I wonder if the people we see in our dreams but don't recognize as someone we have met are simply made up by our minds based upon all the potential faces and bodies that could possibly be in the universe, or if they are people that we do already know but can't seem to recall? I have a series of recurring dreams that are based upon certain locations. I feel like I know the locations (places I have been) but they are never the exact reality of the actual place. In other words, if I am for example in my dream at a place I used to work, the building is familiar, but there are different features, floor plans, and people. If the people in the dream are the equivalent of extras in a movie passing by on the street or in a restaurant, that would be one thing, but very often the main characters in the dream are total strangers to me, yet they play key roles in my dreams. Weird.
I have a lot of what people identify as anxiety dreams. I am late, can't get the school locker open, I'm being chased, I run but my body moves in slow motion. I also have a lot of dreams about restrooms. I'm not a huge believer in repressed memories, but I often have dreams where at least one of the scenes takes place in weird, maze like restrooms. For me, it is either about sex - I am trying to find a place to masturbate in private or I am trying to show my dick to another man in hopes that he will let me see his, or it is about my real-life anxiety about trying to find a place to go to the restroom in private! There are always obstacles in these restrooms. Either a stall door is missing or the commode is dirty beyond use or it is broken. Sometimes, I find myself in the women's bathroom by accident. It is always something. These bathrooms are always the large locker room type places. Mazes of shower stalls, toilets, sinks, lockers, but they are not in some uniform fashion that any competent architect would have designed. And the restrooms are familiar to me as if they are some extraction of a memory of places I have been.
One of the most incredible recurring themes is what I have labeled Big Cities. It is based upon the small town I grew up in and I know the exact street where it takes place. There is a long street of homes, each of which is totally unique in architecture. I do that sort of dream flying, that magical power where I can jump really far, from one structure to the next that gives me the mobility of flying, but really, I am mostly weightless like an astronaut.
The homes on this street are not abandoned, but as I go through them, I usually do not encounter any people. The porches on these homes are incredible. Perhaps I watch a little bit too much of Home and Garden TV, but if I could somehow print pictures of the fascinating details I see in these homes, I could publish a coffee table book of great ideas that I have not seen elsewhere. Because I don't usually encounter anyone, I have time to look and really inspect the detail. My interest seems to be in the beauty of the detail, but of course, I am a voyeur and occasionally I look in bedrooms for evidence of sex. When my dream takes that turn, the sex I am investigating is that of someone I know; a family member, a co-worker, an acquaintance. Also, because I have seen these places in my dreams before, I seem to know whether I am interested in looking further or moving on to the next house. I move from house to house at rapid speed until I find something that catches my eye. I have no idea why in my dream, I refer to this street as Big Cities, other than I think each one of the individual homes is like a city of its own. Who knows?
I do occasionally encounter people and there is one recurring couple I meet often. A mother and a daughter. They both appear to be young (think 20's) but one is clearly the mother. I have often debated with myself if the mother is my girlfriend from high school (one I dream of often in other contexts) and if the daughter is actually my daughter from this girlfriend.
I have written before about this girlfriend. While we were dating, very early in our relationship but after we had been having sex (unprotected), she had an abortion. She told me that she had gone on a date a week before our first date with a guy who gave her a Quaalude and took advantage of her while she was barely conscious. We talked about this only a few times during our relationship. I was so confused about the whole thing and admittedly, a bit naive. As I got older, I wondered the obvious things; could it have been me who got her pregnant? Why would she lie? How would she have known it was this other guy who got her pregnant when clearly I had sex with her a week after the supposed date-rape incident? This small moment in time has nagged at me from time to time for years. I don't have much of an explanation for these dreams, but the meetings with this young mother and her daughter who seems to be nearly the same age at least potentially ties to an episode from my youth, whereas most of the other intricate details of the dreams can't be pinpointed to anything specific.
Why I have assigned the name of this series of architecturally detailed homes along the familiar street as "big cities" in my dreams makes no sense to me, yet it stays with me. If only I had a video camera for my mind.