Acid Heroes

June 18, 2014

Dream a little dream of me

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:46 pm
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I’ve always been fascinated by my dreams.  I’ve kept dream journals for decades.  Some of the accounts are just a couple of paragraphs.  And others go on for 30 pages.  Some of my dreams are a series of disconnected images. While others are like movies that go on for hours with a consistent theme.

I think a lot of dreams are significant.  But I’m not one of those people that believe they’re all profound messages from my subconscious. A lot of it is just junk, I suspect.  Just random images that get tossed in the blender of my mind.  I often fall asleep with my headphones on, tuned to the radio.  And I’ll often dream along to the songs on the radio.  The other night I dreamed I was talking to this guy on the phone, but he wouldn’t stop talking.  He talked non-stop and wouldn’t let me get a word in edge-wise.  Finally I got so frustrated I started screaming at him:  “SHUT UP! SHUT!  SHUT UP!!”  I woke up screaming “SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!”  I realized I had been listening to a talk show on the radio, and the host was talking non-stop and I was shouting at him.  How profound is that dream?  Probably not very.

On the other hand, I consider recurring dreams particularly significant.   For years I’d have this recurring dream that I was back at my bike messenger job. The dispatcher is giving me instructions over the walkie-talkie.  But the more I try to follow them, the more I keep getting pushed off course.  I often wondered why I kept dreaming about the bike messenger job.  Because it wasn’t more less significant than many other periods in my life.  But the general theme mirrored a recurring dream theme of mine.  I’d be in a strange town, and I’m trying to accomplish some task.  But I keep getting pushed farther and farther from my goal by an endless series of complications.  I think it mirrored one of my real-life themes; this sense of floundering and being lost and never reaching my life’s goals.

A friend of mine said his one recurring dream was that he’d be looking at his face in the mirror while he was brushing his teeth.  But the more he brushed, the more his teeth started to decay and fall out.  Later, when my friend committed suicide, I realized the significances of his dream.  His dental health mirrored his mental health; no matter what therapies he tried he couldn’t stem the self-destruction within himself.

The TV star Johnny Carson said he was haunted by one recurring dream.  He’s driving in his car, but he never reaches his destination.  He sees the white line of the highway, but it stretches on to no end.  The dream probably reflected the unresolved status of so much of his life.  Like my recurring dream; Never getting to that place we’re aspiring to get to.

Some of the weirdest dreams to me are when I dream I wake up, but I’m really still dreaming.  I once dreamed I was sleeping at my campsite and I woke up, fixed my cats their breakfast, then laid back down. It was completely realistic.  Then I woke up for real.  Got up, fixed my cats their breakfast.  But it was this eerie feeling.  Have I really woken up?  Or is this still part of the dream, too?

I remember a vivid dream when I was a kid.  I was sleeping in my bedroom, and I woke up and there was this man — this burglar dressed in black — and he was climbing through my bedroom window and walking right towards me, and just before he grabbed me I woke up.  And I’m staring at my bedroom window, which was wide open.  And I got the chills up my spine.

I love it when I realize I’m dreaming while I’m dreaming.  I’ll take special note of all the intricate details of the dreamscape, the background and al the details that make dreams so vivid and realistic and surrealistic.

Some dreams can be disturbing in the way that they exactly symbolize, and dramatize, the state of my daily life.  There was this one period of my life where I was madly in love with this “bad girl” kind of woman.  One of those dangerous, femme fatale kind of women.  I was helplessly drawn to her, and scared of the overwhelming attraction I felt towards her, because I knew she could easily pull me to my doom if I wasn’t careful.  In the dream, the two of us are alone in the basement of this big Roman amphitheater. And there are these little pools of water on the floor, like at a bathhouse or a sauna.  She’s wearing a white toga, and I’m chasing after her.  She’s running from me, and she’s tossing off items of her clothes one by one as I chase her, looking over her shoulder with this come-hither giggle on her face.  I’m excited and happy and thrilled at the prospect of catching her, so I really running hard.  Finally, she tosses off her last bit of clothes and she’s completely naked.  I catch her from behind and force her  down on her knees.  I have her head in my hands and I’m directing her face towards my crotch, and she has her mouth open and she’s smiling with delight and she’s just about to take me in her mouth . . . when her face suddenly turns into this hideous, leering skull!!   I woke up in a shot, like “AHHH!”  like I’d been kicked in the solar plexis.  Some dreams, its not to hard to interpret the meaning.

Sometimes I wonder if the dreams are a figment of my mind.  Or if the dreamscape is an actual realm. Just like the world of our waking state is a real realm, perhaps so too with the dream world.  I have this theory that when I dream about another person, I’m also appearing in their dreams, too.  Like we all share the same dreamscape, our dream worlds over-lap, just as we all share the physical world, and my world over-laps with your world.  For awhile I was in the middle of a nasty conflict with this guy I knew on Telegraph.  A long series of conflicts.  And I would dream about the guy constantly.  It was always variations of the same basic dream.  He’d confront me and we’d get into an angry, and often physical, conflict.  And I would always prevail in my dream. I’d beat him up, or run him off, or humiliate him in some fashion.  Which completely mirrored how my conflict with him would play out in the real world.  I think in some ways he knew I had already defeated him in the dream world.  So it was a mere formality, an already done-deal, that I would defeat him in real life, too.

I often have nightmares involving physical conflicts. Its usually some ghoulish, evil, menacing person who suddenly, for no apparent reason, attacks me.  I almost always prevail.  I had one the other night, that had disturbing implications regarding my plans to return to Berkeley.  I’m back at hallway of my old Berkeley apartment, and I’m just about to put the key in door, when the door suddenly opens slowly by its own volition.  As I enter the room it turns out a man was hiding behind the door and he suddenly lunges at me and starts slashing at my guts with a knife.  I wrestle with his arm, which is holding the knife and actually force the knife to his head and pin his head against the wall with the knife. . .   Aside from stuff like that in my subconscious, I’m actually a fairly normal person.

Of course every now and then I won’t prevail in my dream. One of those deals where I’m running to escape from some fiend, but my legs are too slow and he catches me and he’s just about to kill me and I wake up just before he does.  And I always wake up feeling sort of like a cowardly weenie.  Because I was scared and helpless and the bastard got me.  Darn. I almost want to go back to sleep and see if I can get a rematch.

Often my nightmares aren’t so much about monsters or ghouls.  They’re more like these  gothic nightmares; psychological dramas with heavy consequences.  All the characters from my life — family, friends, acquaintances, lovers, enemies — take different roles, like actors in movie.  The dreams are often like complicated fugues, always one step from resolution.

I guess I’m a drama queen in my dreams.  But I remember an odd exception.  The dream was completely vivid and realistic.  But completely mundane.  Me and a friend go out for coffee, and we have a long, fairly dull conversation. And that was the whole dream.  Weird.  I almost wanted a refund from that dream.  Not enough action.

I always thought that would be the next big media invention.  A machine where you can program your dream. You can have a sex dream or a cowboy dream or an outer space dream or a romance dream.  Just like picking a movie.  I wish our scientists would get on that project and invent the thing.  I’d buy it.



  1. I’ve been keeping a dream diary for a long time, a meditative exercise in memory and in trying to control my thoughts and initiate lucid dreaming and so on. With various degrees of success in that. Honestly I’ve been slacking lately. But I do think it’s an important method.

    It’s good you are so aware of your own mind.

    I’d buy a dream programmer as well! But then again, what if there were ads and product placements in dreams…?! Haha but in all seriousness it would be a disturbing invention.

    Here’s a random story, recently a girl I dated got mad when she discovered my dream diary (I have it on a shelf next to the bed, I don’t hide anything) and I wrote about an ex. Sorry I can’t control my subconscious, I wish I could but I just can’t. Ah well.

    Comment by Ray H — June 19, 2014 @ 5:47 am | Reply

  2. The Hindus believe that the dream body is the astral body, or in other words, the form we inhabit when we die. So in a sence, dreaming is a lot like death, practice for the afterlife. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is kind of like a prep course for death, and it clearly explains that death for the unenlightened it a lot like a dream, even more baffling & perplexing as the past life’s karma is completely unrestrained, and most of us will be just as aware that we are dead as we are currently aware that we are dreaming. Love to speculate over this topic.

    Comment by Jon — June 19, 2014 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

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