Friday, July 8, 2016

A friend resorts to prostitution. (dream)

By Joseolgon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

DREAM

I'm watching an old friend move into a new apartment with her kids and significant other. They've begun a routine in which he takes the kids to school while she goes to work. Her work is the only thing that allows them to afford such a spacious home in a prime location.

She's begun working for a euphemized online pimping company. It finds Johns for her.

The pay puts her in the middle class. It offers her kids a chance to do better in life. They don't have to worry about food or listen to their parents fighting over money. But it's sad for me to watch. I wish I could do something about this, but the more I think about what I could do and how it either isn't my place or I don't have the resources to do it, the more powerless I feel.

At the same time I recognize the strength it takes to do what she's doing. There's an incredible fortitude co-mingling with the lack of dignity inherent in prostitution. It can't be easy to sustain this lifestyle, emotionally- especially not for someone as bright, kind and sensitive as my friend. But maybe she's cutting through all of society's absurdities by living like this. In order to acquire the modest comforts of the middle class, she easily bypasses the irrational games others expect her to play, instead playing a game that's completely contrary to their hopes for the possibility of popularity. At the end of the day, she's alive as they are and has just as much opportunity to enjoy other aspects to her life and her family (or not). And professionally, on a day to day basis, she's been no more or less fake and ridiculous than nine out of ten people.

For whatever reason, you won't see the best in people right away. I'm just fortunate to have seen the best in her a long time ago, even if things are a little bit strange right now.

I continue thinking of all kinds of ways for her to change her own situation- ways that might allow her to fight to collect income doing something she actually wants to in depth. But no matter how far into the future one reaches with one's imagination- building a potential future that could be exactly right for that person, it will never pay for kids' clothes, food, basic modern necessities like the phone and internet, etc., and ultimately, ideals only exist because reality sucks so much. We wouldn't need them if reality was great.

So she needs to do this for now. And I feel stuck. I am a distant, uncomfortable observer that understands the golden handcuffs.

Her apartment morphs into a silent auction/thrift store after she's done for the day. The decor is saccharine: Rococo filigree lines all the furniture and wall paper. The apartment is a diffuse, cold white with splashes of pastel cyan.

The auction only sells items in a nude-pink tint which is fashionable at this time. I'm surprised my friend is taking as much interest as she is. I know she doesn't care for these colors, even if they flatter her. I love these colors even though they don't flatter me. I never think of myself as tending not to embrace trends until I'm around friends like her. Funny how much my self-perception can change based on my understanding of who I'm around. She wants to wear her shoes her way and no amount of peer pressure is going to sway her.

I pick up a shoe that I might like to buy. It looks too small. I look at the sole for some more information.

Size 4. 

It's a child's ballet shoe. I put it back.

I pick up an old woman's heeled, Mary Jane shoe in the same shade of pink. It's huge!

Size 9. Much too big.

I put it back and sigh. I really want this color. I feel as though I need to drink it in for a while.

I keep searching the auction for something, but everything seems overpriced, too worn (the shoes are used), uncomfortable, or just... not quite right- even though the color is always exactly what I'm looking for.

My friend can't be thinking of buying anything, although she's looking at the turquoise items that appeared on another shelf a little while ago. But she's just happy to be there and enjoys being there- unburdened by my own sudden, distressing fixation on finding shoes in this pink color and under a certain price.

INTERPRETATION

My 30th birthday is coming up and the shoes stand out to me as my accepting my feelings about where the timeline of my life is. I probably have about 20-60 more years I need to plan for, and about 40-50 of those years will revolve around career and trying to build a home (like the dream-friend had to do). I don't know about you, but in my early 20's, I received an official notification from the government saying that I should not expect social security to support me when I reach retirement age and that I should prepare. I don't think I should plan to retire, but to be able to work at something I can enjoy at any age.

I am developing a renewed sense of purpose about those remaining years and want to plan them out. In the dream, I became fixated on choosing exactly the right shoes at a reasonable cost. I have to drop old goals and pick up new ones, the way I picked up and put down shoes made for different purposes, although I had the gist of the color I wanted.

Shoes tend to symbolize journeys. The shoes were all used and available at a cost, but pretty, which testifies to the fact that I'm okay with looking at what other people are doing in order to follow in their footsteps and seeing what it cost them to get there and if it's worth it to me, personally.

Life is not what one expects, but it must be enjoyed anyway, through any and all corresponding tears. I've been watching a YouTube playlist about emotion just for fun. I've been playing it up until the point that I practically fall asleep listening to it. One of the researchers mention that one of the key shifts that happen in peoples' emotional systems as they age is how they tend to accept sadness at the same time as happiness, recognizing that no emotion is meant to last. The dream-friend's successful prostitution suggests this kind of mood. The dream-friend's interest in simply being at the silent auction suggests that I should also enjoy the moment since she seems to be a symbol for another side to myself- both of us existing in the same house.