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Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Dreams

I don't really get to sleep in very often anymore. Even when I would very much like to sleep in, I tend to wake up a lot earlier than I intended. But when Saturn is in retrograde and Betelgeuse finds that special spot on the galactic plane, I still manage to catch some bonus shut-eye. The thing about sleeping in is that it pretty much ensures strange dreams--it's those little windows of sleep that occur after that initial morning flirtation with consciousness that help open your mind to intriguingly implausible scenarios cobbled together in large part from life experiences. This morning, I dreamt about one of my past college history professors attempting to put out an electrical fire started by a vacuum cleaner in my hometown library, which after much excitement I eventually ended up dousing with some sort of lemon-lime soda. My professor's hair was on fire but he didn't notice until I pointed it out to him, at which point he said that the cranial flames had already been doused, which was true, as his scalp was now merely smoldering. My undersized hometown library was saved, and I was the hero. But my soda was tragically lost in the process and I was upset about it.

Things faded to black before the next inexplicable episode began. This time, I proceeded to explain John Darnielle's songwriting method in the first two tracks from All Hail West Texas to my parents in great detail. My dad apparently enjoyed the football allusions in "Fall of the Star High School Running Back," but he had a hilariously difficult time remembering the lyrics to "Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton." This dream seems fairly close to reality, but the chances of it ever actually occurring are about as slim as the library dream.

Some people read a lot into dreams and think we can learn more about ourselves. While I'm going to go ahead and posit that they're not much more then our brains trying to file away memories, a pleasant (unless you're prone to night terrors) diversion from the quiet void (unless you're prone to snoring) of normal sleep (unless you're an incurable insomniac). A third of your life is spent sleeping, so having crazy dreams is sort of a way of getting some of that essentially wasted time back, especially if you  can actually remember them the next day. I would love to figure out how to do some lucid dreaming so I could reclaim more of my sleeping hours from empty idleness and dreams that just don't pan out like they could have. If anyone is knowledgeable in these matters, let me know.


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