I had a pair of weird dreams this weekend. They’re worth remembering. I’m not sure what the hell they mean, but they’re also worth considering. (For me, I mean… I’m not sure what your interest is. Consider it another webside tale.)
Now, I’ve never had a nightmare. The one time I did have a nightmare, it turned out to be reality. I don’t mean that in a metaphorical (or even metaphysical) way, as in, “My marriage turned out to be a nightmare.” I mean, what supposedly was a bad dream, wasn’t a dream at all, but a misinterpretation of reality. (Actually, we’re back to my marriage again.)
I mean dreams, literal dreams. When you sleep dreams. I’ve never had a bad one. Except for the time when I was just post infant (headed for post modern), and I had what I was told was a bad dream about a bird running across my New York City bedroom floor. Except later my rents found a mouse in the house (or something house mouse-like). So that was no bird.
Ha! He (meaning me), observant and raising situation issues at a very early age. Sadly, that says a lot. On the other hand, also, hello, right again. That, too, is in the portfolio.
But back to mining mine dreams. (It’s about mine mind, if you don’t mind.) Mine are a blast; involved cinematic narratives. (None, so far, actually in a mine.) Sometimes I wake up from a dream and lie there thinking, “I’d pay money to see that!”
I usually don’t remember dreams, but when I do it’s like a trip to the weird movies. Weird, but always a good show. Which brings us back to the nightmares; the ones I never have. Sometimes a dream gets dicey or tense, but always one of two things happens: I wake up or—and this is fun—in the dream I think, “Hey, wait a minute, this is my dream, and I won’t stand for this. Change the channel!”
I can’t quite control my dreams, but I can change the channel. It’s kinda cool.
The other thing that’s different for me than I seem to hear about other people is I don’t have any re-occurring dreams. I also have never had any of the “common” dreams I’ve heard described. I’ve never dreamed of being naked in a clothed crowd. I’ve never dreamed of being late for class or unprepared for a test. I’ve never had any of the classic dreams.
Always the outlier… as unintentionally as intentionally. Must be a core aspect.
Which all sets a bit of context for the two interesting dreams I had this weekend. Both worth the reflective lie and storage for later recollection (regrettably, memorized not written, and it’s not like I don’t have bedside paper and pen… warm stillness was just too comfortable).
Sadly, even upon wakening, often only the tail of the tale remains. And there’s something about captured dreams that evaporates with time. Often by “later that day” the sense of having lived the story vanishes. After that, it’s just a story I wrote. (Or maybe that’s another personal oddity: I have no vividly recalled dreams.)
So this is what I remember…
The first dream involved being on some sort of mission that involved finding enemies and dealing with them in some unspecific (yet probably effective) way. The memory kicks in as I’m driving on a good-sized urban freeway on this mission. I suspect, and then confirm, that an enemy is behind me (and “enemy” is exactly the term I recall thinking in terms of). What’s behind me looks like a large military jeep. On the back is mounted an outrageously large missile. Not Kremlin Parade sized, but way bigger than shoulder sized. Maybe ten, twelve, feet, and a foot in diameter.
The missile is tipped with a broad arrowhead warhead with swept-back delta wings. But I can see that the warhead isn’t on straight. It’s canted to the side. I think, “A-ha! Good luck firing that at me!”
And sure enough, they fire, and it goes wide, veering off to the side harmlessly.
However, with the missile now gone, the follower puts a hefty machine gun into play. I can see huge bullets flying towards me, smashing the glass of my car (Hollywood movie-style). I duck below the dashboard, and the bullets pass harmlessly overhead. But I can’t see to steer the car!
The original plan was to get the enemy to follow me back to base. This was supposed to be a game of cat and mouse. There was no question the mouse was seriously outgunned, but the plan was planned to end with the cat seriously outmoused.
Thing is, I nearly made it. I was on the right off-ramp when the fire fight broke out. Well, one-sided fire fight. Him, entirely, firing at me. Me steering blindly. But understand: it was exciting, not particularly scary.
And here’s where it got really exciting. I drove the car off the off-ramp. Which you might think wasn’t a huge deal, except this off-ramp was apparently way off high in the sky. Like major mountain high. Above the clouds high. Like, “Oh look, they look like tiny ants… wait, no, those are tractor trailers!”
Which is about as close to flying as I’ve ever dreamt. I have done a bit of skydiving, not a lot, but enough to make a number of solo jumps and pack my own chute. I know the feeling. And the feeling is falling, but in the abstract. Skydiving is mostly windy up to the point the wind stops. At that point, it’s either all over, or you enjoy a nice glide down the rest of the way.
I knew I was falling… cars don’t typically “fly” (in fact, an advanced skydiver game is pushing a car out an airplane and riding the car down… most of the way). But as with skydiving, there was no sense of vertigo, no sense of falling. (Technically speaking, no sense of acceleration.) And the best part is that I was falling pretty slowly. I didn’t feel endangered.
Far below me, toy-sized, I saw one of those large military helicopters. Not the huge ones with two big props, the next size down. Gunship. Hulky, one big rotor with a shielded tail rotor. I appeared to be headed right at it, but the closer I got, the more I could see I would miss it just to my left.
[For those keeping score, the off-ramp went right off the freeway, as one would expect, and I drove off the right side. And for what it's worth, the missile's warhead was canted to the right (away from the freeway), and the missile veered off the same way. Basically everything headed right, right off the freeway. Yet, I swear I lean left.]
The enemy jeep had followed me off the off-ramp cliff and was falling behind me (yet keeping up with me, as it were). But at least no more bullets. I’m not sure, either they kept falling off to the right of the helicopter, or possibly they landed in the rotor, which destroyed them without affecting my ride.
And it was indeed my ride. They were here to rescue me. I could see a docking bay in the side that might have been an option for the car, but as I floated down to them I saw I’d miss it. Then the copter’s tail swung towards me, and I could see a helmeted figure in a flight suit strapped into a cubby hole in the tail. He was reaching out his gloved hand to me as the tail swung just over the hood of the car (“bonnet” for some of you). All I had to do was stand up and reach over the windshield (apparently at this point, I was driving a convertible… I’m pretty sure I wasn’t earlier).
Just as our hands met…
I woke up.
And not only that, but I was lying on my right front quarter (between face down and right side), my body was fully extended, my right arm was curled beneath me, and my left arm was stretched fully out. Dreams normally suppress your physical movement, nearly all of them anyway, but at that moment, baby, I reached.
And—as usual—lay there thinking, “Wow, what a ride!”
The second dream tail is much shorter and is mainly remarkable for also taking place on a freeway. (And, no, I haven’t done much driving lately. But for what it’s worth, I’ve always loved driving and driving on the freeway particularly.)
I couldn’t tell you the context; only the punchline remains. I was driving on a major freeway, and again, something blocked my view. In this case, I think it was along the lines of fog or a weather condition. I was aware of no one else driving nearby.
I tried to follow an off-ramp, but it was somehow confusing. Twisty and blocked from view. It was only moments, but suddenly I realized I’d somehow screwed the pooch.
I realized that I wasn’t driving on an off-ramp at all, but on some sort of suspended giant concrete pipe that ran among the freeway maze. The pipe was big enough that I could drive along it. This pipe had bands of bare wire loosely wrapped around it at roughly three-foot intervals. Almost suggestive of rungs in a ladder or crosswise treads on a ramp.
And the pipe was indeed a fairly steep ramp headed upward. Worse, a short ways up ahead, I could see the pipe bent vertically towards the sky. That, obviously, was the end of the road. It appeared the only option was to try to back up.
I thought, “Well, this isn’t good! … Hey, wait a minute… this is preposterous! This can’t be real! This is a dream!”
And then I woke up.