Sunday, July 24, 2011


Dreams don't come to me like they used to. This could not be more of a relief. 

From 1989 through 2004 I drank as much alcohol as my body would tolerate. There were a number of complex and boring reasons for this. One of the more colorful justifications was sleep related. When I was sober, that is to say, before I first drank, sleep came reluctantly and always brought nightmares. 

There was the one about the woman with the winking eyeball embedded in her navel. The time I was Jesus in a flooded parking garage also remains vivid. Both of these dreams are old enough to drink their ownself. 

Some times nightmares of sex with family members would haunt me. Everyone has had that one, but it doesn't make it any less disturbing. Having to explain in the dream world to one's own Grandmother as to why you are having erectile issues is a hassle no one needs, asleep or awake. That one is actually a post-sobriety one, and happened about ten years after Grandma's death. 

My oldest dreams, the ones that have stuck with me since youth are numerous. Being chased by Frankenstein's monster around the apartment complex of my youth. The dream named "hair Full of Bees." Doing battle with a top-hatted villain called The Gas Master whose powers had to do with chemistry, not flatulence. 

The worst dreams of all are the ones in slow motion, where walking is a complex conscious event. Something sinister is right behind me, and my legs don't make sense, and the air is like Jello. It feels like dwarves are standing on your chest. The threat, imagined but unseen gets closer. The touch of a malicious hand flickers across your shoulder. Death is upon you and a forced scream that spills over into waking is the only escape. 

That's the one that makes me thirsty, parched for the acidic splash of gin on a hot Summer's night at 3AM. That's the dream that wakes the cat, the wife, and prods your brain with needles the next morning when you can barely remember waking the night before.  

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