I wonder what dogs dream about.
My dog has nightmares sometimes, he cries in his sleep, his paw twitching. He's so little, so fragile, so soft. His dreamworld should be a safe space for him, sleep should not come with fear. When he cries I pick him up and hold in my arms, tell him it's okay. I lay him on my bed; he's still curled up in a little ball. But he's awake, his dark dream is banished. And at that moment, I feel triumphant. I feel as if I've protected a precious being away from the cruelty of this world, the cruelty that follows us even in dreams. I feel like I've kept something innocent and sweet from darkness.
Dreams. Funny things. I have the most vivid dreams, detail oriented, I remember every object on the desk of my dream scene when I wake. But most of all, I dream about people. People that I know well, think about often or haven't seen in years. I often wonder why I can't capture images in pencil, yet my head in its sleep state is able to recreate every detail of someone's face.
I don't share my dreams usually. It's embarrassing to admit you've dreamt about that friend of yours in 6th grade, or that some people just keep appearing in your dreams. My dreams often involve being outside, on a beach or in a field. I used to always analyze them, try to figure out what they all meant.
But now I just let them be, take them as small gifts when I can. I don't know how to explain that I have so many memories of so many people that never actually took place. I've been in the library of my dreams with a group of friends, telling them to be quiet. I've ridden a large tricycle down my street, a large rottweiler chasing me as an old friend laughs at the mayhem. I've roasted marshmallows with faces from camp, freaked out over a test on ferris wheels in Biology, while my 8th grader teacher yelled at me.
Once I even met Gonzo and his flying chickens. I've conversed with a superhero who cursed to become a talking lizard. He told me to tell his wife about his predicament. I've dressed my self for school in my dreams, missed the bus on numerous occasions. I've almost been kidnapped and lost my voice. I've dreamt about crushes; angry and happy dreams, most of which I woke up from feeling dazed and confused. I've dreamt about falling down stairs and forgetting to wear a shirt to school. I mean it was, apparently, hula day at school- I did wear a grass skirt.
My dreams make me laugh, but they also scare me. For a couple hours, I submit my brain to powers I can't control. Sometimes I think the second I float off to Nod, my pineal gland perks up and yells to the rest of my brain “She's out! Let's get her! Come on, make sure you're as creative and weird as possible! The more realistic, the better. Volleyball? She doesn't play volleyball! Make sure she drops the ball! Good! Anyone feeling like having a huge crab come out of the sea? Cuz I'm really feeling that!” I wake up confused. But I also often wake up from dreams that tell me things I never knew about myself, reveal fears and feelings I didn't think were part of me.
And that's scary. It's scary to think that the unconscious part of you holds parts of you that even you don't know about, that you somehow caught a glimpse of. I don't know why I remember so much of my dreams, but I think it's because I fight to remember them. I want to remember every thought that passes through my mind. Maybe that's why I write. And I can't accept that for hours at night there are thoughts and scenes I won't remember when I awake. So I grasp for them.
And sometimes I write them down.
I'm trying to unlock myself, to unlock my world. And I feel that my dreams are an integral part of that quest. I don't know why, but I know they are. And while I try to store away dreams in the cabinets of my head and sheets of paper, I attempt to keep my dog from his bad dreams. But no one has ever kept me from my nightmares, woken me up from my sleep scape. So I wonder if I should let him have his.
But mostly, I just wonder, wonder, writing late at night till dreams come to take me too.