Hand Me A Robe Or Something, Would You?

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

I am naked in all of my dreams. It’s not a “Hey, everyone, check out my smokin’ hot bod” kind of thing; in my dreams I am not happy about being naked, not one bit happy, but I ultimately accept it as part of the plot and I go about my business, topless, bottomless or all of the above (and below).

I may choose to be clueless about many things in my life but I am pretty realistic about what I look like naked. Even without my glasses, and only looking at myself through one squinty eye, I can still see that my body takes up more horizontal space in the mirror than, for instance, my twelve-drawer dresser. It’s hard to argue with that kind of evidence. So if I had my druthers, I’d be fully clothed in my dreams. With tip-to-toe Spanx.

Someone back there in my subconscious, however, wants to see me naked every night.
So, in last night’s dream, I was naked while hiking out of the forest (and passing by many of the parents I see in my parenting classes) to hurry to town because my passport had expired. This morning, I consulted Google:

Being naked in a dream is a very good symbol and shows that you are being asked to be yourself when it comes to the subject matter of the dream – literally show your true self rather than to dress things up. The disturbing feeling usually associated with this type of dream, indicates the level of discomfort you would have in being yourself in the given situation.

Hunh. So, let me get this right: my dream reveals that I am comfortable with the fact that the people I teach know that my passport has expired? Is that really all my subconscious is capable of coming up with? That’s the best I can do? Fuuuuck. No wonder it takes me more than a week to come up with a blog post.

Here I was, thinking that my subconscious was a crazy, brilliant, wondrous, creative place, a sort of last-hours-at-Woodstock with tie-dye bandannas and communal mud baths and free medical care to people who dropped one tab too many of windowpane. I’ve always imagined the inner recesses of my mind to be the kind of place others would envy and long to visit, where counterculture deep thinkers and musicians and artisan bakers sang “Kumbaya” and pooled their money to buy a goat. But had enough money to wear JJill linen separates and Mephisto sandals while working the land. And by “working the land” I mean, lolling about in the sun on chaise lounges.

Turns out, my subconscious is a prefab track split level; an Arbor Home on one of those bullshit, ersatz-evocative named streets, like Oceanbreeze or Blissmeadows, names that are better suited for feminine hygiene products than residential communities.

What the fuck is up with this? Is my inner freak flag actually one of those nauseating holiday flags that punctuate the front entries of suburbia, you know, pastel with bunnies for Easter, jolly Santa for Christmas, Jack O’ Lantern illuminating a black cat in October? Those flags aggravate me. Like we don’t already know it’s spring, or Halloween or that we are welcome.

Although, come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind having a flag at my front door with a painting of a gas pump, just to remind me that I am on “empty” and need to stop at the gas station on my way out of town. Or an Always Panty Liner flag, because I laugh a lot at work.
Hey, how about flying a Mammogram flag on your front porch? So your neighbors will know where you are and what you are doing that afternoon? Wouldn’t that be fucking fabulous, to walk down your street and just by looking at the little flags, you could know who was constipated (that flag would be a painting of a toilet with a sad face in the bowl) or who was sitting in front of the TV eating Chunky Monkey?

Now, that would be a respectable dream. Even though I’d probably be naked in it.

Ann Brown is a writer from Portland, OR

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