I dreamed I was living in NYC, where I lived 20 years ago, and seeing a woman I knew 20 years ago. In real life, 20 years ago, she and I fooled around a a couple of times, and I liked her and she seemed to like me okay, but we never really clicked. In the dream, we had been fooling around for a while, and things were beginning to get really good. We were talking about this other guy she saw now and then, a former NFL player and currently a personal trainer, and she told me that she had decided that she didn't want to date him anymore, she just wanted one boyfriend, just me. I had already earlier come to the point of wanting only one girlfriend, her, so now it was official: we were going steady. We were in a restaurant, making out for a moment or so when we thought no-one was looking, when we talked this out. We were a little giddy.
The strange thing is that she and I were both monkeys. In real life I'm a human being, about 6'3", and when I knew her she was a human being, maybe 5'6" or so, but in the dream we were little monkeys, each of us not much bigger than an average cat. My Mom and step-Dad were in the dream, my Mom was still alive, the two of them looked middle-aged, and they were both human beings. Her Dad was in the dream and was a human being. All of the people in the dream were human beings except for my girlfriend and I. We could talk, and all of the other people treated us like people and like there was nothing unusual about us, but we were monkeys and we could climb like monkeys. After we left the restaurant we walked down the sidewalk for a while on our hind feet, holding hands, trying to appear calm but bobbing our heads in happy excitement over being officially a couple now. In my head I felt like I was doing handsprings and singing with the accompaniment of a big flashy orchestra. After a short stretch on the sidewalk we zoomed up the side of a building and raced along some ledges stories above street level. I don't know which borough we were in, but it was an area which hadn't yet been gentrified which contained a lot of tall early-20th-century buildings.
We dropped down into a pizzeria where we were always welcome -- literally dropped down into it, the way we usually came in: unfastened a screen over the skylight, came in, re-fastened the screen behind us and then dropped down from the ceiling.
I don't know whether we were actually related to the people who owned and ran the pizzeria (again: all human beings. All the people in the entire dream except us were human beings, there were no other monkeys in sight), but they treated us like family. (Literally, not in that cheesy fake way you see in Olive Garden commercials, but not, unless I'm gravely mistaken, in Olive Gardens.) Next to the cash register there was some sort of chart in which the status of the people associated with the place was recorded by some sort of shorthand signs. Somehow we were updated in the chart to an exclusive relationship. Somehow they had found out the decision we had made a half-hour ago blocks away. The bald guy behind the counter (my uncle? Her uncle? Or like an uncle to us?) saw us looking at the chart and said, "Don't worry, we know you don't want to tell your parents yet. They won't hear it from us."
How did they know we didn't want to tell our parents yet?
After we had been in the pizzeria for a few minutes her father came in, looked at us and tried not to look disgusted. Tried, but failed. He was a tall wiry guy with thick short salt-and-pepper hair who looked angry every time he saw me. He didn't like me. That was okay with me. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I felt like it was his job, as my girlfriend's father, not to like me until I put in a lot of high-quality work to win him over. It seems to me that to a good father, his daughter is always his little girl, even if she's got 12 grandchildren of her own, and anybody who comes around messing with her is to be harshly discouraged. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, or worse, but this seems to me to be the natural order of things.
He walked over to us. My monkey girlfriend hopped up onto her human father's shoulder and he gave her a kiss on the cheek. Then he looked at me, looked away in disgust and anger, forced himself to look almost in my direction again, and said to me, "Look. Obviously, you two are starting to get serious --" How did everybody know?! " -- and, well. She's a smart kid. If she can stand you, then..." He turned away, and, almost with his back to me, he patted me twice on the back.
This was far and away the most positive reaction I had ever gotten from him and it felt wonderful. My monkey girlfriend was also pleased by her father's reaction. With a hand clamped over her mouth she climbed onto his back so he wouldn't see her reaction to his reaction, with her other fist she pounded the air excitedly.
The next stop was my Mom and step-Dad's apartment. (In real life they never lived in NYC.) As we came into the apartment from the whole my Mom called out from the kitchen, "Congratulations on going steady, you two!" I ran with all four feet into the kitchen, jumped up onto the kitchen table where she was seated, and stared up at her. In real life, as a human being, I stood head and shoulders taller than her. In this dream, as a small monkey, she and my step-Dad were sitting on kitchen chairs, I was standing on the kitchen table, and I still had to look up. "Mom," I asked her, "how does everybody know we're going steady?" Mom just said that it was obvious, and didn't explain any more than that.