“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” – American playwright Marsha Norman
If that’s true until recently I would have imagined my version to be a thin little paperback destined to be filed away in the dusty shelves at the back of the Whitchurch Stouffville Public Library. But hey, we can always dream, right?
And recently I have been dreaming – in Technicolor as my dad would say. I’ve spent the last week in Goa, India, and the last few nights at the Lazy Llama Hostel on Anjuna Beach. This particular beach is said to be the birthplace of trance music and the Lazy Llama Hostel and others like it have been a semi-permanent home to an extremely eclectic group of backpackers since Goa was the epicentre of India’s hippie movement in the 60s and 70s. I can only imagine the stories these walls could tell – and the chemicals they’ve breathed in over the years. Perhaps some of that accumulated residue has been fuelling my dreams. Who knows?
I woke up on the morning of Saturday #131 and did what I’ve been doing every morning for the last week or so – I got out my iPhone and made a voice memo documenting my latest dream. I find that I can create a detailed account if I do it verbally and within a minute or two of awakening. If I wait until I’m at the breakfast table to jot down the details they will have been long forgotten.
So without further explanation or analysis, here are the last six memos that I have made:
December 31, 2016: I was struggling to find my way around the dark and seemingly abandoned lobby of a grand old Victorian-era hotel when I accidentally bumped into something. It was a man. Our foreheads hit with a thud and he dropped to the ground. I knew that he was alive but unconscious so I found an exit and tried to get help on the street. My nephew Andy was waiting outside in an idling green Ford station wagon similar to the one his dad (my brother) drove in the 70s. I tried to get Andy to return to the creepy old hotel with me but he wanted me to see the new autonomous FedEx delivery machine that was chugging its way down the street. It was the size of a rail locomotive and moving very slowly as a robotic arm placed packages on the curb. Eventually I got Andy to stop staring at the big brown machine and we went inside to tend to the man. He lay unconscious on the floor and was covered in the sand-like substance that mechanics use to soak up fluid spills. I was pretty sure this meant that he was dead but Andy said that he’d be okay and that we should just go for a ride in the station wagon. We drove through the town of Claremont, Ontario in search of my dad who I knew would be out jogging one of his horses on a sideroad north of town. We never did find my dad but I had a good time driving around with Andy who had brought a Thermos of hot chocolate from the Stouffville arena. Good times!
December 30, 2016: I was staying in a B&B when the owner asked if I’d help her strip the ornaments from her Christmas tree. Although I haven’t seen her in 30 years or more, I knew this woman to be the adult version of my childhood friend Bonnie Brown. A phone rang in the bedroom and Bonnie disappeared for the longest time. I grew impatient and decided to remove the rest of the oranaments and drag the tree onto the back porch. As I struggled to get the tree through the narrow doorway the delicate ornaments magically re-appeared and some fell off and were smashed. Bonnie returned and asked what had happened. I told her that I had broken all of her ornaments and offered to replace them. She said that she didn’t want new ornaments and would just hang peanut butter balls from the tree next year. “Honestly, it will be much better,” she said. Her cat Tinker sat in the corner watching this whole production and when the dream ended he was standing upright and using a broom to sweep bits of broken ornament under a Persian carpet.
December 28, 2016: I knew that it was dangerous to be riding on top of a large drone that an unknown person was controlling but the view was phenomenal so I decided to enjoy the ride. I was flying over a desert and came upon an ancient city that resembled some of the cities in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan that I have visited in real life. The drone eventually morphed into an eagle and I was relieved that I could finally talk to the pilot. The eagle was friendly at first but soon laughed maniacally and started dive bombing. I had to hold on tightly as we made almost vertical missions in search of prey. (It felt a lot like riding Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland, which I did last summer.) When we got close to the ground I realized that he was hunting for candy. I asked the eagle to try to pick up a large yellow sucker that I spotted in the distance but he said that it wasn’t worth his trouble and he would find us something much better. “Trust me,” he said. Eventually the eagle spotted a Kit Kat bar and managed to snatch it up in his talons. When we landed on top of a mountain (possibly the man-made mountain at Canada’s Wonderland) the eagle asked me to pick the mangled chocolate bar and torn foil wrapper out of his talons. It was dirty and broken so we didn’t eat it. “We would have a nice lemon sucker if you had just done what I wanted,” I told him. He had no answer but stared at me for a while before winking and flying off over the mountain. As he disappeared into the bright sunshine I could see that he had a lemon sucker under his wing. I woke up feeling as if I had been cheated.
December 24, 2016: I was walking around in an almost deserted Yorkdale Mall in Toronto while looking for my sister. I eventually found her in a small shop where she was trying on scarves. She said that she was very busy and asked if I would pick up a few things for her. The first thing on the list was “nice salt and pepper shakers for Heather.” I soon spotted two pieces of cut glass that were just sitting beside the fountain in the mall. They resembled a pair of crystal Rubik’s Cubes and I felt they would make very nice salt and pepper shakers if I could find someone to hollow them out. But first I would need a gift box, I thought. I started asking at stores and nobody would give me a box. I offered to pay for a box but nobody would sell me a box. Eventually I found a pile of prestigious Tiffany’s blue boxes sitting beside the cash register at a Starbucks. They had been splashed with coffee so I asked the barista to look under the counter to see if they had some clean ones. She said that she was very busy making lattes and I was out of luck. I asked if I could look under the counter for myself. “Nope, against policy,” she snapped. “You cannot go anywhere near the coffee pots or the cookies,” she said. I woke up wondering why she was making things so difficult.
December 22, 2016: I was laying in a hospital bed and hooked up to many wires and sensors. My upper body was cold but my feet were uncomfortably hot. When I looked down at my feet I found my old cat Tyson was laying on me. I couldn’t move because of the wires and the heavy cat on my feet so I called out to an old woman who was shuffling down the hallway. “Go get a nurse, I told her. They’re at the desk just around the corner.” The old woman was wearing a nighty and was either deaf or senile as she too ignored me. I realized that I was in Parkview Home, the nursing home in my hometown in which my father and both grandmothers had passed away years ago. Eventually Dr. Smith (my childhood doctor) arrived and asked if I’d like to have the cat put down. I said no, just get him off my feet. Rather than simply move the cat, Dr. Smith launched into a long story about flying fighter planes in WWII. I woke up feeling frustrated that the doctor wouldn’t stop talking or move the cat.
December 20, 2016: I was sitting in a huge Las Vegas theatre with my friend Bob, waiting for a Cirque du Soleil show to begin. Bob turned to the woman seated beside him and asked if she had ever seen a Cirque show. She was a large woman with cat eye glasses and a bee-hive hairdo (looking very much like a character played by a real-life friend of Bob’s who is a stand-up comedian). The lady said that she had indeed seen the show and that whoever sat where Bob and I were seated would be dragged up on stage in Act II. Bob was not happy about that prospect but I secretly wanted to get up on stage and decided to fight to protect my seat should anyone come along and try to take it from me. Eventually Bob was led up onto the stage and appeared to love it. The woman with the cat eye glasses sensed that I was disappointed that I hadn’t been chosen to be in the show. She put her meaty hand on my right knee and said, “Let’s go get a BLT sandwich at the coffee shop.” As we were leaving the theatre I turned to see Bob being wrapped in very long strips of gauze by a troupe of dancing dwarfs. They danced around him as he was hoisted up to the very high ceiling in some sort of escape act / aerial ballet performance. He appeared to be happy and I knew that he wouldn’t mind me leaving him in the theatre while the fat lady and I snuck out for a BLT.
I have a good idea what has influenced some of these rather bizarre dreams but other aspects are a complete mystery. Contrary to what the experiences with Dr Smith, the dive bombing eagle and the bitchy barista might suggest, I rarely feel frustrated or helpless. If anyone has any theories on what these dreams mean, by all means leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com .