Sunday, January 1, 2012

three aspects of identity

Three dreams (from two nights) in the genre of subverting the self as a fixed reference point for orientation in dreams:

memory continuity identity

A noisy mediterranean canteen/bar, which I claim is one of my favourite places, because they have a big photographic print on the wall of the memorable evening when I was the bass player at a reunion show of the 90s punk-ska band "Monster" (I was fat and barebreasted and happy). But at the bus stop outside, where I'm seeing my friend off, some evil truthsayers calmly inform me: that Monster show has never occurred, it was just a dream. First I completely deny it, it just has to be true, it is one of the few really bright moments in my life the past few years. Then I slowly start accepting the possibility, which is even worse. Since I remember it so vividly, and have been so sure it has happened, well if it is a dream, how can I be certain about any part of the entirety of my life experience? I wake up in panic. Even awake, for five minutes I don't know if I've played a gig with Monster or not. I fall asleep again and only after next awakening I have no problems accepting it's been a dream and I've had no close connection with this band.

gender identity

A boring suburban square north of Stockholm, probably Täby, all my friends or fellow students are pushing themselves into a premise looking like an old tobacconist's, but is a very small education facility, it's going to be cramped, we're going to have to listen to a talk about incomprehensible computer/statistics stuff, there is going to be obligatory physical exercise, and I'm panicking about it. I just can't endure it, I have to leave that godawful place, I can't wait until my classmates are ready, because then it will be late afternoon and dark, and people will ask me why I've skipping school, and we will have to wait for so long in the dark for the crowded bus and not know which is the right one and it will probably take us not into the city but to some other far-off bus terminal where we must change again, etc etc, it is unbearable and I have to get away immediately. My best friend (female, though I don't remember whom) comes along with me, and we catch a bus which is probably the right one. But we don't get the seats next to each other; in front of me there is a teenager in heavy make-up and next to her my friend. My friend starts slowly singing "I'll be your mirror", to soothe me and cure the neurotic teenager at the same time, she sings with a clear and steady soprano; I join in with a deeply resounding humming bass, and the fact that I have a male voice is such a surprise, it seems my womanhood has been magically removed as a punishment for ditching school.

life identity

I am struggling to somehow reserve a place for myself in a summerhouse where several people live but all equally vaguely as me, under all kinds of conflicts. One old wino is coming in regularly, whom it seems I was the one to first invite and voucher for him, one of those guys who walks around swearing and ranting but is basically harmless. But this time he has a big black blotch over half his face, and it seems to be an indication that he is going to die very soon.

The rest of us go bathing. With a couple that is just almost part of our company; someone's careerist brother who spends most time abroad and his american girlfriend. And the killer whale (big, beautiful and rather scary) that turns up is most eager to play with them. It swims around them, barely touching them with its back and its fluke. I am sitting on a small raft with some girl, and I am saying "just wait till it gets the idea of playing around with this raft", and of course soon it does. Mostly it just places its chin on one end of the raft, making it stand up vertically out of the water, my companion and I are struggling to remain at the top end. The killer whale likes this trick and repeats it several times. It also realises it can swim around with us in that position, and eventually it swims forth to present us to a giant emperor penguin, who embraces the raft with us in its small flippers. "Ok, I think now is the time to take a very deep breath" I say.

Next thing were all sitting in our collective house again, my companion from the raft is sitting next to me, she is one of these thin intellectual redheads, she is saying she likes a cartoon of mine (supposedly a political cartoon, an allegory about the nobility), I get horribly flattered and almost embarassingly so and I realise I am probably in love with her. But then I also start mixing things up and just because she mentions a cartoon about the nobility I suspect she is of a noble family. Yet I am primarily worried about the gap in continuity, and I ask "but what happened after we dived down with the penguin? Do you have a memory of ever resurfacing? Or are we perhaps dead?"


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