I have had the same dream at least once a week for the past four months:
I am at a party or a gathering and I spot a celebrity in attendance. It is always a different person, but always someone whom I admired greatly as a youth – typically a rock star or an actor from the ’90s. So far it’s been Arnold Schwarzenegger (two times), Adam Sandler, Phil Anselmo from Pantera, Henry Rollins, Maynard James Keenan and Danny Carry from Tool, and several others who have already faded from memory.
The location is not always the same. I meet these people in the airport, or I come home to find them in my house, or spot them at a party, or run into them at a concert. But the essential features of the dream stay the same.
I see the person in the crowd and make my way toward them. I greet them enthusiastically and receive kind acceptance. I ask the person if I may for a moment tell him how influential he was in my early life and how much he inspired me. I thank him for his contribution to my life. I am always well received and the celebrity is appreciative of my comments.
At this point in the dream I find myself working up the courage to ask them to pose with me for a picture. I always feel slightly reluctant to ask, feeling that they probably get a million requests and feeling like I do not want to bother them. But despite these feelings I ask and am always gladly accommodated.
I pull my Iphone from my pocket and ask them to step into the frame for a selfie. This is unusual for several reasons: I never take selfies in real life and I never dream about my phone. If this situation were ever to arise in real life, I would ask a passer by to take our picture. But nonetheless, we put our arms around one another and perform our best pose. I extend my arm to take the picture and my camera will not work.
It takes blurry pictures or fails to load. My phone crashes or the pictures get deleted before I can look at them. I find myself standing in an awkward pose with the person for way too long, apologizing for the camera, and keeping them there for an uncomfortable length of time while I keep trying to take a picture.
It’s normally about this time that I give up and thank them anyway. They always say something to the effect of, “Are you sure? You didn’t get your picture..” I insist that it’s fine and leave feeling disappointed.
Last night the dream was so real and vivid, that I actually told Arnold Schwarzenegger as we were posing, “You wouldn’t believe it but I’ve had several dreams exactly like this! Except my camera always screws up right at this moment!” I extend my arm to take the picture and as my camera fails I say to myself, “I can’t believe this is happening just like in those dreams!”
I am at a loss for what any of this may mean. Perhaps I am struggling with losing the identity I had as a youth, or perhaps I feel like I should let go of old things. Maybe I’m feeling the sands of time beginning to cover the ideas I once valued. Maybe I’m worried I’m disappointing my role models and wasting their time. Maybe I have a subconscious desire to express my appreciation for influences from the past, but I when I do I find I cannot capture those moments as they were. Who knows.
If you have any insight, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to comment below.