So, in the dream:
Riding in the back seat of a Honda, one of my wife's friends was driving us to the river. Her little yappy dog had become too obstreperous, so she was going to euthanize it. I was commenting that this marked the fifth time I'd gone there to help someone put down their dog.
She drove down near the water, and opened the passenger door (my wife was in the back seat next to me) and the little poofy white dog vaulted out of the car and into the freezing, muddy water. My wife's friend tried to shut the door before the now-muddy dog sullied her immaculately clean car, and soon we were zooming away, leaving the dog behind to fend for itself.
We got home and it turned out that the dog had leapt onto the car's rear bumper at the last second. We had a discussion about it in the foyer (which was not the bunker) and we all noted that this year there was a bumper crop of orb spiders--the dream version of them, anyway, with big colorful bodies the color of blue cotton candy--and talked about this and that. Anyway everyone left, and I sat down at my desk.
The scene shifted, I was at my office job, when a kid I knew in the dream came in all depressed, asking me if Captain America was ever bullied. I did my best to cheer him up, and then turned back to do some work, only now I was in some kind of nursing home. An orderly came by and gave me and my roommate our pre-bed snack, and dropped a hospital gown over my head. I asked the other guy what time light's out was, and he said it was at 8 PM; I commented that I was going to have to get used to that, being a night owl and all. The snack was some kind of ice cream-like substance. I got up for something and talked to another guy about a bed he was putting together. During our conversation I told him that my parents (who were still alive) had committed me to this place for being worthless, and they were now off doing something with my brother and sister.
"I don't belong here," I thought in the dream, "but what else can I do? Well, I'm just going to have to get out once I can afford to." And woke up there, in a serious funk.
Freud would have a field day with this shit.
...actually I don't need Freud or a psychoanalyst to tell me what is going on, there. The fact is, the personal economy of the Fungus household isn't getting any better. We're struggling, plain and simple. The local economy sucks, the economy of the larger area is not much better, and the job market is much worse.
Okay, when you have a socialist like Bernie Sanders saying that the actual real unemployment rate is closer to 11.4%--when a Democrat administration is saying otherwise--you know things are bad.
Like millions of other underemployed Americans, I get up and go to work part-time in a soul-sucking noise box for less money than I'm worth, and I look at job sites and send off resumes in hopes of finding something better, only I never get called and the rare interview yields no fruit. It's gotten bad enough that--in hopes of finding a full-time job--I'm considering creating a version of my resume where I've taken off all the education and minimized my technical work experience, then applying at unskilled jobs. It would likely be more soul-sucking than my present job, but working full time would more than make up for having a wage that's a few bucks less per hour. Especially if the job gave me health insurance.
Medical issues have not helped, either, because there have been a few times Mrs. Fungus has needed urgent medical care for severe leg pain--and she still went to work the day after. Now that that is over she's actually had a chance to convalesce, and is getting better, which is a blessing. But we're still a single income family without medical insurance.
At this point, though, I'm glad that my ideas about going to North Dakota didn't go anywhere. With the oil glut, those guys are being laid off in record numbers--oil trading at $55 a barrel is too cheap for fracked crude to be profitable. That's not a circumstance anyone saw coming even as recently as last year.
...not that cheap crude is being reflected in the price of gas. It was $3 a gallon a week ago, $2.85 on Sunday...and $3.21 a gallon on Wednesday. So we have record unemployment and high gas prices.
There are some things that I can do, which I am doing. I don't think it'll be enough.
So here we are: it's a depression--it's been a depression for years--only no one in the media wants to call it that. Like any depression there are people being hired all the time, of course, and there are plenty of people making money. The problem is that there are more people like me, people who are smart and capable and hardworking for whom there is simply no employment opportunity whatsoever.
Let this be the nadir.