Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I celebrated by looking at intricately painted mandalas from Nepal at the Rubin, and eating delicious pizza and pasta at Donatella. Thanks, Dr. King, for giving me a day off to celebrate the diversity of New York City. And for having a dream... Which brings me to my actual topic. Dreaming. Because I had some very bizarre dreams last night.
Dreaming has always been an important part of my life, because I have crazy vivid dreams that I tend to remember pretty well. I have intense memories of images and thoughts and experiences from dreams from many, many years ago that will stay with me forever. I have written stories based on dreams--maybe because I read so much and have to imagine so much in my head, I am able to do so in my dreams as well. I have had so many post-apocalyptic dreams that I sometimes feel that internally I am living in a bizarre dystopian novel or movie. I happen to love those kinds of books and movies in real life, so it makes sense. Perhaps I put too much weight on the meaning of my dreams at times, but I don't care. I love to sit back and dissect why I dreamed about a particular person or place or experience, and analyze my reactions in the dream and after waking. Sometimes I realize they're just a warped reflection of my day, a movie, a book, a conversation... But sometimes I really do feel as though I gain insight into myself from thinking back on the crazy things that happened as I was sleeping.
One part of last night's dream involved me driving my dad's car, and I was late getting to school, which was some weird boarding school. After school I had a concert to go to with a friend and I was wearing a pretty white tank top. Upon pulling out of the driveway, to my horror I realized I had not put on any deodorant. This was unfortunate. Luckily, another friend lived along the way to school and I stopped by her house. Only her mother and brother were home, because she was on a fabulous island vacation with a bunch of her friends. For some reason, it seemed that since she lived in Chicago, it was really easy to get to this tropical locale from O'Hare, which really didn't make any sense at all. I commented that I wished it was so easy to get there from New York, and her mom suggested I go somewhere else, a tropical island very close to the city. This of course makes no sense, but it did in the dream. Well, lucky for me, I found some deodorant amidst a bunch of other household crap. Only it was spray on and melon-scented, which was disgusting to me, but I used it anyway. Then I decided it wasn't good enough, so I went back home. Some weird shit happened that I don't remember.
Then I was driving again, quite late for school, and it was pitch black outside. This is the scary part, though it doesn't sound scary at all. I was wearing little wire-rimmed glasses that I suddenly realized did not have any lenses in them. Yet I was obsessed with making sure they were properly affixed to my ears, and I wound the wire arms around my ears to secure them. I guess I was on the phone with someone, telling them I should just turn around and have my dad drive me in the morning, since it was much too dangerous and dark to be driving. But I didn't. I kept going. It sounds stupid, but it was INCREDIBLY FRIGHTENING. Imagine driving a vehicle when you are completely enveloped in darkness and you're completely blind. I was simply using my imagination and memory to steer the car, and it was horrible. Then there were these ghostly girls riding bikes ahead of me, and they shed some light on the road because they had these glowing hoodies with weird white sparkly patterns and shapes. But then the shapes became so bright they were the only things I could see, and the road disappeared and I had to concentrate on these glowing shapes to lead the way. I realized I had to make a turn, and somehow asked the girls ahead of me to turn their backs so the glowing shapes would illuminate the road. I could just barely make out the lines, and was able to turn.
I continued driving in pitch blackness, terrified. And then I don't know what happened. I'm going to be brief about this, because it was terrible and unclear and I don't really want to talk about it. I was suddenly out of the car, hiding behind a weird cornered wall next to the road, desperate for bad people not to find me. But they did. And I died. And no one could identify my body. That was really scary, but oddly enough, this part of the dream I don't remember so well and was actually kind of quick and boring and more like a movie than anything. The most terrifying part was driving blind, not hiding from murderers. Or dying. Weird. Maybe because it didn't seem as real as the other part.
I had another dream, too, which involved being at college, which was more like a summer camp full of mean girls who I didn't know, and I got stuck with a bed in the corner of a huge common room next to a terrible girl who I really didn't like, while other people got cool rooms with dressers and posters and closets. I remember thinking, "The first time I went to college I had an apartment by this time." Apparently I was a junior in college, for the second time. I know, it doesn't make any sense. I called my old roommate from college to ask if she wanted to room together, wondering why we hadn't just planned that in the first place, then realized she didn't go to this school. And the dorm looked eerily like the cabins I stayed in when I was a camp counselor in high school. Ugh. Dreams don't make any sense at all.
I am not gaining a whole lot of insight from these dreams, except that a few things seemed to have a "Harry Potter" feel to them--being late for boarding school, for instance--and seeing as I've been reading those books nonstop for nearly a month, that just might have something to do with it. And I was getting all existential on myself the other day about needing girl friends, and maybe that's why the whole mean-girls-roommate-summer-camp-dorm thing came up. Driving? Dying? I really don't know.
I should use this blog to record my dreams more often. Not that they're terribly interesting, but it might help me remember them, seeing as I never seem to write them down anymore. I'm also thinking of taking a short class at NYU about the psychology of dreaming... It's only 8 sessions, but it might be a good thing to do. Anyway, I'll think about it. And maybe dream about it, too...