The Dreaming Body -- My Quest for Nocturnal Escape: Part Two, the Awakening

In my darkest days I tend to sleep a lot. Nap after nap comes in quick succession when turning off the world is as easy as clicking the light switch and settling into a light snooze. I have become reckless in my pursuit of sleep, searching for one long forgotten dream. Perhaps, I long for anything that will shut out the light.

When I was a kid, I had a recurring dream filled with creepy witches and small children, rendered in cartoon detail. This brain animation came weekly for a period, then just stopped. I've never had it again. Could this be the dreamworld I seek? Or, perhaps, there is another world buried deep in my psyche, asking to be explored? I've never had another dream that beat on the doors so often as this one. Most dreams come once and never return.

Dreams are always peopled with the strangest or most unexpected characters, random places from the past, and enough chicanery to make election year look like a triumph. Random classmates from grade school appear alongside college professors from your undergraduate years. The settings morph and shift in full fun house regalia transmitting your parent's house to the halls of your Alma mater with shocking quickness and a bit more clarity than your sanity will permit. Sometimes dreams will allow an elusive or exclusive look at what might have happened if life worked out differently, or if that long awaited one night stand did finally happen with a long ago love interest. Usually these dream scenarios have a habit of removing changes as quickly as they are wrought dumping you back in the present, wide awake and wondering what happened.

I have slept a lot lately, but I have not had many dreams. My escape has been empty and unsettling. I have not found that dream nor will I. I float through the dream world unable to make a connection, floundering and foundering on the shore of long ago and recent discontent. Why I keep going back for more is not really the question. We all have to sleep. I just want to make it more meaningful. I just want to find something that feels less like an empty escape when I lay my head on that pillow and drift off. That recurring childhood dream doesn't look so bad. I'll take witches.

"I'm in my room with the headphones on
Deep in the dream chamber
And then I'm awake and I'm guarding my face
Hoping you don't break my stereo
Because it's the one thing that I couldn't live without
So then I think about that, and then I sort of black out"

-- The Mountain Goats, "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod"


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