The Camaro Dream

It was another odd dream. I think I have an odd dream one out of every three nights, at least a memorable odd one.

This particular dream featured the first car that I bought, a nineteen sixty-eight Camaro RS. The engine was the sweet 327 V-8. An automatic, it was a metallic copper color with black rally stripes and a black vinyl roof. It was a fun car to drive, and reliable as sunrise. Nothing fancy or power was on the car. It was simple, and it worked.

Besides the Camaro, my dream featured my father, my late father-in-law, and an older man who, in the dream, was known as a local criminal boss. As for me, I was the age that I was when I owned the Camaro, about nineteen.

The car looked gorgeous, as it did in real life, well-polished and maintained inside and out. With those details established, I was driving the Camaro when I discovered that the floorboards were gone. Rain mixed with snow was falling, and was spraying up into the car interior from the road.

Well, that’s it, my father and father-in-law each told me. They’d been good friends in life. I’d met my wife through Dad and his relationship with the man who would be my father-in-law.

You can’t drive that car like that, each told me. I think you probably need to junk it.

I didn’t. Taking my own route, I found someone to build me new floorboards made out of wood. That’s what happened. They did a beautiful job.

I showed my father-in-law and Dad the solution. They were astonished and amused. The crime boss appeared, because he’d heard about it. Although he laughed, he said, “I’m really impressed. Good job, kid.”

I then took the car on an inspection. Already familiar with the car, they were preparing to declare it salvage when I showed them my new wooden floorboards. All were flabbergasted and disbelieving. I took the car around and showed everyone how I’d had new wooden floorboards made for the car, and how well they worked.

Further, I said, I planned to drive it across country. Snow was falling, as were the temperatures. People shook their head at my apparent insanity, and dismissed me. With alternate periods of snowfall and sunshine, and slush and snows on the roads, I set out, certain in my decision.

That’s basically the dream. When I awoke from it, I found that it felt tremendously affirming. I thought the dream encouraged me, keeping doing your things. As a writer, I work alone. I hear others’ doubt; I worry about others’ doubts about what I’m writing, and how it’ll measure up to expectations. In the dream, I sought approval from the two primary male authority figures from my young life.

They hadn’t approved, but nor did they disapprove. They accepted and said, go on.

That’s why it feels so affirming.


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