Dream a Little Dream

Last night I had an Army-college-work dream, and I woke up exhausted this morning.  On any given night I’m liable to dream that I’m still a uniform-wearing Combat Medic, or that I’m back in college as usual trying to get out of class, or that I’m either driving a taxi or working patients up for a doctor.  But all in one?  Remind me not to mix Rice-A-Roni with gummy bears again.

Dreams have always fascinated me.  As a child, I had this recurring dream that I was in a strange house rummaging around in an upstairs bedroom where I found a secret door, and upon opening it was able to see into a completely different world.  Once I crossed over into that world and discovered that everything was edible.  I reached up and grabbed a couple of clouds and munched them down like cotton candy.  When I awoke my pillows were gone, and from that day on have had an aversion to chicken feathers.

Let’s talk about the meanings of dreams.  I’ve already suggested that what we eat prior to going to sleep can influence our dreams.  But that only goes so far.  You can’t blame every being-chased-while-you’re-naked-in-Times-Square dream on pizza.  There is a host of ‘experts’ who try to make a living telling you what your dreams are all about.  Buy one of those “Dreaming for Dummies” books and you’re liable to be spending your next paycheck having your palm and the bumps on your behind read by a psychic as they’re gazing at your stars and wallet.  Look, if you have a dream that your teeth are falling out, those guys will try telling you it’s all about hidden anxieties, fear of rejection or menopause.  What a bunch of hooey.  You probably forgot to brush your teeth before going to bed, or else you’re worried that jerk living next to you will catch you peeking at his girlfriend sunbathing and deliver a knuckle sandwich minus the pickles.  Bottom line is this: they’re your dreams, and they’re custom fit for you.  It’s silly to think that everyone on the planet that dreams of being naked in Times Square (ok, that’s the second time I’ve used that metaphor, but that’s the image in my head, and I’m stickin’ with it) is afraid of being exposed about something.  I may be having that dream because I left my clothes at home, or forgot to pay the laundry bill, or want everyone to see my marvelous physique.  Well, ok, that may be stretching it a little, but you get the idea.

The coolest dreams have got to be the ones where you can fly or leap tall buildings in a single bound or beat up a truckload of redneck demons with one foot tied behind your back.  If meatloaf gives me that kind of dream, I’ll take seconds.  I love it when I somersault out of a car doing eighty miles an hour, have time for a full manicure and pedicure while sailing through the air, and then land in the middle of an earthquaking tornado without messing up a single hair on my head.  Those kinds of dreams are awesome, and for the record, you should never be afraid of dying if you fall and land in your dream.  Just be afraid of where it bounces you.  Have you ever noticed that you can jump out of an airplane in your dream with no problem, but if you’re dreaming that you’re walking down a flight of stairs and trip, you jerk like you’ve just been tazed?  I hate when that happens, especially if I was headed down to the kitchen for another helping of meatloaf.

My wife says I speak in my dreams, but that I mumble so low she can’t make out what I’m saying.  What she doesn’t know is that in the dreamworld I’m proficient in mumble-speak – all fifty-four dialects.  I also know a smattering of gargleese and can snore in twenty nine different languages.  For me, the weirdest dream is the one where I know everybody and I’m familiar with my environment like I’ve lived there all my life, but the moment I wake up I have no earthly idea where I was or who those freaky people were.  Usually that sort of dream is so real I’m discombobulated for awhile upon waking.  Reminds me of Chuang Tzu when he said, “I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting about in the sky; then I awoke.  Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming I am a man?”  I’m not sure, but I’d lay off the Moo Goo Gai Pan for at least an hour before you go to bed next time.

I’d love to continue this conversation, but I’ve got meatloaf in my dream oven and I don’t want it to overcook.  Sweet dreams!

About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 11 Corinthians 5:17

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