I have recurring dreams — some of which verge on the nightmarish. I’ve had them for years, one of them going back nearly 3 decades. I don’t set a lot of store by dreams — and there is no real reason to do so. Despite Freud’s insistence that dreams are wish fulfillments, I’ve always thought the convoluted logic by which he sets about to prove the case to be a bit, well, illogical. For example in Interpretation of Dreams (a fun read even if you don’t buy the premise) he describes a patient who recalled a dream where-in she pushed her mother-in-law from a train (or maybe that was Danny Devito). She went on to show what a warm relationship she had with the aforementioned woman, to which Freud replied: You wished to prove my interpretation wrong; that’s why you had that dream. Well, you see what I mean.

In any case, my first recurring dream is pretty simple — a variation of the flying dream that many people have. In my version, I don’t fly through the air but rather glide along the ground, an inch or two above the surface. It is very satisfying to skim past people who are forced to plod along, lifting one foot after the other. In a Freudian sense this would be a rejection of my father’s constant imprecation that I should lift my feet when I walk. See, I could be a therapist.

The second dream is more difficult to interpret. Once or twice a year I dream of meeting with a woman, a secret lover who I’ve apparently been seeing since my late teens or early twenties (it’s hard to remember when she first appeared). The dreams seldom if ever have a sexual content (I’m not that kind of boy) but there is a strange intimacy about them. I have no idea who this woman is — certainly no-one I’ve ever had a relationship with and the dreams do not reflect — and never have — any dissatisfaction with my current or past relationships. Indeed, when I really need her, this stranger is nowhere to be found. I think she may actually be the grown up version of my very first crush. I don’t remember her full name (Tracy, I think was her first) but I do remember the house she lived in. I was about twelve and she seemed perfect — though we never actually spoke. See, she remained the perfect girlfriend — one that doesn’t have any faults! The fantasy girl that none of us really want.

My final recurring nightmare involves bears. I always know I’m in for a rough night when the bears appear — stalking me, watching me, sometimes cuddling me but usually just biting my leg. This dream is no wish fulfillment either. Except maybe my desire to stay out of the woods.

But that’s 10 minutes.


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