Groundhog Dream #2

One of the most inter­est­ing things about dreams is how we can hold them ful­ly under­stood in our minds but, when we try to write them down, the struc­ture col­laps­es. This not only illu­mi­nates the imper­fec­tion of writ­ten or spo­ken com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but also, more sub­tly, indi­cates the nat­ur­al illog­ic and unrea­son­able­ness of our minds. A dream with that kind of clar­i­ty would be indis­tin­guish­able from real­i­ty.

I’m call­ing my newest recur­ring dream the Ground­hog Dream, because it’s a bit like Ground­hog Day, in that the gen­er­al mechan­ics stay the same while the specifics alter with each rep­e­ti­tion. First the dream, then the inter­pre­ta­tion.

The dream always starts out in a place like Whiskey Island but much larg­er in scale, with many oth­er peo­ple. We all trav­el to the shore to hear a rous­ing speech about fight­ing some kind of Evil. The Evil caus­es a shift, or glitch, in real­i­ty and every­thing is chaos. In the first instances of the dream, I was always in a waste­land with­out food and with com­pan­ions who were just as con­fused as I was. The rest of the dreams would con­sist of wan­der­ing around look­ing for sus­te­nance. Kin­da OT Bib­li­cal.

In this lat­est ver­sion, my lucid dream­ing kicked in a bit and I made sure to pack some food before going to the speech. This time the glitch still affect­ed me, but Neil Gaiman was also aware that it was going to hap­pen and had me and a few oth­ers fall into an alter­nate real­i­ty only tan­gen­tial­ly like the Har­ry Pot­ter uni­verse. It was more like Har­ry Pot­ter by P.G. Wode­house. We end­ed up in this orrery where Neil Gaiman explained what the Evil had done, if not why (no one real­ly knows why). The solv­ing of the glitch involves help­ing as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble find their way back to their prop­er place and doing it your­self in a cer­tain amount of time. This is a bit like a video game.

We go to a train sta­tion where the only way to sum­mon a train is to lie down on the tracks (kind of like how the eas­i­est way to get sick is to men­tion how you’ve not been sick) Too­tle the train shows up and hauls us to anoth­er sta­tion, where, in pre­vi­ous recur­rences, I know that we’ll learn that one of my com­pan­ions will die. So does Neil Gaiman, so we all take a bath­room break before walk­ing past the mur­al that depicts this death.

Mean­while, I find a pile of col­or­ful con­struc­tion paper cards and deflat­ed latex bal­loons, and excit­ed­ly call every­one over to eat. These are sort of like the cards we’d have to make to send to nurs­ing homes when I was in grade school, but were sent to us as sup­port instead. We have to eat them because the longer we’re away from our right­ful world, the more pale and life­less we get, and the more we hunger for col­or and joy. We’d become unwit­ting joy vam­pires. When we eat these bright­ly col­ored stuff we become more human for awhile.

Paper and latex aren’t easy to eat though, and I find the bal­loons too hard to chew and get nau­se­at­ed. At this time a new group shows up and joins in our feast. A girl I had a crush on in col­lege appears, obvi­ous­ly with anoth­er man, who turns out to be an alter­nate uni­verse ver­sion of me (though we look noth­ing alike), which is con­firmed by the fact that he had the same web­site URL. This makes me feel lone­ly and I real­ize that my son Abra­ham has been affect­ed by the glitch too, that he’s out there alone and needs me, and I real­ize just as there are mul­ti­ple ver­sions of me, there are mul­ti­ple ver­sions of Abra­ham and even if I can’t find my par­tic­u­lar son, maybe I can find an alter­nate uni­verse ver­sion to care for.

That’s it. I woke up and it was time to get ready for work.

There’s all kinds of stuff going on here, and I feel that I can iden­ti­fy both the foun­da­tion­al feel­ing and real world ref­er­ences to explain most of it. The foun­da­tion­al feel­ing is one of search­ing for a place I belong and be, in con­fi­dence and still­ness. The train stuff is because Abra­ham talks about trains con­stant­ly, but it’s got a lit­tle bit of Stephen King Dark Tow­er going on as well. I can’t iden­ti­fy the rea­son for Neil Gaiman’s pres­ence, but the bal­loons and con­struc­tion paper is relat­ed to Abra­ham again. Alter­nate real­i­ty stuff is due to The Man From Prim­rose Lane. The game-like nature of avoid­ing impend­ing traps and the recur­rence are prob­a­bly relat­ed to the fact I’ve been replay­ing Drag­on Age 2. The crush is due to a crush.

I think this dream could be turned into a fair­ly good tale, but I’m cer­tain­ly not the one to write it.

2 Replies

  • I often wake up from dreams and think they would make an amaz­ing nov­el or short sto­ry, but the fur­ther I get from them, the less I’m able to grasp what it was that should make a sto­ry. I did man­age to catch one dream into a short sto­ry, and I think it’s one of my best pieces.

    Have you seen the Simp­sons episode with Neil Gaiman? It’s awe­some. Also, if you don’t already, you should start lis­ten­ing to Moth Pod­casts.

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