I hardly ever remember my dreams. I know I have them, but I wake up gasping for air, trying to clear out the fog of sleep. I usually air out the dreams instead. This is a shame, because when I dream, I dream about wonderful head twisty things that make me appreciate the subtleties of reality. I never have nightmares or bad dreams.

Lately, however, my psychoses have been holding their annual convention in my subconscious. I thought this was over a month ago, when, at night in my head, a good friend told me she has never felt any positive emotion towards me and my father started decomposing before my eyes, his skin hanging off of him like melted wax.

Just a few minutes ago, I had a dream that made me not want to go back to sleep. I almost never wake up before six. It started out simple enough, almost like an American sitcom. I'm pretty hazy on the events leading up to this, but a friend of mine and a crack team of doctors had to preform surgery on a stranger to make sure his baby wasn't born sideways. I sat in the waiting room, talking with old friends and reading mid-seventies Playboy spin-offs such as Oui when I heard the doctors talking in the next room. I walked in. Everyone was drinking coffee.

"Mel? You don't drink coffee," I said to my friend.

"I do now."

Everyone was joking, talking about golfing. The operation was a success. The Mel mentioned something about a brain tumor and everyone was quiet.

"What's wrong, Mel? Did the guy have a tumor?"

"No," she said. "I do."

She said it with such venom that I thought she was kidding, but it was obvious by the expression on her and the doctors' faces that she was serious.

I remember thinking at the time, "Oh my god. This is like 'the notification of death via email'," which, I suppose, in a way it is, but I interpret this as meaning I need to get out more. My first reaction in the dream was to break down and cry.

I'm sure I've fallen asleep crying a few times. This is the first time I've ever woken up in tears.

My first thought upon entering the realm of consciousness: "I need to check my ICQ histories. That couldn't have been real. Mel can't be dying."

My second thought: "I need to pick up that subwoofer today." Such are the mysteries of the human mind.

I spent half an hour reading old e-mails and routing through ancient ICQ messages. Mel isn't dying. A dreamer will believe anything, I guess.

Possible causes:

  • I haven't seen Mel in a while. She lives in Las Vegas, which is a long way away. I'll be at her wedding next year, but I almost never see her more than once or twice annually, and this is a pretty sore point sometimes. Combined with the tragedy of her dying before her wedding, too, is the fact that she's young -- she just graduated from high school. She's also a really good friend.
  • I've been having trouble distinguishing sarcasm lately, especially when in a venue packed with intelligent people. I see this as a major fault, and, to take up the slack, my defenses kick in and I assume everything anyone says is sarcastic. What is worse, though: missing a joke and being laughed at, or assuming everything is a joke and hurting those that have taken you into confidence and need help?