I asked him about it. I said, “I really don’t think this has anything to do with me. What’s upsetting you?” But he wouldn’t answer. When I got back to my room, I saw maintenance had removed some of my plumbing, so water was spraying everywhere. I decided it was time to change hotels. (Not change rooms, mind you, but whole hotels.) Luckily enough, my employer had rented out several hotels for this event, so I had the pick of the litter. I chose a much nicer one, closer to the center of everything, and moved all of my stuff in. (It now occurs to me that in my mind, in the dream, I was equating the hotels to the Upper and Lower dormitories of St. John’s. When will I have normal, adult person dreams instead of all these associations with college?)
Feeling accomplished, I strolled out of my room and around the corner, only to bump into that woman who appears to have stolen the spotlight on this weblog and in my subconscious. I wish she would get out of my mind, because she was only a factor in my life for a matter of a couple months. We weren’t together long enough for her to affect me this much, but then again, I’ve never been completely and intentionally dismissed from another person’s world before. Anyway, I ran into her in the middle of this hallway and even in the dream this was the first time we’ve seen each other since I visited New York. She was in her bathrobe and pajamas, carrying a big brown paper bag of square Sauza Tequila bottles with gold labels.
“Hi,” she said. “It’s been a while. How are you?” I asked.
“Good.” she said. “Tired. Let’s go for a walk.” Why did I do it? Dream-me was still very taken with her, I suppose. I can’t wait to move on from all that.
We strolled down the boardwalk, making idle conversation, until I asked the question point blank. “Wait [name removed], why did you just not speak to me for those two weeks?”
Oh, poor naive dream-Ian! He thinks it’s only been two weeks! I would tell him it’s more like two months, that he’s been living in New York for almost six weeks, but I don’t have the heart to crush his optimism. “I thought we agreed that we were going to take a break while you got the move in order. Seventy days, that’s how long we said we’d wait before re-evaluating our relationship to each other.”
Seventy days! Oh no! I had broken radio silence far too early, and jeopardized the whole plan. If I had remembered to wait, all this difficulty could have been avoided. Except that conscious-me has no recollection of any such length of time being discussed. What an odd thing for my subconscious to suggest. Then again, we are only ever as much as our internal narrative tells us, and it’s certainly possible to lose or mis-remember some facts through the process of living. “I’m sorry.” I said. “I couldn’t wait that long.”
“It’s okay. Let’s go in here.” There was a bar on boardwalk, and a little bit of a line to get in. I realized I didn’t have my cigarettes, that they were still on my bed in the hotel room, and asked if she minded if I ran back to get them. She didn’t, so I ran.
I ran for a while, eventually discovering that it was easier to run on all fours, shortly afterwards switching to just running with my hands in this perpetual handstand, all the way up the boardwalk. All I could see was the ground, inches away from my face. When I got back to the hotel, I found that my hotel keyboard was missing, and I’d have to get management to let me in. I promptly woke up instead.
It doesn’t take a Jungian dream analyst to piece these images together. The hotels are obviously the stores I just transitioned through, the first being back in Alabama where I may have already mentally checked out because I was hanging out with New York friends and being chastised by those from Alabama. The poor maintenance on my first room could be interpreted as commentary on the leadership where I come from. The second hotel is clearly where I am now, in New York. It’s nicer, cleaner, but I forget simple things like where I left my key card. The unfamiliarity of the place and the other little differences color my experience. Then there’s the woman.
I’m going to disregard the alcohol and the pajamas, because I think they’re just incidental sketches as my brain tries to remember this person. She did enjoy going out and drinking with friends, but only ever drank to excess on special occasions, and she dressed very nicely when she was out of the house, but I primarily saw her in FaceTime calls on our iPhones, after she had mostly settled down for bed. The thing I hate about my subconscious is that it presents her behavior in a way that explains why I haven’t heard from her, re-contextualizes the nature of our breakup and gives my foolish heart one more reason to go on hoping. My dream state suggests that she’s only not speaking to me because our breakup was designated a mutual, temporary thing. I remember we had talked about taking it slow until I got to New York, but I’m positive there was no time limit set on that. I don’t know where she gets this “70 days” thing from, except it’s just the right amount of time for conscious-me to think I only have a month left to wait. Which is foolish.
I can’t explain the hand-walking up the boardwalk. That part makes no sense to me. I’ve got to get this woman out of my head, at the very least so I can return to posting interesting content on this weblog. I’ve alienated most of my readers with tales of this particular escapade.