I’ve been getting up to twenty missed calls a day from the same 0207 number. They’ve been at it for weeks and they never leave a message. I’ve no intention of answering; they’ve been reported as a nuisance caller on some online forums and – huzzah! – I’ve just figured out how to block numbers on the phone I’ve only had for about two years. I’m not amongst the most tech-savvy of my generation. Then again, it’s nice that I haven’t needed the block function until now.
So, last night’s dream. I was with X, a lady I know through Bollywood dance. She’s a little older than me, and very mild-tempered. The same 0207 number came up on my phone and I fucking lost it. My rag, I mean. Not my phone. X looked remonstratively at me as I laid into the person on the other end. Yeah I know they’re trying to make a living like everyone else. I was sorry to be swearing and raging like this in front of her, when she’d always thought I was a nice and gentle person. At the same time I felt resentful; nobody knew how much I’d had to put up with and who was X or anyone else to judge me for my fury?
This was old rage, man. Rage, and also despair. I felt so powerless to stop these intrusions into my privacy and the aggressiveness of the cold-callers. What did I care if this particular trigger-happy sales-targeteer was kind of a scapegoat for so many others.
When I think about why it was X who cropped up in my dream – someone I don’t know all that well – I recall that I do know she had an unhappy marriage. Considering this is a woman who almost never has a bad word for anyone, I’ve heard her describe her ex-husband in pretty strong terms.
Over the years, it’s not only belligerent sales-badgers who’ve bounded across my boundaries. This dream was the anger equivalent of the fear I felt in ok, computer. Both dreams featured shame or guilt. I feel ashamed to be heard expressing my anger. I feel guilt at the thought that I might really be in the wrong. So X has a conflicting role in this dream. She probably knows a thing or three about anger, and yet I worried about offending her with mine. It’s still so hard not to feel ashamed.