A Dream Remembered

November 30th, 2012

I don’t remember my dreams very often, but when I do I am always a little disconcerted by the movement or sequence of the dream. One doesn’t travel in a dream so much as one finds oneself in juxtaposition to something, someone, or someplace else.

Dudley Cooperative

The memory of this particular dream begins interestingly enough on Massachusetts Ave in Boston. I am standing on the sidewalk and looking towards the Sacramento Street entrance to the Dudley Cooperative. Next I see a tiger walking out of the Agassiz School. Now I realize that it is impossible to actually look from the corner of Massachusetts Ave and Sacramento Street to the entrance of the Agassiz School on Oxford Street, but like I said above one doesn’t so much travel in a dream as experience sudden juxtapositions.

 I watch and/or follow the tiger to the entrance of the Dudley Cooperative. I go inside but instead of standing to the right of “The Den of Inequity” with Jay Hodos and Lisa Bromer playing bridge, I’m in what looks like the kitchen of my house on 1007 E. 15th Street in Austin, Texas. This doesn’t bother me because I know I’m still in the Dudley Cooperative, what does bother me, however, is that I see David Leaper in a T-shirt and plaid flannel boxer shorts (Yes, I dream in color) putting magnetized words into rows on my refrigerator. I start to say “What…” (as in WTF are you doing here), but he doesn’t let me finish. He looks at me and says, “I’m counting words.”


I thought dreams were supposed to be subtle and symbolic, but that was anything but subtle. Of course, it now makes me want to ask: “So, Dave, did you discover a curious bulge around the 8k band while counting words on my refrigerator in your boxer shorts?” Sadly the tiger was still on the move, so there was no time to ask such penetrating questions.

From the kitchen in Austin which is still somehow inside the Dudley Cooperative, I then follow the tiger into the yard behind the cooperative building on Massachusetts Ave. We/I cut through the yard and onto Sacramento Field where Paul Massari is playing Whiffle ball with my son, Andy (승현). Sacramento Field is slightly different from how I remember it. First there are no basketball courts, but instead there is a section of the Green Monster from Fenway Park. Also instead of some scruffy grass in the field beyond the basketball court, there is now a professionally groomed baseball diamond.

The scruffy grass of Sacramento field in Cambridge, MA

Although this bothers me now, it seemed quite appropriate at the time. I’m bothered by this because I don’t understand what the dream is trying to tell me. The basketball court at Sacramento Field is actually a fairly traumatic place for me since it is where I shattered my wrist, so why would my subconscious just up and move them? What is so symbolically important about the Green Monster? Why the professionally groomed field instead of the scruffy grass? And why am I following this bloody tiger?

To Paul and Andy: “So who won the Whiffle Ball game?”

Both Paul and Andy want me to stop and play, but I continue to follow the tiger from Sacramento Field in Cambridge, MA to 711 S. Henderson Street in Bloomington, Indiana. Suddenly I’m in my basement bedroom and Heather is there. She wants me to go to Chicago with her, but I know I shouldn’t go, but I end up in her white Subaru 900 turbo anyway and we’re driving through the bleak autumn landscape which is rural Indiana. Then the scene changes I see the tiger heading into a Taco Bell. I get out of the car, but it’s no longer a white Subaru 900 Turbo, but a Chrysler La Baron Convertible.  Robyn walks out of the Taco Bell with a to-go-bag and says it’s my turn to drive. I point to the Taco Bell and go inside.

I’m not a guy who’s really into cars, so why are they so memorable in this dream? I can clearly see the two cars in my mind’s eye, yet I haven’t thought of them in years. Also, why is the memory of not wanting to go to Chicago with Heather but going anyway so strong? This dream is filled with various places that I have been, but only Chicago feels wrong. Why does Heather morph into Robyn? What’s so significant about Taco Bell?

The scene changes and I’m clearly in a high-rise apartment building in Ilsan, South Korea and looking through the sliding-glass door of the veranda over a massive construction site (obviously Ilsan circa 1997) and “Song for Whoever” by the Beautiful South is playing. I knew Elise must be home, but I see the tiger crossing the bridge over the tracks of the Gyeongeui Line (경의선) near Ilsan Station and I’m suddenly standing on the bridge and then my alarm goes off… It’s 6:30 am.

Why the juxtaposition of Taco Bell and Ilsan Korea? Why no visual appearance of Elise, but only a suggestion of her through the music that is playing? Why “Song for Whoever?” And what’s up with this tiger? I suppose, if the dream is being obvious and not very subtle than the tiger must be a symbol representing Korea, Asia, or my life as it is right now, but my gut feeling is that’s not what it means. I live here; this is my life, so why would I need to follow it?

It’s not like I am following it because I feel lost. I don’t feel lost; not ever. In fact I always know exactly where I am. I remember the “where” of this dream very strongly but not what I am doing. Surprisingly, since everything else seems so vivid and clear, my actions seem very fuzzy; that is, the only clear thing I remember doing is following the tiger and moving from one juxtaposition of place and/or people to another.

Thoughts or comments would be appreciated.


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