I tend to dream in a literal realm somewhere between reality and fiction. Elements of the external world seem to creep into my REM cycles in forms that are so eerily recognizable that I awake wondering if they were portents of events to come.
Yet again, last night or in the dark hours of the morning, I found the wood on the back of my ukulele peeling away and discovered alarming numbers of ding marks. I tried to calm myself down by saying that I lived my life in a way that was far from graceful. I use my belongings. While I don’t try to abuse them, ding marks, spills, and stains are a part of the life of marieke. Just the other day, I moved a chair right into the corner of a coffee table, leaving a nice, new indent in the table.
“Oh well,” I sighed. I guess my home is lived in.
This is the reason I dye any and all clothing items of a light hue. Stains are most certainly in their future if I don’t take preventive measures.
Other visitors and vignettes that played out in my dreamscape were threatening auto insurance agents, including a large woman with thick-rimmed, square-ish glasses and thick, short, dark curly hair who was introduced to me by a secretary as Ms. Fantile (I referred to her ever after as Infantile, though I am not sure if it was on purpose or simply out of habit with the English language).
I had attempted to pick up my car at the autobody shop and discovered that the keys they had given me were to a rental of the same make and model. When I went into the office to inquire after the status of my own vehicle, the secretary referred me to Ms. Fantile, who suddenly appeared off to my left, sitting on the edge of a seat with legs crossed and a dark, clandestine way about her.
“We are not fixing your car,” she told me what I can only describe as a witch-like voice.
I actually take no issue with witches and imagine I might have been labeled as one if I were born in another time, but I couldn’t help hearing the stereotypical shrieking, cackle of laughter one hears attached to witch characters in films. Too many movies for marieke, I guess.
“We voided the money we gave you,” she continued. “If you want your car fixed, you will have to pay $5,500.”
Shock. Horror of horrors! That was more money than I had to my name. I can’t remember if I told her off before leaving, but somewhere in the depths my soul was screaming, “Get out of there. NOW! She is bad news.”
I recall some events that followed. I went to find a supervisor, a man with the first name Paul, who could barely give me a moment of his time because he was having an office party with tall, lanky women with blonde hair and was quite occupied with this event. He gave me his card and told me he would call me later.
Flash forward to another REM cycle, and I am arriving late to a writing conference. I am sitting in a circle and have my ukulele. I offer to play a song, but as I am introducing the song and preparing to play, a woman sitting next to me picks up an instrument and begins to play a song, cutting me off. Why? I couldn’t tell you, but I never do get the chance to play because one by one people pick up where the last person leaves off and I can’t seem to find space to share my song. It is then that I notice the damage to the body of my ukulele. I try to smooth it over, to repair the damage done, but to no avail.
With a heavy heart and frustration building in my stomach and chest, I leave the circle and walk through a door in the middle of the room that takes me into another room that is dark and small and cave-like. I shut the door behind me.
Later (another REM cycle?) I try to make a space for myself in the group at the writing conference. I even recognize a woman from a conference I attended the year before. she has glasses now, but the curves of her face and the color of her skin, a deep, smooth olive, are familiar to me. No one seems to take notice of me. Finally, someone tells me that I have missed everything and should not be able to just appear in the middle of the conference and expect to participate.
I am beside myself and try to find other people I know who will take me under their wing, but there is no one. I am all alone.