Thursday, December 2, 2010

Duplex Complex

I have unusual, vivid dreams.  They serve me well when I look for inspiration for writing.  Even though they have changed and grown, two of my current works-in-progress were inspired by dreams.  When I have a "normal" dream, it usually means that my subconscious is working through something the forefront of my mind is either too busy or too proud to acknowledge.  With that in mind, last night's dream:

I was sharing a two-bedroom "house" with my college roommate.  I say "house" because, while it was the size and in the layout of an an apartment, it was a single level and stood alone.  It felt as though my roomie and I had lived there for a few years. 

As the dream progressed, L moved in, and we decided that we needed a place of our own.  A real estate agent/apartment manager came to visit and suggested that I buy the duplex.  Right, suddenly there was another "house" attached to the first one by a hallway.  I walked over and found it nicely and fully furnished.  The rooms were larger, and everything seemed freshly painted and carpeted.

"I don't know if I can afford this," I said to L.  "I mean, I have a small salary.  I wonder how much it costs without the furniture." (In this dream, I was recently divorced but still a full-time teacher)
"I'm going to help you," L promised, taking my hand in his.
"Yeah, and I want to rent our old house from you, so you can use the money for the mortgage," my roomie said.  "We can hang a bead curtain over the hallway to separate the houses."
I successfully fought cringing in response to the bead curtain.  The incense drifting over wouldn't bother me that much.  I looked at them, smiling encouragingly at me.  "Let's look at the rest of it," I said suspiciously.

I have to admit, the Captain Kirk beads are pretty sweet.

The agent led us down a hallway past the half-bath between the living room and kitchen.  After brief consideration, I decided that my blue towel set would go very well with the other light blue accents in the otherwise white bathroom.  We all continued walking down the long hallway back to the bedrooms, but we stopped in front of the master bath.  Surprisingly, it was not actually attached to the master bedroom. 

The doorway to the master bath was covered with dark red organza curtains with gold frilly trim.  One curtain was held back by a large gold rope, complete with a heavy tassel on the end.  The curtain swept away and seemed to fuse into the wallpaper (I despise wallpaper), which looked just like the curtain.  Near the bottom of the curtain/wallpaper, a large hole was cut out for a wall outlet with a unusually bright white cover.  I spent some time feeling the edges of the wallpaper and found them loose instead of tucked under the outlet cover.  When I stood up from inspecting the cover, L and my former roomie were gone and only the agent remained.

"Come see," she said, pulling the curtain back.

The first part of the "bathroom" was all a soft grayish-brown tile -- floor, walls, ceiling.  On the left side were two shower heads and the wall was spotted with steam nozzles.  On the right was a tub, built of the same tiles, specially made for two. 

Like this but remove the glass, double the shower and tub, and move the tub to the viewpoint wall.
Some explanation and TMI is needed here: L and I almost always shower together and lament that our tub isn't large enough for us to soak together, so I understand this part - plain and simple wish fulfillment.  It was what appeared and occurred beyond the "bathing area" that confounds me. 

The agent led me beyond the shower, and the room became wider.  To the left was a nook full of open metal shelves (the thin neat ones used as display racks in clothing stores and coffee shops) with clear plastic bins full of skin and hair care products.  Everything from razor blades to exotic-looking face cream was on that shelf.  To the right, the wall was lined with salon shampooing basins. The hair-styling portion of the room was filled to just below waist deep with water so that I soaked and relaxed while having my hair washed.  Water, water everywhere, but I never worried about being electrocuted, not even when my stylist pulled me from a chair and began blowing out my hair.

For many women, blow-drying hair is part of a daily routine.  Not so for me.  I have above-shoulder-length curly (think soft corkscrews) hair that I air dry whenever possible to avoid looking worse than Carrot Top before he discovered product.

Imagine my surprise when I saw myself with hair past my shoulders, straightened, but with a few wild corkscrews, like a phone cord that has been untwisted, bent the wrong way, and then twisted improperly. 

Note that I did not look in a mirror.  As is often the case in my dreams, I became a third person, omniscient, invisible observer.  I was suddenly aware that L was watching TV while my roomie was packing up my old room.

"I didn't realize I had let my hair grow out," I said to the agent.  "This all looks expensive."
"The salon will only cost $300 extra per month, or we can brick it over."

As I tried to reason why I needed a home salon, complete with personnel, I woke up. 

I know I have issues with my physical appearance, which is why I focus my time and energy on the intellectual.  However, I didn't think I was so insecure that my subconscious created a swarm of assistants to make me presentable.  Recently, I've had a more-than-average number of days where I wanted to brown bag it - that is to put a brown grocery bag over my head instead of getting ready in the morning.  I think this stems from laziness and a desire for the semester to be over with and done.  I am certain that the gluttony of Thanksgiving and the impending Christmas season contributed to the underlying concern about extravagance and excessiveness. 

I don't need to consult my dream encyclopedia to see these neon signs.  I know well and full that I have a lot of crazy bouncing around inside me.  Bits of it wriggle out from time to time, especially when I sleep.  So, share with me.  What crazy do you see?  Also, I love analyzing dreams.  If you have a doozy, pass it my way.    


  1. Worth a read.

    Edgar Cayce on Dreams
    Ph.D. Harmon H. Bro (Author)

    Also the Liber Alba equates lucid dreaming with astral projection (the language is extremely cryptic and a knowledge of esoteric symbols is useful). These two will give you the same information from two opposing perspectives. Or they're complete gobbledygook, if interesting gobbledygook.

  2. I have recurring "mild" nightmares, 90% of which deal with school in one form or another. Don't need a sensitive to figure those out.

  3. I almost always remember my dreams, and I used to keep a diary of them. Lucid dreams generally bug me out, as I can control them. My dreams of school are usually of me returning to stir up trouble. Still, I enjoy all the different people I get to be. I suppose some would say the characters are some part of me, but...whatever, right?