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 totally immediate.]

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 remains.

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 attacking Me.

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 of recording).

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 rape Her.

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?