Thursday, April 8, 2010

I dreamt of Mark

My timer is set for 20 minutes. Then I'll drive to the Fox Chase Bank to get a Hagey bus to take a tour of DC, courtesy of Friends of the Fox Chase Library.

So, it was a long nite last nite. You know how it is when you've gotta wake up early when you're not used to it. Bouts of non-sleep. And one long dream precipitated, I spose, by talking to my Aunt Selma from Cleveland. YE 2-8164.

Selma, I say, how come you're not outside on this beautiful day. (I was cooking my lunch for today's trip when I spoke to her.)

I did all my partying earlier in the week, said my 91-year-old aunt.

You're just like my mother, I said.

Who is this? she asked.

Bernice's daughter, I said. My mom is only 87.

I jokingly said, Why don't you go for a walk with Seville, your best friend.

She's a vegetable, said Selma.

That's terrible, I said.

Lots of em live to be vegetables nowadays.

How did Mark's show go at DC Moore, I asked.

Fabulous, she said. I don't know if he sold anything or not.

My mom said one of em - known as the Bedspread - is going for 6 figures.

Selma explained these paintings were locked away in storage somewhere for 40 years. They're Mark's earlier works when he was married to beautiful Barbara.

In the dream, Mark and I - both young and beautiful - were at some sort of memorial ceremony, a funeral. He was sitting on the couch and I was standing. We exchanged pleasantries before he disappeared and new people arrived.

I felt terribly out of place. Decided to take a nap. When I awoke, new people had arrived. I didn't know anyone but worst of all, I couldn't find my contact lenses. Here I was stranded in Cleveland, Ohio, and couldn't see a damn thing.

Felt utterly trapped. Then I found some contacts on the kitchen table, lubricated them with my saliva but realized they weren't mine. So I put em back.

How will I ever get out of here, I thought, and went outside in the strange neighborhood. Then I realized I could make a phone call on a borrowed phone. So many people had died I wasn't sure who to call.

To my great relief I woke up. The Michael Wood video of The Travels of Alexander the Great was still playing on my DVD, having succeeded in lulling me to sleep while Alexander was traveling 20,000 miles from Macedonia believing for sure he was the son of Zeus.

Here's Mark's Bedspread painting. It was in storage for some reason for 40 years. Mark was born in 1942. You do the math to figure out his age. He wants to retire this year and move from Albany to NYC to be around his beloved Chuck Close. Here's Chuck's painting of Mark where he looks like a goofus.

Wonder what psychoanalyst Bob Gordon would make of my dream?


  1. Hi Ruth,
    What a rich dream full of affect and images. Modern psychodynamic researchers have found no evidence for universal symbols. Dreaming of an Elephant by a zoo keeper in Philly, or a boy in India or a school teacher in Allentown can all mean different things. A good psychoanalyst will first ask, "What do you associate to when you think of..." Our brains never stop. When we sleep, only the frontal part goes 'off line.' The rest of the brain is trying to process emotions from the day to childhood. Dreams are mainly about our unfinished emotional concerns that use images and personal symbols to express these emotions. So Ruth, what emotional associations do you have to the dream?
    Your friend, Bob Gordon

  2. "Rich dream filled with affect and images." I like that. To me, my description just sounded scanty. I have lots of associations about the dream. I think the gist of it is Loss and Growing Older, changing relationships over time and loss of a once vibrant ecumenical sexuality which sadly must be subsumed to conventional monogamy if we wish to simplify our lives. Hmmm, do I sound like Russell?