Bad Dream?

This morning I dreamed I was staying with some people in a huge house. It was a family, a couple of grown sons (one was a teacher), several daughters. At one point I lost my laptop. From then on, the dream was about retracing my steps. 

There is nothing more labyrinthine than a dream with stuff changing constantly. Dream rooms that had been empty were full of sleeping people. The classroom where the one brother taught — and where I was sure I’d left my laptop — had become the brother’s bedroom, but there were student desks from the 40s in there and people waiting for a lesson. 

I never found my laptop. I knew I could buy a new one, but that didn’t answer the problem, really. In the dream I asked myself, “What does my lap top mean to me that I can’t just buy another one? I’ve lost them before — my favorite one of all time crashed, and I simply replaced it — what’s the story morning glory?” 

Self-analysis in dreams is even more labyrinthine than in real life. The women in the dream kind of sort of helped me look for it, but not really. They couldn’t see what the big deal was. I thought, “Well, you’re rich. I’m not,” but  even in the dream that didn’t ring true. They WERE rich, but I could still manage to replace my laptop.

Seemed like a good time to get up, but for a while I kept searching. Bear’s bark outside my bedroom door got me up. 

The little book I just finished has existed in various forms for forty years. I no longer have one of the typed manuscripts, but I have one printed out on a dot-matrix printer. I remember back in the 80s when my neighbor (who loaned me his Mac while he was traveling) was attempting to explain to me why a computer was better than a typewriter. He said, “You don’t have to carry everything around in your head.”

At the time I was writing a book about Pearl Buck and it required a lot of research. Threads of the work of Chinese writers who were her contemporaries had to be connected to her, her own words about these writers, her reading (in Chinese) of the old, great Chinese novels and her comments — it was immense. I had (still have 🙂 ) boxes of notecards. One was a bibliography and the other quotations typed, cited and glued to the notecards so I could find them when I needed them. 

“You wouldn’t have to remember all this. The computer would do that for you.” He made his argument as vigorously as if he were selling for Apple. 

So were our brains different when we DID carry all this around in them? Were we smarter? Certainly we’d panic less in dreams that involved losing our laptops. And now I’m dreaming that losing my laptop is cataclysmic.

Anyway, I’ll spend some time today backing stuff up.

5 thoughts on “Bad Dream?

  1. You were probably even using Bank Street Writer!
    You are very much in tune with your dreamscapes. Since I suffer from BPH, I am up every two hours for…. My dreams just get started before bladder call.
    Lucky you.
    Great sharing. Thanks.

  2. Your photo reminds me of the days, many many years ago, when first wrote some of my stories with a typewriter: neatly put in a folder and natually every page packed in a plastic cover. And yes, I still have them in th cellar/hobby room somewhere. Perhaps my descendents might find them one day when they are clearning away my left-behinds.

  3. I don’t know about you, but before computers I had PILES of paper. Reams of it. All the stuff I’d written was in big fat envelopes with labels and I never knew where the most recent one is.

    I know I can replace computers because I have backups, but they are expensive. It’s not a small thing to replace a laptop. I suppose if you don’t do a lot of graphics work, it is less pricey, but my computers are pretty big money … and meanwhile, I’m depressed because the frames of both back doors are beginning to rot … and that’s more money into the house that I don’t have.

    At least I no longer have reams of paper. That’s something!

  4. My millennial son uses the “cloud” so he does not even use a flash drive anymore. Is this dream literal or is there more to it? Could the laptop represent anxiety about anything else. I’m just wondering?

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