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Are You A Bad Dreamer?

Aug 17, 2007
I'm a bad dreamer. No, it's not that I'm not good at it. I am. It's that I have bad dreams instead of nightmares.

Nightmares make the impossible seem real - like falling out of an airplane. Of course, there are analysts who say you don't hit the ground in falling dreams unless you're really going to die. How would they know? If you don't survive a falling dream, who's going to tell them?

I don't have to worry about that. My rueful reveries aren't that dramatic. Mine make the real seem impossible - like not studying for a test. The last test I took was an eye test, but I continue to dream about not being prepared.

Not having time to pack is another repeated theme. What is my subconscious trying to tell me? That there's no time for a vacation isn't a secret. The only time I'm sure dreams have a real message is when they're about needing to go to the bathroom.

Being sure about what I dreamt doesn't last long. The specifics fade into the ether. Maybe it's my memory I should be concerned about.

When I do manage to remember enough of the plot to share it with my husband, I get a monotone "Oh" as a response. It's like relating something funny that happened and no one laughs. Frightening or funny, it's one of those things where you had to be there.

Then there are the times when I'm still asleep, but awake enough to tell myself whatever is happening isn't really happening. It's like telling myself to sleepwalk it off.

The theories on what causes these scary sequences of images range from facing your fears with your eyes closed to indigestion. The Three Musketeers at bedtime won't come to your rescue.

My theory is that life experience reduces nightmares to bad dreams. As we gain experience, bad dreams about not having made the cookies for the school bake sale or having forgotten to call your family about working late are much more likely to be reality checks. Pinch yourself. You might be awake.

You might be one of those who enjoys paying to see nightmares on the big screen. Hollywood's hallucinations are big business. For me, however, a spider crawling in my direction is scarier than a creature from a black lagoon or from Elm Street. What's even scarier is the cost of taking the family to see the movie.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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