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2004-08-26 - 5:29 p.m.

My nocturnal practices seem to progress in about as uniform and straight forward a manner as a whip-cream wrestling match between a seventies era Iggy Pop and Ozzy Ozborn. (An odd image to be sure, but imagine all the blood and destruction these two could wreak upon one another, all while doused in an amusing layer of Cool Whip. This reminds me…I need to stick to my new years resolution of cutting back on the whippits.)

After sleeping over my sister’s house, she stood in wide wonder at the amount of tossing and turning I performed during what I felt was quite a refreshing nap. Twisting the bed sheets into a pretzel shape was apparently enough for her to take photographs.

Anyone who’s ever lived or slept with me eventually got the speech. This entailed a quick description of my sleep walking habits. I, occasionally, get the strange urge, while completely under the effects of Mr. Sandman, to traipse about, usually clad in my undies and a large quilt draped over my back like a cape. In my Narcoleptic boy uniform, I tend to enjoy night vistas just outside whatever domicile I happen to be, or possibly a late night infomercial. Luckily, my dialing finger doesn’t work in my sleepy state, or else I’d probably own a dozen sets of Ginzu knives. Equally lucky, I’m extremely open to suggestion at this time.

“Go back to bed.”

This is all I need and my dalliance for the evening comes to an end. I do, of course, worry that my friends and family take advantage of this little opportunity, making me do cartwheels, or tequila shots, or, horror upon horrors, cleaning.

This tendency also bleeds into the whole liquor venue, as my blacking out abilities are wonderful. Something about whiskey triggers the part of my sleep walkiness that turns off my active memory, while forgetting to turn off the areas that make me talk or make me move around and such. This leads to me have life changing, emotional, post-imbibement heart to hearts, only to have them flitter off into the chasm of my darkly shaded mind.

“I was really moved by what you said last night.”

“Really, I wasn’t aware I’d said anything other than ‘I’ll have another.’”

(I know I’ve been writing too long when I start to feel dangerous and maybe a little bit giddy upon using three quotation marks in a row. Whee! Living on the edge!)

With all this evidence pointed towards me sleeping deeply enough to snore happily through a marching band competition, one would think the internal world of my dreaming would be rich and vast, spanning years of refinement and enriching detail.

Truth is, I rarely remember my dreams and when I do I repress them quicker than…well things I’ve repressed and can’t remember now, although I think clowns were involved.

I figure for most people, they go to sleep, see something strange and fantastical, wake up adding this experience to the heap of experiences had before, and move about their day, safe in the knowledge that all they saw was just another product of that rascally subconscious.

When you remember all of one dream a year, and you’re not all that used to the experience, the whole thing can leave you in full flummox.

Upon dreaming that my friend Derek was a creature of the night, set on seducing me into his vile ways, and oddly enough, doing it over tea and macaroons, I sat on my bed rocking back and forth repeating over and over again, “Derek is not a vampire. Derek is not a vampire.”

I still jumped when he approached me after class, and turned down his lunch offer. (Damn vampires.) Derek and I aren’t really friends any more, and while that may stem from him being the best friend of an ex-girlfriend – nice girl, but she got married and she’s younger than me, and people shouldn’t do that – I still believe the imagined fangs hanging over the friendship waiting to fall might have had an impact.

I dreamed, when I was sixteen, of having a liaison with the then girl of my dreams, only to look down during the act, and see the outline of “me” on her lower pelvis. The effects this had on my virgining sex life were straight up catastrophic.

I did have one recurring dream, back when I was kid, and more likely to remember all that strangeness. It usually entailed me sneaking into a store in a Disney theme park, where all the clothing was white, and finding my way through a small door in the back. Inside that like room, nothing. All black. No floor, no walls, just black. In the middle, a big honking book with pages larger than my seven-year-old frame. When I started reading, whatever happened on the page started happening all around me. This was all very magical, but the longer I read, the more I became aware of a glowy eyed demon head staring at me from above.

The dream changed every now and then. Sometimes a security guard would catch me, and drag me out. Sometimes I brought friends. Sometimes when I left, I would spot a girl, dressed in white, like the rest of the store, spying on me and then departing quickly with a flash of red hair behind her. (Origin of my red hair addiction?)

I bring all of this up because I remember my dream from last night.

I kept up the Pinter-esque surroundings, as most of the dream occurred trying to get from one side of a set of train tracks to another. Absurding up this image was the fact that this was an elevated train, on elevated rails. Apparently, in this little world, not only would trains travel on this steel, but anyone with a piece of cardboard would be propelled down them by some unseen force. Everyone and their mother seemed to be boogie boarding to their destination on the back of a refrigerator box. The trick came then, in waiting for a deserted piece of cardboard to come by, leap on it, jump to a pole between the tracks and then jump to the other platform. Anyone who’s played Mario might be somewhat familiar with this scenario.

All of this being strange enough, the thing floating in my mind…As I was holding onto that rail in the middle, hanging on for dear life, while three kids played ring around the rosy on the next pole up, I heard a tiny giggle. I turned around, and there was this woman one pole up from me. (Freudian references be damned.)

I found out over the course of the dream that the dream woman was actually the new Dream Woman. But I found this out over the course of the dream. Most of the time, these are things you just know in dreams. A place might not look like your apartment, but you know it is. That festering pile of banana droppings that keeps sputtering at you might not look like your sister-in-law but you know it is. I didn’t know. I found out. She grew on me.

I haven’t really had a dream woman in my head for a while. I suppose I had a real woman holding that spot. Even after she left, she was still there, going from real and dream to just dream. I wonder if I finally lost the dream, and it something needed to fill the vacancy.

I guess the changing of the guard was inevitable, but I feel just as thrown as I did after the Derek incident. Except now, I don’t really have a pacifying mantra, and absolute truth, to calm myself with. Just this strange image of a woman with loose yellow curls, and a noted absence.

I need some sleep.

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