ok, computer.

Back living at my parents’ house, it would seem.  I realised they were on to me about my secret, sexual shenanigans and were furious; I had about half an hour to frantically delete files and online accounts before they ransacked my computer for evidence.

I think we’re harking back over ten years with this one.  The chances of either of my parents demanding access to my computer to see what I get up to in the hay are, thankfully, nil.

Not that I’m saying there’d be a huge amount for them to find.  It’s just, you know.

But I did have a boyfriend who used to check up on me online and log in to my email account to see if I was setting up dates with other dudes.  The thing I really find staggering is how long he’d been doing it before I realised. The intimidation tactics that my dream-parents used, and their fury, are what I knew from him.

When I finally split up with that boyfriend (for good), the Wimbledon finals were on. So the next day I watched the entire gentlemen’s match (Federer being put through his paces by Nadal) from the sofa with a bottle of champagne.  For a good several years later, I felt a little moment of triumph whenever I realised it was Wimbledon-time again.  I think last year was the first time it almost passed me by; we don’t watch live TV in my household and I just happened to swing by a pub that was showing the BBC coverage.  Come June, it will have been a decade.

In my studies of the subconscious, I’ve noticed how surprisingly it creates links between one thing and another. When I told my friend A about the third episode in beds, boots and bad debts – when I recieved a threatening demand for loan repayment, postmarked 2007 – I said I couldn’t think why that year, in particular, came up.  She pointed out that a full ten years had passed since then and suggested that my subconscious was carrying out a review of what had changed.

bad debts and ok computer feel similar to me; they both show my privacy being invaded, and the threat of (some form of) harm being done to me by others, which I have supposedly incurred on myself.  In my dreamscape, images of going back to university, settling debts, ending and beginning relationships, and trying for self-fulfillment without incurring criticism or punishment, are clinging to one another as climbing plants reach out tendrils to bind themselves together.  With all these interlinking tendrils, how do we bring a story full-circle?

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too late, too early

Late for my call to go on stage at a performance with my Bollywood dance group.  I was supposed to be the first to walk out, during the blackout betwen numbers, and the other four or five dancers would file on after me.

We’d been called to the wings much too early, maybe fifteen or twenty minutes before we needed to be, and one or two of our team hadn’t arrived yet.  Realising we’d still be ages, I went wandering to find a vending machine or something.

My vantage point as I watched the dream was now in the wings with the other dancers, including the director of our company (who in reality, doesn’t normally perform with us).  The other one or two dancers had turned up, and finally the lights had gone down for us, while dream-Sotto was nowhere to be seen, and, angrily, the others went on without her.

This dream was a conflation of two recent, real performances we did.  For Holi, we premiered a piece we’d (barely) finished learning choreography for two days earlier. One dancer had come down with pneumonia at the last minute.  Our teacher / choreographer performed with us, which she doesn’t normally, and the overall director of the company was in the audience. Last Diwali, I made a complete dog’s beard of a routine we’d done several times before.  I’d been excited to see an old acquaintance – the bhangra teacher who first tuned me in to Indian dance – and I was chatting to him through the open door of his dressing room while we waited in the wings.  Once on stage, we stood in the dark for ages before the technician realised we were ready and turned our lights / music on, and by then I was a mess of nerves and flusterness.

bollywood feet crop 2

If I look beyond the obvious, dance-related meaning, the dream indicates me being trusted to lead an effort or project of some kind – with others relying on me, and / or being observed by a superior – but getting distracted and failing when I didn’t need to (or failing simply by not turning up for duty).

As I wrote the last paragraph, it resonated with an academic project I’m doing with my Dad, who works as a senior lecturer at a university near where I grew up.  I’m in charge of interviewing people for our research, but it’s stalled recently as I’ve got preoccupied with applying to uni and writing this blog. As in dance, so in any day jobs I’ve had, so in academia, I worry not only about being good enough but about letting myself down by sheer absentmindedness or inability to stay focused on any one thing.

 

bonfires and bunnymen..?

I’m looking at a note-to-self that I wrote in the middle of the night:

It says Bunnymen (presumably Echo and the – ), bonfires, and the name of my godmother who died in 2005.

I don’t know.

I do remember unlocking the door to what was my house in the dream (in reality, the front door of a friend-of-a-friend’s house, which I’ve been past but never into), and entering the kitchen (in reality, the kitchen I knew until I was seven). My godmother, J, came to see me there. She knew I was tired from working long days in my administration job, and from having the baby to raise on my own.

Later, a bitter row with my Mum (whose best friend was J), at the dinner table. My Dad and his brother-in-law were there too.  Mum made digs about my relationship with my ex (? By which I mean my real life ex, presumably the dream-baby’s father), and I retaliated by saying that her comments were equally true of her relationship with my father.  Ouch.

Perhaps the note about bonfires related to flame-wars…?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (1)

I’d booked to see a play – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – at the theatre I used to work at.  But whereas the real venue is in a modern building, this one was a tall Victorian edifice with a steep rake on each of the four tiers.

I’d been keen enough that I came to see the show on my own – maybe it was last minute, maybe no-one else had been available – and I expected to feel fairly at home anyway since I knew the theatre and some of the staff there.  But I hadn’t been sent a ticket, only a reference number to my phone, and when I got to the entrance to the upper gallery, I couldn’t find any trace of email or text from the theatre. I kept telling the usher – a young, cynical guy with a curling lip – that I’d seen it on my phone immediately before I left the house, that I had paid, that I used to work here. My anger was rising (an anger I recognise well from real life, any time I feel I’m being patronised, disrespected, talked down to or blocked by bureaucracy).  A group of school children in their early teens and private school uniforms – green and black kilts on the girls, blazers – were lined up at the other entrance just feet away from me, and I felt them and their teachers waiting to judge me if I showed my anger or tried to demand on being let in.

The literal background for this one was that I had tried to book tickets to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Old Vic in London, with K, to find that they were almost sold out and the few remaining would cost, if not your firstborn, then at least some small person to whom you were vaguely attached.  But I wasn’t angered by not being able to get oltickets. Fair enough, I should have got onto it as soon as I heard the show was premiering.  Somewhere else in my life – or in a lot of aspects of life – there is a recurrent, simmering anger that things are being made difficult for me somehow.

I’ve been to this dream-theatre before, I think, and looked from the entrance to the grand circle or gallery, down towards the stage.  But the floor has been absent, there was only water or a sheer drop beneath me.  I think I’ve been due either to perform there or to work as an usher, and haven’t been able to get from one part of the theatre to another.

In this dream, after being turned away by the first usher I spoke to, I saw one of the duty managers I used to know, who said she might be able to sneak me in if I waited til the show had just started.  But I found myself walking through dark corridors not being able to find my way back to the auditorium.  As I recall that, I’m reminded of a dream I had just under a year ago, when I was performing in a far larger show than I’ve done in real life…but more about that in another blog.

More fragments – a selection of anxieties

Writing a novel; I can’t remember what it was about, but I sure remember the self-doubt, wondering if what I was putting out there was at all interesting or just self-indulgent.

Carelessly splashed some water on the bathroom floor (while brushing my teeth?) and one of my housemates pointedly remarked – in front of the whole household – on how he’d had to dry it up.

A different male friend (not the one in previous fragments) was hoping for a relationship with me.  Not wanting to hurt his feelings, wondering with guilt if I’d led him on.

In reality, I was staying at Sibling and C’s house. In dream, we were all staying at C’s mother M’s house (this being the first time I’d met M; in reality, I’ve never met her).  Based on strange goings on, Sibling, C and I reached the conclusion that M had murdered someone. Not for the first time, said Sibling and C. We tried to excuse ourselves by going for a curry, to discuss how to turn M in or at least avoid being murdered ourselves. But the curry house was full of people we knew, and because we didn’t know how to explain wanting to sit separately from them, we ended up at a table with three or four others. As we were eating, a helicopter descended and M arrived with an entourage of security staff. Back in the downstairs hallway, we got into a brawl and she threatened me with some kind of weapon (not a gun… a knife? a club?).

… possibly woken up by one of the cats, in reality, jumping on the bed. When I told Sibling about the dream over breakfast, he said that nothing of the sort would ever happen; apparently M loves curry so we’d never have made it to the nearest balti house without her.

beds, boots and bad debts

Three separate but closely-blended university-related dreams in one night:

1. Arriving at the student flat that had been provided for me. It was lovely, big and light, at one corner of the third or fourth floor overlooking the big city which as night came on became lit up with neon and car headlights.

The flat seemed to only have single beds, but four of them.  My mum had driven me to the city, and stayed overnight.  She was comandeering the music we played in the flat, which I only grudgingly accepted because she was the guest.  I felt I couldn’t start making the place my own til I’d heard some of my choice of tunes there.  Mum chose the bed by one window, so I went for the furthest away.  I was looking to see if any of them were doubles; one of them looked like it might be.  I would investigate further the next day.

The bathroom walls were made of one-way glass, so when I sat on the toilet it looked as though I was right in the middle of the apartment with nothing between me and my mum, who was sitting on the end of her bed.  I was astonished when she assured me that she really couldn’t see through the wall – and she was equally astonished that I could.

2. Unpacking my shoes onto a low shelf in the apartment, I saw to my surprise that I had a dark red pair of suede boots, some knee-high disco platforms in glittery red, and some black patent Dr Martens.  I hoped my mum, nearby, wouldn’t pay attention to what I was doing and criticise my shoe-spending.  My pink DMs (which I do have in real life) were now made of suede rather than patent leather, and the disco boots had got wet, bleeding some of their colour into one pink boot, staining it a different colour to its partner.  I tried to dry them off, hoping the red colour would fade, which it did slightly.  But I couldn’t get rid of the water; droplets kept appearing around the disco shoe.  I couldn’t take the boot into the bathroom to sort it out properly because then my mum would see and be angry that I’d thrown money away by spoiling the shoes that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place.

3. Despite having not given out my address, I had a stack of post at the new place (which now looked very different, dark and narrow).  There was an A4 envelope with my dad’s handwriting on, saying “open 31.12.2003” (my 21st birthday) and with a post-mark dated to 2007.  I wondered why my dad had sent me a birthday present separately from my mum, apparently in secret, apparently long before the date, and why it had taken so many years to arrive. And now, turned up at this address.

When I opened it though, it wasn’t from my dad at all.  The letter demanded repayment of my undergraduate loan, claiming I owed over £10k (significantly more than I actually borrowed, even with interest). The company had tracked me to this address, forging my dad’s handwriting and giving the date of my 21st to trick me into opening the letter.  I spoke to him on the phone and we agreed it was a scam which I didn’t need to respond to. All other questions remained unanswered.