Each dream comes replete with full color, physicality, emotions and seem as natural as me sitting at this keyboard typing. It doesn’t take long before things began to get out of hand and normal morphs into strange, strange to weird, weird to bizarre or fantastical. More often than not they become a titanic struggle to cover what had begun as a short distance with a clear, easy path.
I’ll give you an example. I’m with my wife at a church retreat and she decides to go to a presentation with a friend. I’m not interested, so I stay behind. In a couple hours I get bored and drive to a nearby oriental café (why an oriental café I wonder) for a cup of coffee. I’m seated at a table so small it hardly passes for that and I’m given a brown plastic cup that could only hold a few teaspoons full. A dark skinned boy brings me a menu and as I’m looking it over, my nose drips. I wipe it with a napkin, but the drip becomes more. With an all too small napkin pressed to my nose I go to the counter and ask to be directed to the restroom.
By then my nose leak surpasses the capability of the napkin and an oriental woman, wide eyed, hands me a paper towel, then another. She points me to the restroom a few feet away. An older man appears from behind the counter and begins supplying me with large napkins and more paper towels. After this has gone on for some time I realize it’s late and the café has closed, the customers have gone and the business owner’s family is busy putting the place in order. Yet my nose does not relent.
I call my wife to let her know where I am and she assures me she will be there shortly. It is dawn when she arrives. The café owner has spent the night attending me. Miraculously my nose dries up. He gives us coffee to go, but of course the tray is too small and it’s a balancing act getting out to my wife’s blue Mustang convertible.
When we leave the parking lot with the golden sun rising into a clear blue sky, we come to the main road – a wide dirt thoroughfare under construction – and turn left, but too soon. Now I’m heading the wrong way down this wide, smooth lane with a gentle slope down and back up. I can see cars lined up at the other end with perturbed construction workers waving me on.
Before I cover half the distance the wide lane has narrowed to a deep trench with workers shoveling rocks aside so we can pass. By the time we reach the incline to exit, the trench is barely wide enough for us to pass and we must get out of the car and start the climb up a rocky, near vertical wall. Workers reach down and help us as a crane drops a cable to hook our car and bring it along behind us. After what seems half a day we clamber over the top, dirty and worn out, and are greeted with a long line of very upset people standing in line to go the other way.
Our car inches over the top, is swung overhead and deposited beside the waiting people, who are now getting in their cars that weren’t there moments before. An enormous earth mover, rumbling and belching black smoke, with an operator impatiently waiting to dredge the ditch, inches forward. There beside it is a cop, tapping his foot and angrily scribbling in a ticket book.
I’m frustrated, tired and pissed, and I wake to sunlight filtering through the blinds and shaggy KC snoring at the foot of the bed. My ire snuffs out and relief washes through me. It was only a dream.
Now, that dream wasn’t the actual beginning, just an earlier one interrupted by a bladder demanding to be flushed. Funny how my dreams dovetail into another, as if I’d never woke, until daylight intervenes and a new day is begging to be recognized. Someday I may relate to you the first episode, or instead, pen the Tale of the Bedouin Tent.
How about you? Are your dreams as bizarre as mine: lucid, fluid, filled with wonder or terror? The kind of wonder that makes all seem possible or a terror so profound you wake shaking and drenched in sweat?
Do you find yourself wanting desperately to slip back into that warm, inviting world you created in the depths of your mind or are so traumatized that horrific experience becomes part of you? If you do, there just might be a storyteller buried in your subconscious demanding to be born.