I don’t often dream, or I very rarely remember them; I don’t know why. But on Sunday morning, I had a very vivid dream that I wanted to capture.
As dreams often do, it started in a different place than it ended. The first part of the dream started with me driving in a car with my oldest brother and my daughter, driving back from upstate New York, and stopping at a rest stop and trying to figure out the directions to get back to New York City — something about why the signs couldn’t just say NYC instead of using east or west for the directions. And as always does in my dreams, I was walking normally. You should surmise from that statement that I don’t walk normally, which would be correct. In my dreams, I am always walking long distances through malls, parking lots, rest stops, trains, city streets. Even though somewhere in the back of my mind I know that I don’t really walk normally, it never stops me from doing lots of walking in my dreams.
After spending a short amount of time driving, I somehow ended up walking on a NYC street with a woman who reminded me of Rosie Perez. Not exactly like her, but about her height and build, and she sounded something like her. I was meeting with her because we were going to meet with an author she knew who was going to evaluate my writing and hopefully get it published.
While we were walking (walking normally, I might add), she asked to read what I’d written before we reached her friend. I handed over the paper, anxiously awaiting her reaction. Eventually she smiled and said it was good. This is an important point…it has been many years since any of my writing has been critiqued, and that only includes papers I’ve written for school. I’m not a professional writer, so the idea that someone would be evaluating my writing for potential publication was scary and unusual — but this is only a dream.
After a while, we reached the building of the Rosie Perez look-alike’s friend. It wasn’t anything like I expected. The building was old with worn out concrete steps. We walked up the steps to an old door where you could see inside to a dimly lit hallway. Inside, the walls were dingy, with peeling wallpaper near the staircase leading up to the apartments. Apparently this man lived on the top floor, because we walked up several flights before we reached, not a door, but a ladder. As soon as I saw the ladder, I told my friend that I wasn’t sure I could make it up, but she said she would help me. We climbed up the ladder (which I had no problem climbing), then had to climb over what appeared to be a small fence. Again I told my friend I wasn’t sure if I could make it over, but she helped me get my legs over, and we were inside the friend’s apartment.
The friend was sitting in the living room on an ottoman, eating something out of a bowl, maybe cereal. A very large screen TV was in the corner, playing a movie with the sound off. The room was dark except for the light the TV emitted. As I studied the man, I thought that he reminded me of a middle-aged Dick Cavett–same height and build–but there was something about his eyes. They were between light brown and hazel that would suddenly flash bright blue, then flash white as if he was blind or had cataracts. I stared at this strange phenomenon and wondered what a strange man he was.
After greeting us, he moved to the end of a sofa, while my friend and I sat opposite him. He asked me, “When did you know you wanted to write?” I thought a bit before answering. “I don’t know if I ever had in mind to be a writer. I knew I liked to write. I guess I’ve had an interest in writing all my life.” He nodded his head, then turned and pointed his head towards the TV. In between chews of whatever he was eating, he said, “What do you think about this movie?” I looked at the TV and tried to figure out what was playing.
The movie was animated, cartoon-like, with the screen split down the middle with a blurry separator. The left hand appeared to be scenes of life from the 1950’s–women wearing wide bottom dresses, with hairstyles you would see in ads from that era. There were scenes of children riding tricycles, or playing ball in the yard. Women were baking or cooking in the kitchen. The scenes were changing quickly, like a music video, just snippets of images from that time. The other half of the screen had similar images, but from the future, something that you would see on The Jetsons. High tech images of people cooking in the kitchen, flying on hover boards or using technology that doesn’t even exist yet. Everyone was dressed in clothes similar to any one of the Star Trek movies.
What did all of this mean? I really didn’t have a clue, but I did not want to appear ignorant, so I tried pulling a marginally intelligent response out of my brain. “Well, it seems that it is trying to show the juxtaposition of the past and future to give a sense of how each era is both different and yet the same.” While I was giving my explanation, the scenes on the left started pushing towards the right and were taking over more of the screen. I stopped speaking to focus on the TV, wondering why this was happening, at the same time wondering when we could get to the point of why we were here: was he ever going to read my work??
As dreams often do, I never got my answer. I woke up before the Dick Cavett look-alike actually read my work. What did the dream mean? Was it a sign that writing is something I should strive for? Was it wishful thinking based on a deep-seated desire to follow a dream that I’ve often considered but have never pursued? I don’t know. As dreams often do, they may sometimes have meaning, or they may just be the weird ramblings of an exhausted mind.