Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Dream Interpreted

I recently submitted a dream to Dr. Dreamland for interpretation. What follows is a description of the dream together with Dr. Dreamland's interpretation.

Doctor Dreamland, I am looking at a man's shirt; it is blue with a buttoned-down collar. I know intuitively that the shirt belongs to my friend Craig. There is no objective evidence that the shirt belongs to Craig, however... I feel a great deal of satisfaction to learn that Craig and I wear the same size shirt. I have an impulse to smell the shirt. At that moment I think: "Only a queer would smell another guy's shirt." I examine the collar of the shirt and notice that it is frayed in one location.

DOCTOR DREAMLAND: Interesting dream, Gary. It reminds me of all those stories you hear of widows sleeping with their husband's shirts. Why? Because the shirt is the magic repository of that "dead husband smell." I don't mean it smells like a rotting corpse. I mean it smells like the husband smelled before he became a rotting corpse.But it is a behavior that is dictated by loss. You've lost something, Gary. You don't want to acknowledge the loss, so you presume that the symbol of that loss must belong to someone else (Craig). That attribution in your dream is symbolic of your waking denial. There is some part of yourself with which you have lost touch and you desire to get reconnected. Many times, those connections lie with friends and family. Have you been living an insular existence, Gary? Are you isolated? If so, I would suggest you get out and start repairing your old ties (no pun intended).

Oh... wait a minute. You said the shirt was frayed?Geez, that's embarrassing. I must have missed that the first time around. Well, let's just say, you're right: only a queer would smell another man's shirt. There's nothing wrong with being queer, of course (and the preferred term is "gay," by the way). But the frayed collar... well...

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