The Help Dream

I awoke from this dream scoffing at my subconscious mind. Yes, I saw its point, delivered through a dream, but I wasn’t buying into it. Not yet, at least. Maybe after more thinking…and dreaming.

This dream found me in a large and busy city. My mother, wife, and sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) were with me. We were discussing my writing and selling books. While showing me what they’d done, the female triumvirate was telling me that they’d taken my books’ sections and created covers for each one. As I was looking at the foot-high high stack and what seemed like twenty books about three quarters of an inch thick each, they (I don’t know which, as they were rotating between explanation duties) said, “And then we combined them in one big book.” They showed me how they’d done that. The final cover was a blank, slightly shiny, tin piece.

Ummm.  I wasn’t appreciative. “Why?” I said, trying to look for other words. It wasn’t the sort of help I’d been looking for, and I didn’t know why they’d done it.

‘They’ continued explaining, “That way, people can take them apart and pass the books around.”

“How will that help?” I asked. “They’ll just buy one book, take it apart, and pass pieces around.”

“They’ve already bought two,” one of them said as people going by paused to look at the book.

I was shaking my head about the whole thing as the dream agenda shifted, with a change of scenery. Now located at Mom’s house (not any house that she’s ever lived in, BTW), in the basement, I’d come up with something. I don’t even know what it is now that I’m awake. In the dream, I called it a grill sometimes and a screen sometimes. It looked like a bed’s headboard, but none of us ever called it that. The others in the dream referred to it as a grill. I’d made them and painted them, and then added a saying. I’d done two like this. When I showed it to Mom and the other two, they were pleased and excited, going overboard with their enthusiasm. Could I make more? Of course, and I would.

Then they left me alone. I busied myself with other things. Mom came down to check on me. “You’re not making more sayings, are you?” she said. “We want to be there when you make more sayings.”

It exasperated me because she was hijacking my process and results, even though I’d done it for her (from what I understand). Plus, I preferred working alone. Always have. I was a bit short with her in my response.

Off I went to do other things.  When I returned, Mom proudly announced that they’d been helping. She led me along to show me the result. They’d painted grills that I’d already made. The results looked terrible. The paint was sloppy and incomplete, but had many runs and was too thick in many places.

I was horrified. Yet, I knew that expressing that would hurt her feelings. I said, “Well, thank you, but I think some of that has to be redone.”

She was saying, “I know,” but was meanwhile leading me to where my nieces and nephews were hard at work painting more grills. I felt helpless in the face of such a proud effort to help. My wife and sister-in-law came by, endorsing what was being done while I stood in the middle and wondered how I was going to regain control.



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