Wednesday, February 11, 2004


One of the favorite phrases of my friend Erin is, "It's like that, only ALL THE TIME." This sleeping problem, where I end up aimlessly awake in the middle of the night, has certain affinities to the temporal-displacement-sensation chronicled in Lost in Translation, except it's ALL THE TIME. Or at least ALL THE TIME that is the middle of the night as of late. And I'm not in a posh hotel in Japan, but in my RV here in Madison. And the sidekick from Ghost World is not anywhere around to keep me company. But you get the general idea.

Tonight, I actually came back here from work completely exhausted and was asleep by 10, but then I was awakened 3 1/2 hours later because I had Type I of my two recurring nightmares:*
Type I Recurring Nightmare (a.k.a. Jeremy's Meta-Dream): In this dream, I have this realization that I am dreaming and that, for whatever reason, it is desperately important that I wake myself up. So the whole dream is about me trying to mentally get myself to wake up, which usually involves this thing where I am trying within the dream to get myself to open my eyes or to cry out. I spend some time being thwarted and increasingly desperate in these efforts. However, given that we tend to only remember dreams if we awaken while having them, the occurrences of this dream that I remember are those where I have actually succeed in waking myself up.

Type II Recurring Nightmare (a.k.a. Jeremy's Meta-Meta-Dream): In this dream, I have this realization that I am dreaming and that it is desperately important that I wake myself up. I manage to wake myself up. So then I'm in my bed, awake. Maybe I even get out of bed and am walking around. But then I realize that I'm not really in my bedroom or that there is something otherwise amiss. I realize that I must still be dreaming, and that it is even more desperately important that I wake myself up. I manage to wake myself up. I realize that I'm still dreaming and need still more desperately to wake myself up. This can repeat for 6-7 times, ending with me really actually waking myself up.
I've had variations of the Type I nightmare maybe 2-3 times a year for as long as whenever I first noticed the pattern, at least college and maybe high school or before. The first time I had the Type II nightmare was maybe six years ago and it completely freaked me out. I've probably had it once a year or so since.

* Really, truly, I'm being serious (or, at least, honest and accurate) here. These are basically the only two nightmares I have that I would classify as recurrent. And they're not all that recurrent. Any other claims that I may have made on the blog regarding recurrrent nightmares were likely just me joshing. There was some consternation among a couple of readers regarding how much was "real" about this recent post that I wrote that involved dreams. While JFW has a standard operating policy against providing such clarifications, the e-mail from my Tashkentian friend in that post was what was "real", and the story about the e-mail was what was, say, less "real."

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