Wednesday, April 04, 2007


In Which We Peer Into My Dreams...

I know I should be writing more about what life is like at the Magazine Mansion as we head into our final weeks as a perfect (hah!) nuclear family with the requisite 2.5 kids. But with the level of discomfort Her Lovely Enormously Pregnant Self is in, I'm afraid most of my entries would be about, well, how uncomfortable HLEPS is and how she copes with it by enumerating my flaws, of which I already knew there were a great deal, but which seeing me reminds her of anyway, and you can only get so much reading value out of that in a given week.

So in lieu of anything meaningful, I offer you the following.

I have started keeping a dream journal again for the first time in probably 15 years. I used to have many varied and intricate dreams from a very young age (vivid recurring ones of the Aubuchon Hardware elephant--he didn't look so fucking happy 30 years ago, I'll tell you--coming down the hall to devour me). These continued well into early adulthood (favorites included the time I was on a railroad track pumping a handcart so quickly that I became airborne, and the one where I was an experiment subject in a study about psychic powers and found myself reading the dishy research assistant's mind. She was SO hot for me. Both, I feel compelled to add for you Freudian analysts out there, were emission-free. So are all the dreams that follow. I swear.).

I can't explain why, but somewhere around the age of 25, the dreams became less frequent--at least, I stopped remembering them as frequently. Oh, I still have one or two that I recall, but mostly it was a gift I seemed to have lost.

Until about 10 days ago, when I started having a wide range of extremely vivid and detailed dreams every night. Some quite uncomfortably vivid. As in nightmares. Here are just a few. Make of them what you will.

Home Delivery: In this dream, Her Lovely Enormously Pregnant Self's best friend from childhood has arrived for a visit. I am walking down the hall to the linen closet, looking for fresh towels to put in the bathroom for our guest, but there are no towels anywhere. In fact, the linen closet appears to be devoid of sheets, towels, blankets--everything but a little pile of Christmas hand towels that we have never ever used, but can't throw away because HLEPS's grandmother made them.

Perplexed, I just happen to poke my head in the guest room, and there are all the sheets and towels, some on the bed, some hanging on the windows, some in a giant pot of boiling water that is setting on a small stovetop that does not actually exist in our real guest room. HLEPS is lying on the bed, hooking herself into two makeshift stirrups that have been fashioned out of bedsheets tied to the ceiling fan. Her friend is stirring the sheets, then sees me and waves me into the room.

"We've decided to have the baby at home," HLEPS tells me matter-of-factly as she finally gets herself into the stirrups (the fan creaks dangerously and bits of drywall dust flutter down from the ceiling.)

"Women used to have babies at home all the time," her friend reassures me."

"What?!?" I shriek, and wake up sweating...

Orchestrated Death: In this dream, I have returned to Kansas for a high school reunion, which itself is odd because I never went to high school in Kansas. However, all the people I went to grade school with are here, so I guess that makes it okay. It is an unexpectedly large turnout and so we have all had to move out of the small restaurant where the event was scheduled and instead find ourselves dancing to groovy 70s disco music in a kind of open-air loading bay that has a view of a grain elevator that has been converted into condo lofts.

I am dancing with Melinda, the girl whose stuffed dog I once found and who has turned out not too badly at all, thanks (I went to the reunion by myself. In fact, I'm not even sure I was married in the dream). She stops dancing, puts a hand to her mouth and points. "Omigod," she says. "It's Mr. Flatt."

I turn to look and coming out of the grain elevator condos is an old but spry-looking man, his hair in a severe gray crewcut, his old-style horn-rimmed glasses glinting in the streetlights. He is wearing his signature tweed jacket and twirling a small baton. It is indeed Mr. Flatt (his real name) my old music instructor and band leader from the painful three years that I strove to play the flute and participate in school band. I haven't thought of him in almost 30 years, but here he is in my dream, looking just a little bit older.

The music cuts out suddenly and everyone stops dancing. There are more murmurs and everyone turns to watch as Mr. Flatt walks by. He gives us all a sharp salute with his baton, then tucks it under his arm like a riding crop and keeps walking.

Slowly the murmurs subside and the music comes back on. As everyone resumes dancing, I ask Melinda what that was about.

She makes a scowling face. "Do you remember Kaylene?" she asks. I didn't until that moment, but suddenly my memory supplies the image: a 7th grade classmate who sat behind me in band. Played the clarinet. Pretty little blonde-haired girl.

"Well, a few years ago she was found at the dump, crushed to death in a car. And Mr. Flatt did it," Melinda tells me.

"What?" I cry.

She nods furiously and points to a wall that I am only just noticing. It is a kind of memorial for classmates who have died. On it are three large photos: One is of somebody I never heard of before, a Tommy Teeba, (killed in a freak lawn-mower accident in 1986); one is my friend Shawn; and the last is Kaylene (champion clarinetist, crushed to death in her car, 2002).

"Mr. Flatt had trained her up. She was the best clarinet player in the state. And word is they had an affair that ended bad, so he killed her. They found her handcuffed to the steering wheel of the car they pulled out of the crusher," Melinda continues, as I stare at the memorial wall, particularly at my friend.

I find out more, lots more, but the upshot is that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Mr. Flatt and he got off scot-free, even though everyone in town knows he committed this terrible crime. There apparently was even a book written about him by some local journalist, who later disappeared under mysterious circumstances (as opposed to those disappearances under ordinary circumstances that everyone knows about).

(At this juncture, I feel compelled to point out that lots of my dreams tend to have this kind of detail, and I don't recall most of it til after I've awakened. I once interviewed a dream expert about this and he had a name for this kind of dreaming--I forget the term now--but basically what happens is your subconscious front-loads a glop of information into your memory, so you come into the dream--which really only lasts a few seconds--having tricked yourself into believing all this stuff has already occurred, even though it really hasn't. Onward!)

The night wears on and I offer to drive Melinda home (she has had a little too much punch. I have abstained because I promised HLEPS I wouldn't drink while she was pregnant, a little gesture of solidarity that I suddenly remember in the middle of this dream where I'm not at all certain about my marital status).

Next thing I know, we're on the far side of town, driving down a lonely, dark dirt road when Melinda stirs from her stupor and begins shrieking. I glance into the rearview mirror in time to catch a flash of tweed. Suddenly there is a clicking sound and I look down to discover I've been handcuffed to my own steering wheel!

I look over and Melinda is pushed back against the seat. A hand from the back has got her by the neck. Another hand is pushing a band conductor's baton into Melinda's ear.

"Look straight ahead," a voice from the back says. "Or I'll jam this baton right into her brain."

We drive for what seems like a long time, me following directions from our mysterious back-seat driver (it must be Mr. Flatt, although I never see his face). Eventually, it dawns on me that he is driving us to the town dump where he's planning to finish us off, just like Kaylene.

At this moment, I'm just freaked out enough that I realize I'm dreaming and yet I can't wake myself up. Instead, I try directed-dreaming, which was explained to me by that dream expert I'd interviewed so long ago. I try to imagine that I'm driving my old Ford Galaxie, which among its many faults had a crack in the steering wheel. I could probably yank the handcuffs out through the crack.

Except it doesn't work. I'm still driving a crappy rental.

Flatt directs us through a graveyard of flattened, rusty cars, until I see the car crusher straight ahead.

"Drive right into it or she's dead, MM," Flatt says, jabbing his baton for emphasis. "I'll let her go once you drive in there. You're the one I want."

It dawns on me that he has no intention of leaving either of us alive so...what the hell? I jam on the brakes and Flatt lurches forward. I grab his tweed collar with my free hand and yank him into my lap. "You're coming with us!" I yell, because, even though I've hit the brakes, the crusher looms ever closer, closer...

And then I wake up and realize I have to take a ferocious tinkle.

She Likes to Watch: Well, there's nothing to interpret here. I'm in a hotel room, having sex with my old girlfriend Gretchen, when I suddenly notice that my sister-in-law just happens to be lying next to us in bed, watching. But this is a dream, of course, and so instead of uttering what any normal man would utter in the circumstance ("Threesome! Excellent!") I find myself asking my sister-in-law how she's doing and we're having a rather protracted conversation even though I am still, um, in flagrante. At some point, sis-in-law starts interviewing me and my partner about our technique and I turn to look at Gretchen to see what her answer will be...except Gretchen is gone and in her place is Her Lovely Self, no longer pregnant.

For some reason, it was fine having my sister-in-law in bed with me when I was with an old girlfriend, but now that I'm having conjugal relations with my wife--her sister--only NOW am I weirded out. Indeed, at that moment, I turn to both of them and say, "I'm outta here." I wake up and discover that I'm in the guest room. Blaze is next to me, right where my sister-in-law was, staring at me with a face that seem to say What the fuck is your problem?

I wish I knew.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

ok the one about the creepy band director is just frightening! missed your blogs lately!!!
MM, something tells me you need to go back to drinking.

Or have you been chasing the dragon?
The one I keep remembering is being in London after a successful operation Seelowe.

Frightening detail.
"I have abstained because I promised HLEPS I wouldn't drink while she was pregnant, a little gesture of solidarity..."

I'd long thought this was only fair, and as soon as I found out I was pregnant I asked my husband if he'd help a gal out. He just said, "Sorry, can't do it." Boy is he in trouble now...
I recently discovered your blog while googling the small Kansas college town where I lived until age 8....thanks to you I have been staying up WAY too late. Great stories! All the best to you and HLEPS at this time. I remember waddling around the block on what turned out to be the day my third child was born, thinking "I'll never be pregnant again" and not knowing whether to celebrate or mourn.
I imagine the stress of the late stages of pregnancy is fiddling around with your subconscious there, MM. That band director one would make a good horror short story, though.
LOL! that last bit there MM. Thanks, you gave me a good morning laugh- :)luv em!
"And then I wake up and realize I have to take a ferocious tinkle."

I doubt I've laughed at anything this hard in a long about comic relief.

I occasionally get dreams like that, so vivid and detailed, and in colour. Like the one about searching for my father in a very large public washroom, complete with spa facilities. In one of the hot tubs, the three Vampire Brides out of Dracula are feeding on a man (not my father). At this point, one of them notices me and bites me. The floor is wet/flooded, and I can see the trail of blood I am dripping swirl around in the water as I run, calling out for my father.

I have no idea what this means. But since you shared, I thought I would, too.
OK, OK, I've got to be the one who asks: Did you do a Google search on the band director or the girl or anything else to see if what you dreamed had any connection to reality whatsoever?
stkykAnxious over the impending birth much? Stress can do some pretty funked up things to dreams.

My most vivid dreams occur when using The Patch for quitting smoking. The one's that you wake up going "What the F***!?"
MM(and everyone) check out April 6 on There's a fox cub you must show to the Brownie.

And check out too. Cartoons illustrating real dream storylines.
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