And I Dream In Color, Too

Charles Alexander
By | 2015-02-05T09:00:00-04:00 February 5th, 2015|Opinions, Parting Glances|

From time to time I keep a dream journal. Last year I recorded over 50 dreams, which is pretty good considering that dreams are like exotic butterflies: unless netted quickly, they flutter and vanish back into the twilight zone.
Every sentient being dreams. Cats. Dogs. Parrots. Even Log Cabin Republicans (though dreams with Sarah Palin or John McCain must be something of a nightmare).
Dreams occur every 90 minutes during sleep, evidenced by REM. You’re dreaming when your eyeballs move up and down underneath your eyelids. REM is also frequently accompanied by tumescent contractions, libidinous under-the-covers innuendos.
The secret to keeping a dream journal is to tell yourself at bedtime that you will remember your dreams when awaking and have pencil and paper nearby to take down cursive writing details while your dreams are fresh. Hopefully vivid. You may not get back to sleep, but you’ll have something to show for time spent as your own Little Nemo in La-La Land.
I reread my dream journal at seasonal intervals. It’s endlessly fascinating. Embarrassing. Shock theater. More than occasionally wacky. No wonder psychoanalysts find their couch work such fun. (My 200th appointment is next week.)
Here’s a sample dated 6:30 a.m., Nov. 15, 2014: “I am with Bruce. I have no idea who s/he is, was or wasn’t. We examine a contest billboard to find what is ‘specifically gay’ about it. Bruce says to look for knee sox. We get closer and I find there are no knee sox worn by the poster soccer team. I notice a scarf embroidered with MEGA. ‘That’s the clue!’ I tell Bruce, realizing the contest will not be easy. Bruce pats my backside.”
Modesty and space limitations preclude further of my semi-erotic dream journal entries, though PG readers are invited to free associate on the knee “sox,” the alphabetical MEGA embroidery, my love life or Bruce’s nocturnal advice, if they think it might somehow appeal to their own fashion sense.
Although dreams can be crazy, they keep us from going temporarily insane. If you go without sleep, for example, for more than 48 hours (say at a Ferndale weekend, non-stop circuit party) you can expect to experience hallucinations or psychosis. Without taking drugs.
The world record for going without “zzz” is 264 hours, 11 minutes, 36 seconds, held by a straight but really bent suburban DJ who never fully recovered.
Of all the sweet dreams I’ve had, none compares with a lucid dream. It’s a real mind trip. And for the 60 seconds or so that it lasts, it’s life, love (and sometimes sex) in the fourth dimension. No question about it. The mind has a mind of its own.
In a lucid dream you can fly. Touch your “solid” surroundings. Ask questions of dream characters. But, like real life, you may not get intelligent answers. You can also have a fling. (I cornered one dream prospect who, refusing to fling, was ordered, “Hey, guy! It’s my dream. You exist because of me. Get with my program or else.” He did. It was mind blowing, though we haven’t spoken since.)
Here’s dream trivia to ponder. The Neonatal and Obstetrical Research Lab in San Francisco studied pregnant women’s dream imagery. Recurring themes: frogs, worms, potted plants (first trimester); furry animals, cuddly kittens (second trimester); lions, monkeys, Ken and Barbie Dolls (third trimester).
May one ask politely of the last entry: With or without knee soxs?

About the Author:

Charles Alexander