21st Century nightmare

At four this morning, this dream woke me up:

I am in a hotel room far from home, where a convention is going on.  I have unpacked and every surface in the room is covered with a jumble of things.  The telephone rings.  I find my cellphone.  I find the TV remote.   I search for the hotel phone, either the base or the cordless unit.  It goes on ringing.  I hear faintly the voice of Mr. Murray Crew, recording a message for me, just a courtesy call, he says.  But it seems I met him day before yesterday at a reception.  I would like to talk to him but I’m still searching for the phone.  He hangs up.  If I found the phone, could I read the tiny print on it, would I understand the little black buttons?  Would I figure out how to call the hotel desk, retrieve the message, answer the phone again if it rang?  I’m alone in town, it would be nice to meet Mr. Crew again if I found the phone.  I’m still searching.

I woke up feeling frustration and fear– of technology, or of isolation caused by not understanding modern gadgets.  After a few minutes I remember Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams: such dreams come to reassure us that we are, in fact, capable, and that such absurd situations are not going to occur in our real lives.

Following the fear, there is wonderment: that was a 21st century dream.  It was unthinkable in the 1990s, when hotel room telephones had cords and stayed wired to the wall.  In 2011 are other people having the lost cordless dream?

And have I really met Murray Crew?  I think I’ll go Facebook him.

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