Do you ever have recurring dreams?
I sure do, like they’re going out of style – always have. I used to, and still have, a number of the classic Freudian recurring dreams: Teeth falling out, being unable to speak, or even see. They were usually quite upsetting. Freud believed that many of these recurring dreams are expressions of neurosis and compulsive behaviour and I think when it came to me, he was right! Anxiety is suspected as a major cause of recurring dreams. When I finally graduated school and had seen the last of essays, homework, exams and marks, I continued having anxious school dreams in a big way. They would usually involve an exam that I had forgotten was occurring, or an essay due that day that I hadn’t started yet. These dreams happened for years after graduation.
I thought I had “outgrown” recurring dreams, but they started again not long after quitting the Record Store. Usually they would involve me starting there again, except as a part time employee without the responsibilities I had before. In the dreams, I would show up at the store, except it wasn’t my old store. In fact it wasn’t a store that existed in real life at all. The most common dream featured a store in the mall, much larger than any I’d actually worked in. I wouldn’t know any of the people I worked with in the dream, and they didn’t know me.
In some of the dreams, the Boss man would pop into the store, and in some, the office bully would show up, but be nice as pie, as if nothing ever happened.
If Freud was right and that all dreams are rooted in some kind of wish fulfillment, it’s clear that I missed working at the Record Store, but in an idealized way of not having responsibility or an office bully. However, Freud also stated that in adults, dreams are self-censored and distorted and impossible to interpret alone. Carl Jung believed that dreams were symbolic scenes and much more complex.
It’s interesting to look at these recurring dreams and try to remember the details, but ultimately it’s impossible to “figure them out” looking for some deep truth or hidden meaning. Within these dreams, I had never forgotten how to do the job. I jumped behind the dream-counter, helming the dream-computer and bought dream-CDs from dream-sellers. It was exactly like the old days, with all the problems and excitement that happen when you buy used music from the public: the anticipation of seeing something so rare that the store just had to acquire it, and then the tension of buying it from the customer who wanted more for it. It was all there, clearly remembered.
It is very interesting that these recurring dreams all but ceased after writing Record Store Tales. Perhaps Freud’s wish fulfillment has something to do with this. By re-living all the memories in print form, perhaps my unconscious mind realized that what my dream wishes were not at all what I wanted?
Never had a dream where I showed up at work wearing no pants, though!