Good news is I slept, bad news is I had some bizarre dreams. Sometimes my dreams are like movies, or like memories perhaps, and I can recall every second of them, could even draw the images and scenes. I had a particularly vivid dream last night, and I’d like to document it here for some analysis but also to stop it from replaying in my head.
doodley-doot, doodley-doot (cue fade to dream music)
I was in a mall with 2 small children. I was me but a bit younger, and it was before I had kiddo 3. My little girl was a preschooler holding my hand as we walked, and my son was an infant in a sling secured to my front. This mall was ritzy and glitzy, and though I have been there before in my dreams (usually I roller skate or ride my bike through it) I have never been here in real life, and I don’t know if it even exists as a real mall or is something I created. But in my dreams I know my way around it and where each store is located. (Usually a recurrent dream, odd to have something so different in the same setting)
We were standing and looking at a fancy fountain with many layers, levels, and spraying arcs. I could hear the drips and splashes and oohs and ahs from the crowd. I let go of my daughter’s hand to dig out a coin from my purse for her to make a wish. When I went to hand her the coin, she was gone. Gone! I scanned the area and could not see her. I felt the jolt of panic, just like I do in real life when they are unexpectedly out of my sight. I tried to call for her, but my voice was gone. I could only make little scratchy squeaky sounds when I tried to speak loudly. I could however speak quietly, so I went up to each person and quietly asked if they had seen a little girl in a pink jumper. Everyone looked at me like I was a lunatic and disrupting their day, and silently shook their heads ‘no’ as they walked away from the whispering girl with scared eyes.
I located a security office on the map, and ran there (I didn’t limp in this dream) but it was closed, dark, and had the chain-link security fence pulled down over the doorway. I saw an officer in there though, but I couldn’t speak up loud enough to get his attention. I felt the panic growing, and tried screaming her name with no luck. I started checking every store, one by one. There was a book store, a pet store, a candy store, an art store, a computer store, a clothes store and many more. The details of each shop I know so well. I could describe the lights, wallpaper, displays but I won’t do that here. I had to search each store and find someone to ask if they saw my girl. No one had – and each person was annoyed I had bothered them. And then I went back to the fountain to look there again.
Back at the fountain I did not find my little girl, but was shocked to see my Mom and brothers were there. My Mom
started to say something to me and I told them my girl was missing, and my Mom tsked me for interrupting her. She said they had not come all this way to be treated rudely. She wouldn’t listen to me and started saying something about a party. I tried screaming “My girl is missing” but is came out like a hiss or a hiccup. I tried whispering to her, but she said we had to go. I walked away a few steps to continue my search, and my new angle revealed my daughter sitting by the fountain with my other brother, giggling and swinging her feet. Apparently she had seen him and walked over to him and they had taken her for ice cream. Without telling me.
I was sweating and my back was screaming in pain from carrying the baby around to every store in my search. I said, “you just came and took her for ice cream without asking me?” I thought she had been kidnapped. Mom said, “it is just ice cream dear, it won’t kill her.” She either had no idea why I was upset, or blatantly did not care, not sure which.
I hugged my found girl to me as much as I could with the baby in between us, and told her not to walk away from mommy like that. I said she scared me. Her response was to hide behind my brother’s leg and pop out and say ‘Boo’ to scare me. Such an innocent little angel. The relief after the panic made me feel dizzy and nauseous, and I needed to sit. Instantly my Mom was there telling me to get up, that we had a party to go to and can’t be late to our own party. I had no idea what she was talking about but went along with them, ignoring the pain in my back.
In this dream world we don’t always need cars, we just appeared at the next location. We were standing in front of an apartment building, and my Mom told me to get the keys out of the flower pot. She said I needed a better place to keep those and she got her hands dirty last time. I was so confused but followed her again. We went inside, and my memory started jogging. Wait, wasn’t this my apartment when we first got married? (hubby was not in this dream at all but I had a vague sense he existed some where)
Why are we here? Mom said she had to ask the Super for the keys to get the room ready since I never gave her a copy, and that they’ve been working all day on this surprise. She was visibly excited. We got upstairs and she looked impatient for me to open a door, but I had no idea which one. Did she think I still lived here?
She grabbed the key out of my hand and opened the door to my old apartment, from years ago. We had moved 2 times since then. Inside everything was decorated for a child’s party. It was wild animal themed, with zebra print blankets on the floor for the baby, and large stuffed animals every where. Streamers and balloons filled the ceiling. Everything was purple or animal print. Purple is my mom’s favorite color.
I was so confused. Everyone was looking at me to be happy, like they all did something wonderful. OK, maybe I could overlook that my daughter’s birthday was months away. But I could not overlook the fact that this was a stranger’s apartment. I tried to tell them I don’t live here any more, but no one listened. They turned up the music, served drinks and snacks and told me to relax. Said they went through a lot of effort to do this for me.
I was so afraid to get arrested, I went to downstairs to talk to the Super and see why he let them in here. I found the Super, and he asked if I was surprised. I said yes, very, because I don’t live here any more. Remember? I moved out many years ago. He was like a New York Super I’d seen in movies, wearing only a greasy white undershirt, fat belly hanging over his belt, shiny bald head with wisps of a comb-over. He looked at me sideways, studied me a bit, and said ‘your ma said you was hard to please’ and kinda whistled in disbelief and went back in his own apartment. I shook my head at the absurdity. I remember the feelings of this dream.
I went back upstairs and tried to hurry along the party and start cleaning up to get them all out, afraid to get caught by the actual owners. Then the door opened, and a bunch of young men, college boys maybe, walked in. I was waiting for them to scream or get angry, and instead they just said, “cool, cake!” My mom offered a slice and the real apartment owners ate cake with her. Then one said, “who are you? how’d you get in here? Did we leave the door open again?” And those boys started laughing, hysterically, like this happens all the time.
I told me my mom we had to go now, that these guys lived here. At first she said, “that’s nice I didn’t know you had roommates” but after explaining and telling, and re-telling – my mom finally understood that I did not live there. I told everyone to pack up and get out and we did. I tried to apologize, but the guys just said “thanks for the cake!” like we hadn’t bothered them at all.
Mom asked why I didn’t tell her I had moved. I knew I had, but she never listens, but I told her I was sorry. She said she was mortified for being in a stranger’s apartment, and it was all my fault. I was always putting her in these uncomfortable situations. Well, the party was ruined, and that was my fault too. She sighed and said she doesn’t know why she bothers, she can’t ever make me happy – never met anyone so ungrateful as me. They planned this for days and made the long drive and this is how I act. I wasn’t sure if I should say sorry or thanks and felt so confused and guilty. They all drove away and left me standing there, miles away from my actual home, with my daughter, baby in sling, and now armloads of gifts and party supplies too. The Super looked out his window and shook his head with a disapproving look. I held the keys up for him to see and tossed them back into the flower pot.
We all started walking away, guessing to go to our real home, now carrying the party burden along with my children. No time to figure out what had happened, what I did wrong, it would be dark soon and I had to get the kids home. I was mentally and physically exhausted, completely confused, and had only eaten cake all day long. My limp returned here, of course it did. It wasn’t pathetic enough without the limp too.
Don’t you love what my brain dreams up for me? Seems absurd, but then does it? Seems familiar too.