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I had a dream last night

I had this dream last night, in which I was busy trying to salvage a couple of old cars that belonged to me from some kind of massive warehouse. It was quite a cool place, with lots of different, large sheds; many people worked there, and some of them listened to quite trendy music.

The cars were in pretty bad shape, and one of the mechanics there admonished me for allowing one of them to get into this state (I told him it may look crap, but the motor still works fine). For some dream reason, I wished to retrieve them. This was a lengthy process, however, as to get them outside involved moving loads of scrap metal to clear a path to the warehouse doors.

By the time I had got one car outside and gone back to get  the other, I was already exhausted, and when I finally managed to push the second vehicle outside, after clearing yet more scrap from its path to the outside world, I was so tired I could barely walk. Every step was leaden; I think I even crawled at some point. But, by the time I had car number two on the street, and went to find car one, it had gone.

Dreams usually tell a story, via symbols, behind the obvious one that you remember, if you are lucky enough to recall what transpired when you awake. Cars represent mobility: I’ve been feeling a bit flu-ish lately, so the crappy condition of the cars may well be how I feel about my body, and its present limited ability to do what I want it to do.

But … I’ve also been feeling pretty stuck lately, like my job and my life are not moving forward, not going anywhere. I got so used to being in survival mode during lockdown that I think I’ve forgotten how to party, how to relax. When I was younger I used to really look down my nose at folk who had lost the knack of being happy, who seemed intent on dragging others down because their own lives were so fucking miserable. Why didn’t they just off themselves, ffs? Maybe I’ve become one myself.

I used certain rituals and habits to keep my sanity intact during those dark Covid years, but now, they have become routines, threatening to turn me into a machine — a machine that repeats the same actions, day in, day out. Get up, drink water, walk the dogs, drink coffee, do yoga, eat breakfast, work, eat, work, walk the dogs again, play my drums, eat, watch a movie or series, take a bath, read, go to sleep. Just about the same thing each day, each and every fucking day. I love not going to the office, but I’ve become quite a hermit working from home. A routinised, motorised hermit.

The dream could be exploring other meanings. I have this collection of antiquated things that I rely on for my income, getting around, keeping my food cold, my clothes clean, for getting my music heard. All of them are, without exception, old. Some of them are pretty good quality, and I try to keep them in working order as much as possible. But I am almost never able to buy anything new, and this means, for instance, that my old Mac will soon be unable to converse with the outside world, because Apple demands that you upgrade, and fairly regularly.

Hell, I’m not complaining. I’m a spoilt brat. I eat well and I have a roof over my head. It would be lekker now and then to go into a shop and buy something new, though. Part of the reason I’m unable to is because it’s not only me that keeps going round in the same circles. Humanity as a species seems incapable of evolving past conflict: tanks are traversing the same Ukrainian fields that they did 75 years ago. That war is decimating not just my pocket, but economies the world over. But I doubt if my dream was about that.

Maybe my unconscious mind is telling me that I lack vision. If I had got the second car out and found the first, what then? How would I have got two old cars home, anyway? I’ve never really known what I want, or how to go about getting it. Check out those two photos at the top. There’s 35 years between when those images were made. I think both of them were band shots, or taken in band contexts. All I’ve ever really known, since age 18, is that I want to make music. I still do. I still am.