"He's always loved dreams--his own, other people's. With respect to analysis, they're invaluable, like having a wiretap on someone's soul. Even the most cryptic yield to examination, and a mere fragment can get a session going."
~~Kathryn Harrison, Envy
Monday, December 4, 2000
[The dream] began in the electronics department of a Kmart. I was flipping through CDs, not looking for anything in particular and this guy standing near me kept saying, "Shit, shit, oh shit." over and over again. I was about to tell him how inconsiderate he was being so I looked up from the CDs. The guy was wearing six or seven layers of dirty clothes--he even had several hats on his head and a rumpled sock hanging from his nose. Just as I opened my mouth, he said again, "Shit, oh shit." and then pulled a gun from the pocket of his outer-layer coat. He said, "Oh shit--this is a hold-up and I want all the money." So he waved the gun around and people screamed and scattered. The cashier handed him a drawer full of money and a stack of CDs and the guy ran off still waving the gun. After he'd gone, I left the store out a side door with a line of other customers...
When I arrived home, it was of course, not my actual real-life home--in fact, it is a picture perfect replica of my "dream house." Warm, tidy, tastefully decorated. And I wandered from room to room, feeling grateful that I had survived the hold-up and grateful, too, that this was my house.
There was a knock on the front door and...I opened the door to find six guys standing there in Spandex bodysuits, complete with full face masks--five of them were in metallic red and the sixth was in a metallic yellow suit. The five in red pushed through the door and went after five adults inside the house (these people weren't there before the knock and I could make out no faces...so while they were on "my side," I had no idea "who" they were and still don't for sure). They attacked with all sorts of pseudo-ninja moves and the people from my house were trying to fend them off.
I could hear things being broken, smashed throughout the house as the team of red Spandex guys spread out. I barely had time to register the damage they were probably doing before the sixth guy--the one in yellow--attacked me. I was trying to fend him off and grabbed the thing closest to me to use as a shield and weapon. It was a wicker hamper, which I used to block his punches and then I scooped him up with it. (Laws of physics are suspended in dreams--conveniently so.) I had managed to scoop him into the hamper, but it was clear he had no intention of staying in there. He kept popping up and I kept shoving him back down. I became more and more panicked until there was a running chant in my head, "Push him down, push him down--" I understood at the deepest level that my survival depended upon keeping this guy in the hamper...
The stress of it--I wasn't winning, was barely staying even, in fact--finally woke me up and I was staring at the ceiling, waiting for my heart rate to slow to somewhere near normal, and going over the elements of the dream in my head. Kind of a dream inventory--not so much to make sense of it as to remember it later.
So, I thought, "Okay, an army of guys in Spandex, a nice house, and I'm trying to save myself with a hamper..."
And it just went click in my head--or pop--or fizz--or something. The dream was about my "dirty laundry" keeping me from having the things I want. My "dirty laundry"--the mistakes of my past (both the ones I've made and the ones others made that affected and reflected upon me) are standing in the way of the future as I would like it to be.
The way I can save myself in the second half of the dream is by putting the guy in a hamper--the proper place for "dirty laundry." In the first half of the dream, the thief was dirty laundry incarnate and he stole money and material things and prevented me from buying something I wanted.
All of this came to me in a flash--but I have spent much of the time since trying to understand some of the other elements of the dream and, probably more importantly, trying to understand what emphasis I should place on the dream in my waking world.
First, the symbolism...The colors the Spandex men were dressed in--red and yellow--I think may refer to anger and fear. My anger bursts through the door and fans out at the other adults involved in my dirty laundry or, farther afield, elements of my own character (I can't think of five at the moment, but I know there are easily that many) that have contributed to my "dirty laundry." My fear attacks me directly and I am forced to battle it alone, all the while distracted by the damage my anger is doing to the rest of my house and the other people in it.
Which brings us to how much weight should be placed on the dream in my waking life section--I had a moment (okay, half a day) where I thought the dream might somehow be prophetic. It was a message from someone, somewhere that I would never overcome the past, that even when/if things appeared to be on-track, it would come back (IN SPANDEX) after me.
An alternative way of seeing the dream is that it was my subconscious sending out a newsflash--though why my subconscious would choose Spandex men as messengers, I am unsure. So either my subconscious thought is I can never overcome the past, etc or it's that the only way to overcome the past is to put away my dirty laundry and my fear. It's much more soothing to assume this dream is a bit of wisdom kicked out of the inner reaches of my brain than to assume that even my subconscious mind has given up hope.