When I used to dream of flying, I could lift myself slowly off the ground by sheer will, to the amazement of spectators below. It was risky, though. Staying aloft depended on my confidence. At the slightest trace of anxiety, I lost altitude. Another danger was telephone lines. Flying into them meant instant death.
Then I dreamed mostly about trains, buses, motorcycles, and bikes. Trains and buses were a headache because I didn’t know where to get on or when to get off, or I didn’t have the right fare. Fortunately, I also had a trusty motorcycle—an ancient vehicle given to me by my grandfather (who died sixty years ago). It never ran out of gas, no matter how many years I had it. However, the headlights often dimmed and went out on dark country roads.
My bicycles got stolen. I’d forget to lock the bike before going into a store and then would find it gone when I returned. Each time I’d think, “When will I ever learn? I can’t afford to keep buying new bikes.” But I’d buy a new one in preparation for the next dream and it would happen all over again.
Rollerskates are a newer, more exciting mode of transportation in my dreams. I skate with speed and skill in public places, something I could never do in real life. I sail down streets and sidewalks, through malls, and down the corridors of large buildings such as libraries. It pleases me to pass pedestrians at three times their speed.
If I’m skating in a building such as a hospital where conventional behavior is expected, I worry about being stopped and asked to remove my skates. Most often this turns out to be the Mayo Clinic, where I was once employed.
In real life, I wore skates to work on a dare many years ago. I was manager of a department of writers at Abbott Laboratories. Company employees were horrified and titillated to see me rolling down the halls, files in hand. You’d think I was naked. Tattlers sent reports up the chain of command to the CEO, and within four hours a decree came back down to my boss. He came into my office laughing and said, “Sorry, Barb, you’ll have to take off your skates.”
Elevators are a recent addition to my dreams. Usually I’m in a hurry to reach a certain office on an upper floor where I have an appointment to interview a doctor. I’m late and have trouble finding an elevator. When I do, I discover that it travels only to the fourth floor, or to floors six through ten. Sometimes a crowded elevator arrives and I have trouble squeezing in. As the doors start shutting, I thrust my arms in to force them open. Frightened occupants yell at me to get away, but I don’t. I somehow get in.
Occasionally an elevator goes to an upper floor and then starts traveling sideways. I have no idea where I’m headed. I think, “Oh, well, I’ll just have to relax and see what happens.”
Maybe that’s the lesson in the dream.
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