Dreams About Airplanes and Elevators

Originally published in my secret, anonymous blog on August 21, 2014.

I dream vividly almost every night. Sometimes I’m the main character in the dream, watching the events unfold around me, but sometimes it’s as if I’m watching a movie with a twisted plot. I try to write my dreams down when I can remember them. Often, I have dreams about airplanes, and every now and then, about out of control elevators.

I was on a plane that was getting ready to take off. Except I was the only one on the plane, aside from the captain, who was about my age and handsome. I had never seen him before, but he seemed familiar at the same time. The inside of the plane was in disarray. Some of the seats appeared to be missing, and there was litter strewn all over the floor.

Within a short time, it occurred to me that I needed to help him pick up the trash and put things in order, and that I knew he would appreciate that. Meanwhile, he was getting all the gadgets ready. He didn’t have the right caliber brake. There was another thing – some kind of electronic box – that wasn’t correct either. He was calling in to tower control about getting it swapped out with a new one.

The plane was moving, it was sort of taking off and landing at the same time. But something wasn’t right, so I worried, and I asked the captain what was wrong. He assured it me would be fine, and he said it was just another plane in the way. I looked out the window, and I saw another plane going in the opposite direction, swerving like a snake.

The whole time I was helping the captain pick up the trash from the plane, I felt very drawn to him, but I could not figure out why. There was a feeling of anticipation about something, but I wasn’t sure about what.

Toward the end of the dream, there were other people on the plane – part of the crew. We were all clearing out what looked like a buffet table. Someone was complaining that the previous flight had been wealthy people, and they’d gotten all the organic food. I started to say, “It’s okay, we don’t need organic food for the next flight” – after all, I was thinking, we weren’t traveling first class on the next flight. But someone interjected saying we should have access to the good food as well.

The dream switched. I was with some of my female friends from my days at the theater, and we were watching a television. It was a recording of my younger life. This particular episode was playing back a scene from my “bachelorette” party in 2001, which in reality, was just my friends C and E spending the night at my old apartment – a sleepover – and we watched movies, drank wine, and acted silly. In the dream, however, it was different theater friends, A and S, and they were wearing bizarre costumes.

Also, instead of the apartment down by the hike and bike trail, we were actually downtown, and I could see high-rise buildings from the window. In the dream, I was marveling at the fact that I had lived downtown because I didn’t remember having live there. But there was proof on the screen! The camera panned out to an exterior shot of the building. There was a large, retro vertical neon sign – I think it had neon pink letters – and they read “PUPUSAS.” (It must have been a lingering memory from recently driving around my brother’s neighborhood in MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles…there is big El Salvadoran community there.)

But back to the dream, I was looking at the image of the building with the neon sign, I knew it was historic, and I had a sort of nostalgia for a building I had never lived in. The image transformed from one captured on film into to a full-color sketch. I wanted to rewind the video to capture the image, but no matter how much I rewound the video, I could not get back to image, as if it had never existed in the first place.

As I hit the rewind and forward button, trying to find it, I somehow could not get back to that scene, and I was trapped in the next scene that had nothing to do with me. It was a group of people in an elevator type contraption, and they seemed strapped to the ceiling, lying horizontally face down. It was sort of like a roller coaster ride, except they were contained in a box.

When I’d press the rewind button, they would go up, and as they went up, their smiles would get bigger and they’d get happier. When I’d press the forward button, down they’d go, and their smiles would disappear. No matter how much I hit the rewind, I just could not get back to the historic building. I knew then, in the dream, that I had imagined that building, within the dream. That was probably the closest I’ve come to lucid dreaming in recent years.

Then I woke up.

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