Sunday, July 03, 2011
Hand in Mirage
Strange dreams have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I’ve had a few gems lately that were so twisted it’s a shame I couldn’t sell tickets.
First there was the dream of the sliding horses, which got weirder and weirder as it went on. A short time later, I dreamed I was walking down Main Street in Northampton, MA on a rainy afternoon when I saw my late father sitting on a rope swing that was tied to the branch of a large tree.
This was particularly upsetting because my father was in a state of serious mental and physical decline. He looked lost, with one shoe off and rocking back and forth on that swing. It was painful.
My aunt has a farmhouse in this area, so that explains the locale. And I had been traveling with my uncle—my dad’s brother—so maybe that’s why I saw my father. I just wish I had seen him at a better time in his life, but then the most recent memories are usually the freshest.
Still, as unusual as this dream was, it was mere fairy dust when compared with an experience I had a few nights later.
This particular fiasco was one of those rare four-alarm paint-peeling nightmares that are so truly awful that the moment I woke up I looked up at the ceiling and literally thanked God that it was all a dream.
Our story goes something like this: I am getting married and preparing to fly out to the West Coast with my family for the service.
However, on the night before the trip I realize that there’s one little problem.
My bride-to-be does not exist. She is actually someone I had dreamed up—while I was dreaming.
Now this can be a pretty serious issue if you plan on getting married. I’ve noticed that weddings tend to go much more smoothly if you have two people at the altar. (On the other hand, I suppose a one-person divorce would be a breeze.)
Please understand that I was not deliberately lying to my family. I genuinely believed that I had a loving fiancée waiting for me in California.
She Was Here A Minute Ago...
As soon as I realized what was going on, I did what I do best: I freaked. I ran around in circles wondering what was I going to do, what was I going to tell my family, and why the hell was I imagining phantom brides in the first place?
The next thing I remember I was talking to a friend of mine—we’ll call him “Phil”--whom I had not seen in a while. We had a bit of a falling out over politics—his are completely wrong—so I think seeing him in the dream reflected my desire to patch things up with him.
But Phil also brought along his chronically hot girlfriend and I’m ashamed to say that my devious little dream mind was thinking that maybe I could somehow swipe her from Phil and make her my emergency fiancée—sort of a fill-in-the-blank bride.
I cautiously floated the idea to my sister, who showed up in this nocturnal train wreck, telling her something like “you know, Phil has a real nice girlfriend…”
And that was as far as I got. My sister instantly saw the perverted path I was taking—something she’s very good at in real life—and let me have it.
“That’s disgusting!” she shouted before doing an abrupt about face and walking away. All right, all right, it was just a freaking suggestion…
And then I’m in a psychiatrist’s office--can’t imagine why. The shrink gives me some Prozac, but for some reason I walk out without paying the guy. (My relatives say this sounds just like me--hrumpf!)
I was convinced the doctor was going to have me busted, so I probably should have popped a few happy pills just to calm down before the cops hauled me off to the calaboose.
I tell you waking up never felt so good.
Clearly, this nightmare shows that I have a strong desire to settle down. So strong that I skipped some important details--like having a partner. But there are a few lessons here, too.
You can’t sleepwalk through life; you can’t fantasize your way into happiness, and you’ve got to get out into the real world if you want to meet the person of your dreams.
Now pass the Prozac: I’ve got to return my dream tuxedo before I lose the deposit.