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In my dreams
You know your life has gone south when you dream about traffic.
Not women, literary prizes, Paris, pecan pie, swimming with the dolphins or climbing Everest.
Specifically, and perhaps tellingly, I dreamt about traffic on an expressway.
Scene: A entrance ramp leading to an expressway. Anywhere, USA.
Time: The present.
Plot: Many cars are lined up trying to get onto the expressway. They can’t because there is too much traffic whizzing by. It never stops!
Plot resolution: I—yes me!—somehow procure a lot of those cone-shaped rubber pylons. I go to the edge of the expressway and—here’s the exciting part—walk on! One by one, I put the pylons on the expressway, thus stopping the traffic!
I walk back to the bottom of the entrance ramp and start directing the traffic onto the now-clear expressway!
I am a hero, a traffic hero!
Did I dream about rescuing a child from a fire? About grabbing someone’s hand before they fell into the abyss? About solving a major crime?
I dreamt about helping cars get on to an expressway.
More important, what does this dream mean?
I went and checked out a copy of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. In it, I found this,
“Dreams of traffic, and, particularly, of directing traffic, probably indicate something. But in this case, we were too bored to figure it out, feel asleep, and so never got very far. In the end, it’s anyone’s guess.”
So why did I feel so good about myself in this dream?
Because I did, in fact feel a bit like a hero. And sometimes, you have to take what you can get.