I was anticipating this dream, and I remembered it in an interesting way. In hypnopompia, I was designing my dress when I realized I was awake and that the dress was intended to match the caftan worn by my partner in the dream that was just finishing and that this was the dream I had been expecting. Quite an interesting start to my morning.
It begins with a bicycle ride. I’m on a low-riding, blue bike with all-terrain tires that I have just ridden a long way along a highway in order to visit my family. My mom has driven along the same route in her blue, Dodge van, and we arrive more or less in the driveway of my DIL/son at the same time. Inside the house, I am overjoyed to see my granddaughters (twins), who are a little older in the dream than their actual, adorable, 1-year-old selves right now. The g-daughter, whom I consider the cuddler of the two, hugs me, and I hold on for a long time, enjoying the closeness with her. More children are arriving at the house, and I enjoy the energy of that, then adult relatives begin to arrive as if for a holiday gathering, and the energy becomes more chaotic and less positive.
I want to get out of there, even though it means leaving family, even though it means leaving my precious granddaughters. I intend to go back on the highway alone, riding my bicycle. I anticipate the freedom of the drive, but my dad thinks it is a foolish and dangerous thing to do, riding a bicycle on the highway alone. He chides me, telling me that saving fuel is only a fad, and he tries to get me to abandon my plan. My cousin (male, adult, whom I am calling Michael for this dream) also tries to dissuade me. With him, there is history, a kind of veiled intimacy never allowed to develop. I tell Michael that, despite this intermittent understanding we have but deny, that he can’t control what I do. He can’t share a look with me once or twice a year and then pretend to have rights over me.
Outside, I continue toward my bicycle in the driveway. Another cousin of mine also confronts me. He attacks me with the burning end of what might be cigarettes. He presses them against my chest and arms, burning me. I walk away from him, too, leaving him behind. I try to gather the few things I will need for my trip. One was my phone in a backpack. All the while, family members are standing in the driveway, none of them understanding why I want to get away and all of them disapproving of my plans. This pressure only makes me want to get alone on my bike even more, although it makes it hard to choose and pack what I will need. I end up tossing random things together and rushing off down the little street, heading toward the highway with plans to stop soon at a hotel because it’s getting dark. I don’t tell anyone that because I don’t care at the moment if they think I am crazy and would actually drive a bicycle on the highway alone at night. I just want to get away from them.
I have not traveled far when a bus full of my relatives pulls up beside me, their minds still bent on stopping me. Next thing I know I’m in the back of the bus with my bicycle. Michael is driving. I desperately want out and begin to experience claustrophobia. I am trying to scream, but as often happens in dreams, no sound will come out. I am determined, however, to get out of that bus, so I make a re-doubled effort to scream, and I manage some small, croaking sounds. My relatives accuse me of faking, but my effort is rewarded with a slight opening of the windows, and any crack is enough to give me hope of escape.
I am now free of the bus and walking through a plaza or mall or um….like a university student union busy with people, but more open to a diverse public. In some instances, I am uncomfortably naked because I was so rushed to pack that I only tossed in some rags, especially some frayed towels, one of which I can vividly recall in detail. Despite this intermittent discomfort, the drama continues to unfold.
In the plaza, I meet my cousin, Michael, again. He has left the bus to try once again to persuade me to return to the family gathering. In many ways, he looks like my waking-life cousin, but I see at least once in great detail that his eyes are completely different. We embrace; we kiss; we caress; the first time we’ve had the courage to do these things, that is, to indulge what our eyes have shared across the rooms of family gatherings all those many years, one isolated day at a time, and it feels wonderful. He makes accusations about my past foibles, chiding me for the passions and fads I have adopted and abandoned over the years, especially in the realm of romance. I am duly embarrassed, but his chiding continues until I expect he is exaggerating, and I accuse him of doing so. Blithely, he admits that, perhaps, he is overstating his case. In his arms, I listen as his talk goes on, bubbling out of him. He croons at length about philosophy and poetry, and the sound is arousing and soothing at the same time. Vaguely, I remember I am married and that, as cousins, this is a mild form of incest, but those rules seem to apply to another world, not to this or to us.
We are pulled slightly apart when two university students (women) interrupt to show Michael their paintings for evaluation. They have painted them for a contest sponsored for a book publishing company, and both images are an older man with long, graying hair that the women have labeled master of plants or plant wizard in archaic lettering. My thoughts are that Michael is probably a university professor and that the images are appropriate for the publishing company named _________ because they publish books of that genre. Michael suggests they would have more success if there was a story to support their reasoning to name the man a plant wizard. I add that the appropriate plants, if the species were known, would make interesting additions to the paintings.
Michael leaves me to locate my bicycle, which has been abandoned in the plaza. In his absence a little girl comes to me, and I embrace her warmly. Together, we find the frayed towels I brought with me, and I drape them to make clothing. We walk to a room entered from the plaza. It’s like a large closet and filled with a great variety of items, desks no longer in use, for example, and, to my benefit, some discarded clothes. I find a floor-length, yellow, peasant dress and put that on. I feel pretty and adequately dressed now. I feel ready to properly meet Michael when he returns, which he does. He has brought clothing with him, a large, rotating display case hung with elaborate clothes for a woman. I remember one mini-dress with puffy layers of fabric in shades of brown. It was too many layers and textures for my taste, like all the clothes he chose for me. I notice that he is wearing a simple, but chic, caftan of brown, shimmering fabric that reaches mid-calf, and he is wearing brown suede boots. I clarify with him the purpose of our clothing. I felt my yellow dress was adequate for the occasion of returning to the family gathering, but he implies that we’re going elsewhere, out together to celebrate and enjoy the commitment we have finally acknowledged. In that case, I admit I’ll need a finer dress, something to match his caftan, and none of those he brought will do, so I begin to design it. It will be eggshell white, a shift with fringe like a flapper’s dress. [Dress Image] As I create the design in my mind, I continually examine the brown caftan to draw inspiration and to maintain coherence with what Michael is wearing.
At this point, I realize I am awake and then immediately realize the cream-colored dress belonged fully to and was an extension of the dream.