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Michael Chabon’s Dream Journal

Michael Chabon hates dreams. He’s a writer, a children’s book author, and a man with quite a head of hair, but he can’t stand what people see inside their sleep. Which is why it's strange that he keeps emailing me excerpts from his dream journal.

Michael Chabon hates dreams. He’s a writer, a children’s book author, and a man with quite a head of hair, but he can’t stand what people see inside their sleep. He hates his own dreams, but he hates yours even more, and the dreams of characters in books boils his blood on an entirely different level. “Dreams are the Sea Monkeys of consciousness,” he told the New York Review of Books. “In the back pages of sleep they promise us teeming submarine palaces but leave us, on waking, with a hermetic residue of freeze-dried dust.” If that’s so, though, I don’t know why he keeps emailing me excerpts from his dream journal.

1/9/2012

I’m a wizard… On a slave ship. All the slaves look like Jeffrey Eugenides. I go around in my blue tunic bopping one Jeffrey Eugenides after another and turning each one into little toads. Little blue toads! They are cute as shit. I sometimes pick one up and kiss it on the face and it turns right back into whoever I wish it to be… Demi Moore… Roger Ebert… my dad. It’s totally beautiful, man. We’re sailing across waters made of hairs I’ve shed out of my beard, and all the hairs I would ever shed as I got older… The sunlight is outrageous…

1/29/2012

I’m in a very tiny church. The church is empty except for a trampoline that all these little boys are bouncing up and down on… They all have long hair braided down their backs, and there is familiar music playing, but not really. I somehow know the song is a track by Pearl Jam that they will record in 2023. I am the only one who’s ever heard it, and it’s… astonishing… I am sweating. My arms are shaking, but it feels good. I realize I am holding a huge pair of shears… The kind of shears you’d use to cut boys’ hair with… 

2/2/2012

I’m watching Ron Howard walk along a black beach with my mom. From their clothes it looks to be the 1840s. There is a very large amount of wind, though somehow still I can hear their voices very clearly, through the distance… They are taking turns dictating their favorite lines from my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, though in the dream I haven’t written that book yet. I’m tracing the lines down in the sand, though the waves keep washing over them and changing them into pictures of little tennis rackets like the pattern of the wallpaper of my childhood bedroom…

2/11/2012

John Irving is kissing me on the eyes… he kisses the right one… then the left one… then the right one… Then he kisses my earlobes, then my forehead. I realize I am crying a dark and hissing liquid… I want to tell him it’s my birthday, but I can’t get the words out… All I can think about is the time I threw a baseball so hard I thought it would never land. Blood is pouring through and through me… John Irving kisses me on the right shoulder, then the left… He kisses me on each of my fingers one by one, and then my palms and then my wrists… His tongue is hot and crumbly like sandpaper… Then again he’s at my eyes…

3/30/2012

I’m invited to be a guest vocalist on the new Soulja Boy mixtape… I’m so excited. I call my agent to tell him the good news… For some reason my agent in the dream is myself, though at age three. I go into the office and find myself left out on a green blanket in the sun… I can tell no one has been feeding me or giving me baths or anything… I’m covered in this gray foam that smells like when I used to cut my parents’ yard in late July… I wore the tightest shorts… I loved to run over the ant beds. I feed my agent the pack of moldy Captain’s Wafers I realize I’ve been carrying in a small locked cage around my neck for several years… I begin to spit the verse I will soon lay in the studio against my own soft, tiny forehead, including homages to Kafka, Tolstoy, Lydia Davis… and the ocean…

4/11/2012

Folding laundry in intense moonlight… I mean just folding the hell out of it… Pleated pants, suit-coats, socks, towels… There are in all only really seven items, but it feels like hundreds. I place each folded item one by one in a golden bin… As soon as I fold them there is another person behind me who takes the folded garment and unfolds it and places it back on the table with the other items I have not yet folded… I am not allowed to turn and find out who the man is, though his back frequently rubs against my back. Each time I see the garment returned to me in this way I laugh and feel warm inside in a way I can’t quite tell you… I think of soon how I will eat a plate of scrambled eggs, though I don’t do it… The day comes and goes with us like this… 

7/25/2012

I’m drunk and I can’t find our Sarah McLachlan tickets… This dream happens nine nights in a row… From each I wake up screaming…

8/8/2012

I lived forever. There were 37 planets. On each one, there was a different kind of jeans… One pair of jeans per planet… You could take the jeans with you to other planets but you always had to eventually come back… When you weren’t wearing the jeans you were in some way naked, though no one could see your junk… It was like wearing pantyhose without the fabric. I went to the planet nearest to the sun… It was no longer called Mercury… For me it was called Michael, though to you it would be your name… It was, as you’d imagine, very very hot… The sky was purple and no one else had ever been there… Breathing felt like eating butter… Walking felt like being thrown plates and plates of glass, though it did not hurt. I went looking for the jeans of Michael… I couldn’t find them…

Previously by Blake Butler - Michael Kimball's Enormous Death-Eye

@blakebutler