Thursday 26 March 2015

Me vs Overly Realistic Dreams

Pretty much everyone dreams. I mean, don’t quote me on that. I didn’t fact check or anything, but I’m guessing it’s mostly true.

Husband rarely remembers his dreams, while I have them pretty much every night and can remember them, for the most part, in more detail than I usually care to. I can’t always coherently articulate them, but I know what happened.

Sometimes this is good….I learned to fly and some hot famous guy was offering me ice cream and other euphemisms for sex, and other times it isn’t…..I’m trapped in a small cabin in the woods surrounded by bears my only means of escape is through a maze full of dinosaurs. True story.

Unfortunately, the latter seems to be more often the case. 

As far as I’m concerned, I have more than my fair share of nightmares that wake me up in a panic, end in a murder, involve alien takeovers of the world, or have me discovering severed heads in a fridge in the basement of a haunted house where I’m being chased by all manner of unpleasantness. I usually don’t sleep well.

There have even been a few dreams that would have made amazing story lines for a book or movie….now if I only had the patience to write more than a few hundred words at a time. And dialogue. I suck at dialogue.

All this said, the real pain in the ass dreams are the ones where you’re not really sure if you’re awake or not. Where you can’t be 100% sure if you are driving a rally car or if what you’re driving is actually your unimpressed cat, who is being used as a makeshift steering wheel. It’s the dreams where you are just asleep enough to be nonsensical, but still be fully committed to whatever it is you’re doing.

To date, I don’t think I have ventured so far down this path as to enter the hazy world of sleepwalking, but regrettably, this doesn’t mean that my own sleep difficulties haven’t impacted Husband to some degree.  And while driving the cat was the first recorded incident of my acting out while being only sort of awake, it was by no means the most dramatic, although I imagine that cat would have disagreed with me.

There have been a number of nights where I’ve woken up and been convinced something has happened that hasn’t. For example Husband  did not actually take up smoking or move in with a gay dance instructor, so it probably wasn’t necessary to yell at him first thing in the morning. I see that now.

And then there was the night a few years ago when I woke up, started screaming at the top of my lungs (I’m sure the landlord living upstairs LOVED that), threw all the blankets off the bed and sat on my pillow shrieking incoherently.

Husband, who at the time was sleeping like a normal person, jumped out of bed looking thoroughly confused and tried to get me to use real words to describe what had happened. All I could manage at the time was to screech and point at the jumbled pile of our blankets at on the floor at the end of the bed.

Being the remarkable (and extremely tolerant) man that he is, he began shifting through the mess of sheets looking for….what? Finally he looked at me (I was still curled up on my pillow stammering and pointing like a fool) and said “I can’t find the spider. It’s probably gone now anyway”

Small cat, big spiders
Back story…..our basement suite where we lived at that time had HUGE fucking spiders. Big like small cats. I put one through the washing machine once and was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t die. It did, but that’s beside the point.

I stopped dead and looked at him like he was the crazy one in this situation. “Spiders? No. There were snakes coming up the bed. I threw the blankets off so they wouldn’t get us.”

Yeah. Snakes. A fuck ton of them.

The weird part for me is that and as soon as I said it out loud to him, I knew it was insane, but at the time it was incredibly real. It’s like my brain had temporarily forgotten the part where I woke up. My brain is an asshole.

The next time this happened I was ready for it. There I was lying in bed and one of those big ass spiders came crawling out from under my pillow and went right under Husband’s.

I think the rational response to this would have been to scream at the top of my lungs again, wake Husband, and let him deal with it….I will take care of normal spiders, but these things were more like 8 legged tanks on methamphetamines, and no thank you.

But no. I’d been here before, and there was at least a 50% chance that I was imagining this, and the hulk-spider wasn’t real. But could I take that chance? 
Maybe. It was going AWAY from me after all. And who knows, maybe it wasn’t real. Or it was and it was plotting to eat me and my cat. You can't just go to sleep after that…what if it comes back. But I didn't want to wake Husband for no reason….

And on and on this internal struggle went.

Finally I arrived at what I determined was a perfectly sound and logical solution. 

I got out of bed, got a pair of socks, and shoved them under his pillow.
I have no idea what I thought this would accomplish. I’m guessing my sleep-addled brain determined that I would take away the spider’s little spider highway, and it wouldn’t come back. The socks would stop it. It never once occurred to me that a single pair of socks shoved under a pillow was in no way a foolproof spider trap, especially when it only blocked one direction, but fuck it, I went back to sleep.

The next morning Husband was rather confused as to why there was a pair of socks under his pillow. My explanation did nothing to alleviate that confusion, and there was no spider to confirm my sighting. To this day I truly don’t know if I dreamed it or if the spider was there and simply outwitted my one way sock trap.  Creepy.

Happily to date there have been no more of the uber-realistic dreams where you are fully convinced that there is a flesh-eating wombat crawling towards you dripping in unicorn tears, and the only reasonable response is to yell at it in broken Japanese. I still have incredibly weird and scary dreams, but at least I wake up….and know I’m awake.

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