Let me tell you about this dream I had last night. It was crazy. I was in my childhood home, but it wasn’t really my childhood home, but, like, I knew it was my childhood home in the dream, you know? And there were these ghosts there, but they were, like, not scary or weird or anything. Like, in the context of the dream ghosts were just a normal everyday thing. So, anyway, these ghosts and I were playing chess, but the chess pieces were actually different body parts, and get this: THEY WERE ALIVE. So, one of the ghosts bet me that I couldn’t beat it in chess, and if I did it would tell me the secrets of the universe. Then, all of a sudden, I was at my old high school, and the ghost was still there, but now it was my old chemistry teacher, but in the body of a German shepherd that walked upright and wore boxing gloves. Anyway, the point is that in the end I found out that, at least according to my dream, we’re all actually just farts floating around inside a giant, disembodied cat’s head.
Chances are you’ve had someone tell you a story like that. Or you’ve told one yourself. What is it that motivates people to go on to others about their dreams? They’re rarely interesting. It could be the most exciting, adventurous, adrenaline-fuelled romp since ‘Babe: Pig In the City’, but hearing about it is downright tedious. Because people insist on telling every minute detail. Like they have to tell it just right, because God forbid they mess up the story of this thing that didn’t actually happen.
It’s kind of the most self-absorbed thing you could possibly talk about. Even if it involves actual people, it’s still something that existed completely in your own mind. “Hey, let me tell you about this thing that happened. No, not to anyone in reality, and with no bearing on anything in the real world, just this thing that happened entirely in my head to entertain me while I slept. But it’s really interesting!” How self-indulgent can you get? What are you going to do for me next, play an extended guitar solo and masturbate at the same time?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly told people about dreams of mine on occasion, but it feels to me like there’s a proper time and place. Like, in a therapist’s or lawyer’s office. But what if you have a dream that disturbs you, and you’re afraid it might mean something so you need to talk it through right away? Well, that’s a different story. Go head and tell me about it then. But, uhh, my phone’s ringing and it’s important. It was on vibrate, that’s why you didn’t hear it ring.
Another thing I hate: “Hey, you were in my dream last night!” Well, now I have to hear about it to make sure I wasn’t doing anything embarrassing or terrible in it. I mean, it wasn’t actually me in the dream, it was a representation of me that your brain created, but people take dreams so darned seriously. I have a reputation to uphold, I can’t just be traipsing around people’s dreams willy-nilly doing whatever their brain makes me do. I was once seeing a girl who got mad at me for a whole day because I cheated on her in a dream. A whole day! How am I supposed to make sense of that logic? “Well, you caught me. I sure am sorry I had sex with that other woman inside your brain. Next time I guess I’d better find a less conspicuous place to do it.” (Note: This is the WRONG thing to say in this scenario, believe me)
Speaking of that, are we having sex in your dream? Because, okay, I’ve got to admit, if that’s the case, then I’m a bit more inclined to be interested. Sex sells. Especially when your target audience is me, and your marketing strategy is that I’m having it. Hey, I’m not picky, I’ll take it where I can. Give me some greasy details. Where were we? What position? What masks were we wearing? Whose parents were we doing it on top of? Okay, actually, never mind. I’m already bored.
Anyway, I had this great dream yesterday. That someone said to me, “Hey, I’ve got to tell you about this dream I had last night!” and I open-hand slapped them in the face. Wait, that wasn’t a dream, was it? I think I may have ruined my niece’s birthday brunch, and added another to the long list of restaurants I‘m not allowed back to. This is just a small example of the destructive power that forcing dream conversations can have on our society. It’s a sure sign that you have nothing worthwhile to talk about and are just spewing out filler. The joke’s on you, though. This whole article was a dream I just had.
*Photo from the film ‘The Seventh Seal’