12-Step Buddhist GEAR

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Path, what path?

I dreamt I was getting some Marlboro cigarettes at a convenient mart, but the proprietor was the owner of the Tibet store here in Portland. I found myself in line at a gas station, trying to get some deep fried shrimp dim sum. When I got up to the counter I opened my wallet and found that my Marlboros were really some kind of pack of 6 small cigarette-cigars. I looked at my credit card and realized it was a Visa with the brand name of the cigars. The other guy had given me the wrong stuff. But I had obviously already smoked one of those cigars, so I couldn’t understand how I wouldn’t have noticed already. So I told the lady I’d be back in 15 minutes, even though I figured it might take longer.

I went out to get my money back and realized I was on a street I didn’t know. The name had changed. I went down the way I thought I knew, and wound up in this hilly neighborhood where I asked some girls and they laughed and said I was not where I thought I was. Portland was far away. They walked down the street before I could get good directions home, so I carried my bike back up the hill and asked some guest house guy at the top. He took me inside and kept trying and trying to give me directions to freeways that I’d never heard of. I didn’t understand any of it, the street names, the map, I couldn’t see or make out any of it. They were showing me how we were in this mountain town and I had no idea I was that far away. And no matter how many times he tried I couldn’t understand him. So then this chic tried, and she was kind of flirting with me, but I still couldn’t understand her. At one point, she showed me her butt crack and said something like, “look, I’ll show you a map”, but I couldn’t look down since it would be impolite. Finally a guy from the program who I recognized from meetings wrote it all down neatly, with where to turn right and left. Then he turned to leave and said to the rest of them that he’d be back next week for meditation. I thought, “wait a minute, they’re having a meditation meeting without me?”.

I got on my bike and saw the freeway right down below. At that point I didn’t care if I could ride my bike down it or not, I needed to get home. I saw a little path straight down there, which looked easy enough to navigate. But as I got down the hill, the path became more difficult and impassable. At the bottom, I actually found myself needing to cross a river to get to the freeway. So I decided to swim with my bike. In the water, the river became kind of an underground waterway. At one point I saw some smudge that made me think it was really kind of a sewer. I had left my bike underwater but retrieved it before I crawled up from the underpass. I was in someone’s yard and I got up into this yard and was looking at what I thought was an overview, where there was a lady who welcomed me. I felt like finally I got to where I could see my path home, and although it looked like a really long way, I was relieved. Then some dogs came up to me and we were at a fountain that kept running, similar to what we have in Portland. Me and one nice doggy shared a drink from the faucet and I wondered if it was pure water or water from the sewer. I couldn’t really taste the difference.

I woke up and realized that in the dream I couldn’t navigate, couldn’t understand anyone and needed to find my way home. People gave me information, but I didn’t trust it and when I did it became difficult to understand. I got lost, couldn’t understand the directions home and at the end I was trying to figure out why I never called the 12-Step group to get someone to show me the way. I knew if I did, they would. That’s a relief if I ever find myself lost on a bike in a strange mountain town, hungry for dimsum.


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