I love to sleep. In fact, I love it a lot. I wish it was a real, tangible, living thing because I would bake it a cake and buy it a puppy. A little over a year ago, I had some problems with insomnia and I spent a few months in a miserable stupor because I couldn’t sleep. I still don’t sleep well, but at this point it’s certainly not as bad as it used to be, except for the fact that when I do sleep, I am inevitably plagued by extraordinarily vivid dreams that at best are just a little off-putting and at worst are pretty horrifying.
There are a few recurring themes, which I suppose is kind of comforting, because at least it eliminates the element of surprise. There’s the one where I dream I’m exhausted but my alarm goes off and I force myself to get out of bed (this usually happens a few minutes before my alarm actually goes off, which means I get woken up to the bad news that I am still in bed and have to do it all over again). There’s the one where I get to spend a few short minutes with a loved one who in my real life is either no longer alive or who I will likely never see again, for whatever reason, and I feel compelled to make those last few minutes count, both in their eyes and in mine. There’s the one where there is some sort of attack or natural disaster and I am responsible for the safe evacuation of a bunch of kids that I don’t know. And there’s the one where I am horribly unprepared for some major or minor life event, like an exam or a youth group event or a wedding, and I realize it is 5 minutes to the event and I have never studied or attended class, or I forgot to book the bowling lanes, or I never did order my bridesmaid dress.
Sometimes, though, I think my dreams are my subconscious just checking to see if I’m paying attention. Last night, I dreamed I was on a humongous cruise ship at the turn of the last century. For some reason, I was hanging out with the captain. A crew member came in to let him know that we were approaching an area that was rife with icebergs, and the captain laughed derisively and responded with: “Smith, we’re a big sturdy ship. Why on earth are you worried about a tiny little iceberg? Leave me alone.”
Thankfully, my alarm went off at that point and saved me from a nocturnal overdose of dramatic irony.