Writing this down before it wanes

[I’m writing this down because every dream I’ve had involving Richard Armitage the person (as opposed to one of his characters) up until now has involved him yelling at me.

Background: Last night, after posting and just before I left my office I got a very angry message from a student in my modern Germany class, the same class in which yesterday’s student is enrolled. I cite: “I was put off that you extended the deadlines for papers. Furthermore, I felt like my third paper was done well- and then I received a C-, which killed any chance of me getting a good grade in this course. I wrote exactly what was asked by the paper options. I feel like the grading in this class is a little too subjective, which I feel is a result of your advanced levels of professional debating skills as a historian. […] I feel like I put way more effort, time, and reading into this course than all the negative feedback I was given in my grades.” I left, ate a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich at a local diner, went home, and crawled into bed. Shortly before 8:00 a.m. I dreamed the dream below. Other info: My friend and colleague the former Cambridge professor is 74, lives here in separation from his (by his estimation difficult) family in England, and has the office next door. He’s a curmudgeon, we both spend a lot of time writing in our offices on weekends, and for most of this year we’ve been drinking a glass of wine in my office once a week or so and chewing through things. Last night it was dual: the results of an FOIA request that a local newspaper filed to obtain information about measures of faculty productivity at my university, and what he thinks I should do with my life (continue teaching). In real life, Servetus never engages in prophylactic tidying. Ever.

For comparison: Skully, who seems to dream about him a lot more, writes about her latest Armitage dream.]


As the dream opens, I am married to my friend and colleague the former Cambridge professor. We are living in Cambridge, in two separate, very modern, very sleek apartments, i.e., we are married but do not live together. (There’s no visual indication this is Cambridge but I feel that I am living in Cambridge.) The apartments are across the hall from each other on the upper floor of a modest building. They have a surprising number of windows. The abundant sunlight feels brittle and cold but I only experience it from the inside of the apartment. There is a very specific ritual as to when we may disturb each other, what we may expect from each other, what must be said during every encounter. Mostly, we write all day and then get together for very healthy meals that I make and a glass of wine in the evening. We talk about music, books, and how rotten the world is. I am writing a great deal, but I am tense. I live for these evening conversations and when I am talking to him I feel how much I love him, but I feel when I see him that I have to put on a mask in order to be loved, i.e., I have to perform the role of the person he loves, not just to be loved myself, but also because he needs to see that performance so badly.

Eventually (no rationale for this decision emerges in the dream) we gather our luggage and exit the building we are living in. As we leave, we see that we are not in Cambridge, but instead in a city that I recognize (not a real city — one that has features of Berlin and Chicago but also of the city in which I currently live). All that I can see from my position on the ground is extremely large, heavily occupied parking lots with occasional skyscrapers here and there. I recognize that some of these skyscrapers are very famous buildings by architects whose work I know. He and I are disproportionately small in comparison to the landscape, probably about fifty percent “shorter” than we are in real life. The sun is beating down on us oppressively and we don’t want to risk walking the wrong way because the weather makes moving so laborious. I say, “if we want to get there we are walking in the wrong direction,” but he is gone, and I walk alone with all of my stuff, into a hotel.

In the hotel, it is very dark in the lobby. (The hotel seems like the one I stayed in January, but now I do not know where I am at all except in this very large, very dark mid-range hotel.) I am wearing desert camo and extremely stylish sunglasses and carrying a heavy army-issue backpack and an automatic rifle. As the staff of the hotel rush to help me with my stuff, I realize that I am an actress who has been cast in a major motion picture with a medieval theme and a number of actors and actresses who are well known, among them Richard Armitage. I feel that I am a natural peer or member of this group, i.e., I am also a respected thespian. All through the hotel it is very dark. I shake off the porters, check in, and take my stuff up to the room and as I put it down I realize I am covered with dust and pollen, but I do not shower. I toss the backpack in a corner and change clothes to go to a lounge that the film production company has arranged for the actors to use in order to socialize with each other. Now I am about six inches taller and much thinner and wearing black pants, a button front shirt, and sensible pumps. As I walk there I think, “I hope that I finally get to meet Richard Armitage because we are doing a lot of scenes together.” In the lounge many of the other actors and actresses are there talking to each other and I go in. There’s a drinks bar and some kind of reception is going on. I get involved in a conversation with an important actress and I never notice whether Armitage is there. Eventually a person comes in, yells to get our attention, and tells us that we need to go down into the lobby for a photo op for the beginning of the filming, and then we are all going to dinner together. In the elevator going down I find myself talking about professional matters to Jonas Armstrong. We do the picture taking.

Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner at The Hobbit press conference, Wellington, NZ, February 11, 2011. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

The dream omits what happens at dinner and the action resumes afterwards, when we are again all in this lounge where we’ll be socializing with each other for the length of the shoot. Gradually the actresses and actors all pair off and leave the lounge. I perceive that they are all leaving to have sex with each other. At some point I am alone in the lounge and then Richard Armitage is also there in his The Hobbit press conference guise: bushy brown hair and beard, jeans and short sleeve button front shirt. The lounge is littered with all kinds of things the actors and actresses have left there — books and garments and empty dishes and cups and scripts and so on. I say to Armitage, who already seems to know who I am, without self-introduction or preface, “what a mess, I have to clean this up.” Armitage says, “don’t you want to run lines together before tomorrow?” and I say, “I don’t think I was ever sent the last iteration of the script,” and I start picking stuff up from the lounge. I realize that much of the stuff I am picking up is my own: my favorite Norwegian sweater, purchased in 1999, turned inside out, a blue silk blouse I had in grad school but haven’t seen in years, a cheap gray fleece hoodie I just bought at Walmart two weeks ago. “I have to get this stuff picked up or I won’t be able to think.” Armitage looks like he’s about to say something, but …

… the scene shifts and I am walking out of the hotel. As soon as I get out, I am walking across the same parking lot from earlier and I have on my commencement regalia, and I am gradually stripping it off as throw it on the ground. I kick off my shoes as I enter the building where I give my modern German history lectures and I still have on the kneelength sleeveless black sundress that I have been wearing this whole week but I peel it off too and I enter the auditorium. It’s my modern Germany lecture and both students (the grateful one and the angry one) are present. I am now completely naked. No one including me or my TA seems to find this very strange. I tell the students that I am here to teach them that they must do what they love. Many appear to be sleeping. I start gesturing with my arms.

Alarm clock goes off.

~ by Servetus on May 14, 2011.

23 Responses to “Writing this down before it wanes”

  1. The Angry Student had his/her vent, and maybe feels better. For now.

    That detailed dream must provide you so much food for thought, and future postings. I do like that a dream is based on meeting the RL Armitage on a basis of equality, as opposed to fan. My fantasies about RA (yes, I do have them), are based similarly. On baing an actress – ways beyond the realms of reality. Or an interviewer; really far-fetched, too, but at least in a “professional” capacity. (Yup, we’ve seen many of those “professionals”) 🙂 Or just barely (moving closer to reality – just) as a research librarian pulling together material on espionage, or the SAS, whatever.

    Much richness in your dream, servetus. Look forward to your taking it in the usual creative direction.

    (Wouldn’t mind being 6 inches taller, too, but that’s beyond reality.)


    • My usual dream interpretation schema tells me that people we meet in our dreams are ourselves, so this Richard Armitage I’m meeting is actually me, I fear.

      If I were six inches taller I’d be the same height as he is 🙂


  2. The must alarming part of your dream was when he wanted to rehearse those sex scenes with you, but you were too focused on picking up your things. Tsk, tsk, tsk. 😉


    • I agree. It’s obvious that we’re supposed to have sex (everyone else is) but it never even occurs to me in the dream.


  3. Wow, talk about symbolically representing the road you’ve been travelling these past few months where now you are finally showing who you really are, gathering those bits of you long forgotten that you want to keep with you as you move forward. Perhaps you are moving to a place of closure as well, with Richard now being a peer rather than someone you revere.

    Being an actress and also a partner, at the beginning, who kept a mask on and a physical as well as emotional distant from her partner – seem to represent how you had been playing at being someone that people expect you to be rather than your real self, but now you are moving away from that. And leaving some people behind in the process.

    And the ending where you have the two students at both ends of the spectrum seems like you are calmly realizing some will like you, some won’t and neither really should matter, it’s about how you feel. The bit I find most interesting is that when you take off all the guises, you say they have to do what they love; and perhaps part of you used to be the sleeping students and you are trying to wake yourself up to this realization. A beautifully detailed dream that really summarizes your journey up to this point.

    At least that’s how I interpret it (for what that’s worth).


    • Didn’t see Calexora’s post until after I posted, when 5 more comments suddenly appeared. I like it,esepcially part about the sleeping students being Servetus.


    • Absolutely wonderful interpretation, Calexora. It very much meets what I would interpret into this dream.
      Servetus, I really see you exactly in your leaving process in this dream. I would see RA in your dream not so much as yourself, but perhaps as his current role in your life. (Though I hope he is one of the things you pick up and take with you.)
      Anything more in your dream would break the current distance he has to you, so sorry, the more spicy version could not happen. I think he mirrors your observation position from your blog.


      • It would have been odd had I had sex with him in some ways. I usually only have sex in dreams with people I work with. It seems to be about working things out with them.


    • I agree there are definite pronounced journey elements to it. I was a bit surprised by how unsurprised I was that Armitage was there and not angry at me. Like the point about the sleeping students.


  4. Fantastic dream. Here’s my amateur analysis (keeping in mind that I have no idea what I’m talking about): the first part is straightforward: you and your Cambridge colleague are leaving your current academic posts and moving on (and away from your current relationship). The rest of the dream, including the hotel/Robin Hood segment, is powerful but not so straightforward. My initial thought is that you’re exploring who you really are what parts of yourself to take with you back to the classroom. I would suggest that RA is your animus (male counterpart), in Jungian terms, and he’s asking you “Don’t you need to do some internal preparation (with me, your animus) before moving on to the next phase of your life?” What an interesting dream.


    • I really like the animus point. I saw a Jungian for two years, but for some reason I hadn’t thought of this.


  5. Wow, what a wonderful dream! It seems like it is overflowing with meaning, which I’m sure no one but you could adequately decipher. I find it curious that you are short when you’re the writing academic and tall when you are an actor. I hope that doesn’t mean you hold your teaching / academic work in lesser esteem than acting!

    Oh lady, you blew your opportunity to “run lines” with Mr. Armitage! (And picked up pieces of the past instead…). I wonder if it’s relevant that – You looked forward to conversing with your “husband”, with whom you had a strong routine, but when the opportunity came to converse with Mr. Armitage, you were perturbed because you did not have the latest script. Needless to say, if you had of embraced the unknown in this moment, you would have been rewarded (with sex)!

    I’d totally forgotten about the RA dream of mine you linked too. I haven’t dreamt about him for a long time now. Lately my dreams have been about some fellow Aussies, Julian Assange and a TV news reporter / foreign correspondent. Odd. I’d take RA back any day!


    • I think I feel more powerful when I’m pretending, as if what I am really is not good enough. Interesting point about the script.


      • In re-reading Daisy’s comment, my script point thing ties in with her point about preparation. The same thing expressed in a different way.

        Wasn’t there a notion of pretend with your “husband”? You weren’t tall in that scenario. I guess there is a distinction between liberating pretend and soul deflating pretend.

        Somehow this Franz Kafka quote seems appropriate: “Strange how make-believe, if engaged in systematically enough, can change into reality.”


  6. More dream thoughts: the home you leave is cold, modern, remote from the world, but the hotel is full of creative people, history (both cultural and personal), and..er, sexual fulfillment. The hotel may represent your transition place.

    I also believe all the people in our dreams are us (we?). And if I were 6 inches taller I’d still be shorter than RA, who, BTW, I dreamed about last night, probably thanks to this blog. 🙂


  7. I’m not even going to begin to interpret your dream servetus as you have a far more analytical mind than I have and will no doubt find meaning for it all.

    I have to say that I envy all of you who dream either of the RL Richard Armitage of one of his characters. This has never happened to me – or if I did it was gone in the morning before I could recall it. If I ever do, I will be sure to share it with you – I think 😉


  8. Thanks for all these insightful comments — they were really illuminating to some stuff I hadn’t thought of.


  9. Dear Servetus,
    Dreams are very powerful, personal, spiritual messages from your Innerself/soul/spirit. You’re obviously ‘wakening up’, but still struggling with ‘letting go’ and leaving that comfort-zone(your former life/old You). Embrace it Servetus.You are here for a reason. You are so gifted with your talent. Forget about the past, go with the flow and live in the Now. You are the creator of your own life! YOU are the scriptwriter! See the (hidden) message/challenge in what Richard asked you in your dream and your answer to that. When you work on yourself- getting rid of the old ‘negative’ thoughts and Love your true self again (throw away that mask), you’ll be able to see all the possibilities/opportunities on your way (they were always there, but you couldn’t “see” it). So love yourself and rediscover your Innerstrenght and you will feel reborn. Celebrate life and have faith in the future. It’s time to (really) move on… I wish you much love and good luck on this amazing journey. Trust me…everything will make sense afterwards 😉

    ps I’d like to recommend the website dreammoods.com.

    Sorry for my English (and lack of time for improvement)…I just felt the need to encourage you…


  10. […] wait to see more, but for today, this was just the little piece of reassurance I needed. Daisy wrote some time ago that she wonders whether Mr. Armitage has become my animus. If so, he appeared at just the right […]


  11. […] Armitage dreams: first ; second ; […]


  12. […] and I thought I might get away without seeing anyone. I made it to my office, and of course, my friend and colleague the former Cambridge professor was there. He and I had started at almost the same time, and despite a rocky beginning of our […]


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