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Dream: 1.9.2019

January 9, 2019

D invited me (us?) to some expensive techie shindig, as his guests, so we could see for ourselves how important he is in the tech world the bright shining wave of the future.

The keynote speaker, and organizer — not just of this particular event, it turned out, but of an entire (longstanding) series of them — was some middle-aged white dudebro, similar to Seth Godin. Very enthusiastic about how Tech Will Save the Planet; adoring acolytes in the stadium all around us, soaking it all in.

Dudebro was spending gobs of money everywhere we looked: the finest This, the latest-tech-innovation That.

Me, I was cynical, doing an ironic running commentary in my head: a lot of, “how can anyone be taken in by this bullshit?!??”

Still, it was a harmless, if annoying, way to spend a weekend, especially at someone else’s expense, until I needed to go to the bathroom. I set off, expecting to return to Spouse in fairly-short order.

+

There were no bathrooms.

I got further and further into the bowels of the arena, found less-used hallways with almost no foot traffic. Restricted areas. Still, no bathrooms.

WTF? (Luckily, I didn’t have to go desperately, yet.)

Everything was run-down, cracked and dirty gray concrete back here. When I looked into various rooms I passed (my insatiable curiosity), indoor pools had been emptied and were falling apart, there was only broken-down furniture, … everything was in disarray.

Then I started noticing teams of uniformed “troops”, walking in formation, down some wider hallways. Their outfits were the sickly-mint-greenish color of scrubs, they had masks on their lower faces, … when I tried to pick out the details of why they disturbed me, I found the color itself somehow prevented me from focusing — like a green screen?                High-tech, but definitely ominous. Also, once I’d realized there were a lot of these teams, my Gift of Fear instincts activated: better to not catch their attention. I worked on looking inconspicuous, unassuming.

Still no bathrooms.

+

At some point, I must’ve found an exit door, because I was suddenly in a hilly, wooded area. (Inside the arena, it had felt like mid-morning, or maybe early afternoon, but now I saw) It was early evening, and people were milling around, some doing VR stuff.

I recalled, with some internal grimacing, that — if absolutely necessary — I could “pee in someone’s yard”, but I continued to hope it wouldn’t come to that. Anyway, I was initially preoccupied with my bladder.

Still, insatiable curiosity, so I observed these surroundings too.

+

Interlude ~

Walking along a paved path, I come upon an orb weaver’s web, stretched between trees on either side, but up about 12 feet at the top, enabling one to walk under it. As I pass under it, I look up at the spider, who had been kind of a weird sky blue color — at a certain angle, the underside of their abdomen has a pattern like “turtle teeth”. It’s unsettling, but, hey, spiders aren’t exactly cuddly, right?

I walk through, then turn back, to see if the spider is blue again. Now there’s 3 spiders, apparently working cooperatively, and I see the web is more like freeform crochet than the usual 2-d ‘wheel’.

I suddenly realize my red camera’s bag is in its usual spot, slung across my body, so I take the camera out to photograph the spiders. They speed up — in all my photos, they are bluish blurs of legs, working, working. I realize I will have to rely on my own memory for How It Was, How I Felt.

+

Dusk has fallen. Well, sort of, in some places anyway.

Some people I had taken (at peripheral glances) to be absorbed in their phones or VR headsets, are actually… incapacitated, or worse. Nobody around me seems to see me, which is excellent, because those green-clad teams are out here, too, and they are … tasing people. Imprisoning them in transparent unbreakable spheres — small and cramped enough that the people are curled into fetal balls to fit.

At least once, I see a green-clad person kill someone. They don’t shoot them or stab them; they ‘just’ push them off a cliff.

My unconscious has put all the pieces together — I need to find Spouse, and get us both OUT. Now.

+

In a surprisingly short time, I’m back inside the arena. Spouse is not where I left him, in a stadium seat. No, he’s in a large kitchen, where the doors are open to the stadium, and he’s following along with the speaker’s words. As I approach him, from behind, he turns and sees me, smiles dreamily.

I’m abruptly even more alarmed: his white business shirt has been ripped off, and he seems half-entranced. [Spouse only walks around without a shirt, at home, if it’s, like, 38 C (100 F) outside, and he’s just come in from unloading his car of heavy gear. Definitely nothing related to a business context, though.]

I try to catch his eye, bend in quite close to his face, whisper in his ear, “we have to get out of here…. Don’t look surprised; we’re being watched.”

He ‘sobers up’ quickly, but is … docile … following my lead, as I thread him back through those gray dreary corridors, while I explain the danger we’re in.

Myself adrenaline-alert, I consciously reflect that I have years of lived experience evading human predators in my environment, while Spouse, as a (relatively) privileged middle-aged white guy, has… probably zero experience.

Also, and uncharacteristically, Spouse doesn’t seem to see the (unobtrusive) surveillance cameras everywhere. So we’re performing for their benefit as well. Super.

+

Much later, Spouse is himself again, and we’ve escaped. We walked through miles of residential neighborhoods, trying to look like we belonged there, while getting as far away as possible.

It’s now full dark. We’re walking along a wooded path, on a ridge. To our left, miles away in the distance, there are the twinkling lights of a city. I ask Spouse, “Where are we?” not really expecting an answer [although his skills at recognizing cities, like in movies, are way better than mine]. He squints a moment, then says, triumphantly, “Seattle!”

Seattle? I thought we started the day in Minnesota. Or St. Louis. Maybe even NYC. But Seattle??!?

I’m still reeling from that revelation when Spouse continues on the path, down the hill, so that we’re now walking on a plain, near water. We can see the faraway city better, too.                               Spouse says, “Didn’t you always want to see Puget Sound? Well, here we are!”

[I marvel that he remembered about Puget Sound. I’m not here because I’m attending Hedgebrook, but I did get here. Cool.]

+

I try to recall if Spouse and I had brought with us, on this trip, any favorite clothes, or books, or other treasures. If so, they are utterly lost to us — we walked away with just our clothes, and my camera.

I’m not concerned, though. I think of wildfires, and people fleeing them by taking only what really matters. (Also, surely I wouldn’t have packed and brought treasures on a trip with D. They should be safe at home.)

+++

INTERRUPTION:

Today I was supposed to be running the errands I didn’t do yesterday, since today’s the one warmish [7 C] day left in the week before the weekend’s snow, but this dream felt so significant, I changed all my plans.

+++

DREAM NOTES:

Unshakable conviction this dream has something to do with Ca.

+

A lot of the strongest images and the emotions they evoked were straight from movies I’ve seen (mostly) recently — Spider-Verse, the Kutsher’s documentary, the separately-adopted Jewish triplets in the panopticon documentary,  The Circle; or books I’ve read — the Murderbot series, Beartown.

+

Grandmother Spider is a longstanding archetype for me, and I intuit She was here.

++

Dream-Spouse has historically been a hectoring adult figure, inciting dream-me to resentful rebellion.

I feel like I’ve somehow graduated? Because in this dream, my skills at not just observation (and strategically employing my curiosity), but also pattern recognition, and visceral awareness of menace all around, straightforwardly saved our lives.

Chaotic Good, not Lawful Good.              ‘Sneaky’, unobtrusive, smart.         Which is maybe where Ca comes in?

Also, *scruffy*. {When I wrote *scruffy*, in 2014, I was defensive about all of it. Later, much later, I wanted “defense” to become “praise”, but I couldn’t write it. Later still, I felt I’d found some sort of ‘balance’… But I couldn’t write that neither.}

+

Do D, or Ca, or even Cb, have anything that I actually want?

Nope.

+

I’ve recently unearthed people I knew in the 1980s on Instagram. Those I attended school with have remained, and have raised their own kids to be, devout, Catholic, conservative, Republicans. Those I knew from other places have remained, and have raised their own kids to be, not-devout, Protestant, conservative, Republicans.

{From what I’ve read of people who tend toward authoritarianism} ‘Submitting’ to authority figures feels ‘right’, it’s pleasant, maybe even enjoyable.

I read my father’s copy of The Gulag Archipelago as a young teen. A lot of it went over my head, but I recognized the Soviets’ brutality as akin to how I was being parented.

I could probably tell you every. single. time. in my 50-something-year life that I have ‘submitted’ to authority. They were all terrifying. My PTSD keeps them fresh in my mind, and my curdled guts.

+

I realized just recently that, although I think of 7381 as “when I ‘converted’ away from Catholicism, and became a Pagan”, arguably… I was never a Catholic at all.      I was coerced at every step. Whenever I think about ‘my’ Confirmation — that I resisted with every fiber of my being, but still found myself forced to go through with, by my mother — I’m filled with rage. It’s been almost 40 years now.           Just this moment I realized, picking “Marietta” as the name, a girl about my age then when she was raped so violently she ended up dying of it, … maybe there was irony in it.  Marietta forgave her rapist on her death bed; I, however, have never forgiven my mother, and I never will.

Thus, I could never have become a Catholic saint. I’m not dutiful. I’m not obedient. I hold grudges — wolverine-style {the animal, not the fictional character}.

+

Maybe the reason my mother deposed me as her heir in favor of D was precisely because I don’t submit. (And not ‘about’ N’s arrival at all.)

And maybe that’s part of why D and I always clashed so much. “No, I’m not ‘over it’ yet, and yes, someone should answer for it (any of it) before I can bring myself to care about how you’re raising your own kids to sweep all before them, as you did, swamping everyone else around you.”

+++

[{[I knew this dream was Important, but, 3 hours ago, when I began writing about it, I had no idea how primal…]}]

+++

I invoke Great-great-great-many-times-Great-Grandmother Proto-Rat. She had teeth and claws and used them too. She probably had a great snarl.          I claim Her ancestry proudly.

What is this dream telling me?

It’s not just the planet Earth that’s in peril — something I am always, always consumed by awareness of — but human-political affairs are fairly terrifying right now on all sorts of fronts.

I grew up amongst people I didn’t trust, people who harmed me with impunity, people who expected me to eventually Realize My Place and thereby submit to authority because That’s How the World Works.

What I actually learned… was different.

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