Subversive Subconscious

My vivid dreamery outdid itself last night, offering up two utterly bizarre experiences in a single evening of sleep. The first dream started with my oldest brother taking me to his storage unit somewhere in Australia (my brother lives in Mexico, not Australia). The building was very tall, not the squat little sheds I’m used to. Two guys with Australian accents were busily sorting through “stuff” in the unit next door when my brother opened the door of the unit a crack. A kangaroo stuck its head out and my brother shouted at me, “grab it!” I grabbed it around the neck and it began pummeling me in the face.

“Just hold on, it will calm down,” my brother said.

“You’ve got quite the beanie there,” one of the Australians said. (I haven’t a clue what  a beanie is.)

After a short time of suffering scratches to my face, the beast did, indeed, settle down and stopped hitting me. During the onset of serenity, I turned to talk to my brother, but he had turned into someone else. He had become a guy, John Smith, who served on the board of an association I once worked for. For reasons unknown to me, this transformation did not seem out of the ordinary. Nor was it particularly unsettling when I looked back at the kangaroo I was holding to see not a live animal, but a larger-than-life stylized metal sculpture of a kangaroo head, shoulders, and upper arms.

The two Australians engaged in indistinct conversations with John Smith while I loaded the kangaroo sculpture into the back of John’s SUV. John suggested we take a drive to look for another of my brothers (who also does not live in, nor has he ever visited, Australia). By the time we got to an odd little outpost surrounded by metal barriers like an auto junk yard, I was beginning to wonder what John was doing in Australia (but I didn’t question why I was there). Before I could ask, though, John pointed to a shack beyond the barriers and said, “That’s his place.” I asked John how he knew how to find this place and he responded that he had moved to Australia a few years ago and, “I get around. I know what’s up.”

The dream sequence switched to a huge shopping mall. John was still with me. My wife joined us, though, and said she was going to look for fabric. John asked me to go with him while he looked for a cell phone. We walked around the immense perimeter of the mall. Crowded with high-end jewelers and electronics shops and all sorts of other very expensive places to buy anything a person could possibly want, the mall reeked of unprincipled money. And the place was absolutely packed with people. I was angry that we were there. My anger arose from feeling that our very presence was giving energy to capitalism gone awry, raw greed on full and proud display. I called my wife and told her I was leaving and asked her to meet us at a main exit.

When John and I reached the exit, I asked if he had bought a phone. I don’t remember his precise words, but essentially he explained he had not because he didn’t think phones should cost that much and he had just wanted to replace his address book. That’s where the dream ended.

Just before I woke up this morning, I was having another, very different dream. I was in a car at the intersection of Glazy Peau Road and Highway 7 in Hot Springs Village, trying to make a left turn onto Highway 7. Rain was coming down in sheets. At the intersection, enormous potholes full of water were visible on both highways. Traffic was heavy. I kept inching forward, hoping someone on Highway 7 would let me in. Instead, a van full of people attempting to turn onto Glazy Peau in the opposite direction I was traveling turned in front of me and just barely missed hitting me. I thought about backing up, but I was concerned that I’d drive into a pothole full of water. Just then, I noticed a semi with its signal on, indicating it, too, wanted to turn where the van had just turned. If it made the turn, it would crush the front of my car. I waved at the driver as if to thank him for his courtesy and pulled in front of him. I’m pretty sure he let me in, but that dream stopped. I assume that’s the moment I awoke.

These extremely vivid dreams seem to come in waves. I’ll have dreams night after night for a few days, then I recall no dreams for days on end. Sometimes, like last night, dreams get pumped out of my mind like cheap movies. I’ve explored the “meaning” of dreams in times past, only to conclude that there’s no way of knowing whether dreams are anything more than the products of an odd misfiring imagination or a subversive subconscious. But, if I record enough of them, maybe I’ll be able to look back one day and find a common thread that will explain it all. Maybe. Maybe not.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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