Recurring Dream

Okay, armchair shrinks and hippie psychic types. Time to pull out your dog-eared copies of The Complete Idiot’s Dream Dictionary.

For the past few weeks, I’ve had a dream every other night or so that just seems kinda retarded. I’d be interested in hearing various thoughts about what it could mean, even though I’m pretty sure it just means my brain’s broken. It goes like this: somehow, I am involved in an elaborate stage revival of A Raisin in the Sun. The director has “re-imagined” the play. Gone are the claustrophobic apartment and reams of hyper-articulate, ’60s-stagey dialogue. In their stead, he or she has chosen to set this interpretation in a dank alleyway, under urine-colored lights. The characters are now costumed like a combination of the cast of Do the Right Thing and cheesy ’50s robots. They tell the play’s story solely through interpretive dance.

For some reason, the dream me is very excited about the production, even though it’s like a symbolic smörgåsbord of everything I loathe about postmodern entertainment. In my waking life, I yearn for the stagey, histrionic anger of this sort of play. I frequently describe them as stories in which characters mainly yell at each other for two hours — and, frankly, I miss that. Ever since the Method movement ruined everything, this sort of thing is considered either a hokey throwback or some sort of intentionally artificial experiment. But man, nothing draws me in like unbridled vitriol spewed forth at a rapid clip — no dramatic pauses, no self-consciously “realistic” ums or stammers, no “CAN’T YOU SEE YOU’RE TEARING ME APART?!” as the camera dutches and goes artfully out of focus. So why am I dreaming about robots interpreting A Raisin in the Sun, one of the most classic examples of theatrical shouting matches, via the power of Corky St. Clair-esque modern dance?

To some extent, the plot thickened in last night’s iteration of the dream. I was suddenly no longer directly involved in the production — in fact, I knew nothing about it until Kathryn Musilek forwarded me an e-mail from a friend of hers, expressing disappointment that she would not be able to make it to Chicago to see the show. The e-mail was an excerpt from a press release announcing this radical new revival, and I spent the rest of the dream desperately trying to figure out someone who might want to go with me to something so boldly terrible (in the dream, I acknowledged the, ahem, difficulties inherent in convincing someone to see a show this strange, but I still had the feeling that I’d compromise all my religious convictions and enter the seamy underbelly of hardcore porn just for the chance to see it).

Thus far, the only thing that makes any sense, or has any real connection to my waking life, is that Ms. Musilek sent me a polite thank-you a few weeks ago for talking up her fucking awesome music. This does not mean we are in any way BFFs, or even Fs enough for her to e-mail me ever again, but a dork can dream.

So, what does it all mean? The dreams are surprisingly vivid and detailed, and they recur (or, at least, elements recur), but if my subconscious wants me to know something, it’s being more obtuse than usual. Thoughts?

Posted by D. B. Bates on June 13, 2011 8:52 AM