This one was long, complex, and layered. After thinking about all of it (an exercise in itself), just sharing a few segments.
I was at a writing retreat on an island. At one point, I was in a room with other writers. We all stopped to take a break. Many were out on the balcony in sunshine, watching fog roll in. Thinking about joining them, I went to the refrigerator to get a beer. The frig was fully stocked but I decided to pass and went back to writing.
Later, I took a break from writing, left my room, and went running around the island. It wasn’t a big item and writers were everywhere. I realized that’s how I’d been spending my time, writing, with breaks to run/get exercise and sunshine, and I was enjoying it.
I decided it was time to leave the island. I was almost done with my work in progress and decided I’d finish it elsewhere. After making initial arrangements for my flight out, I followed up at the front desk. An old but big white man, who was the owner, worked the desk. He asked me if I wanted food for my trip out. He spoke in a low, garbled voice. I was constantly asking him to repeat himself, leaning forward to hear him. He shoved a piece of paper at me and a new yellow pencil. “Fill this out!”
Looking at the paper, I answered, “Fill what out? There’s nothing there.” After pulling back the piece of paper, he realized that a form that was supposed to be attached was missing, found one, passed it to me, and then turned to helping others.
I couldn’t complete the form because the pencil wasn’t sharpened. New, it’d never been sharpened. Instead of trying to get the old man’s help, I found a used pencil. As I filled out the form, I discovered the food I was ordering would cost $1500, an amount I found shocking. I asked the old man, “How long is this flight going to take?” He didn’t answer. I decide in the dream that it takes a lot to leave writer’s island.
Paperwork done, I walked out of the office and down an outside walk. A young female writer, white, short dark hair, short in stature, came up and put her arm around my waist. I reciprocated with an arm around her shoulder. She and I walked like this, with her telling me how much she liked my writing and admired me.
There’s a period of driving around. I’m a passenger. The young female writer is the driver. She keeps going the wrong way down streets, concerning me. It’s only after the dream that I wonder how there’s so many cars and roads there when the retreat was originally a small island.
I realize I’m carrying half a book. A classic, it’s literally torn in half, with the final half missing. Someone asks about it. I explain that it was a gift from a friend, a joke. He told me that whenever he asks me how I’m doing, I always answer that I’m about half finished. He thought it was finished to give me half of a published book.
Later, I’m worried. I don’t remember packing my clothes, computer, etc. I’ve already checked out but we’re back by the office. I stop by and ask the old man if I can check my room to see if I left anything behind. He gives me the keys and says, “Help yourself.” I go to the wrong room. Realizing that my room number was six, I find and enter it. It’s still the wrong room. I remember that my room was up two flights.
I go up to the right room. My baggage is there. Everything is packed. As I’m walking around, looking, just to be certain, another writer enters. We chat while I’m searching the room. I find a large cache of papers behind the desk. They appear to have fallen there. Drawing them out, I realize they’re old and handwritten, and they’re not mine. As I comment on that, the other writer starts crumpling them up and throwing them away. I ask him why he’s doing that, and then follow up, “Don’t you want to read other writers to see what they’re doing?” He stops trashing the papers and begins trying to uncrumple everything, which makes me laugh.
I decide to shower and change clothes, but I leave the room door open. After leaving the shower, while I’m toweling off, I discover a young doe in the room. It’s missing the top half of its head. It’s bloodless but like its head has been sawn off above its eyes and its brain scooped out. Friends enter to tell me good-bye. I wrap a towel around my waist. I’m about to warn them about the deer when one friend mentions it, making a joke. I’m surprised; the deer is completely whole and fine. I wondered why I thought it was missing part of its head, and then decide I’m always looking for the worse, even when it’s not there.
That’s where the dream ended. As mentioned in the beginning, it was complex, and offered a lot to unpack.