I rarely dream while sleeping. That's OK with me, because I depend on sleep as a break from my roller-coaster waking brain. Last night I had three vivid dream snippets, and I'm not sure what to make of them, if anything...
*First, I dreamed I and several other (unidentified, though in the dream I knew them) people were solving a mystery, Scooby-Doo gang-style. We ended up walking through a compound surrounded by a chain-link fence that was strewn with the bodies and body parts of dead dogs, mostly pit bulls, in various stages of decay. I turned make a remark to a companion and nearly tripped over one.
Suddenly, a young, beautiful black lab bounded from the house to greet us. A voice from inside the house called out to the dog and she froze, shivering with fear, imploring us to protect her. The man in the house (he was young, and looked strung out, and wore an angled baseball cap) was clearly the narrative's villain. But it was clear to me that my job was to return the dog to its rightful owner. It was the only option, despite ghastly evidence of her future. I walked her gently to the door and handed the collar to the monster. As she strained with all her strength to avoid entering, I fled in tears, trying to avoid dead dogs on the way.
*Next, I dreamed I was in the passenger seat of my mom's car, and we were driving through what looked like Old Avon Village. We were hungry, so we stopped at the first sign we saw for a cafe, with outdoor seating, next to a salon. She wasn't open but served us anyway. We sat outside and ordered some coffee and then looked at the menu. It charged fancy New York dinner prices for petit bakery items that looked like the mini scones sold at Starbucks. I felt betrayed by the discrepancy between the cafe's appearance and its food prices.
*Finally, I dreamed I was walking in New York City at night (in the East 30s, like I did Monday evening), not paying much attention because my feet knew the path. Gradually, a familiar route became unfamiliar, and I noticed that it was daytime, and warm, and sunny, and I was walking on a narrow dirt path lined with vegetation with farms on one side and New York gleaming, far down a hill and across a river, on the other. It seemed impossible to retrace my steps to get back there, so I kept walking forward.
I came upon a young man wearing a dull blue plaid shirt and overalls who was using a pocket knife to cut ripe tomatoes off a tomato bush (yes, it was a bush, like a blueberry bush, not a vine). He was collecting them in a wooden bucket. The path was narrow enough that he had to press against the bush for me to pass, and then I asked where I was and how to return to New York. Instead of responding, he cut another tomato off with a magician's flourish, and sliced through its top. He lifted it off and the tomato bloomed inside out into a delicate, origami-style rose, all its petals made of tomato. As I stared he did it a couple more times, with deliberate, careful motions, each time making a new fantastical shape.
He picked up the bucket and motioned me to follow, and we continued down the path to a clearing, where his large, tanned family was having a raucous, lazy picnic in a circle of lawn chairs in the middle of a pasture. Their barns and farmhouse were visible across the expanse. I sat next to a man in his late 30s, with a slight paunch, a mustache and curly hair. He said he'd take me home after I joined them for lunch. I thanked him and began enjoying the good-natured company and fresh food. Then, he began hitting on me - shamelessly, physically, rather inappropriately - in front of his family, who didn't seem to notice, or else was unconcerned. I wasn't troubled in my dream either. But the lackadaisical attitude must have concerned the real me, because I awoke.