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."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.
• 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.