2016.07.14: DREAM: Duffel Bags And No Blank Paper

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Published on: 2016.07.14

As with many of my dreams, all I remember now are a collection of scenes. Perhaps they were separate dreams, though now it feels like they were part of the same narrative.

An early scene is now already faded from my memory. I *think* there were people standing around talking, in the street. I remember feeling worried and not saying much. Then we were standing in someone’s back yard at dusk; the same feeling pervaded. People kept interrupting each other. There was talk of property loss.

The first scene I remember clearly was in my neighborhood, or a place that I thought was my neighborhood. Many people were leaving suddenly or had already left; my feeling was that we kind of HAD to leave. There were dumpsters on the street in front of each house, where people were leaving the things they couldn’t or wouldn’t bring with them. I was going through my next-door-neighbor’s dumpster — I knew they were already gone — and found a collection of like-new duffel bags, military style, tucked inside each other and connected to each other with straps, zippers, and velcro. I remember trying to decide whether to take/use them. I think I had sent my family on ahead; I remember knowing I was alone. Looters were already going through some of the houses; I knew I needed to hurry my decision about the duffel bags and go back inside to collect my stuff.

Another scene was at an airport. It was overly crowded. I kept recognizing people there, none of whom were sure where to go. Many of the people I recognized wouldn’t talk to me. No one was boarding or leaving; everyone was shuffling around, gathering their belongings, furtively whispering. I met several women who had been ditched by their families. They decided to throw in their lot with me.

Third scene I remember: walking away from the airport with three women. None of us were carrying anything. We were wearing jackets. My jacket was of a heavy canvas material, frayed at the cuffs and collar, but with plenty of handy pockets, snaps, and reinforced areas. I do not remember the weather, but I was not hot inside the jacket, so it must have been relatively cool. It was dusk again — not too dark. One of the women, with dark hair, had a red leather jacket. I didn’t recognize any of them from real life.

I said I needed to go home. The “home” we came to wasn’t my house and wasn’t in a neighborhood; it was a small building in the city, within walking distance. I knew it was a “home away from home”, a place I hadn’t told my family about. The building appeared to have once been a convenience store or gas station, though there were no gas pumps outside. Inside was a lot of clutter, except for one space that had been cleared and nicely arranged with red leather sofas and a low glass table. One woman sat on a red sofa. Another (the one with the red jacket, whose hair was now blonde) climbed atop a pile of cluttered papers. The third woman wondered off into a another area, checking the shelves of my supplies — the shelves reminded me of a military surplus store. The woman sitting atop a pile of clutter asked me for a sheet of blank paper; she needed to write something. I pointed at a sheet under her leg. She yanked it out and flipped it over, saying: “This one isn’t blank” (the only specific spoken words I recall from the dream). The other side of the paper was covered in my handwriting. I wondered why she couldn’t use the blank side, but didn’t say anything. I was looking for something amid the clutter, but couldn’t find it.

The woman sitting on the sofa kept saying how nice it was, repeatedly surprised that I would have nice things. The red-jacket woman kept complaining that there was no paper to write on.

I remember being surprised that the windows were not covered. I went around closing the mini-blinds on all the windows.


While the whole thing had an apocalyptic air to it, I don’t remember feeling afraid. In fact, I think the primary feeling I remember was impatience, accompanied by a feeling of loss.


(Adapted from my private journal file.)

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