The Orb

Alan P. Scott - Fictions - Dream Logs

i thought you said crickets

Our apartment is invaded by a troupe of actors/musicians/free spirits called The Orb (no relation to the actual group of that name; this group's music and lifestyle owe more to The Farm).

A woman in the second-floor apartment below us is playing bass guitar, very well but very loudly. My wife and I would really like her to stop. I lean out our window and yell, "YO!" as I see a pale blonde woman with short hair leaning backwards out her own window, playing the bass. No wonder it's so loud! She puts the guitar back in the apartment but as she does so she slips and starts to fall.

She is frightened but sarcastic.

"You wanna give me a hand here?"

I lean very far out our window and manage to catch her hand, expecting her to use the leverage to climb back into her own apartment. But instead she reaches up with her other hand and grabs hold, obviously expecting to come up with me. I pull her up to the third floor and in.

She shows no intention of leaving, just sits on the couch catching her breath, so I introduce myself and my wife. She is polite but clearly not interested in my wife. I'm flattered a little bit that she seems to be interested in me.

There is a knock on the apartment door. Another woman from downstairs comes in; she's noticed that the bass player has disappeared and has come looking for her.

I have to leave for a moment. When I come back into the living room, I find the blonde bass player on the floor, pale, rigid and half-undressed. The second woman is crouched over her; when I come in she cries, "She's dead!" and indeed the bass player appears to be quite dead. I am starting to feel embattled and out of control, like Griffin Dunne in After Hours. I moan, "Oh, no, this is a movie!"

Then the blonde rolls over and smiles. I'm so relieved I forget to get mad at the joke.

Then a large bearded man comes in. Then several more women and a young blonde boy. They are all cheerful and confident. The number of strangers in the apartment is large and constantly shifting, very unsettling. They move around a lot, picking up things and putting them back down in different places, not as if they're judging me but more as if they're inspecting my taste. I am paranoid, extremely worried that someone will steal something or perhaps discover some of the things I'd rather stay concealed - videos or drugs or something.

I catch the second woman in my closet (the light works, at least in the dream) and shout "What the hell are you doing in there?" She gets out but soon there is somebody else going through my things in there. I can't keep track of them all.

The apartment keeps getting bigger and more complicated, to accommodate all these intruders. I think that is a metaphor; if it is true that dreams about houses and buildings are metaphors for one's own mind, the message seems to be that my mind needs to expand, to accommodate strangers. For although I see these strangers as threatening, they don't seem to be harming anything. Nothing disappears, despite my fears.

Three women are taking a shower together in the second bathroom. The aqua shower curtain is open. They see me looking inside, but they don't mind. After all, it is my house. I get the feeling that they'd happily let me join them, but I'm not willing to go that far.

I go into the living room. This blonde guy wants to play a tape or a record. He harangues me about the weight of my tone arm - says he's got some kind of "zero-bias" rig at home that floats on top of an album without damaging it. Women wander around in various stages of undress.

Outside the house, in the grassy green strip on the north side, they've parked a locomotive, or at least a mockup of one. They're filming it. I come to find out that the whole purpose of this cheerful invasion is so they can make a video. They've included me in it as their host. I'm surprised and flattered. The video's really very good. And they're not stealing things from me. Far from it. I find quirky little presents left everywhere after they're gone.

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