For as long as I can remember, my nightly slumber is a time where I am transported into fantastically bizarre realms that have little connection to the reality I live in. Science alleges we all have multiple dreams a night, and I can contest to the truth of that statement because I often find myself waking with several new whimsical tales that I cannot rationalise in any shape or form. The problem is, most of the time I forget the dream (or nightmare) by the the time I’ve dressed and gone downstairs for breakfast, and whilst I’ve flirted with the idea of keeping a notebook by my bed let’s just say my mind is not in a condition to coherently write passages when I’ve just woken up.
But, as the title clearly delineates, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten every dream I’ve ever had. In fact, there are quite a few recurrent and memorable stories I’ve never forgotten and likely never will. So I thought I’d share them here, as a break from my recent COVID-19 related posts, to hopefully take our minds off the current climate even if just for a few minutes. Oh and also heads up, please don’t actually psychoanalyse me, this is all for a bit of light-hearted fun. I’d rather not be told I have certain mental illnesses I’ve never been diagnosed with over the internet (you scoff but you’d be surprised). But feel free to share some of your own dreams!
- Jurassic School
I’m back in primary school, and for some reason there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex causing rampage on campus and we all have to save our own skins. I can visualise my school perfectly, the grey, speckled concrete pavement in the centre of the main classroom block that leads towards the short row of beige, portable classrooms with tin roofs that had never moved during my seven years of schooling there. I run in that direction and behind these lies our basketball court, oval and the three playgrounds that were allocated to the different year levels. I’m standing at one end of the small basketball court and to my right runs a border of shrubs and plants which cover the metal fence that separates us from the outside world. Bingo. I nestle myself in one of the shrubs, and despite feeling incredibly exposed (because the shrub is a sad collection of withered branches and a thin speckling of leaves) I await with bated breath. Sure enough, as the deafening stomping sounds urge closer and closer the sharp, glistening ends of carnivorous teeth emerge into view. The T-Rex stands before me in all its glory, and I watch as it roams around, its beady eyes darting around suspiciously. It starts to turn away from me and clomp in the opposite direction…
I don’t remember much of what happens after, probably because I used to wake up around this point. This was probably the dream I had most frequently as a teenager and whilst it isn’t particularly exciting, I remember it very distinctly. The funny thing is I don’t think I ever had this dream during primary school, but more-so during my high school years.
2. The bathtub, the witch and the forest
I’m on an excursion with my classmates and we are traipsing through this dark, menacing forest. We somehow find ourselves winding around this narrow path down a hill, so narrow we can only walk in a queue one behind the other. At the bottom of this hill lies a clearing in the forest, and there is this white, porcelain bathtub in the centre. We edge closer, the musty scent of thriving moss and recent rain filling our nostrils. Suddenly, a terrifying, ghostly entity rises out of the bathtub and begins to chase us down. I cannot remember what she looks like, but somehow I know she’s a she and that she’s terrifying. We begin to hightail it out of there as she inches closer and closer, her ghostly feet never seeming to touch the ground. I’m petrified.
I’ve only had this particular dream once or twice, but it’s etched into my memory. I was terrified and running for my life, and I could not care less about the people I was with. In that moment, the only person I cared about was myself. A funny fact: regardless of what dream I am having, every time I run it feels like I am running through imaginary mud. My feet drag and I have to push hard to get any momentum. It doesn’t mean I am running extremely slow, because I know when I am ahead of others, but I am always so frustrated and distressed because I can’t understand why I am moving so inefficiently. I just wish I could run normally in my dreams.
3. Escape house
There’s someone, or something in my house. I must run. I leap from upstairs to the first floor, the sensation of my heart in my throat as my feet hit the floor. I try the front door but it’s locked, so I sprint for the backyard. I flip over the fence and I’m running, refusing to look back. And then I start to fly. But instead of gliding, this version of flying relies on me doing the freestyle stroke in the air. With my feet kicking violently behind me and my arms frantically sweeping the air, I am rapidly swimming along, away from this invisible hunter that threatens my very existence.
I’ve had many a dream where I am fleeing from something and many of these situations seem to start from my house. I used to frequently be jumping from tall heights and having the sensation of my heart in my throat, just like when you are on a rollercoaster. For whatever reason I also used to think falling in dreams meant I was growing taller in my sleep, now I think it may have been a lie my parents told me for no reason at all. As for the swimming in the air part, don’t ask. I have no idea why it’s the only way I can fly in my dreams. I used to be an avid swimmer so maybe that’s why.
This isn’t necessarily the retelling of a dream, but rather the description of recurring motif that scares the absolute shit out of me. I don’t technically have arachnophobia, but I am very afraid of spiders. I don’t appreciate the unnecessary amount of legs and eyes, nor the way they look as if they’re constantly about to pounce off the wall and into your face. I’ve not seen all of the Lord of the Rings movies, however do you remember the one scene where Frodo is attacked by a giant spider and needs to be saved by his friends? WELL. I’ve had similar experiences, both with giant spiders as well as masses of smaller ones. Either way, I always find myself being stung by them. The reason I hate these dreams so much (or nightmares more accurately) is because the stings genuinely hurt. I can only describe it as being electrocuted repeatedly, tiny sharp stings that continually pierce me in the neck and back. I end up willing myself to wake up, because the pain is so uncomfortable. I don’t know why, but these are the only dreams where what I physically experience is so vivid it seems to translate into the real world, and when I jolt awake I need to spend a few seconds recovering. I hate it.
Additionally, I’ve also seemed to hallucinate spiders whilst being half-asleep, causing me to leap out of bed from sheer fear. They always loom ominously over my head, their legs twitching as they drop from the ceiling, sneaking closer and closer to my horrified face. I remember getting out of bed each time, but I’ll be honest some details are hazy and there is a possibility it was all a dream inside a dream. Who knows? But what I do know is how terrified I am every time it’s happened and how much I want to be able to lucid dream so I can escape these situations easily.
It’s her, it’s really her. She bounds towards me, her tiny brown and white body hurtling through the air and into my arms. Oh, to feel her shiny, smooth fur again. To see her adorable, pointed snout and feel her wriggling excitedly in my arms. She’s so warm against my chest, but also I somehow seem to simultaneously accept she is both gone and here with me? Who cares, I get to be with her again.
I’ve had the pleasure of being able to see my beloved dog who passed away in my dreams. I’ve been able to hold her and play with her, and although it’s not real it certainly warms my soul whenever I’m able to see her. Some times she doesn’t look like. herself, but I know in my heart it’s her. It’s hard to explain. For those who don’t know what my dog was like, have a read here: I miss my best friend, every day. She was my best friend for many years and it is impossible to forget how much joy and happiness she brought to my life. RIP Sissy.
Alright, I think those are enough to give you an insight into my unconscious mind. Before I go, I’ll smash out a lightning round for the fun of it. These are all one sentences summaries out of context, so you can imagine the rest:
- Sitting on a toilet seat making out with Stefan and Damon from Vampire Diaries.
- Pretending to be a fairy and fainting if anyone tries to call me out in the lie.
- Opening a password encoded door and if it’s wrong, a terrifying ghost will fly out at me (I got it wrong).
- My dad is the yellow Wiggle
- Attending the funeral of a stranger that is being held in a cinema.
I think I’ll leave it there. I’m coincidentally about to head off to sleep so I wish my fellow Australians a goodnight, and a good morning to those around the world who are just about to start their day. And also may I ask, what is your most memorable dream?