Ariane de Gennaro

When people tell you to follow your dreams, they clearly mean “follow your ambitions.” I’ve always been someone who has wild dreams, but the thing about dreams is that they’re ephemeral. I wake up with a vivid story in my mind, only to forget it entirely five minutes later. All I can remember is that “I had a crazy dream last night.”

Last semester, though, I started writing down my dreams and initial thoughts upon waking up. It started out as an assignment; We were reading Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams” and had to keep a dream journal for a week. I liked being able to see what I was thinking about while I was sleeping, not only for the first few moments of consciousness, but to have those thoughts cemented in ink on paper. Since then, I’ve taken to writing down the bits and pieces of dreams that I can recall. Random subconscious thoughts that surfaced in the night. A really good line I want to incorporate into my next YDN article. Dreams of dancing choreography I don’t recall learning. Dreams of listening to songs I haven’t been able to find on Spotify despite searching.

I love talking about dreams because it’s incredible what we know without really knowing it. But no, I don’t dwell on them or try to psychoanalyze them. It’s just fascinating that the unconscious mind can choreograph dances, compose songs, and synthesize outlandish stories. I present to you the last dream that I remember in its entirety. For context, carrots are my favorite vegetable.

It took place in a dystopian society in which it was illegal to grow and eat carrots. Somewhat like prohibition I suppose. It was illegal to even say the word ******* outside, in case someone heard. But obviously, carrots are delicious, and the people of this society still wanted carrots, including myself. There were uprisings; there were protests; There were underground schemes to illegally grow and eat carrots. We found our way around the law.

I got involved in a Superlab-esque operation like in “Breaking Bad,” but illegally growing carrots instead of cooking meth. A man named Farmer John lived next door to the secret lab, a caricature-like, grouchy old farmer. Behind his house, he had an orange tree that grew up over the fence into the adjacent backyard of the lab. It had thick, dark green foliage that covered the sky above half of the small yard and small shiny oranges hidden in the branches like Christmas tree ornaments. We went into the backyard and shook the tree so that the oranges would fall into our yard. They started falling, and we kept shaking the branches, and they kept falling. Soon, shiny oranges and waxy leaves covered the ground several feet deep. It was like wading through a fragrant ball pit of fresh fruit. Farmer John knocked on the door of our carrot lab, infuriated that we had taken his oranges. I told him that his tree was infringing on our property, considering how much it hung over the fence. It was bearing weight on the fence, and we were relieving it of its burden by picking the fruit. So he threatened to call the police and tell them about our illegal carrot operation … 

At that moment, as I stood on the doorstep arguing nonsense with a graying old man in a straw hat, the underlying suspicion that I was going to wake up soon began to creep up on me. Even though the dream hadn’t come to a conclusion yet, something in the back of my mind told me that it was on the precipice of termination. 

And then I heard the sound of my roommate’s alarm. Psychoanalyze me as you wish.