I had a dream last night. It took me to a place where I go every so often to get away from it all. From all the anxiety and stress, from the torment and the hate, from everything. It always looks the same:
A beautiful river about 250 meters across, with a wide concrete beam bridge spanning it. On either side of the river, wooden docks float with the tide along thick concrete abutments. On the far side of the river, I see a town. Trees look like paint brushes painting the blue into the sky, houses look like models nestled into the green luxurious landscape.
Jutting into the sky on my side of the river is a carnival. A ferris wheels, a roller coaster and various other rides shoot up like towers. Lights flash and buzzers ding and whirl, the sounds of people winning (and losing) at the various prize booths. Screams echo as the cars on the roller coaster drop down another hill, inside a tent a circus master stands on an elephant trumpets triumphantly. Everything is painted in bright hues of greens and reds and yellows, even the entertainers are colourful some in baggy clown suits with huge red shoes and big floppy bows and flowers, and some of the workers in the booths wearing colourful striped top hats. In the river beside the carnival there are lots of river boats. They too, are bustling with activity, colours and lights; probably part of the carnival I figure.
I sit looking up the river. On my left is the river and across it the beautiful, tranquil landscape and to my right sits the flashing lights and bright colors of the carnival. Behind me sits the beam bridge bustling with people and cars crossing to and from the carnival. Yet here I sit. I always just sit. I’m happy there, at peace; I can stare at the beautiful sights around me, and feel at rest with the world; nothing can phase me.
That’s the place I usually go. I usually just walk around, play a few carnival games, talk to some of the workers, then wake up. But this time…this time was different:
This time I stood inside one of the carnival buildings. Abandoned shop walls lined the sides of each of the three floors. Stuffed animals falling apart hanging from prize racks. Bright colors all faded and tinted with grays from old age.
On the opposite side of the building I could hear music; classical music. I approached it only to see a crowd of people dressed in ragged and torn up clothing. Some of them sitting on the ground smiling and laughing and some of them dancing. Not dancing to the rhythm of the music, just dancing. Like they were listening to their own music in their head, or that they were hearing different music than what I was hearing. It was apparent to me that they were homeless, all ages, but mostly teenagers and young adults.
I moved up to the second floor where I saw more people. Not happy people, but sad people. There weren’t very many of them, and they were all walking around. Just pacing around the floor, stepping over or around obstacles, some of them wringing their hands together and others biting their lips and staring at the floor. I started walking with them too. I was wringing my hands in front of me and biting my lower lip as I looked around at all the lost people here.
That was it; this must be where the lost people go.
One of them approached me and without stopping he asked me why I was here. I nodded a hello at him and said “I don’t know” to which he responded with “me either” then just appeared to fade from my sight. I stopped and watched as he just faded into nothing while he was walking. It didn’t even appear to phase him. He was just gone.
I decided to leave the building. I walked down the stairs and the music had stopped and the people were gone. I walked past one person on my way out of the building and we nodded hello to one another, but never exchanged words. Outside, it looked a lot like it had inside.
Mini-game booths stood (for the most part) ragged torn and falling apart, the ground was littered with napkins and faded tickets. Trash cans had been tipped over, their contents spread on the ground around them. A couple boats still stood in the river, but most of them were on their sides resting against the chipped and worn concrete abutments. The river looked dark, almost black and a heavy fog sat around the carnival. I could make out the shape of the bridge in the distance, what was left of it anyway. A section appeared to have collapsed in the center leaving two concrete ends and the corner of a large chunk sticking out of the darkened water. I couldn’t see the other side of the river.
Then I saw it. The bench where I usually sat was in pieces. Splinters of wood and chunks of concrete scattered on the ground.
I turned around to see a man in an orange vest walking off of a pier where there was some rusty scaffolding. I called out to him with a “hey! do you work here?” he walked over to me and leaned on a short wall beside him. “Yeah” he said, his voice was heavy with a Boston accent.
“How long has it been like this?” I asked him looking at the worn and decrepit carnival around me. “I remember it being so beautiful here.”
“Beautiful?” He replied raising an eyebrow “Naw, it’s always been like this.”
It’s always been like this…
That’s when my alarm woke me up.
I believe that dreams have deeper psychological meaning than we usually give them, and I get the feeling that this one relates to recent events in my life. When I woke up, I was initially sad about it, but then I was angry. Angry that the happy, upbeat place that I loved so much had turned into such a depressing, morose dark place.
I think I realized why it appeared the way it did. Your mind creates your dreams from things you see and hear in your life; even if you don’t think you remember it. My mind created the life-filled colorful carnival by mashing together things I’ve seen in my life.
My mind created my happy place, and my mind could tear it down; and it did.
But what emotion could cause my subconscious mind to destroy something that had been so beautiful? Anger and anxiety. But anger? I haven’t been angry in a long time…ah…that’s the problem.
I realize now, that over the past 3 years there has been plenty that should have made me angry. What I thought was me not getting angry, was actually me not letting myself feel angry and internalizing everything. This dream made me realize that by internalizing my anger, I am slowly destroying myself. I’m letting my subconscious mind tear down the things that I’ve tried to hard for so long to build.
It’s time to let the anger go. I’m going to write down everything I can think of that should have made me angry in the past year. Then I’m going to bury it as deep as I can.
It’s time I let the anger go…
It’s time I move on.