Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get out your dream dictionaries.

When George dreams, sometimes his legs twitch as if he’s running. Sometimes he’s so into his dream that he barks in his sleep or his face muscles twitch. I, too, have had some strange experiences with dreams, from walking in my sleep, being conscious in my dreams, and even seeing things in my sleep. Weird stuff, I assure you.

My earliest memory of sleepwalking (I only did it twice in my lifetime) was when I walked into the living room around midnight, after having had fish for dinner, and told my Mom, “I want more fish.” She didn’t feed me, but guided me back to bed. As an eight-year-old, I thought it was cool to have walked in my sleep.

As a teenager, I learned to extend my dreams when they were really good. If I woke up right at the good part, I was able to go back to sleep several times, each time allowing the dream to pick up where it left off. A handy trick.

But the most interesting dream skill I have is that I can insert myself into my dreams, when necessary. It started when I was very small, when I had the normal scary monster dreams, and I was chased into a corner. As I ran, I told myself, “Wake up! All you have to do is wake up and this dream will be over!” I was always able to wake myself up before it got too scary. I never thought of this skill as anything special until I told a friend about it. He called it “lucid dreaming.”

This skill is sometimes annoying, when my conscious inserts itself into a dream I could enjoy. Why, oh why, can’t I just relax and enjoy a dream in which I am having a romantic evening with Hugh Jackman? Instead, in the dream I get an overwhelming sense of guilt, and it usually ends with dream-me trying to tell my real-life husband that I didn’t cheat. But in my dream I did, so dream-me gets confused, trying to explain that real-life me didn’t do anything.

Along the same lines, after my Mom died, I loved the dreams in which I was in my old house, sometimes even with her. During my dream, I always told myself to keep dreaming it as long as possible - to enjoy being there while I could.

The weirdest part of my dreaming is when I see things in my sleep. I often open my eyes during the night and see things floating in the room. I know I’m sleeping, so I sit up and blink and try to get the image to go away; eventually it does and I go back to sleep, knowing that I’m imagining things, dreaming. Recently, I saw a huge tall white shape float from the doorway to the window. I know it was my mind moving the large strip of light that was barely reflecting on the white door. But I also saw a floating monkey head that went in the same direction two times. Who knows what that meant – I need a trip to the zoo? I watch too much Family Guy?

And then there are my reoccurring dreams. All my life I’ve dreamed that my teeth are falling out, and they fill up my open hands as they fall. I often dream that I am in a foreign country and want to go to a show but cannot find the theatre, or it’s my last night there and I forgot to go to a show. I also dream over and over about exotic places that I could swear I’ve been before. One very frustrating dream is that I’m trying to dial a phone number and keep hitting the wrong buttons, over and over. And I dream about George – that the building is falling down and I have to save him.

But most recently, old high school friends from facebook are appearing in my dreams, people I haven’t seen in years but are in my dream plots because I see their names or pictures on facebook. Recently I dreamed that Candie Beaty and I coincidentally bought houses next to each other in London, that Karey Baker and I accidentally fell asleep in a Starbucks and hid behind the couches when the workers opened the store in the morning, and that I went to a wedding with Glenn Leone. Facebook is having a weird influence on my life.

Anyway, interpret as you wish.

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