Dream #5: "Nice Shades, Demon"


Dear Billy,

I woke up this morning from a very long dream in which I was out on a date with someone who worked at the record label for whom I used to intern. It’s a semi-famous country label based in Chicago, and this date was not with any employee from my tenure, but a sort of amalgamation of a couple of the employees. We were having dinner, when they explained that their most recent and most popular artist was actually a demonically reanimated corpse. The singer was using their demonic powers to become successful, and had enslaved the record label. Our dinner date turned into planning to free the record label, but we kept being interrupted by poorly disguised corpses trying to thwart us. Our waiter was a corpse, the cab driver was a corpse, and so on. We never make it to the label's headquarters, but I see the demonic artist's grinning face on posters everywhere while we travel. He is wearing sunglasses. At this point, the person I was on a date with is a cipher, and the only face I recognize is the demon’s. What does it all mean?

— Ed Blair, a trash wizard


Billy replies: The record label suggests that you must guard your tongue and actions. Speaking to the wrong demon could bring woes far greater than any dream ballad. The country music, though, implies that you need a change — go places! Ramble elsewhere! Since dinner itself suggests a brilliant future with plenty of money, perhaps you will meet someone in your travels capable of transforming your current state (remember to watch your words).

The combination of an artist and singing, too, means good news and happiness may be on their way. The dream’s demon presence may indicate that you are being pursued by someone who needs you by their side on a permanent basis. Beware! The demon and the artist could be one and the same, embodied in a person who brings about both sudden pleasure and a loss of your own ideals. Within ten days, rid yourself of everything that could result in a self-inflicted injury.  The fact the demons are corpses — dead — symbolizes an evil omen, message, or letter on its way. The presence of sunglasses suggests that you should pay attention: something suspicious is going on. Heighten your awareness and don’t let anyone tell you you’re paranoid — your dream has sent you a warning. You are not here to chew bubblegum.

Dream # 4: The Scarlet Letter

Dear Billy,

Director Törneroos warned me that Olga haunts these grounds. I enter a spa-sized sweatbox. A blonde camped on the top bench smiles down, teeth white as a birch trunk. I shut the cedar door behind me. The chrome temp gauge says it’s only 69 degrees but the joint’s heating up quick. Hot wood sure gives off a sexy aroma. I ladle water from a bucket over the stones and they hiss back. Steam cloaks me. I sprawl out on the middle bench and spread legs wrapped in a towel.

Despite seeing that woman up there, I know I’m all alone. Nobody for miles on this granite coast. I’ve got the only key to this annex, being the last resident for 2016 at a Customs House built in 1828. It was me who clicked on timers for heat and light. That blonde must be a demon. Sweet Jesus. I’m naked except for this towel. Bet she was a fox in her time because she’s not bad looking after death. I swivel my head. “Olga?” I ask. “Ja,” she answers. “Vad heter du?”

Damn. Wish I knew Swedish. Just my luck I’d get a Nordic spirit who doesn’t speak English. I watch as she slips off her towel and stretches her long legs. She waves for me to join her. The temperature gauge says 85.

I disrobe and join her. She scooches close until our thighs touch. She flips her hair over her shoulders. Her gray lips turn rouge. The tips of our tongues meet mid-air and twirl in circles. Her tongue’s icy cold. Then I remember that gauge was registering Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I try standing but wobble back down. The heat turns me groggy, like I overdid it on the stout. She hugs me hard. “Jag älskar dig,” she coos, stroking my thigh. The light clicks off. Olga giggles.

— Kirbster


Billy says: Your nakedness points to shame or disgrace from broken trust, though you are partially covered in a towel (do not leap into the unknown; a dive into the occult will end in disaster). The heat, the steam, the demon…might you be in hell?  If so, Billy recommends that you avoid temptation to avoid future torture. The demon’s blonde hair and white teeth suggest that generosity may be your downfall, and that you are too quarrelsome.  Your dead demon-lover comes alive in your arms, which makes sense, since death symbolizes news of a birth.  Your tongue dance suggests that you be more aggressive; your ability to communicate your desires will be more successful than usual.  The thermometer (which you read incorrectly) implies that you will soon associate with an individual whose skills could benefit you greatly, and they will be eager to assist you — usually Billy would advise you to use their assistance to improve your life, but since you keep misreading the temperature, perhaps go slowly; if you misread the signs, you could wind up with unhelpful “help.”

Remember the beginning of The Scarlet Letter — the red “A” is discovered in the attic of a Customs House, where you are staying in your dream. Sometimes your own feelings are the secret you keep from yourself, wedged high in the nooks and crannies of your mind. But, as you know from your dream, you’re the only one who’s really there, and it’s your own instincts that you have to rely on. Don’t let fear and shame keep you from seeing things as they really are. 

Dream #3: Once You’re Swallowed, It’s Over

Dear Billy,

I dream of a giant red and black snake in a terrarium in my parents’ yard. I take the snake’s clear shed skin to show my mom, but on the way there I look up and see a giant spiderweb beneath the roof of the carport. Trapped in the web is a cardinal, but it’s a yellow, molted, injured one. It’s being stalked by a yellow cat of the same color. The bird flies out of the web; the cat follows. The bird has a string attached to it. I pull on it to try to get it away from the cat, but it doesn’t work  the cat keeps getting ahold of it. I begin to think it might be better to let the bird die, it’s so mutilated. The cat is now a rabbit, and it swallows the bird whole. I hear a voice saying that once you’re swallowed it’s all over. The bird turns and struggles and calls in the rabbit’s throat.



Billy says: Spiderwebs are lies being spread about you. Snakes are enemies or unfaithful friends. Birds stand for success in your present undertaking. Cats are a bad-luck warning to reform. Rabbits stand for money received in a lottery. Immediate proximity to a false friend has stirred up conflicted feelings. You think perhaps this snake has shed her skin and will be trustworthy, but you are still subconsciously worried. The bird is your self-confidence and sense of self: the cardinal is already in bad shape, and you worry for its (your) survival. The rabbit points to a successful outcome, but earned in a way that goes against your sense of selfyou are afraid you can survive only by giving in to the reality enforced by said false friend. That you can still hear the voice of self-preservation (even if it’s wounded) inside the rabbit’s throat is a good sign. 

Dream #2: The Hunger Games Cult

Dear Billy,

In my dream I am not myself: I am a young boy in my early teens with dark hair. I am hiding from a cult I’ve just escaped. They go after me with long, impractical knives. They walk with me toward a barn. They’re carrying a few odd things that don’t seem practical because they told me we’re leaving. I didn’t understand that we were all meant to kill each other. I escape and run barefoot up the road until I get to a big rich house behind a gate covered in ivy.
I sneak in the house, which at first seems as if it’s empty, for sale, but then I find all these children playing on the floor of a walk-in closet. I know the cult is still looking for me, so the children and I practice hiding beneath mounds of blankets and toys. The kids don’t know that it’s serious for me — I have to be hidden the best. At some point I go out into the yard of the house and I’m seen — a man from the cult is on the roof. Then I’m in a graveyard, running, and I see a funeral happening, people with dark hair and dark clothes. I realize they are my real family, not the cult, and our mother has died. I call out to them.

Please Don’t Let Them Find Me


Billy replies: You are a teen boy and not yourself, a sign that new hopes will soon be realized. Knives stand in for lost friends or money, while barns represent the loss of goods through folly. Houses prompt you to make a change, as there’s bad luck ahead. Children bring promises of great success coming soon, while a closet means you need to guard a secret. Toys advise you to rest and play more frequently, while yards suggest a recent disagreement or fight. Mothers suggest you should reform your beliefs or actions in order to put an end to your difficulties, while death portends news of a birth. The cult is the institution where you work, and the killing game? Well, isn’t that exactly how you’re expected to treat your co-workers?  It's a cutthroat competition out there. Only to discover that in truth, these people your best family. Your subconscious is prompting you to embrace play and rest as a prelude to some large-scale mental or intellectual shift. Consider choosing to perceive competition in a new light. This change will enable you to end your troubles and realize your hopes.

Dream #1: Our Boy Who is Not Leonardo

Dear Billy,

          I dream a gold and dark field. Home. I am two sisters, an older and a younger. We have a boy we love, who looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. We search for him. We think he's dead, but then it turns out he is darkness, a green alien made of ash. He stabs us and leaves us in the field. He is all darkness now. Leaves swirl around him. A whip lashes off his head. A dark rider of his same species—but bigger—appears, wearing a Stetson.  He tells our boy he will be punished for what he's done. Our boy regenerates his dead from his neck. Dark rider reaches into our boy's mouth and pulls out a wine bottle. Reaches into his throat again and keeps digging.  Dark rider sends him away when he is done, to wander the earth.
        Our boy now has the head of a deformed cow. The dark rider sends a herd of cow people with enchanted heads—they look like people who have died—to follow him forever. Our boy says, thank you for being merciful. The dark rider says, I wasn't. He gives our boy a horrible secret name that he must tell to whomever he meets, that they will see him rightly. Dark rider says, you will never see me again.
Our boy gets to ride in a carriage. The cows and his true face must be invisible to others.
Our boy says, I have a long way to go. I will pay you well to engage you all the way. My name is _________. The ride is in darkness, seemingly uneventful. The driver begins to cry. He says, I can't do this anymore. Get out. Our boy asks why. He says, the children. All the children, they keep coming out into the road. We're hitting them, and we can't stop. We're hitting them, over and over. Can't you feel the bumps? Our boy realizes his curse. The dead follow him to die all over again, from the children on up.

—Thump Thu-whump Thump




Billy replies:  The two sisters are two sides of yourself, helpful and unhelpful. The setting, in a field, tells Billy that of late you have been indecisive: make up your mind!  Mr. DiCaprio’s presence can mean many things, depending on your feelings about Leo, but he was a teen heartthrob, so Billy’s pretty sure he’s a symbol of passion. When he turns into a green alien of ash, Billy sees fire, grief, and remorse: the growing, blooming, green parts of your life burned down to the ground. The sisters’ stabbing points to loss, of friends or money, though in this case Billy believes their death means you’ve lost clarity about what you most want in your life. Whipping, too, points to money difficulties decapitating your passions. And yet the cow-heads tell Billy that your misfortunes are nearly over and done with. Carriages mean you will soon visit friends who can help. Alas, children are our successes—Billy sees conflict, your passions running roughshod over your successes. Billy feels that you have gotten yourself into some money troubles related to your life’s work, and fears along with you that this trouble will be cyclical unless you can turn your passion into success. Harness your dead, and let them pull the carriage.