My Dream

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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I was going up to hike Old Rag with Melissa, Jackie, and Stephanie. We drove there and parked on the side of the road. Somehow the entrance up to Old Rag was on Route 7 near my house, but the trail up was very steep and brambly. We were just getting started when I noticed that Melissa and I weren't carrying anything. I asked her if we had any water or lunch and she said no. Just then, I saw the head of a dog poking up out of the dirt by the side of the trail. I lean over and pick it up and a whole dog wriggles free. The dog writhes in my arms and I put it down. It looks like a Welsh corgi. I yell to Jackie and Steph to stop (they had gone ahead on the trail). They don't stop, so I yell "Yo, hot dog!" at them.

I think this was inspired by the fact that they were both wearing bright red sleeveless shirts. They still don't stop. I tell Melissa I have to go back home to take the dog back and to get us a bottle of water and lunch. Somehow I think that it will take me at least half an hour to get back home, even though I am on Route 7 near my house. In the meantime, the dog is running around in the street. I decide that that is too dangerous, so I run out and pick him up. Somehow I pick him up upside down, and the dog morphs into a very skinny sheep. The sheep tells me that it is hungry, and it jumps out of my arms to eat the tall grasses by the side of the road. I pick up the sheep again and go home. At home, everyone in my family is there, even my brother, who should be at college. The other strange thing is that I am in the house I lived in in Philadelphia. For some reason, we have small cubes of warm, slightly rotten hay on the kitchen table. I think that this is perfect fodder for the sheep and put the sheep on the table so it can eat the hay. I then get a bottle of water and try to find lunch. I try to get some fruit from the refrigerator, but I pull out some small onions instead. I look in the vegetable drawer, and I pull out a large onion. In the back of the vegetable drawer I see a number of small, yellow apples. I pick one up and it sticks to the drawer because it is starting to rot and some of the juices have leaked out and jelled on the drawer. Most of the apples are too far gone to eat, but I think about taking an apple that is only slightly soft on one side. I decide against it and decide I'll just go with chips and sandwiches for lunch. I look for bread, but I can't find the loaf. Everyone in my family is eating hot dogs now, so I look around and find a hot dog bun on the counter. I keep looking and I find small pieces of bread everywhere. There are halves of slices with a bite taken out of them, half-eaten pieces of toast, random chunks or bread, and even some pieces of toasted raisin bread. I take it all, figuring I can fit the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. I then get a big bottle of grape jelly from the refrigerator and go to the pantry for peanut butter. There are two kinds of peanut butter there and I decide that I'll have the smooth peanut butter and give the crunchy peanut butter to Melissa. I do this so we can tell our sandwiches apart, as if this is very important for some reason. I am using a recipe to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for some reason. The recipe calls for mixing together the jelly and peanut butter with large scoops of mayonnaise. I mix it up and start spreading it on the bread and I decide that it looks absolutely disgusting. I start scraping it off the bread and I yell to my mother that this recipe looks terrible. She replies that it's an old recipe and she always leaves out the mayonnaise when she makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I try to salvage what I can out of the mixture. I didn't mix it up very well, so I can dig out pockets of pure peanut butter. I spread the peanut butter on the bread, then go after the jelly. Somehow, now, the jelly has been mixed with some kind of greenery, looks like juniper or something similar. I don't think that this is strange, and scoop the jelly-covered juniper onto the bread, on top of the peanut butter. As I add the jelly-covered mass to the bread, I think to myself that Melissa will be so surprised to see me eating vegetables. I look at the clock and think that I better hurry. It's eleven o'clock and we're going to have to hike Old Rag very fast if we want to get home before dark. I look back at the table to see how the sheep is doing and the dream suddenly shifts. I'm still in my kitchen, but now I'm holding the sheep in my hands and it has turned into a pile of whipped cream. It looks like a swirled-up cone with a large scoop out of its side gone. It actually looks nothing like a sheep, but in my dream I call it a sheep because at the top of the cone it is curved into something resembling a raptor's beak. I think that this is a very sheeplike characteristic. Somehow time has jumped back to where I first bring the sheep into the kitchen. Now, instead of cubes of hay, there is a huge mound of whipped cream on the table. This giant pile of whipped cream is somewhat cone-shaped, again with a large scoop missing from the side. I stick the whipped-cream sheep into the side missing a scoop and watch as the "sheep" begins to devour the whipped cream. The dream jumps again to a TV game show somewhat resembling Jeopardy. One of the questions (answers?) is about me and my "sheep". This is supposed to be a very hard question. I think that at this point I'm some kind of old, famous person and this question is about me as a teenager. Anyway, a contestant buzzes in immediately and gives the correct response. Then as the host goes up to talk to the contestants for their little mini-interview, they all admit that they knew me in high school. In my dream I recognize all of them, but now none of them seem familiar. They each tell the host a story about me and my antics with this whipped-cream sheep. Apparently the sheep does tricks, jumps around, and has a definite consciousness. The dream then jumps back to my kitchen, where I turn around and see that the hot sun shining through the window has fallen on the sheep and the pile of whipped cream and melted them both into puddles. End of dream. I think my alarm woke me up.

I fall back asleep after hitting the snooze button on my alarm and have another dream. In this dream I am living in a small community by a river. It's a very tight-knit community, where everyone depends on each other. There are maybe thirty people living here, in a number of small, square houses. Every house has two stories, and some have a little balcony on the second story. There is only one narrow dirt road winding through this tiny village. I don't quite know what time period this is supposed to be. This is before industrialization, or at least it hasn't affected this village yet. However, we have cars (big, old-fashioned models) and airplanes (of the pre-WWII variety, with small propellers). Our village seems to be semi-dependent on trading to make a living, and goods go in and flow out via the cars, airplanes, and ships. The ships are wooden sailing ships with tall masts, like in the 1600-1700's. Over the course of this dream, I become several different people in this community, none of which is me. I start out somewhere near the village, climbing a rocky cliff. The cliff is made of soft, red sandstone, like in the deserts of the southwest. I see from the point of view of someone in their middle teens. I am climbing with several of my good friends from the village, who like me, like to go exploring. I have forgotten a chunk of the dream here, but the next thing I remember is injuring my ankle somehow. I now see through the eyes of a young man in his early twenties. I think his name is Will (no relation to anyone I know in real life). I walk into what looks vaguely like a saloon, with a pool table and a bar. The room is low-ceilinged and poorly lit. Behind the bar is a portly, middle-aged man. Instead of dispensing drinks, he is dispensing medical supplies. Sitting near him is a young lady, probably in her early twenties. She is ill and slightly injured. I'm not sure whether she is supposed to be a sister or a love interest, but at any rate, my character feels strongly protective of her and wants her to think well of him. Leaning against the bar is a tall, slim young man in his mid-to-late twenties. He is an elder cousin to my character, someone Will hates intensely and is hated by in return. His name is Bill. He's not actually an evil person, just someone who has always competed against Will for everything and thus this deep animosity has developed. The girl looks like she is typing, and I get the idea that she works for the medical supplies guy (not a real doctor). She keeps working even though she is hurt and ill. As I limp towards them to get my ankle wrapped, I try to insist that the guy treat her first, but my words are cut off by Bill, who insists the same thing. Our motives are different, however. I want her to be treated first out of a desire to appear chivalrous, Bill is just trying to keep me in pain a little longer by delaying my treatment. Or at leas that's what Will thinks. I'm missing another chunk of the dream here, but somehow something catastrophic happens to the girl. Bill's eyes go round and panicked and he asks the medical guy (who seems to be a village leader of some kind) for permission to go to Mexico City, which is not far away to the south. The guy looks surprised and asks him why he wants to go there, where there is just desert. Bill insists and the guy lets up and allows him to leave the village. Will knows that Bill is just trying desperately to find a way out of the village, that he actually is going to go to Canada, the forbidden country. Bill only asked to go to Mexico City because that's the only place that he was permitted to go. I walk out of the saloon/medical place (I don't know if my ankle was ever treated). An unnamed disaster has struck the village, and as I walk down the narrow dirt street, something else happens. I feel the ground begin to shake and suddenly there is an earthquake. The earthquake causes all of the houses to partially collapse. Every house has the first story collapse completely, with the second story landing intact on top of it. Amazingly, no one is hurt. I get the idea that everyone was in the street anyway because of the previous disaster. I see a teenage girl standing in the street, comforting her small siblings. She tells them that it's okay, they'll just rearrange the beds and the furniture and everyone will have a place to sleep tonight. In the wake of this disaster, a village elder proclaims that the disaster was an act of God, punishing the village. She says that the second story of every house was supposed to be a chapel, but too many people now use it for bedrooms. Will looks around and sees tiny wood crosses adorning the roofs of some of the houses. The village elder continues by saying that to make up for their lapses, the village will now shut itself off from the rest of the world, let the planes, cars, and ships rot. Any modern conveniences will be forgotten and contact with the outside world will be forbidden. Will is a sailor so he panics, not wanting to live a life landbound. He rushes to see his uncle, who owns the ships, and they run to see the village elder to get permission to cast off in their ships in exchange for a promise to never return to the village. Permission is granted. The only problem is that the ships lie across the river, then across a spit of land. The river is not too wide or swift-flowing so Will decides to swim across and forgo getting a rowboat. He decides to swim in his overwhelming haste to get out of the village before it is too late. As he runs down the slope to the river, he sees several people standing on the slope near him. One of them is his cousin Phil, whom he also dislikes strongly, but not so much as Bill. However, Will doesn't let that get in his way of inviting Phil to come away in the ships with him. Phil is a pilot and his planes were grounded. The ships are the only way out of the village and Will won't deny the chance to escape even to his disliked cousin. Phil, too, tosses aside his dislike of Will and agrees to come along, running down the slope with him. Here I switch to another character, this one female and in her late teens (but it's still not me). She watches as Will and Phil jump into the river and swim away. Will's uncle offers to get a rowboat for her if she wants to escape with them across the river. She sees Will and Phil swimming easily across the river and declines the offer of a boat. She, too, will swim across. Will's uncle (not Phil or Bill's father, but another uncle entirely) has disappeared, presumably on his way across the river. Just as she is about to enter the water, she sees beavers swimming and working steadily. My character is terrified of beavers, of their huge sharp front teeth, but she is so determined to escape that she plunges into the water anyway. She closes her eyes and now I am dreaming by feel and taste. I feel the water flowing past me as she swims across. The water is warm and pleasant feeling, but as she swims freestyle across, some of the water ends up in her mouth and I taste mineral-filled murky water. She is only partway across the river when there is a sudden resistance to her swimming. My character opens her eyes and sees Will and Phil likewise struggling, although they just manage to finish crossing the area of resistance as she raises her head to look at them. Will is waiting nearby to see if she can make it across herself or if she needs his help. She closes her eyes again and swims hard against the resistance. She reaches down and feels a mass of slimy twigs and branches just a foot below the surface of the water. This is what disrupts the flow of water and causes the sudden current. In her mind she recognizes it as the dam that the beavers were building, although it seems futile that they are building a dam lengthwise down a river. That's where the dream ends. I don't know if she ever makes it across the river and escapes. When I wake up I realize that the beavers were building a dam to wall in the village.

Fragments from recent dreams Amy comes back from California. Her hair is now light brown and somehow my mind thinks this is perfectly logical, since she has been in the sun a lot. Something else is different about her, too, but I can't remember now.

I am at something like band camp, inasmuch as it is filled with people from marching band, but we're not practicing. It's more like a retreat for band people. It is up in the Shenandoah mountains, surrounded by forest. I am walking in the forest with two people I don't know when suddenly a forest fire breaks out and speeds through the dense woods. I run into a dome-like twig house, where I know I'll be safe. One of the other two people also makes it into the house with me, but the other person is never heard from again. Somehow I know that the other person in the twig house is named Fenris, or some variation thereof, and I can't figure out if it is male or female. After the fire, Fenris disappears and I walk back to band camp. There, I am held accountable for the person who disappeared in the forest fire. I am tried and found guilty, then sentenced to be executed in five days. I go to the dining hall and pick up a tray to get my meal. People try to talk to me, but I'm too upset to converse. Later, I'm standing on a low stone wall surrounding a stone porch outside of the main building. It's some kind of social hour or free time, and the porch is filled with band people talking. It is late evening or night and the porch is lit with globular lanterns. J. Petersik comes up to me and says that Band Council has scheduled a good-bye party in my honor for the next night. He asks me what I would like to have at the party as a sort of last-request thing. I tell him something, but I'm still preoccupied with the thought that I'm going to die in five days. Mr. Simon then comes up to me and says that he's arranged to have a special dance in my honor tomorrow night. He says that he is inviting everyone from the band program to come say goodbye. I know this will conflict with the Band Council party, but I don't say anything. The next morning, I discover that through a loophole in the law, I must be present at the retreat in order to be executed. If I am not there four days from now, I will be safe for good and the execution order will be rescinded. I escape down the mountain to Ocean City with K.T. and I wake up just as we are driving along the road"¦ I dreamed I was a performer in some kind of water show that involved swimming and diving and performing. My performing partner was some guy I've never seen before. At the end of the show he lifts me out of the water and everybody claps. He then pulls me under the water and I think I'm going to drown, but I don't. Later, I'm having a meeting with the director/producer of the show and I get angry and say some mean things. My agent nearly goes into hysterics trying to explain that I'm ill and I don't mean what I'm saying.

I dreamed that I was in a situation like Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story, except that there were no feuding families. I see "Romeo" (someone I've never seen before) and it's love at first site. As we're eloping, "Romeo" accidentally does something bad. I don't think that he killed anyone, but he somehow got a lot of people very ticked off at him (I think it had something to do with money). Anyway, they come after us and we decide to make a stand and die together rather than wait until they catch up and kill us.

I dreamed that I was covered in shiny black beetles. They were crawling over me and no matter how much I swatted at them, more still swarmed over me. I was afraid to move away, because I could not bear the thought of stepping on them.

I am sitting in a car. My mother is driving, Carlton is sitting in the front passenger seat, I am sitting behind him, and a guy from my Lit. class is sitting next to me. Carlton turns around and asks the guy some question about who was appointed administrative overseer blah blah blah (some long political name for a position). The guy doesn't know, and Carlton looks surprised and tells him that the guy's parents had been appointed to that position.

This is a third person dream. I see a rickety, white-washed house on a small plot of land. There is a scraggly garden in the meager back yard. An overweight, grey-haired man is sweeping over the garden with a metal detector. As a car pulls into the driveway of the house, he suddenly finds what he is looking for: a gold wedding band. He picks it up from the ground and hurriedly puts it on his right ring finger as his wife gets out of the car. Later, he is in the backyard again, and he calls his two children to come help him chase someone down. He has a daughter with shoulder-length dark hair and glasses and a son with medium brown hair. They head off into the field beyond his backyard, the man swinging the metal detector to and fro. They are walking through a cornfield and the metal detector seems to have an added trimmer function because as he swings it, it mows down the corn. The boy shows off an old gold coin and a ring that he has found, but the man is not happy. He is chasing down a someone who stole something very valuable from him. The person who stole something from him is a boy, maybe 10-14 years old, named Will. Will has long golden hair, because one of the prize possessions of the man is a golden hair that the man picked off of Will's shoulder once. The man asks his children if they have tested the hair yet to see if it really is pure, 24K gold as he suspects. I get the impression that Will is the good guy and these people are the villains, and that this kind of chase has been waged many times. I also somehow know that they will never catch Will, that Will is not quite human.

I am about to go vacation somewhere with the Skippies. Adam is asking everyone if anyone is going to come back early on Sunday because he needs a ride home. I'm going back early, so I offer him a ride. Later, I drop him off at his house, except that it's not his real house. All of the doors and windows are open. Adam explains that his parents are getting ready to pack up the RV to go on a road trip. We go inside and stuff is strewn everywhere (and now the house really doesn't look like his). Devin is standing inside holding a book marked in two places. It is his summer reading assignment. He is supposed to read about King Herod and the Herald Angels, for some reason, and someone is very insistent that he read it now. Adam then tells Devin that since that person is so insistent, Devin probably should start reading soon.

Amy comes back from California, bringing gifts for everybody. I host a party for her in the basement of my old house in Philadelphia.

I get a note from my roommate in MA saying that she doesn't want to get a refrigerator for the dorm room.