ENID, Okla. — Editor’s note: This column was first published May 23, 1997.
Dreams, we all have them.
I’m not talking about dreams of owning a new home, or of getting a college degree, or of traveling around the world. I mean the snoring, wrapped up in the covers, drooling on the pillow kind of dreams.
One of my colleagues (the name will be withheld to preserve what’s left of his dignity), was supposed to clean out his desk last week.
No, he wasn’t being fired, the News & Eagle is undergoing renovation and we’re getting new furniture in the newsroom.
Anyway, he didn’t clean out his desk last week, or over the weekend, like he was supposed to.
So early Monday morning he had a dream that he was cleaning out his desk. Boom.
All at once he was wide awake, fully aware of what he had forgotten to do. So he got up, went to the office and did it. Is that what you call a dream come true?
There has been a great deal of research done on dream analysis. Some dreams are so convoluted, cryptic and fraught with hidden meaning that they are almost impossible to analyze.
This is not one of those. He just had a guilty conscience.
When we’re dreaming, it’s like our conscious mind is on vacation and is temporarily replaced by our unconscious mind, which, freed of its restraints, can often take us off into fanciful worlds and situations we couldn’t imagine if we were awake.
Sometimes dreams can be disturbingly real. Another colleague who worked as a waitress during her high school days said she would go home after an evening at the restaurant, fall asleep and spend the rest of the night dreaming that she was still at the restaurant, waiting tables. She would wake up exhausted.
I once went on a driving vacation with my mother through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, down through Wisconsin, to Minnesota.
Most of the trip was made on narrow, winding, two-lane roads — roads that were filled with slow-moving, heavy-laden trucks.
I spent one whole day trying to pass one truck after another, all the while trying to avoid colliding with the trucks coming the other way.
So what were my dreams filled with that night? You guessed it. Trucks, turn signals, no-passing zones and hills. When I awoke the next morning I felt like I’d never been to bed.
I don’t have the classic dreams in which a person finds himself or herself in a business meeting, a classroom or some other common setting, only to discover they are stark naked. That would fall into the nightmare category.
Many of my dreams involve flying, or falling, or flying and then falling. My most disturbing dreams involve having to get someplace in a hurry, only to find that I move like I’m running through molasses, or having to tell somebody something, only to discover that my voice sounds like a 78 rpm record played at 33 1-3. (Remember records, boys and girls?)
I also often dream that I have lost one or more teeth. This is either a sign that A. I should have become a dentist, B. I should have flossed before I went to bed, or C. I have a deep yearning to become a hockey player.
My bride will often tell me, “Boy, I was sure mad at you last night,” and will go on to regale me with some stupid thing or another I did in her dream.
On the other hand, she once dreamed that our cat saved the world by unplugging some doomsday device with its teeth. I guess that tells you where I rate.
Angels appeared to Mary and Joseph in their dreams to foretell the birth of Christ.
Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and became a powerful man in Egypt.
Me, I dream about flying and falling and running in molasses and speaking too slowly with no teeth. I suppose there’s a message in there someplace, but if you know what it is, don’t tell me.
After all, I can dream, can’t I?
Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.