January 11, 2014
For those of you that don’t remember Freud’s id, ego and superego theory from your Intro to Psychology class, the id is basically your subconscious which runs free in your dreams, your superego keeps it in check through a variety of of coping, deception and trickery techniques and your ego is your rational self. Without your superego we would be walking around feeling guilty or shamed by the primal impulses and unchecked urges running through our heads.
Lately I have been having some unexplained dreams. As like everyone I have had my share of funky dreams. As a runner I have lead several nocturnal marathons, beating both Kenyans and Ethiopians until I inexplicably am stuck navigating the tourist traffic on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and am somehow lost in a mirror maze. These dreams usually happen as I approach a marathon and can easily be dismissed as anxiety about the upcoming 26.2. I used to have similar dreams back in my golfing days needing a par on the last hole to break par when my swing was restricted due to errant shot landing in a closet. Regardless, my superego was doing its job as my ego was able to adequately processes the absurdity and rational behind such dreams.
I am at work and need to go to another department a several floors above me. So I head to the elevator with a co-worker. A couple of things already wrong. First my office is contained to one floor and secondly I have now idea who this coworker is. Well we get into the elevator and all is fine. On the second floor the door opens and some people get in. Same thing on the third floor and forth floor. By the time the door opens on the fifth floor the elevator is pretty crowded but five or six people wiggle their way into the elevator and now it is crammed. Too crammed and my claustrophobia takes hold and I panic. I panic so badly that I wake up and am breathing rapidly and completely stressed out unable to go back to sleep. What exactly kind of dream is this? I have had the crazed man chasing me or being in war dreams that caused a similar reaction when facing cetain death, but riding a crowded elevator? This doesn’t count as a nightmare does it? I mean if you are going to have a claustrophobic nightmare you had better be getting buried alive by a psychopath not crammed in an elevator with a bunch of people dressed in Brooks Brothers carrying folders and binders.
All of a sudden with no warning I am a running back in a goal line drive with the Oakland Raiders. Terrell Pryor hands the ball to me as I am supposed to dive into the end zone off left tackle. I should be feeling mighty good.
First of all I am not dressed in my football duds, rather red plaid pajamas and secondly as I get the ball I refuse to take one hand out from between my legs and I try running without abandoning the fetal position. Needless to say, I am mercilessly tackled. So what do the Raiders do? They call the same play. This time I realize I have a better chance of running if I remove my hand from between my legs and as I do, I slip by the approaching linebacker and sneak into the end zone.
Now I guess I should feel good that I have scored a touchdown. There are very few of us that have actually scored a touchdown in the NFL and I am part of a pretty select crowd now. Yet, somehow I am just left confounded. Why the Raiders, a team I have no affinity for in the least bit? What do the pajamas mean? And as a marathon runner and someone that is basically athletic, why am I trying to run in the fetal position?
So Dr. Freud you claim every bit of one’s subconscious is relevant; I challenge you or any of your disciples to explain what is going on in my noggin. My superego is clearly derelict in its duties of managing my id leaving my ego with no explanation as to what the symbolic significance to these dreams is.