Monday, May 28, 2007

Bizarre Dreams from which I Wake Up Crying

The night after a visit with my parents, I have two interlocking dreams shortly before I awake, and cannot fully sort out the order of events in them, save for the moment that comes last; I know it comes last because I wake up with tears in my eyes. For convenience's sake, I'll separate the narratives.
In the "first," I am in an apartment building to pick something up from a woman I don't know. Not exactly sure why or what - a purchase off eBay, perhaps, which may be an unusual version of the Clash's Combat Rock, because when I leave her apartment, I have acquired such a thing. On picking it up, though, I find that she is having a vicious fight with her boyfriend; he in particular is being quite abusive, standing in the doorway screaming at her. I sheepishly say "Excuse me," and she apologizes for the scene and gets me my item. I apologize for interrupting and leave. Then, in the elevator, I discover that the CD I am carrying - Combat Rock - is special in ways I hadn't figured. I want to put it in my CD player, but for some reason, I feel like I need a surface on which to do it. I go back to the apartment of the fighting couple - they have calmed down since - and ask if I can use their counter to change the CD in my Discman. They eagerly invite me in and I go about my business; as I do this - as if changing a CD were so complex! - the woman offers me tea and brings me an LP by a Krautrock band, Xhol Caravan, asking me to help identify some of the figures in the surreal, and very orange, landscape on the cover. Some of them, she thinks, are made of sugar; there's a tower, I respond, that seems to be made of non-dairy creamer. She goes away, and the man takes me aside, and proceeds to explain the scene I'd interrupted; he is glad I returned, since it gave them an excuse to stop fighting...

The "second" dream: I am in some sort of performance space that also sells CDs, and after seeing a highly abstract, flickering film introduction, in which one tries to sort out the band member's faces, I find myself dancing to a rare live version of Pere Ubu's "The Modern Dance." (In the dream I think I incorrectly identified the song as being off Dub Housing; somehow my sleeping mind is less efficient at keeping track of such details). I want to know the recording the song is on, because it's terrific, so I go to the counter at the front of the space and am handed a box set of live recordings of bands, the only one of which I recognize (or recall now) is an otherwise unreleased "Ubu live" disc (one of the other CDs is of classical music, but I don't know the composers; I stand at the counter, wondering if they're avant-gardists). I am stunned at how much I am enjoying the music, which continues to play, but the box set costs $45.99 and I don't know if I'd want the other recordings on it. I try to explain this to the shop girl, so she understands my hesitation, but she is rude to me, saying slightly sarcastic, cutting and disrespectful things - more of an attitude she has, probably, than a deliberate attack on me, but I find myself really bothered by it. I decide not to buy the CD and she makes some snotty comment - not really to me, and somewhat under her breath - about that. I go to leave, then return to the counter and start to demand she apologize. I deserve to be treated with respect, am a customer and have been entirely civil with her and do not merit her sarcastic asides. She argues with me and I get angrier and angrier, until I have completely lost control and - rather like the boyfriend in the "previous" dream - am yelling at her harshly, refusing to leave, demanding contrition; she is getting upset herself, but it's not giving me satisfaction. Suddenly a small bearded man approaches me - the manager? - and begins to say very soothing things about how he understands that I'm a good man and just want to be treated with respect. He puts a hand on my shoulder, and I feel afraid that if I trust him, he's going to punch me in the chest and push me out the door; but he doesn't, and continues to say soothing things, and suddenly I collapse crying, REALLY crying. Sobbing. An immense release of emotion, complete and utter catharsis - yowling and sobbing, tears spurting from my eyes.
As I wake up, I discover that I am crying still. The photo I've attached to this post is an old one, in which - shortly before my digital camera broke - I tried to capture the peace I felt the last time I really cried. I wonder at my dreams, in the brief time allowed before I have to go to work.

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