Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pajama Game

I’ve got to stop to dreaming like this.

It was Monday night into Tuesday morning. In this dream I’m sitting on a crowded subway train during the morning rush, and squeezed into one of the benches.

I’m on my way to work…in my pajamas.

They were my pajamas, too. I looked down and I recognized the pattern. I could feel the subway floor against my bare feet and I was panicking: how the hell did I leave my house like this? And what am I going to do about it?

No one else on the train seemed to notice my bizarre attire. These are New Yorkers, after all, and even dream New Yorkers mind their own business and pretend nothing’s wrong no matter what's going on.

Still, these people were like zombies. They all had their noses buried in magazines and newspapers and steadfastly refused to acknowledge me, which was probably a good thing given my clothing, but it really creeped me out. Say something, damn it. Don't pretend this is normal.

People in dreams can be so dense.

For some reason I had my gym bag with me, so I had enough sense to carry my shorts, jock strap, and the rest of that stuff. I just skipped the part about getting dressed.

I knew I couldn't stay on the train any longer and I bailed at Pacific Street. The next thing I remember I was in an alley behind a house in some area that looked nothing like the real Pacific Street and I was putting on my training shoes.

I seemed to need privacy to put on a pair shoes, even though I was prancing around in my pajamas. That doesn't make much sense, but I remember feeling more comfortable as I headed back to the train station to go home to get clothes. Ah, shoes. Now I can face the world.

Okay, so what’s going on here? My shrink will make me break this dream down when I tell him about it, so here are a few thoughts.

Clearly being improperly dressed in a public place reveals a fear of losing control. Now on Monday morning, my brother and his family went back to San Francisco after a week long vacation. The week, which was as cold as a bastard, just flew by so quickly and by Sunday I was worn out.

A Candy Colored Clown

My niece, Victoria, wanted to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center on Easter Sunday, but I decided to stay home. It was still cold, I was beat, and I had to go to work the next day. We were all going to have Easter dinner that night anyway.

I saw the Easter Bunny skating around the ice rink on the TV news that evening and I learned that Christmas Day was actually a few degrees warmed than Easter. That kind of thing can you make you real nervous.

I laid low during the day then hiked up to this fine Italian restaurant about 20 blocks from my house. I hooked up with the family and had a good time.

Easter, like all the holidays, is not the same now that my parents are gone, but it makes me more thankful for the loved ones I do have. And it means I will have to change the way I celebrate these holidays.

I said goodbye to Victoria and Amy, my sister-in-law, and my brother Peter took Jim and me home. The next morning I made breakfast for me and Jim, squeezed his shoulder and headed off to work. I always worry when my family has to fly so I tried not to think about Jim and his family in the air. Just wait until they call, I told myself.

The family house was empty again and I moved back into my (formerly my parents' bedroom), which I had allowed Jim to use while I crashed on the couch. I suppose I could have slept in my old room, but the cleaning work required to make it liveable would have taken the whole week.

Then I got the call. At midnight on Monday, while I was in bed. A call that late is either bad news or a wrong number, so I flew out of bed and ran down the hall—in my pajamas—to answer the phone.

It was Jim calling from Denver. Their plane out of LaGuardia had been delayed and they missed their connecting flight to San Francisco. The airline was putting them up for the night and they just wanted to know where they were so the East Coast contingent wouldn't worry.

Fine, I'm not worried. I went back to bed to get some sleep before it was time to get up from work. The next thing I know I'm on the R train in my jammies.

I think the Pacific Street station was in my dream because every time we went out during Easter Week, my sister would drive down to that train station, park her car, and then we'd all get the train into Manhattan.

Coming back at night, we'd reverse the process and get off at Pacific Street, usually walking by the halal Chinese restaurant on Fourth Avenue. The neighborhood is getting more yuppified every day, but the clientele here was almost solidly black. It looked like the old Pacific Street that I remembered.

So there it is. Not a terribly big mystery about how this dream came to be, but I tell you, it was just real, I check the mirror carefully before going out the door every morning.

Wonder what I'll dream up next.


Calamity Jen said...

I once made it halfway to the bus stop still wearing my slippers. Mighty comfy slippers, they were.

Rob K said...

Hmm...that's what I need, in case I go sleep walking. Or some footsie pajamas.