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"I Keep Thinking This Is A Dream" - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
"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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From: catfishvegas Date: July 21st, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The sports car/station wagon duality/interchangability is very interesting. It's like asserting you can have adventure and family, all in one car, and all you need is a wrench.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 21st, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Indeed! Do you want to get coffee or beer next week? We're settling back in after various voyages.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: July 21st, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Four points to this triangulation. Fascinating! Not to mention all that only partly doubles into waking life...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:11 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Even if one of them is often invisible. . . :-)
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: July 21st, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
[beware - silly response]

Freud: the frequent, uncanny, (re)occurrence of "Opel" indicates you have a problem with your mother.

Lacan: the impossibility of articulation manifests in the unreasonable easiness with which you interchange bodies.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oooh. Do elaborate. Especially on the "Opel" part!
From: jodi3425 Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:33 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

the letter

Opel: the letter, not the word; second half sounds like pull, pulling, pulled; interchangeable parts: key is parts, pulled apart; and, change
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 22nd, 2005 03:55 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: the letter

See my elaboration on your second comment. . .
From: jodi3425 Date: July 22nd, 2005 02:39 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

oh yes

it also helps to know whether you are lacanian or what; as Z says, there are today different symptoms--Freudian, Jungian. My dreams started changing the more I read Z, shoot, now I even start interpreting the damn dream while I'm having it! which is actually both boring and stressful. my guess from your hints is that you have lacanian tendencies and that your actual read of the dream was like mine--who pulls. So, the driveway etc are fillers, elements to smooth out contradictions, avoid the Real, etc
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 22nd, 2005 03:54 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: oh yes

I'm not sure, actually. Given the choice between Freud, Jung, and Lacan, I'd take Sigmund, not least because we share a birthday. But I love your reading of "Opel." It's even better when you factor in the first syllable that you so considerately avoided drawing attention to. Let's see: impel, compel, propel. . . opel. Maybe the car on the bed wasn't an Opel after all. Maybe it was a Vega. Curvy, sporty pulled O-ward vs. a domestic "fertile plain." Of course, the fact that Las Vegas boasts no such natural feature does make one wonder how broad the word's application is. Anyway, thanks so much for chiming in. I'm having fun thinking about this, despite or because of the fact that it makes me think in ways to which I'm not accustomed.
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