THE DREAM by Erin Franzman

It's a really slow news week in the music department: not a lot of shows, no new albums coming out. Most folks are heading out of town for the holidays, and I can't fall asleep at night, wondering how we're going to fill the pages of the music section when there's so little going on that's newsworthy.

My bedtime anxiety clearly overflowed my subconscious, because the other night I dreamt that Harvey Danger singer Sean Nelson was chasing me through the halls of a high school (not my own). I don't really know why he was chasing me, except that he wanted to kill me (sometimes it wasn't him; sometimes it was Tom Hanks). In my dream, I kept trying to open different doors in the school, and once we got into the stairwell I started to get nervous, because I knew there were only three floors. Finally, a door at one of the landings was open, and I ran through it....

...Into a long, skinny, industrial-style kitchen. Everything was made of polished chrome: highly reflective and futuristic. This is the Hype Williams video portion of my dream, minus hot dancing chicks in bikinis. The kitchen is bustling with chefs in white uniforms and tall, cylindrical, pleated paper hats. They're cooking in giant chrome stockpots and shiny silver frying pans, while white-jacket tuxedoed waiters move through the wafting aromatic steam noiselessly with silver platters. One of them is Matt from Carissa's Weird. He sees me and pushes me into a dumbwaiter! Somehow, he knows I'm running from Sean Nelson. He keeps telling me, "Pretend you're looking for a meat thermometer."

Matt tells me to wait in the dumbwaiter while he finds me a costume. In the dream, I'm not surprised that I need one. Matt returns with an elaborate pre-Revolutionary French dress, which I don, and we venture from the kitchen into a large ballroom.

The ballroom, which may or may not be modeled after the Hall of Mirrors in the castle at Versailles, is glittering with gilt mirrors and crystal chandeliers. It's lit entirely with candles (I dream in historical verisimilitude!), and everyone is dressed in ornate French lace, satin, and brocade. There's Lars from the Catheters in a baby blue waistcoat and floral breeches. Kim from the Fastbacks swishes past me in a giant hoop skirt festooned with fruit, flowers, birds, and water. (What? It's a dream.) Heather Duby is dressed like a peasant, in a rough brown fabric -- the only thing in the room that's not shimmering white, silver, or blue. She's asking for "alms" (an English word?! Historical accuracy has left my subconscious) from Sean Nelson, who's looking around to kill me, scanning the powdered faces and tall fluffy wigs of the Murder City Devils, the frilly lace neckties and elaborate waistcoats of the folks from Peter Parker.

I try to make my way to a door at the other end of the hall. As I go through it, I find myself in the servant's quarters. I don't recognize anyone from the Breakroom, the Showbox, the Croc, or even the Tractor, and a kindly, maternal old woman offers me a nightshirt and a featherbed (Wait! I'm allergic!) and assures me that no one will suspect that I'm here.


Well, aren't you the secure and well-adjusted one! You're merrily skipping through life, enjoying great fortune and a clear conscience. Bitch.

So here's the deal: Sean Nelson, a documented music smarty-pants, represents the fear that you don't know enough on the subject to do your job well. Tom Hanks is a symbol of role-playing. The school represents your wondering if you need more education. The doors represent your current choices, and that you went up the stairs and through an open door symbolizes achievement of your ambitions and movement in a positive direction. You know plenty.

Now, that kitchen is you, and the feeling you have toward yourself. You see yourself as an orderly, efficient, responsive, and forward-thinking human being. How lovely that must be. Matt, a member of a band you've written about, helps you get away from Sean. Matt represents your confidence in your ability to do your job just fine.

The costume symbolizes how you think you appear to the world, and you're dressed to fit in. The room lit with candles suggests you are unconsciously seeking comfort, then bam! Here comes Kim with her birds, flowers, and water representing spiritual freedom, contentment, good luck and prosperity. You get everything! Heather Duby in a brown dress represents physical reality and earthiness, and is there to encourage you to add some light and depth into your daily life. So don't go getting all high and mighty just because you get everything you desire.

You leave Sean Nelson behind, and your eluding him represents that you will be able to change those things in your life that have you on the run. Old people appear in dreams at times of confusion and lack of direction, so the kindly woman alleviates any residual fears and leads you to a bed that isn't your own, which is a symbol of a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious. Go forth and fucking prosper.

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