I Wouldn’t Dream of It

Well, we’ve gone all week without a blog entry and here we are on Saturday morning, which is a marvelous place to be. This past week was a little more taxing than others—learning some new stuff at work (I like it), working with a teenager doing school from home (he loathes it) and trying to keep it all in order: my mind, my house, thoughts about where I might be going from one hour to the next. Friday was bookended with two different types of weariness, and all day I just wanted it to be over. It actually wasn’t a bad day—in fact, there’d been marked improvement by this last business/school day—but I was just so tired that the whole time I dreamed of going home and kicking my feet up.

Impression, Sunrise, 1872, by Claude Monet (Image courtesy Wikimedia)

As  indicated earlier, my day began with fatigue—actually a rather strong grogginess, which is rather unusual; the last time I remember opening my eyes to such a state was when I used one of my melatonin tablets, which was maybe a year or two ago. But you know, it could have been related to the really bizarre dream I had.

At around 03:00 (Thursday night-Friday morning) I woke up, which is not unusual, and I remember thinking it was such and such time, which it was. Unfortunately, it was the opposite of when you wake up and see you have glorious hours and hours of sleep ahead of you. Even then I felt a weighty sleepiness on myself, and recall sighing what now reminds me of the sort of sigh you hear people in the movies sigh when they’ve somehow been wronged and you, the movie watcher are like, “How do they just sigh? I’d be screaming and pulling hair!” But at that moment the sigh reminded me of those that ghosts emit and I recall thinking, Who cares. Not Who cares? Just Who cares. I was far too tired for such exertion.

When next I opened my eyes, they were so heavy I could barely lift them, and I was also super irritable. I had just been in a room, some room in an institutional type of setting, with three or four other people, all males whom I knew to be military types, but not because they had the obvious look, like the buzz cut or silver eyeglasses. These men all wore civilian clothing, laughed a lot, had laid back attitudes and I seemed to know them, as if we worked together, perhaps. Also: this room was in a building about ninety miles from Iran.

Someone was buzzing to be let in, and it fell to me to go do it. I was reluctant, staggering ever so slowly as my colleagues urged me on with their words, assorted ranges of laughter punctuating their prodding. It annoyed me not only that I had to go open the door for them, but that to do it I had to do something more than just make that movement. As I neared the side this door was on, I grumpily asked the men how to do it. “What the hell do I have to do to open this wretched thing?” Laughing, they explained, and it turned out there was a code phrase and it had to be spoken into an intercom. “Why do I have to say anything into a speaker? It’s not me trying to be let in. I’m already in!” My increasingly sour mood apparent, they and those wanting in laughed, not unlike the way I might too if I wasn’t so…angry. Why was I so angry?

A Dream of a Girl Before a Sunrise by Karl Bryullov (1830–1833) (Image courtesy Wikimedia)

I don’t know, maybe because, as it turned out, the phrase I had to say was something to do with an expletive and the great toe. I hissed, What? But they just kept laughing. On any other day, I might have joined in, but this one was just too much, though I really wasn’t sure why. But I was quite clear on the reality that the annoying buzzer, like those when people call and say “I’m downstairs!”, wouldn’t stop. I yelled at those outside to knock it off but they paid no heed.

Eventually I slapped at it, trying to make them stop, it stop, anything to relieve me of this infuriating, peculiar entry that seemed to be requiring such a larger effort than it really should. I found myself slapping at anything within my range until I was slapping at my phone, prone and somewhat infuriated as I looked, seeing but unseeing, directly at the phone as it lay next to me on bed, and I hissed once more. Oh my—what the—shit, shut UP!!

 As I settled back down onto the pillow and tried to absorb the utterly bizarre experience, I understood immediately where the buzzer had come from—I have memory of a childhood dream in which an unceasingly ringing telephone became my dream state’s ambulance siren—and even being so close to Iran didn’t entirely puzzle me. I am, after all, interested in that country (especially their poetry); I don’t read about it as much as I used to, but it still happens. Still, though, why? And which bordering nation were we in? Iraq? Perhaps Turkey? I have been re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia lately, having recently finished The Horse and His Boy, which has a decidedly Turkish feel to it, following on from the earlier books’ introduction to the lion Aslan—“aslan” in Turkish means “lion.” Turkish Delight, Jadis, etc. Could that be the source for “ninety miles from Iran”? And how did I know this? No one in the dream told me; it was just something I was aware of.

What  about all those people? Were they actually military, or did I just assume they were because I associated their demeanor with the military people I’ve known? Either way, where in the world did they come from? The room kind of reminded me of a smaller version of our boot camp barracks if it were bunkless, and perhaps a little more green, not quite so much of the very light, mustardy yellow I recall striping along the walls. But I saw the room before I thought of those barracks—seeing it is what brought back the memory, not the other way around. I couldn’t answer any of these questions.

The only thing I knew by the time I left the house for work was that I wanted to write a blog about this very weird dream, and as the morning went by I kept making myself think about it, then wrote down the details on my morning break. The grogginess had, for the most part, faded, but was replaced with a very static-feeling mood receptor; it went neither up nor down with slower measured beats, not even with erratic or extreme ones, like someone who can go from quite upset to very happy in just a few moments. For me, I just sort of emotionally flatlined all day. I was exhausted.

A little anticlimactic, I suppose, but what a very strange dream! Once back home, I was drawn to do a little exploring, which I found to be quite intriguing, though that isn’t a surprise as I’m pretty fascinated with the brain. Specific brain functions, working in conjunction with individual memories, experiences, awareness and so on create a combination not entirely understood by the scientists who study it. Because it is such a large topic, only a small portion of which can be presented, and it truly is so captivating, any kind of discussion on dreams deserves its own entry. Moreover, I’m late to the party again, as pandemic dreaming has already shown itself as a thing: people are dreaming more and theories abound, including those linking the bizarre dreams people have been having to lockdowns. I’m planning to look into this a little more and see what we uncover.

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