A Dream Within An Involuntary Succession Of Images Occurring During REM-Stage Sleep.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

I had that dream again.

There are several sleep-related issues I’ve fortunately outgrown: sleeping with the light on, night terrors, and sleepwalking. At least it’s been several years since I sleepwalked and my wife no longer has to worry about me trying to take down the picture that hangs over her bed to get the computer disk out of the wall safe behind the picture, mainly because she moved the picture to another part of the bedroom but also because we don’t have a wall safe. And even if we did I’m not sure why I’d store computer disks in there.

One thing I haven’t outgrown though is the recurring dream, although I don’t have them nearly as often as I did when I was a kid. Psychologists might say this was me working through a particular issue or set of concerns, the same reason some children reread the same story. I think there’s a much simpler answer: I just hadn’t built up enough experiences yet so my brain regularly had to go into reruns. And I also think I prompted it. Even now I can do that sometimes: I’ll be in the midst of a really interesting dream, wake up, and then find that I can re-enter it, although usually at a later point, sort of like stepping out of a movie to go to the bathroom, but it doesn’t really matter because the move is Un Chien Andalou which would make just as much sense if you watched it backwards. And sometimes at night when I’d lie down to sleep I’d think, hey, that dream I had the other night was really fun, I’d like to dream that again, and my brain would oblige. Then halfway through it would turn that fun dream into a nightmare because that’s the sort of thing my brain thinks is hilarious. And I’d try to explain to my brain that that sort of thing is only funny if it happens to other people, then realize that I’m a truly horrible person and that my brain was just giving me what I deserved, but that’s another story.

Anyway I have this recurring dream. The alarm goes off. I get up, take the dogs out, take a shower. Sometimes I get all the way to work before the alarm really goes off. Since this is a dream my brain will skip over the boring parts and go for the really boring parts.

Here’s the odd thing: I’m always sound asleep when I have this dream so why do I wake up exhausted? Probably because that’s the sort of thing my brain thinks is hilarious.

12 Comments

  1. Gilly Maddison

    The dream state is the weirdest place to be in my opinion. I don’t get how our brains can create entire other lives full of people who seem real but who we are inventing second by second as the dream progresses. It shows what our brains are capable of. The detail in my dreams is incredible and yet I am inventing it all – what talent we have!I too had severe night terrors from age 7 to well into my adult life. It was horrendous also sleep walking which thankfully I rarely do now. So I can relate to that. Great post – should promote lots of discussion about dreams as people seem to love talking about that world.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I hope to promote lots of discussion about dreams, and this is not my first foray into this subject. It is strange what our brains come up with and I often think about Aldous Huxley’s book Heaven & Hell. Of course he was talking about drug experiences but I think our dream experiences can be vivid and bizarre enough even without drugs. Anyway as he said our imaginations can take us to Heaven or to Hell and it’s often difficult to know which way our dreams will go.

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    Le Chien Andalou–that eyeball! I also have recurring dreams which take place in a secret wing of my house but I find them comforting in a weird way, like I live there too only at night.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yeah, I watched that movie once and haven’t been able to do it again. That’s interesting that in your dreams you have a secret wing of your house–that seems very metaphorical since your dreams are like a secret wing of your mind only you can access.

      Reply
    2. Gilly Maddison

      Oh my goodness – I have that too! But the wing was even secret from me – I didn’t know it was there – is yours like that too? In mine, everything is very still and tidy but creepy and the wing has lots of rooms.

      Reply
      1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

        I don’t have a wing in my dreams, just a wall safe, but that was weird enough in itself. On waking I wondered, why would have a wall safe in our house? I can’t imagine anything we’d keep in there.

        Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    I love everything about this dream of a post, Chris.

    Reply
  4. Spoken Like A True Nut

    I dreamt an entire Tuesday once. A perfectly mundane, ordinary Tuesday, when I was still working retail. I got up, got dressed, slapped on some makeup, walked to work, worked the entire 8.5 hours of my shift without incident, and walked back home. Not one detail omitted, not a single giveaway that I was dreaming.

    Then I woke up and realized I’d been dreaming and that it was still just Tuesday morning, and I had to get up and do the whole damn day all over again.

    It was just as boring the second time around.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is unbelievably annoying. It’s almost as though your brain decided to torment you by forcing you to go through a Tuesday twice. And of course it had to be a Tuesday. Everybody thinks Mondays are the worst but really there’s something even more miserable about Tuesdays.

      Reply
    2. Arionis

      Look on the bright side. At least you got to have Taco Tuesday twice. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Arionis

    Dreamscape, despite the cheesy special effects, was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. I envy you the ability to re-enter your dreams where you left off. I’ve had some pretty good dreams that got interrupted by nature’s call or the dogs wanting to go outside. As much as I willed it, I was unable to summon the power to return to them.

    Now for the question that’s surely on everyone’s mind – what size disks were in the wall safe? 5 1/4″ floppy or 3 1/2″?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I loved Dreamscape too. I even debated with my friends whether the cheesy special effects were intentional, that maybe they were meant to be almost childlike.
      Anyway they were 3 1/2″. The computer wasn’t that old, but for real security maybe we need flash drives.

      Reply

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