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Dream: 10.23.14

October 23, 2014

I remember more than just the dream elements, but I don’t remember the plot, if there even was one. This dream was very disjointed.

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The setting was a Shangri-La type of “resort”, hidden within a mountain range in northern New Mexico. It wasn’t on any map; to go there, you had to accompany someone who knew how to get there.

I came with a group of “friends”, but they deserted me almost immediately, and I was never able to meet back up with them.

The resort catered to the sensibilities of Native Americans: they ran it, they visited it; their worldview was everywhere reflected.

Some people there looked Hispanic, but most were apparently Native Americans. I was the only Anglo I saw.

The living and playing areas were (mostly) inside caverns, hollowed into the mountain. They were surprisingly golden-light-filled, airy, at a comfortable temperature, and very inviting. I saw lots of art. I tried talking to people about the art, but it wasn’t clear to me that anyone else could see me.

Outside, the mountains appeared dark brown and inaccessible. Snow on the ground, many people were bundled up in parkas. For some reason, I was walking around wearing only 2 bikinis, layered over each other (both white, with orange flowers and green leaves). There was a swimming pool, apparently heated, and people were swimming in it. But I knew I wasn’t eligible to join them.

As I was people-watching, an acquaintance of my lost friends, Theodore, sat down next to me. After an anxious silence, he whispered to me that he had noticed everyone around us was fat. At those words, I really looked at other people’s bodies, in a way I hadn’t before. Most people were . . . stocky? Sturdy? Definitely not what I would call “fat”. Everyone looked healthy, and at ease in their own skin. Whereas in that moment, I felt sickly and profoundly uncomfortable. I felt that Theodore was testing me; that his comment was some kind of trick, and if I answered “wrong”, I’d be thrown out. So I said that what I’d really noticed was that there were no really skinny people around nor any obese people (and that was true). For some reason, I then launched into my pet theory about how obesity is caused by possibly hundreds of interlocking variables that no one is studying. So that all of the so-called “well-meaning” advice to obese people is badly misguided, and totally worthless. I got so involved in explaining all this that I forgot how nervous I was (because I thought he was trying to trip me up), and I was thinking he might find my theory interesting. When I looked up to gauge his reaction, though, I saw he had wandered away. Now I didn’t know anybody there.

Despite the bikini, I did have my camera with me (the small point-and-shoot I carry around wherever I go in a small pink bag, slung over my shoulder). I kept trying to capture how beautiful and amazing this place was, but my shots were all at crazy angles of composition, out of focus, showed things I definitely hadn’t seen, or magnified things to such a degree that they were utterly abstract. I kept thinking the problem was my lack of skills.

Walking around on rugged snowy ground, far away from the buildings, I saw at least one person, a young woman, ski jumping in a way I’ve only seen at the Olympics. Me, I was walking around, no skis or snowshoes, still in my bikinis.

From a ridge, I looked down into the valley: it was nighttime, and the city’s lights sparkled below. I realized it was, somehow, Albuquerque, even though the mountains I was in were miles and miles north of the Sandias. A tesseract in time and space?

The swimming pool was closing for the night. People were streaming past me to leave, but I didn’t see my friends anywhere. I kept thinking, I should check my phone for messages about where we’re going to meet up. And then I’d remember that I hadn’t given them my phone number, and I didn’t have their phone numbers. Still, if we met in front of the caverns (where everyone else was gathering to catch buses), how could I miss them? They’d have to be there, right? (They weren’t.)

Later, I was back inside the living spaces. I wanted to leave, so I was looking for exits. All the stairways/escalators were . . . odd. Each set, on each floor, was a sculptural puzzle you had to solve by the way you walked through it, before you could go up or down. [Wiggly block, only life-sized. Ugh.] I couldn’t figure any of them out, so I was getting very frustrated. A toddler girl with dark hair whizzed by me. I paused to look at her, and felt my mood lift. She knew exactly what she was going to do! A few minutes later, a blonde woman carrying a baby girl (also dark haired), approached the stairs, walked confidently through them, collecting the toddler into her train as she went. I smiled again, because they belonged together, but were allowed to be themselves. And because they knew what they were doing. I walked right behind them, but could not actually follow, because I didn’t know the way.

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Every other time I’ve dreamed about Albuquerque, I’ve actually been in it, and it was daytime. And I had some vague sense of where I was located in the city (even though, when awake, I don’t know my way around Albuquerque at all). Why see it from a mountaintop, when the city I saw should’ve been Santa Fe or Taos or something up that way?

(Does Albuquerque actually have buildings as tall as the ones I saw, all lit up?)

Was I actually there at the same time and in the same place as the other people? Or was I in an alternate dimension, or something like that?

I’ve never walked around on mountains as tall as these. They were more like the Rockies than the Sandias. Where was I?

Why did I “know” this was northern New Mexico, when the parts of northern New Mexico I’ve visited don’t look anything like this place?

Why was I at a resort by Native Americans, for Native Americans? Who brought me there? Why?

What was with the bikini? I actually own a white bikini with orange flowers and green leaves. I haven’t worn it in years because I never swim, or even lay out in the sun. (I just realized, with a start, I do love that bikini. I wonder why?)

+++

I used to love to swim. I used to love just being in a pool, playing around. The pool I spent the most time in belongs to my aunt and uncle who live in Oklahoma City. Now that I think about it, I believe I may have bought that white bikini before going back to Oklahoma City for my cousin’s wedding in 2007. Because there was supposed to be a pool party, and I couldn’t wait to swim! (Spouse doesn’t like getting wet, never mind swimming, so I just . . . stopped doing this thing that I love.)

There actually was a pool party — I saw the photographs my sister took, some months later. It’s just, I wasn’t invited to it.

Now that I think about it, except for trying it on, I’ve never worn that bikini.

= = +

I’ve skied (but not ski jumped). I’ve swum, I’ve played in water. I’ve taken photographs. I’ve created art. I’ve walked on mountains.

I’ve been ignored. I’ve had friends ditch me. I’ve had people walk away while I was talking to them.

I’ve been invisible.

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