Dreams of stairs and elevators

Strange dreams of scootering down Valencia, not Valencia Street as it is now, but alternate-Valencia of around 30 years ago, out to do a quick errand, nearly but not quite picking up a nice brown striped scarf with fringe that was hanging over a bench (I figured that I should leave it for someone who needed it more). Everything was shut, and the streets were empty and ghostly in the middle of the night. The night had a wistful quality. Bright, moonlit, the iron gates with angular and scrolly shapes lit by soothing neon. I was happy to be there.

On my way to do this errand, I went up a side street, noticing that it was Elizabeth Street (which exists in the approximately correct location in the dream!) Elizabeth Street turned into mansions, difficult to navigate cobblestones, and ended in magnificent yet hostile giant flights of stairs going up the steep hillside. It was one of those wide multi-stage stairways meant to be monumental and beautiful, all in marble, spreading out over the hillside. I swore a lot & turned around.

I went back to the building where I was going to meet Danny to watch some scenes from a film be made (for a sequel to Superman where Superman was Jet Li, but in a powerchair). I had left this scene to do my errand and it was time to go back. There was no obvious way in, so I sneaked in via the back entrance and freight elevator, ending up in a back room, with people working, a tour group with badges coming through. I mingled successfully as if I had a right to be there, explored that level of the building, and found a second freight elevator to take me back to the film production studio. (Quite proud of sneaking back in successfully without fuss.)

In the studio as we sat in uncomfortable folding theater chairs, Danny explained things to me about what the film crew was doing. I was excited to see Jet Li. The people on stage kept trying to shoot a tiny part of one small scene where the actors were going down a hallway. I realized I was probably not going to see Jet Li do any sort of amazing martial arts from his powerchair because it was going to take all night to shoot the hallway scene.

It can be boring to read about other people’s dreams. They are so personal. Mine are often set in large rambling building complexes: 30 years after moving out of my housing co-op, I still get “like the co-op, but different” dreams. While I was walking pretty well for a few years I would still be using my wheelchair in dreams. I sometimes dream in Spanish, and I can read and write in my dreams. I’ve written stories and poems while on the verge of waking up and then quickly scribbled them in real life. And while I’ve been 99% using scooters since 2012, I still dream myself in my manual chair much more often. It still has a more “me” feeling sometimes. But this was a scooter dream!

The things that happen in my dreams feel like memories, not real memories, but like real feelings. They are atmospheric. If I dream of a completely non-existent person, I feel sad when I wake up that they don’t exist, but also amazed that our minds can come up with an impression of an entire human being. Dreaming of Alternate Not Quite Valencia Street gave me a specially happy and centered feeling this morning.

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