|Thirteen Dreams from Doug
Tales from the other third of my life
(Other people's dreams are boring as hell. Let's see if I can make this work.)
1. The earliest dream I can recall: a pixie lives in my closet, and she alerts me to her presence by playing on a tiny piano. She leads me into a room I had never seen, sunlit, full of toys, a world of safety and beauty.
2. My grandfather (he of the surgically removed horns, and the monkey in the attic) and I travel to the moon. It's so small, I could walk around it in a matter of minutes. I jump higher and higher in the low gravity while my grandfather scratches his bald head and mumbles in Yiddish.
3. Late at night, my parents talk quietly near the gas range. All the burners are on, not a pot in sight.
"With all of your problems," my father says, "it's a wonder you're not dead."
My mother falls to the kitchen floor, unconscious.
(What can I say -- she was a bit of a hypochondriac.)
4. I'm in a car with my brother and sister, and we're pulling away from a home construction site. We leave my mother behind. She wants to give me some food -- a Hershey's chocolate bar, no doubt -- and she runs after the car, holding it out for me to grab. She can't catch up.
That one recurred, haunting me for years for reasons I still don't understand.
5. I've had insomnia for as long as I can recall. I used to tell myself stories to pass the hour or two it would take to get to sleep. Sometimes, it's difficult to know the difference between a remembered dream or one of those stories. In one, I'm a secret agent, poisoning Hitler's carrot patch.
6. A woman wakes up in the night to an empty bed. She calls out for her husband, but no one answers. In a panic, she runs outside, calling his name. Terror surges; she passes out in the driveway. She wakes up the following morning in her own bed, and does not realize that the experience hours earlier was a waking dream.
This is not my dream.
7. A woman watches a chef boil a lobster. The lobster screams as it is lowered into the pot. He takes it out and removes its limbs, one by one.
This is not my dream, either.
8. I am amazed at how readily dreams can reprogram decades of memory. In one recurring dream with many variations, I'm back in that state of loneliness I lived in before meeting Karen. A girl or woman (depending upon how old I am in the dream) lets me know she's interested in me.
Together, we take the first step.
9. Oh, lordy, the student's dream. My favorite remains the one in which I'm late to the final, but I still have 20 or 30 minutes left. I look at the first question, then the second, then the third. Each and every question is nonsensical -- essay questions with numerical answers, mathematical equations with multiple choices covering the gamut from "honesty" to "betrayal."
10. I'm peeing, and I lose control of my aim. Soon, the ceiling and the walls are dripping in urine.
11. My teeth fall out.
12. I'm in a crashing plane, or a car attacked by gunmen, and in a last minute restoration of faith, I recite the Shema.
13. And then there's the one about the malt shop -- you know the kind, red-cushioned spinning stools beside a long, gleaming countertop. Twelve cheerleaders, sweaty from their last workout, sit atop the stools. They are a Godiva Deluxe Assortment of ethnicities, they are all beautiful, and none of them are wearing underwear.
Oh, wait. That's a fantasy, not a dream. My dreams are never that much fun.
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6. Amanda's 13 Favorite Movies
1. D. Challener Roe
2. Kate Rothwell
3. Write from Karen