These Dreams

Dreams I had last night:

  • The hyperextension in my left knee had basically lost the plot and become so extreme that I was wary of doing anything with it
  • I was hanging out at my family’s Old Lyme “cottage” (now long since sold for no discernable reason, but that’s another story) in a dream that had no real plot or central conflict, but which was equal parts vivid* and perplexing, though can’t really recall why I felt perplexed
  • My left foot had been horribly broken and I was transported (in the back of a pickup truck, no less!) to a hospital for what a surgeon referred to as “orthopedic neurosurgery” as I attempted to explain to her that I am a dancer and needed to know how long I’d be off training, since I wasn’t even back from my previous surgery (the one I had in real life) yet

You guys. WTAF?

Also, in terms of emotional content, that last dream qualified as a full-on nightmare—it included the full-on emotional experience of being terrified that I would never dance again, but still keeping a brave face and holding it all together. STRESSSSSSS.

Addendum: that being said, in retrospect, it was also kind of funny, because the nature and extent of the injury got worse every time I looked at my foot, but during the dream I didn’t actually make note of that. In a way, it was very Monty Python.

I did notice that the toes in my foot looked weirdly long, but associated that with the injury.

*In fact, my dreams are always pretty vivid.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2017/10/04, in balllet, life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. My “favourite” illogical but vivid type of nightmare is where one of my tarantulas escapes it’s tank and either eats the other one or is squashed when I’m trying to catch it. Strangely, I haven’t had many dreams about dancing yet!

    • That sounds like a really stressful dream! Last night I (in addition to the ghost dream I mentioned in the my reply to Cabrogal), I had one about a tornado coming, and about having to secure a bunch of cats, including the Mr. Merkah, in the basement of the house, which turned out to have a giant wall of sliding glass doors, presumably to maximize danger.
      Dreams, amirite?

  2. So have you applied Freudian dream analysis to them? It’s pretty easy to do. You’ve just gotta reinterpret every image as a dick.

    I’m like Dork. My nightmares generally involve my rabbits escaping with disastrous consequences for them. I guess that beats my childhood and adolescent nightmares of being ripped to bits by a shark (being an Aussie surfer has its downsides).

    In real life I once had a deadly brown snake I’d caught escape from the bird cage I put it in (the bastard bent the bars). I spent the next few weeks wondering whose bed it would show up in but I never saw it again. As far as I can remember I never dreamed about it though, even though it looked like a dick.

    • Clearly, it wasn’t necessary to dream about the snake, since it already looked (and behaved—bending the bars of the cage? What a dick move!) like a dick.

      Meanwhile, my teenage turmoil dreams were always about fighting the Atlantic undertow, though the setting wasn’t always exactly the Atlantic. Depressingly, from what I recall, old-school dream analysts often interpret bodies of water as representative of emotion, particularly repressed emotion in which one is metaphorically drowning. So predictable.

      My dreams are always interesting. Occasionally they have good storylines, too. Had a doozy this morning: I lived in an apartment in New York (on a block crammed with theaters) that I rented at a ridiculously good price from an older guy who had semi-retired to Florida after his boyfriend died, but who occasionally happened into town to do a walk-on in a play.

      In the tradition of people who play ridiculously low tends in New York for really nice apartments, I joked to my boyfriend that it must be haunted. FORESHADOWING, AMIRITE?

      Well, it turned out that it was—by the newly-minted ghost of my landlord’s boyfriend (who, it turned out, had been quite young, which said landlord had never mentioned, not that he would have).

      At first, The Boyfriend Ghost appeared only occasionally, seeming wildly disoriented and looking increasingly decayed. Mostly he wandered around trying to work the light switches, looking bewildered when his actions failed to ever turn the lights on (even when they were already on), and scaring the living daylights out of me and, later, my boyfriend, who I didn’t tell about the ghost because I figured he would never actually come over if I did.

      Oops.

      Anyway, in between various dance gigs I got used to seeing the ghost. Occasionally the dream’s “camera” would show the ghost home alone, still being bewildered by the light switch.

      One day I came home and realized that the ghost was looking both less bewildered and less be-molded, and I said hello to him. He said, “Oh, hello,” and we carried on like polite strangers in a bed and breakfast, though since the apartment was a one-bedroom I was a bit concerned that he might wonder what I was doing sleeping in his room (he never seemed to, though).

      After this had gone on for a bit, I discovered him one day sitting in the staircase to the deck that overlooked a bunch of theaters, looking dejected. He asked, “Why do you always come back here?” and I smiled and asked him the same thing because I was basically terrified—what do you say to a ghost in that situation?

      He said, “I don’t know; I think I lived here.” I put my hand on his back and was surprised that I could feel him.

      Then I said, “You know you’re dead, don’t you,” and he said, “Yeah. I do.” I realized that it was why he didn’t look so corpse-y anymore, but didn’t say so right then.

      My boyfriend arrived, and we all went back up the stairs. Our ghost tried to turn on the kitchen light. This time, he was able to flip the switch, but the light still failed to come on. My boyfriend said, “I’ll get the lights,” be started turning the rest of them on.

      The doorbell rang then, and it was the landlord with two of his Florida retiree buddies. I realized instantly that it would upset the ghost to no end to see his boyfriend (the dream didn’t explain why right then) and the boyfriend to see the ghost. A kind of elaborate shell game ensued in which my boyfriend and I attempted to distract our ghost, but as the ghost’s boyfriend was leaving, the ghost and I were coming up the stairs, and the boyfriend said hi to me but literally walked right through the ghost.

      Predictably, our ghost was heartbroken at first. He stood in the stairwell looking more solid than ever, and I realized he was actually really hot and said, “You know, I never thought I’d say this to a dead guy, but you’ve got a really nice body, and not just, like, ‘a nice body for a dead body.’” (In the dream, we all thought this was hilarious for some reason.)

      The ghost came up the stairs and we all stood in the kitchen talking, and then a very strange look came across the ghost’s face, as if he had just realized something terrible. A moment later it dawned on my boyfriend and me: the ghost was a ghost for a reason, and that reason was that his boyfriend had murdered him and gotten away with it.

      Sadly, that also happened to be exactly the moment at which my cat decided to poke me in the bladder, so I missed the exciting conclusion, whatever it might have been

      • No doubt modesty prevented me from dreaming about the snake as my dick. After all, it was about three foot long and able to bend steel bars. I’ve had plenty of dreams about the 4 metre king cobra I encountered in Thailand though. Always full of regret that it died.

        Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream that retained a coherent narrative for that long. Sometimes there’s a persistent theme but the storylines tend to be shattered. I often dream about my grandfather’s ghost though and sometimes he seems unaware he’s dead. I don’t really believe in ghosts but sometimes I see them from the corner of my eye (neurotypicals would be surprised at what I see). Sometimes they’re ‘ghosts’ of people who are still alive, especially former girlfriends.

        Probably if the cat hadn’t woken you during REM you wouldn’t have recalled the dream at all. I once had a bunny wake me up in the middle of one of my bunny nightmares. They often jump onto my bed around dawn.

        A lot of my dreams involve landlords though. If a non-symbolic interpretation is anything to go by I’ve had a lifelong anxiety about homelessness and/or loss of place. Probably common among us Aborigines.

        My recurrent dreams of being eaten by a shark stopped in my mid-20s at about the same time my waking shark phobia cleared up. But they were replaced (at reduced frequency) by dreams of me trying to rescue friends or loved ones who were being threatened by sharks. They never resolve into either a successful rescue or an eaten loved one. The tension is in the fear, frustration and impotence of being unable to reach them. (Dammit. There’s that dick again. The next time I have a lucid dream I’m gonna feed old Sigmund to the sharks.)

      • In reading the blogpost you may have noticed I described my escaped snake as the less dangerous (but still venomous) black snake rather than a brown snake. You may also have noticed stilted prose, worse than usual grammar and idiosyncratic punctuation.

        I now think the escapee was a brown snake but memory is a funny thing. I also now think I only ever milked a particular black snake at Eric Worrell’s reptile park, rather than the browns and tigers I thought I’d remembered milking but now only recall watching others milk.

        When I wrote that post I was less than eight months out of a crippling nine and a half year bout of utter despair that seemed to last for more than a lifetime. Much of it was spent staring at my various bedroom ceilings. I’d stopped meditating and reading and given up on all but the briefest and most necessary verbal exchanges. My mind just kept circling around the same few morbid topics over and over for years. One reason for starting a blog was to try to re-establish the language skills that had atrophied in my darkened room.

        But I reckon what I was going through wasn’t just grief. It was a spiritual crisis. A dark night of the soul. When I finally came through it was more than worth it. It gave me what I’d always wanted and it turned out to be far better than I could have imagined.

        I’m not saying there’s meaning or purpose to all depression. I’m not trying to generalise my experience or grind it up into a prescription for others – though I feel certain if I’d tried to medicate it away I’d still be struggling with it today and that doubtless informs my attitude towards psych drugs.

        But asher, if your bipolar ever takes you to the bottom of a pit with no hope of escape try to remember that maybe, just maybe, it’s not only something unfathomably awful. It could be the most special thing that will ever happen to you.

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