I want to crawl back in bed and hope for a better dream

(Note: it’s been five years since I’ve been to France and nearly thirteen years since I’ve been to the Middle East, but time means nothing to the part of my brain that makes up distressing dreams.)

In the dream, I’ve been boarding with a family of strangers in France in a very cluttered bedroom. I’m trying to pack for my imminent flight home, but I can’t figure out which of the Bionicle limbs, vintage radio parts, or pieces of clothing belong to me. I’m not even sure which suitcase is mine, and I’m afraid I’ll miss my flight. A housemate points to a calendar that shows my flight to be three weeks away, and I realize with joy that I’ll still have time to find my favorite streets and roam them at a leisurely pace. But I’m not sure the calendar’s right. I search for my own pocket calendar, but can’t find it, so I’m still not sure when my return flight really is.

The scene changes, and I’m on a busy street in a French shopping area. I step into a restaurant and ask the hostess something she doesn’t understand. I correct myself and say “Les toilettes.” “Ah, oui, les toilettes,” she says, and leads me to a corner not far from the front desk. There is no toilet, just a small tiled area and a drain. I wish I’d bothered to find a MacDo with a western-style toilet, but it’s too late. I’m going to have to squat in public, and I try to decide whether it’s worse to face forward or backward. Then, to my great relief, I notice a shower curtain that I pull closed. I’ve accidentally left a small gap uncurtained and a couple of people start a conversation right next to that gap, but I pull the curtain tighter.

Afterward when I open the curtain and start to leave, the hostess shakes her head vigorously. “Boîte!” she says. “Boîte?” I ask. She picks up a small ceramic box and waves towards the surrounding garden area, and I understand that I was supposed to have collected my pee in the box and scattered it over the soil.

I wake up and think “Well it’s not like they didn’t have plenty of other people’s pee to use. It’s not like my small contribution will really make a difference.” It takes me several more seconds before I realize that perhaps their method is not the best for fertilizing a restaurant’s garden.

P.S. It’s not too late to enter your own composite titles in the contest a couple of posts back (link). Or just go enjoy the amazing ones that others have come up with.

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18 Responses to I want to crawl back in bed and hope for a better dream

  1. Thora says:

    I remember once in Syria while visiting the national museum, I needed to use the facilities. In the end of a freezing December, in an unheated, outdoor bathrooms (well, there was a small building for them), they had marble squat toilets. I decided I could wait to get back to the hotel. Except this wasn’t a dream….Of course when I look back on the middle east and bathroom sanitation, I begin to feel that it’s a miracle I made it out alive.

    • zstitches says:

      Marble sounds nice. 🙂 But yes, very cold.

      We had a western-style toilet in our apartment in Amman, but when we were out sightseeing sometimes there wasn’t that option. There were almost always stall doors at least, though. I hold the distinction of having taught another young American woman the finer points of using a squatty potty. And the first time Dean and I planned a trip after returning to the States, I automatically packed our own toilet paper and had to remind myself that’s not a necessity stateside.

      (Does it sound like I’m bragging? Maybe a little. I think I’ve earned it.)

      Pit toilets actually have one hygienic advantage over the worst of western public toilets, in that the only part of you that has to touch anything is the soles of your shoes. The bigger hygienic risk in Amman was eating produce that might have been grown in “night soil,” so we had to wash all our produce in bleach water. So you see the origins of that part of my dream.

    • Horrid Tricky says:

      I think you inherited this dream pattern from your old man, who often still wakes up about 3:00 a.m. with a frustrating dream about not being able to find the facilities and then learning that it’s in a public place!

  2. Erin says:

    Hilarious dream. I remember worrying that I would miss my flight when I was in Paris, so I didn’t sleep the night before. But this is definitely a nightmare.

  3. Mary says:

    This dream sounds a lot like my reality.

    • zstitches says:

      I did think of you, actually. But I had hoped that now that you’re back in the States your waking life would be less exciting.

  4. the MomB says:

    Yikes, I had a recent disturbing “birth” nightmare too.
    And now for something completely different:
    Nice work on your new header/banner.

  5. Colleen says:

    I’d love to have Joseph of Egypt’s talent of interpreting dreams. Then I would know why I had a dream last night that I was forced to capture a passel of small biting Elmo’s before I could take a shower. (Because, of course, they were planning on unlocking the door to let the other – BIGGER – monsters in as soon as I took off my clothes.) So weird.

  6. Megan says:

    I’m so glad I don’t remember my dreams. Usually mine involve being chased. It’s a great adrenaline rush, though!

  7. Tracy Hall Jr says:

    I awakened with a very strange dream this morning. I was supposed to bless the sacrament, but the placard with the words was lost, and I didn’t trust my memory. So I searched in vain for a copy of the Doctrine & Covenants (Sec. 20) or a Book of Mormon (Moroni 4 & 5). There were many leather-bound copies that looked like scriptures all through the congregation, but when I opened any of them it was some other book. Thankfully I awakened at the peak of my frustration.

    Is there a Joseph out there who wants to take on this one?

  8. Marie-Laure says:

    Ah! the French and their ways!
    I hope that you get to go back to France someday and walk your favorite streets with your husband!

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