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My Few Nocturnal Dreams, March 19th, 2000 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: March 19th, 2000
"My Few Nocturnal Dreams" [permalink]
    keywords: dreams, love, life, sleep
    soapbox #: 233
    written: March 19th, 2000
    words: 1774

"My Few Nocturnal Dreams", an Essay

I probably wrote this before, but isn't there some truth to the tale that people who are visionary types tend to do their dreaming while they're awake instead of while asleep, while dreamers and fantasizers tend to be the opposite?

To refresh, I don't have many dreams. Falling dreams, wet dreams, anxiety dreams, love dreams, adventure dreams, heroism dreams, Freudian dreams... Nope, none of that. I wonder why it is, really. Does it say something about who I am? Does it say I'm not very creative? Does it say that I express myself in other ways?

My best guess is it's because I just don't sleep very much, and when I do sleep, I sleep like a cat. My roommate at school could attest to that, since I'd usually sleep a bit after dinner, wake up in the middle of the night, do some research, then go back to sleep and wake up at 8AM for the market. When I found myself with some free time to sleep a lot, I'd dream a LOT more. So that's what I think it all comes down to. Heavy-duty REMming.

But if I do have dreams, it tends to be when something big is about to happen or if I'm strongly affected by something. Not much of a surprise, I guess.

Like when I met that girl right before the school year ended (I am writing this in May), I had a dream about her. Nothing sexual (I'll get back to this later), nothing weird, just me talking to her. And her enjoying the conversation. It's as simple as that. I guess I have some major complex where I really want to have someone who WANTS to be around me and loves to talk to me. Someone who won't let me slip away during a pause in conversation, as I naturally do. Someone who is eager to know more about me. Anyway, it was a very pleasant dream. She was such a thing of beauty to observe while she talked. And I had the feeling she liked me. But not enough I suppose.

But yeah, I don't have sexual dreams. I usually wake up when I realize that there's no way this is possible, or I just don't go through with it because I don't think it's right, or I'm not completely respectful of who it is, or some boring shit like that. How repressed is shit like that? When you have morals and virtues in your frigging dreams? :P I seriously need help with this.

You know how vampires require someone to invite them into their house, or else they just can't get in? Sadly, I can be the same way. Unless I'm just explicitly given an invitation, I won't pursue someone. I feel like an idiot if I try to do something without someone inviting me first, I guess because I've never had anyone appreciate it before, or at least follow through on it before. And I'm not just talking about with women, but in any situation, no matter how trivial. I mean, with Anna, she knew exactly what to do. She made it very clear what her intentions were and we didn't have to bullshit around for a while like most people do. I hate the games people play.

The other night I had a dream which involved this girl I had a crush on my freshman year. For reference, she was really thin and had long blonde hair and had a sweet smile. I did something dumb like write her a poem. She added to my list of "girl's excuses". But anyway, the dream was very short, at least what I can remember of it. We were sitting across each other at a picnic table and it was springtime, very nice weather, and for whatever reason, she said, "Aww, that was such a sweet thing for you to do!" Then she got up, and I looked down, reflexively not expecting her to come over to me, but she did, and kissed me on the cheek three times, the last one holding it for a long time, until both of us laughed a little. And that was that. All I remember. Same theme, I suppose. I guess, deep down, all I want is to be loved. :P

But seriously, when she said that and kissed me on the cheek, it felt so perfect and soothing, like it was some sort of confirmation that I had done something good and had made her heart sing.

And then there was a dream a long time ago where this girl that I'd seen in class and liked a little was in a record store or something surreal like that and I went up to her. She was much shorter than me. I walked a circle around her a few times while she looked up at me, and with each pass she was more and more caught up in me. By the end she looked up with doting eyes. I think I told her something about how amazing she was and she returned compliments. And there was the end of that dream.

Besides those, I'll only get the kinds of dreams where something really bad will happen to me. Nothing seriously bad, but bad enough that it changes your life significantly. Like, for instance (since I can't remember anything specifically), crashing your car and being late for some important event in your life. It's that sense of dread of what's to come that develops inside of you when it happens. You're thinking, "Oh shit, now I'm so fucking screwed and this is going to go on for months." I vaguely remember some dreams about being in an airplane that's about to crash, and then quickly I run through important things that have happened in my life, and then I'm overcome with calmness and an acceptance of what's about to come, and even a sense of curiosity about what it's going to be like, and the screaming around me gets silent as I block it out and become focused on the impact.

Random thoughts coming up. I've begun to think that my life is like a great work of art that I've been working on all this time. Like it has been carefully crafted and molded, and I've managed to work in certain elements I've learned about in my various intellectual pursuits. My life, which is my art project, started out very ugly and unshapely, but is now being chiseled and hammered out. In many ways incorporating things into my art project has been very easy and natural. The assumption would be that at some level I am a master of my own work, an expert at my trade. I don't know why I feel this way, but I do. While things that I don't have any control of tend to screw me over every so often, it generally follows that what I want for my own life goes. Is it wrong for me to say that? Arrogant? Naive?

The other thing I feel is that somewhere along the line, I'm due for a great fall. Sometimes it feels like one day the music will stop, the rug will be pulled out from under my feet, and my whole foundation will crumble. And then I will have to start from nothing. I dunno, it's just a thing I sense sometimes. Like life just throws in that joker card and fucks you over just to see if you can take it with a sense of humor.

I wonder if the ancient Greek heroes worried a lot about the inevitable, that one day their day would come when someone stronger would come along and slay them. Did they have such forethought as to envision their own day of reckoning? Did they deny that it would happen to them, out of their own pride? Could they feel something catching up behind them, ready to grab their ankles and drag them into the Underworld? Do people have premonitions of their own deaths?

Random facts. The day after the girl whom I had a crush on freshman year said that she wasn't interested, Austin had a vicious ice freeze day, which happened to be the only one that winter. People were bundled up and wondered where the hot steamy weather had gone. Overnight the temperature just dropped like a rock, and by the following day, things were normal again. When I received three rejection letters in a day from three of the big universities, I had earlier spilled scalding water all over my hand in chemistry class. At the benediction at my high school graduation, the sky poured rain and then stopped when it was over. The night I went to see the girl I met at the end of my senior year, it was absolutely pouring rain, dumping all sorts of stuff onto the steamy pavement in Austin. I went to see her, hung out with her and her friends, and walked home in the middle of the night, alone, no rain, having a strong sense that she wasn't going to continue any sort of relationship. I still suspect that it was more out of practicality than anything else. At least, I hope so. Anyway. One night, one of my best friends had a vicious disease in my dream and he was going to die. The next day, he called, and I told him what happened. It's always good to hear from him...

But it was not always bad. In fact, the one thing that sticks out in my mind is the very first day I met Anna, in London. It was overcast and was drizzling all morning while I was preparing to go meet her, but as soon as she came back from running an errand (I had arrived at her place a little early), the sun broke from the clouds and the rest of the day was bright, sunny, and warm, allowing me to sit outside with her and her parents to talk.

Oh, how cruel the world can be, beating us down with mockeries of our identities and self-esteem, then baiting us on with a few glorious glimpses of what a Heaven must be like!

Anna, Anna, Anna. The one that stood out from the rest.


 
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