Right On Time

Last night I had a chain of scenes but all one dream, in which I knew I had to GET SOMEPLACE. I think it had to do either with accompanying someone on the piano (or, dread of dreads – the organ). Or I may have been running the sound mixing board. Or maybe it was just an event we had to get to that we just COULD NOT MISS. THE “thing” was vague – I think that matters. I can tell you, however, that the dread of “missing something” and “disappointing someone” was ever-present and intense.

But I continually encountered people who needed help, things that needed fixing, people who needed to talk. And in each case, I stopped and met with whatever the “interruption”, decelerator, obstruction, “lesser” thing required of me.

In one, a woman needed to be vaccinated. She’d gotten a 2:00 time but didn’t want to go. She was afraid. She was on the phone with someone I presumed was her son. He was pleading for her to go, and she just kept saying through tears, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”. I took the phone from her, told her I would make sure his mother was cared for, and hung up. I knelt down so my face was level with her face, and I said, “You can do this. I will be with you.”

Then there was a ridiculous flurry of events that sought to thwart my kind act. Those are blurrier (bizarre airports, flights on empty planes, incorrect maps…) Ultimately, though, I got her there, got her vaccinated, and I left her in tears of gratitude.

While it felt good to know I had helped, I was mortified at the idea that I had “missed” THE “thing” which had been my day’s initial goal.

I proceeded to the venue (church, theater, school auditorium). Meekly, I entered the room. The only spot where I could sit and then get to the stage (to do whatever it was I was supposed to have already done) was all the way to the front and over to the far right side. I had to walk down the center aisle, each footstep echoing as the packed house whispered and grumbled at my noisy tardiness. “Try showing up on time for a change,” someone even shouted.

Horrified to have such attention drawn to me, I shrank into my seat, accepting failure and derision. I opened my programme (bulletin, playbill…) to see at what point in the event we were.

As it turned out –

I was right on time.

This cycle played itself out 3-4 more times in a loop last night, with me playing Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit, anxiously fretting (vaguely) about his required presence elsewhere, being continually interrupted/thwarted/slowed down by IMPORTANT things that really needed to be done. And it was clear, in the dreams, that I was the one to do them.

And I did.

And was always glad I did.

And always managed to get to “the other thing” on time, enduring scorn and ridicule all the way.


I once had a therapist who said dreams mean nothing – just nocturnal synaptic activity as our brain filters and sorts our waking activity.

I think he’s full of shit.

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