“Get ready. They’re waiting for us,” Heidi brusquely called me.
I grumpily began to respond by quickly ending a sentence I was typing, making a trip to the bathroom, and changing into appropriate clothes.
She had already exited when I left the house so I took a shortcut through the parking lot. Dashing through an empty space, a van with two men in it rushed into that space, pinning me between their bumper and a cement wall with not more than an inch of wiggle room for my legs.
Frozen, I glanced to the driver who held up both palms to me as if to reassure me that he was as surprised as I was. After a few seconds I began to inch my way forward out of the way while he continued to stand on the brakes with his hands up, never backing away nor even touching the gear shift lever. Exiting the tight space I managed to wave a weak “I’m OK” and he tentatively waved back with his frozen expression of fright.
Recovering quickly, I hurried to the exit where the car was waiting in the street. Amazed, I there beheld a giant old 1950’s Detroit convertible packed with aging but once glamorous blond ladies, all giggles and chatter and skirts and scarves and legs and bosoms and sunglasses and red lipsticked white smiles.
Heidi among them motioned me in while the driver, a not so smiling brunette with an attitude, grumpily yelled at me to get in quickly as one of the passengers was already late for where she had to be. I took the lateness to be my fault.
But where was I to sit? The car was full, even though it seemed as though the car was growing more rows of seats as I hesitated. And how was I to tell what had happened to me in the parking lot? What would become of me once thrown in among this gaggle of girls?
Then I woke up.
I lay there motionless, marveling at not only the force and reality of the dream but also at the simple fact of remembering it so vividly, which is unusual for me. Then I began the head work of finding some significance in the dream.
What did it mean to me, this “surviving” intact the world of men and their dangerous activities, this hurried “invitation” to join this “women’s world” which was led by someone rather vulgar and imperious. Above all, who and where was I in these worlds? How could I authentically express who I was? Would anyone listen? Did I even know who “I” was?
What kind of “we” includes me without swallowing me up. The world of men is dangerous but I seem to get some respect and consideration there. That’s important but lacks the softness and affection I also crave.
These caricatures of the two worlds summarize a predicament that our post-modern world has difficulty resolving. So how do we move on from a male and female world to a masculine and feminine one where gender fluidity can allow both, or more, worlds to flourish.