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Elevator May Be Pushing Her Buttons


Dear Cynthia: I am staying in a hotel. I walk around the corner and step into what I thought was an elevator. It is small-sized. The doors close and it descends and stops. At this point, I realize there are no buttons to choose a floor or even open the box. I run my hands all over the box, trying to find a seam. I find a seam at the top and tear it back. The box is made of thin, slick cardboard--like a cereal box. I uncover a vent. It has round holes like a Parmesan shaker. I get my face up to the holes and start yelling for help. I alternate yelling with putting my eye up to the holes. I can see the shaft and the opening where I originally stepped in. I am thinking there is no way anyone will ever hear me. I have a sense of patience and logical doom. I figure I am going to perish, but I am not panicked. In fact, I reflect on how calm I am in my dream while I am stuck.


San Clemente

Dear Ruth: Hotels are temporary living quarters and can indicate a temporary situation in your life. Elevators are supposed to take us where we want to go, but the one you choose turns out to be something other than what you wanted. You are boxed in, but the trap is not too ominous, since it is only made of thin cardboard. You look through a grate and can see where you are and where you started from, but the prospect of being rescued seems dismal. Yet you remain calm.

You make two references to food, cereal and Parmesan, so I wonder if food is a trap for you. There are no controls in the elevator--do you feel out of control where food is concerned?

You find a vent and yell for help but it doesn't seem that anyone hears you. Are you venting, using food to cope with feelings? Do you feel unheard in life, as if no one really listens? You also mention the "small sized" elevator and looking for "seams," other possible clues that your clothes aren't fitting as you wish. The good news is that this can be a temporary situation; you don't have to stay stuck.

Cynthia Richmond is the author of "Dream Power, How to Use Your Night Dreams to Change Your Life" (Simon & Schuster, 2000). Fax your dreams to Cynthia Richmond at (818) 783-3267 or e-mail them to Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. "In Your Dreams" appears every Tuesday and should be read for entertainment purposes only.

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