The Factory Dream

I was working in a factory. I don’t know what was produced there.

Management was coming through to evaluate people, change positions, fire and promote, as they saw fit. Part of that, they were first going through a specific section that was designated personal work space. They would judge it and give us recommendations about our chances and where improvement was needed. Sort of feedback.

The personal section were about the size of a letter slot. Each had eight brass nuts on it.  Space at the corners and across the middle, the nuts were to be there and tight. They were on walls from floor to ceiling, with a continuous varnished blonde wood bench in front of it.

My personal section was faded green, scratched, and worn. It looked like it’d been there since the factory’s beginnings. On the wall opposite were personal sections that looked black and newer. They almost appeared unused.

People packed the factory. Excitement boomed about this pending activity, but I was unmotivated and distant about the whole thing. Then, we came returned to our personal sections. Most people had red tags and were disappointed that they’d not been selected.

I had a note. It read, “Your nuts are loose and your box is dirty. Fix these and you have great promise.”

The feedback amused me but my co-workers and friends were impressed. Reflecting, I didn’t know what it meant in the dream. Others took time to explain that out of all these boxes, maybe one in a thousand had a note. That gave me a chance that most didn’t have, if I took care of the things that were noted.

A manager came by. He told me the same thing and then asked me what experience I had. I told him about my previous involvement with databases, CRM, and RM systems, and my analysis work. Giving me a thumbs up, he said, “You have strong potential, good luck.” Then he left.

Now motivated, I cleaned my worn green box and started tightening my nuts. One was loose and immediately fell off. I searched the floor for it but couldn’t find my nut. That dismayed me. Not having a nut meant a demotion, I’d learned. I didn’t want that and wanted a possible promotion now.

I went searching for a friendly co-worker to get his advice. “He’s been traded,” I was told.

“Traded? To another company?”


“They can do that?”

“They can and do.”

That amazed me. I wasn’t certain about being traded but I definitely wanted advancement. I needed a nut.

Looking at the black boxes behind me, I decided to steal a nut from down by the floor. I’d used it, get the feedback, and then put it back when I was done. It wasn’t stealing, but borrowing.

I started executing my plan. A young woman in black clothing saw me. “You’re stealing someone’s nut,” she said, pointing. Denying it, I hastened away with the nut in my hand. As I did, she said, “I’m reporting you.” Turning away and hurrying off, she called out to another.

I stepped off. Looking back, I saw her talking to a man and pointing at me. Swearing, embarrassed, and humiliated, I took off into the factory.

I went out onto the floor where huge equipment was located. I’d never been out to the floor before. What I saw awed me. A friend who worked in that section came by and asked me what I was doing. I explained my predicament. He said, “You’d better go back and put that nut back. You don’t want to be caught with another person’s nut.”

I knew he was right. I headed back with intentions of covertly replacing it. Of course, I wanted to avoid that woman and the man she’d been talking to. Not seeing her, I put the nut back where I’d taken it.

Of course, I still needed a nut. Now the future seemed bleak. Looking down the line, I saw the inspectors coming.

My friend from the manufacturing floor came up. With deft moves, he put my nut on and tightened it. “Now you’re covered,” he said, and rushed off.

The dream ended.


The Fortune Teller Dream

The dream began in a small house. It seemed (these things are not always spelled out in dreams) that the house belonged to a family member. I was staying with them, along with my wife, as part of a visit. Not a large house, it was crowded with people, but the atmosphere was pleasant. The dream took place in the living room, which had green shag carpeting.

We were preparing for a visit, or inspection. I’m not certain which. A woman was present who was a councilor or adviser; I wasn’t certain of her role, but she was authoritarian.

This was happening in the morning. The inspections were due in hours. Someone unfamiliar was asleep on the sofa under a blue sleeping bag. I could only see the dark hair on top of their head.

We were all wondering in soft tones, “Who is that?” And answering, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen them before. They arrived last night.” Coming into the room and hearing us, the woman finally explained that it was son. “Don’t mind him. He needed a place to sleep for the night.”

Oh, okay. We all accepted that without question. A young ginger cat was running in and out, bringing in mulch and leaves after it rolled on the ground or something. Talking with the others, I said that I was going to vacuum the cat and get the dirt off of it. After I caught the cat, I started vacuuming him. He tried to run away, but then he started enjoying the process. I thought that he had realized that I was cleaning him as he turned to let me access different places with the vacuum nozzle.

The woman’s son awoke. Vague introductions were made. Tall and unshaven with short black hair, he looked liked he’d been living rough. He had some appointment, he said, and would be leaving soon. He seemed withdrawn and subdued. He and I spoke, small, friendly exchanges. I was curious about him, pumping him for more details. He finally, hesitantly, attempted to explain. He would do it with cards.

He said he was a fortune teller. He drew cards out of his pocket. They were made of torn newspaper. “I’m not allowed to have real cards,” he said.

Why? I had to ask. “It’s complicated,” he replied.

Meanwhile, he’d dealt the cards into three piles. I was a little bewildered, because I thought I only saw three cards. They didn’t have markings, but newspaper columns and ads. “No, there are more,” he said. “You can’t see them.”

Sure, I thought, humoring him. I said, “Oh, is this three card Monte?”

“No,” he said. “I do fortunes. I read fortunes in cards.”

I went to pick up a card to examine it, asking him if I could as I reached for it. “No,” he replied, putting a hand out to stop me. “You can’t touch the cards or bet on them. That’s against my terms.”

“Your terms?” I was trying to understand what he meant.

He seemed embarrassed. “The terms of my sentencing, and parole. I’m not allowed to have real cards, bet on cards, or let others bet on them. Nobody can touch my cards, because that would make them real cards. That would…” He seemed to search for words. “That would give me. Power.”

I was like, “What’s that mean? What’d you do? What happened?”

He said, “I’m going to tell you your fortune.” He picked up a flimsy newspaper card and looked at it.

The dream ended.

Another Car Dream

I had another car dream last night. The cars in my dreams are usually silver. They’re often sports cars, and frequently Porsches.

Last night’s dream was a little different.

I was in a boxy little car. Silver, it reminded of a Cube or Element, but it was neither of these. It had four wheel drive, flared fenders, and a powerful motor.

I was going down a hill to pick up my in-laws. They were waiting for me, along with their families. These were only living folks, and not the in-laws who’ve passed on.

The gang loaded into my car. Seatbelts were applied. Doors were closed. The car was started and a gear selected. One of my sisters-in-law said, “Thanks for picking us up. I really didn’t want to walk up this hill, but are you sure you’re going to be able to get back up that hill?”

I considered the hill. Covered with green grass, it was slick with rain, with mud visible in many places. Steep, as well, a ravine with a rushing stream cut through the middle. I agreed, it was gonna be a challenge.

But I was amazingly upbeat. With little thought, I threw the little car into a turn and went down the hill, developing a plan as I went. As said, “What are you doing,” I replied, “Trust me.” My plan was to go down lower to where it was flatter so that I could get a running start up the hill. My plan had a problem: it was much wetter and muddier down there.

I was undeterred.

Hitting the bottom of the hill, I threw the car into a wide curve. As it slewed around, I straightened it out, downshifted, and pushed the accelerator. Slipping and sliding with its engine revving against the tach’s red line, the car churned up the hill. Reaching the top, I slammed on the brakes with a grin.

Then the back doors, which were double, opened and I fell out. Landing on my ass, I looked around in surprise. An old friend (deceased) was standing there. He had a manual in his hand. He said, “I think this is what you’re looking for.”

I agreed with another grin. “Thanks.” The manual told me how to close and lock the doors so they wouldn’t fly open, and how to select a special gear to take me forward.

The dream ended.

A Soul-sucking Dream

I thought I’d made it through the dark tunnel once again. I endure the dark tunnel every month, a cycle of conspiracy between hormones, energy, genetics, and whatever else is in my frothy concoction of life. Last night’s dreams proved some tunnel remained to be traversed.

Bottom-lining one of the dreams without dwelling on details, I dreamed a younger self was being given an opportunity by a man named Rob. Just as he was celebrating that, another person came up with a better opportunity. That involved three positions (unspecified in the dream) but the potential was so exciting. I was pleased to be offered such an opportunity. The man offering it told me he had to make some calls, but that was just a formality. He’d get back to me, he said, and went off.

Meanwhile, I was working a job and doing a damn fine job of it – cleaning and detailing cars, a job I didn’t hate, but I was ready to move on. Off on the sidelines of my dream-life, I coped with a validation process. All males were required to be validated. We were given one inch cubes. They were different colors. A raised number signified the top. My number was four. My cube was green.

I stepped into line behind a few young boys. Another young boy was there. He didn’t know what to do. I told him I’d help him.

The process began. As we moved forward, a longer line formed behind us. The process involved us taking our cube up to a man in a lab coat. He put the cube on a reader, then he peered at something, made some annotations, and handed the cube back. He never said a word.

My turn arrived. Another man stepped out from the line’s middle, walked up to the lab man, and gave him his cube. “No,” I said. Marching up, I removed his cube and handed it to him. I pointed to the front of the line, and said, “That’s the order. We’ve all been waiting. It was my turn. You have to wait like the rest of us.”

I was seething, partly because the lab idiot running it hadn’t noticed or done anything about it.

Afterward, validated by lab-coat idiot, I took the boy out with me after he’d been validated, too. I told him, “We’re validated.” He didn’t understand what that meant, so I explained the word’s definition while admitting that I didn’t understand what it meant in this context. Then I found where he was to go and sent him on his way.

Afterward, I returned to another job I had. This was in a chaotic place. I decided to organize the processes. Part of this involved men pissing. They were pissing everywhere. I determined that if we pissed in one place, that piss could be collected and dumped, and everything would be a lot better. To that end, I found a small, square metal receptacle to be a pee-holder. Setting it up in a specific spot, I spread the word, piss here. As I caught others pissing elsewhere, I’d re-direct them to piss at the place I’d established.

When it was time for the piss receptor to be emptied, I discovered it’d been leaking. Piss was all over the dark carpet. This upset me, but I thought, I need to find a better location and receptacle. I was about to do so when the man who’d offered me the great position arrived.

“Walk with me,” he told me. “This way. Let’s get something to eat.” I told him that I’d just eaten but I agreed to walk with him.

We passed under an arch and arrived at an avenue. There he said, “I have some news for you.” I was optimistic and expecting to hear that I was due to start the new position, but hearing his tone and reading his face, I knew otherwise.

“It’s not happening, is it?” I said.

“No,” he said.

“Well, I guess I’ll go with the job Rob offered.”

The man gave me a silent look.

“What?” I said, but I knew the look.

“That dried up, too,” he said.

Heavy disappointment beset me. “I can’t believe this,” I said. “I don’t mind what I’m doing, but I was looking forward to doing more, to being more.”

“I know,” he said. “Sorry.”

He departed. I returned to polishing a car. I realized it was my father’s red 1969 Thunderbird. I’m not going anywhere, I thought.

The dream ended.

The dream depressed me (as all of last night’s dreams did). I woke up thinking, for whom does the bell tolls? It tolls for me, followed by a rant about facing facts about not having writing talent, being a miserable writer, etc., to the point that I encouraged myself to give up.

I know though, that I’m not the best judge of myself. I know that I can’t predict the fickle future. This is just some feeling sorry for myself bottom of the trash can crap. I can indulge in it, but I can’t let it guide me.

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