Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Category B

I had a terrible nightmare last night. I dreamt that my big break on Broadway was just a few hours away and I had done absolutely nothing to prepare for it.  As it went, I had been given ample time to learn my lines as well as become acquainted with the musical score but, instead, had chosen to do nothing.  My subconscious didn’t retain which show it was but I think it involved people dressed up as cats and singing—how ridiculous is that??  On the eve of my debut as the leading lady in a Broadway show, I phoned the producer pretending to have a terrible case of laryngitis, telling him to give my role to my understudy.  I remember thinking how one twist of fate whose glory originally appeared to be mine, was really meant for another. Ironic and crushing—never a good combo, even in a dream.

Of course we all have nightmares. Some involve horrific losses and fears (Category A nightmare). Others (Category B) are less extreme but can still be very traumatic, placing you back in high school with neither your pants nor your homework. Haven’t we all dreamt some version of that one? As last night’s  dream unfolded, I was placed in the familiar and sickening dream-position of being totally unprepared for something important. I believe this particular Category B nightmare was a direct result of watching too many episodes of Glee in a row (consider yourselves warned, DVR users) and playing on-line Scrabble when I should have been doing laundry.

Seth, who has dutifully listened to my nightmares for many years, sat on the edge of the bed with his coffee taking in all the details as well as what I later discovered to be a twirled nest of morning hair that would have made a weaker man unable to focus. He cleared his throat and rendered his analysis: “This is clearly a case of your ego clashing with your common sense!” Wow. That was a surprisingly rational response and I stared back at Sigmund Freud wearing his Stewie from “Family Guy” t-shirt and thanked him for this possible glimpse into my psyche. 
Ego? Common sense? I have never really been known to possess too much of either ingredient but the dream certainly did seem to be a manifestation of conflict. Who would blow such a great chance to star on Broadway? Why, in the name of Stephen Sondheim, hadn’t I prepared properly? As the day progressed and the dream stuck with me, I tried—as is my habit—to weave it into some sort of terrifying parable to use to control my sons’ behavior (my most sacred goal).  I also decided to take the more coherent components of this dream to heart.
Maybe I should try to break into musical theater. But it’s way too late to play the ingĂ©nue. I’d have to settle for roles like singing prison matron or acerbic dowager. Or maybe I should try to prepare for things that are coming down the pike. Of course the future is a mystery (other than the Mets blowing all early season advantages and ending up in the toilet again—Mets jab # 8 in a series for those keeping count) but there are things upon which I should focus—like my own future as an empty nester and what to do with myself on a daily basis other than pine for my absent children and construct booby-traps around the house for Seth. 
I will continue thinking about all this for a while.  I remember many of my dreams, often taking them to heart because I do believe our subconscious has much to tell us (especially in the one where I tried to kill Justin Beiber). If we pay attention, we might just learn a thing or two. I intend to spend the remainder of the afternoon brushing up on the lyrics of “Sunrise Sunset” and trying to wean myself off on-line Scrabble. That’s enough for one day.

No comments:

Post a Comment