Sunday, August 29, 2010

Missing Cars And Moo Shu

This time it’s a dark and stormy night…….usually it’s a sunny afternoon…and I can’t find my car, again. It may be the twentieth car I’ve lost this year. Good thing it’s only my usual dream otherwise I’d have been cancelled by my insurance company. Did I say only?

I’m often in a strange town, on a trip or having attended some large gathering. For what seems like hours I’m looking for my parked car, my vehicle, my getaway, my transport. It’s gone or more frequently I have no idea where I'd parked it.

In my waking hours I’m more careful. Maybe because I know what it’s like in nocturnal time. When I find a spot in a parking garage I’ve gotten in the habit of calling out where I am so I can hear the voice in my head on the way back. I must confess my handicap in such matters. I can’t tell my Honda from any other. All cars look alike to me; I go by color. Sometimes I click my alarm key to see which red lights flash to welcome me. When I locate my car after considerable wandering I can feel the embrace of my seat like an old shoe with the radio set to my numbers.

But this is not about mere parking spaces. This is my recurrent dream; serious stuff. The subject came up while lunching with a friend at a Chinese restaurant.Over the construction of moo-shu my psychiatrist friend suggested it sounds like an identity dream or some anxiety I have with transition or control. I considered all that while watching the waiter deftly folding the dough and dividing the vegetables at our table. During those thirty seconds I imagined first if he had control issues and dismissed that after witnessing his dexterity. Then I flashed on him losing his parked car after work wondering, perhaps, what he was doing so far from home.

Since that lunch I’ve not had my disappeared car dream. If I do I’ve decided to embrace the feeling of being lost and flip it. When I write my blogs I often inhabit another country inside myself. The imagination is a garden of unfamiliarity. I have no need for a car or a map. It’s a wandering place. It’s my Moo-shu; a mix of veggies almost but not quite unrecognizable enclosed in its own skin.


  1. A most interesting blog. Why? Because I have the same recurring dream. I can't find where I parked my car. I used to lose my car as well but in the last twenty years or so I make copious notes on where exactly I am leaving it. Even then when in an airport or other parking garage I lose it.
    I don't think the dream has any psychological significance other than being haunted by the real fact of insecurity regarding where we parked our cars.
    My first date with "She who must be obeyed" in New York, we went to a midtown restaurant but left from a different door than the one we entered. After futile search for my car we had to go back to the restaurant and exit from the door we had originally entered in order to find my car. It is a wonder there was ever a second date.

  2. Great story, Fred. Love the dream, Norm. I have not had a dream about a lost car. So maybe I will dream it tonight. Now, my beautiful wife has a talent that people are only now learning how to do. From very little, if she did not like her dream she would change it. Today they call it Lucid Dreaming. Sweet dreams, you all.

  3. I tried Mrs. Harley's trick to change my dream last night.
    #@*&# I dreamed I found my car but misplaced my wife.

  4. Anxiety dreams are trying to tell us something, however disquieting. Lucid dreaming feels to me like editing the script which is sort of what I'm suggesting. By assigning it a different value I'm saying, "OK, I'm lost but that's fine. Who needs a car in this wondrous place?"

  5. I think it's very interesting that you haven't had the dream again since you talked about it. Sounds like some internal pressure was relieved by giving voice to your feeling state in the dream.

    I hope you paid for lunch! :)