Monday, May 01, 2006

Dreamland: OTC

I don't know about most of you, but I have really intense, bizzare dreams. I dream about stuff like cosmology and God. I sometimes dream about getting stuck in a video game. I dreamt once about piloting the space shuttle and having to do an emergency landing on one of the main streets in my home town. Strange stuff.

I also dream about the people I care about that I've lost contact with. I dream about friends from college, about people who have broken my heart, about people from high school that I haven't seen in years. Once, I had a dream about a girl from high school that was so real, so tangible that I can still feel the texture of her hair as I hugged her goodbye, and the feel of the sand beneath my feet as I walked away. I wasn't quite the same for several days after that dream. I felt like I was in mourning for a person I hadn't seen, talked to, or thought about for at least 10 years.

Many of my dreams are that way - so real, tangible, and visceral that they affect me in my waking life. Occasionally, they make me happy, but most of the time they make me sad, and keep me from sleeping for weeks on end.

It gets worse when I take drugs, though, even over the counter stuff. Being that it is spring, and being that I get allergies, I end up taking stuff like Claritin or Suphedrine or whatever in order to be functional. They don't come without side effects, though, and lately, my dreams have been doozies.

I had one the other night about a friend that recently got married. She told me that her husband had been working a lot of overtime, and she decided he was cheating on her, so she had an affair to get back at him. Turns out, he wasn't cheating, but now they're getting a divorce. Now, this might not seem like something to ruin your week, but for me, dreams like this are earth shattering. I knew the dream wasn't true, but I was disturbed for many sleepless nights afterwards, talking through with God this irrational feeling about my dream.

A couple of nights later I had a dream that a little dog bit my face and wouldn't let go. So, I went about my daily tasks with a dog on my face. When the dog finally let go, he hadn't punctured the skin, but had left teeth marks all up and down my face. This one didn't really keep me up at night.

The larger problem with dreams is that they are my addiction. I don't take any drugs to make them happen more often (I rarely take any drugs at all), but they are the thing I simultaneously love and hate. When I can finally go to sleep at night, I long for one to come. Sometimes it takes months. But after I've had one, I'm disturbed in my spirit, lost in thought for days trying to think through my dream. After many sleepless nights, I'm exhausted, and I finally enjoy the dreamless sleep of the, uh, dreamless. (What has good, dreamless, sleep? I have no idea. Idiots, maybe?)

So, in my existential weirdness, I wonder about my dreams. Why do I have them? What do they tell me about myself or about God? How do they affect me?

Mostly, I think they make me more reflective. They make me think harder and longer than I otherwise would. They make me pensive and a little withdrawn. Sadly, I think that my disturbing dreams make me, me.

Sometimes I think everyone should have disturbing dreams, so that we can understand the haunted looks in each others' eyes. Other days, I envy those who can sleep soundly and focus their mind on the day.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, having disturbing dreams and sleepless nights isn't too bad. It even makes me wonder what other things we're afflicted with aren't really afflictions at all, but simply conditions of who we are.


alethia said...

ok i couldn't stop laughing about the little dog thing. some of my dreams: that i am a waitress and i show up for work w/ no shirt. i am otherwise clothed, just topless. i tentatively go to wait tables and nobody notices that my boobs are showing so i just go about my job. another one, i can jog--even run, which is so not true in real life. then i think to myself during the dream, why don't i run more? this is awesome and i'm not even tired. another one: i am pregnant and am oh so disappointed that i am not showing. sometimes i am in labor and it doesn't hurt very bad so i wonder what women complain about. i have decided that i ate something before bed that i shouldn't have and thus have a stomach ache which makes me dream i am pregnant. i also think i should not worry about showing, as i am sure i will be a cow if i ever get pregnant and that won't be an issue. another dream is that i am dialing a phone for a really important phone call and i can't see the dial pad and so i spend hours trying to dial a phone and i keep getting it wrong and having to start over. what do you think of those....

Benjamin said...

Yeah, I have a similar naked dream where I go to school and forget my clothes in my locker. (How does that even happen?) I'm so ashamed, I can't go to class, and so I wander the halls, trying to avoid teachers and students who will call attention to my naked self. It's very traumatic, and, truthfully, kinda funny.

Your other dreams are hilarious. "Why don't I run more?" LOL. The pregnancy one is also funny. I wonder if lots of women have pregnancy dreams?

The one with the telephone is a lot like one of mine in which people start dying because I can't remember a specific number sequence or whatever. That's a bad, bad dream.

At least I'm not alone in my bizzare dreams.

Michelle said...

i'm having a pregnant dream right now. someone wake me up on may 16th and get this kid out of me.

thanks for the post about strange dreams. i have one almost weekly where i'm crying asking my brother why in the world he was not wearing his seatbelt that moring in december. his answer is always the same; i just never wore it. i don't think it's a really strange dream, since he's dead and all, but i guess i think it's strange/weird that he knows he's dead and he's talking back to me. but hey, with every pregnancy i've had some really strange dreams, so oh well.

Benjamin said...

Ugh - that one about your brother is downright spooky. I've never talked to dead people, though plenty of people have died in my dreams (including me).

My wife always says that those last weeks of pregnancy are God's way of making you glad when labor starts. Sounds like you're ready. Good luck on the 16th (or whenever it is)!

Jessica said...

i consistently dream that i'm trying to talk to people but i can't. i'm yelling and moaning, but nothing comes out. and the situations are different, but i am always the same. trying to tell people something important or life-preserving, but i can't tell them because the only abilities i have are to moan on a yelling-level. i think that i'm trying to talk out loud in my sleep, but i just won't let myself. how weird is that?