There have been multiple times this summer where I have fallen asleep while reading personal ads I know I’d never respond to. Tonight I transitioned right into a dream where I was walking around an unlit room where sad, lonely, horned-up people where sitting around waiting. I woke up without really realizing I had fallen asleep. I need to start falling asleep to cuteoverload.com or maybe to the literature found on the backs of cookie and cereal boxes; even if the dreams were still depressing. I’d wake up to a box of cookies.
There is always a sense of disappointment when you remember your dreams, but remember them for being so completely literal to your waking life. I’ll be worrying about an exam all week and then the nights before the exam I’ll dream I’m taking the test, finish, and then freak out over the impending grade. When I wake up I roll my eyes and say, “come onnnn” to my lazy sub-conscious. “I’ve been worrying about this all day, do I really not even get a break when I’m passed out?!” This is the same brain that could create years of extravagant superhero battles and adventures with a few Mattel figures and the slightly disfigured tree in my front yard; now it can’t even piece together a good unconscious episode. No cooking frogs, no bizarre person from my past, no wild celebrity romance, not even a cliché alien abduction. The only positive thing about having a predictable dream-life is the sense of relief that I’m not in therapy. If I was in therapy I’d be too embarrassed to have them ask me about my dreams, which in my naïve view of therapy is a standard question. Regardless of how accurate this portrayal is I’d like to keep myself blissfully unaware for in my mind this all occurs in an office disgustingly tasteful, where you are brought to tears just at the sight of the Eames chair. Hopefully most of my emotional breakthroughs in life will not be furniture induced but I’m not saying I’d be too disappointed or surprised if they were. Sitting in whatever chair provided I’d be worried that my mental musings would be so transparent the psychiatrist would later ask her colleagues if they sent me in as some sort of practical joke. Simply remembering my dreams is analyzing them. I’ve literally had dreams in which I’m going about my daily routine: eating breakfast, watching tv, running errands. Nothing out of the ordinary, and possibly what I was planning on doing that Sunday afternoon.
The worst part is I know I can do better; I’ve had dreams where I was sampling the different quality of paper…orally, for God’s sake! For a while I even kept a dream journal and when I’d recount some of the dreams to pseudo interested friends they’d actually have a genuinely shocked reaction. So as 4:30 a.m. slips away from me I question if my subconscious has finally given up on me. It’s worn out the auto-pilot feature on my brain and thus without even banal things to dream about I slip back into insomnia. I can only hope that when I finally do go to sleep I wake up next to a box of cookies.