My sister told me that she dreams of the house we grew up in all the time.
“That’s weird, I’ve never dreamed about it.”
My most recurring dream, though, is always about houses. In them, I’m in a house that, were it not in a dream, would be unbelievably creepy. Sometimes these are houses I know and have been in before, and other times they’re places that I haven’t seen — at least not consciously — in my waking hours.
When I’m inside these dream houses, I’m excited. In my dream, I’ve just remembered: oh yeah, this is my house!
I then proceed to come up with decoration ideas for each and every room, and almost always, additional rooms appear as I walk through it and I think “ah, of course! How could I have forgotten about this one? I can do so much with this.” I do this until I wake up, never actually beginning the decoration process.
Since I told my sister that I never dreamt of that house (which was only a week ago), I’ve dreamt of it three different times. The dreams are never very nice. I’m always stuck in it somehow, unable to make changes and feeling vaguely unsafe, usually with some gross task (last night, it was cleaning up piles of poop, which isn’t drastically different from one of the actual tasks I did there).
While my recurring dreams seem like an obvious metaphor for my subconscious, the dreams about this house seem like one for the constrictions of everyday life: feeling the limitations, the unfairness, the need for some kind of yet-unknown wily trick in order to escape it.
I had a great time during my sister’s visit, but since she left, the stress of everyday life has been closing in: the places I normally work (always as an independent contractor, though I’d much rather have a “regular” job) have suddenly stopped giving me much work, seemingly all at the same time. My partner is stressed and sad, his own business plans not panning out. There’s more to be done, certainly — the universe is full of infinite possibilities, and at least to some extent, the economy — but trying to explore and try out new avenues when you’re against the clock and oh, so stressed is like trying to run a race through molasses. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but there are some major walls of cortisol to break through, and the evidence is clear: a lot of people simply don’t and just spiral down instead. Social problems disguised as individual problems abound.
The house we left was beyond any repair that we were able to give it, and there was no choice but for my dad to abandon ship. The roof needs to be redone, there are holes everywhere, and it’s infested with rats, so much so that I needed to wear a mask while working inside of it to keep from getting a headache from the fumes. Luckily, the new buyers are enthusiastic about it and have the means to fix it and make it beautiful again in ways that wouldn’t have been possible for us. My dad moved into a place not without problems, but that at least doesn’t have rats or a leaky roof.
Will we also be able to escape a sinking ship? My dream world seems to have its doubts.