Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Case From Long Ago

The Dream:
A delicate-featured professor with a bald pate like a tonsured monk is killing young women. Another woman and I become aware of it. The victims never suspect him—such a refined man, and a professor! They feel comfortable being alone with him, and then he kills them.

The man acts as if these killings are a personal tragedy for him, and at one point I see my friend embracing him and weeping, as if commiserating. My reaction, on the other hand, has been to be cool and withdrawn. I wonder if my friend's reaction is a ruse to keep the man from realizing her suspicions: a wise strategy, I decide. I resolve to go along with his phony emotions as well.

The man's packed suitcase is on the bed. The pink case is small, carry-aboard size, and hard sided, as cases used to be. As my friend watches I rifle through it, taking out the items, feeling as if I won't get away with this snooping. There are several sweaters and other items, probably trousers. I try to repack it as it was when I opened the case, but am unable to do so. This increases my anxiety that the man will figure out I've gone through his things.

We are in a bathroom. I'm in the tub, and my friend and I are chatting, exchanging information. The door knob turns; I thought it was locked, but soon discover it isn't as the man enters. I try to cover myself with a towel. I think my friend should have locked the door, and I'm frightened as well as embarrassed.

The man wants to indulge in his self-pity. He looks very doleful and tells us that as if he hadn't been through enough, someone has killed his dog. We both affect sympathy, still feeling it's best to hide our true feelings.

When he leaves I say to my friend, “I think I know how he disposes of the bodies.” I show her the tub drain; it's been chiseled away at the edges to make the hole bigger.

Interpretation: Some past dream images come together here: previous dreams contained a serial killer and a professor with a bald head. Clearly, the case has been re-opened, and I'm in the process of rearranging the contents of this particular complex. Something new has surfaced about these two characters, however, besides the fact that they've been combined into one. Now the man is effeminate, and at times it seems I'm complicit in his crime: one part of me (my woman friend) both embraces him and leaves the door open for him. This tells me my feminine side works with this unevolved masculine side of me to kill many parts of myself, to put them down the drain where they'll never be seen or heard again.

So—I have to ask myself, what's gone down the drain? What's draining me? Can I ever get rid of these self-imposed (at this point) limitations that are killing me? As I reopen the case I'm frightened but I don't discover much; all is very tidy. On the other hand, I'm not able to put things back as they were, and while this makes me uncomfortable it might be a good thing.

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