Friday 23 November 2007

Mild-mannered dreams make waking up much easier!


Rarely a night goes by without my brain concocting a dream that either thrills, mystifies, terrifies or beguiles.
If I am about to try something for the first time, anything from a weekend away to a job, I dream of people and places I have never seen or been to. These 'Adventure Dreams', as I call them, often involve a small town set on the side of a mountain, bustling and friendly, and generally I wake feeling elated. I have no idea whatsoever where the place may be, but if I ever find it and settle there, I wonder if my dreams will be of here and now!
My dreams have never been dull, and without doubt the strongest ones begin with me lying in my own bed, because from that point it's easier to believe that everything that happens is fiercely real.
People who I admire, trust and respect inform me that these dreams are, in fact, Astral Planes, or flights, and I am not going to poo-poo such an idea. Quite simply I do not know, but if I am doing something wilful, I wonder why I let such terrible things happen to me?
Back in my seedy North London bedroom, I dreamed that I was lying in my bed, when round the closed door came a nebulous black shape. It settled by my bedside, and stretched out to reveal a long triangular 'Clockwork Orange' steel blade, which it then plunged swiftly and fully deep into my chest.
Whilst living on my own in a farmhouse deep in the countryside, I dreamed I was lying in my bed, where I was almost seduced by a couple of women, who proceeded to become skeletal zombies, dragging me through my own home and then pinning me down as they hacksawed their way through my left ankle.
Honest, Doc, I'm as sane as you are.
Every night, more enthralling nonsense. My dream-making abilities are quite amazing, especially when you take into account the altered state my addled old head finds itself in some nights as it hits the pillow.
There are the usual smattering of sexual and erotic encounters, but ever since the very unwelcome advent of a dream-state guilty conscience, some of the action would barely make an 18 rating.
The heaviest and most exhausting periods come when I am ready and able to write fiction, but prevented from doing so by the distractions and imperatives of real life. Despite all my efforts to behave like a calm and mature human being, I go a bit mental altogether, my brain boils over, and I have to endure three or four full-on rushing crushing toiling broiling adventure dreams every night, night after night, week after week, until I sit here at the keyboard and spill.
Such a period came around a month ago, and coincided with my having read Cormac McCarthy's brilliant post-apocalyptic novel, 'The Road'.
For three weeks, three times nightly, showing in my DreamoPlex, Charlie deals with different post apocalyptic worlds, where he almost gets a bit of nookie but never does because he chooses to leg it off into the dust storm, burning hellhole, boiling mud pit.
One memorable night, when I lived free and happy in Co. Mayo, I dreamed I could fly. Even though it has never come again, I can still recall the feeling, and for that I give thanks.
So it was hardly surprising that the other morning I awoke feeling faintly and privately embarrassed. Used to a diet of dreams that offer either splendid excitement and adrenaline rushes, or self-help symbolism of the subtle-as-a-baseball-bat-hitting-you-on-the-back-of-the-head variety, I had dreamed that I could run.
Yes, just that, On a personal level, it does make some sense, because although I am perfectly built for walking ("Perfect? Are you having a laugh? Perfect, maybe, in yer dreams!" cry my own long-suffering knees from below) and can march for miles and miles, I am not, and have never been built for running.
Thus it seems only fair that I should award myself that ability in dreams.
But it's a bit sad, isn't it? I mean, while others soar above the clouds, make fantastic multi-orgasmic love to whichever gender and number takes their fancy, I am running, like a latterday oval-shaped Forrest Gump.
Even more embarrassing was the way it all began. Not for me a starting block, alongside some worthy fellow competitors. Not a race to rescue a damsel in distress, nor an emotional rush to a lovers' reconciliation.
No. My running skills emerged only as I was being chased by Frank Lampard off the playing surface of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge pitch.
Oh look, gosh. I can run run and run.
I wake up. I can't run.
Hmm, maybe there's something to be said for having mild dreams after all.
Although it was massively wonderful to discover that I had not been murdered by the steel blade-wielding black shape, and deeply emotionally gratifying to see that the ankle that had been so agonisingly hacksawed off my foot was, in fact, still attached to the end of my leg, life comes a little easier and smoother when waking requires only a simple reminder that I'll still be keeping one foot on the ground with each step I take.
Many thanks for all the ingenious emails offering differing definitions of 'disingenuous'.
Máirtín from Carna tickled my pleasure zones with his tirade about hotels, and their attitude to towels.
In nearly all of the hotel bathrooms of the world is a printed message about how the environment suffers from the overuse of towels, and how we can help save the planet by not wanting fresh clean towels every day.
'Do you know how many towels are washed each day in all the hotels of the world?' it asks.
Máirtín considers this to be the pinnacle (or nadir?) of disingenuousness. Admitting it may not be a serious problem, he asks:
'Do they not know why people like to stay in hotels? Do they really think we buy that nonsense about them caring from the environment, when really all they are trying to do is cut down on the costs of their own laundry bill? Disingenuous: Please don't use the towels because then we have to clean them, er, I mean save the planet.'
Keep those emails coming, good people.

Double Vision
Caricatures Ireland

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