Sunday, September 11, 2005


Rob was posting on the topic of dreams earlier today, a rich motherlode of writing potential.

For dreams are like opinions, in that everyone has them. Unlike opinions, however, dreams are not like assholes (everyone has one, and everyone else’s stinks). Other people’s dreams do not stink: they are either irrelevant to us (because we do not share them) or they conform to archetypes with which everyone is familiar.

We all have had experience with the flying dream, in which we magically have the power to soar like birds. In my case, flying dreams include those in which I fly under my own power, with an effect much like swimming through syrup: slow and inefficient. Or I dream that I am flying in an airplane, always moving very slowly and very close to the ground, sometimes rolling along a High-Altitude Roller-Coaster Track. Weird.

And then there in the Academic Dream. For many people, this type of dream transports the dreamer back to high school or college, right before final exams for which (of course) he or she is completely unprepared. I’ve had those dreams, and it would be no surprise to find that they are very common. Mine usually have a different twist , however: I suddenly find myself back in college, usually not when finals are approaching, but at the beginning of fall semester, when everyone is moving into their dormitory rooms. I move in, somehow, but I am overcome by a profound feeling of displacement and loss. I don’t belong there, after all, and the campus, as much as I may have loved it thirty-plus years ago, is no longer my home. In fact, where is my home? What happened to my house? And what happened to She Who Must Be Obeyed? And my children?

I always wake up from those dreams with a feeling of fear and dread. Give me a Tornado Dream any old time.

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