Love in the Time of Corona: Anxiety Dream Edition

Everyone is under a lot of pressure right now. Some people (introverts with a steady income) are enjoying the break and the opportunity to hole up, but the rest of us are shitting our pants about money, being trapped with people we don’t like, being trapped alone, struggling to get basic needs met, etc.

I try to stave off my anxiety by keeping busy and being productive, hence the sweatshop happening in my house.

I enjoyed the first day of doing it, largely because I binged the entire Netflix limited series Unbelievable, a dramatization of the 2008–2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape casesUnbelievable follows “Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth”. The program draws from “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” (2015), a Pulitzer Prize-winning article by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong for ProPublica and The Marshall Project.

It stars Francis McDormand and Merritt Weaver, I love both of them and it presents a world where rape cases are handled properly and humanely, i.e. they believe the victims, treat them with compassion, dignity and respect, and expressed an urgency to catch the rapist before he acted again. I know it sounds like a downer but goddamn, it was actually uplifting. Highly recommend.

UNBELIEVABLE

Things deteriorated as the days went on, in part because of struggles to modify patterns to accomodate different types of fasteners and my sewing machine slowly broke down. Plus the stress of trying to satisfy orders as quickly as possible kind of got to me. My body responds as it always does, interrupted sleep and anxiety dreams.

I had the worst anxiety dream, and it wasn’t even interesting like some of them that actually take me on a journey of my psyche. Nope, this one was just a box of hurt.

It started with me in the middle of having sex with an ex but not realizing what I was doing until I was doing it, and then panicking about how to get out of that situation. I ended up in a friend’s guestroom, a la the immediate aftermath of a breakup when you have nowhere to go and are thoroughly displaced and unmoored when what you need the most is familiarity and stability. It’s the worst feeling in the world.

Of course I had to be at a birthday party and I realized I was going to be late and I also didn’t have a present and the party was supposed to be a bar and I wasn’t even sure how that was going to happen given social distancing. I got into my car, frantic to get to the party but I could barely see. I was trying to simply unpark my car but I was expecting to hit another car because I was pretty much blind. Ugh.

All the shit I do to keep sane wasn’t really helping, although it was still nice. Walking is my salvation.

It’s crazy how nature is taking over. I’ve seen the random animal over the years, but each walk usually involves some kind of wildlife encounter. On one walk I saw a herd of deer and a little racoon just chillin.

The beautiful spring weather helps a lot, but then there is this coming …

Next week will be hard

Despite my “nature bath” I was still a wreck, I even fell apart on the phone to DB, which is something I try not to do. The next night I had a dream that gave me some solace.

The scallop shells were left over from a stuffed scallop appetizer I bought from Safeway on a whim; I thought Scratchy would enjoy it. It was disappointing, tasted like a salty brick of stuffing, but I put the shells to good use.

In the dream I was in Thailand and I wandered into a park that had sushi restaurant in the middle. Two men were at the bar, one had dreds on his head and also wrapped around his hands. In front of them were “puppy rolls” which were two tiny sleeping puppies nestled into shells. They weren’t to be eaten, just admired.

I sat between the men to play with the puppies and asked if I could have some of their sushi. The sushi appeared to be breathing, which is clearly my subconcious struggling with my current meat consumption. I like meat, I like cooking with it, and I am surrounded by carnivores who I am trying to please. This is at loggerheads with my desire to not eat meat, something I’ve had to suppress lately.

One of the puppies had an oddly asymmetrical jawline, like a man I once dated. The puppy’s (and the person’s) jaw sloped on one side. I tried to take pictures of the puppies but I couldn’t get my phone to work. That should have been my cue to take over the dream and become lucid but I didn’t. Instead I borrowed the puppies to show someone since I couldn’t take pictures. One man lent me his car, a Saab, but it felt more like a go-cart that was completely open air. I could see my legs and feet, I felt like there was no car around me.

I realized I had to give the man his car back and retrieve my phone. I was at the top of a very steep hill, I was now in San Francisco. The street was cobbled and narrow, with balconies that practically touched in the center; I felt like I was in Girona or Halstadt or any one of the ancient villages Sideboob and I visited.

The steep street was scary to cruise down. I felt like I barely had breaks and I was concerned about the sleeping puppies in my lap. I often dream I am caring for animals in my anxiety dreams, hoping I can keep them safe. The car felt unsubstantial under me but I was able to control it. At the bottom of the hill were restaurants with tons of people and music. Now I was in New York’s Central Park.

I needed to find the restaurant. I pushed my way through what was now a crowded souk, a black camel crossed my path. I wandered up into the high desert foothills with dusty and winding dirt roads and scrub oak. I came to a house and a Japanese man came out, it was Nobu-san, the former owner of Sushi Tora back in the day. I asked him if he knew of the restaurant. He said yes, he would show me. He opened a door and which led to a short hallway and another door. I opened it and was back at the restaurant.

I was wearing a dress that hung very loosely on me, exposing my body. There were women doing nails who looked at me but pointed me to my new friends. I felt embarrassed but being naked is also a hallmark of my subconscious. It’s strange because I am so comfortable being nude in real life, by my dream-self hates it.

I realized that I forgot the car so I got the owner to come with me to find it. Once again we were wandering in the desert foothills. Time flew, distance collapsed. I saw people emerging from man-made caves dotting the landscape. The insides looked like geodes and there were signs that invited people to come in, rest, and create.

The people who emerged were all dancing, like at a silent disco. I couldn’t hear the music but I could tell they were all dancing to the same songs. They seemed profoundly happy. In the distance was a natural ampitheater and people were ecstatically dancing in the center, creating sacred geometry shapes with their movement. Their bodies blended in with the sand and stone.

Everywhere were friendly people. We didn’t speak the same language yet were able to understand each other perfectly. I felt profoundly safe and connected to everyone. I could tell my traveling companion was having the time of his life. I was worried for him, I didn’t want him to confuse the experience for me.

I awoke feeling so happy. I got to have all the things I have been missing: travel, crowds, music, dancing, and random encounters with kind people. In other words, a Bassnectar summer gathering. It recharged my batteries. Hopefully it will hold me over until I can experience the real thing again, or at least go on a journey in my dreams.

DB and I enjoyed an ambulatory happy hour while walking on the nearly deserted river path

I had another good omen, a crazy carton of eggs I bought on Manager’s Special at the local Kroger. The carton was $1.49 on sale and full of bright blue and brown eggs. The remarkable thing was the yolks.

Each morning I make Itchy fried rice and eggs. He loves this comfort food as much as I do and we both marvelled at the amazing color. I will be sad when these eggs run out.

I scratched my itch to eat vegetarian with this delicious Golden Lentil soup with vegan sour cream.

You can get the recipe here. It’s wonderful over rice.

This also happened.

I think the last time I had Hamburger Helper was in high school. I’ll admit to enjoying low-brow food.

DB and I were talking about food the other night and we were going on and on about how we love potatoes. Eggs and potatoes are two of my favorite foods. He said there was nothing as good as really great homemade mashed potatoes and gravy. Like, very well executed. And I was like, “You know what else is amazing? Instant mashed potatoes with brown gravy from a packet!”

What can I say? I’m a woman of varied tastes.

Life in my little home is good, I am grateful every day. Lonny sometimes comes by to get some adult interaction and just sit on the couch and read the paper. I often invite him over for lunch and he’s been helping me with little projects. I think I want to remove the gas fireplace in my dining area. It doesn’t make any sense to have it there and it doesn’t work anyway. He’s at loose ends and likes being useful, I appreciate his help.

So that’s my deal for now. Sideboob lent me her sewing machine so I can make more masks and Britt (Hi Britt!) recommended I watch Chernobyl on HBO. It sounds like the perfect sewing companion.

I’ll close with my roundup of funny shit on the internet.

6 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Corona: Anxiety Dream Edition

  1. I can’t believe how you can remember your dreams so well. U too have been on a roll making masks. But I finished today. I prefer the masks with bias tape and wire to adjust for the nose.

  2. Ooh! I love what you do with scallop shells! I know your are in quarantine but, “send me pics!”

  3. Whoop whoop my first shout out!!

    I too am very impressed with how well you remember your dreams and that you are able to understand what it means.

  4. I have to see the plastic snap idea, sounds very interesting. As far as bias tape…..I have only used up what I already have in my stash. The same goes with the fabric. I haven’t bought anything. Which is a clear indication of how much shit I really have. hahah It worked out well that a friend gave me 2 boxes of stuff. There was fabric, yarns, and more bias tape!!!!! Most of (ok, only about half)the fabric, and all of the yarn, I will give away. But there was a little “package” of 5 fat quarters with dogie themes. I made many masks with that. Plus there was some thicker fabric that I need for the underneath of my couch cushion slipcovers. It sounds like you have done some dream analysis. I love that kind of stuff. BTW Your oldest looks so much like you and the youngest just like Lonnie.

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