Before we begin here let’s identify four different species of the same animal. In dreams there are three different types of settings. The first is a setting we will call Awaken Familiar. Awaken Familiar is a place you recognize as part of your real life, like your childhood home or your bedroom. If you’re dreaming about something that happened long ago in your hometown or you’re dreaming about banging your girlfriend in a dream in your own bed, the dreamscape is Awaken Familiar.
The second setting is Unfamiliar. This is simply a place you do not recognize at all. You have no idea where you are at all and have no idea how to get to anywhere from there.
The third setting is Dream Familiar. This is a setting that seems familiar in the dream but it isn’t anywhere you have ever really been. It can be a house where you know all the rooms or it can be a city where you know all the buildings and streets, but when you wake up, you realize you have never been there and the place doesn’t exist.
The same can be said for people in dreams. There are people in dreams and you know these people as part of your waking life and then there are those people who are strangers in your dreams and then there are strangers in dreams that seem as if they really know you, but as you awaken, they were never there at all, were they?
Last night I dreamed I had been invited to Africa to attend a birthday party for Idi Amin Dada. I was dropped off at paved road but then taken by cart to a dirt road where there was a trail down a path were there was jungle on both sides. I had to leave my shoes behind and when I got to a little building where there was some sort of greeting party I had to take all my clothes off and wait for the people there to decide how I would be dressed.
The place was strange to me but I knew the people from talking online with them and they all acted very afraid all the time. One would hold up a shirt and say, “Don’t you think this is an incredible shirt?” and I would agree that it was a really great shirt, but then another would say, “That is a short that looks so American, wouldn’t you rather have a clothing that is from our region?” And I would agree to this. But then someone else would say, “You aren’t saying that the clothing our Great Leader is offering you isn’t good enough are you?” And, of course, I would say that I wasn’t saying that at all. This went on for a great while but finally I wore the shirt they first offered to me.
Of course, I was still naked from the waist down and nudity has never really bothered me at all so it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t get freaked out over being naked in front of people or people being naked in front of me. Some ought not to, certainly, but still… So there was a woman who was Dream Familiar to me and she was lying on this bamboo looking chair smoking out of a pot pipe. Her shirt was open exposing her breasts and she looked very pretty. She offered me the pipe and said, “Sorry that I am so sweaty” but I thought the sweat made her look more desirable. One of the women who was part of the party who greeted me asked me if I thought it was a good idea to be stoned right before meeting the Great Leader and I told her no, but then the other asked me if I was going to turn down the hospitality offered to me, and so we went through that thing again where no matter what I said it was going to be wrong.
The Dream Familiar handed me the pipe and then showed me a bowl on the table with tobacco in it and told me, low enough for the others not to hear, that I could put some tobacco on top of the marijuana and no one could tell what I was smoking. So I put this thin looking stringy tobacco on top of what was in the pipe and lit it. I had this sudden feeling that the drug would be very weak and I wouldn’t be able to feel it but then I felt as if I were flying and I laughed. The Dream Familiar took me by the hand and led me around the compound and showed me wild animals that were there and it was very strange. None of the animals were caged and they all seemed mildly interested in us but not overly so. There was an open area with a shallow pit where the crocodiles lay in the sun. There was blood and pieces of clothing in the pit and I had the idea this was where people wound up if they displeased the Great Leader.
We went back to the compound and there he was. Of all the people my subconscious could have summoned to appear in a dream, I got Idi Amin Dada. George Washington? Nope! Alexander the Great? No way! Idi Amin Dada? We have a special tonight featuring one of the worst despots known to humanity and that’s all that is one your menu. So there he was, large fat, jovial, truly overly friendly in a big way. We did the animal tour again and we stopped in front of the crocodile pit. And I got an idea as to why the people around him were the way they were. He asked if I had been treated well and I could see the two women tense up with terror even though they were still smiling as if they were the happiest people alive. I told him I could not have dreamed of being treated any better. He asked me if I liked the way I was dressed and it was odd, because everyone there was nude from the waist down, as I was, but no one seemed to notice. I told him I loved the shirt and I hoped that he would allow me to keep it so that I could always remember how great and generous he had been to me and that seemed to make everyone very happy.
We went back to the compound and Amin told me I was to go back to the hotel and I did. It was a very nice hotel, lavish in fact, but the room was very small and the bed was tiny. I knew I was going to leave and that made me very happy indeed.
Then, in the blink of an eye, I was in a Publix grocery store with the pipe woman. We were both dressed, and she told me to wait for her once I got done shopping but I had no idea what I was looking for. The shopping carts were made of tube steel, very thick and heavy stuff, and it felt like driving a tank when I pushed it around. The front of the store was totally made of glass and I could see that I was in Valdosta, but where we were there isn’t a Publix there at all. It was a familiar place in a familiar town, but the store itself doesn’t exist, even though in the dream I knew it by heart.
The dream ended there and I had to Google it just to check but couldn’t find his birthday.