Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dream A Pathetic Little Dream

I would like to lodge a complaint to the authorities, should there be any, about the kit that comes with my soul, if I have one. I do not intend to nitpick. Most things work as well as could be expected. This is not about my neck, which I have come to terms with. Various items are showing signs of wear and tear and this is all in the normal course of events, and not what a mature individual should natter on about. No. My complaint concerns something that has never really operated correctly from the get-go, and I would like to see about an upgrade.

I refer to my basic dream apparatus. From what I understand, most people are allowed to take fantastic voyages while asleep. They fly, they visit worlds of wonder, they have passionate affairs. I don't do a damn thing when I'm asleep that I wouldn't do awake. That's a third of my life, squandered, and I want a refund.

I once dreamed I was steelheading on the Zigzag River. I had my waders on and I was casting, and downstream I saw a large man doing the same thing. I was annoyed; he was in my territory. We got closer and my annoyance turned to excitement. It was Buck Williams! Buck Williams it was, incredibly handsome former Trailblazer, all rubbered up in waders and a flannel shirt that did little to conceal his massive shoulders. We got closer. Close enough to see his dimple lint. We nodded, then flirted a little, and then he suggested maybe we could go somewhere and get to know each other a little better. "I'd love to," I breathed, and with the next dream-breath I said, "but we're both married. Hey! Do you play cribbage? Maybe you and your wife could come over sometime and play cribbage with me and Dave." I woke up. I slapped myself for a long time.

Would you like to be able to fly? Sure. Unfortunately my waking self is a little afraid of heights, so there will be none of that in my dreams. I can only manage a sort of moon-lope, one toe always dragging the ground, gravity dialed down one notch. It's the best I can do. It's pathetic.

Even my anxiety dreams are annoying. In the current version, I am racing through a strange airport in search of a gate to make a connection I absolutely must make. My race takes me through jammed escalators; no one will step aside; I dash outside and pinball through busy parking lots. One night I actually recognized the dream while I was dreaming it, and I woke up, relieved that I didn't need to make that connection after all, and drifted back to sleep. Whereupon the first thing I did was go to a ticket counter and explain I'd missed my flight and was there another one? There was; it was leaving in ten minutes; it was on the opposite concourse, but if I hurried...

Here's what I do. I take the most repetitive thing in my waking life and do that all night long. When I started working for the post office, I sorted letters in my dreams. When I took piano lessons, I did not dream of playing flawless Chopin; I repeated finger exercises. Now I spend the entire night clicking on blogs to find one I like well enough to leave a comment. I may be doing it at my high school reunion which is being held in a tent city in Zanzibar with Pat Boone dishing up the meatballs, but that's what I'm doing: I'm sitting in a corner commenting on blogs.

It is a well-known fact that humans can solve problems with their unconscious minds through dreaming. Friedrich Kekule dreamed of a snake biting its own tail and woke up understanding the structure of the benzene ring. James Watson dreamed of intertwined snakes and plumbed the secret of the structure of DNA. Last night I invented a toilet for bicyclists. It had a ramp and a long stall and a couple holes in the ground and there was some way you could pee without getting off your bike.

There is no Nobel Prize for inventing a bike potty. There's no call for it at all.

So I object to the whole kit. It's defective. The only thing going for it is that I do know exactly what happens after I die. I'll be racing all over hell and back during finals week looking for St. Peter's podium but I can't find it because I didn't ever go to the class and never cracked the book.

73 comments:

  1. I used to wake in the night in a cold sweat because I was trying to prorate insurance premiums in my sleep; over and over and over, the same damn policy.

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    1. I know, right? And then you have to get up and go do it again. Redundant.

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  2. I'm a nurse, so I lose patients (note spelling) and run around hospital halls trying to find things or get somewhere in time. And no flying or beautiful love dreams. My kit is definitely defective!

    Kris

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  3. Sweet dreams in slumber find you
    Sweet dreams that leave all worry behind you
    But in your dreams whatever they be,
    Dream a little dream of me

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    1. Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you, which will be around the middle of June.

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  4. I think there is definitely a place in the world for a bike potty. Not having to get off my bike? That's the ticket. Sorry to hear your dreams aren't very exciting. You are welcome to borrow some of mine. :-)

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    1. Most of my real bike problems were solved with medicated diaper powder. A tip to the ladies, there.

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  5. Have you looked into lucid dreaming? Supposedly you can learn to control what you dream about.

    I think most people's dreams are rather dull, if not scary. Amorous celebrities are rare. A co-worker of mine once told me she'd had a dream about her boyfriend fixing her car. I told her my own car had been running a little rough, and asked if she'd mind if I dreamed about bringing it in for him to take a look at.

    I wonder if I'm only dreaming about commenting on this post.....

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    1. Ha! I tried lucid dreaming in high school. It does work, but when I direct it, I STILL do whatever I'd have done in real life.

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  6. I am in awe of people who have creative, productive dreams. I have repeating nightmares such as being on a bridge that collapses. Sometimes I have dreams related to a book I was reading before I fell asleep. I've never tried to control my dreams, but I have read that it can be done.

    I often remind myself not to drink so much water after 7 pm so that I won't have potty dreams. I am too lazy to get up in the middle of the night which guarantees potty dreams for the rest of the night. The potty will be too dirty to use; the potty will be on a sidewalk in a city; or the potty will not have a door, or some impossible situation that makes me long for a real potty.

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    1. Oh god. The public potty dreams. I had a series of them until the day my friend suggested I was repressing something I was really ashamed of. Since I instantly burst into tears, I knew she was right, and was able to realize what I was ashamed of, and didn't have the dream again. As often.

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  7. True story!:

    I watched Young Frankenstein before bed last night and dreamt that a heart was delivered to me on ice. My heart needed to be replaced every month. I was too lazy to put it in the freezer and it ended up in a puddle of cold water....

    Analysis: I have a cold lazy heart

    Maybe you should watch some porn before going to sleep. Your dreams may be that much more exciting.

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  8. I'm lost and I'm late. Boy, do I know THOSE dreams. But do you want to try the one where you're being chased by lustful, decaying zombie werewolves through the leech infested post-apocalyptic swamp, and then there's a tidal wave?

    Or the one where I can fly as long as I'm treading my spinning wheel and I'm having a magnificent time at 50thousand feet until the birds start stealing my wool for nesting.

    The pet triceratops that keeps getting graffittied?

    You probably have the weird dreams, but your conscious mind just doesn't bother remembering them.

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    1. Roxie, I'm beginning to live for your comments.

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  9. Last night I woke up screaming and sweaty. The house was falling down because there were comma splices in the walls. We had to exterminate them without using a single comma splice in our speaking. I was lying in the rubble screaming that "oh, @#$@" was not a comma splice. But it was too late.
    I'm still confused. I must do research. I must avoid all comma usage in the meantime.

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    1. Without even looking up "comma splice," I think I know what one is. And I used to avoid them and now I don't. Sometimes they more accurately reflect the sound of speech. Sometimes you can reinforce the stud walls with a good semicolon.

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  10. A college friend of mine wrote down what her roommate said: "I just found something. I think it's a pretty important discovery." It was a good thing she wrote it down, because the roommate never remembered what it was she "discovered." That was about fifty years ago. If she remembers, she can tell her grandchildren.

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    1. But was it a dinosaur toe, or a new way to blow up the world?

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  11. @ R. J. OMG, the potty dreams. Identical to mine. Except I often recognize the facility (the girls' bathroom at my high school features prominently).

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  12. I used to try to do it in my three-sided mail sorting case, hoping to pinch off a loaf before someone walked by. Ew.

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  13. God, when I was a programmer I used to have endless programming dreams. The damn program would not compile, and I'd code and code through the night, initializing variables and allocating memory with incredible diligence, recompiling and recompiling, and the problems became denser and denser and more tangled and more perplexing until finally... I woke up. And went to work, where the code still didn't compile.

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  14. I rarely dream. Or perhaps I do dream luridly,scarily,hilariously... but don't recall details.

    (By the way, if you're going to use semi-colons in wall joists you MUST secure the m-dash points first.)

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    1. Can I use the same fasteners/connectors that fix the dangling participles?

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    2. No. Comma mistake. That makes it go all tilde.

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  15. I HATE those boring repetitive dreams! I do the same thing over and over and OVER; wake up, shake my head, go back to sleep, and pick up the same damn dream right where I left off.

    Why can't I ever do that with the fabulous pornographic dreams? Once I wake up, they're gone forever. Sigh.

    Mind you, if I'm running a fever, all bets are off. Then I dream of dillweed. Or dickweed, to be precise. http://blog.dianehenders.com/2012/01/11/i-dream-of-dillweed/ My brain is a scary place.

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    1. Anyone wishing to read about rubbing a 330-pound pecker with dillweed is encouraged to hop on over to Diane's.

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  16. I almost always dream in conversations. No pictures. And the conversations are not only the ones I could have in my waking life they often ARE the ones I had in my waking life. Dull, dull, dull. And a little worrying. Am I as boring as my dreams?

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    1. Can't rule it out. No pictures: like, darkness? Really?

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  17. I used to have lots of dreams where I couldn't find Yurtle, or I couldn't distinguish him from other turtles...but now I have similar dreams with babies. Is that what happens after you turn 30?? For some reason lately my dream babies have red hair and freckles (no idea why... don't tell Kevin...)

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    1. Sara, you have always been my ideal in this department. Your dreams should be scored and sent to Pixar. And I'll bet the red-haired babies are significant. Hmm.

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  18. I've solved more than one problem while asleep. Years ago while learning how to be a bank teller I dreamt about balancing every conceivable transaction involving debits and credits.

    Then there was the dream when my bladder was about to burst so I started swimming in a bathroom filled with warm water almost to the ceiling. When I was unable to swim down to the toilet I figured no one would notice me taking a leak what with all that warm water. Turns out I was wrong about that one.

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  19. "I take the most repetitive thing in my waking life and do that all night long." You hit a home-run with me on that one, Murr. My first summer job, I worked in a factory stacking aluminum pans as they came off a conveyor belt. I did that job day AND night all summer long -- my dreams were so realistic that I was afraid to roll over in bed because I knew the pans were going to cascade off the conveyor belt behind me.

    The scenarios have changed over the years, but the habit of repeating them all night long is still with me.

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    1. They say we're learning and putting our life in order, but how much practice does letter-sorting and pan-stacking really take?

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  20. Ah, dreaming...I have had some unusual dreams. A common one is meeting Bruce Willis and he begins talking with me. We share laughs and stories, and then he asks if I would like to go somewhere for a drink. "My cars right here," and he smiles as he opens the door. I climb in and we are off. He sings to me and soon we arrive at a place which is obviously his home. He leads me inside, guides me through the french doors to a poolside lounging "bed", gives me a drink and we sit and talk. Soon he leans in and, as I continue my story, he kisses my neck just below my right ear. His kisses glide along my neck sending tingles down my spine, all while he "uh HM's" as I try to continue to talk, my voice becoming deep and whispery. I lean my head back and his lips travel across my right cheek, down my chin and onto my upper chest, and then...well, you get the picture.
    I do sometimes have dreams of working word search or crossword puzzles all night when I work on one before retiring to sleep.

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    1. Segue of the Year Award, right here, ladies and gentlemen.

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  21. I have always been a lucid but pretty wild dreamer. I flew regularly as a kid (puberty kind of put the kibosh on that). Dreams of vast strange cities in other worlds, of other times, of Tolkienesque epics - even cartoons - were regular events. Lots of recurring dreams in there too which advanced a little more each time. Getting older has tamed things a bit but it has always been my everyday life that's comparatively dull and repetitive. And sometimes thankfully so. Some dreams can leave you just exhausted when you wake up, grateful for flannelette and porridge.

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    1. Flannelette and porridge? Y'all ain't from these parts, are you?

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    2. No hon bun, I'm from north of the Y'all Line.

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  22. I have the frightening kinds of dreams.

    Not surprising for a guy who thinks he's Bear and has other mental challenges.

    P.S.: Who's that in bed with Pootie? I see two Bears, and a little girl, I think. I wonder if she's dreaming pleasantly.

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  23. Pootie (who is a DOG, I done tole you before, Bear), his best friend Hajerle, and a little 58-year-old girl.

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  24. You and I share a dream apparatus, I guess. Sometimes I dream I'm doing laundry. When I DO have a really bizarre dream, I can usually trace most of the elements back to things that happened in real life. I did once dream that my male yoga instructor came into my house dressed in a nun's habit and carrying a box of muffins from whence he pulled a pistol and shot me. But I could even trace those elements back to life--had been to yoga with a friend who came over to my house with muffins in a box afterward. (Not sure about the nun's habit and the pistol.)

    ANYway, I always assumed my dreams were so prosaic because my perspective on life was already so far removed from reality.

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    1. Or, to shine it up a bit, we're living the dream.

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    2. MUCH nicer way to say that. :)

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  25. I don't worry about weird dreams. My waking reality is weird enough.

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    1. So your dreams are where you go to get some sleep?

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  26. I remember the first time I ever woke myself up laughing outloud....I was in a HUGE struggle with a HUGE dragon...like, a for real one. When my panic (I was losing the fight) reached epic porportions and I was about to feel the blast of dragon fire, the dragon turned into a cartoon, the sword I had been wielding turned into a bouquet of flowers which I immediately presented to the cartoon dragon as a gift. He thought it was so funny he fell over laughing until I joined him...dragon laughter evidently being infectious. When I woke laughing my husband was looking at me asking me what was so funny. It's not as funny in the retelling but I remember being so relieved. I have since woke up laughing many times and am able to wake myself up from a dream I don't like.

    Now if I could just figure out a way to wake myself up from a reality I don't like I would actually have a skill set I could use!

    Donna Loo

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    1. Wow. Self-healing dreams. I'd never wake up. Except that's supposed to be bad.

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  27. My dreams always seem to involve a cast of thousands and then I wake up exhausted. When I'm really stressed I'll dream of seeing planes crash. I'll take your nice, peaceful fishing dream any day. And I think you should work on that bike/potty thing. It has promise.

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    1. Of course they do, Jayne. You write for Hollywood!

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  28. I want to host a party where the only guests are Murr and those of you who regularly comment on her posts....that would be most entertaining. No alcohol needed!

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  29. I want you to also, only with beer!

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  30. Criminy, I dream of things like giant gerbils, disappearing staircases and pink tornadoes chasing people around the back yard. I would never want to have my dreams analyzed, I am afraid they would have me committed to some asylum in an instant. :o)

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  31. Thanks for your comment on my cat Baxter's blog post! :-) I loved this post - I have the same kind of dreams - although I am occasionally able to fly in them, something that is always enjoyable when it happens. Lately since I retired from my corporate job I now have dreams where I have to give a presentation RIGHT NOW and I haven't even finished putting it together and haven't had time to look it over first. I find it is substituting for the dreams where I haven't gone to the class all semester and today is the final exam.

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    1. You haven't been retired long enough. Although the case could be made that I've been out of school long enough to dispense with the final exam dreams, too.

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  32. I frequently dream that I need to make an emergency phone call. But when I try to dial the number I either can't remember the whole number, or I dial the numbers in the wrong order. It is often a rotary dial phone, which tells me my dream world hasn't caught up with my real world!

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  33. I have that dream too! And you get through six numbers and then your finger slips!

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  34. I've had the repetitive dreams. Snore, but thank goodness I haven't had Kat's punctuation dreams! The only two good dreams I have had were: a movie idea that was Brilliant! Brilliant! I say, and a short story plot that was just as Brilliant! In my dreams I told myself that I had to write them down when I woke up. When I woke up, the dreams were gone. So there went my publishing fame and fortune.

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    1. I once woke up with an entire country-western song written, including guitar segue and chorus. I can recall it even now. I think it would be a hit. And I don't want to be known as a CW songwriter.

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  35. I used to dream I was crossing a bridge and fell through a hole into a river below. i was terrified of drowning at that time. I hated that dream. Then, kid that I was, I decided the next time I fell in the water in a dream, I would enjoy swimming in the warm water. Whoa! The programming worked. It became a fun dream I looked forward to.

    And then it stopped.

    I started having dreams about walking through a big mansion, and looking for a place to hide (while I admired the Oriental rugs and fantastic furniture) all because a mob was coming. It was one scary dream. I always woke up before the mob came in the last room at the very top turret. I'd stay awake a while so I wouldn't go back to the same dream. Spooky, huh?

    This was one of your dearest ever posts! Thank you!

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    1. Sometimes I get the one where you're going through a great big house that is actually YOURS, finding new rooms and secret hidey-holes and places you didn't actually knew existed. Then, in real life, that actually happened to some friends of ours.

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  36. I sleep with the light on, and i rarely have dreams. once in a while, i manage to turn off the light before I fall asleep, and then i might dream. but they are totally boring and nonmemorable. i think i'm burnt out. dreamer cells all used up.

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  37. If I fell asleep with the light on, I'd be so cheesed off at myself.

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    1. My husband works all night too, never a trip to a far away tropical isle or driving a red sports car! Me, I am a flyer- I hover just above the treetops wondering how in the heck I can do that! You crack me up!

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    2. Jeez, at least you get off the ground.

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  38. Hey Murr! I think we were supplied from the same warehouse. My dreams confound me. Especially regarding women. In one dream, I went on a date, and she told me I was boring. In the next, she was a vegetarian and decided my omnivorous eating didn't meet her value system. And then (then!) I almost got it on with a total willing hottie! FINALLY! I then interrupted her flirting to tell her that we should slow down and try being friends first. My subconscious hates me. Indigo

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  39. Your subconscious and my subconscious should get together for a game of cards.

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  40. As a retired teacher, I teach in my dreams. The classrooms are decaying buildings or bombed out shelters. There are about 60 students, and they are desperately poor and needy. There are no textbooks or supplies. Everything that will happen in that classroom is up to ME.
    I always wake up in a cold sweat.

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  41. Oh man. I guess things could be worse. Even in my dreams, I'm not really responsible for anything.

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