Bringing home the bacon

Gary Lester

So, I’m riding this bicycle, or it might have been a big tricycle, and I’m hauling this little trailer set very close to the ground. The trailer is round and just big enough to hold a plate. The plate is covered, edge to edge, and piled high with bacon. I have this sense I’ve been struggling to keep the bacon on the plate for a while. I’m exiting the old Murphy’s building where the Antique Mart is now onto Second Avenue and there’s a step. I have an assistant and we’re trying to get the bike and the trailer and the bacon down the step. My assistant sets the plate with the bacon aside while we move the bike and the trailer. A guy comes and helps hold the door open and steps on the edge of the plate flipping the bacon all over the place. That’s when I woke up. Dear Dr. Freud, could you please interpret this dream for me?

I must be desperate. I’m asking Siggy to interpret my dream. I’ve never been much of a fan of dream analysis. I like the ideas that they are some kind of code that we may/may not be able to make sense of or the idea that when we sleep, our brain “relaxes” in some way and all the neurons fire off in some random way resulting in random images. I know I dream a lot and I do remember a lot of them, at least until I get to the tooth-brushing day-starting routine that gets me started on track for the day. That’s when the brain starts working a little better to deal with things and those weird images fade away pretty quickly.

A specific recurring dream I’ve had is that it’s time for a college class final exam and I cut the class so many times, I don’t remember where it’s held. I can’t find the schedule I got at the beginning of the year with all the days, times, and places where that semester’s classes are held. I haven’t had the nightmare for a while, but then again, my “classes” have been of the continuing education type and no final exams are included. The other recurring one I’ve described before. I’m moving slowly as if slogging through knee-deep Jell-O while others move along at normal paces oblivious to my plight. Pretty scary stuff and I’d wake up from them with a jolt and usually in cold sweat.

Freud thought dreams were an unconscious fulfillment of wishes. He talked in terms of “manifest content,” which is what’s remembered, and “latent content,” which is the underlying, symbolic meaning. There’s an element that the latter, latent, content would be a safe way for an uncomfortable reality to be covered up. I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if SIggy thought he was the only one who could unravel the cryptic nature of this stuff.

While I never did any dream analysis with clients, what the heck, I can give my own dreams a shot, right? The last two seem pretty obvious. I ALWAYS panicked over final exams in real life, so it makes sense that that would creep into semiconscious and subconscious states. I tend to pack my schedule pretty tightly, so probably the rigors of the day ahead are previews of the dream of the Jell-O slog. (Did you know that the International Jell-O Museum is just a few hours away in Leroy, NY?)

The dream described at the beginning of this column is a little more complex without obvious meaning, but here goes. Whether it’s a bike or trike is a harkening to the fact that I had trouble learning how to ride a bike. Younger kids in the neighborhood rode circles around me; no great feat since I was standing still beside my bike. So, the trike image speaks to my riding ability. The trailer represents my constant need to haul things around. It’s a rare week when I’m not taking a load of something somewhere and I find it fun. The load of bacon…. I just decided I need to eat a little healthier. Bacon is certainly wonderful but the type of things I should cut back on. But the idea of cutting back only leads to a desire for more, right?

At this point, I’m lost. Who are these people who are “helping” me? Why does their desire to help end up with them being in the way and, in the end, wrecking my attempt to make a run for it down Second Avenue with my bacon stash in tow? HEY! WAIT! I’ll bet they’re the ones who stole my class schedule and pushed me into the Jell-O river!

Gee, maybe Siggy was right about getting to the bottom of things through dream analysis! I’ll bet he dreamt about bacon, too, who doesn’t?

Gary Lester is a lifetime area resident, a former photographer for the Times Observer, former market manager for WhirleyDrinkworks, retired Executive Director of Family Services of Warren County, and current Director of Leadership Warren County. He is a life-long student and commentator on human behavior.