September 8th, 2003


Wolf Dreams

In a dream last night, I was running late for work, and taking a shortcut to get to the bus stop. The setting varied, more like a series of unconnected places than any actual route from one real-world place to the next. The bus stop didn't look like my bus stop; I doubt my home looked like my real home. Curiously, I can still visualize the bus stop pretty well. I came out from a side street into a parking lot that bordered on an odd T intersection, where the cross street was very wide, four lanes or so, but none of them marked. Maybe it was a one-way street. It came in at a slant, and intersected with another street maybe a hundred yards off; the whole thing gave the impression of one huge unwieldy five-way intersection. My bus stop was at the corner of the more distant part of the intersection.

Anyway, I don't remember most of the details. I do recollect a few things. One is that I kept running into people and animals that wanted me to stop and spend time with them. I felt good about this: I remember thinking It's amazing how many people seem to like me; it's a pity I can't spend more time with them, but I have to catch my bus. In retrospect, the symbolism in this is pretty obvious. But I did feel like I was spending enough time with each one, without compromising by commitment to catch this bus. I was helping people with problems, too; offering advice or something. I don't remember what. Many of these encounters were people who expected I could help them, and I always could I also remember thinking, I should do a story about something like this, these little encounters and problems I'm solving on the way to work. Oh, wait, I already did, it's in Unfinished Tales.. I was awake for probably ten minutes before it sunk in that, no, I hadn't.

One of the encounters was with a small, thin black wolf. The wolf accompanied me for a little ways, sticking close to my side. I didn't mind this, but I couldn't figure out just what the wolf wanted me around for. Eventually I noticed the wolf was chewing on something, and I thought, She wants to finish her meal, and she's counting on me to protect her, to make sure no one takes her food away. I felt sorry for her; she looked picked-on, like she needed a guardian. I put a hand on the ruff of her neck, protectively. That comforted her, and no one bugged her while I was there.

There was another scene with wolves in this dream: a pack of wolves on motorcycles. Not anthropomorphic wolves: the regular four-legged kind. They had pelts like coyotes, in beige and brown. I remember watching them go by; even in a dream, a pack of wolves, each on its own motorbike, was a strange sight. They weren't quite motorcycles, either; they looked almost like motorized dirt bikes.

Oh -- one reason I remember the intersection that I started by describing is that's where I woke up. I got to the parking lot, and I think the black wolf left me there. I put my purse down on the flatbed of a truck to pet her goodbye, then walked to my stop. When I got there, I realized I'd left my purse behind. I walked back for it, worrying that it was too far and the bus would come while I went to get it. As I drew up to the parking lot, the truck I'd left it on started to pull away. I thought, Oh no! It'll leave with my purse, and then, well, I'll just block its way as it leaves the lot, the driver will have to stop. But then the driver headed for a different exit.

I thought, This is annoying. And it had been such a good morning so far, too, then woke up.