Archive for January 2011

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

I never remember my dreams.  And when I say, “never”, I mean that once every 4 - 5 years, I’ll awake suddenly and a vaporous 3 seconds or so will linger in my sentience, then make a quick exit through my nostrils when I exhale.  These infrequent and fleeting visitations are the only evidence I can cite that I actually have dreams, but they’re a comfort, because we all know that a person who doesn’t dream eventually becomes a serial killer (if he isn’t one already and has simply repressed the memory(s)).

This paucity of material is hardly grist for psychoanalysis, let alone for blogging, and you’re probably wondering why I’m wasting electrons and your precious time with it. Well, it’s a setup for this shocking disclosure: it happened this morning, and the sequence I remember lasted a good 5 - 10 seconds!

In it, I was walking down a long hall that extended through several rooms, and this place was presumed to be my residence, although it didn’t look like my real residence and in fact was more like one of my clients’ warehouse. Two or three rooms in the distance, I caught a glimpse of a large cat (cougar, leopard) crossing the hall and headed outside through an open door.  I had a half-second to register relief and begin to jump up on a table just in case (thinking as I did that a cat that size wouldn’t be deterred by a quick leap up onto what I then realized, with dawning irony, was a dining room table), when the lights went out at the end of the hall. Just then, I saw the cat rushing toward me out of the darkness.  I threw my arms up and yelled, “No! No!”. In the next half-second I realized that the cat had been in the process of running past me, and that I’d been a fool to attract its attention; and then I awoke, sitting bolt upright.

I wondered then if I’d actually hollered aloud, or only hollered in the dream.  Then I thought, no, even if I had that dream, which I’m not admitting that I had, I’m sure I have a healthy firewall between the alleged fantasy me and the real, dreamless me.  And then: “Was that you yelling? You woke me up!”  So I explained what I’ve just told you, and got a comforting hug in return, and I pretended not to notice “911″ dialed but not yet called on her cell phone.

I guess if you’re going to go to the trouble of remembering a dream that you might or might not have had, you may as well take a stab at interpretation. Why a cat? Why now? Does my subconscious know I have cancer and has cast it for its own purposes in the form of a dangerous feline? And has been trying its best to keep the bad news from me, and just fucked up big-time?  What is that thing on my arm?

And again, if I’m going to go to all that trouble, why this, and not a wild and vivid sexual fantasy instead (one that would certainly last more than 5 - 10 seconds, thank you very much)? Just my luck, I guess, because if I’d rent the night with cries of “Yes! Yes!” instead of “No! No!”, I’d have been beaten to death with her current nightstand collection of Virginia Woolf novels instead of the wary cosseting I was actually afforded.

OK, can we sleep now for another hour?