Two Dreams
and a looming nightmare

1. I am working on my computer at home in Dangolla when the phone rings. It’s Rick desRochers (high school drama despot-director), who is frantic that I accept a part in a professional production he’s doing in Boston in the fall. Rehearsals start at the beginning of October and he must, must, must have me in the show. Can I take the part? I realize this is a great opportunity, but that I’d have to forgo a visit to India before leaving this part of the world. I ask him to push back the rehearsal period but he can’t. I accept the part, with equal excitement and sadness. What a great job for me when I get back!

2. I am a semi-omniscient but mortal wizard(ess) in the midst of an epic and horrifying fantasy-world war between various types of creatures (a la LOTR; am I Gandalf-but-female?) and spend hours and days running and hiding and rallying my little band. It is dirty and exhausting, and I am constantly having to jump off tall things (a waterfall, a magic tree) and combat supernatural forces.

The dream gets specific when I’m caught in an ambush of a colony of peaceful underground-dwelling good trolls. The troll leader shouts for me to gather the warrior girls and escape out the back. They’re all asleep and as I rush from root-wrapped room to room bundling them out of bed and into traveling cloaks and girdled shortswords I can hear the horrid pants of the enemy (Orcs? Rastafarians?) as they rip and thunder through the cozy beautiful warrens of the troll-hole. I and seven or eight maidens (elf-like, not troll-like) are trapped in a cliffside room with leaded multilight windows; I smash the panes out and dive hundreds of feet into a giant willow, and a stream below that.

The girls follow and we are escaping for days across hill and dale, and eventually into a quaint mini Amsterdam. The enemy is chasing us in a big black Morris Minor/UK cab type car. We’re still in cloaks and whatnot but the enemy leader is a stunningly sexy Japanese woman (whom I know is intent on torturing us to death in the most horrific way possible) in 30s Fascist getup. At this point it becomes clear that this is in fact a movie, with the beautiful troll maidens played by Christina Ricci, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, etc. (Mordor Lisa Smile?) There is a token black girl.

We are hiding out in an upstairs room with a view over a cobblestone square (once used for hangings!) where the evil car is parked and the evil trenchcoat babe is visibly directing her lieutenants to search all the houses thoroughly. Token black girl—she’s the brains of the operation—finds us hiding places around our tiny room, and I know that they are poor concealment and we will all be shot in a matter of minutes. I am crouched under a dropleaf table, trying to get my protruding elbows into the shadows when angry boots pound up the stairs, shaking the dust up from the floorboards. The door slams open—

And I wake up, heart pounding.

Lying in bed I spend a few minutes reviewing the dream #2 for subconscious cues and calming myself down. I feel a vague happy anticipation, which takes half an hour to reveal itself as related to the job I think I got in dream #1. I realize that Rick didn’t really call me and I don’t really have a job. The letdown is worse than the residual fear had been. I really resent when my dreams are so misleading—one realistic and one fabulist is really just my mind totally fucking with itself. It’s damned lucky that I’m not on (anti-malarial and often psychoactive) mefloquine; clearly the lunacy is well supplied without additional chemical help.

Got back on Saturday night and what have I done? Stay up til 5am with Anushka watching movies. Go to another play (as if the Festival weren’t enough) Sunday night. Return to KandyMonday; dine with Lisa on delicious curries. Have a birthday (16th). Go to yoga, eat good Chinese dinner, gobble chocolates. Drink beer in teacups; alcohol can’t be served during perahera season so the places that want business carry on these goofy subterfuges. Attended excellent lecture by Jenny of ICES today on critical discourse analysis of newspaper reporting (on the London bombings specifically, but it was more about the modeling of the analysis). Make, and eat, nice soup.

I have less than two weeks left in Kandy, which is terribly sad, and I’m a little panicky about exit strategies and logistics and work. I feel like I miss everyone: those I haven’t seen in ten months, and those I will not see once I go. I don’t know whether to start acting like I’m leaving (i.e. schedule teary last visits) or remain low-key.

I’ve refrained from writing about the political situation (yet) because I’m not sure how it plays into my feelings about leaving—obviously it’s good to be departing as things become (it seems) less stable, less peaceful. It’s hardly about physical safety, though; more than I’m heartsick to see this country potentially readying for another series of violent political convulsions.


Mahangu said...

Whoa, finally a person who's dreams are as wierd and varied as mine. :) Happy Birthday for the 16th btw, because I'm really quite terrible with dates.

Btw, I've always wondered what dreams like that mean. Do you have any idea?

Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing Dream #2 in print someday....

Hope your birthday was brilliant, by the way.



Rebecca said...

ajd, get a blogger id already! (and a blogger superego too.) birthday was lovely and pedestrian. i look forward to recelebrating upon reentry.

mahangu, i interpret my dreams thematically rather than individually. i have a LOT of dreams about chasing, hiding, and fighting generally, usually with the plots and characters recognizably lifted from a book or movie. sometimes i berate myself for plagiarism. anyway, i think the interpretation is: i have stress about identity and responsibility? right?

i also dream a lot about my teeth breaking and/or falling out. this happens often enough that while in the dream i will realize, oh, this is one of those broken-teeth dreams, and calm down. this is a classic textbook stress/fear dream.

AJD said...

You have stress about identity and responsibility? Who knew?

Also - a blogger id, yet? I just last week finally broke down and got a livejournal id. You want I should have two blogs that I don't use?

Rebecca said...

you sly fox. now all you've got to do is fill in your profile and we can read all about you.


Good Guy said...

Good info.

Best Regards