This morning, I dreamed I was Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a very vivid dreamer – and, believe me, I really felt as though I was in Holden’s head. It wasn’t a pleasant place to be.
My dream didn’t follow the book’s storyline: the New York it was set in was a stylized, almost timeless city, with features from today as well as yesteryear; the series of experiences I had as Holden were different, though as in the book there was a general spiralling out of control; and unfortunately I woke up before someone came to ‘rescue’ me from myself. In fact, I was left feeling very depressed. It was as though the feeling was “sticky” and clung on after the dream was over. I hate that.
I remember one scene from my dream particularly vividly. I was sitting at a dinner with a bunch of men, and someone who was Holden’s grandfather was hosting the lunch, and sitting almost opposite me. (There is no grandfather mentioned in the book; this was a product of my imagining mind.) I had a glass and a half of red wine with my meal, and almost instantly became very intoxicated. I started to behave quite badly, in the end stumbling up from the table and lurching over to the maitre d’s desk and grabbing a fistful of money from the till, shoving it down my front but deliberately leaving a $100 note showing. I asked the maitre d’ to give me another table, which he did (right down the back of the restaurant), where I promptly proceeded to pass out.
There were other scenes; my Holden trying to get a friend to purchase something, time in Central Park, the view of a school – but this image stuck with me, maybe because of the shame attached to becoming so intoxicated in public.
Anyway, what I hated most was waking up feeling depressed. I hate that! Just yesterday I was thinking how my mental health has been ‘moving forwards’. Thankfully, writing this dream down has been cathartic, has drained it of its power. I’m shaking off the shackles of waking up in feeling yucky. I think today’s going to be OK.
And, you know what? Holden wasn’t able to save himself from himself: he needed his little sister to help him find his way back ‘home’, so to speak. But this morning, I’ve been able to find my own way back to feeling OK again.
Yeah, I’m quietly proud of that 🙂