Brush Salesman #2

"I remember driving up a hill on a paved road. It was a steep hill, probably in Maine. The road made a right hand turn, but I kept right on going in the same direction I was going. I was going up a trail that was very steep. I kept right on going till I reached the top of this hill. There was no road up there, just a trail and a lot of rocks. I felt rather foolish driving all the way up, and I came back down. Then the setting changes. It was flat-seeming, like Florida is. Then I stopped to see one of my customers, but this is no customer that I recognized. As I saw she was just a customer, I never even got out of the car. She just came to the car window and I rolled it down to talk to her. She was a woman about 45 and had brown hair. I don't remember the conversation. It was pleasant though. It only lasted a few minutes. I drove on and that's about all I can remember."

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The only character appearing in this dream is the 45-year old woman. She was coded as O because she was known in a customer role to the dreamer. The subclass of Occupational Identification is not intended to include only long-term occupational pursuits such as doctor, teacher, or policeman; it also serves to cover temporary vocational or avocational roles such as athlete, student, cheerleader, or customer. The psychological rationale underlying the use of the O subclass is that characters so identified have some degree of familiarity in that the dreamer can expect them to behave in a manner consistent with their role characteristics.

No social interactions were coded, although it might be considered that a borderline case of friendliness existed when the woman came to the dreamer's car and he rolled down the car window to converse with her. Had this involved some effort on her part, such as coming downstairs from an upstairs apartment and going out of her way to approach the dreamer, her actions would have been coded as F5 for a friendly visit. Since the dreamer is not very specific about this, it is possible that she was already standing there and made no unusual efforts to initiate a friendly interaction. We do know that the dreamer rolled down his car window to talk to her, which would seem to indicate some minimal friendliness on his part. However, in the preceding sentence, he says that he never even got out of the car when he saw that she was "just a customer," so that it seems quite doubtful that he was expressing any scorable degree of friendliness toward her.

The activities will be discussed in the same sequence that they were coded within the dream. Both a P and L were given for the dreamer driving up a hill. The L code is clear because the dreamer is changing his physical location; the P is included for the physical activity of driving the car under these circumstances. The dreamer's descent down the mountain was considered a part of this same driving activity and therefore was not coded. The S code was given for seeing the customer, and the customer was given an M for coming to the car window since she would have done this through some sort of walking activity. The P was given for the dreamer rolling down the window, and then a mutual V was coded for the dreamer and the customer having a conversation. The final P and L codes were given for the dreamer driving on after the conversation.

Two settings were coded in this dream: one for the steep hill which the dreamer was attempting to drive up, and the other for the flat area where the dreamer was in his car talking to a customer. The first hill setting is obviously an outdoor one, and the second one appears to be some sort of outdoor street setting since the dreamer mentions driving away after the conversation. Both settings were coded as Q, because in each, the dreamer indicates some vague familiarity with the settings by being able to classify them approximately geographically, but on the other hand he never provides sufficient information to indicate his exact locale. The Q coding seems best to handle this questionable level of familiarity.

In the Objects class, the two NA codes are for hill and rocks. The two ST codes were given for road and trail. Two TR codes were assigned; one for the car and one for the car window. The BH code was entered for the woman's hair. An interesting coding problem is raised by the dreamer's reference to Maine and Florida because in both cases he is careful to insert a comment indicating that these are not necessarily those regions. If he had stated that he was in Maine and in Florida, two separate RG codes would definitely be indicated. However, they do seem to qualify as mentioned objects even though they do not exist with any substantive reality in the dream, and therefore they were coded. Rule 2 under coding Objects states that "Any object that is mentioned in the dream is coded. An object does not need to be physically present to be coded." Hill is only coded once even though it is mentioned in three instances, because it is clear that the dreamer is referring to the same hill. If he described a different hill, one off in the distance, for example, another NA code for the additional hill would have been awarded. Even though the top of the hill might be considered to be a subunit of the larger unit, i.e., hill, it was felt that it was not a sufficiently demarcated part of the larger unit to warrant being coded in this case.

In turning our attention to misfortunes, a problem presents itself as to whether an M1 code should be given for the lack of a road on top of the hill. After considering the sentence about the dreamer feeling rather foolish when he had to drive down after his long trip up, it was felt that he perceived he had encountered an obstacle or barrier which prevented him from continuing his drive. Since minor environmental barriers are coded M1, this code was utilized, although this situation would be considered a borderline one.

No emotions were coded, although it might be debated that the dreamer experienced some degree of pleasure or contentment because the conversation was described as pleasant. Since we warned against making inferences about emotional states, we followed our own advice here and refrained from inferring an emotion when the dreamer did not specifically state that this was his reaction. He did say he felt foolish as his reaction to driving up the hill, but this reaction is not classifiable as one of our five coded emotions.

Several coding problems are also raised with regard to modifiers. Some might consider a paved road to be a straight road with regard to its surface quality, but because a paved road can also be a winding road, a code for linearity would be inappropriate. Similarly, mention of a steep hill might be considered as a size referent, since we code tall or high objects as S+. However, since it seems more appropriate to consider steep as referring to angularity rather than exclusively to height, it was not coded. An I+ was included because the trail was referred to as being very steep. The reference to a "lot of" rocks was not coded as D+ because this subclass requires that a type of bounded area or container must be involved with the implication of fullness or some pressure being exerted against the sides. A lot of rocks in a box would therefore qualify for coding, but a lot of rocks lying on the top of a hill would not. The dreamer's comments about feeling "rather" foolish were not coded as I+ because it's not clear from the word "rather" that he felt strongly or intensely foolish. Foolish was not coded as an evaluative reference because it did not seem to refer to either an aesthetic or a moral judgment. No V- code was awarded for the dreamer when he "stopped," because a V- code is given only for a reference to moving slowly, not to stopping. The C+ code was assigned for the brown hair. The final coding problem occurs in connection with the mention of "pleasant" conversation. Although the aesthetic criteria involved in coding E+ are broad enough to allow any sensation which is pleasant to the senses, the enjoyment here seems to be more a matter of intellectual enjoyment rather than visual, auditory, or other sensual enjoyment.

One temporal code was awarded for mention of the conversation "lasting a few minutes." The four items coded on the negative scale were: "no" road up there, "no" customer that I recognized, I "never" even got out of the car, and I "don't" remember the conversation.

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Char. Aggression Friendliness Sexuality Sett. Modif.
1FOA       OQ

Success Failure Misfortune Good Fort. Emotions  
    M1,  D      

The brush salesman: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
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