Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night, bolting upright as the cold air hit your sweat-drenched body and realized you just had a nightmare? I have. In one of my recurring dreams, I am late for a final exam, only I never attended class the whole semester. The location is always very sketchy and my transportation usually includes an unreliable, wrecked car which I steer from the back seat. The road ends in a construction site complete with huge orange netting and striped cones of the same vibrant color. The problem is that from my awkward position, I cannot hit the brakes! While attempting to climb into the front seat, I gaze in horror beyond the ripped up road at a perilous cliff and then the car speeds up. Just as I am about to take a dive off the precipice, I wake up.
Once, I manipulated the test anxiety dream and miraculously got there on time complete with notes in my pocket which the professor let me use. The nightmares ended for years, but they are back!
Other Dreaded Nightmares:
Neglect Dreams -
A monstrous aquarium was left in my care, but I hadn’t fed the fish in months. While examining the green algae-filled tank, I discovered there was just one giant fish left!
One night I dreamt that I had a newborn, but no previous memory of it. I became frantic while sprinting from room to room trying to find baby bottles and diapers. Finally after locating them, I couldn’t remember where I left the baby!
Dreams of Horror -
My teeth began to fall out. They were like round stones rolling around inside my mouth that I spat into the palm of my hand.
Running from Imminent Death -
I tried to escape from a madman in what seemed like the thickest of black mud while the knife-wielding pursuer closed in. As he pounced on me from behind, I woke up with a pounding heart.
Inappropriate Attire Dreams -
The discovery that I was walking around naked in the grocery store was so embarrassing. I dashed through the frozen food section and yanked red pizza boxes from the glass case to cover myself! Then I looked around to see if anyone noticed.
Where does all this craziness come from?
While pouring my first cup of coffee the next morning, I remembered the stress dream from the night before.
I said to my husband Danny, “What a waste of a time! Why can’t I dream about something amazing?”
My Favorite Dreams:
Have you ever dreamed you could soar above everyone? I have flitted through puffy white clouds with the bluebirds and cardinals until realizing where I was. Then I gradually lost altitude and was grounded. I flapped my arms and willed myself to rise again to no avail, but it sure was great while it lasted.
While on my ocean voyage, rainbow-colored fish swam beside me.
Being a Super Hero!
Why couldn’t I be the heroine in a great spy dream where I have super powers complete with super body? One night I dreamt that I attacked a gnarly gang of kidnappers. First, I broke into their ramshackle villa which was perched on a mountaintop. A few kicks and karate chops later, I released the hostages. It was so easy and the rescued group was so thankful. I smiled and said, “Aw, it was nothing. Really!”
Better yet, why am I wasting my time on any of those when I could be having a perfectly good sex dream? And if I am going to have imaginary sex, why not have it with a movie star? I have watched enough Jude Law, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt movies for them to seep into my subconscious. Danny has remarked in the morning that I must have had a pretty hot dream since I was moaning in the middle of the night. But do I remember? NO!
“Well, why didn’t you wake me up when I stopped? Maybe I would recall that dream instead of the stupid one about a final exam!” I roll my eyes remembering a flash of the orange cones from the night before. “Ugh!”
Do you have recurring dreams?
What is your favorite dream?
All photos by S. Lindau