Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dream a Little Dream ...

Tuvia and I just got home from our motzei Shabbos movie date, in which we saw Inception, that movie with confusing commercials and an even more perplexing premise. And? Well, let's just say it's probably the best movie I've seen in a while, and I highly recommend you all go see it. At 2 hours and 28 minutes, I felt as if I'd been sitting in the crowded theater for a mere hour. I suppose that's part of the trickery related to the movie's theme.

The concept of the movie is that you can "break into" other people's dreams to extract ideas, with the impossibility (or is it?) of inception -- of placing an idea in the dream that will then consume the dreamer's conscious thoughts. There's someone who creates landscapes in dreams, another who masterminds the syrupy goo that keeps you asleep and able to accomplish your dream feat for extended period of time, and so on. It's a dreamscape of pretty much illegal proportions.

So why am I even blogging about this? Well, dreams are something near and dear to my heart, because I dream just about every night, vividly, with the ability (most of the time) to recall the depth and details of my dreams. People, faces, colors, scenescapes, the weather, the conversations, everything. I've also -- and this is the most awesome thing -- mastered the ability to throw myself back into a dream after waking up from it. Sounds nuts, right? Sometimes I wake up from an exceedingly vivid dream, and either unhappy with the point at which it ended or frustrated with how it was going or wanting more details, I push myself back into slumber for the express purpose of satisfying what I want out of the dream. Really radical, eh? I mean, I'm the kind of person who can barely fall asleep on any given night, and yet, when it comes to my dreams, I can push myself back into them to try to change outcomes. For what purpose? No clue. My subconscious and I are probably a psychologist's dream.

The best example of this that I can offer is a dream I had a few months ago in which I somehow ended up in an electrical storm outside of a large university building. I can't remember all the details, but it was a dream in which I walked into the building and accidentally caused a powerchord to hit some water and lit the building up. In the first version of the dream I ran throughout the halls, trying to get people out, but dozens died and the building fell before my eyes. (I'm so irritated; I thought I wrote this dream in my dream journal, but it appears that I did not.) I awoke from the dream, frustrated, angry at myself for something that happened in not-real space. I put myself back down and dreary-eyed attempted to fix the dream. The entire thing played out exactly as before, but I got more people out and was able to call for help. I proceeded to play through this dream about four more times, still unable to help everyone out. I changed the way I went through the building, I altered aspects of the floor plan, I did everything in an effort to re-scape the dream in order to be successful. And yet, still, my subconscious was set on defeating me.

Dreams are ... bizarre. For me, dreams are wicked places that, while supposedly revealing plenty about my innermost thoughts, really just baffles me. Over the past week I had three nights in a row with dreams of being hunted, through city streets, including one city street that featured Kate Gosselin and her sextuplets (she was deeply upset with me for attempting to talk them away from the road while she was busy yelling at someone on the phone). I need to keep a better log of my dreams than I do. I often sit Tuvia down and relate them to him, but he just stares at me blankly like a nutjob. People used to think I was fabricating or elaborating on a kernel of a dream memory. In reality, my dreams are exhausting. I wake up feeling as if I've been running a marathon all night (and in the case of the "being chased" dreams, I really was running -- for my life), and thus I end up feeling as though I haven't slept at all. My mouth guard has become my best friend, with teeth marks poking small holes into its base. Soon enough, I'll chew through the darn thing from dream anxiety.

This stuff is real, folks. And Inception was like this picture of my dreamscape. Weird. Surreal. Creepy. So what I leave you with is a recent dream of mine, from about a week ago, that left Evan staring blankly at me, as usual. Enjoy!
The dream began with Tuvia waking me up for lunch (we're in the Poconos, so the dream took place in our Poconos house, but the house looked a lot nicer and larger than our place actually is). The skies were dark and stormy, and as he was pulling me out of bed this huge torrent of rain came and it started seeping through the ceiling. It was like there was no roof, like the rain was seamlessly slipping through the wooden planks. I started freaking out and told Evan to turn on the lights, and he said, "But it's Shabbat!" and I responded, "I don't care! We need to pack and get the hell out of here!" So he turned on the lights and just then a man came walking up the stairs with an umbrella. "I thought y'all couldn't turn the lights on on Shabbat," he said. We asked him why he was even there and he said he saw our car in the driveway and thought he'd pay a visit. No clue who this guy was, by the way, but I think it might have been the neighbor who I've seen only through his minivan window. We explained the rain, the house falling to pieces, and needing to leave, so he pulled this little ball out of his pocket, pressed a switch, and it lit up. He threw it into the fireplace (which was in a different spot than our actual fireplace) and, with a flash, the rain in the house stopped. He left, and we began to assess the situation. The house suddenly morphed into this big house/community center thing, and all of our friends from West Hartford were there (and some of mine from the shul in Nebraska, too) and the skies were looking seriously doomful. Women and kids started to scream and sirens started going off ... so I ran for the lower level, I crouched in a corner, only to realize that the entire room -- of the basement, which was done up like a kindergarten or preschool classroom -- was full of windows, and this big, looming tornado was coming at us. I got up, squished this little kids hand as I stepped on it (oops), and ran for the only room in the place without any windows, a big cement block of a room. As I got there, an old woman grabbed my hand with a grip I can't describe. I tried to push her off, and I think I broke her arm in the process. I finally got to the corner of the room and then ... POOF. There was a flash and I looked up and I was sitting on a cement floor, the walls mostly decimated, in a field of pumpkins. Alone.