January 25, 1997: Lost and Found at the Movies

I went to see a movie with some friends. There were friends from Louisville as well as some folks I knew from the Net. Arriving at the theater, we found ourselves at the back of the building, and thinking we were late, entered through a service door. This put us in the 'backstage' area, which consisted of offices and supply rooms.

Somehow my friends continued on ahead, and I got delayed. The room I was in was fairly large, two stories high, with one huge window overlooking a busy intersection from a couple of stories up. The sunlight slanted in, illuminating paints and boards and brushes and pens and pieces of stage scenery, filing cabinets and drafting tables. The whole thing had a very arts-and-crafts sort of feel to it, which reminded me of my art classes in elementary school. Within the space was a sort of second level, an office against the back wall, reachable by a small flight of stairs, and opening into the rest of the building. There were also entrances leading from the ground level of the room, underneath the office.

Attempting to find my way to the theater, I walked through a doorway and down a short hall. I heard voices. Peering through an open doorway, I saw a man and woman rehearsing on a small stage as if for a play. Somehow I realized that they were actually rehearsing for one of the movies showing at the theater! It didn't make any sense, but anyway I was too nervous about lurking around in this office, so I ducked back out the way I came.

But then I heard footsteps, and quickly climbed up into the elevated office. It was a tiny room, with a few paint cans and brushes, and a window that overlooked the rest of the room and the street outside. To my dismay, the footsteps came straight to where I was standing. A busy-looking woman my age rounded the corner into the room, and seemed only mildly startled to see me. I apologized and explained that I'd gotten a little lost in here. I noted what a neat space it was, and how enchanted I would have been as a child to be in here. She directed me through a door that would supposedly lead me to the theater, and I thanked her.

As I stepped through the doorway, I entered a kind of space which I often encounter in the dream world. It is a network of passageways, portals, chutes, stairs, and ledges. There are sometimes dead-ends and cul-de-sacs, but more often one chamber leads to another, and so on, opening up endlessly to my exploration. Each such space I dream of has a particular character, or 'texture', which is generally consistent with the rest of the dream. In this case, the space was composed of wood-paneled stairs and hallways, wooden doors with brass knobs. Everything was polished and slightly muted, as wood rooms are, and the floors creaked slightly underfoot.

I was not in the space for long, and can remember only a few features. There were two stairways, one immediately beneath the other. The top one led to a little wooden door, which was locked, and the lower one dead-ended in a wooden railing. This double stair was in the middle of a room, which had another, single stairway on the right side, and hallways leading off beyond the staircases. It seems there were more rooms before and after this, but I don't recall.

Soon I emerged and found my friends, who were having a picnic! Apparently, the movie didn't start for another half hour, and everyone was hanging out eating in what appeared to be a backyard patio. There was still plenty of food left, so I went into the kitchen, washed off a plate and a glass, and helped myself. (The potato salad was particularly yummy.) While I was washing, one of the net.friends, an intense woman with wavy blond hair and glasses, was talking about shamanic brews. She said something like, "Yeah, I've tried ayahuasca, but what really interests me is aya_____." (I can't remember the word she used, something like 'ayawhopo' maybe.) "That's where they basically mix everything together!" (Implying that it was particularly potent, maybe ayahuasca with a psilocybin admixture.)

As we were sitting around, I was struck with a sort of déjà vu. Something about this scene, the people and the sunlight, reminded me of a movie. No -- it reminded me of another dream. The strange thing was, I couldn't remember ever having actually had that dream! Was I remembering a dream, or dreaming a memory? In retrospect, I think that I was remembering a fragment of a dream I had had earlier in the night. It had something to do with a group of people, hanging from the edge of a cliff. Someone had a knife... Just an impression, nothing more.

That was it, really. I never did get to see the movie, I think, but a picnic with friends isn't half bad. Potato salad, anyone?