Thursday, September 2, 2010

121. Dream About A Camera

So I’m in the middle of this dream. Somehow, I am in possession of someone else’s camera (“thief” is an ugly word, and truly, that part of the dream is blurry anyway so let’s move forward). I need to give the camera back to the Rightful Owner, I feel compelled to give it back—I know it’s not mine. Dream Me has some moral guidelines, returning stolen goods apparently among them. And yet…….. I am suddenly taking pictures with this camera that is not mine.

Now, in real life, I do not have particularly good luck with setting the self-timer on my camera nor do I own a tripod. However, in Dreamland this is a non-issue. I am taking many many photos—all of myself. (Apparently, Dream Me is a bit vain.)

Silly photos of me. Serious photos of me. Photos shot from the ground, looking up at me. Photos from the roof looking down at me. The backdrop for all these photos is my grandmother’s house in California, which is the default setting for all my dreams involving houses/ or home. I am on her pool patio in the sun, click! I am in the backyard next to the Bougainvillea plants, click! Crouching down near the Koi pond, click-click!
The details are vague as to how exactly I am reunited with the camera’s Rightful Owner, but it seems like we are in a restaurant waiting in line by the hostess stand. He knows I have his camera and I know I have his camera. We are all thankful and very relieved that I have it and I finally give it back to him. Rightful Owner seems happy.

Then a Bad Thing happens: it dawns on me that there are, what, maybe 20? photos (all of me) that I have taken on that camera. Dream Me is painfully aware that Rightful Owner is going to think it’s bizarre that I’ve used his camera to take all these shots, especially if I always had every intention of giving the camera back (like Dream Me keeps insisting a-little-too-forcefully).

Of course I panic. What should I do? My first instinct is to grab the camera out of his hand and delete the offending photos one-by-one (delete! confirm: are you sure you want to delete? yes—garbage can icon, BEEP! delete! confirm: are you sure you want to delete? yes—garbage can icon, BEEP! …. and so on for another 18 more times).

However, I am staring at Rightful Owner with what can only be described as a kooky grin plastered on my face, and Dream Me knows that the boundaries of social etiquette prohibit wrestling the camera out of his grasp. Never mind that I “somehow” got the camera before and used it to take plenty of photos (of myself, ad nauseam). Obviously, in Dreamland that is perceived as "socially acceptable". The real issue of utmost magnitude is that Rightful Owner would be upset if I grab his camera away to delete the shots. Now that would be downright strange.

Sigh. Even my dreams are restricting me with limitations and consequences in some complicated matrix that I cannot fully grasp. As if I am not confused enough about social mores while I am awake, now I can simply relax and revel in the knowledge that the exact same insecurities will surface while I try to get five hours of rest in the land of flying dogs and skies made of ocean: Dreamland.

Oh, are you still reading?

You maybe want to know the end of the dream? So do I. Like some warped David Lynch film, there was no end. The dream morphed into me impersonating a flight attendant with a fake uniform and my old badge (remember, in real life I truly was a flight attendant for 10 years) to take a trip to South America.

I wonder if I packed a camera?

(“Map Of Vividness”)

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