Note: I was going to title this post "What's in a Dream" but realized as I started to type that this was really more of a nightmare and one full of symbolism and snatches of my reality and what's going on in the world at present. I'll have to ponder this one for a while.
I approach the door of my family home. As it opens, I see that another family is living there, and a family that is not supposed to be there at that. For lack of better term, I’ll refer to them as a terrorist family. There is definitely something ominous about their presence. Snaky. Oily. Over perfumed. Threatening. As I stand in the doorway, the male of the house, I presume the father figure, gestures me in. There is a dog standing nearby, not my dog but some sort of standard poodle thing; not my favorite dog at all. I look around and spot my dog, my Lucy; off in a corner. She looks decidedly miserable; downtrodden, beaten; probably literally. She is mangy looking and, pathetically, chews on an old stick. I wonder where all of her toys are; her bunny, her squirrel, her hedgehog, her flea? She sees me and her tail starts to thump on the floor. With some show of her usual enthusiasm, she jumps up and races over to me. As she approaches, the slimy man yells harshly at her and she cowers. My heart breaks. She tries to slink towards me but he keeps her from getting close to me. He starts to take his belt off and holds it menacingly in his hands saying, “I guess it is time to really show this dog who the master is.” I begin to protest, fear rising inside of me as I anticipate what this man is going to do to my dog. He moves towards her and I splay my hands out in a pleading manner, asking him to please leave my dog alone; to just let me take her away and she’ll be no more trouble to him. I have no thought, really, for the house, or its contents; only to save my dog. After some time of this, an achingly long moment when I wonder if he’ll insist on dragging her outside where I’m sure he’ll beat her to death, he, amazingly, relents. But, there is a condition; I am to take her away, yes; but I must come back within a few days with some amount of money, a staggering amount which I know I can never raise, and, worse, I know that this money will go towards something that is not good at all. Yet, I agree, my only thoughts to get my dog out of that house and away from this horrible person. As we walk together out of the house; me, my dog and this awful human being, I wonder how it is that we are in the cul de sac where I grew up; even as I recognized the house as my parent’s house in San Diego, I am startled that we are IN San Diego. We walk towards the part of the cul de sac the leads to the primary artery street where my car is parked. As we progress, the man reminds me of my duty. We reach the car and I get Lucy settled in the passenger seat next to me; something I’d normally never do but I want her nearby. She is so cowed and timid at this point, she hardly moves; just places her head onto her paws and regards me with eyes that express a combination of wariness and joy. We drive away and I immediately begin to wonder how I can possibly raise money for whatever the man has in mind.
The scene switches, and I am in an apartment, I guess it’s mine, going through all of my things with an eye to keep only exactly what I need and to sell the rest; presumably to raise money to give to this man. There is another woman there with me; I am unclear of her relationship to me but she looks an awful lot like the actress Scarlett Johansson. As I go through my things, I notice several suitcases packed and standing off to the side. She says, “I went ahead and selected a few things for me, as you told me I could.” I nod, but stop and walk over to the bags. I held up my brown leather satchel. “You can’t have this one. I need this one, and also the other valise you packed plus my red wheelie. Any other suitcase you can have,” I tell her. She says, “I didn’t know.” I open up the bags to remove what she has packed in them so that I can take the empty bags for my own use. I notice that she’s packed a lot of my slacks, a few sweaters, and, for some reason, the sock monkey slippers that my stepmother bought for me a few months before she died. “You can’t have these,” I say, holding them up. “They are the last things Margot bought for me before she died.” I tuck them away. I feel a sense of sadness of losing so many of my things but also realize that I don’t care all that much.
The scene switches again and I am back at the house. This time, there is no family there; in fact, the place is deserted and nearly destroyed inside. It is a wreck; furniture tossed to and fro, all of the food pulled out of the refrigerator and freezer and tossed in the backyard; some of it is floating in the swimming pool. Although the people are gone, I still feel a sense of unease, a bit of desperation that they may return before I can get the place secured. Mark is with me now; we begin together to sort the place out. Although when I was there the first time; when I met the horrible man and saw Lucy I didn’t wonder about the cats, now I am concerned what happened to them as I see them nowhere. I worry that that awful man did something to them but also believe that they were too wily for him. As Mark cleans up inside, I go outside, thinking that perhaps they are out there. After a few moments, I see one or two of them on the outskirts of the property, in the canyon. After some time, I managed to coax them all inside the gate and into the backyard and get them into the house. This is when I discover all of the meat we’d had stored in the freezer tossed around the backyard; expensive roasts, pounds of hamburger, steaks. I wonder at this blatant disregard for food, for money; especially in light of the fact the man seemed to need and want money.
The scene switches yet again and I am in my familiar dream of being at an airport, being dropped off at the terminal, and being late for my flight. I have to walk the long path to the check in counter, then the never ending walkway to the gate. I’ve been in this place in my dreams so many times, it’s very familiar to me. As with all the other times, I have a desperate sense of needing to get onto that plane so I can get away. This time, there are two women with me, and they are exclaiming that there may be a problem with our three seats; that perhaps they’ve overbooked and we won’t be able to get on the plane after all. I look at my ticket and see it’s a seat in first class. I tell them there won’t be a problem, they never bump the folks in first class.