In Dreams (January 21, 2010)

fuseli-nightmare1

Whenever I have trouble sleeping, which is somewhat often I’m afraid, and more and more in the last two to three years, I have a number of recurring dreams that occur in the lighter stages of fitful rest. While I can’t exactly call them “nightmares,” they are weird and disturbing, leaving me with a sense of unrested dread when I set about my morning routines.

I took a fall on the job Monday, while walking the terrain of the lovely Beverly neighborhood. This rather mundane trip on broken sidewalk led to a rather unusually severe injury to the right hand. I will spare everyone the gory details, but recovery has been slow and the wound’s discomfort has ratcheted up the insomnia. In the early morning hours, as I dozed slightly, two of my subconscious “greatest hits” made an appearance in my dreamscape. However, this time around I received a unique 2-for-1 bargain as they both appeared in the context of the same visual story arc.

I am going to some sort of high school reunion retreat. The class of 1996 is on campus, but in my dream, campus is a lakeside, rural, grassy institution that reminds me of photos of Ireland I have seen in coffee table books. Now bear in mind, I went to Lincoln Park High School in the City. The corner of Halsted and Armitage is no pastoral vision.

But the beauty of the campus belies the furtive anxiousness with which I arrive at the reunion. I am afraid my secret will be exposed. Somehow in the last semester of my senior year back in 1996, I forgot to attend a morning math class each and every day. My failure to show up resulted in my failing the course. However the school’s bureaucracy somehow missed this and I was allowed to graduate with the rest of my class. I have since gone on to earn a BA as as well as a Master’s in English, but if my faulty high school graduation is uncovered, the rest of my adult life tumbles like a flimsy house of cards.

Let’s be clear: this never happened. As a matter of fact, I ended my high school career on a high note, with excellent grades, a steady boyfriend and a couple of merit grants to the U. of I. So what is this about? I cannot tell you how many times I have seen variations of this dream play out as I sleep, particularly in the last calendar year.

But that’s not all. Last night’s acid trip also included another variable that has been popping up more and more often in my subconscious: monstrous and threatening or faulty carnival rides. I have already mentioned that this reunion took place along a rural lakefront. Well this space contained a dilapidated amusement park of sorts along the banks, including 5 or 6 of the most towering and unsafe attractions that can be conjured. Somehow it was implied that I had to board these things at some point, but I didn’t even want to stand near them. I love thrills, I love Great America. Again, what is this about?

I have Googled a number of dream websites in a quest for answers, but can’t find any information that specifically addresses these scenarios. There is of course the obvious possibility that I am a nutcase, but I like to flatter myself things could be more complicated than that.

Any amateur dream analyzers out there in the blogosphere?

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