One of those annoying dream posts

House up on jacks while new foundation is being poured
Eventually it will be a new foundation for an old house.

It was late at night and I was working in some office. I went across to the ladies room, pushed the door open, and thought, “It’s late and no one’s around. If I scream no one will hear me.” So I checked the stalls. First one, empty. Second one, empty. Third one, a guy was standing in there looking at me.

He was young and white-skinned. He quickly explained that he wasn’t an attacker, he just wanted to return this big ring of keys he’d found but didn’t know how. It made perfect sense, and we walked together down the hall to a party where my brother Rolando was. I was sure Rolando would be able to solve the key ring dilemma but he was busy just then, in a circle of people, so my new friend and I went to wait at one of the bar tables scattered nearby. Other guests were milling around. A woman friend was standing at our bar table and I introduced her to my new friend. He was so cute and she was so cute, they’d be perfect together. But when I started explaining how we’d met in the bathroom, I realized that my new friend kind of sounded like a psychopath. Then I realized that he could have been lying about wanting to return the keys and it was perfectly likely he’d been waiting to attack someone. It was suddenly awkward.

The basis for this dream seems obvious. Yesterday I was late for my playwriting class. I rang the buzzer at the building’s entrance, a woman answered, I said who I was, and she buzzed me in. From there it’s a short walk to the elevator which takes you up to the second floor, where the offices and classrooms are. They’re very careful about letting people into the building. They always call down and check who you are before they buzz you in. There’s a sign on the door that reads, “Please do not let anyone into the building behind you. Everyone must be buzzed in individually.” Except how do I tell that to the young dark-skinned man who followed me in, so closely I couldn’t have shut the door behind me without physically pushing him out?

I hoped he was headed somewhere other than the elevator. Nope, he followed me into the elevator. I pushed 2, and hoped he’d push a different button. Nope, he didn’t push a button. That worried me more. He was wearing a hat and he wasn’t smiling. I thought about making small talk, maybe about the great weather, but if he did have bad intentions he might take me for soft, so I held on to my late-for-class scowl. At floor 2, he followed me out of the elevator and into the theatre offices. What was this guy’s problem? He stopped at the front desk and I kept walking. If they wanted to yell at me for letting someone else into the building they’d have to catch me first. I snuck into class, which had already started, and forgot all about the guy. When I came out at break, he was sitting on a couch, sorting through headshots. I smiled tentatively at him, feeling like an idiot. He smiled slightly back.

So clearly my brain lodged those few moments of vague fear of a possible elevator attack and rearranged them, as it likes to do in dreams, into an incident involving a bathroom. But why did my brain switch the situation from being wrongly founded in fear to being wrongly founded in trust? And why did it change the color of the person’s skin from black to white? It’s moments like this that make me suspect my subconscious is either a lot wiser than the rest of me or a lot more devious.

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  1. a) love it, as always. b) when you figure this one out, maybe you can help me with my weird dream? it was a week or so ago. I was watering plants at my grandmother’s apartment, and there were orange peels all over the counter, as if someone had broken in to eat oranges. and when I went to throw them away (in the trash can in the living room, of course…) there was a rooster on the coffee table and a sheep on the couch. and the girl who hated me in second grade was smoking on the balcony. yep…I need help.

  2. Have to say, I sort of enjoy hearing about other people’s dreams. I’m sure I dream myself, but I can only occasionally remember them at all. Yours also seems fairly tame compared to what happens in Kate’s dreams.

    Also, have you read the book Blink? It’s about how the brain makes decisions in the background you don’t even realize it’s making. Interesting, and I think it goes into a bit of what you were talking about at the end with your subconscious possibly being devious. We have the paperback if you want to borrow it. Kate didn’t like it much, but I thought it was an interesting read.

  3. Freud would tell you that these kind of opposites happen in dreams all the time. When you have no clue about the “origin” of the dream, the striking trait, like white skin, suggest to you that it could be the opposite color just as well. These are tips for your conscious mind to “find” the real person your dream is really about… You can also dream about a small room, but that actually could mean that you were having a dream about a big room in you real life, etc.

  4. oh dear … this dream has me worried … has almost relieved me of my situational depression … why is she in the bathroom with a male at all … is she really leaning toward total liberal existence for all of life … why didn’t she run like h out of bathroom … did she use the bathroom b4 talking to strange man … is the bathroom clean … i like the reply with rooster and sheep … 2 of my favorites … i feel better already … did she wash her hands with soap … did she or he pick up any litter in the bathroom if untidy? And why does any woman get on an elevator with a man, alone … gives me the willys …

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