Thursday, May 12, 2005

Speedy Delivery!

Everyone dreams - or so the sleep scientists say - but not everyone remembers their dreams. I fall into that category most of the time. I'm good for about one a month and that one usually ends up being a doozy - which is probably why I remember them.

Last night I had one such dream. Was it profound and thought provoking, causing me to unveil all the scars of my inner psyche and thenceforth let the healing process begin? Actually no, it was completely ridiculous... so much so that I thought I'd share it with you in the absence of anything else to write about today...

It started out with me entering Trader Joe's to go shopping... but it wasn't any Trader Joe's... no, no - this was a Super Trader Joe's. The aisles were straight, instead of that infuriating diagonal they are in real life, and it was much darker. The lights were more dim and the wood that you see all around you normally was of a much darker shade - like cherry or oak. How do I know I was in a Trader Joe's at all then? Well - it's
MY dream. It is what I say it is. So, I grab a shopping carriage and do what I normally would do - shop. I throw, I don't know, about 10 to 15 items in the carriage and as I'm sauntering over from one aisle to the next I take a look down the one I'm about to enter. About 1/4 of the way down, wearing one of his trademark bright 80's sweaters (this one was green with lots of colored dots - kind of a Christmas theme) was a nervous looking Bill Cosby. My first thought was, "Holy shit! It's Bill Cosby!" and I was about to go up and say something right there and then, but I thought two things. The first was that the nervous look on his face was probably there because he was afraid of being recognized, and the second was that everything I'd heard about him seemed to suggest that while he played a good guy on TV, he was a jerk in real life.

(***Incidentally, that last part's not true at all - must have been one of those weird dream things. A brief side story if I may..... Thank you. When I was in college I worked as a switchboard operator for the Sheraton hotel and it was not at all uncommon to have famous celebrities and athletes stay there. There were enough that I could write a tell-all book filled with their indiscretions, actually. I wouldn't, but I'll just say that many celebrities do indeed let their status go to their head. Bill Cosby is not one of them. Staying in one of the suites one week, he would often call down for various requests or whatever, and we would always know it was him because whenever someone called the switchboard, the phone would display both the name and the room number. We were then supposed to answer with, "Can I help you,
Mr or Mrs. So & So?" Anyway, Bill Cosby was as nice a guy as could be - always cheerful and cracking jokes, and politely making his requests, etc.... but the first night he was there many of us were still a little star struck. So when he called down in the evening and got the girl sitting next to me, she screamed with delight upon seeing who it was, answered the phone and (completely serious and by mistake) said, "Can I help you, Dr. Huxtable?"

When she heard the rest of us roar and cackle, she realized her error and quickly tried to both correct herself and apologize profusely. For a good 30 seconds or so he pretended to be furious with her mistake saying things like, "How dare you?" and "Who is your manager?" Then he started laughing heartily and told her that was the funniest thing he'd heard in awhile. Later that night, he sent all the operators a free room service meal and had flowers sent to the girl who'd made the mistake. True story.***)

Back to the dream... So, thinking Bill was a bit of a jerk I skipped that aisle entirely and went down the next one. When I went back however, not only did I see him still there, but he was also having a jovial little chat with none other than Mr. Rogers (of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame. He too, was wearing his trademark outfit - a grayish sweater with white shirt and slacks.) Now... seeing Bill Cosby is one thing, but seeing Mr. Rogers is something else entirely. I decided I had to move my way down the aisle and sort of position myself so that when he turned around I would be in the perfect position to introduce myself. I pushed my carriage down a little and left it to the side in front of Mr. Rogers, so that he would then have to walk around it and therefore run straight into me who was standing next to the carriage and blocking the other side of the aisle. He did exactly that and upon almost running into me exclaimed with a smile, "Oh!! My goodness.. I am sorry. We seem to be in each others way. Excuse me." When I told him how big a fan I was and how much I admired the show he said, "Oh, well that's very kind! Thank you. Thank you very much." We shook hands, said our goodbye's, grabbed our shopping carriages and headed in the opposite direction to continue shopping. Bill Cosby had disappeared, by the way. Didn't see him in the dream again and although it seems odd now, it didn't seem at all so when I was dreaming.

Anyway, I continued to shop, going through about two more aisles when I looked down into the carriage and realized that I didn't recognize any of the items in it. Puzzled for a second, it then quickly dawned on me that after we had exchanged pleasantries, Mr Rogers & I must have mistakenly walked off with the other persons carriage. I had his and he had mine. His was filled with all sorts of things you would expect Mr. Rogers to buy too - like peanut brittle, and a large gift basket filled with individually wrapped assorted cheese. Not wanting these things, I started to look around the store for him so we could swap carriages again, but to no avail. He was nowhere to be found. I started to panic a little bit before I then glanced out the front window and saw Mr. Rogers outside, and wheeling his.. er my groceries to his car (a silver Ford Taurus station wagon.) At this point in the dream, I distinctly remember thinking that Mr. Rogers was a bit of an idiot. Not only did he not realize he had the wrong shopping carriage, but he then went through checkout and proceeded to pay for all the wrong items. Nevertheless, I started running with the carriage, through the checkout line (I didn't pay for anything - I just ran through it, and somehow this was OK), out the door and into the parking lot screaming, "Mr. Rogers! Mr. Rogers! You have the wrong groceries!!!" It was only when I was within five feet of him that he actually heard me and turned around. Startled once again he said, "Oh! It's you again. I guess we had a bit of a mixup then, didn't we? Well, we better get this straightened out. Shall we?" We then started handing each other groceries back and forth, one for one. I had a scowl on my face the entire time, while he smiled throughout, and everytime he handed over a new item he would say things like, "Heeeere!", "Here you go", "O.K.", "Very Good" and chuckle after each exclamation. When it was done, he continued smiling and said, "Well, I'm glad we got that fixed."

At this point, the dream took a completely different turn. All of a sudden I'm no longer standing in the Super Trader Joe's parking lot, but in an office where I work. I'm working on one of the servers which is sitting on a shelf on a rack in this office (the office exists in real life - there are no servers or racks in it though) and at the far end of the office Mr. Rogers is sitting at a desk with his back turned, grading papers or something. Rather abruptly, one of the women I work with comes barging into the office, turns to Mr. Rogers and says, "Fred!! (his real first name) Someone stole ALL of your oat bran!!" Mr. Rogers slowly turns around in his swivel chair, puts his hands to his head and says, "Oh dear! All of it?!" I then begin to chuckle and slowly we fade to black...

What does any of this mean? I have NO idea. I was afraid to look any of this up on some hack dream analysis website for fear it would tell me something that would damage me forever. I have often heard it said however, that dreams are the ticket to ones subconscious. Well....If that's so then I should expect the nice men with the white jacket to come visiting any day now.

Sweet dreams. Until tomorrow, jazzcats.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having studied a bit of psychoanalysis, let me help you interpret your dream:

Mr Cosby represents your dark side. A side of you that you prefer to ignore...a side you would rather others never see. You mention that you considered him "a jerk" in your dream. You try to avoid him in the store. You are not a fan. In fact, you do not mind when he disappears suddenly.

Mr Rogers represents your happy-go-lucky side. This is the side of you that your prefer. You perk up when you notice him in the store. You turn around to approach him and purposefully bump into him to shake his hand. You are a big fan. In reality you wish you could be lighter, happier and more carefree. In fact, you chase after him near the end.

NOw, for the end...perhaps you are not feeling that work is going well. You are getting bitter and disgruntled? Bringing Mr Rogers to work helps you deal with the irritating things that people throw your way (i.e. represented by eating all the oatbran). You want the Mr. Rogers side of Eric to help field some of those issues so you can again be happy and carefree in the workplace.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Wow!!! Phenomenal. Thank you, friendly ghost!!

Two things come to mind, however.. I AM actually a fan of Bill Cosby. I can recite that old Fat Albert cartoon like nobody's business (not the new live action movie - that's nonsense) and although timid by today's standards, I like a lot of his standup too.

On the flipside, I always appreciated Mr. Rogers but found him a little too nice guy happy, happy, joy, joy for my tastes. Still - I didn't dislike the show. King Friday was the mad daddy pimp.

How do I reconcile this with the dream? Am I lying to myself and only my subconscious knows the truth?

Thanks for pointing out that unhappy at work bit too... only a small amount of influential people from there bother to actually read the blog.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't have to reconcile your "true feelings" (i.e the fact that you actually like BIll Cosby). The important thing to realize is how you felt IN the dream. Cosby was bad and Rogers was good. They are the 2 sides of Eric. It is also interesting how dreams do not follow rules of political correctness...if you know what I mean.

I am sure there are other important points to make...i.e. Trader Joe's and what it represents...but not knowing details on your life and who you are it would be purely speculative. A large superstore would probably represent your life and the path you choose through life. Did you feel like Trader Joe's was chaotic and overwhelming?? (actually...in that case BJS would have been your dreams choice) Or Maybe you feel Trader Joe's is a relaxing and pleasurable shopping experience? DOes this fit with how you view your life?

In the blog you mention that the aisles were straight (and not the usual zig/zag). Your brain made this adjustment in your dream. This is good....points to the fact that you feel your life has direction, focus and is on the right track.

Remember that dreams are difficult to intepret. Your view of Trader Joe's (and the feelings you had in the dream) is different from some one else's view. The meaning/interpretation of a dream depends heavily on the view/feeling of the dreamer.

I'd like to know more about the items your threw in your cart...unless you are afraid it might be to revealing....

9:24 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

VERY interesting stuff. Thanks for your input thus far... fascinating.

As far as what I was putting in my carriage - it's very difficult to remember. I DO remember thinking during the dream though, that none of the items in the carriage were things that I would normally be able to even purchase there, much less put in my carriage (and I want to say I remember making that distinction while dreaming - as if I knew it was a dream and that the items weren't "real life" ones - can't be certain on that though.) I also remember very little of the whole "shopping part" of the dream. I don't actually remember putting anything into the cart itself - it was more what took place between Bill Cosby, Mr. Rogers and myself that took center stage. I do however remember one particular item that I think was in my own carriage but oddly enough was also one of the items that I handed over to Mr. Rogers when we swapped groceries in the parking lot. It was a large clear plastic container filled with some sort of pre-cooked stew or meat dish of some sort. The plastic container was large - there was a lot of food inside and you needed to hold it with two hands - and it was made of a clear thin plastic - not like Tupperware, but even flimsier - which was all one piece and the top folded over onto the bottom and snapped into the grooves around the edge. As for the dish itself it was a very liquidy almost brothlike stew filled with cooked meat and I think, cooked onions. That was all. I remember thinking that the dish was hot enough to want to handle it carefully and surprised that it didn't melt the plastic because it was so thin. Mr. Rogers exhibited a little bit of surprise when I handed it over too. I also remember (and at what point I'm not sure) this item being not in the carriage but on the tray below it down near the wheels - where you would normally put heavy objects like cases of soda or bags of cat litter. I can't remember where it was when I grabbed it and handed it over though and I don't actually remember getting it and putting it in the carriage.

What do I think of Trader Joes? Mixed feelings but I lean 3/4 of the way towards positive. I think they have high quality products at very reasonable prices, but I often dislike the actual shopping experience there because (depending on the one I go to), it can be awfully crowded and mildy chaotic - also the one I frequent the most has very little parking. But even that varies widely. Other times I go there and it's as quiet as can be. Still the negative isn't enough to dissuade me from shopping there. And to answer your question, THAT would be how I view my life. Never consistent. Like most of us moments of serenity coupled with moments of chaos.. with the serenity outnumbering the chaos (thankfully) Incidentally, in the dream the store was a little crowded, but not overly so - however the aisle with Mr. Rogers & Bill Cosby in it was hectic. Lots of shopping carts (many of them empty) that you had to weave your way around to get to the two men. Oh - and good call with BJ's. Got a good chuckle. I shop there only when I have to. That place can drive me nuts.

Hopefully that helps - and once again thanks for your analysis. I feel like I'm getting a free psychotherapy session. Based on your earlier interpretations and how everything seems to revolve or represent some part of me I think I have an idea what the stew represents. If however, there's something I described above that you feel would be something the average Joe (or Eric) wouldn't want revealed (like murderous tendencies or extremely deviant sexual practices - and no everyone, I DON'T have these traits - at least I don't think I do) I would ask that you not reveal them here but send me an email to eric@murkywords.com For the most part though, I'm cool with the comments.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Now you get the idea!! Trader Joe's DOES fit with your view of life. Nicely done. Good analysis.

As for that stew...as you describe it, the stew does not seem too appealing. In addition, it is hot to touch and very tenuously packaged. HANDLE WITH CARE is the sense I am getting from your description. This may represent something you don't like that you are trying to "get rid of" (i.e handing it off to Mr Rogers)...something that you would rather not "break open" and "spill". On the other hand...if stew is your favorite dish I could be all wrong. Now I am starting to interpret my own feelings about a brown stew with onions (which is not favorable). One of the things I sruggle with is keeping my own personal feelings away from interpretation of other people's dreams....
You probably have a better idea than me about the significance of the stew.

GOod luck. You get the idea now.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Yeah - I could go either way with the stew. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. The kind of my dream - I'm more apt not to... probably liver and onions (blech.) As for what I'm trying to get rid of - could be any number of things, I suppose but I agree with your assessment. Thanks again for your help!

11:19 PM  
Anonymous eowab said...

This anonymous guy sounds like he knows what he is talking about. One of my hobbies is keeping a dream journal and anylizing it (yes on hack web site - I already know how screwed up I am so it cant do any damage). But some good sites are Swoon.com & dreamdictionary.com.

Sweet dreams

8:41 PM  

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