Victorian Dream

One fifty in the morning.

I’m up after a nap of about five and a half hours, during which I dreamed a long sequence that was like a modern Henry James fiction. A woman owned a bookshop and she spent an inordinate time helping a younger woman to some purchases. I saw both of their faces blush a little at their interaction together. Meanwhile, the lineup of waiting customers grew longer and longer. And mixed with this plot, my mother was telling me about college football, and it was a Saturday in autumn. The prelude for this dream was where I went to the same bookseller and couldn’t find my wallet or my credit cards or anything, so she agreed to hold my item for two days.

The dream was so tame and quite peaceful like a drama of manners; rather Victorian and slow moving, and interesting for its pure humanness. People today don’t read James anymore, though when I was in school, he was more important than Mark Twain for his contributions to Modernism. So now, his legacy is something a person like me only dreams about. 


“Face to Face”

Nine o five.

It feels cold in here though the furnace is running. I fed the dog and I’m gathering myself to spring to the store as usual. I slept pretty badly last night from worrying and caffeine. I’ve got this lunatic music playing in my head by Missing Persons from many years back. I see myself in the garage of Burke’s dad’s house off of Coburg Road, where our band would practice. Is the memory really meaningful or just so much flotsam? Perhaps all psychology is fake and not a true science at all. I can remember the old yellow Datsun truck Burke used to drive. I don’t remember the car he replaced it with later. From lack of self confidence or a shortage of faith, I never led the band anywhere. We just jammed privately, drank beer, and made our nowhere plans for nobody. Alcohol is conducive to dreaming big dreams while real time passes you by. In the meantime, however, I did get an education.

Ten twenty five.

It seems that the world panders to our dreams. Around the bend from me is the little Sin City that sells everything you need to escape. Going the other way on the road, you’ll find a place to seek salvation, the hope of the coming heaven on earth and an end to suffering. Both places have their sights on the horizon. It makes me wonder why the present is undesirable, and why we don’t do more with it.

Like a lot of days

I can see through you and all you say

Even if you try to get away

You’ll find escaping will bring you face to face

In for a Landing

Eight o’clock at night.

Another dream.

A swimmer is out swimming in a bay and is concerned about finding a good place to come ashore. He figures how many more laps he can swim before landing. In advance, he has asked a lifeguard on land to be watching for his return. It isn’t clear whether the swimmer is myself or somebody else, but there is danger of fatigue and drowning in the bay. 


Wee hours.

I had an ominous dream.

I was with my dog on a sunny day in my front yard when I looked up and saw a white biplane in the sky. Somehow I realized that it was descending, getting closer and closer to the house. All the time, I heard the roar of its engines. So I hurried inside the house and waited. Presently the interior went very dark as the plane settled on the roof.

Then I woke up. 

A Pop Culture Myth

Ten forty at night.

I just figured out one of my dreams, and it dealt with the father figure of darkness, specifically the relationship of Luke with Darth Vader. Star Wars is such a pop culture phenomenon that it’s virtually public domain and a part of the collective consciousness. It can be the source of feelings of paranoia. Luke knows what he can or can’t do that will piss his father off to bring persecution on his head. Is it a form of castration anxiety? Vader, as his father, is authoritarian, and good when he is pleased or terrible when angry. Luke is free to do anything but cut himself loose from his evil destiny. When he rebels, he’d better be prepared to face the worst of his father’s wrath concentrated on him, sort of like Job when he challenges God and the latter terrifies him with extreme displays of weather… So I half awoke, knowing that a misstep in this or that direction could ignite the father’s fury. Then I got up to write this post. And I remind myself of my father’s date of demise this Friday.

Better than TV

Ten o’clock.

We’ve been to Bi Mart and also gotten breakfast across Silver Lane from it. They were selling televisions for around $200. If I wanted to pay a cable bill each month then I’d probably consider it. It seems like a good way to kill time when that’s all you want to do. On the other hand, it’s just pollution for your mind. Some people say you have no control over what you see when you watch tv, and it’s a passive activity— not like reading a book. My main objection to it is the incredible noise it makes, and my dog would hate it as well. So I guess I’m not buying one… I saw Judi at Bi Mart and the cashier was familiar but I don’t know her name. I got dog food, PineSol, and tall kitchen bags with yellow drawstrings: $26 all together. Again today it’s sunny and the sky is a rich cerulean. I’ll probably go to church tomorrow morning. Gloria is working very hard at the vacuuming. I’m quite lucky that the PCA process has worked out for me. A lot of people who tried don’t get the service that I’ve gotten.

Eleven thirty.

I never did go to the corner store this morning because of doing too much caffeine yesterday. There’s still plenty of time to go there if I want to later.

Three o’clock.

And then, I took a nap and had the most beautiful dream of a gorgeous brunette, kind of like Misty, who kissed me. This dream was like something from a literary work by Goethe or Joyce, where the focus is on passion and romantic love. After that I got up and walked back into the very unromantic world of streets and sidewalks, yet with the gossamer dream still clinging to me to dazzle the view around me like a trillion diamonds. 

Dream: Money

Wee hours.

I dreamed I was driving at night up to the Campus. But as I was crossing the Ferry Street Bridge it occurred to me that I had no coins for a parking meter, so how could I stop and get out of the car? I rounded onto Franklin Blvd and pulled into a small lot for a gas station, stopped, and got out. Then I looked in my backseat and found a few quarters at first; yet tipping the seat forward, there was a ton of silver coins: quarters and even silver dollars. I muttered to myself that I had a lot more money than I’d known. And then the dream sort of dissolved or morphed into something else. Now I can ask what the dream means, and is the money literal money or a spiritual kind of currency. Either way, it’s about the resources available to me, like an unconscious treasure, as when Hansel and Gretel find the witch’s hoard of gold and precious gems in her house in the deep dark woods. It’s also like the second part of Faust, where Mephistopheles enriches the land and people can take gold like money growing on trees. I think the silver coins in my dream are an intellectual kind of wealth because my destination was the University. 

The Underdog

Nine o’clock at night.

I had a dream that a T. Rex killed my dog. Aesop went up against him fearlessly to defend me but the huge lizard chomped him down. Obviously I was sad afterwards. I wonder what the dream means. Does the dinosaur symbolize something, maybe the monster of society or of life itself, and my dog represents the brave but puny individual whose valiant fight is futile? The story ends up the opposite of David and Goliath: the underdog, against tremendous odds, loses the battle. What are they battling over? Still, Aesop’s self sacrifice to the T. Rex kept me alive a bit longer, so his death was not vain. One more observation: the name “tyrannosaurus” means “tyrant lizard.” Thus, the real tyrant could be anything you can imagine: the Church, or perhaps a group of unjust politicians trying to topple democracy. But usually when I think of something threatening, it’s the menace to liberal scholarship and to education as I remember it. And of course, “Aesop” is the fabulist and moral teacher of antiquity.


Quarter of anytime.

I was dreaming of having an extended moment with an Asian girl. We were sitting on the floor in an out of the way place in a building of the campus. She impressed me as very wise as well as serene and beyond even reason. She said she didn’t analyze or critique anything logically but attempted to describe it, as an artist makes a drawing or a photographer takes a picture of a subject. I explained to her how my mind is trained to understand things like a Socrates or other Apollonian thinker… The moment was enveloped in silence and tranquility, and a peace and calm that were somewhere past understanding, like the Sanskrit shanti.