A bizarre dream I had the other night, or, L’esprit de l’escalier


Staircase/bookshelf designed by Tim Sloan, featured in Marie Claire Maison. Now this is what I call a dream worth having!

I’ve been debating with myself about whether or not I should blog this, because it’s so embarrassing and personal and silly, and I’ve decided–oh, what the hey.

Yesterday morning, just before waking, I had the most peculiar dream. I was in a swimming pool, doing what I thought was a very good backstroke. Really in the rhythm, perfectly co-ordinated, all limbs in sync, no self-consciousness as I circled around and around, lap after lap, never tiring. It was the sort of thing a cerebral klutz often dreams–and always dreams of it going wrong just as it’s going great. Which of course is what I dreamed!

Suddenly I found that there was no water in the pool, and that I was just windmilling my arms in the air, feeling like a total jackass. People walked by and snickered. That’s when I realized that someone else was responsible for this.

So I set out to find the person. I found her sitting by the side of the pool, studying me with an amused expression. She was a friend–or someone I had thought was a friend. I knew that the pool would stay dry unless I got back into her good graces, so I just hung out with her, liking what she liked, disparaging whatever she didn’t.

Well, that was a bad approach, as you can imagine. She told me she didn’t like ME!

Why? I asked her.

So she named all kinds of ridiculous, trivial, embarrassingly personal reasons. The more she rambled on, the sorrier I felt for her. I thought her self-esteem was obviously down in the dumps, which was why she was taking it out on me. I was a vulnerable target, no doubt: solitary, introverted, self-sufficient, and damn, I really thought I was doing so well at the backstroke, there!

Then a group of young guys, in their teens or early twenties by the looks of them, strolled by. One of them tossed off another casual, yet horribly personal insult at me, a slang term I’d never heard. Called me a “Bigelow wife”. Meaning, some nerdy single chick who’s married to her teapot. (This insult does not exist in the “real” world, as far as I can tell. And yes, I googled.)

Just as I’d figured that out, I began to wake up. I tried to get back to sleep, but it was no use–I was wide awake, full of excitement because I’d come up with the perfect come-back for all this negativity and shit. I was going to say something like:

“Oh yeah? Well, I know your flavor–Constant Cruelty!

In short: A perfect case of l’esprit de l’escalier, foiled by wakefulness. (Just call me Treppenwolf!)

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2 Responses to A bizarre dream I had the other night, or, L’esprit de l’escalier

  1. ceti_alpha says:

    Considering your blog, it may be that the trolls are getting to you, and although you might be able to blast them with awesome flames, it is still affects you. I also tend to avoid emails after sending out particularly pointed rants, so admire your tough hide.
    Then again, I could be way off…

  2. You’re probably onto something…although it’s funny, the night I dreamt that, I’d had a day with no trolls, just the usual stupid spammers that attack at any time.

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