I have weird dreams.
Everyone does, I know, but mine are made of the stuff that people fear. One person’s nightmare is my typical night. I rarely have what I would call bad dreams because my unconscious mind has set the bar that high. It might only happen a couple of times a year that I have a dream that disturbs me enough to prevent me from falling back to sleep.
For example, in the past two weeks, I’ve dreamed of being shot, stabbed (while being Joseph Gordon Levitt no less), and set on fire. In other dreams over the years, I’ve been in plunging elevators, fallen from ridiculous heights, and been crushed. I’ve been chased, stalked, bitten, drowned, and strangled. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve died in my dreams. You know that saying that if you die in your dreams, then you die in waking life? Not true. I’m living proof of that, so to speak.
My most frequent nemesis is Michael Myers. That guy has stalked my dreams since I was seven years old, since long before I watched even one Halloween film. Funny, isn’t it? It’s my favorite movie even though the Shape terrifies me in my sleep. I guess that’s the trade off. I love his work and he kills me in my dreams. I remember the time he stabbed me with a pitchfork. That was novel.
I’m not sure why brain works this way. It might have something to do with my love of horror films and horror fiction, the steady diet of horrific things that I’ve consumed since I was young. It makes some sense. Someone who enjoys the terrible while I awake would be entertained by it when asleep.
But not all of my dreams are bad. Some of them are just plain weird. Most people can make that claim. I don’t know why Vin Scully was blind and hanging out with Keith Moreland and Aretha Franklin in a Wal-Mart softlines section while I dressed mannequins, but that’s what happened. That’s what my brain conjured up to pass the sleeping hours.
Because weird and/or bad are the norm, certain medications tend to dial that up to eleven. I avoid taking Tylenol PM unless I absolutely have to because the dreams that have resulted from its consumption are too bizarre to even put into words. The sleep I get is hardly restful because I can’t wake myself up enough to reset my brain so I can get out of the dream hell I’m in. Darvocet has the same affect on me.
I admit to turning some of my dreams into short stories. Check out “Reality Unknown”. The three stories that are told are based on three dreams I had all in the same night. I’d wake up after each one. When I woke up for good in the morning, I wrote them down because I knew there was fodder for some bizarre story there. As much as I tried, I don’t think I did them justice. I just don’t have the skill to capture the true horror and WTFness of what went on in my brain that night.
Now I don’t want you to think that my dreams are all terrible, twisted things. Some of them are fun; some are downright hilarious. Of course, I’ve been known to have a sick sense of humor.
Let’s just say that they work for me and for the most part, I enjoy them.