Dang, y’all.

Today was my day! And I blew it! It’s not too late, right?

Last night I had one of those “if we’ve only got a couple of hours to sleep, let’s make it count” dreams. I don’t know if I can fully explain it because it was so awful I woke up crying and couldn’t get back to sleep for pretty much the rest of the night. But it wasn’t that I was scared or anything; it was just so liberating to have a dream in which I got to feel everything. Say what you will about my brain, but it can do some freaky emotional stuff when I’m sleeping.

It started off with one person I miss and love sending me a plane ticket to visit, so I did. Then another person I miss and love shows up, and I’m weeping with gratitude to get to spend time with people I adore. And I’m really telling them, to their faces, sober, that I love them. Then there’s quite a bit of group sex, deleted for space and because THIS IS A FAMILY BLOG. Afterward, I start to get sad, realizing that this isn’t my life. I am going to have to go back to where I live where I don’t get to see these people I love and have perfectly orchestrated, emotionally fulfilling intercourse with them.

I don’t leave yet, but they do. And suddenly people from every period of my life come in to this apartment where I’m staying, which gets bigger and bigger to let more of these people in. There are people I like, people I don’t like, people I’ve forgotten, people I think about every day—they’re all there, and they start behaving sort of badly. They knock into things and break them and make messes everywhere and I’m getting stressed because it’s not my place. Then my parents show up, and I freak out. What are they going to think of me when they see me with all these crazy assholes?

It turns out that they’re fine. They ask a few questions, and I answer them honestly, explaining a lot about myself that they don’t know and have in the past not wanted to know. They nod, and hug me, and say they love me anyway. By now the party is breaking up and I see that all these rowdy folks are cleaning things up as they go. Nothing’s damaged, and everything gets swept and put in its proper place. I sigh, relieved. Then I notice the videotape.

There’s a note on a video on the coffee table, telling me to watch it when I’m alone. I pop it in and see that my host-friend, who has, according to the note, left on an international overnight flight, has made a fictional film he’d like me to watch. It’s beautiful and poetic and sad, and ends on a very Stroszek note. That’s when I realize he’s not going anywhere, that he left to commit suicide. I was so busy entertaining my other friends that I didn’t see the evidence until it was too late. I spend the whole night crying on the couch, not knowing what to do or whom I could call to find out where he is.

The phone in the apartment rings. “Who is this?” a woman asks. It’s his mother.

“I’m a friend,” I say.

“Did you hear what happened?” she asks.

“I… think I know,” I choke out, still bawling.

“That silly goofball forgot his suitcase again! He said maybe you could take it to the airport and they’ll put it on the next flight.” Here, apparently, dream-logic intervened because it seemed that I simply couldn’t take it anymore.

I was awake for hours afterward because the dream made me realize that I haven’t let myself have and express an honest feeling in god-knows-how-long. I’m afraid it will break people, or that they’ll turn on me. It’s nice when dreams offer you the emotional assurances that waking life can’t.

6 responses to “Dang, y’all.”

  1. Tim says:

    Dang! Just dang.

  2. perfect from now on says:

    No one cares/
    What you dream about/
    Unless you dream about/
    Don’t let that stop you/
    Tell them anyway/

    –Doug Martsch

    ; )

  3. F. P. Smearcase says:

    I suppose it’s nice of your brain to throw the sex in if the dream is going to turn tragic. It isn’t one of those ones that starts and then, as if shot with an impatient editor, BANG someone pops out of the closet to julienne you.

    Remembering your dreams in such detail, do you put much energy into analyzing them?

  4. lane says:

    i’ve had wierd really orchestrated dreams like that, everything makes SENSE for like 2 minutes after you wake up, and the narrative detail can be amazing, ive had like maybe 6 or 8 of those. i guess they do help your brain talk to itself, or whatever.

    cool story. thanks for remembering.

  5. AWB says:

    Mr. Smearcase, I feel like I don’t know how much they are analyzable in the sense of metaphor, but they make a lot of sense to me emotionally. I’ve been feeling recently like it’s very dangerous for me to express loving emotion or to feel fine with things being out of my control. In my dreams, the strong feelings seem to attempt to solve some of the emotional difficulties I’m having trouble expressing. I get to feel real sorrow about missing people, and I can tell them how I feel about them without feeling selfish or deranged. I especially appreciated that what I thought was art at first, that was then clearly (to me) an announcement of suicidal intent, ended up being art again. The friend was fine, and I wasn’t crucial to his survival. It took a real sense of burden from me, not just in the dream, but when I woke up too. The feeling lasts.

    Lane, it is funny how these dreams make sense out of something that seems totally opaque. I’m not sure it’s a good plan to use psychotic dreams as the means by which I can make myself feel OK, but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Of course, I always wake up thinking, “I have to remember it so I can write a movie or novel about it!” and then, written out, it’s obviously a dream and not a great story after all, but the intensity makes a lot of sense.

  6. F.P. Smearcase says:

    I think emotional sense is the only real sense one looks for. If I’m not mistaken, any rigid metaphorical meaning wasn’t Freud’s original intent and wasn’t in the first edition of The Interpretation of Dreams. What you’ve said about your dream vis-a-vis wish fulfillment might be as much as a prudent analyst would prod you for; the dream isn’t particularly abstract so interpretation is more a matter of openness than sleuthing. Half of the work was maybe done by remembering the dream. One theory says that you won’t remember anything from a dream your ego is not ready to admit to consciousness.