I’m a dreamer. Not a head-in-the-clouds, life-through-rose-colored-glasses dreamer. No, a dream-when-sleeping dreamer.
Dreams often serve very useful purposes. It’s a way for our subconscious to alert us to something we’re overlooking (or avoiding) in our waking life. Sometimes we can even fully tackle a real-life problem to the degree that we never have to address it again.
There are also dreams that are just crazy pants. The after-effects of strange food combinations or a little too much vino.
My dreams are full color, vivid, forget-you’re-dreaming dreams. This has benefits and also serious ramifications. Example: when an emotion that I was feeling within a dream carries through into the following day. The entire following day. When the feeling is sadness, this can be a real problem.
Years ago, it occurred to me that it might be beneficial to create a dream diary. Whether for a future book (or therapist), it seemed like a good idea. I probably wrote down three dreams before abandoning (forgetting about) the project.
In any case, I had a strange dream this morning and thought I’d share it. Just for funsies.
I was in Chicago, with Fiona*. It was cold, and there was some snow on the ground, but just in patches. We were at the base of an el stop. (The el stop in my dream is NOT a real el stop in Chicago, although it has appeared in previous dreams) Shortly after boarding the train, I realized that we were not in a standard car. It felt more like a lounge, and was about thirty feet wide and nearly twice as long. The floor was covered in a blue-gray carpet and had multiple levels, gradually inclining toward the back of the car. The seats were also a stormy blue-gray, and separated into groups. There were banquettes along the sides as well as in the center, two to six seats in an area. The windows were dark, as though everything outside was pitch black – like airplane windows at night. I mentioned to Fiona that the el cars had really improved since I’d last been in Chicago. She explained that there was just one car like this. The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) never told the public where the car would be and it was moved between the different lines. The only real way to end up on the special car was by chance.
As we walked toward the front of the car, Fiona walked ahead and I found myself alone, on a step, with her daughter. (Fiona does not have a daughter in real life) This was the first appearance of the daughter in the dream (she hadn’t boarded the train with us), and it’s unclear how I even knew this was Fiona’s daughter, since I hadn’t known (in the dream) that she even had a daughter.
The girl was probably about three years old and, for unknown reasons, I picked her up and hugged her. It struck me that I could smell her. She smelled warm and kind. Over the little girl’s shoulder, I could see her father. He had dark hair, glasses, and a nice smile. I put the girl down and she went to her father. At that point, Fiona returned. It struck me that I didn’t know what kind of relationship Fiona had with her daughter, or the girl’s father.
“Does she ever live with you?” I asked. Fiona shrugged. I can’t recall the words of her response, but she seemed very casual and ambivalent about the whole thing. It was almost as though she wasn’t certain whether or not the child lived with her. I told Fiona that I thought her daughter smelled warm and kind, then asked whether there was any relationship with the father. She said no, but it was a no without any weight. There was a detachment from him that I couldn’t understand. It didn’t feel like a forced break following a severed emotional connection. She didn’t find him appealing or offensive, she just wasn’t interested.
As we continued on our way, (although I don’t know, for certain, where we were headed, it felt like we were going to a hockey game) I waited for Fiona to reconsider the father of her child. It was like watching a movie. You know the woman is going to suddenly recognize the man in her life is wonderful, and perfect and she’d missed what was right in front of her face… but Fiona never did that. She never acknowledged him at all.
You see? Some dreams are just crazy pants.
* Name changed to protect the awesome