Rapid Eye Movement

Dreaming of Blink-182

Norton sighs happily. She's gazing absently at some bit of nothing in the air in front of her.

"That dream was great," she says slowly. "It was every woman's dream. Very, very flattering, very white-knight-in-shining-armor-on-the-horse-asking-you-to-come-away. Your hero. Your savior. Superman. I mean, not that women want to be rescued, but when you are, and you think of, like, that hero guy, it's amazing—amazing, but at the same time, I was very lost."

You ask if she means emotionally lost. "I think just lost in terms of where I am in my life. Everywhere I went, I was kind of lost, even when I was supposed to be. I kept looking around, lost, looking for somebody. At the Dome, I was lost because they gave me the wrong directions. At the Dunes—well, I was supposed to be there, but when I got there, Mark was gone, so I'd lost him."

The third—and last—Hoppus dream took place "in some weird apartment," Norton recalls. Hoppus came into her room and got in bed with her as if he were her boyfriend. "We were just sleeping, not doing anything sexual," she explains. Then her brother and sister-in-law walk into the room. She introduces them to Hoppus, but she introduces him by his full name—Mark Allan Hoppus—and at this point realizes that his initials are the same as her first serious boyfriend's.

"I don't know if that has anything to do with it," she says quickly.

Her brother and sister-in-law give her "a weird look like, 'Wait a minute, you already have a boyfriend.' And I'm like, 'I do? Yeah, he's right here.' Her brother and sister-in-law are confused because they know Hoppus isn't her boyfriend, but they go along with it and introduce themselves to him anyway.

In this dream, Norton felt "comfortable, very comfortable, like it was right. It felt right; it felt good. I had no worries because here's this guy who's taking care of me. But at the same time, once I was reminded that he's not supposed to be with me, then I was confused again."

"You know what's weird?" Norton asks suddenly. "[Blink-182 singer/ guitarist] Tom [DeLonge] has never been in my dreams."

It's instructive to note here that Norton's current boyfriend—who, like the dream men, plays in a rock band—has a name that is identical to Tom's with the exception of one letter. Perhaps—and this is only a theory—Tom was never in her dreams because if he were, she would have realized what it was she was subconsciously trying to work out. For dreams to serve their function—which Freud said is not only to work out subconscious material but also to keep you asleep—the subconscious material must be translated into some dream language that you don't readily understand. If you understand it, you wake up. If you know who represents what, it's no longer subconscious but conscious, and it won't serve to keep you asleep. To this end, the dreams stopped when Norton realized, in the dream, that Hoppus perhaps represented an ex-boyfriend with whom she had had a troubled relationship.

But she still thinks about that weird period of time when she had the dreams. "There were times when I'd wonder why I was having dreams about this guy that I'd never noticed before. I never thought there was anything special about him. Why—out of all the people in the world, all the celebrities, all the famous people you see on TV every day—why him? I just didn't understand why, and I still don't. I honestly couldn't tell you."

Norton gets that faraway look in her eyes again. "I must say that, to this day, I still want to know: Why him?"

Blink-182 play with Bad Religion at the Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (310) 515-3322. Thurs., June 22, 7:30 p.m. Sold out.

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