On Monday, I set the alarm for 8:00am. I went to bed around 11pm the night before, so it wasn’t unreasonable to think I might be able to get up early. I didn’t, of course. At 8am, I picked up my phone and set the alarm back by an hour. At 9am, I did the same thing. I ended up finally accepting the inevitable around 10:30. Considering my unemployment, I don’t see this as a total failure on my part.
But ignoring my insurmountable laziness for a moment, let me mention what happened between 8 and 9am on Monday: I had a dream. A ridiculous, adventure-filled dream with a fully conceived and executed plot. I have these a lot. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I write stories all the time, so my subconscious has figured out that the best way to get a message to me is through clear literary devices.
Whatever it is, I like it. It definitely beats stress dreams about being forced to attend a public high school, which I continued to have throughout high school and college until they evolved into dreams where I had to go back to high school because I hadn’t finished it properly. And sometimes they were just dreams about not being able to find my campus housing, and through the laws of dream logic, that meant I lost my placement in campus housing, and had to live in various basements or on rooftops. (I think these were all money-stress dreams. Originally they were about not being able to afford private school, then, indirectly, not being able to afford a place to live. Influenced, I’m sure, by an article I read more than four years ago about an NYU student who couldn’t afford housing, so he lived in the college library basement and kept all his belongings in his backpack. I think the article said he had a sleeping bag too, so I have no idea how he fit everything in there, but maybe he hid the sleeping bag somewhere else? And maybe since he lived in a library, he didn’t own any books? So it was just clothes in there? Anyway, the article ended by saying that someone had figured out what he was doing, and since it was bound to attract attention [maybe that wasn't the article's given reason, but, yeah, alright, I’m cynical,] they gave him a full scholarship. I think the article was supposed to make you feel Damn Good about how Damn Philanthropic Americans Are, but clearly it just terrified me. All I could think about was whether or not I would have gotten away with it for as long as he did, which I think was about two months. Either they clean their libraries during the day, or that kid was living in one filthy place.)
So, my point? My point is this dream. It was weird. Full sound and Technicolor, though that’s not unusual for me. I’ve heard of people dreaming in black and white, or at least remembering it that way, but I never have. My dreams are colorful, usually more intensely colorful than I consider everyday life. In this one, the ground was red. Very, very red. And there were yellow trees everywhere.
It starts in the center of some weird, twisting, labyrinthine, German-expressionist painting of a castle. In the science laboratory at the center. I’m just kind of hanging out, looking at all the experimental glass shapes, when there’s a kind of explosion, and the ground shakes. I run to the door, and from there, I can see into this ballroom, where a huge party is going on. I just sort of know, the way you do in dreams, that the whole town is there, celebrating this woman, the scientist who owns the castle. (I know, right? Even my dreams are feminist. What up.)
Then this guy shows up. I’m going to call him Jess, because he’s actually a real person from my life but I have no idea if he’d like me to write about him showing up in my dreams. And I couldn’t be bothered to ask, so I’ll just give him a codename. Jess. Anyway, the Jess in my dream bares a far greater resemblance to a movie hero than the Jess in real life. Partly because he has magical powers. He can make stuff float. It’s not really full-on telekinesis, because all they do is float and not really move anywhere, but it’s still cool. I don’t remember what he floated in the dream, but I know he did it.
Anyway, he has shown up to tell me that there is evil afoot, of course. And I have to stop it, because I have special powers too. And mine are more useful and action-oriented than his. Apparently I can fly and spit out acid-venom. Like my fucking spittle causes shit to melt. Yeah, that’s how awesome my action-dreams are. Way better than the stress-school-homeless dreams, right?
So, we spend a lot of time flying around. I keep out-flying him accidentally, because since he can just float stuff (including himself, clearly) but he can’t really direct it, I go a lot faster than him. Which is awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve had a flying dream, and my flying dreams before have mostly been stuff like flying over Olive and other streets that I actually know in real life, and have no desire to see from an aerial view. But in this dream, I’m flying over a fucking acid-trip-esque fairyland with crazy gothic castles and yellow trees. So slightly more interesting than suburbia.
So, yeah, I fly through the trees. And there are fairies there, although they’re kind of ugly for fairies—just kind of weird-looking, vibrant colors, oddly shaped bodies, not super pleasant to look at. Anyway, the fairies remind me that I have shit to do, so I can’t just float around.
So I go find Jess again. And we have to go back into the castle, through some small red tunnels that, even in my subconscious, seriously challenge my claustrophobia. But then we find this big, dark chamber, kind of circular, which, actually, now that I’m thinking about it, my subconscious definitely stole from Stargate. Wow. Even my subconscious is a slacker.
And somehow Jess figures out from the chamber what we have to do, and then the ground shakes again, and suddenly we’re in a tunnel leading outside, and Jess tells me that I’m the only one with the power to stop it, and that he’s going to go back inside to either cause a distraction or die heroically. Seriously, those are is options.
So I go outside, and I discover this giant spaceship about to take off. Not to make the situation seem any less serious, or anything, but it looks like something out of Dr. Seuss. It’s got the traditional spaceship disk-shape at the top, but under that is this large, yellow-and-orange spiral thing that kind of looks like a spring, and kind of moves like one too.
And inside the spaceship, which is open at the top, is the mad scientist woman. Only now I can see that she’s clearly also a witch and, to top it off, an alien. Her face is oblong and green, with a sucker thing coming out of the mouth, and her hair is somewhere between Bride of Frankenstein and Queen Elizabeth I (in that one where she’s really bald, so it’s a wig—in fact, the worst wig ever made.)
And then I know, the way you do in dreams, of course, that she made me. That I woke up in the lab because I was made there, and that somehow, because of that, I’ve helped cause this whole thing to happen. And, because she made me, I can destroy her. Because dream logic! So I fly up overhead and spit acid into her face, and watch it melt away. Kind of gruesome, but very cartoon-y, so not all that traumatic.
And then all the townspeople come out and applaud, because the ground has stopped shaking. And I float over them for awhile, glorifying in my triumph.
And, before I can find out if Jess died heroically or not, I wake up. And then go back to sleep for another hour and a half. Because who gets up at 9am if they don’t have a job? Crazy people, that’s who.