Leave The Light On
Nightmares are usually not something that bother me much. I don't recall ever having more than perhaps a handful of serious, hard-core, flat-out scary dreams during the entire course of my childhood; maybe one or two of the standard I'm-running-in-place-but-not-going-anywhere variety, and perhaps even a few truly terrifying nocturnal encounters. Dreaming for me has almost always been a pleasurable experience.
So, when one does come down the subconscious pipeline, I tend to take notice, and last night's was one that just doesn't seem to want to fade back into that place where most dreams usually retreat to after several hours of wakefulness. Possibly, the somewhat unique (at least for me) nature of the dream might have something to do with its lingering effect:
I'm doing a show, the style isn't terribly clear, but it seems to be some sort of "screwball comedy" (no doubt inspired by last night's viewing of the 1940 Howard Hawks classic His Girl Friday with some friends). I'm performing to a packed house, but the performance space seems unusual -- not a typical stage house, something more along the lines of an improvised space inside a store or some similar business establishment. People keep wandering in-and-out of the playing area, seemingly either oblivious to our performance, or just being stupid and rude.
At some point the play ends, and everyone except for a few people -- mostly the cast --leave. Then in one of those it-made-sense-at-the-time jumps, suddenly the entire building has been flung into the air, like Dorothy's shed in The Wizard Of Oz and I'm holding on for dear life! I can see clear blue sky out a window, but the ground below is spinning at incredible speed! Somehow I manage to gather together a mound of softgoods: pillows, blankets, chair pads and the like to hopefully cushion the inevitable impact, but it never comes. At some point I realize my friend Dawn is somewhere in the building, and I start yelling for her, and eventually she answers (in the dream the tornadoing building doesn't make any sound), but from somewhere distant, and although we can hear each other we don't seem to be able to find one another.
It's at about this point that I wake up. It's 4:35 a.m. by the glowing red LED's on my alarm clock. My heart is pounding and my breathing is shallow and rapid, like when you get a sudden surge of adrenalin. I lay in my berth staring up at the ceilind for probably 15 minutes or so, while my pulse and respiration return to normal, and eventually fall back asleep until the alarm goes off promptly at 6:30.
I have absolutely no idea what caused it (aside from the reference above), but whatever it was I hope I don't get another dose of it tonight!
on 2:19 PM