So there are certain things that happen again and again in my dreams, so much so that I've started to think there's some strange, parallel universe. Like I have my own Neverwhere, but it's more of an Otherwhere.
In the Otherwhere, there are black tattoos up the inside of my left arm. There's a raven holding a key on a ribbon, a swirling line of forgotten punctuation like the pilcrow, and a series of red-winged blackbirds taking flight. There's a room I go to sometimes where the walls are made of parchment and are scrawled with all the words from poems and books I never finished. The doors are draped in red velvet with gold tassels, and the bed is a twin on the floor with sheets the deep purple of an emperor's robe.
In my dreams, there are bizarro versions of some of the places I've lived. There's a Dark Athens with twisting streets and the best bookstore in the world, not to mention a coffee bar where the espresso machine is shaped like a copper clockwork penguin and the barista wears a domino mask and is dressed like a mime. There's a bizarro mall where all the mannequins have been stripped down by strange mallrat people who believe zombies have taken over the outside world. And there's a tower-like college dormitory much like the one from Hogwarts where I keep all of my things stored in steamer trunks in case I need them. I often forget I'm in school, and when someone tells me I'm about to fail, I laugh and go to my dorm room to feed my goldfish.
I find pets that I've forgotten, skeletal snakes and dusty rats and dried-out fish tanks and my poor guinea pig who was bitten in half by my roommate's puppy. Sometimes he's been taped back together with duct tape and whistles for lettuce and monkey biscuits, and other times, he's just like I found him the day he died, in two easy pieces connected by intestines, like the slinky dog in Toy Story. One time, I put him on my head like earmuffs, and he whistled a song.
My least favorite dreams are about being chased by shadow things, things I can never escape. One time, Abraham Lincoln was chasing me around a baseball field with an axe, and I just ran around the bases again and again.
When I was little, my mom told me that dreams were the mind's playground.
Recently, I came to terms with the fact that I do some of my best work on the playground.
I'm listening, Otherwhere. Tell me more.