Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've always been fascinated with the subconscious and dreams. Ever since I was little, I would have the weirdest, most elaborate dreams. Sometimes good, sometimes awful.

When I was younger, around age four or five, I would rest my head on my pillow and fall asleep listening to my pulse. The pressure of my pulse in my temples would resonate throughout my pillow and create this faint rhythmic sound. It was pleasant -- kind of like my form of counting sheep. But the image that I associated with this sound was horrifying to me as a child.

I would close my eyes and listen to this, imagining an army of tiny "sandmen" were marching to the beat of my pulse. I somehow convinced myself that I needed to fall asleep before these sandmen made it to my room. I don't know what initially created this correlation, but like I said several posts earlier -- I'm weird. I don't know why my brain operates the way it does.

But it was around this age when my mind truly started to wander right before bed. I've never had an easy time falling asleep, even as a young child. I have this problem of what I call "Wikipedia syndrome" where your mind will think about one topic, and then you'll link to another topic, and then you'll think about another topic, and so on.

The fun part of this is always trying to retrace your steps and remember what you were initially thinking about. Kind of like, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, 86 the bacon.

Another problem I have when falling asleep is my breathing will sometimes pause for extended periods. I know this because my mother told me. I don't know what is worse though: the fact that my breathing sometimes stops, or the fact that my mother has observed my sleeping patterns. Creepy.

But anyway, the constant mind racing has always been a big part of my falling asleep ritual; after a busy day, your mind just tries to decompress. You revisit things throughout the day and think about how it affects yourself or others.

I think we all have our little systems for handling stress and our own mechanism for decompression, and I think I need a new outlet. The right-before-bed thing just eats up too much of my time.

I keep all of my thoughts tucked away in the back of my mind all day, constantly trying to focus on the "here and now." The time I spend revisiting trivial things that I need to do is always right before I fall asleep, when I'm in bed, in the dark, staring up at the ceiling, cursing my mind for not dealing with stuff earlier at a more appropriate time in the day.

I need to write that paper!
Did I put my toothbrush back on the charger?
I should do laundry!
Where did that piece of tape on the ceiling come from?
I like the way this fabric softener smells.
I need to print out notes for tomorrow.
Ugh! I need to pee.
That segment on naked mole rats on the Discovery channel was interesting.
My cuticles look like hell! Why do I bite my finger nails? >
At this point, my fingers would be in my mouth and I'd be biting my nails.< How could I approach this story assignment?
What are some sources I could contact?
Oh, here's a great idea! >
At this point, I would grab the nearest notebook and write something down.< That was really interesting what ______ said today.

Today around 5 p.m., since my mind has been on overload lately, I decided to take a nap. I didn't have that time to decompress and, amazingly, I passed out almost immediately.

But the subsequent dream was familiar and one of those repeat or déjà vu dreams. It was full of references to stuff I would normally have thought of during my normal falling asleep ritual -- all the crap I would push out of my head before I pass out. I've been trying to piece it together, but I still can't figure it out.

I was at a party at my old apartment back in Harrisburg (6664 Terrace Way, Apt A, Harrisburg) where I lived more than two years ago. It was my apartment, but the layout was completely different. I was with my old roommate Kristie, and she was the only familiar person in my dream.

So, she and I were at a house party, everybody was having fun, the music was loud and everybody was drinking and talking and having a good time. I was with a crowd of people in the living room which was right outside of the kitchen. But for whatever reason, I couldn't make it to the kitchen, which had this red glow emanating from behind and underneath the door.

I desperately wanted to reach the kitchen, but couldn't. I wanted to know where this red light was coming from. And the one attempt at making a dash for the kitchen door was shot down because some force lifted me off the ground and pushed me up into the opposite corner, where I remained for the rest of the dream.

This was the familiar part of the dream. I've had this recurring dream where I will be doing something completely normal and then out of the blue, I get lifted up into the air and I can't get down. I can kind of control my direction, but I keep getting lifted higher and higher and I can never reach the ground again.

But while all of this was going on -- being lifted off the ground by some invisible force and pushed into a back corner -- nobody budged or noticed. Nobody thought it was weird that I had floated through the air and was suspended in a back corner.

Another weird aspect of the dream was that I was resting midair on some sort of narrow force that extended from the back of my head down to the small of my back. I felt as if I were going to fall one way or the other and I constantly had to shift my weight and had a difficult time keeping my balance.

I can remember I shouted to the rest of the people in the room:


But nobody stopped what they were doing.

The one person that thought it was weird was this girl who I know in my dreams, but can't pinpoint in real life. I say I "know" her because she's been in several dreams I've had before. She and I were coworkers at some restaurant that I worked at in another dream. She was also at some awards ceremony in another dream.

She has red hair, which I think is weird because I honestly don't know any red heads. The more I think about it, she sort of reminds me of the girl from "Strangers with Candy." The one that Jerri always calls "Red."

Anyway, she had entered the living room from the kitchen after I shouted. She was looking around, locked her eyes on me and let out this earth-shattering scream.

While she was still screaming, she looked at me with this awful contorted face of horror (think Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" music video). It was really surreal. Like her face had gotten really large and then began to melt, like one of those Salvador Dali paintings. I was freaked out.

I didn't know what was so scary about me being stuffed into a corner, but at that moment, I had this astral projection type of thing happen, and I could see myself. There was no invisible force that had kept me in the air. I had the narrow edge of a 2x4 nailed into the back of my head, with nails running down its entire length, straight through the board into my flesh. It was...disgusting.

And right after that, I woke up.

I still don't know exactly what it means, but it was one of the more unusual dreams I've had in a long time.

The good thing is I keep a notebook within an arm's reach of my bed, so I can write down all the details of most dreams upon waking up.

I think the dream could have something to do with the entomology course I'm taking this semester.

Today we discussed the organ system of insects and how their "heart" runs on the dorsal side of their bodies from their heads to their rectum.

The professor had also mentioned "pinning" insects several times for display.

The bad thing is, this class really interests me. I should probably start zoning out and using class time for decompression, because I don't think I can handle another dream like that in the near future.

Damn you, bug science!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the Salvador Dali reference. Maybe you should go see someone--that's a really screwed up dream. :)