(Bi=Success, Uni=Failure) Prefixes are there for a reason, people.

I really participate fully in my dreams. When that giant lion appears and roars to signal that the feature is about to start, I’m all in, baby. (I just indicated that my nocturnal playground is run by MGM. That’s extremely unsettling. I’ve relinquished all creative control to a third party. P.S. This is not true. My crazy, lovable—she-made-me-type-that—brain is running the show.) Anyway, as I was saying, I am an all-the-way-in participant in my dreams. Therefore, I am a strong believer that I can count my dream experiences as 60% real-life experiences. Although, I do use a sliding scale for reasons that should be obvious. I wing it based on dream content. If it’s a scary dream, I might adjust down so as not to tempt fate and move that percentage baby right on down to 0% with a nervous “Heh, that was so totally unrealistic. Axes are, like, NEVER used. It’s so 80’s. No self-respecting murderer would ever wield an axe. Heh. Good one, brain.” And then I would travel directly to Anna’s sunny yellow room, plop myself immediately onto the floor in the Lotus position (I have no idea what that position is, but I bet it involves pretzeling my legs up, and I can totally do that shit.), and begin to do meditation-like activities (I have no idea what that would look like either, but I bet they involve closing my eyes, and duh, I DO sleep like a freaking champion, so I sure think I could accomplish that. Plus, isn’t there some heavy breathing? Well, I’ve been known to exercise, so I’m positive I can reenact my breathing at the end of the exercising and grasping onto whatever is nearby while panting just to remain upright, and….wait. Scratch the second part with the grasping at things to retain my balance. I’m on the floor in a pretzel shape. It’s all good.) I’ve had 75% real-life experiences with certain people of a famous nature. Hi, Clive Owen and Jon Hamm! We went on a camping trip a year ago. Obviously, I adjusted the sliding scale on that one. Obviously. It might be closer to 85% if you’re expecting me to be totally honest with you. Let it go, will you? The other night I had a scintillating dream whereby my family had acquired a second toaster to devote to gluten-free bread items. It was a difficult decision to make, but I left the slider at 60% for that dream. Geez brain, what a ridiculous dream, and how wasteful! I’ll toast the damn bread in the oven if I absolutely must, but I really haven’t missed the toast enough to justify the purchase of another stupid toaster and then dream about it like it’s just that awesome. Priorities, you gelatinous monster.

So, last night’s dream involved my first foray on a unicycle, and I can tell you that I’m glad I went ahead and experienced this first in a dream. I didn’t recognize any of the spectators, so that prevented me a LOT of embarrassment. Surprisingly, I got up on that unicycle and handled it like a pro. Pro-ish. Like an amateur. Not like a first-timer. Like a first-timer, but not like a baby. There. That’s something to celebrate. There’s a local magician who does amazing things while on a unicycle. My prowess on the unicycle had exactly nothing in common with his. However, I was eventually able to remain upright and move from one place to another. And then there was this one part of the dream where I was able to balance on the unicycle without moving anywhere. This is the point in any dream where you know things are about to turn. You know that point. When things have gone from improbable to impossible? Yeah, things took a turn. And fast. Suddenly, there was a downhill situation impossible for me to avoid because I was at the top (the very peak) of a mountain I had not climbed to justify my descent. No, I didn’t take a minute to rejoice in the fact that I hadn’t had to make that climb on a UNICYCLE. I took a minute to watch my life flash before me because the descent was very similar to one you might take with a parachute attached to your back after a planned disembarkation from a plane. But my brain pushed me (I felt her gelatinous mass do it!), and off I went. Very fortunately, I lost the ability to pilot the unicycle immediately. And just as quickly woke up. I really didn’t want to participate in that dream any longer. However, I’m counting this as my first, and clearly last, unicycle experience. If someone asks me if I’ve ever been on a unicycle, I’ll answer, “Yes, 60%.”

Dreams: Training Simulations for Totally Plausible Situations

Dreams can be really useful in helping you figure out how to deal with something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Not like the one I had the other night where I was being eaten very, very slowly by a T-Rex. I mean, come on. Those dudes are long gone, and even if they weren’t, I’d be totally mocking the guy for being so leisurely about the whole mess. And I just now got why he was going about it all slow-like. He was messing with my mind. Making the experience all the more terrifying. Good one, T-Rex. But you should know that I was mocking YOU the entire time staring at your ridiculously tiny little arms. Hee! So teeny and ineffectual. So, you might have done better to speed up the process after all. I was not terrified. I was laughing at you the whole time and strangely numb to the pain. Point: me! I guess I’d have to give the match to you since you presumably would have consumed me had the dream been allowed to reach its inevitable conclusion. Whatever.

But I was trying to explain how dreams can be helpful in preparing you for certain situations that might arise. I will know exactly how to react in the following scenarios as recent dreams have given me EXCELLENT training. Thanks, brain! I thought I should pass my knowledge on to you:

Possible scenario 1:

If you’re hanging out with a bunch of meth heads (And you totally should; those peeps rock! If Skinny Pete and Badger are any indication, that is.) but if you are and you find yourself getting a whole lot rowdy after consuming your weight in alcohol, make sure you don’t throw your shot in a meth head’s face because you’ve lost your ability to make good decisions. If you do, you must immediately retrieve your coat and all of your passed-out friends and run (do NOT walk) to the nearest exit because shit is about to get real. If you aren’t feeling especially speedy, hiding is a great option as long as you make sure your object fully conceals you. Don’t hide behind a bike because your alcohol-soaked brain has lost the will to assess possible hiding spots. And don’t forget your passed-out friends. Hide them, too. First. You won’t have to hide all that long. Meth heads will lose focus pretty quickly and forget what they were doing, leaving you free to make a safe getaway. Again, if Skinny Pete and Badger are any indication.

Possible scenario 2:

If you have a pet, be sure to keep it away from kangaroos. Kangaroos are adorable in theory, but pissy little shits in reality. And they actively despise pets. I can’t explain it; I’m just trying to pass on the info. If you forget this, and your pet is captured by a kangaroo, you are probably out of luck. The kangaroo is going to put your pet in its pouch and run off with it. Forever. Even if your pet is a dog of an immense size. Those kangaroo pouches are much larger than they appear. I once saw (sure, this happened in a dream, but you can trust that it’s bound to be accurate) a kangaroo toss a small man in there. So, if the kangaroo has kidnapped your pooch or kitty, you’re probably going to have to box it to get your pet back, and here’s where it’s not going to go well. The kangaroo is going to have your pet stick out from the pouch so that you are at a disadvantage when you attempt to land a punch. The kangaroo is going to be raining down the fists of hell on you, and you’re going to be afraid to throw even the first punch for fear of punching your adorable friend. Good luck is my best advice, but you’re more than likely going to watch your adored pet bounce away into the sunset bundled into the pouch of that nasty kangaroo.

Possible scenario 3:

If you show up some place other than your shower or bathtub naked, you’ve just got to grab the first thing you see and wrap yourself up slowly and casually. Nonchalantly. Can’t find something to cover yourself with? Fine. Just act like you are the only one dressed appropriately. Look around at everyone else as if they have made a huge faux pas with all the clothing. It’s hard to make this one work, but I’ve had a LOT of dream training on this one! It is all in the attitude. Apparently. As much dream training as I’ve had on this one, I haven’t been able to capture the attitude yet. I guess that’s why my brain keeps throwing it at me for practice. I haven’t gotten a chance to practice my nonchalance yet since my brain never seems to furnish anything that I can use to cover myself anywhere in my scenarios. Thanks, brain.

Possible scenario 4:

OK, now, if you’ve got yourself a mouth full of steel teeth with pointy, fang-shaped ends …What? This can happen. Have you seen the things that are happening in dentistry? Also, Bond fans will surely remember that one shiny-grilled dude who had a mouth full of weird. OK, back to what I was saying. If you’ve got yourself a steel grill, you’ve got to be real careful when giving love nibbles to people. Have you ever given a little earlobe nibble? Look, that can turn into a real bad situation if you’ve got a mouth full of metal. You find yourself with a detached lobe hanging from your lips and a frightened person staring at you in shock while screaming in sheer panic and trying futilely to stem the flow of blood. First, you should go get some ice and bandaging materials. And help out your poor sufferer. Assure them that the lobe can be reattached. I mean, come on, they can reattach toes, right? Now, get going to the hospital. Wait, you did apologize, right????

OK, these are starting to trend a little dark, and I may have overshared the way my brain seems to work when I let her have the reins during those nighttime hours. But, you can probably understand why I’m always delighted to wake up in the morning and regain control, can’t you?

The zombie that feasts on my brain will find it tastes of disloyalty. Is that a flavor?

My brain is not my friend. I’d go so far as to say that my brain hates me. I know it sounds like a logic fail. My brain is me and all that. But in my case, the assertion stands up. For example, she’s always feeding me inappropriate words. Words close enough to the correct word to make it through my filter and out of my mouth. Furthermore, the dreams she subjects me to on the regular are truly horrifying. Apocalyptic-type dreams on a weekly basis.

This week’s disaster dream featured a tornado. I’m standing in the world’s narrowest street. The sky is instantly dark and ominous, and the wind is increasing so fast that I have little time to react. Also? I’m holding an umbrella that is, of course, inside out. And I’m standing there trying to figure out how to restore the umbrella to working order. Because that’s bound to be a useful device when the tornado hits. Hey, dream Stephanie, that funnel cloud is going to take that inside-out umbrella and turn it into a dozen different shapes, all flying uselessly through the air unable to assist in your quest to stay alive. So, hurry and find a place to ride this out. You are probably going to die either way, but you are certainly going to die if you stand here playing with the umbrella, dumbass.

After shaking myself awake just before the funnel advanced, I sat up in bed with my heart trying desperately to remove itself from my chest. When I was a kid, I was told that if you die in a dream, you die in real life. I dismissed it at the time, but I was having some trouble doing it right after that dream. I considered checking it out online, but I knew my brain would be looking over my shoulder and planning a terrifying plot for the next death dream. So I abandoned that and decided to reason with her. I reminded her that the brain dies without its host. But she started sending me unrealistic visuals of her living a life without me. Since she was unable to come up with a rational explanation for how she could take up residence in another host, all the visuals were her in various scenes by herself. So, I began to point out the problems. I began with her appearance. I know. It’s not kind. But come on. She’s ugly. All those veins and that gelatinous coating? Who wants to get near that? She can forget about getting a hug from anyone ever.  She said she was fine with that. She doesn’t need people. She’s going to travel and see things. I said great. Good luck with that. WITHOUT FEET. She then sent me a visual of her on a Segway. I immediately laughed and pointed out the glaring problem. Hello! You don’t have HANDS. She sent me a visual of her on a train. I pointed out that she wouldn’t be able to get ON the train without feet. I also mentioned that with her gelatinous coating, nobody was going to pick her up and put her on the train, even if they were able to suppress the gag reflex long enough to do so. Because, slippery! I think she started to see things my way, and we appear to have reached a reluctant truce. I hope this means that the nightmares will become less frequent, if not stop entirely. I won’t hold my breath though. She’s still feeding me inappropriate words.

 

I don’t want to hear about your dreams, honey.

Have you noticed how nobody wants to hear about your dreams unless they have a dream of their own they want to share? Let’s say you had a real humdinger the night before that you want some help deciphering and mention to one of your designated people (the people tasked with listening to your most yawn-inducing crap to whom you return the favor) that you had this crazy dream last night. The words are barely out of your mouth before your well-meaning peep has pasted on the polite but not too inviting face mask. Polite because they are your designated person, but not too inviting lest you think they really want to hear about your dream. However, if they’ve had a crazy dream of their own that they need help analyzing, you’ve got some rapt attention coming your way if only until you pause a moment so they can begin talking about their dream. But this is kinda crazy, isn’t it? This lack of interest in other people’s dreams? And I’m not judging. I’m the same way. I’m just not sure why we all feel this way. Because where else but in dreams can you find these types of story lines?

I’m walking through my high school hallway in my pj’s and santa hat as you do, and the next minute I’m swimming through the air and the hallway is completely vacant because I’m late for class. I’m trying to hurry but it’s hard to move fast when you are swimming in the air. And scene change to college and the class I’m rushing to is one I’ve neglected to attend all semester long and, of course, it’s the final exam. As I’m crossing the campus, I ask the triceratops (?) at ‘Clear Ass Mud’ why it’s not called ‘Clear AS Mud’ because that’s the saying, and the triceratops starts getting all shirty with me, and I eye his giant horns and move on along. And now I’m in the jungle and suddenly I’m surrounded by a pack of monkeys who are voguing and singing to a Madonna song that is oddly not ‘Vogue’  but ‘Like a Virgin’ and very poorly on both fronts I might add. And one of them takes something off her (his?) cone bra and regards it and then me meaningfully. What is that? And oh crap, it’s poo. (heh) Right, monkeys throw poo. EW! DUCK!!! GEEZ, WAKE UP NOW!!!

I don’t often remember dreams days later, but that one was fairly memorable, and I had it just as some noise woke me up really sealing that memory in — THANKS RANDOM NOISE! But that dream is interesting in its randomness, and you’d think we’d listen to each others’ dreams if only to look at each other and think, wow, your weirdness makes me feel a little more normal.

So, I woke up this morning and needed some assistance analyzing last night’s dream which was a real-life type of dream. It was a real head-scratcher, but there were indications that it could be understood if only someone with a logical mind could jump in with me and do a little spit-balling. And I believe that though this wasn’t technically covered in the marriage vows it was certainly implied, so I asked Matthew to help me out. He feigned slight interest, but I had to watch the grinding of the gears for him to actually achieve that state, so designated person fail. Lexi started barking her potty-time notification, and he jumped up with undisguised relief and bolted for the door to let her out. I can’t be certain, but I could have sworn I heard whistling as he beat a swift retreat. Now listen, this is as close as I might ever get to therapy and I think he owed me at least a polite 30-minute whiteboarding session on my dream — nothing in depth but come on! Just go over the major themes and explore the meaning behind recurring images. Since he doesn’t ever need dream analysis, I can’t blackmail him into helping me. So, I guess I’m stuck with Lexi, the puppy. I’m so screwed.

*NOTE: I recommend that you do not urban dictionary (What? Can’t I make that a verb?)  clear as mud (though now you probably will) because ew. I googled it because I thought maybe my brain was trying to hand me a new coffee shop name — NOT Clear Ass Mud since that’s just stupid, TRICERATOPS!

Hey brain, Christopher Walken?

Dear Brain,
I’m sure it’s exhausting to find dream content night after night. So sprinkling celebrities in sometimes keeps things fresh for me and eases your immense burden. However, I’d like to strongly suggest that unless a cowbell is prominently featured, Christopher Walken really shouldn’t be starring. Dude is seriously creepy. How about substituting Jon Hamm or Clive Owen? They are always welcome.
Love,
Me