There is nothing quite so obnoxious as a friend saying “I had the strangest dream last night,” and then insisting for the next five minutes on regaling you with sentences like “It was in my old house, you know, but it wasn’t really my old house? and I knew everyone in the room, but not really. And all my teeth kept falling out and I had to stuff them back into the sockets in my jaw. Then there was this jellyfish…”
…Which is exactly why I’m going to share my dreams with you. Put on your goggles, Enid. It’s gonna be an ugly one.
I dream, always in color, and often with a musical soundtrack. I wake with a song in my mind, and almost always remember my dreams, at least for a day or two. What’s more, I remember, vividly, dreams I had when I was 6 years old, when I lived in France, in College, and other times. I don’t know if dreamland is my own personal fantasyscape, or what, but they carry some kind of mental weight with me, and despite being their own distorted versions of reality, they occupy a particularly important chunk of my head.
Carl Jung had a lot to say about dreams and symbolism, none of which I’ll bore you with here. In fact, I know next-to-nothing about his theories–I just thought I’d throw his name out there to sound smart. Also, it leads to my next thought, that I think my dreams are part of what allows me to make bizarre mental connections, and to see in metaphor, which is a dubious and entirely useless knack, but it’s mine, so I’m sorta proud of it.
Last night, I dreamed I speedboated up the Rogue River with a team of infiltrators, to release a cage full of talking primates that had been captured by crooks and naughties. It was next to a huge corrugated galvanized steel barn. I climbed inside the cage and tried for five minutes to MacGyver a bunch of plastic bits into an escape machine. Eventually, I just marched the monkeys, single-file, straight to a jet boat because if you act with singularity purpose, the bad guys never suspect you. Also, I’d written a Little Golden Book called The Trans-Comical Adventure. It was a bestseller, like Poky Little Puppy, only its cover featured a kitten lying on its back in a basket of yarn. My sister Lori was in the dream. She wasn’t one of the talking monkeys.
I wasn’t using my dream to kill you all with boredom, but to show you a sample of what I wake up with, nearly every morning, and remember. It’s like a second life, that makes less sense than the normal one. the rules of reality are bent, but not so much that everything is unrecognizable. And I chew through these memories as if they were as real as the daily personal events in my life.
I’m often traveling in my dreams: going to a place, or coming from a place. Location seems to play an important role: I know where I am, or where I am going, or at least where I was. I am quite often in Curry County, or leaving Curry County. I don’t know if I’ve ever dreamed about being in Virginia. I guess my mind isn’t here yet. Maybe it takes a few years for a head to catch up with reality.
I often dream about specific friends, family, or acquaintances. There is the normal cast of immediate family, then close friends. Occasionally somebody I haven’t thought of for years pops into my head. I treat this as a moment to offer (an admittedly rare) prayer for that person. I figure if my head supposed the person was important enough to remember, I can offer that person something I rarely give of my own free will.
I have the occasional sex dream. Silly, silly id. That’s all I’m gonna say about that particular topic.
Many times, the emotions of the dream are more important than the structure or events of the dream itself. I wake up furious, or ecstatic, or weeping–I’m much more emotional in my mind–and then am forced to cope with emotions tied to a certain person, place, or situation that reactivates those urges. This is especially complicated if I wake up unaccountably angry, or loving with, or distressed by Judi. She doesn’t deserve effusion, but my mind is sure she should get her due. I try to keep those moments to myself.
Yeah, my mind is weird. I know I didn’t write The Trans-Comical Adventure (you can bet If I did, it’d be the Green Eggs and Ham of our generation). No, I didn’t have a sex dream about you. The monkeys are all safe. I woke up, but my intention was to drop them off at the north jetty in Gold Beach so they could make their escape to Coos Bay. My mind persists every morning to remind me that I lead a dual life. I’m personally richer for this mostly-unvoiced time every night, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing.