There's nothing like a good dream to pique the interest of a therapist, analyst or anyone psychoanalytically inclined. And there's no dream like a nightmare - this is where they love to dig in. And when it comes to bad dreams, the top ten list must include being chased by something (known or unknown), Sleep Paralysis (see my story here) or being naked or nearly naked in public.
Although I have no particular fear of being scantily clad in public, I have, like many, had my share of dreams where for some inexplicable reason, I find myself in public only in my underwear and have to find my way home.
It's that feeling of vulnerability with nowhere to hide which is so particularly horrible and also for me a huge frustration - how did I end up in this predicament and why didn't I just grab a pair of pants before leaving? Then there is the wishful thinking that somehow you can navigate home and no one will notice.
Last night, conveniently, I had a very bad dream involving this ever popular theme of exposure and vulnerability. I was driving in my car with a customer whom I have known for years and who can be particularly rude, thoughtless and inclined to engaging in cruel fun. I was traveling with a brand new electric guitar on the passenger's seat while he was in rear. I had a momentary lapse of consciousness which allowed him to hang the guitar from the exterior of the car while traveling. To my horror, upon examination, the guitar was terribly scratched and gouged, rendering it essentially worthless. His defense was some feeble excuse, attempting to mask his brand of fun.
Sunday, January 8th, 2011, was the 10th annual The No Pants Subway Ride, a prank event organized by New York City's Improv Everywhere who call it a celebration of silliness. This event is not to be confused with the variant No Pants Day, also an annual event, occurring on the first Friday in May. Both are now international events with participants in cities worldwide. In New York's subway event, participants enter the subway at a number of different points, acting like they do not know each other and traveling in the same casual manner as any other rider. If asked why they are not wearing pants, they typically respond that they forgot. The members convened at Union Square where these photos were taken. Subsequently, some went shopping at Filene's (see photos on escalator).
Arrests have been made in the past with charges thrown out. Although public nudity is illegal (indecent exposure), being pantless in underwear is not a crime (see the Naked Cowboy here) and at least with these people, you will find that charges of disorderly conduct, like their pants, just don't stick :)
Afterthought: Perhaps if everyone participated, we could inure ourselves to pantlessness and rid ourselves of at least one genre of bad dream. On the other hand, I am sure the subconscious mind would just find some new flavor of vulnerable activity.