Last night’s dream: This was a very long, very trippy dream. I will share the parts I can remember.
First off, it was a nuclear holocaust dream, inspired in part by Miracle Mile. There was a giant luxury housing complex, like in J.G.Ballard’s High Rise, only mostly underground. Something happens, and sirens sound… everyone understands this means nuclear attack. The complex’s outer doors lock permanently. There are a few foyers and vestibules which are made of glass (presumably shatterproof) and there were a few scenes of people on the outside begging to get let in. Children, sometimes. We were assured (by urban legend, I guess) that women were far less likely to break the glass than men. Most of the adults begging to be let in were women.
Inside, a variety of characters had scenes, some of which were individual dreams, between which I woke. They were all in different styles. In one, I befriended an old independent animator, who showed me some of the work he’d toiled at on television, which no one appreciated and which had been quickly canceled. I believe he was based on Ralph Bakshi or John Kricfalusi. Part of the dream was made up of one of the cartoons he’d done.
At one point, a rich man and I (I could never determine my exact role in this society; I believe I was an outsider, who happened to be in the complex when it got locked down) went for a drive in the underground world. I don’t recall what happened.
What I do recall is the last dream. There was a pedophile. This part of the dream was shot like a 60s or 70s science fiction movie. This guy had henchmen who would bring him children, and he was British and spoke very floridly. He was dressed a lot like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. There was a little meta overlay on this scene where, watching it, I was thinking of it as a 70s sci-fi movie, and imagining how I’d shoot it if I remade it today. So there was the foppish, creepy unspoken-pederast from the Michael Anderson version, simultaneously existing with the homeless-looking, darkness-dwelling nightmare of the 2012 version.
But anyway, an old man, played by Michael Caine, learned of this pederast’s activities, and decided to kill him. I tagged along as he used his connections to obtain permission to travel. Somehow he was able to communicate with the outside world, but still no one was certain whether an attack had taken place; whether the world outside was irradiated, etc. But we got in his hermetically-sealed car, and left the complex’s airlock and traveled across the countryside (past the slums filled with those not fortunate enough to be let inside our complex) to another underground complex, where Caine met with a man who would sell him poison.
The dream, although certainly not flawless, had been mostly coherent up to that point. very few surreal elements. And it stayed that way for a little while, as I pleaded with Caine not to go through with this. He told me he had to do it. For the children. For the future.
So I made a speech. There is no future, I said. (following is close, but not verbatim) “There’s no twenty years from now. That concept is obsolete. The closing of the doors, the shelter in the darkness, that’s a lie. A temporary reprieve. You think anyone wants to emerge, into the world that’s left up there? Ever? It’s done. There’s only us, and our present, and our consciences. This guy [the pedophile] figured that out. He’s using the end of the world as an excuse to act how he wants to act. He thinks no tomorrow means no rules. I think it means we do the right thing more than ever. Because this is it. This is what we got. There’s no redemption. What we have weighing on us now is what we’ll go to the grave with. We don’t get a pass. We live how we’ve always lived. And we DO. NOT. MURDER.”
I really liked that speech, which is why it was disappointing that the cohesion of the dream crumbled while I was giving it. By the end, Michael Caine was the Hulk and the She-Hulk came in through a door and beat me up. Caine’s friend, the one who sold him the poison, grabbed me and took me into another room where his cult sacrificed me. The story continued, though. The sirens turned out to be a false alarm, and eventually the locks were opened and everyone was left to venture out into the light of day with the knowledge of what they’d done during the end of the world.