Dream, Fiction, Novel, Writing

Speak louder, please

I dreamed about Sean Penn last night. I stood at the doors to a huge auditorium or theater and someone tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around, he was standing behind me. He said, “Thank you.” Then he walked in the theater with his entourage. After I recovered from surprise, I realized I had no idea what he was thanking me for and called after him. He had moved too far away to hear, so I stepped through the doors, fully expecting the security guards to stop me. Lo and behold, they let me go.

Why so troubled?

I caught up with Mr. Penn and asked him why he had thanked me. Because this was a dream, he walked back up the aisle with me and out the doors. He talked the whole time, but so quietly, I couldn’t make out what he said. At one point, I realized that he was only a head … on the floor … and I figured that was why I couldn’t hear him. I got down on my knees, but still couldn’t make out what he said.

This was not the Jeff Spicoli Penn, nor the Willie Stark Penn. This was the I’ll-settle-it-with-my-fists Penn—smart, but troubled. I felt desperate to hear what he said because I knew I had helped him before and needed to help him again.

Suddenly, his head was back on his body, and as we walked, I glanced over and realized his scalp had a large gash. Blood ran down his face and neck, and I convinced him to let me take him to the hospital for stitches. From the hospital, I took him to my home (not any place I’ve ever actually lived) still feeling the anxiety that it was imperative I keep him with me and talking.

Inexplicably, I was searching for a needle with the right-sized eye for the piece of black thread in my hand … when the alarm sounded!

Despite the abrupt ending, I think there is plenty here to interpret. I’m sure this pertains to my writing. I rarely think of Sean Penn and haven’t heard him mentioned recently, so I think Penn showing up in my dream is meant as a pun. Now, what I have to decide is whether pen represents me as the writer … or my writing in general … or some part of the novel I just finished writing (or didn’t.)

I wish he’d spoken louder. Any lip readers out there?


22 thoughts on “Speak louder, please”

  1. I can’t offer you any interpretation — I’ve never been good at that, and my wife has to untangle mine for me sometimes — but the “Penn/Pen” pun is clever.

    Even in your dreams you’re a clever and talented writer. 🙂


  2. I adore dreams like this. I think my last celebrity dream was abut David Letterman.

    I tend to do Jungian-type analysis, and assume the other person represents an aspect of me that I need to listen to. So, if this were my dream I’d ask what my smart and troubled self was trying to tell me.

    But I also believe that only the dreamer can identify what the true meaning is, and that when they find it, they feel its truth.


    1. I’m a Jungian too, and tend to see all characters in my dreams as an aspect of me. So, in that case, I would say Penn was me. And yes, I’m troubled … about my writing.

      I’m analyzing the head wound. He seemed unaware of it, and unconcerned when I pointed it out to him. And then there’s the bit of him/me being just a head. I think I see where that’s going.

      And my concern to keep him with me and talking … okay, yeah, I’m anxious that the stories won’t keep coming.

      What about the needle and thread … the head wound was already stitched … what was I going to sew up?

      Lots to work with here. I think I know what it all means. The question is, will I listen?


      1. I think you’re better at analysis than me – I’m coming to you next time. Don’t you find that if you don’t listen the dreams return in different forms until you do?

        Letterman – I can’t remember if I was writing at the time, but I don’t think I was. A nudge from the unconscious that I missed.


        1. I’m sure your subconscious does repeat itself until you listen. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t seem to remember many of my dreams though, so it might be awhile before another dream stays with me. I will be alert.

          I had a very active dialogue with my subconscious in my early 30’s. I would have two or three long and detailed dreams nearly every night and be able to recall them in the morning to record. It was fantastic. There was a major change in my life at that time and it was almost as though I was being reintroduced to myself.


    1. Ah yes, “a dialogue of the deaf.” Now, am I not listening to myself? Am I telling myself that what I’m saying isn’t worth hearing? Am I not speaking clearly/loudly enough? Hmmm …


  3. He said “Stop trying so hard to listen with your ears. I’ll remove my head if I have to. There now, isn’t that better (headless)? Now that I have your attention, be still and feel the rhythym, listen with your heart.”

    I read lips and that’s what he said.


    1. Thank you. Now … listen to what? Oh … maybe the poem I got today. It’s a real one. Probably the best I’ll ever write. And I wasn’t even thinking of poetry.


  4. I love all the interpretations of your dream so far.

    When I read your post, I just thought, oh. Time to dive into that Horror novel you’ve been thinking about writing, with Sean Penn, in his “I’ll-settle-it-with-my-fists [self],” as your protagonist, or antagonist, or even muse!


    1. Ha ha, maybe I’ll write a short story like that. I’m not so sure I want to write another horror novel. When I started reading through my completed one, I remembered my state of mind while I wrote it and decided I don’t want to spend a year or more in a place like that again. I think it’s best if I deal with my dark thoughts in short spurts.


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