December 5th, 1981
Dream: It is late in the afternoon and I am about to leave work. it is a department store but it looks like a hospital. I think Mrs. Cowan is my boss. I leave to meet my parents in the car briefly— I seem to be on a coffee break— in the car with my mother and father we are all civil and happy. Them, very gently— obviously he wishes he didn’t have to do this— my father reminds me that I had eaten two portions of roast beef— far too much— and for my gluttony— insensitivity at eating all the meat— I would not be allowed meat for two weeks. My mother is quietly supportive. They both hate to do this. It is a mild rebuke— but, in their opinion, deserved. I am outraged. Indignant. I cannot believe they have the audacity or bad taste to reprimand a 30 year old man for having eaten leftover roast beef from the refrigerator. I am incredulous. They can’t mean this. They are quiet and serious— yet kind. At home (the house resembled the one we lived in on Marion Street) I am fuming with indignation. “Well—” I think to myself— “you set yourself up for this.” “You should never be living at home at the age of 30 anyway— putting yourself in the absurd position of being subjected to the discipline of your parents.” I stop and have to wonder why I am living here. It doesn’t seem clear to me— but then I realize that I have lived away from home much of my life. I have supported myself. I remember living with Richard. Suddenly I feel better— less shamed at the notion of being dependent on my parents. It is twilight and I feel an urgency to start packing. “I will move”— I want to get out of the house before they return. “I’ll show them” I think. I suddenly realize that I am supposed to return to the office. I realize it’s not necessary if I can contact someone at work to turn off the typesetting equipment. I cannot reach Mrs. Cowan by phone. I think about asking the switchboard operator to turn off the equipment this feels like a shrinking of responsibility. This feels like such a quandary. Suddenly I am relieved to realize that this isn’t necessary, because the equipment had never been turned on.
The significance of the dream is that— for the first time in any dream in my entire life— my parents were non-threatening. And the major point of the dream is that (however haughtily) realized that I did not need them— that I’m perfectly capable of, and have taken care of, myself. The symbolism of the dream is obvious— my parents denying me food: support, nutrition, care.
And in the dream, I did not hate them for not providing for me. I realized they were simply unable. And it’s unnecessary anyway. I can take care of myself.
A marvelous dream.
I am home. I was dismissed from the hospital this morning. I am weak as a cat and thoroughly disoriented. Twelve days in bed in a quiet room— suddenly the real world is confusing and disorienting and I feel like crying. So, I’m piled on the sofa— waiting for the energy to flow back to me.
A letter from Marie today— she’s expecting a baby in January! She sounds thoroughly married and settled and content. I’m so happy for her.