Dillard has nightmares about some alien-looking mushroom sprouting by Tinker Creek. She dreams of mating luna moths with furry antennae. Eggs hatching in her bed, filling the sheets with a slimy pool of fish. Squirming and multiplying. She wakes herself up with her own screams.
I rarely remember dreams. In fact, I don't think I do dream. I've never kept dream journals. If I wake up in the middle of the night, it's because my bladder needs to be taken out for a walk. I do have the occasional nightmare (after all, I have advanced degrees in worry and guilt), but those nightmares are usually fading by the time I'm fully conscious. Cold sweats and night terrors are not part of my nocturnal vocabulary.
I had a recurring dream when I was a kid. I would find myself in a long, empty van that was hurtling down a highway. Nobody was in the vehicle with me. There was no driver. The van just kept driving itself through a foreign landscape. I didn't know where I was. Didn't know where I was going. Couldn't stop the van. I remember being overwhelmed with fear and loneliness by this dream, every time I had it.
No, I don't need any couch Sigmund Freuds telling me that I have a pathological fear of the future. Or being alone. I'm not looking for analysis. By my estimation, I have undergone exactly 1,567 hours of therapy (and that is a conservative estimate). I am not disparaging the field of psychiatry. I value all of the mental health professionals who have treated me.
This post isn't about therapy. It's about dreams, and the fact that I don't dream. Some people may think that's sad. Perhaps I do dream, but I forget them as I swim up from my unconscious. I leave them behind, like forgotten pool toys. Or perhaps my mind simply chooses to block them from my memory because they are too frightening. Great id monsters that belong in a Japanese monster movie, demolishing Tokyo, instead of in my waking life.
As I said, I do dream. You know, the normal stuff. Writing poems. Publishing books. Being awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Yesterday, I read an article in Entertainment Weekly about three writers who received two million dollar advances from publishers for their debut novels. As Humphrey Bogart said in The Maltese Falcon--"The stuff that dreams are made of."
At least, the stuff the Saint Marty's dreams are made of.
|"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."--Bogart|