Monday, January 31, 2005

1960s Danish Modern

Nearly lucid dream...

I “wake up” in this dream to find myself living in a huge apartment building. It’s a rambling, white structure about eight stories high, forming a long zigzag shape across a suburban landscape - a park-like setting, a little too manicured for my tastes. The architectural style is Bauhaus - a clean, sterile, early 20th century deco. It’s a little run down.

My apartment is on an upper floor - not the very top, maybe six floors up. KF and JB are here to help me move. We’re packing up boxes and I’m looking out the window, daydreaming. Suddenly, I clearly realize that I’m dreaming (I even rearrange the pillows in my bed and mutter something like, “damnit.”... I’m annoyed and think, “I don’t want to work now, OK?... just sleep”).

As I stare down several floors to the ground, I vaguely consider launching myself through the window for a little flying lesson. I want to fly through the window and soar - and I know I won’t fall if I do. But I’m too chicken to try it.

Then I’m asleep again and the lucid feeling is gone. I’m just dreaming. It’s hard to describe the difference. I decide to go downstairs to check up on an elderly couple I know (not in my waking world, but I knew them here in the dream time). I care about them, and I want to make sure they’re OK.

I set off along these endless corridors. I walk past a public area on this floor, with a small movie theatre and a laundromat. There’s a cop or security guard there, a burly man in a dark blue/black uniform. I notice that a trash can is on fire... something smoldering in it... and I say to him, “Look! There’s a fire!” He says it’s no big deal, it’ll burn itself out. “Happens all the time,” he says. This annoys the hell out of me - like, he’s not doing his job. I put it out myself, by pouring melted ice into the trash can from a paper soft drink cup somebody left on a beat-up formica counter. The fire sizzles, belches out a cloud of smoke, and sputters out. As I walk away, I look back at the guard and think, “What a jerk.”

I take a nearby elevator down several floors to the elderly couple’s apartment. I distinctly remember pressing the “down” arrow and watching it light up... and once again, I realize I’m dreaming. I can feel, smell, and see the scene the same way I do in the waking world. It just lasts a second and then I’m asleep again.

The elderly couple is moving too - shutting down their home of many years to move into a retirement community. They’re getting rid of a bunch of old stuff. They ask me if I want to go to the basement. That’s where they store a bunch of stuff they don’t need. They tell me I can take whatever I want.

Their basement storage area has a workbench with a bunch of dusty old tools, geegaws, and nondescript doodads - a place where the old gentleman used to tinker and fix things. The ceiling is a typical basement ceiling - all beams, bare light bulbs, wires, and furnace ducts. It feels close and heavy. The floor is concrete, painted in chipped, gray enamel... still shining, but worn. It’s clean and dust free. At the back of the room, I see a jumble of old furniture. It’s mostly worthless junk... except for this great chair. It’s orange, 1960s Danish modern, with a matching ottoman - and it’s in perfect condition - like something out of a time capsule.

I’ve always liked 1960s kitch, so I’m drawn to this chair. “Oh, that old thing?” says the old gentleman. “We never used it. It’s been here for years. You want it?” Once again I realize I’m dreaming... and I think, “They have no idea what this is worth. I could sell this on eBay and make a ton of money. But how can I get it out of here?” I wonder if I should tell them that it’s valuable - or just take it. A moral dilemma.

Then I’m dreaming again - and KF and JB are back. I point to the chair and say to them, “Isn’t it amazing?” They agree - and then I really wake up. It takes almost an hour to get back to sleep.


I don’t have this sort of nearly lucid experience very often. When I do, I shake for a while afterwards, and drop things or walk into doorways. I’m disoriented - like, reconnecting my physical body to the other circuits in this universe is a lot of work that I don’t want to do. I’m famished. I pad downstairs to the kitchen and eat a whole can of tuna - washing it down with big gulps of milk, right from the carton - lit by the bare bulb inside my refrigerator.

I’m annoyed and worn out. I just want a good night’s sleep - with everything shut down for a while. Sometimes I think I’m going nuts. The rest of the night, I sleep heavily and remember no dreams. I wake up around noon - tired, sore, and a little depressed.


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