I was walking home from Haymarket up the hill towards my flat. Ellen was with me, but she was riding a bike, so she kept cycling off ahead or taking detours up side streets and around nearby blocks.
I was on my own when I reached the canal and saw that the bridge had been taken away. Another one, further down the canal, had been removed as well, but the old stone bridge off to the right was still there. Evidently, Ellen's detour had taken her across it because she was now on the other side of the canal, cycling towards me. I realised that she couldn't see that the bridge had gone and shouted to her to stop. She couldn't hear me -- or ignored me -- and cycled straight into the canal. As always seems to be the case when some low-level slapstick occurs in my dreams, I stood by, laughing helplessly.
I woke Ellen up by laughing in my sleep. She woke me up to find out what was so funny but seemed somehow unimpressed when I told her...
Notes for Freudian Analysis
We were visiting Ellen's sister in Oxford at the weekend. Yesterday afternoon, I was talking to her about how my plan to use Ellen's bike to cycle to work when the Parliament moves to Holyrood seemed like a good idea until I thought of the all-uphill journey home every night.
Later that night, walking home, Ellen and I stopped to look at the canal, which has just been refilled with water following some nearby construction work.
Freud would no doubt note that the bike appears to be connected in my mind to my future at work and find it significant that, in my dream, it is Ellen who has control of this symbol of career advancement while I merely trudge slowly up a hill that leads back to my house. Thus, Freud might suggest, I acknowledge my lack of ambition in my place of work relative to Ellen's in hers.
If that interpretation is correct, Ellen's tumble into the canal would fit with Freud's understanding of dreams as being the place where we are able to express emotions and thoughts that we will not allow ourselves to recognise consciously. Could it be that my id finds comfort in the idea of Ellen failing in her course of action? Do I, at some level, think that that would justify my lack of any course of action whatsoever?
Freud is a genius, so he's probably right, but if so, I must be an absolute louse!