Dream Guy

Steve Hetzel

Dear Dream Guy,I was alone in a parking lot, after having spent time near my home downtown, where there were many vendors, almost like a farmer’s market. Now in the parking lot, I needed to drive home, and I found myself behind the wheel of a Hummer, one of those giant automobiles. I was having trouble controlling it, and was going much faster than I should have in a parking lot. Thus, I ran into the front end of a parked gray Lexus. I didn’t feel much remorse about my action, but kept on trying to drive the Hummer. What do you think?

—Asleep behind the wheel

So you were in a crowded market-type place, and now, all of the sudden, you’re alone. Ready to go home, you start driving this Hummer for no other reason than that you find yourself behind its wheel. And unlike a typical 16-year-old male doped up on testosterone, you don’t enjoy it; in fact you’re uncomfortable with driving such a beast. Coupling this intimidation with your inexperience in driving Hummers, you soon find yourself careening out of control and you run smack into the front of someone’s expensive car.

At this point, instead of what your waking self would probably do, the least of which would be to feel bad about this fender bender, you feel no remorse and keep trying to drive yourself home.

The first important thing is that you’re alone at the beginning of the dream, especially after the prologue of the crowded market. And furthermore, the rest of the scene continues with you being the only one onstage. Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that this might suggest the feeling of loneliness, and/or feeling alone in one’s struggles, such as the ones you encounter—piloting an intimidating army vehicle, or dealing with an accidental car crash. These “struggles” may mirror others from real life.

So, you find yourself not only inside this Hummer but trying to drive it. One instant you were walking toward it, and the next you were driving it. The reason that the sequence of opening the door, getting in, starting it, etc, was edited out, may have just been because it was boring or otherwise unimportant. Our brains are pretty efficient film editors when it comes to dreams. But it may also have been edited out because you lacked control in choosing this vehicle. You saw it—something big and intimidating—and it was as if you were swept up in it, knowing that you had no choice but to take it on.

Thus, no sooner do you begin piloting the monster than does destiny run its course, and you smack into someone else’s car. A Lexus, no less. (Cha-ching!) The most significant part about this dream is the lack of regret upon hitting the car. Was this: a) because you were in a hurry, b) because of a genuine lack of interest, c) because you were afraid to stop, d) because you were driving the bigger car, or e) because nobody else was around? Even if you were in a hurry, the fact remains that most sober-minded individuals who smack head on into a Lexus will stop and try to iron out the situation, even if they are on a tight schedule. Thus, my guess is that the fact that nobody was around was the greater influence (c), although all of the choices surely had an impact of some degree.

Of course, it goes without saying that the Dreamworld has no rules, or at least no rules that cannot be bent. In fact, the only difference between the Dreamworld and the Matrix is that if you die in the Dreamworld, you don’t necessarily die in real life as well. Remember the classic dream where you’re falling from a great height, and if you hit the ground, then you die? Not true. If it were, how would we know? But I digress. If we are to compare the dream’s events with parallel events in real life, which is the starting block at which dream interpretation must begin, there is a noticeable absence of conscience when it comes to your decision not to mop up the mess you made.

Despite all this, I don’t think your reaction is very surprising or even disgraceful. The main implication is that you, like everyone else who is human (and even some animals), have an urge to cover up your mistakes when they can be concealed. And while this is something of an extreme example, that’s what dreams are all about anyway—exploiting our secret feelings, for better and for worse.

The fact that the event occurred in the Dreamworld as opposed to real life is good because there is no lingering Lexus owner seeking you and your Hummer out for damages. It is also good, though, because it gave you a chance to express something you can’t express as easily in real life, or at least as blatantly. And by letting you express it through a cathartic illegal act on the flip side, it helped diminish your urge to conceal your mistakes in the waking world. And so, you’re now less likely to hit other people’s cars and drive away. Way to go! Not really, but you get the idea. Even if this one is a long shot, despite the fact that dreams have the ability to scare us out of our pajamas, they also have benefits that we don’t realize because we’re too busy cavorting around in the circus of the subconscious, and rightfully so.

My fellow Lawrentians: lend me your dreams! The well of the subconscious is, if you will, drying up.