Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Livin' the Dream

The other night, I had a dream. I was at a pool party and was about to showcase to the guests my brand new jet pack. It was right out of the 70's, an over the shoulder model with hand grips at breast level for ignition and steering. I was nervous. Would it actually fly? I ducked out to put it on and came back again, feeling kind of exposed. I pressed the jet propulsion button on the hand grips and started to hover slowly above ground. Then I started to zip around the party, but not nearly as fast or as high off the ground as I thought I would. I soon left the party grounds and nipped into a kind of off-season ski resort bursting with fall colors. I was still just hovering above ground, above the trees, which seemed more like bushes. The gondola was running and someone dropped a sweater. I wanted to dip down and pick it up, but knew if I did my batteries might run out and I'd be stuck in the valley. So I headed off, still trying to fly higher and higher but really only skirting the ground. I ended up at a prep school or college, with again, more fall colors. I decided if I couldn't really fly like I'd hoped, at least I wanted to get to the top of the Gothic tower on the school grounds. I knew to scale the wall and land on the roof I had to give it all she had, which I realized at that moment was the juice of two double A sized batteries. Oddly, I was not afraid, or perhaps I just forgot to think about the possibility of crashing to the ground if my attempt failed. I made it to the roof with a soft landing, but encountered a hangman who looked like Shrek and menacingly wielded a long-handled ax. I calmly turned in the opposite direction and began my long walk home.

The only part of this dream I could not figure out was how Shrek fit in. Then I realized, I've been staring at his mug on my son's tush for the past few weeks after my mother bought some "big boy" underwear for my three-year-old in our attempt to potty train. I don't know if it's the picture or the context, but Shrek has been freaking me out lately, in the drawer, the laundry basket and the bathroom floor.

The rest is textbook stress and frustration. I am not flying as high as I set out when I got this jet pack. It's not delivering on the promise of total flying-car level transportation. I'm merely hovering. Oh, sure, I can zip around occasionally, but one false move, and I'm in a valley. More shockingingly is how my unconscious seems to realize I don't have the juice to fly. My mind equates the power at my fingertips with two double A batteries. And what is this juice? Business capital? Staff? Wherewithall? Or all the above. Whatever it is, I don't seem to have enough of it.

The good news is, there was a soft landing. And Shrek did not kill me.