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Monday, December 13, 2004

Wednesday Writing Assignment: Hell, Let's Do It on Tuesday Edition

What are your dreams like? Black and white? Color? Indoors? Outdoors? Swimming cats? Is Donald Trump--dressed like David Bowie circa Ziggy Stardust--orchestrating elaborate schemes to destroy you...Or is that just me?

7 Comments:

Blogger Mr. S. said...

I have this sneaky feeling that you made this writing assignment with me in mind, somehow...dreams, to begin with; then a Bowie reference. Sneaky, chica. Very sneaky.

My dreams range through a lot of territory, but I'd say that more than most people I know, my dreams have this nasty habit of fucking with reality. (Actually this hasn't happened in a while, thankfully.) I dream that I'm awake, or dream that I'm dreaming and then wake up, only I'm still sleeping, that type of thing. Lots of people experience this, but with me it gets taken to another level sometimes.

I once fell asleep in the afternoon, face down on my bed with pleasant light shafts brushing my back. I immediately began dreaming that I was asleep in the afternoon, face down on my bed with pleasant light shafts brushing my back. In short, there was no discernible difference between my dream and my reality, and, while asleep, I quickly realized this. "Wait a minute. Am I dreaming, or not?" I asked myself. At that moment, the door to my room opened and my roommate came in. Only, it was a deranged, sociopathic version of my roommate, and he was rifling through my drawers, mumbling to himself, spittle at the corners of his mouth...the works. He came to my bedside and I thought he intended to kill me in my sleep, so I decided to show him that I was in fact awake and aware of him. I decided to move my left arm...but couldn't. Tried again...couldn't. Tried again, and succeeded--but succeeded in moving my actual left arm, not the left arm in the dream. This actual movement actually woke me up--but the only difference between dreaming and waking was the presence of my roommate's döppelganger. Which meant that my arm moved, and poof, Joe vanished.

That's not the only time I've felt like my mind likes to play malicious tricks on me. My dreams have this tendency to weave my waking life into themselves in disquieting ways.

It's good to be writing again. Forgot how much fun it is!

2:37 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

My dreams, like anyone's, vary widely, but they tend to be eerily realistic. During the night last week, I dreamed that I woke up, got ready for work, left my apartment, drove to the office, and began my day. Not long after, my alarm went off and I was momentarily confused: didn't I just go through all this?

I felt entitled to hit the Snooze button a couple of times, as getting up and going to work once each day is certainly more than enough.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Lah said...

The other night I was really sick, and I was having a strange fever-induced dream that I was eating bugs. When I realised I was eating bugs, I began to spit them out. I woke up to find that I actually was trying to spit something out and I was lying in a pool of my own drool.

Fortunately, this is the only time this has ever happened.

5:47 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Ah, drool dreams! Once I dreamt a slimy slug was making its way down my arm. I woke up covered in drool.

Senior S.: I thought you would like the assignment. I had a ton of weird dreams a couple of weeks ago, incluing one about Donald Trump/David Bowie. It went a little somethin' like this:

I was eating breakfast out with Greg and two other people, and the waiter (who had a French accent) took away my wonderful breakfast of rice, veggies, and eggs--which was really enjoying--and replaced it with cold, soggy french fries. I confronted him and he said he couldn't help it, it was because he was obsessive-complusive, but he would bring me more food. He never did, and the others went on eating, oblivious, and then the check came, and so I confronted the manager, who did nothing. Then my fellow diners got mad at me for making a scene. Then I was kicked out of my role in a play, in which I was singing Glen Miller songs, like Chattanooga Choo Choo. And it turned out that Donald Trump was behind all of it, because he wanted to win the triathalon with his bastard son. Donald Trump had blue hair and looked something like David Bowie.

That same night, I dreamt that Luna learned to swim at the heated indoor pool of a swanky spa and--I kid you not--Greg dreamt that Noah swam across a swamp.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Emma Goldman said...

I almost never remember my dreams. When I do, they're usually wildly obvious--something in my waking life that's bugging me in some way, or, when I'm lucky, sex. and never with my SO--variety IS the spice of life! There are a couple of other exceptions:
1. If I see a violent movie--no matter how stupid (e.g., of the Jason/Freddie variety) or arty--I have extremely violent, someone-is-chasing-me dreams. I've learned to close my eyes at appropriate moments. I've decided that movies just skip the thinking part of my brain and go directly to the visceral image part, which is what allows any kind of violence to implant itself that way.
2. I rarely nap, because of the thinking-you're-awake-but-can't-move thing; it happens a lot when I nap, unless I'm completely exhausted and just crash, and it's terrifying and I hate it. I once read an article about what causes it: usually, when you're dreaming, you're pretty deeply asleep, and, (b), your body paralyzes you, to prevent sleepwalking, etc. Sometimes, you aren't quite asleep enough, so you're paralyzed but sort of awake, too. Apparently, there's some thought that that's where the alien abduction stuff comes from, too--i.e., people in that sleep state.
3. Someone quite close to me died 20+ years ago. I still dream about the person, say once/twice a year, except I dream that the person is still alive. At first, I liked the dreams, because the person was visiting me, but now the dreams just make me terribly sad. In addition, I sometimes know in my dream that I'm dreaming, which doesn't help. I suspect this is in part because the person died on another continent and I never saw the dead/dying body, so a part of my brain insists that the person is still alive. Or something. I've lost several people close to me (in addition to the grandparents, etc.), but, probably because of the closeness of the person, this is the one about whom I still dream.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

OK, here I go:

I love my dreams, even if they're bad ones. Usually they aren't; usually my brain is good to me, and when I get up, I say, "Thank you, Brain, for providing me with such a nice dream. I needed it, and I'm grateful." When I'm having bad dreams, I can usually wake myself up--or at least switch to another dream--by squeezing my eyes really tight (in the dream) and willing myself to wake up.

I have a few themes towards which I gravitate; they pass in and out of my life depending, I guess, on my general state of mind. I dream about water; I dream about running away/hiding from indiscriminate "bad guys." Lately I've been dreaming about...well, sort of about being effortlessly fascinating to men--usually a specific man, someone featureless whom my brain invents rather than a representative of someone I know. All I know is that I'm interested in him, and I "get" him, and I feel strong and powerful. (I'm guessing this is based more on wishful thinking than on reality.)

My dreams are always in color. Sometimes they focus on characters (almost never people I know); sometimes they focus on situations. Sometimes they're outrageous, like a recent dream I had about being in a boat and passing by glacier-islands filled with enormous, pastel-colored, beautiful animals: an elephant who sprayed us lightly with his trunk, a giraffe. (It was just so wonderful; I wish I could share how it felt.) They take place in very distinct, detailed environments. Buildings, fields, forests, rooms, oceans; they're almost characters themselves. I get a lot out of how I feel in a certain place. Being around water almost always makes me happy; places like schools or offices are usually more uncomfortable. Last night I dreamed I met Paul Simon in a classroom, and he ignored me, but then we ended up at the same restaurant, and he talked to me. I really think the location made a difference.

I never used to believe that dreams "meant" anything--I used to say they were the brain's version of TV--but now I think there's more to it. I think they're a reflection of vague things that are going on in my life, rather than, for example, a solution to a problem. Like right now, I'm a bit more comfortable about my appearance than I used to be, so I'm probably feeling both more secure and, paradoxically, more anxious about my relationships with men (strangers or otherwise)--hence the "man" dreams. The "bad guys" are probably all about emotions and situations I'm avoiding. Water means general satisfaction.

Sometimes I dream that something "real" is happening, but not a whole lot. They feel...weighty, almost. Physically heavy. Maybe it has to do with that sleep state.

4:25 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Wow, Ann, I want to visit your glaciers-and-pastel-animals place.

Here's another dream I had recently: I kept running into Bill Clinton around town. I saw him at the store and a restaurant, but I didn't say anything to him. Finally we ended up riding the same elevator, and I said something to the effect of, "Mr. Clinton, I really admire the good work you did in your presidency. My views are actually slightly more progressive than yours, but I respect the way you brought people together with thoughtful compromise and thereby successfully achieved liberal goals." He thanked me politely. The next day we were both waiting for a train. We said hello, and then he said, "So...would you like to go out to dinner?" in his creepy-charming way. I gasped in indignation and gave him a long lecture on the meaning of commitment.

My dreams are always color. They vary in intensity and frequency. It's strange how a seemingly innocuous dream can feel either very nightmarish or very happy. When I have really bad dreams--esp. true of my childhood dreams--they involve tornados. My dad also has nightmares about tornados.

10:26 PM  

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