Saturday, November the 5th, 2005

I don’t ever remember dreaming as a child. No, I am not referring to the sort of “I wish I am a fireman someday” type “I have a dream” dream, but more the sorts of things you conjure up as you’re asleep and your brain’s sorting out experiences and information it has gained. There have been numerous times when I have had to write an essay or two about “what I dreamt about last night” for school[1], and I’ve had to turn in a blank sheet, or fake it (which is totally fine if done to prevent failing a class).

What can I say? Maybe I was just a very sound sleeper.

Over the past few years however, things have changed dramatically, and I’ve been dreaming very regularly. Nothing spectacular, as in I barely remember them on awakening, but I know my brain has been (hyper)active. What I do remember about them is how formulaic they usually are, even though, superficially, they’re very diverse in setting or in terms of my role in them. For instance, I always start off extremely immersed in them, as in I can’t distinguish them from reality, however implausible the situation might be. However, quite a while into them, I begin to notice things, like “Hey, that lion I’m battling[2] has a face eerily reminiscent of a character in that children’s story I was reading to that kid yesterday!”. At which point I’m still asleep, but battling to stay that way and continue the experience being cognizant of the fact that it’s just my imagination running amok; Not because I need the sleep, but because it’s sometimes an interesting experience (however crappy the actual situation might sound).

Just last night, of course I remember no details, but I think at some point I was doing something mundane—like playing a real estate broker—trying to sell a lot of “prime land” (damn you, realtor TV ads), and during my careful delivery of the spiel of all-that-is-good about living there, I realized I was describing my own neighbourhood. But stripped to its essence and scaled up distortedly, of course. So the situation is almost always an over-the-top warped version of something I saw, some incident, or an experience I had in the recent past. Sometimes the situations are happy, sometimes they’re sad (I remember the feeling, though I seldom can put my finger on anything more specific), though often, they’re just… there. They don’t evoke any emotion, and it’s like they’re running just parallel to my existence, like I’m a passive casual observer all over again.

You know, like those bleh movies on the 12 hour flights that quickly fade into the background?

[1] Come to think of it, what better way for a teacher to play junior-psychologist and figure out if any of her students have deep-seated emotional issues?
[2] Yeah, to the death.

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