Monday, June 16, 2008

Last night's dream

I was up for 2.5 hours trying to get Hannah to go to sleep--simultaneously ticking Lynda off (don't ask).

But when, around 3 am, I finally wore her out and slept in a reclining chair, I proceeded into a very strange dream that I will now recount here.

It began at a hotel. I was attending a Harry Potter fan convention, surrounded by people I didn't know at all. Well, I take that back. Joe and Paul DeGeorge were there. I certainly don't know them, but I know of them. Just like I know of Melissa Anelli, Sue Upton, John Noe, and Frankie Franco. Well, anyway . . . there was no one there I was personally acquainted with.

The opening ice-breaker activity didn't go well for me. I wasn't breaking into the cliques of friends that were clearly attending this conference and I began to wonder if I was going to have any fun during this couple of days. Then things began to get out of hand.

The DeGeorge brothers began leading a wave of destruction throughout the hotel, intent on channeling their inner Weasley Twins to build a rocket made up of sprinkler heads, metal tubing and whatever else. The hotel staff was horrified as this rowdy group of Harry Potter fans (all out of character, I am sure) began destroying the hotel. One hotel staffer was walking along beside the mob toting up all of the various bits of wrecked stuff on a clipboard. I could tell the bill was rising.

I was uncomfortable with all of this and soon, so was everyone else. The convention sort of dissolved and everyone went their separate ways--instantly, as often happens in dreams. I found myself walking outside at night, heading toward a familiar location that I have visited in dreams before, but I'm pretty sure doesn't actually exist.

The location was an enormous polyglot department store, that for some reason I want to say is in St. Louis--or at least a dream version of St. Louis. The outer facade of this place is reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi, all undulating curves and arched recesses, but one-story and stretching in both directions for a loonng way. I always seem to visit this Gaudi store at night in the rain. Inside the store, it's a disorganized warren of merchandise, sort of like the local Anderson's store where I live. But the aisles are crisscrossing, there is no discernible separation of one type of goods from another. It's a mess and it's always crowded with wanderers, shoppers. It has restaurants, every type of good or service you would want, and it always features a made-for-infomercial hawker that reminds me of pre-Food Network Rachel Ray.

This is the kind of place where, if you aren't careful, you can turn a corner and be flattened by another customer wheeling a bit car of layaway stuff. (This almost happened to me and I avoided the crash, stepping out of the way and letting this person go by while other shoppers stacked up behind me.) After wandering, I found my way past the Rachel Ray-look alike and toward (one of the?) restaurant(s?). As I wander past a section of hallway seating, who's there but my mom?!

It seems she was there to wait for me, but wasn't expecting my arrival until after the conference was over. I had been wondering myself what I was going to do, since everyone expected me to be at this HP gathering for a few days. I supposed I would find a hotel room and wait out the time or maybe I'd get a plane ticket--this Gaudi store might have been next to an airport, or contained an airport? But I had been undecided on what to do. I was feeling a bit confused and at-sea regarding where I was and what I was going to accomplish.

But the arrival of Mom--with a car(?)--ended that bit of confusion. After she complained a bit about the poor quality of the coffee available at this department store I guess we began the trip home--to Tifton, to Westerville? I'm not even sure we went anywhere, because that is where the dream ended. It was 6 am and Hannah was stirring in her crib to my left. I sat up and let my body slowly begin waking up.

Anyone want to hazard a guess for what THAT was all about? Why do I keep returning to this bizarre 1970s-era (that's what it feels like inside, a disorganized K-Mart) bazaar? Why always at night, in the rain?


Sven Golly said...

Dear Astral Traveller,
Your shadow self (at night, in the rain) is making a statement about the relationship of your virtual/fantasy self (hotel, conference, fans) and your domestic/material self (buying, consuming, providing). What's cool is the imaginative potential of the characters in your narrative and the aesthetic texture of the landscape (Gaudi)! What's disturbing is that everyone is running amok...except...Mom, who doesn't like the coffee in this joint, so let's go home. PERFECT.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to touch Sven's expert interpretation. I can, however, say that one of the reasons that we are friends is because we both have recurring dreams about a weird store. In my dream, it's always a small-town, downtown building (Victorian era), which suits what I do for a living. And it's always the best store I've ever seen--all the stuff I like, really cheap, and always the thrill of discovery around every corner. And it's thrift store-type stuff--Levi 501's, my size, for 50 cents! Wow! And cool vases and just everything else that I like--nothing authentic or expensive, just stuff I like. And I love this dream--until I wake up and this intensely real store vaporizes on my first blink. Aww. Bummer! But one day I'LL FIND THAT STORE, and all my dreams will come true.