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.

Three out of Five Dreams

Three out of five dreams. It sounds like one of those old commercials about dentists and gum.

Of my five remembered dreams last night, two were intriguing but don’t pester my brain as the others do. The last one was downright depressing.

In the first of the three, I’d come to have a new Aston Martin roadster. Gorgeous car, ticketing out to a quarter million dollars. Deciding to keep it, I forged documents to show myself as the owner. Then I drove it around, showing it off.

People were admiring. I basked in it. Young friends asked for rides. I obliged, turning off traction control and shredding expensive tires with smoky burnouts.

Then…I started wondering, what’s going to happen? How will this end? They company will realize that the documents are forgeries. I thought, I need to get it back to them, and began crazy plotting to do that.

I assign this dream to the imposter syndrome surfacing yet again.

The second dream, brief, was amusing and sardonic.

I was in a large warehouse sort of building. Pale green, it was well-lit. Several others were with me. As we walked around and looked around — the dream provided no excuse for this setting — someone said, “What do all those buttons and switches do?”

And I, still looking up at the ceiling, answered, “Try them and see. That’s what I always do.”

Yeah, see? I always press my own buttons.

In the third dream to be discussed, I was leaving one overseas location to go home. I don’t think I was in the military…at first.

Ah, yes: confused identity. Still fall back on identifying myself in the military as who I am.

There was a gathering first…for someone else, another, who was younger. I supported that, giving gifts. I had a collection of things I wanted to keep together. Some many things were happening in parallel, all became a hasty rush. Going to leave — because it was time — someone gave me a pile of shredded docs and torn papers.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“That stuff you wanted to keep because it was important.”

I was incredulous, of course. “It’s all destroyed.”

“But it’s all there.”

They thought was a joke.

I tried shaking it off. Champagne was there.

“Let’s have champagne to celebrate my friend.” I picked up the bottle and unwrapped the cork, then popped it off. It discharged with tired energy, barely emitting a pop and shooting off about six feet. So dismaying.

Champagne foamed out. I stoppered it with my thumb. “We need glasses.” All started searching for something to pour the champagne in. No drinking glasses could be found. We improvised with paper cups that we made.

Then I was off to leave. You ever see the show, “Burn Notice”? Bruce Campbell plays Sam Axe in it; he sometimes employs a fake identity, Chuck Finley.

Well, here was Bruce as Sam, saying he was Chuck, accompanying me to the checkpoint.

I’m in an Air Force uniform now, last in light. An old guy is checking me through. You put your name onto a clipboard and sign it, then produce your document. He was looking for a form 126. I didn’t have my form 126. I searched and searched. I had it earlier; now it was gone.

“Then you can’t go in,” he said.

Sam Axe to the inspector, “Come on, buddy, can’t you cut him a break?”

The inspector just looked at him.

Sam tried again. “You know who he is?” He indicates me. “You don’t want to piss him off.”

I pulled out my wallet, the one purchased in the Philippines long ago. I still have it, it’s lovely, but I don’t use it. In the dream, it started falling apart in my hands. “My wallet,” I said. “I bought this in the Philippines when I was young.”

The inspector graced me with a sad headshake and walked away. Sam said, “Well, I tried.” He handed me clothes and walked off.

I was in my uniform. I would change now. I removed my Air Force trousers and put on the new trousers. They were about two feet too long and way too large at the waist. They also emitted a weird black dust.

Sighing, I removed them, intending to put my uniform back on. A tour group of women arrived, talking about books, as I was changing. “One woman said, “Sir, you need to leave. You’re in our way.”

Ouch. Dream end.

I half-awoke with dreams drifting through my head. Grey morning light dully lit the room. A cat could be heard puking in the other room.

Ouch.

The Fingerprints Dream

I was working for a company whose mission seemed to be tracking fingerprints on the Internet. A young and brilliant bearded guy was our leader. Many young people worked there.

I’m not certain of my responsibilities with this company. I also had a second job with the NSA. When I came into work at the company, they told me, “We can’t find any traces of you on the Internet. Your fingerprints are completely missing.” They took some time to explain that was very unusual.

I resumed working but kept thinking about what they were saying. I knew that the NSA was always covering my tracks and hiding my fingerprints. I suspected something they were doing was spreading to other activities.

I took my suspicions to the CEO and engineering time. They didn’t know I was working for the NSA but thought that what I was suggesting was possible.

It was time to party. The company was celebrating a milestone. As part of that, they were re-creating early scenes from the company. Everyone but me was involved. I hadn’t been there, so I stayed back to watch. It mostly involved people singing, dancing, and laughing.

The CEO visited with me. “Do you want some tea?”

“Sure,” I said.

We were both lying down, which is how we worked there. He turned. Behind his back was a small white tray with two tiny white cups and a small and delicate teapot and creamer.

He handed me a thimble-sized cup. I reached for the pot to fill it but discovered it already full.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Wheatberry.”

I drank it down. It scalded my throat but tasted fantastic.

“Wow,” I said. “That’s amazing. I feel like it’s a shot of energy.”

Nodding, the CEO answered, I”It is,” and walked away.

The dream ended.

The Flying Man Dream

I’m a young boy climbing a slippery dark green hill in the dream. It seems like it’s late in the day.

I’m muddy and grass stained. I hold onto tufts of grass to pull myself forward. The grass breaks again and again. I fall backwards and slide, but catch myself. I’m making progress, but it’s slow, wearying, and tedious.

A shadow passes over me. Engrossed with my climbing, I notice it but don’t look up. When it passes me again, I think, bird. When the shadow goes over me a third time, it seems slower and larger, so I look up.

It’s a man with wings.

My first thought is, “Angel.” He’s grubby and bearded, though, with dirty hair and torn clothing. I decide, “That’s not an angel.”

Wings beating the air, he hovers above me. I think, he shouldn’t be able to do that. His wings aren’t beating fast enough. I wonder if wires hold him up.

He says, “Do you have the map?”

I don’t know what he’s talking about.

He says, “The map. You’re supposed to have the map.” He’s speaking slow and loud. “Do you have it?”

I shake my head. I want to continue climbing the hill.

After watching me some time in a way that makes me itch, he flies away. I resume climbing. Then, thinking, the map, I stop and begin searching my clothes for the map. I recall, yes, I’m supposed to have a map. I remember the flying man and realize that I’m no longer a little boy. I want to turn and look down the hill. The hill seems like a mountain now. I don’t look back because I think I’m still back there, climbing as a little boy. I don’t want to see that.

I search the sky instead, looking for the flying man, trying to catch a glimpse of his shadow.

I think, was I the flying man?

He could’ve looked like me.

Or I looked like him.

The Lawyer Dream

Dreamed a lawyer was trying to seduce me. Blonde and female, she was young and friendly.

hadn’t started long that, though. First, she and several other young lawyers showed up. All were dressed in suits with trousers. She wore a gray suit with a white shirt. There may have been four in the beginning. They’d already to literally practice law by observing and doing mock cases. None were anyone that I know.

I was young and they were young. I wasn’t a lawyer. Seems like sometimes I was in the military but other times that I wasn’t, which amused me during the dream.

I found a place to sit on a secluded cement space just outside the courtroom area. The center was a courtroom; the rest was like a small arena. I wasn’t there to watch, but to rest and take a nap. The young lawyers arrived. I observed them but didn’t think much more about it than, “Look; young lawyers.” All were dressed neatly.

They came over to where I was seated and asked if they could sit there, too. Sure; I didn’t care. There was space. The blonde, and a slender, dark-haired white male, sat beside me. He was dressed in a blue suit with a white shirt and red and blue striped tie.

She was immediately adjacent to me. I had a blanket, and I told them that I was going to take a nap. They were fine with that. The mock trial started as I pulled my blanket up. The blonde said she was cold; would I mind sharing my blanket?

Sure, no problem. The trial continued. I was making comments about it because I knew the people involved, which surprised the lawyers. I shrugged it off; it was just stuff that I knew. The blonde cuddled up against me. As I drifted toward sleep, her hands roved over me. She began kissing me.

Amused, I chatted with her about it. She told me that she wanted me. I told her that I was flattered but I was going to pass. She was understanding. She went off to get something. Her friend told me that the blonde really liked me. The whole thing amused me, as it was so much like high school.

One mock trial ended. I was going off to another area. He wanted to walk with me. “Sure, come on.”

We left the courtroom arena. Now we were inside an enormous atrium attached to a tall, large building. I knew that I was on the eleventh floor. We could look down and see other sidewalks and bridges, all of it connecting buildings, all of it inside. I was chatting with the lawyer, who was young, bright, and friendly. He was also gay, he told me. Well, cool, fine he was friendly and polite person, so what’s orientation have to do with anything?

He wasn’t sure how to get to the next courtroom, so I took him there. We arrived, and as we were chatting, the judges arrived. Two were previous commanders of mine, 0-6 colonels. They greeted me, making jokes about things, hamming it up for the others beginning to arrive.

I took me leave as others arrived. The blonde female lawyer arrived dressed in a tight, dark-blue dress. She kissed me hello, told me that she had a room nearby, and suggested that we go. I let her take my hand and lead me away.

The dream ended.

The Goatee Dream

First, there was a sex dream. The neighbor’s cat was crying at the door and broke that spell. After I let her in (and provided a meal), I used the loo. Back to bed, I thought about the dream and hoped it would return (as it was comforting and pleasant).

It didn’t. In its stead came the beard dream. Standing in front of a mirror, I prepared to trim my goatee and ‘stache. What I saw horrified me; the goatee was massively overgrown.

I began trying to trim it while wondering how it’d come to look so bad with collateral thoughts of, had something happen to me, did it always look so horrid, and geez, why didn’t anyone say anything to me?

My wife was in the dream’s background, talking, giving me the impression that, “We needed to leave soon.” Don’t know to where. I responded that I was almost ready (not true), but that I just had to trim my goatee.

I saw my goatee had grown to double bumps hanging down, which didn’t do anything for my face. I looked like Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but more withered and grayer. Naturally, I concluded, trim them. Somehow, trimming them worsened their appearance. Recoiling with fresh horror, I decided that it all looked so bad that the only thing that I could do is shave the goatee off entirely. Trying, though, I ended up revealing a bloody wound that the beard concealed.

What happened? Had I cut myself? Meanwhile, my wife was calling for me to hurry and my beard had darkened and grown across my lower face.

That’s where the dream ended.

Yeah, classic self-image dream about my identity, isn’t it?

Choices

He was recovering from his surgery. Blood, of course, kept seeping into the bandages. They told him that would happen.

The surgery’s grogginess was finally gone by the next morning, but he was surprised by how much the surgery limited him. His movements were slow and tentative. Talk about a damn anchor. He felt pain, too, dull, throbbing, and steady.

They’d given him pain killers. He read the label and all of its warnings. Taking hydrocodon ACET 5/325 might make him drowsy or dizzy. “Do not drink alcohol with this drug.”

Well, that was that. He preferred a glass of wine or a mug of beer over some pain relief. Besides, if he took the hydrocodon, he wasn’t supposed to drive. He’d been driving since he was fourteen, beginning on the back-country roads of western Pennsylvania over fifty years ago. Not drive? That was unacceptable. He kept his red Camaro convertible clean and polished. Forget all of his education and work success; driving was one of the foundations of who he was, driving, beer and wine, and rock and roll.

That was him.

The Dream the Night Before Last

This dream comes from the bizarro files.

I was with my wife. We were on a military installation. Walking around as we did while we were young, we were checking out the clubs and exchange. We then decided to leave to explore other places.

Promises of rain shaded the clouds’ colors. We started walking across a broad asphalt expanse. Partway across, I realized I had to piss. Telling my wife that I’d catch up, I hurried to find a latrine but failed to get there in time and pissed my pants. I left the latrine with pissed pants but seeing how I looked in daylight, I decided I needed to go back, remove my pissed pants, and let them dry. So I did.

The latrine was crowded and busy. It wasn’t like a latrine so much as community room with latrines and showers to one side, vaguely reminiscent of an Army place I once visited. Music played from boom boxes. Others watched sat on sofas and chairs or were on beds, watching television. The walls were painted cinder block.

While I was taking all of this in, my pants disappeared. Discovering that, I figured they were stolen. Whoever took them left fluffy gray sweat pants in their place. I had to wear something, so I put those on. With them were Ugg boots. I guessed they went with the sweats, so I put them on, too.

Then I left, walking across the asphalt to find my wife. Naturally, seeing me in gray sweats with Uggs instead of jeans and my regular shoes, my wife wanted to know what happened. I explained in a long, round-about ramble.

And there the dream ended, with me bewildered in a parking lot, explaining myself on a cloudy, windy day.

Lost Identity Dream

Well, that dream was something, starting with the carnival, and finishing with a “Wizard of Oz” ending.

To enlarge, I was at a carnival, and it was day. Several women were present, but nobody I knew. I was working in a roughshod office; I don’t know my job, position or task. Three women – maybe they’re my muses – were distracting me, and then making enticing offers about what would happen if I go with them. One, a tall brunette, was dressed in a sky blue dress, and danced as she moved toward the exit.

I was interested, and more than willing to follow. But, I discovered I was missing items. First, I was missing my car keys. Then, I was missing my green Tilly hat, and finally, I was missing my wallet with my identification and credit cards.

That last shocked me. As the women said good-bye and left, I started a furious, intense search of the carnival grounds. I knew it was a carnival, but it was little more than a few tents and booths set up over sloping, grassy ground. Others were present; one man told me to go to another section. There, I would find a little woman. I should report my loss to her.

I did so, and she provided me with a gold credit card to use until I recovered. It was in a clear plastic sleeve with money and other items to help me. I thanked her, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted my wallet, keys, and hat. I wanted my identity, damn it. Yet, I was aware, the clock was running; if I didn’t soon find my lost credit cards and identity, someone else could use them and rip me off. I became concerned about how to explain it to my wife.

I kept searching, and stumbled across my Tilly hat on a patch of grass. Relieved, I picked it up. Underneath it were my wallet and keys. I was overjoyed by the finds. Locating a computer, I checked my accounts, and confirmed that nothing had been charged. Apparently, I decided, I’d just misplaced it all. I was relieved.

Then, though, I acknowledged I had this new, unused credit card in its plastic sleeve, along with the money I was given to assuage my troubles. I tried giving them back, but that option was rejected. I could keep it, I thought, to have something private available for emergencies, but I couldn’t reconcile to myself why I would need something private.

It was still day, as though the sun hadn’t moved. The dream ended with me putting on my Tilly hat and walking away, keys, and wallet in hand, undecided about what to do, but realizing that I’d had all my identity all along.

I’d been worried about nothing.

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