I apologize to those who find my tone to be detached. It is the only
way I can be this honest about a dream I found troubling, unsettling,
and confusing. Please do not read this dream log if you do not want to feel as I do.
Today, I awoke after six hours of sleep, before my alarm rang; Usually
I oversleep and am awoken by the alarm.
I suspect that I had dreams prior to the one I am about to describe,
but I cannot remember them.
To put the references in my dream into context:
- I have not thought about Her recently.
- I had yet another standoff with my mother about a lifestyle choice
of mine. She cannot treat the situation without shouting and tears.
- I spent some time playing with my video camera, as I am considering
taping my face and auditioning for the Real World/Road Rules.
- I read several Biblical translations of the Jacob's Ladder story.
place: a space with several rooms. the main room has positive
energy: it has a long shape with high ceilings. the main room
has northern exposure, which is to say that I imagined it as the
"top" by orientation. the northern side is one of the two long
sides and has large, sunny windows, and the northern corners
are soft (oblique).
the whole space is neither familiar nor unfamiliar.
the time is: light out.
i am involved in a orchestra/band composed of members of a club
of which I and She were a part. We are all facing away from the
windows and I am in the back row, in the middle. She is to my
right, playing Her cello. The Next Man is to her right, playing
drums. I am dancing, but I question whether I am dancing
well. there is no audience.
the performance/rehearsal is done and there is a mass exodus to
the exit. I trail the group and nearly everyone has left.
I am in the most south-westerly room, a cramped square room
with high ceilings and a small freight elevator on the south
side. everyone has left through this elevator and She and the
Next Man are waiting for it.
[The Next Man is a conceptual inspecific whose form is nonetheless
I smite the Next Man and the Next Man is no longer a presence
in my dream. She turns to fight Me.
I cut Her with razors. She is unable to fight Me back because I
have attacked Her successfully. but I could not defeat Her and
She: [emotionessly but earnestly] "why are you doing this?"
I: "this is how You desired and designed your fate; to be rent by the
blade of Your lover."
at this point I realize that She is a ghost.
Our dialogue remains a constant for the rest of the dream. I
occasionally attack Her with sharp objects to prevent Her from
I: "did you love A--?"
She: "no, I just had to leave You."
I: "do You love the Next Man?"
She: "You are the 100% perfect boy for me."
I ask her if I can tape record the conversation we have, so I can
listen to it later. She consents. We retire to the main room.
the sun is down and the time is dusk. the main room now is
perfectly rectangular and has no more windows. the energy is
now negative. the compass orientation is unchanged.
We sit in front of the television, which is in the middle of
the north side, and I press record on the vcr. before We say any words, We stand
up and continue our conversation as We leave the room (and the range
as We walk from room to room, doing a tour of the space, We keep
struggling to grab sharp objects. all the sharp objects are
either sharp but very small (like a razor) or large but blunt
(like a dull rod).
I: "why don't You find a large sharp knife to kill me?"
but I cannot find one either. so I must perpetually attack Her
to prevent Her from attacking Me.
as We walk through the rooms, discuss and fight, I notice a few
nameless characters in the background. they make Me feel observed
and remove the sense of privacy, but their presence only affects
how I feel about the situation, not how I choose to act.
I push Her backwards and She falls and is temporarily disabled. I decide to take Her by force. I lift
up Her robe to find that Her body has grown old and lax and her
pubic hair has gone gray. [I did not realize until I awoke
that the lower region of her body was not a visual representation
of Her, but my mother.] I become repulsed and have a mixed feeling of self-disgust and ennui and I decide not to
We keep moving in and out of rooms fighting and yet calmly
talking about Our relationship and never about the fighting.
by this point, Her sympathetic tone and concilliatory words are making Me cry and My face is
distorted in anguish.
I decide that there are two questions, primary above all else, that I want to ask of her.
I want to ask her about Our future. [I cannot remember the
precise wording (and I suspect that none exists in human language)
but the question tersely, unambiguously, and all-encompassingly
combines: "Are you being honest with me so far?" and "Will
our hearts be reunited?" Remember, this is a dream, and the
imaginary can immediately bypass the symbolic domain, which
includes language.] I also want to ask Her about the nature
of the afterlife.
I sit down with Her in front of the tv so that I can ask Her
the questions and have the answer recorded, in case I do not hear her or cannot understand. I try to choose some
good music on the playlist, but I cannot find the right song.
I realize that wasting time to choose the music was a grave mistake.
I could not say any more to Her.
Usually, my sleep is fitful and I outlast my alarm by five or six
snooze clicks, as well as sometimes further two hours of oversleep past.
The repeated interruption of deep sleep with occasional spurts of reality
is the usual cause for my dreams that seem lucid, dreams
that spiral out of control while clutching me tight. (Imagine the feeling of being pulled out
of The Matrix several times a night.) And I feel groggy and sluggish
all day, qualities that make consensual reality seem like waking sleep
and dreams like truth.
But today I slept soundly and awoke decisively, feeling rested and with
no need for further sleep. As indicated, this is atypical for a dream so gripping and real that I spent the next
several hours disentangling the coils of my personal and familiar
narrative from a very foreign and unreal seeming consensual reality.
In the description of my dream, I have tried to leave the "writing" to
my dream and have included only details and specificity that stood out
in my dream. I have not, except when indicated, done any post-dream
interpretation or analysis.
The dream forces me to ask a question which is quite poignantly (and
tacitly) posed by Stanley Kubrick in the scene with Nicole Kidman's
dream in Eyes Wide Shut: How much of our conscious perception of our
dreams is written post-dream by the consciousness? For example, how do
we know that a dream sensation that we later consciously remember as
shameful and terrible, that this dream sensation was not experienced as
pleasurable when we were dreaming, even if it appears that we make no
conscious choice to repress the original emotion and revise our memory?
Insofar as I do remember the experience of my dream, it seemed that
everything that seemed "real" to me in the dream and without abstraction
actually was immediate. And I remember the immediate emotion the dream
inspired me to have throughout the dream: a bitter knot of dread-filled
anticipation and sehnsucht.
When we remember our dreams, is our memory of the experience defined by and indistinguishable from the symbolic
significance we impose onto it, even though our memory of the experience appears
to us to be immediate and separable from conscious interpretation?
These questions about dreaming in general aside, the most pressing question
immediate to my dream is:
Can I trust the ghost? What does one believe when one is presented with
the words of the ghost of a living person, a contradiction?