I’m sure we have all had dreams from time to time and normally my dreams are purely fantasy. Often Johnny Depp is waiting for me on a beautiful white sandy beach or maybe I’m winning the lottery and being able to travel all over the world. Lately, however, my dreams have been a bit peculiar.
Before I begin to tell you about a couple of my most recent dreams, let me first tell you that I live in a small town. It’s so small that if you sneeze as you drive through it you’re going to miss the whole town. While I do occasionally dress in fine attire, you are far more likely to find me in well-worn blue jeans and a casual blouse. This is not a gated community and all of the houses are as unique as the people that live in them. Some are cluttered, some are colorful, some are little more than rundown shacks on the side of the road, but all of them are filled with history and personality.
I would imagine that most dreams are comprised of symbols. Some dreams might include symbols that frighten a person, some might include symbols that invoke some kind of emotional reaction, and I’m sure that some dreams have very deep meanings if you can figure out what they are. More often than not, my dreams make me wake up smiling or laughing but at times, like my dreams of this past week, I wake up feeling confused and wondering what in the world I could have been thinking subconsciously when I went to sleep the night before.
The First Dream
The first dream began with me walking out of a tiny brick house onto a driveway that was paved with old red clay bricks. It was one of several identical houses all lined up in a row with exactly the same siding, paint, lawn decorations, and even flowers. I was dressed in a black mid-length skirt and dark gray snakeskin boots. (Like I would ever wear ANYTHING that had anything to do with a snake!) Gold chains hung around my neck that were so heavy they nearly pulled my head forward onto a bright red silk camisole that I was wearing alone as a blouse. Sparkling rings adorned each of my fingers including my thumbs and I had enough keys in my hands to open just about everything a person could think of that might be locked.
I got into my car, a fiery red 1976 Trans Am, and proceeded to back out of my driveway. In front of me was a four lane freeway but I couldn’t get to it. A man riding some kind of fully dressed out motorcycle was blocking my access to the road. (I’m pretty sure it was a Harley because I could see a puddle of oil beneath the bike.)
I couldn’t get around him and he would not move over. He got off of the bike, stood up laughing, and started to shove his greasy looking shirttails into his pants. “You don’t have to worry none, Miss, I ain’t gonna bite you,” he yelled out to me.
The next thing I knew, the motorcycle was airborne and the silver-haired, slightly balding, Hell’s Angels want-to-be, was flailing his arms and cursing into the air as if his backside might be on fire. I was no longer driving a classy Trans Am. I had somehow switched vehicles and was driving an enormous camouflaged Humvee.
Once I was on the freeway, I was surrounded by coal trucks, cars, pick-up trucks with hound dogs tethered to old tires in the beds of the trucks, and ATV’s that were cutting in and out of moving traffic causing people to hit their brakes to keep from hitting them. I could not get my darn window to roll up no matter what I tried and it seemed to take forever to get to the local post office exit.
When I was close to the exit I could not get into the right lane to make the turn. Directly beside of me, in the right lane, was a bright neon pink Volkswagen pulling a full length camper the likes of which you might have seen in the 1950’s. The trailer began to move from side to side behind the little car and I saw the pretty little pink car tip nearly on its side as the trailer nearly flipped. The driver regained control of the car and trailer and I looked over to see my friends, Eddie and Denise, laughing wildly and waving frantically as if the whole thing had been funny.
I had passed the exit I needed to use to get to the post office and by the time I got turned around and drove back; it was already getting dark outside. The post office was closed and I started back home frustrated that I had not been able to get my mail. Once I got to the row of identical houses, I could not figure out which one was mine until I saw my dog, Sable, standing on the front lawn wagging her tail.
I went inside and didn’t bother to fix anything to eat, take a shower, or notice if anyone else was in the house. I lay down on an overstuffed purple couch and drifted off to sleep. The really odd thing was that when I woke up, I was sleeping on the living room sofa.
Maybe all the traffic represents all the chaos in my life. Maybe I’m trying to find the right direction for my life. Maybe I am longing to intermingle with family and friends. Or maybe, a car is just a car, a road is just a road, confusion is just confusion, and I watched far too much of the Sci-Fi channel before I went to bed!
The Second Dream
This dream took place within the walls of my home although the size of the dining room was greatly enlarged. In the middle of the room was a very large round table made of oak. It was void of a tablecloth and in the middle of the table there was two crystal bowls filled with every kind of fruit you could possibly imagine.
The walls of the room were lined with framed portraits of family members. Some of the portraits were in black and white, some were blurred, some were faded as if they had been in direct sunshine for far too long and some were as bright and colorful as if they had just been hung, maybe even before the paint could dry.
I passed through the dining room and made my to the kitchen where I started to cook up pots of spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken, beef roast smothered in gravy, egg noodles, vegetables of all types, and desserts too numerous to mention. In the dream I could see in detail the spices held inside of the cabinets and smell the wonderful aroma of the food as it was prepared. I felt exhilarated knowing that friends and family would derive great pleasure from my efforts.
After the last dish had been prepared, I went about setting the table with china that once belonged to my late aunt, wine glasses given to me by a late friend, and silverware handed down to me that once belonged to my late grandmother. When I was satisfied that everything was as perfect as I could make it I took a shower and dressed in causal khaki slacks and a peasant blouse to wait for hungry guests to arrive.
Two hours later, I was sitting at the table with a tall glass of iced tea and a paperback novel in my lap. I stood up, looked out the window for any sign of approaching cars, and began to pace back and forth across the length of the dining room while the food was left untouched to get cold. It was then that I noticed the portraits changing.
Dates started to appear at the bottom of the portraits; 1890-1936, 1895-1954, 1918-1989, etc. As each date appeared I took a plate off of the table knowing that I had set too many places for guests. Soon I was down to only one plate, my plate, and I sat there alone with no appetite and no desire to move out of my chair.
Just before I woke up, I started to clear the food off of the table and looked out of the window again. The sky was dark but bright stars were so numerous that the front lawn was lit up as if the sun was shining. A feeling of peace coursed through my veins and I had the feeling I would soon be among those bright stars shining down on the earth.
I’m pretty sure this dream was born of old memories. Family gatherings and feasts on any special occasion has been a big part of my life. With Memorial Day having just passed and Father’s Day coming soon, my thoughts have been spiraling back to days of my youth when my grandmother’s kitchen would be filled wall to wall with uncles, aunts, cousins, my grandparents, and both laughter and tears. I had no idea back then just how important those moments and those people really were. Wisdom really does come with age, I’m sure of that now.
© Dianna Doles-Petry
June 19, 2010