I had a weird dream over the weekend in which I was at a large family type gathering (not my family--what's with me being at all these not-my-family family gatherings lately?). I was wandering around and noticed a crayfish-like insect dressed in overalls writhing around on the ground. It looked like it was suffering, so I thought I should put it out of its misery, though my motives were mixed somewhat; I was also repulsed by it. I was beating it with some kind of implement I can't remember now, when it morphed into a healthy cornfed country boy in overalls. By this time it was too late and I had to finish the job because the insect/young man was pretty far gone (this part was vague, not too graphic). Then, wanting to leave the scene, I went over to a walled-in porch and sat down at a table. There were two teenage girls arranging and rearranging and commenting on various slices of cakes and pies that they had made (none of them on dishes, just on the tablecloth, and amazingly durable what with all the handling). They were excited because the wholesome young hero was going to be coming by and they hoped to impress him with their desserts. At this point I realized that I had just pummeled the wholesome young hero to death and felt intensely uncomfortable.
As a prelude to this dream, there was another episode involving my having acquired several pets (a mixture of cats, rabbits, turtles, and possibly a bird). I had taken several of them to work with me and had lost track of them. A whole day had gone by and I was getting really worried because it was time to feed them, and not only did I not have a food/water setup ready for them, but I wasn't even sure where they were. I haven't had a neglected-pet dream for a long time, but I used to have a lot of these. I'm sure it indicates an unhealthy level of guilt and anxiety.
Then night before last I had a couple of other unsettling dreams. The first involved a lot of people from my high school class reassembling, as if we were still in high school. The setting was more summer-camp than high school. It was at an abandoned building way out in the country, next to a creek. The really unsettling part was that there was an elaborate system for disguising the building when we weren't there, including a very convincing huge fake live-oak tree. I knew that something was amiss if so much effort had to put into hiding the location.
The other dream was another movie dream. This was one of those movies that probably started out as a play because the setting was so simple and it focused on the interactions of a very small group of people. It was vaguely 1950s and involved a desperate, depressed woman in an abusive marriage. She dug a hole in her yard in which to conceal her two children, then was trying to figure out how to leave her husband. A couple she was friends with showed up, and then immediately the husband also arrived, somewhat drunk and quite belligerent. The friends were trying to mediate and keep the husband from getting too violent. The whole atmosphere was very dark and depressing, although I was impressed with the costuming/sets/makeup. I woke up--somewhat unsettled--before I could learn what the outcome was.
And finally, last night I dreamed that I was at another family gathering, this time with people I was actually related to. It was mostly my dad's side of the family, and it was supposed to be an Easter communion service. I wasn't sure how that was supposed to work out, since there are several different religious persuasions involved. Interestingly, everyone seemed to be wearing cowboy boots--after seeing some really nice ones on a cousin, I looked at my own feet and discovered that I too had on cowboy boots.
After a lot of milling around, we finally made our way into a sort of private room in a hotel/restaurant where this service was supposed to take place. Just as everyone was getting settled, though, a large curtain on one side of the room was swept aside and the whole space (now triple the size) was invaded by a film crew who insisted that they had the whole place. I was excessively angry and accosted a passing waitress type who said she was the manager. I started yelling, really in high dudgeon, about how my family had reserved this space before the film crew.
I feel like I deserve some nice, funny, carefree dreams now.