Thursday, August 16, 2007

In my dreams

I’ve asked professionals why I have such vivid, recurring dreams. Some attribute it to generalized anxiety. Or diagnose a “sensitive psyche”. Or an overactive imagination. Even excessive movie watching. Others just shrug.

I dream that I’m alone on a long, narrow beach at twilight. It has massive, crashing waves on one side, and tall, dark cliffs on the other. I imagine, against geographic sense, that this might be similar to the beach Daedalus and Icarus were left on before that fatal flight.

I dream that I’m blind. I move through the scene in my dream unable to make anything out, except for faint outlines and shadows.

I dream that I am paralyzed. My brain is awake, but I can’t move. I know I will lose the ability to breathe. I try to wake my body up. After intense struggle, I do. Release.

I dream that I can fly, but I can’t control it so can never fly at will, or high enough. I dream I run as fast as I can, until my legs hurt, until my shoulders hurt, but I don’t move forward even an inch. I dream that I need to read an important document but I can’t make out the words. That I have a vital meeting that I can’t get to. That I need to go to the bathroom but cannot find one. I dream my teeth fall out.

I dream that Luca cheats on me. It’s not the cheating that causes the most anguish but the fact he doesn’t seem to feel there is anything wrong with it when I confront him. It’s the fact that I suddenly don’t know who he is. I wake up furious, refusing to talk to him until the dream wears off.

When I dream I’m in danger, I usually – gratefully - wake up before any real harm comes to me. Except for twice, where I’ve dreamt that I die. Once, in a car accident where I got hit by a bright yellow school bus. I remember seeing faces of children framed in the windows, their wispy hair and hooded jackets; feeling the heat of impact on my chest and neck, then total darkness.

The second time was a plane crash. My piece of the plane careened into the San Francisco Bay. I heard a splash surround me, felt the rush of freezing water, the arm of the seat digging against my hip, my lungs screaming for air, my clothes sticking to my skin, restricting my movement. I looked up and opened my eyes under water to see a circle of light, a blue image breaking through the surface, of Luca gesturing, pointing down. I could swim out if I managed to release the seat belt. But, I run out of time. I thought, with an involuntary, heartbreaking, total surrender, “This is it”. Everything went black. And then, to my disbelief, I woke up in my bed, warm and safe, cocooned in blankets; awash in such fear my hands and feet and toes were tingling painfully. I got up to give my legs a shake. Maybe this is the afterlife.

I dream that my current life that I love is all a dream. Not just something I could lose – but something that never was. I am back in Mexico City in my early twenties and all I feel is empty and disoriented.

I wake up. I look around. I realize I’m in my room, in my house. I turn to look at the person next to me. LUCA! I married Luca! And this life is mine! I made it all, from scratch! I got myself here! Sometimes I say all this out loud.

Needless to say, with all the panting, flailing, kicking, gasping, crying out in anguish or in joyous celebration, Luca’s nights are seldom uneventful. And to think all he ever dreams about is that he’s playing soccer. Either that, or he doesn't remember a thing.


Luca said...

Let's go to sleep, baby! I can't wait to play some soccer :)

Miguel Cane said...

I dream.

Oh, I dream a lot.

When I was younger, I used to think that my dreams were my real life, and that my waking life was but a dream.

I outgrew that notion.

I dream my grandfather is alive, that he recovered from death all right and that I am going to have a long, grown up conversation with him.

I dream of shock treatment (sometimes). It does feel exactly the same, but it's always cut short by the fact that I don't remember anymore.

I dream that my friends cheat on me, and that they don't see anything wrong in doing so. It really hurts when it does, but then, it is only a dream.

I dream I finally find that wonderful book I always meant to read, but haven't ever found, because it doesn't exist. But I start reading it, and it is frustrating to wake up and find it gone, since it was so good.

I dream I throw dinner parties. I buy the flowers myself. They are most joyous occasions.

Sometimes I cry in my sleep. I know what I dreamed of when it happens.

Sometimes I dream of my childhood, long gone and still tucked away someplace.

Sometimes I dream I meet a person and it's important, but then I wake up and I forget his face.

I dream I can fly.

I dream I succeed.

I dream I fail.

Oh, dear.

Do I dream!

Carol Miller said...

I think you who dream, and write out what you have lived in your dream (or nightmare) are taking an important step, not necessarily to analyzing the dream but to confronting the fact of dreaming, as a reality, and therefore no longer a threat. It also makes excellent material for stories, as incidents, or as entire plots that you develop when you are awake.

Dushka said...

Absolutely - I felt writing it out, and then throwing it out there in the form of a blog entry, would help. At worst, it's material!

David said...

Holy crap. I used to think Stephen King was scary before I read about your dreams. I suggest drinking more red wine before bed. If that doesn't work, I suggest opening up a window to get some air in during the night. If that doesn't work...Luca...over to you!

Carol Miller (again) said...

I have reread this entry and decided to share my own experience. I had a recurring dream. One day I remembered enough of it to write it down. I shared it with my psychiatrist. She analyzed it, briefly and succinctly. And guess what? It went away. I don't dream it any more.