I had a weird dream last night.
In it, I am pouring out a bottle of wine halfway through the first glass because I got invited out. Such a waste. But I remember, vividly, thinking “Well, doesn’t look like I’m going to get a chance to finish this off”. Which may seem like a premature leap, since I had only opened the bottle about two ounces prior.
Not such a strange thought once you factor in the fact that I really don’t like to eat leftovers. It’s just one of my quirks.
Takeout from a restaurant is one thing. Taking home leftovers from a restaurant…probably just going to sit in my fridge until I toss them out.
My family loves to send food home with me after family dinners. I have loads of plasticware I really should return to them…and I do try to make an effort to eat those leftovers, the symbolism of my family taking care of me with food. So core.
My lunch yesterday at The People’s Pig, a local dive BBQ joint up in North Portland is a good example of this habit of mine. My sandwich order ended up being a Pluto-sized BBQ pork sandwich with about two spuds worth of jo-jo potatoes on the side. I got about three-quarters (closer to half, I’m sure) through the sandwich and tapped out. When the purple haired and tattooed waitress suggested that there were takeout boxes available if I wanted to take the rest home with me, I told her to just give it to the homeless guy out back – there’s always a homeless guy around in PDX. She looked a little offended, but I assured her I would be back. More menu items to gorge myself on! I just know myself well enough to know what is going to happen to that poor pig if it ends up in my fridge.
I think this soldier is to blame for the dream imagery, BTW. He’s been sulking here on the countertop since Tuesday…
Probably not the most reassuring thing to have car keys chilling next to a half bottle of wine…but they aren’t mine, I swear!
Anyway, the meaning of the dream, from the little thought that I have put into it this morning seems to point toward not letting opportunities pass me by. Particularly with friends, as this situation would indicate, but overall in life.
Remember The Yes Game?
Well, in this dream, I said yes to friends…even though I’m sure it could appear that I said no to wine.
Don’t worry, I drink enough.
I think this dream was meant to remind me that I’ve a fairly solitary existence.
In part, I think this is a habit from my career. I spend a lot of time being center stage at work. One of my ex-boyfriends called it “Being on” in a pejorative kind of way, but he was right. When I’m working, I’m on.
For my customers.
For my employees.
It’s my job.
The flip side of that personality coin – for me – is that I spend a lot of my off time doing things on my own. Exercising. Reading. Movies.
I’ll hit a movie alone without a second thought. Turns out, I like avoiding crowds when possible. I love my weekday days off. I can grab a matinee and shame eat popcorn in relative privacy with only the judgment of strangers in a dark room to weigh me down. Plus, I hate sharing food. Particularly finger-type foods. But that’s a blog for another time…I hope I remember to write it!
Not that I think this dream was trying to suggest I learn to share.
When I exercise, I tend to do it solo – although it is a great date activity. Alas…
Anyway, the reason behind this behavior is that when I want to exercise, I want to focus on it and get it done. There are so many guys at the gym who use it like a social club. I joke with the Fox that his jaw looks really pumped after he works out, since I frequently witness him standing around chewing the fat with his pals at the gym.
Becoming the Silver Fox does have it’s costs and responsibilities, it seems.
That said, when I work out and get stuck behind a Chatty Cathy, it kind of frustrates me. But, there are other machines. What frustrates me is that I find myself wishing that guys were as social at the clubs as they are when working out. The difference there, of course, being that they don’t bring a gaggle of friends to the gym to insulate them like they do the bars.
Maybe the dream was trying to tell me to chill the fuck out and be flexible.
Sometimes I sit at home with a bottle of wine – and recently, with Myrtle as a companion – and watch TV or read a book. A young friend commented once that it made him sad when I said that.
Inside, I told him to go fuck himself.
Outside, I challenged him as to why he felt that way. He responded that when he drank, he liked to go out and drink with friends or go to a bar and meet new people while he drank.
I get that.
I also get that that’s less the reality, even though it’s a good concept.
I spend plenty of time drinking in a bar. I’ll hang out at CC Slaughters or Hobo’s fairly regularly, just to get out of the house for a few hours. Sometimes, I will chat up the bartender or on a good night, find a social fellow patron. Most nights that I go there aren’t good nights, though. Frequently, I will read a book or – more recently – even work on a blog post as I sip (aggressively gulp) my drink.
Maybe you’re familiar with the old saying about gay men disappearing once they turn 3o? Well, it’s not literal. But for a variety of reasons, we do. The lucky ones have met a boyfriend and settled down.
Talk about unicorns, though.
The more common phenomenon is that the gay culture is incredibly youth-obsessed and when a guy starts to show his age at 30, shedding the twink or otter or cub body he sported effortlessly in his 20s…he is passed over in favor of the Pretty Young Things that have come after him.
With the rise in usage of apps like Grindr and Scruff, the unicorn phenomenon I mentioned earlier has only gotten rarer since it seems gay men are settling down less frequently. The smorgasbord menu those asocial media apps provide seem to be making “settling down” more synonymous with “settling” in the face of all the accessible “options”, incorrect as that interpretation may be.
I hope I don’t live to see the full circle our culture comes to when the world is populated with lonely gay uncles attending family get togethers with no one special to accompany them. It’s kind of what I feared becoming when I was a young kid…there were always flamboyant or quirky – frequently drunk and dressed in seersucker suits – vaguely gay uncle figures in my reading and TV viewing providing a tragic glimpse into what eventually became my existence.
Sans seersucker suit, mercifully.
Presently, I think the gays would be topping off their glass and staying in, eschewing the offer of time out with friends in this particular dream scenario.
But that’s not what this is about.
I think this dream for me was a reminder to do what I’m doing in the dream.
Even though my psyche knows I will likely not return to that unfinished dream wine, it’s reminding me that there is always going to be another bottle available. So, go on…get out. Don’t let an opportunity to spend time with friends or foster real relationships with new ones pass you by.
I also think it’s a way of allaying some of my simmering fears about selling my condo and exploring self-employment versus banging my head against the doors of people who don’t seem to want to work with me. If I want to experience being one resume or profile amongst thousands that gets ignored or just a surface glance, only to ultimately be dismissed without any real reason…well, I can always keep trying to date.
There are recurring dreams that I have had my entire life that kind of make me stop and take a look at what’s going on in my life…reminders to not just proceed blindly without weighing the pros and cons a situation or person might offer.
One such dream I have had time and again over the years is of me playing darts with Larry Tate from Bewitched.
And you thought I looked so normal on the outside…
I don’t even play darts in real life. I used to, for a short time – I think just because of this dream. But, for some reason, my psyche landed on this figure to be my dream time sounding board. Interesting since he was a pretty unsympathetic character on the show. Nevertheless, there we are, tossing darts and talking shit out.
Less weird and surprising than that dream would be the reality that in my conscious life, the Silver Fox is my best friend. So, in my waking life, I have a Larry Tate stand in as a sounding board. The Fox, however…definitely a likable character, despite the occasional shit I give him!
The message that I think my psyche sends me here is to stop and consider a situation and not to get trapped in my own head while doing it. In my life, I am fortunate to have several great friends that I consider confidants. Certainly, my parents are always there for me, too. As a matter of fact, they are traveling through the middle of next week and I’m eager to have them weigh in on what’s happening as I seek to become self employed. I think it’s going to be a long week…but the take away is to use those resources I am lucky enough to have in my life.
The last dream I want to share is a recurring childhood basic weirdness dream. In the dream, I am an infant and my dad has taken me to work with him. He was supervising a crew of longshoremen – not his actual job, so where my kid-brain got this imagery is beyond me – as they pulled on some ropes that led into a gigantic warehouse. The strain they were under and the effort they were putting into their task was obvious.
There was a preternatural quiet.
I was crawling around in some crazy yellow infant-wear carrying a white plasticized Easter-type basket.
I wasn’t paying much mind to the work being done, but was super aware of the strain. I could feel it. Eventually, I noticed that a giant slab of stone was emerging from the warehouse. Slowly. The piece of rock was as big as the opening to the warehouse.
It was otherworldly looking.
Eventually, they got to about the three-quarter mark on their work. The stone was literally as long as the warehouse.
This dream feels like it takes forever to unfold.
What happened next was deafening. Over the sounds of their pulling, the deafening sound of a rock breaking apart overwhelms my ears. I start to cry, but stop as the rumble is replaced by the song of a little girl’s music box.
My perspective pulls back and I see myself crawling over the rubble, dragging my basket behind as the dust settles. I zoom back in and see myself collecting bits of debris into my basket.
I’ve had this dream since I was a kid.
It used to terrify me. I’d wake up, literally shaking my head, unable to understand what the hell I had just experienced. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to interpret this dream as a sign that I was putting a great deal of effort into something in my life. Perhaps more effort into something than I should. Eventually, it would either pay off or end in catastrophe. This dream has served to make me stop and examine what is happening in my life and assess whether what I was focused on was going to end up being worth the effort I was pouring into it. Ultimately, if it didn’t yield the expected return, then it was just my responsibility to pick up the pieces and carry on. The symbolism of the men was interesting, given that I began having this dream before I became aware of my sexuality.
BTW…Broken Poet, anyone? Where was this dream then?!? LOL.
But the real moral here, or the most immediate one…never leave a bottle behind.