I sit in a restaurant with two colleagues, a female one from my current job and a male one from a job I had 14 years ago. In my immediate view is what looks like an artichoke heart, but paler green. I hold it up to my mouth; I eat. I register “sweet, like fruit,” but my dream mouth doesn’t taste. Still, I sense that this is a discovery: a new fruit. It’s called a kahare, and I know this because I see the word on the menu in my dream. Kahare. Exotic — not from here — and delicious.
Waiting on my plate is something else, the color of black raspberry ice cream and the shape of a long, round-edged bar of soap and as smooth. It is intact; there are no bite marks.
I turn to talk to my companions. He has a ginger colored beard and the same color hair, but dark eyebrows. She has long dark wavy hair. The restaurant has dark wood tables, rustic like in a fish restaurant, and white pottery plates. Water glasses. Cutlery. A lot of people are around us, but I don’t hear sound in dreams. There are windows everywhere puncturing the bare plywood walls — it’s as though the restaurant has just been built and has become popular even before finished. I cannot see out the windows from where we sit. They are hazy squares of light.
When I turn back to my plate, it is gone! The waiter took it away because, he says when he returns, all that remained were the sides. “The sides! I wanted those!” I say, although my voice does not make any sound. He gets me something else because now the restaurant is out of the artichoke-like fruit and the purple and smooth other thing. What he gets me are green beans and french fries. They are not what I want.
I go from table to table, to see if I might eat off another patron’s plate. I sit down at a table of women, all about 10 years younger than me, with babies, nursing them, and in my dream I have this thought: That’s not my life anymore. I get up and continue the search. No fruit-like artichoke hearts! No beautiful purple thingie, although someone at a table tells me soundlessly, “That’s a gourd that’s a fruit.” A gourd that’s a fruit. I never get to taste it.
Finally, I walk over to an open window — it’s hard to get there, wending my way around tables, waiters, corners — and put my elbows on the sill and lean out into fresh air. Everywhere I look, there is water, like a calm sea stretching out to the horizon. The restaurant is an island. We are not on an island; we are an island. Everywhere I look, water.
Thoughts: I have been reading The Fruit Hunters by Adam Leith Gollner and dipping into lots of other books on crop biology and plant breeding, as a haphazard beginning to my biographical research project on Elizabeth White and the cultivated blueberry. Although I do not normally recall my dreams, I do this one, vividly. I’ll take it as a sign that my unconscious is as committed to my inquiry I am. There may be many ways to interpret the imagery in this dream. Yes, I am interested.
That my dream invented a fruit and named it? Well, that excites me.
Image, “Climb this rope to paradise,” by lepiaf.geo at Flickr. License via Creative Commons. The color of the shells, especially the ones in the background, are exactly the color of the gourd/fruit in my dream.