This past week I’ve had several particularly vivid dreams. I shall not go into the ones about my flying grandma and the black weasel. Suffice it to say, they were weird. I had one this morning that I could easily interpret based on my waking life, so that’s the one I’ll describe.
In the dream, I had been called to the police station for a test. A skin test. A sample of the skin from one of my feet was taken. While waiting for the results of the test, I was required to wait in a prison cell. It was a messy prison cell, with dirty carpeting on the floor, plus a mashed pillow, and my tennis shoes. An hour passed, but it didn’t feel that long, and the results were in. The test came back normal. When I was released from the cell, one of the officers remarked that I hadn’t whined the whole time I was in there and she was amazed by this. Apparently others who waited in the cell had whined.
One of the parallels to my life should be fairly obvious. I have been waiting for the results of a skin test from an itch I had developed. The good news is that I got the results today and it’s nothing serious, just a chronic irritation. I’ve been prescribed some steroid cream to help clear it up.
The other parallel, that prison cell, is probably obvious only to me. I’ve just reread a book called “Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto” by Anneli Rufus. The book discusses loners across the ages and how loners, people who really enjoy being alone, have gotten a bum rap that isn’t fair. All those sickos who run around offing people for no apparent reason – the ones who are called loners in the press? They’re not loners according to Rufus. They’re are outcasts or pseudoloners. People who really don’t want to be alone, but something about their personality turns people off.
One of the types of loner-hood through history that Rufus describes is the life of an anchoress or anchorite. An anchoress was a nun who got shut into a tiny cell within the walls of a church. I mean bricked in, as in never allowed to leave, as in completely dependent upon someone on the outside providing food through a small hole and taking away waste in the chamber pot, as in never getting a bath or shower again. The point of this cruel exercise was that the anchoress anchored the church and was supposed to protect it against evil. How eff-ed up is that? One anchoress described by Rufus stayed in the wall for over 50 years. 50 years!?!?!
Needless to say, the information I’ve gleaned from the book is rattling around in my head and worked its way into one of my dreams. Eventually, I’m hoping it will work its way into a story.