Tangled Dreamworks

I had a series of bizarre dreams last night. In one, my friend who bought my old pickup from me came to visit. In the dream, I lived in an old mid-century bungalow in a sad state of disrepair. In front of the place, an old concrete pad, much wider than a driveway, took up most of the front yard. My friend drove up in the old pickup, it’s fenders dented, a door missing, and it’s two left tires shredded and burned. He asked if he could park it there while it was being repaired. I asked what happened; he replied that a tractor mowing a burning field had swerved in front of him. “It wasn’t my fault, but they’re trying to arrest me for it,” he said.

Somehow, that dream morphed into a dream in which my sister-in-law welcomed me home with a big hug, telling me with some excitement that she had bought a tractor for me while I was away. I looked in the direction she pointed and saw an old, smoke-stained tractor that had a piece of green fender, like a piece of the old truck, jammed between its front wheel and its mid-section. Then I kissed her; but when I pulled back, it was not her; in her place was a co-worker from my years in Chicago.

The next part of the dream, or maybe it was earlier, I listened to a young couple explain their investments in bankrupt commercial properties. I asked whether I could invest with them and they just rolled their eyes and began laughing in snorts, like donkeys.

This tangled assortment of dreams ended with my sister-in-law meeting me at an Amtrak station in Nebraska; I don’t know how I knew it was Nebraska, nor why I was there. She met me there with a stack of newspapers and said, I collected these for you while we were away.”

“While ‘we’ were away?”

“Yes, I was away, too,” she said.

And then I was awake, feeling the arthritis in my hands.

I showered, shaved, and got dressed. After my wife got up, we went downstairs, where we had a nice breakfast. I had espresso, soft-boiled eggs, cheese, and a slice of rolled ham, with a croissant. I could live in Arles, even if it meant having that tangled dream over and over.


About John Swinburn

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