July 1, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on June 30, 2018

Today is Saturday, so I slept a little longer after waking up at 5:55a.m., and in that second little sleep, I had the most interesting dream. I was staying at my mother’s – at my parents’, I suppose, since the implication seemed to be that both of them were around, but my mother was the “presence.” My father was actually kind of not there. As is the wont in fairy tales, there was a journey I was sent on – sent myself on, possibly. (Because, aren’t all the manifestations of actors in dreams for the most part aspects of ourselves?) So, I was on a journey, my mother was at “home,” except it wasn’t recognizably any house I’ve ever lived in. I think landscape-wise there were elements mixed in from the third episode of Season 2’s The Tunnel, your typical bleak cliff- and lowlands topography, windswept.

My journey involved bringing something back – a colorful, origami-reminiscent, pearlescent, multi-layered, lacquered (but extremely fragile) ball composed of interlocking leaves, each one bright, all different colors, its pieces like finely lacquered flower petals. Anyway, this thing kept falling apart – it was hard to transport.

At some point I found myself not in my car (I had been driving), but walking along a narrow, rather muddy ridge encroached upon on both sides by vegetation. Somehow, from there, I gained access to a house. I think I broke in, but when the family who lived there discovered me, they didn’t mind. I think it’s because I charmed the two young children with my object, which, even though in pieces, was still compelling in its component parts. The woman asked me to stay for dinner, which first made me panic a bit, but then calmed me. So I agreed. Her husband (who appeared out of nowhere) tried to show me a video on his laptop about the imminent collapse of our financial (and possibly social?) system, but the sound was too low for me to hear across the table.

At some point in all this I remembered that I should phone my mother to tell her I wouldn’t be home for dinner (and, implicitly, not to worry), but I got no answer when I called. I called again – possibly several times – and at some point in all this, the penny dropped regarding the main thrust of this dream: She didn’t have a phone.

I was calling, and suddenly realizing, simultaneously, there was no phone to call.

We didn’t have a landline at the house, not anymore (just like IRL here at our house), and while it seemed my father had a cell phone, he was also nowhere in the picture, really, and she didn’t have one. So I couldn’t call. Somehow, I think in my dream I was now upset that she relied on me and on her husband for phones, and didn’t bother to insist on her own.

But the main point of the dream was that I was trying to reach my mother – who seemed very present and alive, albeit absent, too – who did not possess the instrument, the place of interface, through which she could be reached. After I realized this most strongly, I also felt a sexual charge, and the dream switched a bit. Orgasmic release as a response to shock? To traumatic insight? Whatever. The point remains: I was trying to contact a mother who didn’t have it in her – or on her – to be reached.

If I believed in ghosts or an afterlife, I could almost think she came to me to tell me this, sort of like, “I’m sorry I didn’t have it in/on me to be contacted.” I mean, who doesn’t have a phone in this day and age, especially when you’ve ditched the landline? …Oh wait. She “ditched” the landline fifteen years ago when she died. That’s who doesn’t have a phone. But it was like she was illustrating the absence of same during the time she – and I – were alive together. (And interestingly, my father, who in the dream had a phone, was “reachable” when he was alive, more so than she was.)

“The person you are trying to reach is not available.” Nor have they – had they – set up their voicemail, so you can’t leave a message.

It was a devastating dream, in a way. The unreachable mother, who wants to be reached, though.

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