Greer McGettrick's dream interpreted by Andy Human

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Traps in the midst of dreams

In our previous installment, consummate front-woman of The Mallard, Greer McGettrick, deciphered the dream of Tim Cohen. Here, she shares her own. Ostensibly, the dream is fraught with symbolic violence, alienation and clever coercion. Our interpreter for this installment, Andy Human, current front-man of burgeoning Bay Area group Lenz and solo musician in his own right, plunges even deeper into the symbolism and unearths what he perceives as the far more grave nature of McGettrick’s psyche. Not surprisingly, Human’s hyper-literate references and dire predictions are in line with Lenz’ cohesive moodiness, atmospheric tension and nebulous pop sensibility. It should be noted that interpreters are not privy to whose dream they are deciphering.


I’m invited to a BBQ by a couple. I arrive with flowers. The wife greets me at the door. Nothing is said. We walk through the house. Some rooms have been dedicated to disasters; debris from a freeway overpass fills the living room. The kitchen has in it an enormous pile of clothes caked with ash and dust. We walk down the steps into the backyard. I’m suddenly intimidated by the crowd of strangers looking at us. The husband appears. He looks at me in the mouth and tells me something like a secret that I can’t understand, but I nod instead of asking him what he means. I realize I’ve agreed to something. He seems pleased. We pass through the crowd, the wife on my right, the husband on my left. They’re pushing me ahead or I’m being pulled by some kind of force. The strangers share features of people I know, but I don’t recognize any of them. We’re no longer in the backyard. We’re on an ever-stretching slab of concrete. There’s a raised platform constructed from rebar and cement. The wife and I climb the makeshift stairs. I’m beginning to understand what I’ve agreed to. This is a ritual or initiation. She motions for me to lie facing up on the stage, I obey, willingly. She pulls out a dagger. I am naked. Colors seem sharp and heavy in contrast. I understand that this is a trial: if she stabs me through the heart I will be inducted into their family/group/cult, if she does not, I will be sacrifice. Either way, it’s out of both of our control. I can see myself from the crowd. I look at the husband. His eyes tell me not to struggle, that everything will be okay. She raises the dagger above her head, brings it down and I wake up.


This dream is a representation of your coming to terms with the inability to return the gift of existence in a meaningless universe. The flowers are your ineffectual first attempt to return the gift, so they are ignored. The stakes are much higher at this BBQ, which is a bacchanal, a Dionysian version of eternity, here interpreted by symbols of destruction instead of debauchery. This is because you are sexually repressed. You are afraid of the (sexual) freedom that the festival represents, so you see death – clothes covered in ash – and debris. The woman and the man are both you, the dual nature of life. Nothing is communicated overtly, because you are complicit, albeit unwittingly, in your fate. They take you through your personal hell, a place where you cannot recognize your friends. The ever-stretching concrete slab is the eternity of human consciousness, the place we inhabit before life and after death. The death of the ego is what is at stake here. You have no control of your destiny, and you know this. You find yourself naked in light of this truth. The knife is a phallus which represents sex as an instrument of death, which, in this case, is the death of your former self. You must kill/fuck yourself if you wish to belong to the 'cult/group/family'. It is the cult of Otherness, a secret society which, you believe, holds the answers to all of your questions and the meaning of your desires. Of course, there are no such answers or meaning and you are saved from this realization upon waking.