Thursday, May 26, 2016


“Peter,” a dream invention by the author

By Bob Boldt

[Editor’s Note: This post renews the author’s January 31 “Invitation to recount our dreams here,” which provoked a fair amount of commentary but has so far prompted no one else to recount a dream. The invitation still stands, and we hope that other dreamers will take us up on it soon.]

Since my January 31 dream post I have had an epiphany of sorts surrounding my dream life. As I may have mentioned somewhere, dreams are like a three-year-old, the more attention you give him, the more he will go to any length to keep that attention. Most people go through stages in their life, me included, when they say, “I can’t seem to remember my dreams at all. I’m just so busy.” At present I have found myself in a place controlled largely by me. If necessary, I can take as much time as I want to transcribe the longest dream. Since I have been doing this again, my dream life has expanded exponentially.
    The dream related below is of no special interest to anyone but me. I’m just presenting it as an interesting sequence of images that both you and I might find stimulating. It might also stimulate an interpretation or two. Often I have found that a symbol can be opaque in one person’ dream, but quite obvious in another’s.
    The dream related here also demonstrates another facet of dream analysis, the dreamer’s subjective background. In order to more fully understand a stranger’s dreams it is often necessary to have a little back-story on the dramatis personae.
    It is my belief that the various characters that appear in dreams often represent a whole panoply of bundled experiences and idée fixes that are relevant only to the dreamer and require a more detailed explanation if the dream is to be understood. This also applies to various famous personage, who I think may actually represent more archetypal modern figures. I find it interesting that The Dead quite often appear in my dreams. Often they have messages for me, warnings, or comments on my life and my history.

The Dream (dreamt on May 15, 2016). Tony Barnicle1, Tim Connors2, and I had retired to Tony’s apartment in downtown Manhattan. After dinner Tony planned to drive us to our classes at New York University. We had plans to enroll in courses in the English and the sociology departments. I decided to enroll only in the English course because I didn’t think I would have enough time to dedicate to the sociology course and because the sociology professor required that an extensive essay be included along with the application.
    The picture of the English professor on the syllabus looked like Honoré de Balzac. I just knew we would hit it off. I also knew I didn’t have the time to compose a proper essay. Tim had already written his and he asked me to review it and give him my critique. It consisted of three pages of small script in seemingly disconnected paragraphs. Try as I might, I couldn’t make sense of the writhing. I was not convinced that the fault was completely mine. I tried to cover my incomprehension with a comment praising his “Proustian digressions.”
    He seemed satisfied by my analysis. On the table were a half-dozen small tin medallions such as those that might be used by members Jewish or Roman Catholic religious orders, pilgrims, or the faithful. The inscription was too small for me to make out, because the dimensions were under one inch in size. The background of the inscription was a picture of a pre-industrial Dickensian London street, very crowded with oxcarts and carriages, and very squalid.
    On the wall behind the table was a large poster of the graphic done in a dark sepia tint. I told Tony I would not be needing a ride to sociology class because I had a lot of work to do on the computer and could I have his password?
    Tony’s apartment was on the lower floor of a sprawling apartment complex that fronted on the Hudson River. Stepping out onto the patio, one had a view of nearly the whole length of the waterfront. I commented on what a delight it must be to have such a vast patio.
    After they left, I spent some time in the apartment with Juliette Binoche and her infant son. The small child was an insatiably inquisitive creature who was always getting into things. I supervised his explorations of the apartment in his stroller, even though he had become invisible. It was interesting to watch the empty stroller navigating around the empty furniture, going through doorways, and out onto the patio, seemingly unoccupied.
    Part of the patio fronted on a large vacant lot growing wild prairie grasses. By means of reference points engraved into the stone face of one of the walls were markers that could be used like survey markers to determine where the location of the buried Treasure could be divined. Tony had provided me with a long tape ruler and a ball of string. I thought that he intended to use the string to draw a parabola around two locus points. I asked him if the Treasure might be located somewhere along that parabola. He denied the string would be used in such a way, and was not forthcoming with any further explanation.
    Around the edges of my visual field, dead movie stars began assembling for a shoot. I didn’t recognize many of them, because they were from the French film industry.

    I did recognize Jean-Louis Trintignant from A Man and a Woman (he’s still very much alive, by the way).
    Somehow Marlon Brando (his spirit body looked about 30 years old) had snuck onto the set.
    After the shoot, all of the actors bid adieu to Tony, who I was amazed to find out had actually been a cleverly disguised Orson Welles all the time. To some he simply said, “Farewell.” To a few others he responded with, “I look forward to working with you again.”
    I wondered what he would say to me. He simply said, “Pat is dead.” I realized to my horror he was referring to my dear friend, choreographer Pat Selby (who last I heard is still alive and well and living in Colorado). I burst into tears upon hearing the sad news.

  1. Tony Barnicle was my dear friend, elder counselor, and mentor who passed away a year ago. 
  2. Tim Connors was a reporter I worked with at WFLD-TV in 1966. We had a great many disagreements at the time as to the Vietnam War, marijuana, and alternative lifestyle issues. He was as straight as Johnny Carson.
[Author’s Note: If you found this dream interesting or provocative, wait till you see the next one. It’s about 9/11 and it’s something I’ll bet Rod Serling would have wished he had written it.]

Copyright © 2016 by Bob Boldt

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Bob. And thank you especially that "Tony" seems to have prompted me so quickly to finally – finally! – write up a dream of my own [see "Sleeping and waking," published earlier today]. May my own dream life now "expand exponentially."