In any case, I finished off with another Monshu Is Alive dream. It was another case of him being inexplicably back, although this time he was actually in a hospital bed instead of just walking around the apartment. I distinctly remember thinking it was sloppy of me not to be recording every detail of his treatment and writing it up like I used to back in the day. We were discussing how to break the news to our friends; I told him I wanted to hold off a bit "just in case" and he understood what that meant.
Then I went on to tell him excitedly about some of the people I'd met while he'd been gone who I was looking forward to introducing him to. They were all fictitious and had appeared in previous dreams that night. In fact I had a moment of lucidity where I hesitated to tell him about someone because what if they were just someone I dreamed and not a real person? But I decided they were as real as Monshu was now so it made sense. Unlike the real Monshu in his final months, he actually sounded interested in getting to know them all.
(The hospital setting could have been inspired by a conversation with JB earlier last evening. His husband is going in for surgery tomorrow and I was trying to think of things he should prepare himself for or which might mitigate his anxiety somewhat.)
The other dreams were kind of a mess. There was a fair bit of navigating public spaces. At one point I was supposed to be camping but had decided to go home and sleep in my own bed (and left some valuables behind at the campsite). At another point I was in a sort of common room and a friend was complaining about how someone had damaged the the shared fridge.
But there was one other interesting connected sequence and it consisted of me trying to seduce a religious ascetic as some sort of test. Because of the long duration, pretty much every aspect of the narrative--his appearance, my appearance, our relationship, the nature of the test--changed multiple times so it's tough to relate coherently what happened.
At the start, he appeared somewhat like a middle-aged Sikh in a turban and a robe. He'd been so cloistered that he'd never even considered the possibility of sexual attraction between men "until last Wednesday". Accompanying him everywhere was a young woman in an all-concealing garment, possibly a relative. At one point, I reached out to touch him and touched her by mistake which I realised was a significant mistake.
She changed form into a beautiful young man who was in some way a physical manifestation of his religious commitment, some sort of dependent spiritual being. He had misgivings about the attraction, worrying that the man was about to sacrifice everything he'd worked so hard for. When the man suggested we explore that a bit, the being noticed his arousal and said, "We're screwed".
He turned into a wizened old woman and moved away while I zipped our sleeping bags together on the...surface of a plane on a snowy exposed mountainside? The man said it "didn't count" if I made all the moves and I said I was just creating the opportunity and the rest was up to him. The whole time we were being observed.
He split into five or so figures, each wearing a towel wrapped around the waist an exhibiting varying levels of arousal. One looked like it had a baby elephant's trunk under the garment. He said we should make love and began setting things up based on instructions from a manual he had open before him with swirling blue pages.
Then the "test" turned into a duel. We faced off with various weapons floating in the air above us, like the start screen to a video game. He was wearing two swords and I began to worry I could be seriously injured. I seized two clubs floating above my head and complained that clubs versus swords was hardly a fair fight.
Eventually I got him to discard his weapons while I hung onto mine. At one point, I had one arm wrapped around his neck and was miming choking him with one end of a truncheon. His canines were like fangs that I could feel inside my mouth when we deep-kissed.
Then the test was over and he had transformed into a young woman in flowing robes. She said she had passed and I congratulated her, saying I was "sorry for us but happy for you". She kissed me and then whispered in my ear that if we hadn't stopped when we did, she would certainly have succumbed. I wasn't sure if this was just flattery to assuage my feelings.
We each stepped back and a friend who'd been watching caught my eye. I wanted to convey what she'd said but I didn't want to be overheard by the other observers (possibly jeopardising her success) and so I tried to signal "I'll tell you later" with my eyes.