Friday, October 19, 2012

Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

I was having trouble sleeping last night and was visited by several weird dreams, but by far the most bizarre was the dream involving me having sex with my father. In the dream I was an adolescent, probably around fifteen or sixteen, and my dream father didn't look much like my real father. However, I knew it was him because the scene of the action was the house in Philadelphia in which I lived as a child and we were both feeling anxious that my mother could arrive home at any minute. When I awoke I knew the man of my dream had been my father, despite the efforts of what Freud would have called the "dream work" to disguise that fact. Had the man in the dream resembled my father more closely there's a good chance I would have been startled into awakening. If the purpose of the dream was to allow me to experience a forbidden and repressed desire, awakening would have prevented the dream from attaining that end; as it was I continued sleeping and dreaming until the act reached its climax.

Then I woke up; surprised, but, strangely to me, not repulsed. Surprised, largely because I wasn't repulsed. I remember as  a young adolescent seeing my father working in the backyard in his tee shirt, sweaty and dirty, and feeling something close to repulsion; feeling that he was the opposite of attractive; nearly embarrassing in his working class appearance. What a snob I was! Growing up in a what might be called a mixed class family in America, as an adolescent I would have liked to shed the working class component. If my father, working out in the backyard, followed his preferences, he probably would have been shirtless, but I can hear my mother, calling from the back porch, "Albert, put your shirt on"; feeling the same shame as I. What would the neighbours think?