Friday, July 10, 2009

A Sleeper

Let me preface this by saying the following relates to my writing career. (Of course it does, otherwise I never would have used the word "preface." Instead "So anyway" would have sufficed.)

I had a date with a walnut cheese roll and a box of Triskets -- a celebration for my new-found fitness. (What? What? It’s new, I found it and it's mine to do with what I like.) One shouldn’t eat just before going to sleep, but if not then, when? With all this running and hiking, I take a meeting with my appetite somewhere between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.

And then bring on the weird-ass dreams. The 9 p.m. run in conjunction with the midnight feast stirs up the serotonin something wild.

The only bad thing about a dream is that, while internally compelling, it’s impossible to communicate the full impact afterwards. Try, even with people who really love you, and they’ll find some way to interrupt your story. Or, worse yet, they’ll tell you one of theirs.

The nightmares of my youth visit only once a year or so. Mostly my dreams are kind of like My Dinner with Andre, but I get the good lines. Brilliant stuff. I woke up and jotted this down, because it solved all my artistic problems: “You must write a sentence backwards and forwards.” Inscrutable advice; advice inscrutable.

Scientists of the pragmatic and prosaic variety say dreams are just a way of giving order to our daily life. At night, we churn our waking experience and longing into some sort of narrative. Which makes sense, but not all sense. How does this explain the nocturnal visits from a beauty, fear, and wonder much greater than that you’ve ever seen, Horatio?

Some of my favorite dreams wake me up because I’m laughing so loud. Bolt upright in bed, laughing so hard, tears are streaming down my face. Unbeknownst to the waking world, something hilarious, no, uproarious, is happening in the sleeping noggin.

So anyway, where does this lead? To the conclusion that I'm fun in bed? How dare you. I can assure you, no one ever accused me of that. Nonononono, this means I need to set goals -- as in, I should make it easy for the general public to find me unconscious.

This helps. Or this is Julie's choice.


  1. How can you be fun in bed when you're knocked out dreaming! And, dreaming of who??
    And, when you're awake you're laughing out loud & in tears?

    btw, someone once said we all dream almost every nite even if we don't often recall dreaming.

    Anyway, I'd better get back to that assignment u want me 2 work on, else I'll have nitemares about it.

  2. Oh that pesky sleeve of care, it ravels both ways


  3. One way or another, you always do get the best lines.

  4. I lasted 20 seconds through the minuet. You wake yourself up, laughing out loud?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I watched that damned minuet for a while, thinking something funny was going to happen.

    So anyway, I think this is my favorite one of yours yet. It's tied up nice and tidy.

  7. I don't know what you guys are complaining about -- that tune puts me to sleep, and that's all I ask.

    Did you see the sky tonight? The clouds formed a perfect waffle. Waffles! The run was long, Albert is tired, and I'm so hungry.

  8. Here is my medication of choice:

  9. Julie, I have the Casals version of this.

  10. I miss dreaming. I've mentioned that my kid didn't sleep through the night until she was 3 and even at 4 she sleeps way less than any other kid I know. I sleep so little now, I seem to have rewired my brain to never go into REM sleep. Or, I have lost so many brain cells I just don't remember what I dream.

    Clearly, I'm not as much fun in bed as KB...

  11. Opened in a second window, Ireland's Minuet almost put me to sleep while typing.

    AH, it's funny, you're the only other person I know of that eats diner at about the same time as I do and wakes up to laughing dreams. What do you eat for dinner?

    I'm curious, do you keep a dream journal by the bed side? Do you dream in images, words, sounds or all three? I do, and I have for years. Care to share a dream on the blog? I'll trade you; dream for dream.

    Laurie, I'm sure you still dream, tray a dream journal, it really helps you to remember the scrambled eggs of words and images running around in your head (sleep deprived or not.)

    Thought provoking post, I like it!

    WV "rackin" like rackin my brain...

  12. Should we all meet at Sit and Sleep and find out?

  13. I sleep with the television on so I'm guessing my nights of bliss are filled with household cleaning aides. Probably explains why my house is dirty.

  14. I love your titles. You're a clever, clever and wonderfully shameless punster, KB.

    Our brain cells and gut cells are the same, connected by the vagus nerve, so maybe food and dreams go hand in hand. And I think serotonin is released in the gut.

    I like to do most of my eating before sleeping. Maybe I'm self medicating, I don't know. I also like to watch Craig Ferguson so I can laugh before I sleep. It makes me incredibly sleepy.

    Lately I've been dreaming such vivid dreams -technicolor, sensurround, the works. Last night I was in the Gulf in a boat at night, it was sinking and I wasn't the least bit afraid. The water was warm and the stars were out. I think there was phosphorescence, the swimming was surreal.

    wv satedn

  15. Oh Earl, you're such a smooth talker.

    MTG, tell me yours first. Mine are quite cinematic, but with loads of dialogue. In color. Often populated by people I've never met.(what sounds do you dream in?)

    PA: Billy Mays puts you to sleep?

    When I had a broken leg, PJ, and a foot to hip cast, every night I dreamt I was running.

  16. or the other way around

  17. Waffles in the Sky with Syrup... Isn't that a Beatles song?

    I had a ham sandwich before bed time last night, but don't remember my dream.

    Since I moved to LA I occasionally dream about celebrities. In one dream I killed Johnny Depp. It's ok, he was a serial killer, he had it coming.

    Have you thought of doing a scientific study of whether your diet effects your dream? I mean, would you still laugh if you filled up with broccoli?

  18. I think you meant to say "the rest of the general public."

  19. Send me the pillow that you dream on!

  20. You're right vanda, broccoli is no laughing matter.

    Earl, I googled the song. Never heard it before. Sweet.

  21. It's somewhat of a country standard. Written by Hank Lochlin, it was done by Johnny Tillotson of Poetry in Motion fame, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.

  22. MG sweet/funny, where do you find that stuff, especially just as audio files?

    AH, One classic sound I used to have was really generated from a buzzing alarm clock that would almost never wake me up; it was usually incorporated into a dream as a distant airplane flying over head while laying on a tropical beach enjoying the sunshine (in my sleep.) It almost never woke me up.

    WV "carboo" a scary dream while sleeping in your car
    The other sounds can be anything from a slight breeze to breaking glass which wakes me up and I stumble around the house to see if something is amiss. So far, it's just been a dream. Thank you Jesus (laughing.) The rest of the sounds I dream are usually related to the images in the dreams, seldom dialogue, but it happens.

    I read somewhere. some time ago, one theory about dreams is that it was just your brain reorganizing thing into higher storage vaults, or the deeper vaults; sot of like de-fragmenting your computers hard drive. It's possible, but I'm not sure I buy it.

    If I had more time I'd try and transcribe a dream from one of my journals, but it will have to wait till another time, I need to run.

  23. WV end up in the wrong place?

  24. You running now MTG? Or was that just an expression.

  25. Can we trade? If dreams wake me up, it's usually because I'm crying.

  26. Figure of speech, I was in a hurry and I'm not a runner.

    I was an avid cyclist until about 2 years ago when I got into a major car wreck. I'm lucky I can walk. I have done everything to avoid surgery on my back and it's working. With the exercises I do I hope to be able to cycle again someday. Walking is just fine for now. After the accident I could barley walk.

    WV sesess No, non surgical remedies are spelled success.

  27. MTG, that's a nightmare. Sounds like it's been a long road back.