A Dream of Disproportions

I’ve had a recurrent and unsettling dream since my childhood. I can’t quite pinpoint the feeling that it tries to convey or the meaning. I know that it is irritating, uncomfortable, anxious, outside of the body, a web of destabilising echoes. Almost all dreams end abruptly, without answers, and some end in cliffhangers and they are to be continued at some point in your life, when you’re ready to look at them, decipher them maybe, as my mother states.

In this dream, I’m back in one of my old rooms. The room is completely empty, hollow, echoing and corn yellow. I hear voices coming at me back and forth, whispers, speech, loud, then unclear, far away and then running towards me, evading me, tickling me, emotionally challenging, male, female, a cacophony that sounds disturbing, close and yet distanced, unrecognisable, talking, communicating.

One voice is prevalent, it’s the full voice of a man, the way his voice moves and imposes itself reminds me of the speech patterns of a ringmaster, directing and oppressing, shouting and anticipating.

I don’t quite know whether he is talking to me or announcing the presence of a body in my room. It’s a woman. I can see her but she is fictional, more present in my hearing, my ears, my mind, my imagination that all the voices bring forth and nurture.

This woman resembles a balloon, her body, the way it is constructed and formed, it literally takes my breath away, the way it dissolves and reappears. She comes at me and her body is fully fleshed, in accordance with the circulatory voices, but she is completely disproportionate, her body is massive, but only in certain places, arms, thighs, legs, you almost can’t see the rest of her. And then, out of a sudden, it’s like someone blasted the air out of her, her substance, and she disappears, shrinking in a second, it’s too fast to realise, and it feels disturbing, disorienting. Her entire vast body, like a couch, thinned down to an oversized spaghetti with a head, human features, thin, dead, moving, the voices reside, low tide high tide, the sounds in the room’s sphere are never in unison now, or maybe too much in accordance, the voices and the body’s transformations, the announcements and directions and disclaimers of the male voice.

I want to cover my ears and it doesn’t make a difference if I shut my eyes, they might be shut already, I don’t know where my own body is in this mess. I’m standing. I’m aware of my ears, the disturbances to my imagination, the imbalance, the weakening sounds and shapes surrounding me, galloping towards me and turning away again, but I seem to be the focal point, but I don’t know what to do. Thick, thick substantial body with a skin and texture like chewing gum, elastic, spreadable and then this monstrous transformation, unrecognisable, thin thin unhealthily so, eyes barely visible, stretched out, moving, lengthy, tall, rounded, upright. Shapeshifters. Women. The invisible yet powerful and present male voice, loud and daunting. Strings attached.

I had this dream several times in my life. Always the same procedure and it ends the way it starts, always in the same way, at the same time. I’m irritated, flabbergasted. My mother told me that when the time comes and I’m ready, the dream will resume and maybe I will discover what happens when the door is opened and what is revealed behind it. I don’t know why, but that proclamation or prospect scares me, I don’t want to be fatalistic, but it is a dream of unease, and maybe there is a reason why my subconsciousness has not yet lifted that specific curtain.


“Kopf eines Bauernmädchens” by Wilhelm Leibl (1844-1900)

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