May 17, 2009

recurring dream

I have a recurring dream.

It takes place when I'm about four or five years old.

My mom and my older brother are there, too.

We're walking through a carnival.

It's night time. The place feels abandoned. Some garbage is blowing around.

And it's cold. We're wearing our winter coats.

At first glance it's a colorful place. But only because it's supposed to be.

Upon scrutiny, I see that the whole thing is rusting at the edges, that the paint is peeling and that everything is eroded by time.

And it seems that we are the only ones there.

It always starts with us walking through a gate with a turnstile.

As many times as I've had this dream, and as obvious a metaphor as it is, I can't put my finger on it.
The Wiz is the closest visual reference I can think of - but, even that is way off.

It's not a spooky dream. It's not a nightmare.

There are couple of alternate endings:

One is where I get on an elevated train.

But, before I get on the train, I notice that it's falling apart. It's extremely rickety and seems to run right into the sunset.

It's built higher up than any actual train. There seems to be nothing else on the landscape, save for this train.

The landscape is a wasteland.

The train is a cross between el train and roller coaster.

I always get onto this train. It either goes to a really bad part of town - or stops suddenly. Mid-air, as the track simply ends.

Not that we fall off, or anything. It just ends. Ride over.

Sometimes there is a steep, three or four stories high, single flight of metal stairs that I have to climb down to get off the platform.

This, in itself, is a recurring theme in my dreams.

I'm always climbing down the sides of buildings on little, rusted out fire escapes or small metal ladders.

The other ending is that I wind up at this apartment (that has been featured in many of my dreams) that I have never been to in real life.

This apartment has whole rooms that I never use. This apartment is disturbingly big.

And those rooms (that I never use) are filled with someone else's extensive, dusty collection of glass items (and it looks like the prop aisle at my old job - except that I had this dream before I ever worked there).

The kitchen is small and the window looks out onto water.

But not Lake Michigan, or the river. It's the Atlantic.

Though I've never seen the Atlantic (except while in Ireland).

This is definitely the Atlantic, as seen stateside.

This dream always leads into one of two other dreams.

(but I can't get into that or I'll be doing this all day)

I should mention that, just last night, there was a documentary on tv about old amusement parks.

Some of them date back to the early 1900's.

Somehow, whole elements of my dream were addressed in this documentary.

Fact: I've never been to Coney Island.

Or, for that matter, Riverview - Chicago's equivalent..

Mostly because Riverview closed in 1967. The year I was born.

But I've heard people talk about it. One thing I always hear is how run down and crime ridden it became in it's final years of operation.

So, can anyone clear this up for me?


  1. Maybe in a past life you did go to Riverview-maybe it was the last place you went before you ended up being you.
    Recurring dreams are a puzzle in reverse don't you think? We have the final picture and yet we are driven to deconstruct them and to look at all the little pieces and wonder why they fit together just that way.
    And funny-I have this picture in my mind now of you hurrying and scrambling down fire escapes and between buildings-a cross between Spiderman and those guys who run like crazy and jump and flip on and off buildings(urban ninjas I think they call themselves)
    I always find that sense of deja vu unsettling. Always.
    And Stephen Wright always brings it back with his vuja de-the feeling I've never been here before.
    Happy Monday.

  2. De-je-vu was explained to me one time in very dry, pratical terms that, though it makes perfect sense - robbed it of all of its charm. Something about how sometimes a person's brain will filter whatever has "just happend" directly into "memory" an instant before it's perceived as actually "happening" (in real-time).


    Yeah, maybe I was at Riverview.
    And, that's funny because I'm so terrified of heights.

    May I suggest, "Man On Wire".

    (my palms are STILL sweating)

  3. Hmmmm.... What happened here, Victoria?