Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mary, Mayhem, and The Rotten Husband (cont.)


I was sitting in my car, the red Acura, at the edge of a large parking area at the end of a driveway. It was

neatly covered with a fine yellowish-brown sandy gravel. I was looking at a large country house. It was
somewhere on the Peninsula, perhaps in Hillsborough or Atherton. There were lights in the windows,
clearly visible behind the drapes. It was about 9pm on a clear evening.

Then, from the left, came the sounds of a marching band. There weren’t “76 trombones”, but it was
certainly a large band, although the uniforms and instruments were not very distinct. Somehow, I knew
that I had organized this band, and that they were there to serenade someone at the house. (The very
idea is absurd: one guitar or a gypsy violinist would do a much better job than blaring out one’s feelings
to the entire neighborhood, even in an area of huge park-like estates!)

I locked the car door, and walked over to the house. After a while, the front door opened, and I was
greeted by a man and his wife, probably in their late forties. Although it was the type of house that
would need servants to be run efficiently, I don’t recall having seen a butler or parlormaid.

The evidently wealthy couple who had let me in were contemporaries of mine. [In the dream I felt as if I
were (say) forty-five.] They treated me as an equal, and said something along the lines of “I expect you’d
like to see Mary. She’s out, but we expect her back very soon.” (Actually, the name has no significance.
If I had known the young women’s name in my dream, I had forgotten it by the time that I awoke in the
morning.) The parents were informally dressed. They did not seem surprised to see me, nor did they
comment on the music.

I have no sense of time delay, for very soon three or four people entered the room. They were young
people, but I only had eyes for one. She had medium-length black hair, a pale complexion, and bright
red lips. She was wearing a white blouse with a black skirt. She stood out, a strikingly self-possessed,
even charismatic, figure. She was very beautiful. I knew that I wanted to be her friend, and to be seen in
her company, but my feelings were of admiration, not inflamed desire.

The parents excused themselves, and left the room, together with the shadowy figures who had come
in with Mary. As soon as they had gone, she turned on me, and berated me for calling on her in this
conspicuous fashion. I was aware that I was a married man, although it wasn’t specifically to Barbara
of whom I was thinking, I just had the knowledge that I was married to another woman, and yet had a
considerable interest in Mary.

Mary said that she was very angry with me: how dare I come and attempt to woo her again with sweet
words and gifts of books? It was as if I had had one previous meeting with Mary, and had moved her to
care for me. Apparently, this had happened some weeks or months previously. For all that her parents
knew, I was a suitor, and by no means an unwelcome one. Mary was single, in her early twenties, and
given considerable freedom by her parents. Even while she was expressing her anger I felt immensely
drawn to this striking and intelligent young woman.

Mary then suggested that my interest in her was in part due to snobbishness. I knew that she was
closely related to some noble family, whose surname differed from the family title. My interest in her

was for her family connections, not for herself, she suggested. I protested at this calumny, but I was
aware that her family’s name impressed me.

Although the scene could have played in the United Kingdom, it was certainly taking place in California.

I have no specific memory of Mary leaving the room, but I have a recall of her returning and throwing
down in front of me some miscellaneous objects, which at first I had presumed to be some things that
I had given her on a previous visit, and which she was now rejecting. I also recall that there was at least
one piece of rubber – or plastic-coated wire.

Somewhat taken aback at my reception, I walked out to my car. To my amazement, I found that a front
window had been smashed, and that a lot of damage had been done to the instrument panel. Various
dials and wires leading to them had been pulled out. Mary had done a thorough job of trashing my car!
There seemed to be no way that I could drive the car, and I also noted that the hand brake appeared to
have been disconnected. I remember being concerned that even if I could get the car to start; there was
no way that I wanted to drive it off without having effective brakes.

At this point, I remember a number of other people coming to the car, expressing amazement at the
destruction, and some puzzled sympathy. I don’t think there was any doubt in anyone’s mind who was
responsible for the damage. The next thing I recall was that some family members, including at least two
males, one of whom was Mary’s father, had somehow done a miraculous repair job on the car, so that I
could drive it away.

It was at this point that I awoke for the first time, becoming aware that I had just come out of a
significant dream. I was amazed at the vividness, and the manner in which I had evidently angered Mary
because I had come a-courting. Her anger had in no way been directed at me on the grounds I was a
married man, and it is not clear to me whether in the dream I had revealed this to her. It is also not clear
that her anger was in any way affected by our age differential. We seemed very evenly matched. The
anger seemed to be a combination of her accusations that I was motivated by snobbishness, rather than
by love of her as a person, and because of the ostentation of my serenading her, catching her off guard,
and identifying me (to anyone who was watching) as her suitor. And then I fell asleep again.


There was Mary again, as striking as ever, but in an entirely different mood. She was extremely contrite
about the mayhem she had created in her rage, and she acknowledged that it wasn’t really justified. In
fact, she was very glad to see me, and she loved me.

In a few moments we were touching, laughing, kissing, and playfully happy. Mary had apologized
and I had forgiven her. That’s as far as things went in the dream, and I awoke again. Darn it!

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