Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

"I Keep Thinking This Is A Dream"

I just remembered part of a dream I had last night. My partner, who returned yesterday from a short trip, was returning from a trip. Only she had been in Europe -- "I wish," she's saying herself as she read this entry -- and the trip was, predictably, longer. Lying in bed, decompressing from the time we'd spent apart, I asked her how well she'd managed to get around. To my surprise, she confessed that she'd driven. "You rented a car?" I asked. "No, I bought one. It's in the front driveway." Pressed for details, she described what sounded like a rent-to-own program and then chronicled her adventures on European highways. "Go have a look," she prodded. I walked into the front room as bidden and peered out the front window. Suddenly, it was light. But not the brilliant sun-saturated light of Tucson but the luminous gray of Western Europe. And there, sitting proudly in our driveway were both one of those curvy Opel GTs from the late 1960s or early 1970s, tastefully coated in dark primer with alternating patches of light primer, and, next to it, a trailer bed with the shell of another, similarly classy, car body on top, one which I recognized as the wagon version of that curvy Opel.

I realize, of course, now that I'm awake, that there was never a wagon version of the Opel GT. I also realize that it's unlikely that the two shells would be "interchangeable," as my partner related to me during our exchange in the dream. "You just take one off and put the other on," she cheerfully noted and I did not object.

I'm not going to attempt to psychoanalyze this dream; I'll leave that to my readers. Suffice it to say, by way of getting the marble rolling, that Freud would have wanted you to interrogate the word "Opel," that the doubling of bodies and their easy interchangeability seems highly significant, and that the European stamp overlaid on a short, domestic trip probably has a lot to say about where my mind is drifting.

It's always interesting to discern the real-life source for elements in a dream, even if that tracing back doesn't usually explain much. I'll close, then, with the obvious ones in this case:
• On the drive down to the airport yesterday evening, I saw an SUV towing a battered Vega wagon, which had a primered look much like the curvy Opel in my dream. I had to wait for the vehicle to pass before turning right from Cortaro onto Oracle. As we drew alongside it, I noticed that the trailer had no brake lights and was very hard to see in the dark and thought, "That's really dangerous."

• My friend Laura phoned me from New York City yesterday to ask me about my recent entries on blogging. She also talked about the trip to Italy that she and her family had just returned from. It sounded wonderful. She emphasized how relaxing and low key the trip had been.

• The only visit I've made to Europe since my year as an exchange student in Germany was in October, 2001. At some point, I'll tell that story in this space. Unlike Laura's trip, it was not relaxing. I traveled as the anthrax scare was getting exponentially worse and deluded myself into thinking that I might have it. As it turns out, I was having an allergic reaction to the sweaters I was wearing. But the pressure on my chest had me very anxious indeed. Other than that, the strangest aspect of that trip is that I flew to Venice, rented a car, and drove to southern Austria to attend my conference, then looped back through Slovenia and made a detour to Trieste on the return route. Driving on the Autostrada in dense Adriatic fog at 100mph+ was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.
In real psychoanalysis, of course, the way that the patient describes her or his dream is the focal point of the analyst's interpretation, including any steps she or he makes to steer that interpretation in a particular direction. That means that everything I've written here, including the three possible sources of dream content I just listed, is fair game. Go for it.
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