh was in the dream and he was mentioning that things were happening again. It was about 2 scenes past where point A began for the second time. I realized that we were seeing the same thing, but to me it was like going to see a theater show two nights in a row. I thought it was really happening two nights in a row even though it was weird. Karsh was there trying to clue me in and I just was like, ‘Shut up, dude, I’m trying to watch this.’ Then, I woke up. Didn’t piece it together until I laid there for a minute, determined that I had to take a piss, got up and was walking through the pitch black hallway then it clicked and I said to myself, “Damn, Karsh was there trying to let you do this thing right and you funked it up.”
    The cool thing about a dream though is that it’s either all me. I’m everything. I’m Karsh in that scenario. I’m trying to help myself learn how to do this thing. Or dreams are some sort of psychic reality that we tap into, but it’s so bizarre that we can’t figure the shit out for real. Our dream world exists in some dimension of brain electricity that passes instantly through brief wormholes between space and time connecting the subconscious of people in the world. Because that could have been Karsh. He would have been asleep too at 4 o’clock in the morning.