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Then I Revisit Selma California

Dreamed late Oct. 1952 by Jack Kerouac

photo of writer Jack Kerouac


THEN I REVISIT SELMA CALIFORNIA scene of my 1947 cottonpicking and living in a tent with Bea and child---but buildings all over the cottonfield now, strange brown grocery store-cabooses on the tracks rolling, wide as a real house, lights inside, goods on shelves---for the "use" of section hands---I go across these litters, enter a store, a beautiful sexy brunette says turning to her father "See, all the men go for me"---this after I appraised her with appreciation and said something---

"Alright Irene," her thin Okie-like father says, resigned---I sit inside the stationary bench at the table waiting to be served---I realize she's "Irene 'Wrightsman" and this is "'Wrightsman the oil millionare," her father---I realize I can come into money with her---

"Do you know so-and-so?" she says to me--- "Cousin of so-and-so?"

"Sure---the one---"

"That cousin'll inherit a million in oil--" (which I know beforehand.)

I start to wake up and forget all about her sex to speculate with myself and with them about these millions---

(Railroad call, knock on door)---

And that very day I see for the very first time a brown ranch style prefabricated house being rolled out on wheels at San Mateo---right out on the road---and mention the dream to brakeman Neal McGee, who laughs and says, "Well must have been a nightmare!"

--Jack Kerouac

NOTES

I posted this because it shows that Kerouac, like many longterm dreamworkers, had apparent predictive dreams. Note, too, that he took the rest of the dream for granted: meeting an heiress and an oil baron he takes in stride; but the element that startles him, the strange brown wheeled houses, is the one that turns out to be real the next day. As if not only their existence has echoed back through time to appear in his dream the night before, but his surprise at seeing them.

The dream's not self-flagging (if, say, the Wrightsmans had been talking of predictive dreams or ESP, it would be); nothing so explicit. Still, dreamworkers should take note! If one element stands out emotionally as an unexpected intrusion, maybe it is a foreign element. Even if we can't explain how the dream got the information!

Source: page 32 of Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, expanded (2001) edition, City Lights Books.
Date: estimated from sequence.
Title: Kerouac always capitalized a dream's first phrase as a working title, even if it didn't fit the dream as a whole.
Paragraph breaks: Kerouac's! That's unusual; most of his dreams are one long hard-to-read slab. The extra formatting suggests he found it significant.

--Chris Wayan



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