More Stormy Dreams

A series of powerful, uplifting dreams rolled through me last night.

Each one presented an unusual or alarming situation, and all had to do with weather phenomena. I often dream about weather. It’s like a standard element in my dreams. I suspect that’s true for many people.

In the first dream, I was striving to go up a sparsely vegetated steep mountainside. I felt it imperative that I reach the top. Strong winds were slamming me back. Not only did it seem like the winds were slowing me down, but seeing a precipice not far away, I thought, “I’m going to blow off this mountain.” Trying to hang onto something, anything, damn it, everything kept falling away. First a walking stick snapped in half. Shoved back past trees, I lunged for branches. I missed at first, then caught some, which promptly broke. Though I windmilled my arms to grab another branch, the wind took me from the trees.

Dropping to the ground — whether I fell or did this deliberately wasn’t clear — I saw a handle in the earth. Seizing it, I thought, why is there a handle here, and then gathered, its a tree root.

All this is in sharp relief because, bang, I awoke to the sound of the wind beating our bedroom blinds. Which, I thought, with a chortle, closing the window, was probably what prompted that dream. It’s also somewhat of a recurring dream, this against the wind on a mountainside motif.

Back asleep in seconds (so it felt), I found myself alone in a pouring rain. Was it day or night? So deep and thick was the rain, I couldn’t tell. The crashing precipitation veiled the world in heavy gray wool but also battered my face as I tried to see, forcing me to protect it with my hands. Yet, I also needed my hands to hold on.

With that realization, I saw that I was ankle deep in cold water. I needed to get somewhere higher, but looked for escape and couldn’t see any. I thought I saw something yellow but it came and went too fast for me to confirm it. Deciding there must’ve been something, I forced myself that way.

The water was over my knees and its current was increasing. Fighting the current was sapping my strength. I couldn’t see and needed my hands to hold onto something that I’d found — couldn’t tell what, and it was wet and slippery — but then let go to try to wipe rain off my face.

I fell backwards into the water. The current immediately victimized me. My head went under. I gulped water and struggled for air while fighting to stop myself and get the fuck up as the water carried me along like a leaf.

My back came up against something hard in the flood waters. I didn’t know or care what it was but used it to leverage myself up. Right then, I turned my head to get my face out of the rain, and saw a yellow light. Rectangular, it was a door or window, and very clear and yellow against the gloom. I headed for it…

And was again awakened. I don’t know what woke me — cat, wind, my mending arm in pain from being in a contorted position, or general discomfort. The dream haunted me while my mind chased connections between the first dream and the second. Similarities were easily seen. I meditated on them as a cat found me, purring in the dark as I drifted off again.

I wasn’t alone in this dream, but with friends and family. Clear and balmy, the weather didn’t seem to be a factor. I’m not sure if we were on a picnic or at a celebration or what the deal was. Everyone was chatting and laughing, and a gay mood generally prevailed. Food on platters and in bowls crowded tables.

Yet, I found myself growing wary, and while that happened, I distanced myself from the rest in search of what was disturbing me. I hunted clues for it like one of those games presented in a ‘spot the difference’ diversion in a newspaper or magazine. I felt suspicious, like I was leery of something sneaking up on me, which seemed unreasonable. The weather seemed clear and everyone seemed happy. Why shouldn’t I be relaxed and happy?

I awoke and guessed the time: yep, seven twenty-five. My cats have trained my bladder to awaken and pee then. They (the cats, not the bladder) clamored for food and attention but I wasn’t yielding to their demands. I didn’t feel rested; I wanted more sleep. Yet, oddly, reflecting on these three dreams as I lay in bed, I felt fortified, like I’d endured something and came out stronger. And my mood, when I finally acquiesced to the inevitable and got out of bed twenty minutes later, seemed upbeat.

All these dreams are part of my regular dreamscape, presenting some variation of theme. This time, I thought they were like a weather storm system, moving through and clearing my subconscious as fronts will do in a region. It feels like that, because the day seems hopeful with promise.

Or just maybe, that’s the coffee.

Another Self-Flagellating Dream

No whips of any kind were in this dream, except the brutal emotional ones most of us employ on ourselves. This was a classic mélange of frustration and anxiety.

It began as a military dream. Whether this is true, I remembering being partially awake and telling myself, “Not another military dream.”

Then I wasn’t in a military dream. I was instead outside, with others. We were all all students and were scheduled to give an all-important final presentation. We’d already done one. Using feedback, we were supposed to go back and improve it.

But here I was, not at all fucking ready. It was time to go and I wasn’t dressed. I hadn’t changed my presentation, either.

I told myself, I can do this! Others began leaving for class. One reminded me that I needed to be there on time. The doors would close and lock at eight. If I wasn’t there, I would be failed.

Sure, I wasn’t worried.

Knowing that I needed to change clothes and my presentation, I went in the opposite direction of everyone else. What was I going to wear? How was I going to change the presentation.

I didn’t have answers. Time was running out. I decided, I’d wear what I had on – a red sweater with black pants – even though I’d worn those yesterday. And, by not changing clothes, I could make changes to the presentation.

Time was running out, and I’d wasted so much of it. I rushed toward class.

A bell was ringing.

I wasn’t going to make it.

I partially awoke. Thinking of the dream, I decided, I can change the outcome. Go back, dream again, and change the outcome.

I’m usually not bad at doing this. Today was a failure.

I went back. Time was running out. I would take a short-cut to get to the room. Rushing down a long flight of stairs, I came to another hallway.

It ended.

It was the wrong hallway. I couldn’t reach my class room from there.

A student and a security guard were sitting there, talking about another, but the details reflected my own situation. The student asked, “What if they’re late?”

The guard replied, “It doesn’t matter. I close the doors and lock them.”

“But what if they’re really trying?”

“Doesn’t matter. The doors are locked, and they fail.”

I started back up the hall to head for my class room. I found myself there.

The door wasn’t locked. I opened it and entered.

Everyone looked at me. The teachers (two) looked at me. A classmate said, “You’re in the same clothes. You didn’t change.”

The dream ended.

Mixed Dreams

Weighing dreams on the scales. There was another flying dream, brief but intense. I wore goggles in this one. The wind tore at my face. An insect flew into my mouth.

My sputtering and spitting marked the end to the flying portion. In a dream picosecond, I’m in the military somewhere, temporary duty somewhere, finishing up. A woman, a major is present. She came in for the same conference. I talk to her about sharing a ride to the airport. Plans and agreements are made.

Time skips ahead. It’s later than I thought. I need to rush. I haven’t packed! I need to check out, too. The airport is ninety miles away. No, it’s ninety minutes away.

I need to hurry.

I’m racing, explaining to the front desk, I order a ride and tell them where to meet me. Hurrying to the room, I shower and change clothes. Shoes! Where are they? Oh, I’ve packed them. Where’s my thing, where‘s my toilet kit?

Anxiety ratchets up.

I see a car, a silvery blue sedan, like a Buick. A woman is driving. My ride, I think. I wave at her. She parks and leaves her car. I shout over, “I need more time, I’m almost ready.”

She walks over and starts following me. I’m talking to her, babbling. We’re at once outside and in the room. I finally find my toilet kit — I’ve already packed it. Damn it, where’s my head?

And the woman says, “I’m not your ride. I’m your replacement. How was your visit?”

In morning’s warm light, it all makes sense. The military was a comfortable space. Not very challenging, and straightforward. Structured, with few surprises, and a lot of positive feedback.

Now I’m out on my own, flying on my writing words but so damned dismayed. Is it smart enough, original enough, good enough?

Where is my toilet kit?

I know. Standard writer qualms. Standard human qualms.

Standard life qualms.

See ya.

Depressing Dream

The highlight of this depressing dream…

My wife and I were in a car’s backseat. A man was driving. We were on what seemed like an unpaved road. Hard to say; it was snow covered.

Suddenly, ahead – a fawn.

The driver was talking and slow to react.

Then, “I think I hit it.”

The car is stopped. We’re all looking back. I’m saying to my wife, “I’m not surprised, he wasn’t paying attention.” The car behind us avoid us.

Then, a big tanker truck arrives.

The fawn did not make it.

The tanker truck didn’t even slow.

Yeah, depressing. Definitely an anxiety dream about the present, about people not caring, not paying attention, and being helpless to do jack about it.

Busy Dreams

So much happened in dreams last night. Putting it all together…well, I probably failed that. But, here goes.

My wife and I were in a new car, a small vehicle, made of gold. I was driving, and the car pleased me. I was very happy with my new acquisition.

My wife was in the passenger seat and there were two people in the back. We were going through a tunnel, perhaps exiting a parking complex. She told me that I’d missed the turn. I couldn’t turn the car around, so I backed up. Not able to see where I was going, I hit a support pillar with the car. This upset me, but we kept going. When I finally parked, I checked the bumper for damage. There was none.

After parking, my wife and a friend were going shopping. I decided to check into a hotel. But first, I spoke with Jerry.

I haven’t seen Jerry since 1977. We were stationed together at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Smoking a cigarette (as he often did back then), he was laughing and talking about how he’d changed. “I used to be a survivalist. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that I had.”

Laughing, I said, “I find that hard to believe, knowing you.”

Dead serious, he replied, “You don’t know me. You think you do, but you don’t.”

I went into my hotel room, got into bed and went to sleep. A while later, noises in the room awoke me. It was Jerry’s wife. She said, “Hey, do you need anything, baby?”

I said, “I need you. Get into bed with me.”

She said, “No.”

Shrugging, I sat up in bed. Her long dark hair was now a short bob. Looking right, I saw a pile of hair on the floor. “Have you been in here cutting your hair?”

“Yes.”

“While I was sleeping?”

“Of course.”

My wife rushed through the room. I realized that she was going shopping again.

I dressed and hurried to work. When I arrived, I found hundreds of people milling around, waiting for something to start. The man in charge gave me several lists. “There are forty possibilities in here. You need to match them up from the different sources so that we have the information we need.”

Looking at the lists, I saw that many were printouts, but some were newspaper articles. Some had circles in red markers, but others were highlighted in orange. Another man came up to help me.

“Can you do it?” the man in charge asked.

“Yes.” I was confident that I could. He left, and I got busy. It soon became apparent that the information was more difficult to sort and mass than I realized. He expected results for forty but there were hundreds or thousands of possibilities. I struggled with finding a scalable way to do it.

The man with me said, “It can’t be done.”

“Yes, it can,” I replied.

The man in charge came up. “How’s it coming? Are you almost done?”

“No,” my helper said. “Far from it. I don’t think it can be done.” He and the man in charge argued.

I said, “I can do it. Give me time and space.”

The man in charge said, “Okay, we’re counting on you.”

End of dreams.

 

 

 

The Typist

I sit down to write each day with little idea of what’s going to happen. This terrifies me.

Then I read a sentence or two of what I’ve written the day before, sometimes a little more, and the story takes off. In the space of ninety minutes to two hours, I’ll add two to three thousand more words, then stop and edit a little. Few changes are required; the story is coming to me so fully complete, I’m just the typist.

I know where and how the story started and where it’s supposed to be going. I lack all clues about how to get it there. I just followed the muses. They’ve presented this character that I don’t understand. He’s erratic. I know the reasons he’s erratic, as more of his backstory comes to me after I’ve written about him. After I write, I walk away and think, why did he do that? What’s wrong with him? He’s so inconsistent, I worry about it; I want to fix that, and make him consistent. But I suspect that if I attempt to fix him, he’ll just stop and the muses will walk away.

So…I let it ride, accepting my role as typist. The story sometimes entertains me, but more often baffles me. I’m writing mostly to see what happens next.

It’s a weird, odd role, being the typist. I know some writers insist that what I’m describing is complete bullshit, muses and characters don’t just take over.

Yeah, but here I am, with my coffee, about to do it again. It really is writing like crazy. It’s gotten me to seventy-seven pages so far. Guess I’ll just hang on and try to enjoy the ride.

Onward.

The Pants Dream

Yep, here we go, another pants dream.

It began with being at work. I was settling into a new place. It was an open work space. The CEO, who seemed to like me a great deal, was showing me around the place and introducing me to others.

He showed me my work space. Big desk, computer, etc., off to one side of everyone else, besides some steps that went up to a loft area where there were more work spaces. After he told me my assignments, he left. I got to work and finished very quickly. I then began hunting something else to do. Walking around the place, I had a sense that I didn’t belong. After a bit of that, I ventured to visit with the CEO to express that.

Busy with clients, he couldn’t see me right then, but I told his assistant that I didn’t think I was the right fit. She told me not to do anything, be patient, and she’d pass the message on, and then the CEO would speak with me.

I told another friendly co-worker that I didn’t think I fit. He tried to convince me that I did, but really lacked any solid points.

My wife arrived to see if I could go to lunch. Yes, I could, but I needed to change my clothes. I was in shorts. Thinking myself underdressed, I wanted to put on pants.

I’d brought some pants with me to the office. The first pair were dirty, so I didn’t try them on. I had fewer pants than I expected, and than spent some time looking for more. It came down to two pairs of pants. One fit perfectly but wasn’t a style or color that I liked because they were too different. White, tight, with narrow legs, they had diagonal black stripes. I was surprised that they were mine. The next pair were too large but I liked the style. I realized, though, since the first pair fit, I could put them on, and then wear the second pair of pants over them. Then I found a favorite shirt and put that on.

That combination seemed to work. I spent some time walking around, trying that out, verifying that I could move comfortably, and watching others’ reactions. I thought that others admired how I looked. Coming down the stairs from the loft, I saw a reflection of myself, and thought, yes, I look good.

I then left. It was lightly sprinkling outside. The CEO was at a table with clients under an awning. He called me over and introduced me to them, enthusing about me, which embarrassed me. I left to meet my wife.

There was a row of stores and cafes. She was supposed to be waiting for me outside. I figured that since I’d taken so long, she’d probably gone on to a store to kill time. I would check them until I found her.

I was checking the first one when she came in, finding me. As we were talking, she was telling me that she’d run into one of my new co-workers. As she was telling me that, he came in and asked  if he could join us for lunch. We said, sure, and went off.

Later (with a dreamshift), my wife had gone. It was growing darker, with daylight fading and lights coming on. My co-worker and I were walking back toward the business. As we were, we saw a party going on and remembered that it was an office party. He went right up and in, urging me to follow. I declined. He said he was just stopping for a few minutes. I decided that I’d wait outside, just past the entrance, and leaned back against the wall.

The party broke up a short time later. My co-worker came out. He joined me, chatting, asking me why I hadn’t gone inside. I told him that I didn’t think that I belonged. As we were talking, another co-worker was striding by below us. Seeing us, he came up the steps and handed me a cup.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s for you,” he answered.

“Why?”

“I thought you needed it, and wanted to give it to you.”

I felt flattered that he’d thought of me, and thanked him. He left. As he did, my friend and I began to walk. I drank from the cup that’d been given to me and discovered it was strong, sweet tea. It tasted wonderful. I began thinking, maybe I do belong here.

The dream ended.

The Diva Dream

I was on a school campus. Lovely place, green squares, well-maintained, with sidewalks bisecting the space between beautiful red-brick buildings.

Lot of people were milling around. We were all in uniforms, a forest green with small blue piping around the neck and where it buttoned down. I had three jobs. One, I was cleaning. Two, I was checking on people. Three, I was finishing song lyrics and jingles for them.

All was going fine. Then an exercise break was called. And the instructor (who reminded me of Lou Gossett, Jr.) said, “Come on, all you divas come up here.”

Being called a diva annoyed me. I’d never acted like a diva. To prove that point, I decided to act like a diva. Apparently, acting like a diva includes not wearing any pants.

People pointed it out. “You’re missing your pants.”

“I know. I’m a diva.”

Others pressed me, you’re not wearing pants because you’re a diva? “Yes, divas are different. I’m a diva, so I’m being different.” I had a long shirt on but no pants and underwear.

Light exercises were done. I did some of them, but, “I’m a diva,” so I didn’t fully participate, instead interrupting proceedings, exasperating the instructor. He and I then began playing a ball game. Sometimes it was a football, being tossed and kicked; other times, we hit or threw baseballs. Although people of my age (I was in my twenties), males and females, and several ethnicities and races, it was only the instructor and I playing.

Then one of his hit balls landed onto the roof of a tall building behind me and bounced over onto the other side. I’d been warning him that it was going to happen; now it had. As I made ready to go around and get it, he ordered everyone, “Let’s all go to the other side.”

His decision threw me off. I didn’t understand why we all needed to go. I was just going to get the ball. But he announced, “We’ll exercise on this side.”

This side was the street side. Other students, organized in groups, were running toward us (they were running groups). Suddenly, I was embarrassed by my lack of pants and underwear, and tried pulling my shirt down to cover myself. And, suddenly (as it happens in dreams), my shirt was shorter, coming just halfway down my butt. Damn it, I didn’t want all these other people gawking at me. As I tried covering up by stretching my shirt down and squatting, the dream ended.

In the end, it’s pretty classic as dreams go, innit?

The Cake Dream

Another anxiety dream, this one featuring cake.

Something had happened in the dream previous to this moment but its pieces are like sand in the wind. With the wind calming, I found myself in another place.

A younger version of me entered a hotel ballroom. Brightly lit chandeliers hung over the  gathering. Everyone, including were well-dressed, with most (including me) wearing a black tuxedo with black tie.

Everyone milled around, as if waiting for an event to start. Lost when I first entered, I slipped to one side to get out of the way and figure out what was going on. Multiple tables were set with tablecloths and centerpieces featuring burning candles. On either end were tables. Seeing something on those tables, I went to them.

The tables were full of elaborate cakes. Seeing them, I became ravenous. I wanted a piece of cake but there weren’t plates, knives, or forks. How was I supposed to get a piece of cake?

Feeling nervous, I decided that I was going to leave. As I began turning, a woman in a shimmering silver gown approached me and announced, “There you are.” I thought she might someone else and tried stepping out of her way, but it was clear that she meant me. Even as she changed course and addressed me, I backpedaled, almost banging into the table full of cakes. God, what if I knock them all over, I worried, almost seeing the mess that it would make.

With the woman coming to me, others were coming my way, too. The woman was talking but I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. As she reached me, she took my arm in hers and asked, “What cake would you like?”

I said, “I don’t know, they all look good, but I don’t see any plates.” I was looking for plates, knives, and forks, and then, with surprise, saw that they were on the table. As I mused, how did I miss that, thinking they weren’t they before, the woman said, “It’s all for you. Take whatever cake you want.”

Distrustful of her (and leery of more people) (mostly men in tuxes crowding around me), I told her, “I think I need to go.” As I disengaged myself from the woman, a tall man stepped up and held out a plate of cake to me. “Just take the cake,” he said in a gentle voice.

I laughed because I thought he said, “This takes the cake,” but I was also confused because I didn’t know what he meant. Still holding the cake toward me, he said, “The cake is yours. Take the cake.”

The dream ended.

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