It was another anxiety work dream last night, and I don’t even work! I haven’t been employed for several years after working for IBM for fifteen. I’ve been doing nothing but pursing the writing dream since then, after postponing that goal for a few decades.
The dream found me with two co-workers. I don’t recognize them from my life. The three of us were dressed in business suits with shirts and ties, the kind of attire I wore when I was in marketing. We were at a big convention to get some work, the kind of function that I was forced to endure, and that I hated. It was a familiar setting, a large but crowded and noisy ballroom in a hotel or convention center filled with tables with white tablecloths and napkins, and pseudo-fine china and flatware.
I don’t know what business the three of us were in but we were there to network and generate some leads so we could have an income. While we were talking, they informed me that I’d paid for the previous night’s meal. They were dismissive when they told me this, without humor or sympathy. They said that I had insisted.
Well, the bill was for over five hundred and fifty dollars. I’d put it on my Amex.
Horrified and shocked, I couldn’t believe what I’d done, and I didn’t remember doing it. Panic and anxiety filled me. This is when it got twisted.
I don’t have an Amex. I gave that up a few years ago. I never wore a suit and tie while I worked at IBM. (My marketing roles were with a couple previous start-ups.) Meanwhile, in the dream, I now worried that my employer, IBM, wouldn’t pick up that tab. Hell, that was completely against their policies, and I knew it. But I didn’t understand why I thought IBM still employed me even while I was there as an independent contractor, trying to generate business.
I was also sick with worry in the dream because my wife would be furious, because she knew IBM wouldn’t pay for it, so I’d need to eat that bill and pay for it myself. Funny, but in reality, that’s the sort of thing that she would shrug off, should it have happened.
Anxiety, frustration, confusion, worry, and fear. This dream had it all. Waking up and thinking about it, I knew it stemmed from my writing. I’m reaching the end of the beta version of the series, and I’m worried that all this was for naught, that I suck as a writer and story-teller, and have no creativity.
You know, just the typical writing angst.
With all of its elements, I recognized what it was all about, and laughed at how my mind works. The dream was beneficial, because it feels like a storm has blown through, leaving me relaxed and ready to write.
I was in conversation with the barista today when I flashed back to an early nightmare.
I lived on McNary Blvd in Wilkinsburg, PA. I think I was around eight or nine years old. I’d stayed up watching “Chiller Theater” with Bill Cardille on which I was able to see the original version of the movie, The Fly, which came out in 1958 (yeah, I looked it up). A horror film, I thought it was pretty damn entertaining.
Naturally, though, it played with my mind, resulting in a nightmare. In the nightmare, I stuck my toe into an outlet by my bed, shocking myself. Upon walking, I discovered it was storming outside. The lightning flashes did an excellent job of twisting the bedroom furniture into other beings. I was positive that the chest of drawers was a robot walking toward me.
I remember, too, Mom telling me to keep it down, or I’ll wake the baby. Ah, good times!
Did you see it?
Did you see that stone skipping over the waves,
defying gravity as if it was nothing,
touching the water and flashing off like a blade of sunshine
Yes, that was me.
I always thought this song, “Long Cool Woman in A Black Dress” by the Hollies, is memorable for the era because it was a simple rock and roll song. It reminds me of CCR’s music for that reason. They, too, used a simple, distinctive approach. All of this song’s elements, from its guitar, drum, and bass use, to the vocals employed to tell the story, to the story itself, are basic. “With just one look, I was a bad mess. Cause that long cool woman had it all.”
How many of us didn’t meet someone who made us a bad mess with just one look?