Dream of: 27 March 1990 "Cliff Claven"

I was sitting on a stool at a bar in a restaurant, where several other people who apparently were members of my family were gathered. I was rather bored, and apparently one woman who knew me quite well realized it, because she said something about it. The woman, however, knew about my interest in dreams, and somehow it was brought to my attention that an older woman who apparently worked in the restaurant had had a recent dream which puzzled the older woman.

The older woman, who seemed as if she might be my grandmother, and who somehow made me think of my grandmother Leacy, came out and began telling me the dream. The woman was perhaps in her late 50s, rather corpulent, but still strong and able. She was wearing a white apron. As she told me the desultory dream, it didn't seem particularly interesting; nevertheless, I became intrigued as my mind quickly latched upon her words, seeking clues as to the meaning. The woman who knew about my interest in dreams seemed satisfied now that I had something to ease my boredom.

The older woman's words created a swirl of images in my mind that sometimes seemed mirrored in the scene around me. The dream had taken place in a restaurant and at one point I asked her, "Was there a bar like this one?"

She told me the names of several people who had appeared in the dream, and some of those people were now standing around me. It took me a while to realize who some of them were. Two were young women who were apparently sisters and somehow closely related to the older woman, perhaps her daughters or granddaughters.

Finally I began to feel as if the dream, as common as it was, was beginning to make some sense. The old woman had mentioned something about money in the dream, and it had seemed quite important. It seemed to have had something to do with the money she was making there in the restaurant, and how she had to turn it over to someone behind the counter every day. I began to feel the dream was portraying the life of this woman as one of waste, where much of her life had been spent in trying to earn money, so now there remained little hope that anything truly meaningful remained in her life. Yet at the same time, the dream seemed to say that indeed, even for this old woman, there was still hope for some meaning. Perhaps she had reached the end and was now ready to leave the restaurant forever and still realize something meaningful in her life.

As I looked around me, I now saw another fellow (perhaps 40 years old) sitting on a stool near me, and I quickly realized he was a son of the old woman. He was a lawyer and the old woman seemed close to him. I had the feeling she thought she might be able to rely on him for financial help as she grew older. Yet she was unsure of that.

Finally when he got up and left and the old woman came back over to me, I realized I was also her son. As she continued talking to me about her dream, I realized I had little to offer her in life except my ability at interpreting dreams. Yet I felt as if she felt even closer to me than to the other son, and as if all she wanted and needed from me was for me to interpret the dream.

Then she walked over to my side, sat down on the foot rest by the bar and pulled her apron up by her face. As she did so I saw that she wasn't a woman, but a man (perhaps 50 years old). I thought his name was Jeff. I wondered about the name and how it was that I knew it. Somehow I just seemed to know it. But at the same time I realized he looked exactly like Cliff Claven (the character played by the actor John Ratzenberger in the television series "Cheers"). Holding his apron close to his face, he almost wept, "Doesn't anyone care what I think?"

I suddenly realized he was talking about the fact that I had been asking other people in the place about certain characters in the dream, and had been making my own conclusions about the meaning of the dream without asking him what he thought it meant. And apparently he had some definite idea about what the dream meant. I realized his interpretation was probably the most important of all, and that I should immediately find out what it was.

Yet it seemed that time was running out, and that I must quickly find the correct interpretation, or it would be too late.

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