The Mattress and the Monkey
So the night after I wrote yesterday's saddo post, I had a really strange dream.
(Bear with me. I usually hate people's dreams too. But I usually don't remember mine, and hell, this one relates. I think. And it's my subconscious, which can use a bit of exploration.)
So in the dream, I'm back at my parents house on Long Island, only of course it's not how it is now, it's a blend of now and the years I grew up there, when the landscape was different -- among other things, there was a big open field behind the house, where we used to play endless softball.
And at the end of the field, if you hit it too far (which we never really did; the damn field was pretty much the perfect size for the length of our longest hits, provided that we didn't pull the ball into the houses) is a swamp. It's a small swamp, and pretty inconsequential; we used to roam around in it, the water is never deep at all, and there are no alligators. Though I did step on a wasp's nest back there when I was about 14, and was stung 18 times.
But I digress.
Anyhow, in the dream, somehow my wife and I get roped into taking part in a race, which in the dream is some big thing. It's basically around the neighborhood, which in the real world is probably 1/4 mile max, but in the dream is about 4. There's two other couples taking part in the race as well.
The catch is, as part of the race, you have to lug around a mattress. And a monkey.
I'm not sure what the mattress represents, other than the fact that they are cumbersome without ever being all that heavy. The monkey? I dunno. Kids, maybe. Except we don't have any (which makes me automatically ineligible to whine about ever being busy, I know).
So the race starts, and we're both lugging the mattress, and the monkey must be around somewhere, and we're keeping up, and then we fall behind. One of the other teams takes the path between the swamp and the houses (there was one); the other team tries to brave the middle of the swamp.
Not wanting to get stuck in the swamp behind them, we take the road around the swamp.
Only it quickly becomes clear that as a short cut it sucks. My wife is getting tired, the monkey doesn't want to be held, we're not making much progress, and again in this dream world it's a long, long road. Clearly we've lost the race. So we stop for lunch, we chat with a friend, we relax, and then we head on.
I'm carrying the mattress by myself. My hand is covered in blood, but the mattress feels lighter now. My wife has the monkey.
We get to the finish line, and learn we won the race. $200 prize (it's a random detail; I don't know what it means). I have no idea what happened to the other teams, though they are looking sad; maybe the swamp got them.
And then I wake up.
This might be the most important detail of all. I'm a night person; after my wife goes to bed at 10 (she gets up at 5:30, and has a 7-4 job she just started a few months ago) I usually work (reading/writing coverage) until 12:30-1:00, then crash in front of the TV for about half hour before going to bed and waking up at 9:00 and starting all over again.
Only this morning, it's 7:30. After typing this post, it's 7:50.
So now I'm going to go boot up that laptop, and wrassle with my script for an hour or so. Pick your metaphor. Maybe I've escaped the mattress early this morning, or maybe the point is that as obstacles go, carrying a mattress is really not the most daunting one.
Or maybe the point is not trying to fight your way through the swamp, but to take the more enjoyable route, but make sure you always keep moving for the finish line anyway (I'd say there was a tortoise and the hare element to the whole dream, though then again we did stop for lunch, which seems like a hare thing).
Maybe it's just my subconscious pissed off that I'm not writing, and it's throwing its shit at me. Like a monkey.
Though I think the monkey in the dream had a leash and a diaper.
I'm going off to write now.