Why is my subconscious mind trying to feed me?

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Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

My husband and I are at a pizza place that we used to frequent before we moved halfway across the country. It has a small buffet in the corner that includes slices of pizza with a variety of toppings. There is a salad bar, baked chicken, and a small selection of desserts.

I’m standing there, plate in hand, trying to decide what to eat. The delicious smell of pizza fills the air, and I reach out to pick up a few slices.

And then I wake up.

I’ve been having very vivid dreams about buffets. This is quite unexpected considering that I suffer from food intolerance and allergies and don’t really enjoy eating. Based on what I’ve read on the internet, it appears that many people are having memorable dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In another dream, we are at a local Chinese buffet. There is a wide selection of food to choose from. I fill up a plate with egg rolls, fried rice, and steamed vegetables. Everything smells and tastes delicious.

When I wake up, it dawns on me that this Chinese Buffet no longer exists. It closed years ago, and a fancy coffee shop moved in and remodeled the location. The coffee shop did well until the COVID-19 restrictions caused it to close.

I’ve also dreamed about standing in line at Panda Express, which my sleeping mind has decided counts as a buffet. In this dream, I am starving, and starring at the piles of food behind the plexiglass. It is unclear what kind of food I ordered. The worker hands me a to-go container, which warms my hands as I walk away.

More than once, I’ve dreamed about the local Hometown Buffet. My choice of food this time is a plate of fresh vegetables from the salad bar. Spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, peas, shredded carrots, and some brightly colored pickled beets go on the plate. There is room for a little bit of ranch dressing.

I wake up before I get to eat any of it.

Once again, this is a buffet that went out of business several years ago. My subconscious mind is trying to feed me, but most of the buffets it selects are long gone.

Maybe these dreams are a metaphor for 2020. The things that used to sustain us before the pandemic are disappearing, and some may never return.

Originally published at https://bookofjen.net on November 3, 2020.

Freelance writer with invisible illnesses and chronic pain. Poet, podcaster, video game player, creator of strange artwork, they/them

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