Remember that time I made out with Sweet’s friend? I STILL DO!
The back story: I’m a terrible sleeper. I fall asleep like anyone else, but the slightest noise, movement or change in light will wake me. Sometimes I’ll wake for no reason at all. I could’ve got Canada another gold for Most Random Awakenings Per Night. So last year, I decided to stop self-medicating (after one desperate attempt at sleep involving far too much Gravol, Benadryl and a shot, and trying to get to work for 8:00 the following morning – STILL don’t know how I got there!). I went to the doc’s and was prescribed those little blue pills that knock you out INSTANTLY – but the effect didn’t last. I was still up at least five or six times a night. So I switched, and for the last six months I’ve been on a system of earplugs, facemask, and medication that isn’t technically a sleeping pill, but just has a nice side effect of keeping me out for most of the night. I’m doing pretty good these days, and I don’t even need the whale noises any more. I’m staying asleep.
So naturally I’ve started dreaming again, which is pretty awesome. I’ll often remember some parts of my dreams, but like the rest of the world, they’ve usually evaporated by 6:30. However recently, I had a dream that was pretty much ingrained in my head like a real memory. Not only was it incredibly detailed, but my timeline of activities was linear, I used transportation to get from place to place, and I remembered conversations to the word. I remember it to this day, and it was a week ago! When I asked Sweet if he’d ever experienced this, he said not really – and asked me about my dream. Not going to lie, it was a totally inappropriate dream that had ended with me making out with one of his friends - one of the groomsmen from our wedding! I assured him he couldn’t be upset “because you can’t control your dreams!” and we totally laughed about it, but a fun conversation made me realise that every part of that dream involved something or someone I’d encountered in the last two months.
Synopsis: His friend (we’ll call him Bob) and I were going to Toronto to visit an old friend (she can be Jane). She’d made us an agenda of things we were going to all do together, the first involving a 3D movie where you could actually physically be PART of the movie. I was so excited, and we arrived in an underground car park we couldn’t get out of, spent the night looking for Jane, and missed the whole thing. She found us and asked us why we weren’t at the movie, and that it had been next door the whole time. Then we all had to go grocery shopping, and for some reason I had to find a pineapple. Jane went off to do hers, and Bob kept trying to hold my hand in the middle of Safeway. We found the pineapple and took a bus to Jane’s place, which Bob insisted on exploring, closed a door, and started making out with me. “I lament for (Sweet) because of this… but it’s just meant to be,” he said. “I know,” I said. And woke up. FEELING HORRIBLE.
Now don’t get me wrong – Real Bob and I have met maybe twice in my entire life, and we’ve exchanged barely more than a “how’s it going”. But he had been to our house recently during the Olympics. I’d also been to Toronto (and marvelled at their public transportation) last month, visited Real Jane, and survived my trip to the Dominican on a diet of pineapple and more pineapple. Sweet and I had also seen a 3D movie not too long ago.
So why did these random memories converge into such a bizarre storyline? Why those ones specifically? Sweet suggested our memories, every single specific one, could be stored in a big “filing cabinet” that is our mind. When we sleep, random files could fall out and make up an entirely different world in which they all make sense together. I liked this idea. Dreams like a game of Scrabble, with a handful of mixed up letters all there, rearranging to form something that makes sense. I’d always thought dreams as totally arbitrary, haphazard things over which we had no say or control. Maybe it’s not just experiences and encounters, maybe it’s a passing thought you hadn’t given two seconds’ worth of attention to during the day, but will form the basis of an entire adventure.
I wonder if one day we’ll be able to capture and more fully understand what happens in our minds at night. Record them and play them back, even. Who’d need PVR?
All I know is I’m glad I’ve been able to dream again. And I’m even gladder that I have such an awesome boy who’ll laugh with me when I make out with one of his best friends. “I should tell him to use the word ‘lament’ next time he comes over,” he joked. I think I’d just about fall through the floor.