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Friday, November 28, 2008

Dreams and nightmares

When I was young, I often had a recurrent nightmare. It was dark and I was running away from several people. They finally caught up with me. The next thing I knew I was either hung over a bottomless well or being held by someone grasping my foot over a well. As I was struggling, I could hear my screams echo in the walls of the well. I was shouting: Don't let me fall.

Another childhood nightmare was caused by a photo I saw in an aunt's album. In it, her college classmate was wearing a hat on a beach. She posed before a large driftwood and her hand held on a fragile branch while her right foot leaned back on the trunk. Because of her long, billowy skirt, it looked like she was missing a foot. In my nightmare, there was this one legged lady chasing me; sometimes by herself, but many times she was with the others who chased me to the well.

In high school, I had dreams of flying. I was flying in my street clothes and not in some costume. The wind softly rushing and hitting my face and hair exhilarated me. When I tired of flying, I would be bouncing about like on a giant trampoline. This was the closest I got to a high without the aid of marijuana or illegal drugs proliferating at that time.

When I hit my 30s, my nightmare looked like a magic act where a magician pulls out seemingly endless streams of thin cloth from his mouth (or it could be the influence of pictures of a yogi I saw who used a thin strip of cloth to perform a cleansing asana by slipping it through the mouth and out a nostril or swallowing it and withdrawing it from his intestines, inch by inch). In my nightmare, however, the cloth was organic like endless fat, ropey noodles. For what seemed like hours, I would be pulling these from my mouth. I would, from time to time, use my teeth to cut them. But a few seconds later, I would start to choke as a new batch would push out of my mouth.

Reading Stephen King's books often gave me nightmares. When I read Eyes of the Dragon, I was sick with the flu. As my temperature went up and down, I would find myself in a nightmare alternating between King's alternate world and my waking world. It felt like walking through a shimmering portal between worlds.

The Tommyknockers gave me a pleasant dream as I dreamed the appliances and pieces of furniture moving by themselves. So I took advantage of it and had fun rearranging them around the house. No sweat!

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