my theory is that dreams are the brain's way of getting unused creativity out. most people's dreams are infinitely more abstract than their daily lives could predict or would normally permit.
i've had some pretty interesting dream-related stuff going on lately. for one, i've been on a bunch of medications that effected my dreams- over the counter sleeping pills, nicotine patches, and anti-depressants are all said to cause intense dreaming. and that's very true, in my experience. with all three, i've had dreams that were enthusiastically abstract, but "felt" very linear and realistic. last night, for example, i dreamt a combination of theatre anxiety, death anxiety, and bachelorhood anxiety all at once, in a fragmented but chronological style that gave me a sense of creative accomplishment when i woke up.
the dream started in a basement cabaret somewhere in new york city, where the animal club was supposed to be doing a show. only three of us showed up (me, ruth, and shane), so becky poole from MEAT
pitched in and helped out. we did an improvised sketch where we sung a tribute to george w bush, and i remembered looking at becky as if to say "this is where we cross and stare sadly out into the house", and we executed the cross. the sketch bombed, and i felt embarrassed.
the dream seesawed effortlessly to my parent's basement in pittsburgh, where i was hanging out with the biggest crush of my middle school adolescence, andrea arkin. our "date" was going well, when the best friend of my middle school adolescence, chugger baker, litterally fell down the steps and onto the couch we were sitting on (i'd like to note that the furniture was from my early childhood- bright blue couch, fuzzy green carpet even though the people were all current age). chugger immediately began firing broadside quips at us, and he was KILLING! andrea was being rocked by laughter, and i tried to get in there and use my "comedy" skills, but nothin' doing. chugger had one upped me. shame.
the scene shifted to ocean city maryland, where chugger, andrea, me, becky, ruth, shane, my parents and sisters, and my dad's friend john behrens were all enjoying vacation together. chugger was still on fire, andrea was smitten, and mike tornetta showed up with our guitars.
we went to an open mike night at a beach club, where mike and i played an original song that went over really well. john behrens, who played guitar in the 70's for pittsburgh band fresh blueberry pancake
, was so impressed with our work that he gave us all his gear, including the hohner headless guitar
that served as his main axe in the 80's cover band the imports
that's when i dreamt that some kind of evil mastermind used a tazer to knock out and kidnap andrea. i don't remember how that part resolved. maybe it didn't. the next thing i remember is us (including a rescued andrea) heading back to pittsburgh the conversion van my dad sold in 1997, and the future laid bare filled me with a mix of loneliness, shame and promise.
and that's when i woke up. all in all, i think martin luther king's dream was better.