October 16, 2008

More tales from the unconscious


Tuesday: I’m at my grandmother’s house, and we’re watching TV when someone screams that there’s a spider in the backyard. I get up to take a look; there is indeed a spider, and my late grandfather is standing in front of it. Normally when I see my grandfather in dreams, in his customary plaid flannel and suspenders, I run up and hug him and cry and apologize for his being dead—which he shrugs off, in that way old people do. I don’t do this today, because I’d have to get close to the baseball-mitt-sized spider hanging in a web over the barbecue grill. Grandpa starts to tell a story about how this isn’t that big a spider; apparently cat-sized spiders were common back in the day, when you had to fight bears on your way to school and routinely lost toes to frostbite while you slept. I, being both fleshy and cowardly, suggest standing well back, grabbing a can of hairspray and lighting a match. I run back into the house to tell my little sister not to be alarmed at the forthcoming FOOM and the smell of burning lobster, when she tells me there’s something on my shirt. It’s a spider.

Not the spider, but a smaller, perhaps brooch-sized version. It twitches. I fling my shirt to the floor and beat it to ribbons with a shoe (a hiking boot that is almost comically large), and something breaks and rolls out from under it. The spider has come apart, not into guck and legs, but was actually made of springs and clockwork. I return outside to see that the ginormous spider has turned into an average-sized black-and-yellow garden spider.* I tell them to leave it alone, since having Googled the spider in waking life, I knew that although it looks like it could eat your face with little provocation, there are no such recorded cases.

Meaning: My problems are not as bad as I think they are.

Underlying meaning: I’m reluctant to kill my own bugs; I want Grandpa to do it. My unconscious is bitter about my outer feminist. Also, the absent father figure motif is really starting to annoy me, mostly because it’s so cliché.

* Pictured above, which I discovered last weekend perched on my sedum, frightening the crap out of me.

1 comment:

Dann Rafferty said...

I'm pretty sure this dream has something to do with your mother.

Or sex.

Or...Nevermind.