Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Bus Dreams

July 21, 2014

Wednesday July 16th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

One of a large laundry list of assorted oddities in my life I have never been able to figure out is a recurring dream I have had for decades. I have told it in detail to several dream interpreters that I have run across both on the radio and in private, but nobody has given me a definitive answer.

In my dream, I am walking through an unidentified city. It is almost always at night, and I find an abandoned city bus parked with the motor running and lights on. I get on the bus, sit myself in the driver’s seat and proceed to start driving along a route that somehow I already know by heart.

I stop and pick passengers up, and nobody ever questions anything. I will exchange banter with many of the people that get on, and even answer questions they have about directions. It’s a very realistic experience, and I can totally feel that big bus steering wheel in my hands as I’m driving.

It’s never a school bus or Greyhound, and it’s never out in the sticks. It’s always a city bus in a city environment with big buildings around me and lots of traffic. I know exactly how to operate everything, and I consciously check my mirrors and use turn signals. It’s a detailed experience.

The funny thing is, I have never driven anything close to a bus in my life. I did own a hearse a long time ago, but I didn’t drive it very much. It was basically a gimmick I used to advertise my comedy. I had “Die Laughing with Comedian Dobie Maxwell” painted on the side, and I parked it in a friend’s driveway that lived on a busy street. It was more of a billboard than anything else.

I only wish I could have as vividly detailed dreams about being a special guest at the Playboy mansion, but that has never happened even once. These bus dreams have been going on for most of my adult life, and I’ll be dipped in diesel fuel if I can figure out why. But it’s not unpleasant.

I did happen to ride the city bus quite a bit while growing up in Milwaukee, but there’s no way it should have buried itself that deeply into my psyche that I still have such vivid dreams about it today. I have never charted how often this dream occurs, but I’d say a couple of times each year.

Last night it happened again, and I have to admit I enjoyed it. I wasn’t naked behind the wheel or anything like that, and once again I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going on my route. If I had that kind of confidence and vision in real life, I would be a superstar by now.

The only other recurring dream I still have is about trying to be a baseball pitcher. I show up at a tryout camp somewhere, and try to act like I belong there. I get on the mound and start to throw and before long there are scouts standing around asking me questions. Again, everything is vivid.

Once in a while the procedure will take place at an actual stadium although I can rarely identify which. Sometimes it’s Wrigley Field. Other times it’s Comiskey Park or the old County Stadium in Milwaukee. Most times it’s just your random run of the mill stadium, but it’s always packed.

Between innings I get to go out there and show everybody what I have left in the tank. I give it all I have, and then they ask me to join them in the broadcast booth. Again, I have no idea why it happens, but it’s never unpleasant. Where’s Sigmund Freud when you need him? I need answers.

If my life dreams matched my bus dreams, I'd be a huge success.

If my life dreams could match my bus dreams, I would be a smashing success.

Deep Sleep

October 29, 2013

Thursday October 24th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

I have had recurring dreams throughout my life, and I wish I could figure out why they happen and what if anything it means. They range from the traditional being back in high school without my homework to being on the radio when my song ends and I don’t have another one to others.

One I have fairly regularly is being booked to do a huge comedy gig, but can’t find my way to the stage. I’ll spend most of the dream feverishly trying to get to the venue, and then I’m not able to find anyone to report to backstage, and I never actually get to perform. It’s always frustrating.

Other times I dream I am on a network show, and go out and destroy the audience. They laugh at everything I say, and I know even before I say my next line that it’s going to crush. Sometimes the host is David Letterman, and he and I sit and talk afterward. It’s not clear if it’s on TV or not, but we’ll chat about the business just like two comics would – and he always treats me as a peer.

Another batch of dreams I’ve had for years is being a professional athlete and playing baseball, basketball or football. They are incredibly vivid, and it feels like I’m really doing it. I am right in the heat of action, and always know exactly what to do. In basketball I’m the point guard and get a rebound and dribble it up the court and either pass it off for a basket or sink a perfect jumper.

In football I’m usually a kickoff returner and feel the rush of trying to run one back for a score. Sometimes I make it a long way up the field, and other times I get tackled. Other times I’m in the defensive backfield and can feel where the quarterback is going to throw and I intercept the pass.

In baseball I’m the pitcher, but I usually get to bat and end up smacking a solid hit somewhere. I can’t control when these dreams happen, but when they do they’re of uncanny clarity and I can feel every tiny detail as if it’s not a dream. It’s a sensational feeling, and I don’t want to wake up.

One that has always puzzled me is where I’m walking down a city street and come upon a city bus that’s been abandoned. The bus is running, and I climb in the driver’s seat and start driving it on the scheduled route. I stop to let passengers on and off, and even answer questions they’ll ask.

I’ll feel that big steering wheel in my hands, and I know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going. It’s unbelievably fun to be doing this, and I can’t get enough of it. When I’m done driving I just park the bus and get off. At that point I’ll usually wake up, but I still remember everything.

I can’t begin to guess what this could possibly mean, other than I need to take better care of my diet after 9pm. I’ll bet I’ve been having a variation of this dream more than twenty years and I’m still without a clue as to what it might mean. It’s a blast to drive the bus while I do it, then it’s over.

I had this particular dream again last night, and as a bizarre twist my only passenger was Rick Harrison from “Pawn Stars”. We were talking about comedy and pawn shops, and out of the blue I got pulled over by a cop and he wanted to arrest me for theft. Rick thought he was being set up.

I know it’s weird, but it’s so vivid I can still picture it. It’s like I was really getting arrested and I thought I was going to jail. This time I was glad I woke up. Even my life isn’t THAT out there.

I have had recurring dreams for years. Am I nuts? Probably.

I have had recurring dreams for years. Am I nuts? Probably.

Fame? No Thanks

August 19, 2013

Sunday August 18th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Should I ever be given a choice as to what torture to inflict upon my worst enemy, I’d seriously have to consider the curse of massive fame. I can’t imagine how anyone could live in peace with having to bear that burden. Some are better suited than others, but it still has to be a constant hell.

   I have a difficult enough time dealing with it on a part time basis. I’m always friendly to people who approach me, and 99% of the time there’s never a problem. They’ll usually say they enjoyed my show, and then maybe ask for an autograph or to have a picture with them. That’s totally ok.

   It happens more often than not at the venue where I’m performing, but once in a while I’ll have someone approach me in public. It’s mostly in small towns, but not always. One time I was with some friends who weren’t comedians when I was in the San Francisco Comedy Competition. We were hanging out in downtown San Francisco and out of the blue someone yelled out my name.

   “Hey, it’s Mr. Lucky! That guy is HILARIOUS!” It made everyone stop and stare, and the guy who yelled it came over and shook my hand and told me he had seen my show the previous night and loved it. That impressed the hell out of my friends, even though I knew it was a lucky fluke.

   A situation like that is an ego stroke more than anything. It was fun, but then it was over. What must it be like to be Michael Jordan or David Letterman or Oprah or anyone that has been known to the public for decades? They couldn’t walk down any street in peace. That’s not what I want.

   There’s a Chinese buffet not far from where I live that I really enjoy. They have a wide variety of good food, and it’s very reasonably priced. Most Chinese buffets tend to serve low grade dog food, but these guys are a definite cut above. I find myself going there often and I went today.

   It’s a giant place, and I’ll bet it seats several hundred. It was a lot fuller today than I’m used to, as I tend to go at off times as a rule. I was led to my seat by my hostess, and then I went up to the buffet to fill my plate. There were a lot of people milling around and I didn’t think anything of it.

   Out of the blue, some guy I didn’t know shouted out loud across the egg drop soup vat “HEY! You’re a COMEDIAN! I’ve seen you. You’re FUNNY!” It stopped traffic, and everyone around the soup vats turned to stare at me. I turned around to pretend I was looking for somebody else.

   The guy wasn’t buying it and pointed his soup ladle at me. “No…YOU! I saw you years ago.” I smiled and said thank you, and then complimented him on his memory. He remembered me from years ago while I barely remember what I had for breakfast. I thought our contact was finished.

    I thought wrong. He came around the soup vats and saddled right up next to me and informed me he’d been heckling the night he saw me and that I’d ripped him apart in front of everyone he knew. Apparently it was a big gathering of some sort, and all his friends and family were there.

   Of course I didn’t remember it in the least, but I played along like I did. After a full ten minute monologue, I knew I was in trouble. There was obviously some mental illness here, and he didn’t get the fact that he’d outstayed his courtesy time and was now in the red zone. I couldn’t escape.

   Finally I told him my soup was getting cold, and thanked him for saying hello. On his way out, he brought his wife to my table and started in again. This was ten more minutes I won’t get back, but I was polite and took it. Dreams of fame and fortune are misinformed. I’ll settle for fortune.

Near Death Experience?

November 6, 2012

Sunday November 4th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I had another one of ‘those dreams’ again. I don’t have them often, but when I do they are very vivid and it feels like it’s actually happening. The last one I remember was last year after getting out of the hospital with my diabetes diagnosis. The owner of Zanies Comedy Club Rick Uchwat had recently passed away, and I had a vivid dream where he assured me my health would be fine.

I had never had a dream about Rick before, and I haven’t had one since. Was it him? I have no idea, but it sure felt like his essence. Rick was a strong influence in my life, and I always had an enormous amount of respect for him. He took care of me at the exact the times I needed it most, and nobody I can think of besides my grandfather told it like it was as candidly or without sugar.

In my dream, I could absolutely tell it was Rick before he spoke. It looked like him, and he was exactly as I remembered him in his prime. I felt a strong bond with him in life, even though we’d maybe see each other once a year on average if that. There was just something about his vibe that was magnetic. Jay Leno was friends with him for years, as was Jerry Seinfeld and many others.

I have read in more than once source that if souls indeed do come back from the other side for a contact visit it happens in a dream. I’m not saying I totally believe that but I’m also not saying I discount it either. The truth is, I just don’t know. I don’t think anybody does, but who can say?

The dream I had last night was completely different. Rick wasn’t in it, nor was anyone else I’d ever met. I was led into a room by a couple of big old knuckle scraping goon types who appeared to be mobster thugs. They told me to sit down at a table, and then they sat down on each side so I couldn’t go anywhere. There were more of them at the table, and none of them looked to be glib.

One of them directly across the table pulled out a deck of cards of all things, and started to deal hands of blackjack to everyone including me. One of the ones at the table told me this was going to be my “last chance”, and if I didn’t get dealt exactly the right cards I would be dead very soon.

They were all very serious, and I could feel a very real tension as the cards were dealt. I tried to take a quick peek at my cards but I couldn’t make out what they were. I’ve never been much of a card player anyway, so it was very strange to be in this situation at all. I felt totally out of place.

After a few hands, apparently I lost and the game was over. Everyone left except the two goons who’d first brought me into the room, and they said in ominously somber tones my life would be coming to an end very soon and there was nothing they or I could do about it. Then I woke up.

I don’t ever remember having a dream anywhere close to this, both in subject matter and how it felt. The situation was uncomfortably tense, and in such vivid detail it really seemed like I was in a real life situation. Most dreams are forgotten immediately upon awakening, but this stayed with me all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Did it mean anything? Was it real? Do I need to stop eating before going to bed? It sure did get me to think. I wanted to bring it up on The Mothership Connection radio show tonight, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to ruin the mood. It wouldn’t have fit.

I didn’t want to bring anyone down, but at some point we’ll talk freely about it on the air. It’s a subject we all have to deal with at some point, but I don’t think it has to be negative. I’ve had all kinds of close calls with death, and by now I’m not afraid of it. I don’t want to feel pain before it happens, but who does? The actual process itself not only doesn’t scare me, I find it fascinating.

There are only a few experiences that everyone on the planet is guaranteed to share, and death is one of them. Birth is another, but none of us can remember that far back. We can’t really share the experience, even though we have all gone through it. Death is something only the person that goes through it can experience, but it can affect those around that person in very different ways.

Some of us prepare for it, and others don’t. Very few of us know exactly when it will be, and it can come as a big and rarely pleasant surprise. Look at all the random shootings that happen on a much too regular basis these days. It’s impossible to predict when or where life will cease to be.

Then there are those who have a long illness and know how it will eventually end. I just had an uncle die of cancer on January 1st of this year, and he had been dealing with it for years. He had a lot of time to prepare, yet he went out a defiant ass right to the end. He became stubborn as it got close to the end, and instead of making peace with his kids and family he chose to alienate us all.

My father was the same way. He never made the effort even when he knew his time to live was short, and now it’s too late. He also left behind a trail of useless heartache, and that just seems to be such a waste in my opinion. All of us have limited time here, and when the end becomes near wouldn’t it make sense to at least end on a high note? I guess everyone doesn’t share my view.

I can’t live for anyone else. I can only do what I can do, but I want to do it right. If indeed I am not long for this world, I’m totally fine with it. It really doesn’t bother me at all. I just hope there isn’t a lot of suffering and pain involved. Going to sleep and not waking up would be my choice, but I don’t know if anyone gets to make that call. We’re all on red alert, and it could be any time.

The important thing is to make the most of our time alive, and I have been doing that very well as of late. Pulling off that benefit for Officer Albert in Milwaukee was a perfect example. It took a lot of effort to make it happen, but as it was taking place I sat back and watched it unfold and it was a no brainer that it was the right thing to do. If I do have a death bed, that will be a highlight.

I look at my father and uncle’s lives, and neither one of them had many highlights to look back on. They both mishandled their relationships with their kids, and didn’t build any good will for a lifetime that they could look back on with pride and know they made a difference. They didn’t.

I may not have made close to the difference I think I can, but I did at least make an attempt and at times even had a bit of success. That benefit show really spread some good vibes, and I would love to keep building on it in the future – however long that might be. It could all end tomorrow.

Who can say if this dream I had was a ‘warning message from beyond’ or just a goofy reaction to what I ate for lunch? Whatever it was, I got the message. Life is short, and I want to live it all.

The Letterman Dream

September 10, 2012

Sunday September 9th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’ve been keeping up with my exercising of late, and even though it’s a significant commitment of time and effort I feel it’s a worthwhile investment. I feel great, and there’s no reason to slow it down any time soon. I’m already behind on everything, but at least I’m alive to try and catch up.

Stopping exercise is not smart, but I’ve been known to do dumb things before. For now, I’m in a healthy groove and I intend to keep it up indefinitely. One of the many benefits I receive is I’m sleeping soundly after exercise and I wake up feeling very refreshed. I’ve not had sleep problems before, but I really notice a difference now. I nod right out, and I have vividly realistic dreams.

I don’t know why that is, but I’m sure there’s a reason. All I know is, in the last year I’ve really been able to remember my dreams in detail – even after I wake up. We’ve had dream interpreters on The Mothership Connection radio show on AM 1050 WLIP, and they all say to keep track of them all. I don’t know if I want to go that far, but last night I had one that really stuck with me.

I dreamed I had an audition in front of David Letterman’s production staff, and out of a line of others they chose me. They loved my set, and then they brought in Dave himself to meet me and watch my set. He loved it, and asked me to be on the show next week. I said no, and he laughed.

Then the staff all came back into the room and welcomed me aboard. I woke up soon after that and it was one of those super vivid dreams that seemed 100% real in every way. It really felt like it was happening, and I was taken aback to wake up actually. I felt right at home in that scenario.

Does it have any meaning? Who knows? Is it a premonition? Perhaps. Is it a sign that the onset of dementia is at hand? That could be it too. Either way, it sure felt real. I was right there talking to David Letterman like we were peers, and I felt totally at home doing it. I knew I could nail it.

Maybe I’m not aiming high enough in life or there’s something else that’s off, but ability to do the job is not my problem. I’m not bragging, but if any of the late night talk shows wanted me to be on – even on extremely short notice – I could do it. I could do it TONIGHT, and I’d love to.

My appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was perceived to be a hit by those who saw it, but I know I’ll do a lot better on my next appearance of note. That was a big learning experience, and I made some dumb mistakes I surely won’t repeat. I would love another chance.

Maybe I had this dream because I hung out with Eddie Brill last week. He used to book comics for the show, and I’ve auditioned for him a few times but have yet to show him my best. He told me I’d probably not be right for the show, but he didn’t do it in a mean way. And from what he’d seen me do, I totally don’t blame him. But I’m way better than that, and I know I would kick ass.

If nothing else, it was a great motivator to get back out there and get in the game. Whether I’m ever on Letterman isn’t the issue. I’d love to be, but it’s a giant numbers game. There is some TV show somewhere that would be a good fit. It was fun to dream about, but now it’s time to DO it.