I had the weirdest dream last night. I didn’t remember it right away either. I remembered it when I looked into the mirror and saw my ugly ass haircut.
The “boys” at the hair salon—they’re like these seriously AGGRO gay Chinese hairstylists, being gay is not the salient point (they just happen be gay or acting as if they were flaming, maybe it’s a pose, I don’t know) BUT they are belligerent—always gave me a whacked up haircut. Every time I go in for a trim or a clean up as you say in Chinese, they look offended and I walk out with Gumby-Head.
It is a total WTF. I’m ugly enough. I don’t need help. Anyway, I’m looking into the mirror, wondering why my head slopes to the left and suddenly the dream I had in the middle of the night returned to me full force and slapped me in the face. You know those mid-sleep dreams come from the depths of Morpheus’ dreamland, so they are weird. Your unconscious rubs elbows down there with ancient archetypes and even occasionally meets other dream-walkers. Those dreams from the Deep often freak me out. I never get bothered by those “I just feel asleep and I’m twitching” dreams nor about the “I’m about to wake up and have to pee anxiety” dreams. If those are weird they are usually affected by your internal clock and/or external stimuli like birds chirping or an alarm clock, what have you.
No, the dreams you have to watch out for are the ones that wake you the fuck up in the middle of a deep deep sleep. That means AY your dream self met a core truth that scared the holy bejesus out of you or BEE your dream self met one of the Elder Gods and it wanted to infect you with madness or malevolence. I think mine was the former, but who really knows?
Oh, by the way I will “narrate” this dream as I was taught to do in my Jungian dream workshop that I took way, way back in college. You are supposed to slip back into the dream and relate it exactly as you can with no embellishment, as if you were seeing it for the first time and dictating it into a Dictaphone or whatever.
I am in my parents home in Katy. My ma and pa are there. My brother is to the left of me. My father to the right. My mother is center. They are okay but their smiles are also slightly anxious. It’s bright in the kitchen. I am trying to pretend that nothing is wrong. I am making a joke. It’s a joke but my father doesn’t like the joke. He turns away in disgust. I see his face melt into disapproval. I try to call him back but he won’t listen. My brother moves to comfort me. My mother now looks disapproving. My brother is trying to salvage the situation because we are supposed to eat together and have a nice family dinner. Suddenly I look at my father and he has no head. His head vanishes. No blood or gross looking things sticking out of his neck. Just gone. I am freaked out by this. He keeps walking away from me without a head. My brother asks what’s wrong. All the sound is like I am underwater and I can barely hear what anyone is saying to me. I look at him. He looks at me looking at Pa. He says nothing. I point and I try to say what’s wrong. I blink. His head comes back. But his head was gone. Now it’s back. I look at my brother and part of his face and chest disappear. I jump back. The part of his face that remains looks at me puzzled. My Ma is concerned. It’s me. I am seeing things. I am losing it. Then part of my Ma’s torso disappears. Like someone removed a giant Lego-block from her chest cavity. I am freaked out but I am more freaked out because I realize that there is something really wrong with me. My mind is snapping. I try to stay calm. We will have dinner together. We walk to the dinner table. My Pa is there sharpening the knife. The front half of his head is gone now. Sliced away and nothing is there but a brown skin-colored smooth surface like clay. My brother is half there half gone and so is Ma. But then their body parts return. Then disappear. It’s my vision. I’m okay. It’s just my eyes are bad. That’s all. We sit to have dinner. My brother asks me if I want wine. I think no, but say yes. I look down at the beautiful table setting. It’s so pretty. My Ma put out all of the best plates and cutlery. I look at the turkey, but it’s not a turkey. It’s Hobbit lying on the table even smaller than normal. The size of a huge fat turkey. Pa is not happy with me but he is going to make it through dinner because that’s what he always does. He is standing and passes the carving knife and fork to me. I know it’s not Hobbit, it can’t be Hobbit, but it looks like Hobbit. She seems okay with it. She says nothing but looks at me with that smile that she gives when says “This is my trademark smile! I’m so cute!” and she snaps her tiny little fingers and strikes a pose. I feel so anxious I can barely breathe. Hobbit just smiles and looks right at me. Pa is angry because he thinks I will make a scene again. I always make a scene. That’s how he looks. Ma just looks at me and says something that I don’t hear but I know it means, “Go on, go on.” I feel tears running down my face but I hope I am not crying or at least I am not making sobbing noises. I carve Hobbit up. It’s like carving Thanksgiving turkey and she doesn’t seem to mind at all. She just looks at me smiling, “I’m so cute!” I think I hear her snap her fingers but that’s not possible because I’ve already carved her wings off. Every one eats but I can’t. I have to. I feel Pa looking at me. He’s so angry it’s like heat from a furnace. I don’t mean to cry but I do. Tears are running down my face. Everything is cotton and fog and drowned. I hear but don’t hear Pa slamming his fist on the table. Ma is shaking her head, “I did it again. Ruined another family dinner.” My brother is busy wolfing down his meal. Pa’s head is shaking so violently. Then it’s time. Everyone pushes back from the table. Lulu is barking. She runs around my feet. Even she is angry with me. We walk into the posh posh living room. The football game is on; it’s so loud. I hate football. There’s a noose hanging from the ceiling. I don’t know how. It’s time. The noose lowers until it reaches the carpet and I step into it. I am hoisted into the air by my feet. I am hanging upside down. Lulu is still barking so angrily at me. I don’t know why. What have I done? It’s me. It’s all my fault. I have to hide my mind. I hang from my feet. Ma Pa and my brother all have something in their hands. Maybe roughhewn planks or maybe tree branches. The room gets brighter and I can no longer see the furniture only my family raising their arms. I get more anxious. I wake.
I woke up and shut my laptop. I woke up feeling freaked, but I realized the sun was coming up (three thirty in the goddamned morning) so I pulled my sleeping mask over my eyes and went back to sleep. That dream was a real keeper though.
I try not to dream any more. I have kept a dream journal for many years and I have decided that what I learned a long time ago at the temple where I studied Buddhism was true. Well true enough.
Dreams are all bullshit. There’s no point in paying attention to dreams. All that matters in life is your waking reality, the reality you deal with when awake. Most dreams are exactly what Ebenezer Scrooge said they were: an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There is nothing of import from the other world and if there is, it’s best to leave it alone. We are not equipped to deal with archetypal beings. If there is an afterlife, that’s when we’ll deal with it. Now, in this waking life, you have to be aware of each moment as aware as possible of your actions.
I have forgotten that lesson and I need to get back to it. I realize I have slipped far down into a hole and forgotten what I need to survive. Dreams don’t matter if you don’t change your everyday reality.
Hobbit has crazy dreams too. In fact, her dreams give my dreams a run for their money. I don’t tell her about my dreams. A lot of my dreams are way too sexual and she would not be able to handle it. And she’s not the object of my prurient dream affections, which fact would make her little hobbit-sized head explode. Plus some of my dreams are just weird violent so I don’t tell her (I don’t tell anyone) and anyway I quit keeping a dream journal. I just ignore them and forget them as soon as possible. Usually.
Hobbit, however, likes to roll over and tell me her dreams right after she has them, any time of the night. I don’t mind as her dreams are quite interesting and I love to play Carl Jung and interpret them for her.
What freaks me out about her dreams is how often she dreams of having a daughter, sometimes twin daughters! Both of us are too old to have children. Well, technically I’m not, but she is past that “safe age,” although maybe there’s the possibility of in vitro or surrogate, but that’s for rich people. Poor people like us have to have kids the old-fashioned way, blood sweat and tears. Still, it really freaks me out how sweet and lovely her dreams are when she dreams of her dreamland daughter. My reality or rather our reality can’t compete with wish fulfillment. She swears it’s so real. I tell her that her daughter in her dreams is really herself, but Hobbit won’t listen to me and instead says it’s one of her deepest dreams, to have a daughter. Her real son is such a fulltime pain in the arse (and inevitably conjures up memories of her previous marriage to her wife-beating bastard of a husband) that Hobbit wishes she had just had a daughter, a little her, a little princess to love and care for in just the way she wished she could have been cared or could be cared for. I know this and tell her that I am sorry I am such a poor excuse of a husband. But, hey, at least I’m honest.
Hobbit recently had this dream and I wanted to share it but things always got in the way. Things are always getting in the way.
This was back in April, the fourth I think, or maybe the third, anyway she woke me up at four-thirty in the morning to tell me this one.
“All right Hobbit, tell us about your dream. We’re all fucking curious to hear about it.”
Hobbit said: So in my dream I had this old American teacher. (Slight laughter.) Umm. The director of the English Major office asked me for this favor. She asked me to take in this American teacher for one night or for some time because he couldn’t find any place to stay. So uh umm. And she knew that in our house I had extra room, an extra room, so uh I asked this guy to come into my house and I gave him my bed to, to let him, let him rest, rest. But he it was strange that he forgot to close the curtain before he went to bed. It was strange; it was weird to me because my American husband always makes a point of closing the curtain to protect his privacy. So I helped him close the curtain before he laid down and uh after he laid down I uh, I uh snoopied at his stuff that he put on the shelf. And the uh shelf is at the place where we put our wardrobe in real life, right? So I, I saw some photos. I saw some photos. And one of the photos is uh is him in a desert like place dressed in car-mou-flage. And on the back of this photo he wrote some English words, which I cannot recall very clearly now. Uhhhh, he wrote something like he “I am a MISFIT” and uh “I am” uh “I’m serving special service in the Army” you know that kind of special service that people can people are supposed to do the most dangerous things in the battle. And they are very good at shooting people. Uh I and this photo shocked me cuz I thought ‘Oh wow this American teacher once served in the army?’ You know. And uh and I found another photo, which was his wedding photo, wedding picture. In, in the picture he is putting on the wedding ring on his bride’s ringfinger and uh I and just as I wanted to read the words on this on the back of this picture anyhow this picture disappeared! Either because he woke up or because of some weird things you know that always happen in the dream. Anyway I didn’t got the chance I didn’t get a chance to read the words on this picture. And then this is basic, basic, the basic that I can remember now. And in my vague memory I remembered we walked in the dining room? Or in the classroom? That’s it. Nothing special happened later, later, afterwards. (Snaps fingers.) I’m done.
My Hobbit is a real hoot I’ll tell ya. When she wakes me just to relate these things. I record her dreams for posterity because, hey, you never know. These things might just come in hand sometime. But anyway when she shares her dreams with me, no matter how painful to me they are, I feel closer to her. Sharing dreams is special I think. It’s sacred. It’s fun too and we always laugh about them. But sharing dreams is like sharing real life dreams. Maybe not better, but for a brief, brief moment, it is better.