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.


  3. It’s look like a dialogue of the deaf…

    Dialogue «off» with your characters or with you and the characters you have in your mind for your novel.

    Dialogue are not easy to do in any story.


    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 …


  4. 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.


  5. 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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