I had a dream

Last night—or rather, early this morning—I had an extremely vivid dream.  I was in some exotic locale on a cruise, but the cruise was a big ship traveling very rapidly down a narrow canal through a city that seemed to be a combination of Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Latin America.  Somehow two friends and I had accidentally gotten off the boat, and desperately needed to get back on. The problem was that we didn’t know where the boat would stop next, and we couldn’t find out. We kept going to many information booths, and stopping many people, to find out—but no dice.

I knew that on the boat was my colleague Trevor Price, and I had a cellphone and his number, so I tried to call him to find out where the ship would stop so we could get aboard. But the cellphone was weird: the buttons wouldn’t work, or they’d jump out on springs, and the phone began disintegrating. I woke up terrified that I’d been left behind.

What does this mean?


  1. Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Hmmmm… beats me, Dr. C.
    Are you a little anxious about your trip to Florida and leaving Honey and (Webster) behind?

    In any case, make sure you wear a life jacket on the fishing excursions and keep your cellphone charged.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      (It’s also a good idea to seal your cellphone in a ziploc freezer bag and tether it to, say, your belt loop, in case it falls overboard.)

  2. alexandra Moffat
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    It means that you are going on a trip! With the normal anxieties about being on time to catch your transportation….isnt the mind interesting…

  3. Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    It means don’t eat pizza just before going to bed.

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Maybe it means you ate something that didn’t agree with you last night or you ate too late before bed.

  5. Karen Fierman
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther King you are not.

  6. Merilee
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Must be something in the air. I’ve been having lots of crazy dreams involving random old friends, and also the requisite unprepared for an exam ones.

  7. Christopher
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I agree with the rest, probably trip anxiety, fear of things out of your control, things you can control but still go wrong anyway.

    My recents dreams included having to soothe a large lion by rubbing its belly so it wouldn’t bite anyone, and then being hired to go jogging with a boy with autism and his llama. Wednesday I had a horrific dream where I was driving one of those giant tour buses at speed, towards a police roadblock, and the brakes wouldn’t work and the steering wheel wouldn’t steer. I woke up sweating and my heart thundering in my chest, absolutely terrified.

    • Merilee
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Can I borrow your lion and llama dream?

  8. freiner
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    It means stay away from Welsh rarebit. It’s fiendish.

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Errm, what it means is that you were thinking about boat trips, or had recently seen a TV doco about boat trips, and your brain was just shuffling around the various images and concepts that were floating around in memory.

    At least, that’s what I find with most of my dreams.

    The information booths element was a quite common anxiety. (I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was attending a university course (I know where that came from) but I’d forgotten which room it was in and the lecture was due to start and I kept wandering down a twisty maze of passages all alike looking for room numbers, and I couldn’t find a timetable or a plan of the building…)

    The ‘travelling’ element seems to be an inherently attractive concept – there’s just something about a train or boat voyage that appeals to the imagination.


  10. David W Andrews
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Fear of dying. You might consider altering what you say before heading to bed.

  11. W.T. Effingham
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It’s the extended winter hibernation instinctively subliminal consciousness.. too cold to coordinate.

  12. Bill Shaddle
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Maybe a bit of pop psychology here, but the obvious “missing the boat” fear jumps out…what metaphorical “boat” are you afraid of missing?

  13. Liz
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I agree that normal trip anxiety is probably it. Sometimes I have dreams that are so frightening that I am just relieved to wake up. In my dream last night I was with a group of about 10 random people on a team to complete a 14 mile obstacle course. I wasn’t that nervous about it but the group kept getting stalled before beginning. People had to register, use the bathroom, put items in lockers, and things like that. Finally everyone was ready to go and then I had to use the bathroom. When I was washing my hands, I asked this girl doing her hair at the sink if we could just share the space since it was just the one sink. She said no so I had to use this other sink off to the side and this fancy green bar soap that was brand new.

  14. Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Standard travel anxiety dream. Relative to the “lost homework” dream.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I’d say the trouble with the phone is related to not being actually able to read things in dreams.

  15. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    As advised, it is one of ‘those’ dreams that are related to whatever you are needing to get done lately. As a student I had those frustrating sorts of dreams about getting to class or missing an exam. Now I have those sorts of dreams about making it to work or getting to my lecture on time.

  16. David Duncan
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    “What does this mean?”

    It means Basement Dog is messing with your brain.

  17. Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The writer of The Book of Matthew (whatever that person’s name really was) used meaningful dreams as a plot device, but I lean toward the more scientific position that dreams have no more meaning than a pattern in a series of roulette spins. They might be influenced by what’s on your mind, but you already know what’s on your mind!

    • Merilee
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on the basic meaninglessness of the content of dreams, though in these times of generalized anxiety we might all be prone to more “oh, no” dreams?

  18. Blue
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    All from

    I have noooo idea in re this dictionary’s
    lexicographer(s) nor have I researched any
    other ‘dream dictionary’ and likely will not.
    Hyperdictionary ‘as been online for decades;
    I have no idea, however, IF at all meaningful
    … … these ‘definitions’ … … inside
    Any’s … … realities.

    Definition: Seeing a ship in your dream indicates that you are exploring aspects of your emotions and unconscious mind. The state and condition of the ship is indicative of your emotional state. If it is a cruise ship, then it suggests pleasant moods. If it is a warship, then you are experiencing feelings of aggression. Dreaming that you are sailing the high seas in a ship indicates that you are standing tall in times emotional turmoil. Dreaming that a ship crashed or is sinking, suggests that some aspect of your life is out of control You are expressing some fear or uncertainly within your emotional state. You are afraid of losing something close to you because of certain difficulties.

    Definition: Seeing or using a cell phone in your dream indicates that you are being receptive to new information. It also represents your mobility. Dreaming that you lost your cell phone, represents a lack of communication. You have lost touch with some aspect of your feelings or your Self.

    Definition: Seeing your friends in your dream means aspects of your personality that you have rejected, but are ready to integrate these rejected part of yourself. The relationships you have with those around you are important in learning about yourself. Additionally, this symbol foretells of happy tidings from them and the arrival of good news. Seeing your childhood friend in your dream means regression into your past where you had no responsibilities and things were much simpler and carefree. You may be wanting to escape the the pressures and stresses of adulthood. Consider the relationship you had with this friend and the lessons that were learned. Alternatively, the childhood friend may be suggesting that you have been acting in a childish manner and you need to start acting like an adult. Dreaming that your best friend is dying, suggests that some aspect or quality that your best friend possess is dying within your own self.

    I tried but could not get a definition here
    for ‘colleague’ so used ‘friend’ instead. Perhaps this dictionary ‘ll have other key word – definitions for the dream’s sequence.


  19. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Holiday anxiety. A non-fisherman [you] going to Florida on a fishing trip. Will you fit in or be the wet blanket? That’s what it’s about I reckon.

    Did you find a duck minder for your absent two weeks?

  20. glen1davidson
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    It means dreams are weird.

    Oh, it’s an anxiety dream, but I doubt that because the dream is apparently about traveling that the underlying anxiety has to be related to traveling. Or that it really means anything, other than that there was some anxiety.

    Glen Davidson

  21. Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Maybe your subconscious is telling you that you should change your smartphone…

  22. E.A. Blair
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    “I woke up terrified that I’d been left behind.”

    I thoought this was something unique to fundamentalist Christians.

  23. Steve Bracker
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    A few words from Brother William of Baskerville (as reported by Brother Adso of Melk and later by Humberto Eco): “I don’t know, Adso. We have so many truths in our possession that if the day came when someone insisted on deriving a truth even from our dreams, then the day of the Antichrist would truly be at hand.” Of course we must also note that in the very next sentence Brother William sets out to do exactly that, with the consequences foreseen.

  24. P. Puk
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve had a dreams like this. Same plot, same result.

  25. Jon Gallant
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The cruise ship on the ocean is elementary: in standard psychoanalytic theory, the ocean symbolizes sex, and so does everything else. It is also a symbol for mother: Adler’s mother according to Freud, Freud’s mother according to Adler. In the American school of psychotherapy, it could be your mother,
    or possibly the therapist’s mother, or both.
    And travelling down that narrow canal is a dead give-away.

  26. mirandaga
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    The cruise ship represents your being on board with naturalism, which you are beginning to worry might be going too fast down a “narrow canal.” Your accidentally getting off the boat represents your having doubts about your world view and being desperate to find some way back to a firm conviction about the truth. You seek “evidence” about the boat’s location everywhere but make no progress because people give you conflicting information. The broken, disintegrating cell phone represents your crumbing faith in technology, leaving you with the helpless feeling that you’re somehow “missing the boat.” I suspect the only way to avoid a repetition of this disturbing dream is to accept a grant from the Templeton Foundation. 😊

  27. Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    It is just the standard cell-phone-buttons-jumping-out-on-springs anxiety dream. We all have them.

  28. Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    It means those ducks are messing with your mind… the next dream is you on a space ship and it’s running out of oxygen. To resolve this issue go down to the duck pond and tell them they are free to go, they already know this but this is not about them.

  29. Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Back in the early 1960’s my Mom had a Western Union office in our home, and she had a teletype machine that would sometimes go crazy, typing random characters and wasting paper. They called it “running open.”

    A dream is your brain running open.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying PCC has a closed mind when he is not dreaming?

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        He presumably has a *filtered* brain. Learning science is one way to acquire a filter.

  30. Divalent
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    The luxury cruise ship represents heaven, and your getting separated from it means you are destined for hell. Your inoperable phone represents the fact that it is now too late for you to connect with Jesus to let him know that you accept him as your savior.

    (BTW, I bet you didn’t know that Trevor Price was Jesus. Nor that hell is alot like a combination of Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Latin America.)

  31. Roo
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Seven years of bumper crops are on their way…
    Years of plenty, endless wheat and tons of hay….

    Sounds like a combination of “frustration over an impossible-to-complete task dream” (which usually means you’re running-to-stand-still on your to do list, or in your case, maybe writing a book or mulling over an academic problem or something,) and travel anxiety. I feel like traveling is akin to going to the gym… some part of you screams “Noooooo! I need to stay in my cocoon of auto-pilot familiarity where I can float along with less effort! The elliptical is not my friend!” right beforehand, but then afterwards you feel great.

    (Also, maybe you’re worried about finding a good duck sitter while you’re gone!)

  32. EliHershkovitz
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Not so long ago, nightmares were of the stuff where you couldn’t coordinate the dials in your rotary phone.

  33. Posted April 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    It means you want to go on a cruise, but fear getting lost or missing the boarding time.

  34. Andre
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    The last paragraph certainly means that you use a Windows 10 Phone. I have one, too, so I can relate.

  35. Dominic
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Dreams have NO meaning! They are re-hashes of thoughts etc that you have from the previous day(s)…. & probably forgotten!

    The Mind is Flat!

  36. Tim
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    It means you had a weird dream. Don’t look for meaning, just enjoy the free entertainment!

  37. Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Dreams have no meaning that I’ve been able to tell. But I too have had various versions of the “malfunctioning phone” dream.

    One that I used to have all the time was that I would call my then lady friend and the sound would arrive from her but I was unable to send anything. (This is weird because we did most of our long conversations in person, which is unusual for me in general.)

    I also have another one where I try to use a pay phone but somehow it is connected wrong and it doesn’t take coins right or the buttons don’t tone or something.

  38. Hempenstein
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    In that vein, more than once I’ve dreamed either that I got to Stockholm and found that I’d forgotten to take Swedish money, or I get to the departing airport and find that I forgot my passport.

    • Merilee
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Did you remember to bring your Nobel acceptance soeech?

  39. E.A. Blair
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    One recurring dream that I have is what I call the “Bad House” dream. I am in a familiar location – sometimes my parents’ house, or someplace else that I’ve lived – but there are people and places that don’t belong. Some of the people are long gone or were never associated with that location; there are rooms and corridors that shouldn’t be there, and sometimes they have been so disorienting that it sometimes takes me a while to figure out where I am when I finally wake up.

    Meanwhile, the title of this post gave me an excuse to revisit my old John Sebastian albums.

%d bloggers like this: