Such Screwy Dreams

My dreams left me laughing and shaking my head. One involved food and family; the second was about military and ID (again) (but with changes).

In the first, my stepfather was there. ‘He and I didn’t get along’ is a loaded understatement. He was a large part of the unhappiest part of my life.

I knew that history in my dream, and even wondered, what’s he doing here. But I tried making nice, and he was being nice. My wife was there (she’d never met him), along with a couple of my sisters, and my mother.

First, weirdly, we — my wife and I — set up a television connection with the net to watch porn. Really. The plan wasn’t mine in the dream, and left me scratching my head, but I did as told. Then, lo, my stepfather and family sat down and turned on that porn. They were all laughing, asking, what’s that?

It was a flat screen TV. Distracting them, I spun it around so they couldn’t see the screw. Then I ran to the bedroom. Lifting the bedskirt, I located switches to change what they could see on the television. Then I dashed back, and turned the television back to them.

As they watched television, my wife and I prepared food for ourselves in the other room. I was having a Philly cheese steak sandwich; she was having a veggie version.

We went outside to eat. The food was on a plate. The house was on a busy corner. Some people passing asked if they could have a sandwich, offering to pay for it. My wife said, “Yes,” while I was like, “What? Don’t we need permits?” She was certain that we didn’t. Well, my wife and I started making and selling the sandwiches. Sales were great. We were happy, and sold them until we ran out of supplies.

The dream ended as my wife laughed, counted cash, and joked about doing it again.

The next dream took on a military spin. We wife and I were in temporary quarters, leaving a base. I think we may have been leaving the military. Well, we’re in bed when the door bangs open. Two guys walk in. I leap out of bed and rush across the room to confront them. I’m not big; they’re a good six inches taller and thirty pounds heavier. But this is the military and I’m a senior NCO, and that’s the power I’m using. I brace them, telling them that this is my room and they have no business being there. They’re disagreeing, saying the rules changed. I haven’t heard about changes, so I don’t give a shit, you know?

But I tell my wife what they told me, that there’s been unspecified changes that shifts our roles. Then I go out to learn more. After a few minutes, I return and tell her, I’ve confirmed what I was told, that it’s changed. Sitting down, we discuss the changes and agree that they were overdue, but that they don’t really matter, because we were done, suggesting we were giving up our military ID cards.

Then we leave with our baggage, and the dream ends.

In both dreams, I notice that it’s about changes. In the first, my relationship with my stepfather changed. Then my wife and I were making food for ourselves, but changed and started making and selling food. In the military dream, of course, there were changes that seem to reference the structure and our roles.

Then again, my dreams are often about change these days.

A Mundane Work Dream

In several ways, I deem this one of the strangest dreams I’ve recently experienced. It was literally like I was at work. My team were all there, working for me as in the early days of this century. Like that time, I was explaining some of the things I did and how it was done, instructing others to reduce mystery and increase illumination.

Nothing special. Then I was at home with my wife. I found three areas which were partially repaired. That is, the initial repairs were done, but they needed to be finished. All were regarding the walls where some damages had been inflicted. I called it out to her, asking, “What are we going to do about this? We can’t just leave this like this.”

Next, she and I were cleaning. She vacuumed the carpet with our Hoover upgright while I vacuumed the furniture with the central vac’s brush.

Then, I’d returned to work. It was a new location and I’d forgotten my coffee cup. Oh, no, I didn’t have a coffee cup! What shall I do? It was a joke with me and all my co-workers. I said, “Well, I’ll just use a foam cup (gasp, shudder), or paper, or borrow a cup, or buy a new one.” I set about doing that as a side project while greeting co-workers.

The biggest shock arrived. Lt/Capt Z, who I’d worked with for four years in the military in Germany arrived. He was completely as he was then, in his flight suit, sleeves rolled up. We each asked the other, “What’re you doing here?” We laughed and shook hands, happy to see one another.

Dream end.

I think this dream germinated with nostalgia, a sort of look back by my subconscious to more pleasant and predictable times. The wall repairs section with my wife was interesting. Looks like something is repaired but not finished. Although, the idea next that we’re, ‘cleaning up’ but going about it differently, was striking.

A Long Dream

A long dream, but not much happening.

I dream of food often, as often as cars, perhaps. Food was heavily featured in this one.

I was outside on grass but under an enormous pavilion. A celebration was planned. I showed up early to help with setup. It unfolded with lazy grace. First, a group of us put out tables and chairs. People arrived with food. Some are friends, but many are strangers. I tell them where to put their food. It’s a wonderful, relaxed scene.

At last, everyone is there and we’re starting. People wander around tables of food, checking the offerings and asking where they can find specifiic food. There’s a barbecue grill setup. Others are trying to light it but can’t. I show them how to do it. A little later, another friend is trying to light the grill. He’s doing it wrong. I’m about to explain how to light it when he figures it out and lights it. I find a plate of food and a place to sit.

Strange to have such a long, relaxed dream, like a day out of life, where we’re all just having a good time, being together. Perhaps it’s a manifestation by my subconscious of being out and socializing during this pandemic era. Or, maybe my mind is having a small celebration in honor of Joe Biden’s victory, and the changes that means.

An Exasperating Mask & Car Dream

Last night’s dreams wove and forth, like a fabric was being made, for large parts. Elements included a new, expensive sports car, someone misconstruing what was going on, and a first for me: wearing masks.

I dream about having new and expensive, exotic sports cars often. In this instance, the car was glossy black. Too precious to have anything like a roof, it featured two separate little seating positions with their own windshields.

While I was taking possession of that, driving around, admiring it and being admired, a parallel story went on. I lived in a fancy, wealthy neighborhood. One neighbor was a woman who was the classic helicopter mother. Doing everything with her two sons, she constantly hovered around them.

Well, the boys admired my car. I let them sit in it. She thought I was trying to take her sons. Dream parts were spent in me trying to explain to her what was going on, and her trying to avoid me because I was after her sons. Truly exasperating for a dream experience.

Exasperation was a dream theme. Next, I’ve parked the car and have arrived at this large gathering of people. We’re outside. Some friends are there, but most are strangers. My friends were telling people that I’m a writer, and then described my writing in glowing statements. This embarrassed me. It reached a point that I wouldn’t answer my friends when they asked what I was working on, but turned my back on them.

They stayed with me, though. We were all now wearing masks as we walked around, and I was trying to social distance, and telling others to do the same. Young people often wouldn’t wear a mask or distance, mocking me when I called them out on it. One male teenager, a redhead, was particularly exasperating, stupidly smirking when I told him to put a mask on and step back. He then made it a point, like a joke, to try to sneak up on me. He finally went away.

We had to go up to another level. I took the stairs to that. Halfway up, I discovered arrows pointing in the opposite direction. Then I found the way blocked with tape. I realized that they apparently had set the stairs up to be one way, but they’d only done this from the top. And they’d made no apparent provisions for people who needed to go up instead of down.

Yes, exasperating. Milling among people, my friends still behind me, talking about my writing, I abruptly realized that I wasn’t wearing my mask. Horrified, I pulled it out and put it on. Then I glanced around, checking to see if anyone had noticed.

No one had noticed, and I continued milling. Then, again, my mask was off. How did this keep happening? I wondered. I didn’t remember taking it off. My mask was in my pocket again. I put it on with a warning to myself to be more vigilant.

Two Dreams

Thinking harder about two of the five dreams I remember from last night. Disclaimer: all were short dreams. Two seemed like brief skits. I didn’t appear to be in the third, but was an observer. Either that, or I was someone else. Not sure which. To the two.

I’m uncertain of their order, so I’ll go with the car dream first. My wife and I were in a car. It was a new Chevy Camaro. Blue with white stripes, it sparkled in the sunshine. It was a gorgeous car, and I was very proud of it. Although brand new, it looked more like the 1968 model than the current model.

We were driving down a wide, well-maintained asphalt road, going through countryside. The day was wonderful. No other traffic was met.

After stopping for gas, we resumed our journey, talking about what a wonderful day it was. I said, “And we can enjoy it more, because this is a convertible.”

So I retracted the top, and we went on through the sunshine.

Such a short and simple dream. Prompts me to think, it’s the simplest pleasures that are best.

The second dream found me traveling on business in southeast Asia. I was in a taxi, going to the airport to return home. Having time to kill, I stopped at some small place.

The taxi ride had been pleasant, with the driver and I chatting about everything and nothing. I was relaxed. When the cab left, though, I discovered that I didn’t have my phone. After thinking about it a moment, I realized that I’d left it in my briefcase, and I’d left the briefcase in the car.

Well, damn. I went into a shop, told the owner what’d happened, and asked him if he could help. He did, by figuring out what cab had brought me, and then calling him. After talking with the driver, he told me, “Bad news. He has your briefcase with your phone and airplane tickets, and he’ll bring them to him, but you must do him some favors, and take things with you.”

After a Q&A, I realized that I was being asked to smuggle. I rejected that. Instead, I’d buy a new phone, see what I could do about the tickets with the airline, and replace the briefcase. I was annoyed and disappointed, but not angry. I was also trying to understand who I could report this to.

I went around looking for a new phone to buy. Nothing satisfied me, either because of design, or cost. I returned to the original store. I’m not sure what drove me to do that, but when I entered, the owner said, “Good news. Come with me.”

I followed him to the back. There was my briefcase. I was surprised. He said, “The driver returned it. He decided that you would report him, and he’d lose business, so he dropped it off and apologized. I said that I’d give them to you. He hopes you won’t report him.”

I opened the briefcase. Everything was there. Taking my phone out, I said, “I guess I won’t report him.”

That’s where the dream ended.

The Clothing Dream

It began…with work. Although I work for no one but myself now, most of my dreams these days skip around work and identity. It’s an amusing glimpse into my psyche, as if I’m saying, who am I without work? (I don’t consider writing working; don’t like to use that term for writing. Seems like calling fiction writing work debases the fiction. Crazy, right?)

Working for a man somewhere. I don’t know what I was doing, but I was good at it and enjoying it. He was sending me on a business trip. I’d been to the destination before but wasn’t overly familiar with it, so he and I went over a three-D map of where I was to go, to improve my comfort zone.

I had days before I was to leave, and had no reason to hurry. I went home as part of my normal day. We were sharing a house with another family. It was an odd arrangement. We also had young cats. My wife was going around, hiding treats for the cats to find.

I decided that I needed to check my clothing for my trip. I went into the closet and went through my suits and shirts. Nothing in there satisfied me, so I went off to buy more. Nothing in the first store suited my moods and needs so I pushed through stores, seeking the right product. When I finally did find it, after a search that took me from mid-afternoon to late dusk, I held up a suit and smiled, knowing that was it.

The dream ended.

A Hectoring Boss Dream

General background for this dream didn’t particularly coalesce. I was somewhere with others, inside a building, busy on a project. It seemed to be about indexing things, but I’m not sure.

This man (vague and indescript in the dream, except he was white), came along and demand to know what I was doing. Without allowing time for me to answer, he told me to get busy, then told me he wanted me to write an ad for him. Annoyed, I attempted protesting and explaining that I was working on something, but he was pushy as hell. He was also the boss and very successful, so I allowed latitude for that.

Settling down, I started to work on the ad for him. For this purpose, I picked up a pad and started writing in red ink.

Red ink wouldn’t do. He shouted at me, “Who told you to use red ink?”

Pissed, I replied, “No one specified any ink, and you didn’t say not to use red. What color will work, then? Blue? Black? Purple?”

He shoved a narrow notepad at me and a black pen. “Use this.”

I moved away from him to find a new place to write, settling on my knees at a low table, but he followed, trying to peer over my shoulder and see what I wrote. The pad he’d given me was full of writing. The pages were lined and everything was handwritten. I flipped through pages, looking for white space, while complaining to him that he’d given me a full tablet.

I finally found clean pages and started writing, but he hectored me. “What are you doing? What are you writing?”

I began explaining, “I’m writing an ad for you,” but he interrupted. “I want you to write me an ad for a person who needs help for a four-year-old.”

“What kind of help?”

“Doesn’t matter. Just get their attention.”

I kept starting to write, then he’d interrupt me. I’d move, find another page to write on, and begin again, and he’d interrupt me. I don’t know how many times it happened but I reached the point where I was ready to tell him, “Fuck off,” and leave it all behind.

But the dream ended. He was such an annoying asshole.

Identity Dream

Surprisingly, this dream wasn’t about the military. It’s a surprise because it has the feel of one to me. I was a military brat, who then joined and served twenty years. I moved on to civilian careers after retiring from the military and did okay, but my heyday was in the military.

I was in an office. A report needed to be sent. For some reason, this was an urgent concern for which we in the office weren’t ready. Send a report? What? How? Oh, the computers were out…hmmm, that sure reflected my Sunday computer frustrations.

Improvising in the dream, I procured an old electric typewriter, sat down, and typed up a draft report. While I was typing, I needed to piss. I did it under my desk, shocking my young employee. I did this three times. His shock turned to disgust by the third time. I was also shocked by the third time that I peed under the desk, vowing not to do it again.

Then I submitted the report to my boss. He surprised me by saying, “That’s not necessary.”

“We’re not submitting it?”

“No, we were told we don’t need to.”

“Who told us that?”

“A higher power. They’re submitting it.”

“Okay, if that’s what they want.” That was a task that I didn’t need to do, so I was satisfied. After informing my staff, we called it a day. I changed clothes (right there in the office) and rushed out to meet a friend, Ted.

He was there, waiting for me. “About time,” he told me. I apologized for being late, but he laughed it off. “I’m just bustin’ your ass. I ordered food for you.” He pointed over a railing. Below was a dining room. One table was set. A large sandwich with french fries was on it.

“That’s for me?” I asked. “That’s too much, but thanks.”

“No worries. But first we need to get inside.”

Get inside? Yeah, apparently there was a process. Ted knew it. “You need to show your ID,” he told me.

I said, “Yeah, I got it. It’s just…it was in my pants, and my pants were caught in a flood. I changed pants but everything in my wallet is soaked.” Pulling out my identification, I showed Ted a limp, soaked piece of rectangular paper.

He laughed at that. I took it to the woman manning the entrance. I was embarrassed but she laughed. “No, it’s alright. I heard your story. I feel your pain. You need to get a new identification.”

Card, I wanted to correct her, but other customers were arriving. Ted hustled us through, thanking the woman as he did. We went down to the table. There was more food and drink than I’d seen before, including a large, cold beer.

Although grateful, I gaped at the food and worried. “I don’t have that much money, Ted.”

Ted waved that off. “Don’t worry about it. It’s taken care of.”

The dream ended as I sat down to eat.

The Black Robin Hood Dream

Fade in to people speaking. It’s not a large group. I’m among them. So is a black guy. We’re sitting at tables in what seems to be someone’s home. I think we’re drinking wine and beer and eating.

Sadly, not having a black friend is an oddity in this phase of life. Few blacks live in Ashland, or southern Oregon. I have no black friends outside of Facebook and memory.

In the dream, we’re talking about Black Robin Hood. Apparently, a Black person is robbing rich people and redistributing the wealth to poor blacks. This group of people approve in the dream. We even declare there should be more, perhaps a nationwide group of Black Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor.

Then there’s conversation about how such a person, or persons would be vilified and hunted. I put out in the dream, Colin Kaepernick just took a knee and look at the reaction. Agreement abounds.

I float into a conversational tangent. This would be a good movie or television show premise, Black Robin Hood. It could be modern, serious, or parody. We figure it’s already been done. Surely Spike has done it.

Then the Black guy says, “I’m Black Robin Hood. I’m the one who’s been stealing from the rich and giving it out to the poor.”

That totally stopped the conversation, and ended the dream.

BTW, watched a film the other day about Colin K in the SuperBowl, and the way he played in the post season that year. It’s beyond belief that some team didn’t pick him up.

A Short, Sweet Dream

Working somewhere on my own, I was taking parts in. All were in so-so shape, but generally light and small. Nothing about the parts spoke to their purpose or where they would end up; most were flat pieces of metal half the size of a sheet of paper.

I’d inspect and clean the parts, then buff and polish them to a high gleam, finally matching them together to ensure they fit. Most were red or blue on one side, and bare and shiny, chrome-like, on the reverse. Then the parts were gone. This was as expected in a way, without a transition of wondering where the parts were, or a segue of giving them to another. I’d find and continue with more parts.

This went on for a bit. I was happy. The boss man came by, big, in a clean, fine suit, imposing, an unlit cigar for a prop. “Customers came by,” he said. “They’ve very pleased with your work.”

That pleased me. “Great. That’s so wonderful to hear.”

“What are you doing to them?”

He seemed honestly curios.

I was as honestly perplexed. “I’m just cleaning them up, making sure they’re in good shape, and making sure they fit together.”

The boss man nodded. “Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up.”

“I will,” I replied. “I will.”

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