This is my first time contributing to the communal dream log. I had a very vivid dream last night and wanted to write it down before it was eroded by "normal" consciousness. I think it was in part inspired by a really bad movie I half-watched on cable TV last night at 1am starring Lorenzo Lamas.
My father, who looked more like Albert Finney than my real father, was crippled or wounded or in some way dying. My mother had died many years before, and there was some lingering mystery there - not about her death, but rather about her life. In the dream, my childhood was spent in a crowded tenement building in a poor area of New York City. My father worked very hard at several factory or manual labor jobs to support us, and was rarely at home. As children, my siblings and I didn't spend much time in the house. We were either at school, out playing in the neighborhood, or scavenging around looking for scrap metal we could sell to the junkman.
Somehow, it was an accepted fact that my mother had led another life. We all knew it, though none of us talked about it. Many people came and left our apartment during the daytime, many of them people of some considerable degree of importance. We didn't know what went on up there. My mother died when she was relatively young, and we moved away. Not far, but far enough - to some rural area in Pennsylvania, perhaps. Now I was in my mid-twenties, and my father was dying. He told me that my mother had kept a journal or diary of some sort, and he wanted me to find it so that he could read it before he died.
My mother was not a prostitute. I don't know how I knew this, but somehow I did. She was an advisor of some sort, perhaps, giving personal or professional guidance to dignitaries, diplomats, politicians and other public figures. I also knew somehow that she was interred with her journal, and that I would have to have her exhumed to retrieve it. That word seemed to hang in my consciousness throughout the dream: exhume.
I assured my father that I would have her journal for him in less than a week. I left him and traveled to New York. The journey was not featured in my dream. Suddenly I stood before the entrance to a gloomy cemetery. The rusty gates were unlocked, though it was dusk, and they creaked as I pushed them open and entered. The middle of the cemetery was dominated by a large mausoleum, which was quite out of place, its shiny institutional walls a stark contrast to the artistic headstones that surrounded it, worn with time.
I entered the building, and the inside was like a corporate headquarters of some women's magazine, decorated in pink and other lively colors. A cheerful receptionist listened to me attentively, then directed me to another woman. I told her my story, and she smiled, saying that my mother had paid the cemetery a handsome sum of money to have the book removed from her coffin before burial and published secretly in another name. She led me to a back room full of what looked like safety deposit boxes, and she withdrew an old handwritten manuscript and a sealed letter to my father. She also handed me a copy of a very famous book that had been published years ago. It had since become a literary icon of sorts, and was the memoirs of a woman who had secretly advised many famous public figures, instilling in them some sense of compassion and humanity. I was flooded with pride to know that this had been my mother, and I took the manuscript and letter back to my father. What remained of the dream was devoted to a montage of the events depicted in the book, my mother meeting with presidents and celebrities. It was, all in all, a pleasant dream.