More About Dreaming

Once Dreaming
Image by Ekler via Flickr

Lately, I’ve been having strange dreams, which may or may not be responsible for my exhaustion level in the morning.

The other night I dreamed I was part of some 17th or 18th century militia group.  We sailed (those ships were awesome, don’t you think?) to some bay or cove, disembarked, lined up for inspection or roll call or whatever, and then began a series of … well, games, for lack of a better term.  We had musket rifles, flint locks I guess, and those funny white pants and sissy shoes, but not the snazzy jackets.  Instead we had those great, almost pirate-type shirts, and the three-cornered hats.  Ah, those were the days.

I have no frickin’ idea what that was all about, if anything.

Before that, I had a dream that involved a loooooong plank, like a piece of dimensional lumber, but it spanned a ravine, or crevasse of some kind.  On the other side was a shop, and a lady there who seemed friendly.  I can’t remember many of the details.  Somehow, that dream evolved into something about a tire on my car.  That tire, however, was shaped like an elongated gallon milk jug, sans handle, and fitted into the rim, a conical sort of affair at the bottom of said elongated jug.  The air filler nozzle thing (anyone know what that’s called??) sat at the top of the jug, on the corner, and if I remember correctly (don’t bank on that), there were four such.  I remember part of the dream involving squeezing that weird tire (don’t ask me how a car’s supposed to roll on that) and hearing it gasp and wheeze as I mashed the air out of it.  A problem with my tire.  Not the least of which, I would say, is the shape.

But dreams are weird, aren’t they?

Anyway, I’ve been waking up more exhausted than normal.  Like I haven’t really slept.  I can’t explain it.  I’ve gone to bed as always, stayed in bed for long periods, but wake up feeling unrested and tired.  I go through my day relying on coffee and food to keep me awake until I can accomplish what I need to (my job hunt takes about 15 minutes these days — ugh) and can go to bed again.  Bizarre.

My wife has fantastic, comforting dreams of guardian angels and messages of hope.  I dream about little girls and concentration camp-like train trips in cattle cars which turn out to be dreams, except the person dreaming the dream is moments away from death in a bus accident.  (I wrote a short story on that called “Field Trip” if you’re interested.)  I dream about staircases that lead to a heavy, riveted metal door marked “Do Not Enter”.  (Another story.)  I dream about raging oceans tearing wooden vessels to scraps and splinters and flashing lightning and shattering thunder.  I dream about dogs vomiting bones that vets, doctors and zoologists can’t identify.

I dream of dust-colored figures with almond-shaped, black wet eyes, who are wrapped in rotting gauze, and come out of mist-cloaked beach heads with knobby, arthritic claws, reaching for the warmth of a bonfire.  I have no idea who the bonfire belongs to, but there are three of those dessicated brownish-gray wraiths drifting in their tattered, cobweb-hoods out of the fog.

I have no idea what’s going on, but I’ve got some good story ideas in there.

I don’t know where my dreams are coming from, what’s prompting them or where they’ll lead.  I just wish I could capture them — even if they’re just snippets — on film.  I’d make a big splash on YouTube, I can tell you.  And these aren’t the vague, black-and-white images of most dreams, either.  These are vivid, Technicolor dreams.  I can remember the revolutionary militia dream’s colors — the gravel pathway winding over the grass, which is that bright green of early autumn; I can see the dark pitch-sealed bulkheads of the ship, and its rich mahogany dressings, gleaming brass fixtures, and ivory canvas sails snapping and fluttering in the stiff ocean breeze.  I can feel the walnut gun stock, smell the powder of the wadding, the oil-and-metal smell, like in a mechanic’s shop or an auto repair garage, faint on the gun’s barrel and mechanism.  Very true, very real, very tactile.  And yet, a dream.

What about you?  What are your dreams like?  Have they changed that you’ve noticed?  Have they become different as you’ve gotten older, wiser, more cynical (if that’s true)?  Have a favorite dream?