Last night I found myself totally unable to stay awake. I haven’t been missing that much sleep and only felt a tad feverish so I wasn’t quite sure what the problem was. After dozing off mid-thought a few times and babbling incoherently several times, I just gave in. The remainder of the night was punctuated by states of semi-wakefulness and a series of seemingly disconnected dream vignettes and images. This is over the course of some twelve hours of sleep for 30-60 minutes sleep then wake up briefly and I’m certain I’ve forgotten some. I’ve excluded the random sex dreams, as they weren’t particularly out of the ordinary as my sex dreams go.

The first of these was set with a stony hillock in the countryside somewhere. Numerous crevices and loose stones punctuated its surface and local folks came because a peculiar property of the place. When one of the loose stones was moved even a light breeze across its surface produced a sound; just a snippet of a word perhaps, like a phoneme. Local custom held that if the stones were removed and replaced in just the right sequence, syllables, words and even an entire verse is encoded in the hillside’s unusual acoustics. By whom or what it says in its entirety has never been discerned though.

From the hillock, I next found myself packing a rucksack. I was carefully selecting certain croquette balls of the usual colors and designs, along with these I added a few more that I’m fairly certain do not appear in any regulation set: moss paisley, orange tartan, metallic tie-dyed, etc. That sort of thing.

Next I’m sitting on the porch of a farmhouse, the Midwestern type with the unpainted exterior walls absolutely scoured by untold dust storms and bleached by sun until they’re smooth and silvery. I’m in a rocking chair with a glass of ice-cold lemonade (the only thing with any color other than grayscale) watching little beads of water form on its surface and roll down the side. A couple scarecrows dressed in tattered medieval garb are placed randomly in the field in front of the house. They are spinning wildly in a breeze in some strange parody of dancing.

A butcher at a counter of an old time butcher shop is preparing cuts for a throng of customers. All his products are vegetables but they have bones.

I’m at that mouse-sponsored amusement park in Florida and actually enjoying myself when I come across a section that isn’t in the guide or on the map. It’s a back alley of stalls and games. Ducking in, I walk from stall to stall taking a look around. Lots of strange games, one where you throw petrified ostrich eggs at a pyramid of balancing mice stands out in particular, especially since the mice are heckling you as you try. I stop at a stall selling animal pelts. There are all sorts, some I recognize from nature or myths, other ones are completely novel to me. Each one has an elaborate brooch at its collar and it become clear they are to be worn like cloaks. Apparently you rent them and I suspect what they do.

A new brand of mobile phones are all the rage. Apparently, if you own one you can call folks with the same brand and send one of two signals. If they answer they either get a painful jolt or a current of pleasure. There is no way to tell whom the call is from or what signal is on the call. Speed dial jokes abound.

A new school of painting has emerged from some unpronounceable Baltic country. Its unique in that its practitioners ‘unpaint’ their works. As they apply a brush to a surface or object each stroke removes what it touches. It just completely vanishes. They create all sorts of lattice works of the void and are highly celebrated. However, two horrific aspects later emerge; the technique will work on living creatures and the ‘unpainted’ areas aren’t gone but sent to a hell of sorts. While many are outraged and demand an end to unpainting, others insist that feeding hell is a perfectly justifiable cost of the art even in the case of living subjects.