Monday, August 11, 2014

In my dreams

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or maybe Bill Murray, and nine other guests are coming for lunch at 9 am. I not only agree to host the lunch, I insist upon it. But why? Now I have to clean, cook, set places. And the logistics of it all escapes me -- the table, for instance, seats only nine; someone will just have to stand; pour wine, maybe.

I stare out the second floor window for my guests. No one comes at 9. No one comes at 10.

And then, a group of men enter without knocking, carrying great bouquets of flowers. Of course, what was I thinking, this is a catered affair. They open picnic baskets full of, what? Oh, good stuff. Entrees, oysters, escargot. And now they carry troves of vegetables to the sink. My sink. My sink is kind of dicky. Sometimes it stops up. Perhaps I should tell them? No, if things go south, best I feign shock and surprise.

In the meantime, I need to move the bike and helmet out of the hall so Roosevelt can navigate the wheelchair, from living room to bathroom. There's also a pile of laundry in the hall, which I will cleverly disguise with a blanket.

My father, mother, Roosevelt, a recent boyfriend, and all the guests arrive. We sit down for lunch, but only women are at the table. I go in search of the men, and find they've gathered together in the bathroom. I knock on the door. No one answers.

I smell cigars. Oh yes, of course, they're having a pissing contest.

There's a neuroscientist, and probably more than one, who says that while we're able to cast, script, narrate our dreams, we're also the audience, the clueless audience. We stage and direct a big, big show every sleeping night, yet have no handle on what will happen, one page, one scene to the next. And we almost always wake to a cliffhanger.

Which would be ok, I guess, if we were looking at a mini series. But dreams don't work that way. All that scripting, plotting, intrigue, all those possibilities, they just end with a question mark or em dash. And vaporize.


  1. I dreamed last night there were three light poles bent to the ground forming arches all in a row. I walked beneath them. That's it. What does it mean doctor?

  2. I always dream, usually so vividly that I awaken more than once during the night, sometimes while talking in my sleep. And then I try to figure out how to finish what I was doing. You were just here last night, telling me we should take a ride to the Jersey Shore so you can tell me how bad the traffic isn't.

  3. You peeked. Try this:

    If you missed a verse or two, here they are:

  4. Not a whole lot to work with there, Pierre.

    Marjie, I costarred in your dream? How cool. I hope you brought some crab claws.

    Doris, love G&S.

  5. As a species we are addicted to meaning, and dreams tantalizingly taunt us with the hint that they are a Rosetta Stone for life.

  6. Save that quote Desiree for when you get your own 'Brainyquote" page.

    As for me, I dreamt I was taken hostage by the ISIL along with my mother (who couldn't keep her mouth shut). Things didn't bode well for either of us. Fortunately I woke up before they had a chance to put our heads on spikes.

  7. PA's dream is the exact kind I get if I watch the 11PM news or scary movies. That's why I only read the papers early in the day.

    And Karin, you wanted cake to take along for the ride. Chocolate, if memory serves. The crumbs in my white car interior were not going to be pretty. We could always get crab claws "down the shore", as they say in Jersey.

  8. "I'm tired of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going, and hook up with them later."

  9. Dear Lady,

    This luncheon you are having at nine o'clock in the morning disturbs me. I couldn't possibly manage to choke down escargot at that hour. However, a sizeable l

  10. Dream on!


    Col. GGG

  11. I sure wish the scientists would get on this and figure them out. Do you think they're part of that 80-92% of the brain nobody understands?

  12. Well, likely this post will stay up for several days, and I hope one or two of you will lay bare a dream you've had this week. One of the interesting things about dreaming, and I'll take mine as a for instance, is that I didn't find it strange at all that a dead president would come for lunch at 9 am; I just worried about the menu.

  13. I usually don't remember my dreams. If I do, it's an image
    (a night-time road, danger)
    and there
    (a slanted pool on a hill--how does the water stay in?).
    Some images recur. I only talk if I'm scared.

  14. I often have dreams where I'm trying to figure out some kind of complex puzzle. But no famous people. And, so far, I haven't invited anyone to dinner.

  15. As far as dreams go, your story makes perfect sense. Four years ago I started dreaming on a regular basis that I was teaching elementary school again - different classrooms in different schools in every situation imaginable, which was odd because I had no intention to return to teaching and could not imagine a way that would ever happen. Be careful what you dream because here I am headed back to school.

  16. It's only rarely that I remember my dreams. Some stay with me for days, though.

    This is a goodie. Maybe you should turn it into a screenplay.

  17. I dream a lot every night. Last night's was me trying to figure out how to make penne with vodka sauce because the Sopranos were standing in my kitchen, trying to instruct me. I never did get a recipe from them, despite the fact that I had a pencil and paper in hand. I guess the Sopranos were able to evade the New Jersey traffic somehow.

  18. Oh, too good, M -- you in your giant country kitchen, getting a few recipe tips from the Joisey Mafia.

  19. I often have dreams and many times I remember them with details, another time they vanish like a soap bubble.
    I agree with you that the interesting things about dreaming is that the dream "script" looks so plausible, so credible.

  20. Two nights ago (because of your post?), I was trying to convince my superiors to let me take a group of students to a Latin convention somewhere on the Atlantic coast. I really liked those ten or twelve kids.

    I got looks of skepticism. Nobody WANTS to escort teenagers on trips. And transportation was a problem. “I can fly them,” I said.
    “But you don’t know how to—“
    “It’s not that hard,” I said.
    “And what if something mechanical goes wrong?”
    “Oh, yeah,” I said. “That would be a problem.
    And that was the end of that. It was only slightly sad.

  21. Yes, I was with an old girlfriend in my dream the other night. She was fabulously wealthy and dismissed me with a glance.

  22. "I can fly's not so hard." That is so dreamy, Banjo. Very strange when we dream about people we really like and wake up to find out they don't exist. Do you ever dream about eating and the food tastes really good? I do.

    Ok, Kenny Mac, that one is sad. Of the bad dreams, I put night terrors at the top, followed dreams of loss, and then third would be the frustration dreams.

    Last night, Michael Caine offered me a writing job. I didn't accept right away, didn't want to appear too anxious. After a decent interval, I picked up the phone to call to say yes, and realized I'd never asked for his number.

  23. Ken Mac, I've had the same dream, except I was the fabulously wealthy one who dismissed him with a glance. He deserved it.

    Plus it was a waking dream.

    Night terrors are the worst. Can't find my voice.

    I sometimes dream music. Great stuff that (I think) I've invented. When I wake up I can't keep it in my head long enough to record it.

  24. Petrea, 'fess up. Was it Ken Mac you dissed in a "waking dream"?

    AH, I enjoy food excessively while I'm awake; that's probably why I don't dream about it. I don't think I dream music either. I see how that would be frustrating.

  25. Nah. If it had been Ken Mac, surely I wouldn't have dissed him.

  26. I never thought of it that way, that we script them and then watch helplessly. Right now I'm watching "Jimmy P." with Benicio Del Toro, all about Dr Meninger and dream work, really fascinating stuff. I really, really wish that the psychoanalyst, Mathieu Amalric, was in all my dreams. That would be grand.

  27. PJ, then you might like "Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology." I found it fascinating, and somewhat creepy.

  28. My dreams are very lifelike, colorful and vivid. Somehow, I usually know that I'm in a dream, but that fact has no impact on what happens.

    If I wake up during the dream and go back to sleep quick enough, I can sometimes pick up where I left off. I used to keep a dream journal by my bed and used it whenever I could. More times than not, what I wrote made no sense.