I’ll Have the Combo Deal

Whether we like it or not, the morning is the time to ponder dreams of the night past. It may also be, for us non-morning types, the part of the day in which we are least capable of dealing with them.

Last night’s dream found me at the Marlboro Music Festival (really School?) preparing some transcribed piece for a performance the next day; from this work whole pages, sections, appeared to be randomly missing; problems were cropping up all over the score in that crazy, dreamy, infinitely regressive fashion. In the midst of this chaos–of course–appears former significant other X, with whom things are “as they were”: communal happiness, embracing, holding hands, and other activities over which one may pseudo-modestly draw a veil. Heedless of the need for rehearsal, we drive together, crazily, down a dangerous road to a surreal beachfront, more like a pool, where people are wading in cold clear water; a path leads out through a crowded comedy club to a hotel where X and I settle down for the night. In the middle of the night, but only moments later in the dream, I wake up in the hotel, alone. I search the beach (eerily lit, even at 3 AM) both for X and for the keys to the rental car which we used; I am distraught and stranded; but somehow I am magically transported to Marlboro in time for the doomed, unrehearsed performance. The dream (by some tradition of such dreams) ends with applause and my exhausted entrance on stage with music I do not recognize at all.

A musical anxiety dream would not bear mentioning. I have long learned to laugh at the whole genre (the contract for which one signs, invisibly, in blood, from the moment one begins to take music lessons “seriously.”) It is, however, the first time I think I have had a COMBO performance-anxiety/lost-love dream (with some travel anxiety thrown in for good measure!); I have to respect the dastardly ingenuity of my subconscious. Anyone else out there in blogland had such a combo? And when a friend calls that morning and says “how are you?”, how do you reply?

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  1. DO
    Posted December 16, 2005 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    No, I don’t have any dreams in this category, but I do have a question I hope you can help me with. A tune has earwormed its way into my brain–I think it’s a second theme from the last movement of one of Beethoven’s symphonies–and it goes like this: da DUM. Da da da da da DUM. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted December 16, 2005 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I have this recurring nightmare about subbing for Horowitz. I get to the hall which is packed and buzzing with excitement and I realize I’ve never tried the piano before in my life. Then to my shock I find out the piano is incredibly stiff and heavy and even Horowitz with that massive pinky muscle couldn’t play it (maybe that’s why he cancelled?). On top of that it’s freezing outside and my hands are frozen solid, but courageously I plunge in and fight for my life with the piano….

    Maybe it’s related to my dream of playing with this singer who is constantly skipping beats and measures so that I’m having to flip pages to find her and improvise new measures in various styles (atonal, 19th century, classical tonal, etc.)…..wait, that’s not a dream…that’s reality!
    (I do also have dreams about reconciling with people I’ve had conflicts with.)

  3. Davei
    Posted December 16, 2005 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I have never been to Marlboro, but my teacher was a regular there. I had a dream about being there once. I was in the foyer of a colonial house with a beautiful stairway. The place was filling up with alligators!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted December 17, 2005 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    I think you’re just feeling guilty about other things…that’s the significance of the dream: reality.

  5. Erin
    Posted December 17, 2005 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Wow! That’s a humdinger of a dream, and not in the good way.

    I have “omg-unprepared-what’ll-I-do?” dreams, but my two worst recurring ones are the one where I am asked to return to my old job and I agree — on the condition that I can keep my new one, and then try to juggle them both, and the one where I am watching loved ones fall from a great height, unable to do anything about it.

    And then occasionally I dream about finding a Dior in the Salvation Army. That one is pure wish fulfillment!

  6. Matt Heller
    Posted December 18, 2005 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    In my dream last night I wandered into a small grocery store somewhere in uptown Manhattan. I had picked out my groceries, and was preparing to check out, when I overheard the check-out clerk talking with another customer. I realized that this was not just a grocery store, but also a research library, and I had not properly documented my sources. Also, I had forgotten my wallet at home. I abandoned my basket and snuck guiltily away.

  7. Librarian
    Posted December 19, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This is what I thought was strictly the Actor’s nightmare, one I have suffered many, many times. A big part in a huge play, a filled hourse and you in the wings having never seen the scrip. And almost always, a significant or potentially significant other on stage waiting for your entrance! More than guilt – a sign of over-extension and Germanic parents.

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