Last night I dreamt a friend and his wife dropped by for a visit. I was living in a huge semi-converted warehouse studio, the sort of half-baked industrial conversion I associate with twenty-year-old artists. My friend was wearing a hoodie and pants that he had, improbably, decorated with fifty or so of the labor union local emblems I once designed for a living, about fifteen years ago. The logos were the clue to me, in the dream, that I was dreaming, as many of the designs he wore were never produced and I lack a record of them. Foolishly, instead of carefully examining these missing pieces, I carried on with the dream as though it were a normal social experience.
The dream turned somewhat sour when I picked up my guitar, only to realize that somehow my treasured Martin had been replaced by a peculiar hybrid, an altered guitar that had been re-engineered the way that electrics can be, by unbolting the stock neck and replacing it with another. In this instance, the neck had been manufactured fro use with a twelve-string acoustic, half the holes inexpertly puttied and the machines poorly set, some gears stripped, rendering the instrument un-tunable. I felt real panic at this, the sort of thing I feel once a year or so when I relive the last math final I took at Indiana University, aware that failing that final would guarantee no degree that year and that I was leaving town forever the next week.
Why this dream causes me anxiety is unknowable, for in the end my degree was deferred due to changes in rules regarding foreign language requirements between the time I enrolled and the time I moved away. After a quarter or two of easy evening French here at UW, I was awarded my degree in 1992.
Still, this dream is clearly an anxiety dream. It seems to suggest that I should return to my listless and undisciplined pursuit of art, design, or music once more in order to sleep well again.