My Strange Dream – The Dark Carnival

Christ Carrying the Cross by Hieronymous Bosch (painted between 1510 and 1535)
Christ Carrying the Cross by Hieronymous Bosch (painted between 1510 and 1535)

I just had a somewhat baffling and disquieting dream. It wasn’t quite nightmare caliber but it certainly wasn’t heavenly.

Over the years dreams have become increasingly meaningful to me. They usually connect, sooner or later, in some symbolic way with daytime reality.

For me, dreams are often like deep layers to the onion of life. Roll around the onion – that is, live your life for a while – and the dream content eventually bears some kind of significance, even if it’s just an odd feeling of recognition, “Oh I dreamed this in a crystalized form a few months ago!

So what I remember from last night’s dream is being in some kind of large department store. Maybe something like Walmart. I exit into a back room and decide to return into the main store. Two tall, thin young men in Napoleonic costume nearly walk right through me in the doorway, like those haughty and aggressive Mercedes and BMW drivers who never give way and rush stop signs in residential traffic.

So me being a mild and meek Christian, I turn my shoulder to make room for the tall, young Napoleons as they coldly strut through the door. A few moments later I’m mildly ticked off, and decide to return to the back room for a double take, and maybe to give the young Napoleons a piece of my mind.

They are nowhere to be seen.

So I’m in the back room again, noticing that it is very large (you can’t see the far edge, almost like looking out over a bay or ocean). It’s also black and white and quite basic, like an empty stockroom or warehouse. Bare floor, no furnishings.

gladiator-1931077_640I decide to look into another, small adjacent room and see three figures: Two burly men who look slightly worse for wear. They might be gay, I’m not sure. But they’re mostly naked and doing something bodily, like giving each other massages, or possibly making out. This scene conjures up images of an ancient Roman bath or, perhaps, a gladiator’s gym.

The third figure is not quite as burly and is by himself.

I quickly leave that room and return to the huge, main back room.

Here I see really strange things. Almost like a Hieronymous Bosch painting, distorted figures dot the landscape. Two deformed humanoind figures with tiny heads, scruffy beards and big bodies (like cupie dolls or trolls with shrunken heads) are aligned, one behind the other. They appear near identical, but one is larger than the other. They are very unhappy.

Then I see another head, a head only, that looks female and is more or less perfectly round. It’s about the size of a beach ball with large, sad, glassy eyes and a downturned mouth. The beach ball head is rolling from side to side, as if struggling to get free of its impossible predicament.

I’d entered from the far left side of this huge, monochromatic room. There’s a sign just a bit further down to the right. It looks like an old carnival or wild west sign… wooden with burnt in lettering that I can’t make out. I wonder if this is some kind of bizarre theme park for the dark side.

Highway to Hell via Wikipedia
Highway to Hell via Wikipedia

I’m curious and begin to walk along this dark space toward the sign. A bit horrified, my curiosity is still stronger than my horror. It’s like how a kid might feel in a wax museum.

There’s faint light by the doorway that I had entered through, so I figure I can always get back.

As I walk toward the wild west sign, it’s like I’m walking along a beach of increasing darkness. Everything just gets darker and more frightening as I walk. I begin to feel uncomfortable and then downright creepy. The light from where I came is disappearing… almost entirely, and very fast.

I can’t see any more distorted humanoid figures and worry that I might get lost in this desolate, darkened landscape, which is suddenly feeling more like hell.

I have to get out.

As I make my way back in the direction of the doorway through which I entered, I’m almost engulfed in darkness and my feet and lower legs sense some kind of creepy crawly feeling, as if creepy critters are crawling up my legs.

I awake, see the morning sunlight through my window, and am truly glad it was just a dream!

Relieved Face via Wikipedia

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