I had a strange dream early this morning. It was the kind of dream in which my conscious self knows that I’m dreaming and even talks to me as the action of the dream is unfolding about the fact that I’m dreaming. It was my conscious self that ended the dream, that made the decision to open my eyes and wake up so that the dream would stop.
In the dream, my worst ex was in my apartment. This isn’t the Morphine Man or Vlad or any other ex I’ve mentioned. This is the dangerous, abusive man I never talk about here. And he didn’t show up in this apartment. I was living in some enormous loft/performance space, similar to the loft I lived in when I was dating that man, only much, much bigger (and with the performance space my actual apartment, sadly, lacked).
This man — let’s call him Michael — came into my room and woke me up, yelling and threatening me with … I don’t know what. I had done something to piss him off and he had come to exact some revenge. He was advancing through the apartment, breaking things, tearing things off of shelves and flinging them against the walls.
I was scared, but I was also surprised to see him, surprised that he would suddenly be there, in my house, in my life. I watched him come toward me, watched the mess he was making of my home, but didn’t do anything. And that was when I noticed that a) my apartment was a performance space and b) it was full of people, including my brother and some of my friends from college. I used the distraction of the crowded room to slip out of bed (because of course all of this was happening while I was in bed) and hide, first at one end of the apartment and then at the other.
My conscious self was annoyed, kept rejecting the idea that Michael would ever come after me in any kind of violent way. Yes, he was abusive, but not physically. I started reviewing all the terrible things that happened between us and pointed out to my dreaming self that none of them had involved physical violence. Dream me was unconvinced and continued to look for a hiding place.
I caught my brother’s eye, and he smiled and patted the air with his hand as if to say, “Calm down. Everything’s going to be fine.”
I could hear Michael behind me and crouched down so I could crawl under a table … and that was when conscious me decided I’d had enough and snapped my eyes open into my just-before-sunrise room, and I was awake.
Years ago, I read Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner with my class. That book was a great experience, gave me a chance to learn so much more from my students than they learned from me. One day they taught me about number books, about interpreting their dreams so they’d know which number to play. This was a world I knew nothing about. Happily, there were plenty of places that still sold those books, and I bought a few to bring to class. My favorite was Aunt Sally’s Policy Players Dream Book. My students and I had a great time with the dream books, recording and interpreting our dreams.
I still have Aunt Sally around here somewhere. I need to find her. This is the first dream I’ve remembered in a long time, and the most vivid I’ve had in ages. Surely my lucky number is in there somewhere. Hitting Powerball from a dream about Michael would be excellent. Finally, something positive would come from that unfortunate relationship.