I have bad dreams.
I don’t have any recollection of pleasant dreams at any point in my life. When I was young, I rarely remembered my dreams at all. When I did, it was a nightmare or a jumbled mess of confusion. Some of the nightmares were so vivid I remember them to this day. There were also a handful that unfolded in an interesting way. At the end of the nightmare, something terrifying would happen. I woke up, crying/screaming from the fright, and my mother was there. She comforted me and calmed me down. Then I woke up for real.
The comfort mini-dream only lasted a few seconds. It was enough for me to get my wits about me. When I really woke up, I was still distraught but not nearly at the level I probably would’ve been had I just straight woken up. As I mentioned before, this only happened a few times — and when I was real young, like 10 or 11. I still had bad dreams, but nothing unfolded like those few dreams. As I grew up, I remembered my dreams more often but the content didn’t get any better.
Today, I had one of those dreams-within-dreams for the first time in twenty years. I was somewhere with my family, and Dad was there. It was a confusing jumble, mostly, though at one point we clasped hands and danced down a hallway in a manner reminiscent of Jake and Elwood near the end of The Blues Brothers. We were both laughing. At the end of that dream, he began to fade like Marty in Back to the Future. I woke up, realized he was gone, and scream/cried. Mom was not there to console me. I just lay there. Then I woke up for real. I had a moment of shock as I realized the familiar pattern, and then finished dealing with the wave of grief that came from the original dream.
This has been a strange journey of emotion. I feel like I’m dealing with the majority of them well, but then I run into walls like this. The same thing happens when I am at home alone and The Iron Curtain of Divorce drapes across my shoulders and makes itself known. Are these setbacks? I don’t really think so. It feels like a pressure release once I’m out of the other side of it. When I’m in the middle of the storm, though, it feels like it’ll last forever.
I listened to Sweet Home Chicago on the way to work today. It helped me get past the hurdle and appreciate the dream for what it truly was. A few more moments with Dad.