I tend to remember my dreams. My mom swears that she almost never does, and I know if I don’t consciously think about how I spent the night, by that afternoon I have a hard time remembering my five hours as a lumberjack, followed by an hour or two of driving a cruise ship through the mountains. I also dream in color, though I’ve had several friends tell me they only dream in black and white.
What I find fascinating is that sometimes in my dreams a doorbell will ring. Because of the plot of the dream I know it’s going to be Johnny Depp, say, coming to drive me to a movie premiere because we’re dating. But then when I open the door it’s George Washington – and off we go to steal plumbing supplies from ninjas.
Now it’s my brain, and my dream, and my version of Johnny Depp, so why in the world does George Washington show up? Or when I’m taking a bite of something I know in my dream to be pepperoni pizza does it suddenly become calamari (which I’ve never even tasted and have no plans to ever eat)?
Some brain specialist types say this is because we really know so little about the brain and about how the unconscious mind works. Other people say it’s proof that we’re in the Matrix. Me, I just think it’s really weird, occasionally frightening, and frequently hilarious.
Another thing I find interesting about my dreams is that I almost never dream about a book I’m writing. I figure this is because my conscious mind is working on it almost constantly, so my dream brain needs a break. And I don’t recall ever having driving dreams before I drove a car – but I do have dreams where I fly, without a plane, when I’ve certainly never done that in real life. Not that I recall, anyway.
Last week – and I swear this is a real dream – I dreamt that I was in a community play about The Avengers. Everybody had homemade costumes (The Hulk was a big, green cardboard box worn around some guy’s chest) and cheap props. I, too, was one of The Avengers. My hero name was Chan, and I hurled watermelons at foes which would explode in gooey watermelon guts. And then it was the real Avengers, and I was still Chan the watermelon hurler. Now I think my unconscious mind is perfectly aware that Chan isn’t an Avenger name, and that hurling watermelons isn’t very practical for fighting evil. And yet there I was, and in the dream it all made perfect sense.
Do you remember your dreams? Do you dream in color or black and white? Do you ever fly? Craziest dream? Have you ever been an Avenger?