Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Put On Your Pajamas

Will you read an account of a dream? Mom always told me to quit going on and on about dreams already; they're only interesting to the dreamer. I'm sure she was right; on the other hand, it's my blog...

Airplanes and impending airplane crashes are one of my recurring dream themes, and always involve really vivid imagery.

I was on a flight, I think to visit my parents. It was very late at night and very, very dark out, and the flight had been substantially delayed due to such low fuel that it wasn't likely we'd make it at all. The pilot was flying very slowly to make the fuel go as far as possible.

I wasn't particularly worried, although at some point one of my seatmates had a diabetic collapse, or possibly was pregnant. (It was a guy, so as an awake person, I'll go with option A.) I thought about calling my dad to let him know I'd be delayed; then I thought about calling Louis Black, editor of the Austin Chronicle, on the theory that if the plane went down, his last conversation with one of the casualties would give him something interesting to write about. (Not to imply that Page Two isn't always completely riveting.)

All the passengers were sitting around tables watching some trashy cable TV show. I was leafing through the Chronicle, the inside front page of which was blank, with a blurb somewhere briefly apologizing and explaining that most of the staff had been on vacation. The guy on TV was talking about how stripping is just another form of prostitution, which irritated me. "So is marriage," I remarked. A middle-aged woman across from me glowered and said, "It is not!"*

We were all watching out the big picture window as the plane sank lower, and lower, and lower, closer to the water; but the lights of the island were very close by - it looked as if we might just make it after all. The pilot said we were going to burn up all the rest of our fuel to get to an altitude of two miles; from there we would just descend right into San Antonio and everything would be fine. The plane began to climb sharply, generating several gees of acceleration.

Then I was in the control room - which looked rather more like a hotel room; the pilot was in bed, there was a flight attendant bringing him food, and again there was a big picture window, but the venetian blinds were closed. The flight attendant, looking a bit shifty, said we couldn't open the blinds because the sight of being so high up might frighten the passengers. So I went up to the window and peeked out to show I wasn't afraid. We were over a dark, Gotham-like city, drifting underneath us slowly, full of very tall buidings and so near you could almost reach out and touch them. It felt as if the belly of the plane would scrape some of them at any moment. "It looks fine to me," I said, "only I don't think we're quite two miles up."

The pilot and flight attendant scoffed at me, a mere passenger, thinking I could judge altitude, so I raised the blinds and the pilot was horrified. He'd given the order to climb to two miles and (due to treachery somehow) it hadn't been done, and we were all doomed.

1. Psychoanalyze this dream and explain how it relates to my current problems with intimacy.
2. Explain how gee forces, noticeable to the point of severe discomfort, can be explained given that the plane did not actually gain any altitude.

*But seriously, if you want to get into the traditional socio-economic factors involved in the exchange of female sexuality for economic support throughout history, you have to admit that -

What do you mean, you don't want to get into it?


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