A Tragicomical, Unsophisticated Blog about the Weird, the Absurd, and the Banal

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What Happened to a Third of My Life?

I've been having stormy dreams, lately. Literally. Whenever I wake up, I go through the motions of re-hydration, brushing my teeth, getting ready for work and suddenly I'll remember that I survived a tornado while I slept (or EH's driving. Much like that incident in Nantucket... because of which we will never speak again).

For a very long time, I didn't remember any of my dreams, but now they hit me every morning, a block of ice shattering over my head. There was a zombie invasion the other night. Before that, I experienced my first teeth-falling-out dream. The latter all happened in the middle of a guerrilla firefight while my Boss yelled at me about not having the appropriate amount of bullets on hand to fight off an insurrection. Somewhere in there I got shot and had to bandage my wounds in a filthy bathroom straight out of Silent Hill, reminding myself that I was pursuing other careers and, sooner or later, something would work out.

This is all unusual. For most of my life I've just taken it with a shrug that I somehow lose eight hours every day to unconscious amnesia. If I did remember my dreams, it was all flashes of the Strange, unmoored from anything having to do with my waking life or even tangentially significant. So I just forgot.

Like most writers in college, I became obsessed with Stream of Consciousness writing for a while, convinced that if I just wrote rambling prose, it would be somehow significant. This was all ironic, since my thoughts are usually ordered and sluggish, a few steps behind everyone else, and I'm not familiar with dreams. One time, a writing teacher, Sergei, just shrugged off a story about dreaming and said, "Come on, it's a literary trope. And everyone knows that dreams don't mean anything." Like that, I was Free.

There is one dream, though, that I remember from childhood. Actually, I'm not sure if it was a dream or if it was just me being a weird little kid. I was standing in my backyard thinking about infinity. I tried to imagine space and time expanding around me in all directions and throughout history, pushing my six-year old mind to the limits and beyond. Suddenly, I became extremely depressed. I'd somehow stumbled into an existential crises as a pre-adolescent and it bothered me. That summer, I went to see a doctor and for the first time I realized that Depressed wasn't just an adjective, but a disease.

These all should be nightmares, but they aren't. I'm not horrified or terrified (the genre freaks out there will know the difference). They just are Strange.

I hope this trend continues. I regret that I can't remember many of my dreams and I want those eight hours back. It seems fair, considering how sleep deprived I was in high school and college.

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