The Dream: Dettie and I are at the underground entrance to a NYC subway. She has a token and goes through the turnstile and down the escalator to the platform. I realize I have no money. I set down my large purse, at the same time noticing a lost-and-found-box containing cash and other items that people have left on the train, open to all with no oversight. I think, after a little ethical quavering, that it's probably okay if I “borrow” some of the money to buy a token. I feel a little guilty, but climb up to the box—it's a bit of a stretch—and help myself to a small amount of cash. In some part of my mind I am surprised that the money hasn't all disappeared.
I take the money to the ticket booths; the one to the left is closed, and the agent in the middle booth ignores me. I'm getting anxious about finding Dettie with all this delay. Then I notice an available agent to the right: I had 't been aware of him. He is a very affable black man and while I don't have enough money for a return, he sells me a one-way token.
As I approach the turnstile I realize my bag is missing. I feel very uneasy about this, thinking about my credit cards and how I should have made a list of them. I try to remember which membership cards were in my purse. This will be a mess to sort out; I hope Clark can help me.
I descend the escalator and my surroundings become darker and darker. When I reach the platform I look for Dettie, but she's nowhere to be seen. I had been counting on her to loan me money for the return trip. The platform is deserted, very dark, and no trains appear to be running. After a while I decide to try a different level, thinking I must be on the wrong track. I turn to go, and things become even darker until it's pitch black. I become frightened and decide to go back up.
I climb a long flight of stairs. At the top is a closed door with a window. The door is locked. I bang and bang on it, yelling “Help!” until I'm afraid my voice will go. A man appears—I see his face silhouetted against the door's window. He has a mustache and looks creepy, like something out of a surrealist's work. I think that if he opens the door it will be to rape me, not to help. I awaken in terror.
Interpretation: Jung warns us that encountering the unconscious is a fearsome project, and this dream verifies it. My friend's name is the key to this dream: “Dettie” evokes both death and debt. As I begin my descent into the underworld of the unconscious I grapple with feeling inadequate: I have no money (worth), but I might be able to retrieve some if I'm willing to take a chance and reach higher. It's interesting that I have an ethical difficulty in giving myself what I need: I don't feel entitled to take it. But even when I do my problems are not over. I have enough money to embark on my journey, but not enough to return. I lose my purse with its membership and credit cards (I'm totally alone; I'll get no credit in the future). I call on my animus to save the situation, but the male figure who appears is another threat, not a savior. I go lower and lower, facing my darkest fears: my vulnerability, my worthlessness and my mortality. My vision is so narrow (tunnel like) that I can't see a way out.