Hey! Weren’t you in my dream last night?

By the

March 1, 2001

I never really held any belief in the potency of my dreams. If anything, this stems from the fact that, until recently, I seldom had them and didn’t really want to feel like I was missing out.

All this has changed. Now, when my head finally hits the pillow, I intensely concentrate on telling myself when I wake up that it was only a dream. Fall asleep unprepared and the consequences could be dire; nothing kicks off the day on a sour note like being convinced for your first five waking minutes that you really did go to class naked, wet your pants, etc.

And so the dreams began. At first, I was waking up vaguely aware of having returned from a seance-type session, but couldn’t remember anything concrete. Within a few weeks the situation had spiraled out of control; when I awoke in a cold sweat, dead certain that a friend of mine, who shall go unnamed, had just stabbed me in the arm with a fork, I somehow felt that a new era had dawned within my subconscious.

The standard fare, revisiting me without fail night after night, has been the falling dream. Due to my fear of heights, these dreams originally terrified me. However, when the falling dreams became so common and diversified that I actually dreamt that I fell/dove off a cliff in rural China ? la Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the ridiculousness of the whole situation was hard to ignore. I chuckled to myself and celebrated my minor victory; nothing could be more illustrative of control over my dreams than the ability to laugh them off before even waking up.

But of course, I was wrong. My subconscious struck back with a vengeance, producing my hands-down favorite dream of this entire ordeal. The incident in question involved dreaming that I woke up with a head full of dreadlocks. My roommate promptly decided that he needed to cut those dreadlocks and grabbed a pair of scissors. The first snip revealed a fist full of dreadlocks filled solid with ground beef. I awoke and briefly contemplated founding some new meat-focused Rastafarianism before I realized that I just needed to wash my hair. Subsequent conversations with friends have revealed that the dream could also be interpreted as pro-vegitarianistic, but I really like meat, so I am inclined to disagree. Regardless, few could deny that the image was strange. My dreams had won. I could not brush this one off. I had been humiliated by beef-filled natty dreads.

After this incident I acquiesced. Let them come, I decided. Resisting your own mind is pretty futile. Having tasted its retribution, I wished to go no further.

Eventually the dreams became fun again. Harmless, even stupid themes abounded, such as a capella and Peer Ed sessions. No doubt desiring revenge for my nonstop mockery of their activities in front of anyone who will listen, they decided to combine forces deep within my subconscious, emerge within my dreams and remind me, in the perkiest way possible, that “no means no” and that abstinence is the best form of birth control. Their harmonizing quickly mutated into the beep of my alarm clock, and I woke up laughing.

To some, this may all be a sign of long-dormant personal issues finally coming to the fore. I would much rather interpret all this as a sign of real mental health. Whoever may be winning in the battle between good and evil in my subconscious, at least there’s a battle, and at least I get to watch it now and again. This “viewing” may be so confused so as to be comparable to watching a basketball game spliced with scrambled pornography, but personally I could think of far worse things to do while asleep.

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