Hallucinabulia: the Dream Diary of an Unintended Solitarian is the third volume of the Ghosts Trilogy. In it, the characters introduced in the memoir are finally set free, since these are my dreams of them. They do whatever they want, completely unbound.
This isn't a preview of material in the book but rather the type of material in the book. It's actually a dream I had early this morning.
The book is structured as twelve chapters of dreams grouped together by subject matter. It has an introduction, an epilogue, and a bibliography. The dreams are presented as short stories instead of each begining with "I dreamed I was—" That would've gotten old really fast. I also didn't include any interpretations. You can make of these dreams what you will.
So here's the dream I had this morning, as it would've appeared in Hallucinabulia.
August 20, 2013
I sat on the carpeted floor of an unfamiliar living room, drawing a graphic novel about women who worked in American defense plants during World War II. They used pneumatic riveting hammers to build B-17 bombers. Because of my eyesight, it was very hard to see. I had to lay my head on my left shoulder. That made me dizzy, but it was the only way to bring the drawings into focus. The women all wore bandanas on their heads, jeans with rolled cuffs, and men's shirts with the tails tied under their breasts to show off their bellies. They were beautiful. I wanted to make them as sexy as possible, so I drew most of them from behind, as an excuse to give them round, taut bottoms.
As I drew, Peter Dinklage backed into the room. He spoke loudly to someone in the hallway and was obviously drunk.
"I never met such fuckin' pricks in my life," he slurred. "I ever shee those bassards again, I'm gonna fuck 'em up."
His coarse, theatrical laugh stank of phoniness. Since he faced the doorway, he didn't see me. He was about to walk on my book. I held up my hand to try and stop him, but I also realized that sitting on a living room floor to draw was stupid. I wasn't a child. There was a sofa with a coffee table right next to me. Why didn't I just get up and move out of Dinklage's way? I hated him for making me admit to myself that I was an idiot.
He backed into my hand and kept going. My palm against his spine had no effect. He was incredibly strong; my arm just folded, as though he were a bulldozer. I snatched up my book at the last second. Dinklage stopped in front of me.
"What the fuck are you doing, you moron?" he asked with extravagant scorn.
When I opened my book to show him, I saw that it had changed. My drawings had become glossy, color photos of women working in American defense plants in World War II. As before, they were dressed in bandanas, jeans, and saddle shoes, but now they were all heavily pregnant. They'd tied up the tails of their shirts to display their large, naked, sweaty breasts and distended middles. It was no longer my book. I hadn't taken the photos, which were incredibly arousing. Mortified at being exposed with erotica, I slammed the book shut.
Dinklage lunged at it. "Lemmie see that!" he yelled. "What are you, some kinda pervert?"
I tried to hide the book behind me while Dinklage pawed at it. I slid it across the floor under the sofa, stood, and picked him up. He struggled powerfully in my arms; it was like trying to hold a thrashing shark. I carried him into the hall and set him on the floor. When I went back into the living room, Dinklage charged and grabbed me around the legs. I carried him into the hall again. After I set him down, he began punching and kicking me, screaming incoherently. He drove me into the living room.
This time when I tried to pick him up, he pummeled my face. I straightened, and he went for my groin and shins. The rain of blows was continuous, as if I were in the middle of a mob. He was like an automatic baseball pitching machine set on "high." I began to panic and got so angry I wanted to murder him.
"Stop it!" a woman shouted.
I turned; it was Carmen. She wore designer jeans, a dark blue blouse with the long sleeves rolled up, four or five bracelets on each wrist, dangly earrings, and some kind of silver-wire-and-feather Native American charm on a leather thong around her neck. Her black hair reminded me of a lion's mane. It made her look like a shamaness. Seeing her there within reach almost knocked me over with happiness. I was suddenly sure that she'd returned to give me another chance.
Dinklage kept hitting and kicking me. Carmen marched over, grabbed him by the back of the jacket, and yanked him off me. His arms dropped to his sides, and he leered at her. She stood with her hands on her hips.
"Look, you have to stop this," she said in the calm, ultra-businesslike tone she used on all the lunatics we'd dealt with in our five years together. "You're not being reasonable. You can't physically assault people just because they're different from you."
He smirked. "What would you know about being different? You think you're such hot shit, lecturing me—"
"Don't you try that on me!" she snapped. "That sort of garbage doesn't work on me!"
I was filled with love and admiration for her, for the way she protected me and didn't let his belligerence and manipulation intimidate her. Dinklage stared at the ceiling, chuckling and shaking his head. He raised his hands, which were smeared with a layer of yellow-white material. It was on his shoes too.
"It's like you're covering me in government cheese!" he shouted.
That was ridiculous. The cheese on his hands and feet came from him playing with it and stomping around in it. Blaming it on someone else was pathetic. I almost laughed. This spectacularly successful, wealthy, beloved celebrity was the fool, not me.
Carmen took him by the shoulder and sat him on the floor in front of the sofa. He leaned back against it. She knelt with her palms on her thighs and spoke to him with great feeling, as if trying as hard as she could to reach him.
"Gouda," she said. "Brie. Robiola. Camembert. Roquefort. Ementaler. Stracchino. Havarti. Cambozola—"
"Hey," Dinklage cut in with a smile. "Can we at least talk about heterosexual cheeses?"
Carmen exploded in her deafening laugh and collapsed forward. With her forehead on the carpet and her hands on Dinklage's shins, she laughed helplessly for several seconds. Then she sat up and kissed the tops of his feet, which were now bare. I was horrified. He'd totally taken her in. Just like that, her strength, resolve, and insight were gone.
A pizza box was under the coffee table. Carmen crawled over on her hands and knees and retrieved it.
"This was for Shannon Farren," she said, "but you deserve it more."
She opened the lid. Inside was a supreme pizza so hot it steamed. When Carmen lifted a slice, thick strings of melted cheese stretched and finally broke. She handed the pizza to Dinklage, who grinned at me, took a bite, and winked.
I watched in impotent rage that a drunk, violent, rude, insane actor spoke one sentence of drivel and was rewarded with what I spent an agonizing year trying fruitlessly to achieve.