Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This morning's dream

Another post about a dream . . .

In this dream I was in jail. But it wasn't a glamorous, rock pile Shawshank type of edifice. Rather, it was a much more low-rent "jail."

Really, I never experienced the cells and bars, key and lock, two floors with metal catwalks and a big open yard to recreate in kind of jail setting. Instead, it was simply the baseline knowledge that this place that I was in WAS a jail. It didn't look like a jail. It didn't operate like a jail. I was never physically locked into anything at all. I never saw guards, wore a striped uniform. I didn't break rocks or haul around a ball and chain.

I just KNEW, deep inside, for no reason, that this was incarceration. Such is the bizarre logic of dreams.

So . . . what was it like?

It was more like a prefabricated building. A modular building that is crane-lifted into place and held together with staples, caulk, and hidden clamps that pull the seams of the double-wide together into a big lobby that is carpeted over and called the latest branch of your local South Georgia regional bank. It really felt more like the kinds of trailer-type buildings that I took classes in in college when the campus was expanding rapidly and all the construction money was going to the nursing school or the business school and the humanities were left out in the cold.

So, the actual environment of the jail was more like a big 20 x 20 room in this modular construction. The other inmates were milling around in this room that seemed to be a game room of sorts. There were tables and other people, but it all was very vague. What was immediately around me was sharp and worthy of remembering, but everything else was just an impression of a space and people.

I know that the committee of people that ran the jail operated out of a conference room that was adjacent to the community game room. I could see inside it through two glass French doors that I never did open. But through the glass I could see big photo-realistic paintings and semi-abstract art hanging on the walls surrounding a ovalish conference table where the jailers sat and discussed whatever it was they did. The most interesting thing about this room/the paintings/and the entire situation really was that I KNEW that I was related to the people running the jail.

I knew this because some of the paintings on the walls featured my brother Muleskinner back when he was in the high school marching band. I could recognize his image through the French doors. I knew that people in the conference room knew me. I had a feeling that I belonged in there and NOT in jail with the other inmates. I also thought that I could use this personal connection to the jailing committee to curry favor--snitching on inmates, feeding the jailers choice bits of gossip, whatever, to improve my own lot while incarcerated. And maybe if I played my cards right, I could be sprung early on "good behavior."

But I was playing a dangerous game.

I couldn't let the other inmates know that I was squealing on them. I couldn't let the inmates know that I had some sort of familial (if that IS what it was?) connection to the people that ruled their lives. I had to play it cool.

I was sorting out all of these potentials and dangers when I woke up.

Too bad, really. It might have led to some very interesting insights.

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