From what I can tell, there are those of you out there who have a wonderful dream life. When you slip into the arms of Morpheus, you frolic in a playground of wonderful images, with storylines that see you winning the Nobel Prize, becoming the leader of the free world, running off to tropical islands with Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, vanquishing your enemies and fulfilling your wildest dreams.
Unfortunately, I am not one of you. For the most part, whatever dreams I have I never remember after I wake. And the few dreams I do remember are anything but voluptuous wish fulfillment.
Let me give you some examples. For some strange reason, I have been able to remember dreams I had the past two nights. I will give you the synopsis of each recent dream to let you judge where my brain goes while I’m at rest.
On Sunday night, the dream involved me and my best friend from high school. For some reason, we were to meet at an airport to pick up a mutual acquaintance of ours who was arriving on a plane. As I prepared to leave for the airport to meet my friend, I realized that my car had been stolen. A second car in my driveway turned out to be a rusted old junker that no longer ran. There was a third car, this one a luxurious sedan parked in my garage, but I learned that this car belonged to a door-to-door salesman who at the moment was inside the house trying to sell something to my parents. A time share, maybe. In short, I had no way to get to the airport in time.
I then decided to call my friend on his cell phone to tell him I wouldn’t be able to make it. But then I realized I didn’t know his cell phone number, and I spent untold minutes of my dream trying to track down the number – looking through phone books and address books, calling information, but having no luck. When I finally remembered that his cell phone number was programmed into my cell phone, I began to call it, and that’s when I woke up.
Last night, my dream began a little better. My wife, my daughters and I were sailing in a small sailboat on a beautiful body of water on a sunny, perfect day. This was great for a few minutes, but apparently my brain panicked when it realized that it was letting slip a perfectly wonderful dream scenario. Therefore, my family and I for some unexplained reason docked our sailboat, then went next door to another marina to rent a second sailboat on which to return to the water.
This second marina was the Marina from Hell. After waiting in long, slowly moving lines, I finally was served by a man who must have been in his 90s. He first had me sit down and watch a long video on boat safety, kind of the maritime version of those old driver’s ed films. During this video, the old man kept clutching his chest from apparent heart seizures, and we’d stop the video each time until he felt better.
After the video was over, the man insisted on teaching me how to tie some knots that I’d apparently need for the rigging of my sailboat. For some reason, I had an incredible amount of difficulty learning these knots, and the old man kept having to rest because of his frequent heart pains.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, I was able to get a boat rented, but once again I had to wait in a huge line until something became available. When my family and I finally got into a boat, there was another delay while some guy who looked like Grizzly Adams went over the safety features and took time to place us in different positions in the boat until he was satisfied.
As my family and I expectantly set sail onto the peaceful waters, I woke up.
When I told Mrs. Muley about my two dreams, and I asked her what she thought they meant, she told me, “Boy, you are one frustrated guy.” She knows that these are the kinds of dreams I have all the time.
Is she right? Am I secretly frustrated? Why is it that I never have dreams where things go right, where I am enjoying pleasures, licit or illicit, and where I reach goals and conquer enemies and doubts? And why is it that the minute my dreams do start to get good, my brain either introduces a disaster scenario, or wakes me up?
Maybe tonight I’ll dream that I win the Texas Lottery, but then realize that I left the ticket in the jeans that just got washed in the laundry. Yeah, that sounds like a good one.
"Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives."