Friday, May 27, 2016

Music Box Dreams

I dreamed Mark, The Child and I were staying at a Bed and Breakfast, possibly owned by Christine Lavin.  I don't recall how we got there, but I was mostly lying in bed watching cartoons and educational TV.  I was being very lazy, and was wearing my PJ's.

The cartoon I was watching was about a mutant otter or some other furry mammal humanoid.  It a kind of Thundercats twist, the young mutant rushed an old Chevy car retrofitted with blasters that popped out of the hood, the sides, and the back of the car (it's the sort of car The Child would like, and in the dream I remember a parental frown at all the guns and the violence in the cartoon).   Actually, now that I'm remembering.. the Chevy was backup for the big boss character, who was tall, dressed in dark leather armor, and had Wolverine-esque hair that was parted down the middle but perked up on either side to look like pointy ears.  I think the big boss was supposed to be a middle-aged, ninja panther or something.  In any case ninja-cat batted aside otter-boy effortlessly.  Otter-boy tried a few more passes, and was nonchalantly batted aside some more.  Otter-boy ran back to the advancing phalanx of other otter-boys rushing up a slop, turned around and tried a mass-attack, which ninja-cat mostly ignored, only pausing to block and smack otter-boys behind his back as he walked toward the aforementioned gun-Chevy.

There was another show, I think, but I'm not recalling it.   My parents' German Shepherd may have put in an appearance.  In any case, The Child was suddenly in the room; he had crept in through a kind of back fire escape.  A moment later, Mark walked in through the apartment's front door with a sack of groceries.  

We had a discussion of sorts, with some walking from room to room, and what I remember be was that in one sort of back bedroom there was a wooden, 1880's Victorian style vanity or writing desk.

"Oh!" I said, "I love old jewelry cases!"  (This is what I get for looking at furniture and laser-cut patterns on Pinterest before going to bed).  The box changed shape a little during the dream, but it was mostly about three feet wide, two feet deep, and two feet tall.    A dark stain made the wood dark brown.  The chest had a shallow compartment with a pull-up lid on the top, a wide middle section that I think at first had a roll-up front, but later the front was top-hinged and opened that way.  A third drawer, shallow like the first, was on the bottom.  I opened the top compartment, which was empty; I was a little disappointed, because it's always fun to see what's inside (especially if it's shiny), but I wasn't too surprised.  I opened up the middle, and I heard a small chime.  It was also empty.  I opened up the bottom compartment, and there might have been a very plain letter opener or something in it.  I remember I was able to lift up an inner, flexible bottom.  

Somehow, I want to say by opening and closing drawers, I wound up an inner mechanism and a music box started playing music.  I don't recall the tune, and I don't remember recognizing it in the dream.  The middle section held machinery (which poofed into place with a puff of dream-logic).  It was about the size of an old mechanical type-writer or pull-crank calculating machine.   There were a lot of rusty gears, the same dark brown color of the wood.  The machine's frame stood on button-sized metal wheels which ran along a metal track set on either sides of the box.  There was a lot of metallic tinking going on in addition to the music, and the machinery slowly rolled forward out of the box, and then rolled back in.  

As I'm writing this, I'm realizing the more the dream progressed, the more the jewelry box took on the configuration of my mobile army writing desk.  In the back of the box, behind the machinery, there was a little flame; the machine had sparked it into place as part of its function.  There was now a side compartment, which was a kind of water reservoir.  I perceived now that the top of the box had a kind of metallic seat in it, which was warmed by hot water.  


There was a break of some sort, and the dream took on an Agatha Christie turn. A young English woman, the owner of the box, was having a diamond letter opener appraised.  During, or shortly after the appraisal, the diamond letter opener was stolen.  The woman and her older, slightly bumbling but well-meaning cousin were discussing the theft in an old stone lighthouse, set near craggy cliffs over a slate-colored and turbulent sea.  Somehow, the woman went down to the base of the lighthouse.  The cousin decided to burn some papers, and one flew out of the lighthouse window and the woman noticed.  

"Reginald!" (I'm giving him a name in waking) she shouted,  "What on earth are you doing?"  She snatched the papers near her and ran up the lighthouse stair where Reginald stood sheepishly with a match and the remains of the letters he was burning.  

"I wanted to put this whole horrible business behind us," he said sheepishly.   I don't recall much else, except that Hercule Poirot appeared in the dream and deduced that the woman had stolen her own diamonds for the insurance, and needed the papers her cousin had tried to destroy.  (No, we haven't watched any Poirot in about a week and a half).


Somehow the dream continued ... there's a continuity break.

The Child and I were walking to watch turned out to be my folks' church, except that it was surrounded by a grassy park on all sides (in real life it's on the corner of two busy streets).  We had an interaction with two men who were walking in our direction toward the church... it was mildly unpleasant; I think I invited them to join us in what was rapidly turning into a NeoPagan gathering, and they rudely turned me down.

The event seemed to be run by a twenty-to-thirty-something woman with long straight dark hair (who was doing the administrative stuff) and a similarly aged, man, who seemed one part shaman, one part social worker, one part environmental activist, and one part hipster (wrong word, maybe I mean social-butterfly-hippie).  There was a complicated process for entering the church (at it's single-wide south door, next to the kitchen), and somehow The Child and I found ourselves one of the few people admitted in.

We went upstairs to a lofty, but stuffy, room that doesn't exist in real life.  (The educational wing of the church is single story.)  The dream turned into a kind of encounter session, and I said something about being in a situation like when a Capricorn and an Aries butt heads.  And then the room became so stuffy and hot that we all had to leave.  I was suffering from a slight bit of heat prostration, and hippie-guy gave me his card and asked me to call him tomorrow so he could be sure that I'd be OK.  It was one part real concern, one part condescending, and one part pick-up line.  

Then I was wandering around in the Social Hall.  I had to pee, and so I walked up to a garbage bin standing in the middle of of the hall, unzipped my fly, and suddenly noticed there were people in the hall.  A sort of goofy, plump, twenty-something woman appeared at my elbow and was peering at me. There was a conversation of sorts, that went "Excuse me, I'm trying to pee and you're in my personal space," and concluded with me saying, "Oh, never mind; I'll just use the men's room."  

I think I woke up here to an alarming vision of a pudgy toddler in a bright red jump-suit, sort of like a Telly-Tubby--only without the deely-bopper on the top of his head--grinning maniacally at me and levitating (his legs were crossed and he was sitting "Indian-style") at the foot of the bed, near the corner.  As I watched, I was startled, I had a sense that the maniacal grinning levitating toddler was insubstantial, and the image slowly faded away, revealing the books on the shelf behind it.  

I heard a noise in the kitchen, (the cat, the fridge and the computer all make sounds that sometimes wake me) and the thought went through my head that maybe someone really was in the house and that someone had been staring at Mark and me as we slept.  Or it could have been a shape suggested by the books.  I realized that the books were fuzzy and out of focus (since I wasn't wearing my glasses) but that the toddler's maniacal face had been sharp in my vision (and now that I think about it, bright red insetad of dark brown in the dark); so it must have been one of those hypnopompic images I sometimes wake to about once a year or so.  

And I went back to sleep (as much as the cat would let me).
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