2004-05-24, 7:50 p.m.
Freud theorized that dreams were "the protectors of sleep." I know his theories have somewhat fallen out of favor, but I still believe. At least in his dream interpretation philosophies.
Sometimes, dreams actually protect your sleep by preventing you from waking up. Classic examples include dreaming that you have a drink of water if you're thirsty or dreaming that you've peed if you have to pee. For me, my dreams try to "help" me sleep later in the morning. In the last few months, I have dreamt that: (1) I had an orthodontist's appointment at 11 a.m. and had taken the morning off and didn't have to get up till 10:30 a.m., (2) I was back in college and already slept through my 8 a.m. class and didn't have another till 2 p.m. and I could sleep till 1 p.m., (3) that it was Saturday, (4) that it was Sunday, (5) that our office was closed for Good Friday (which it was not - at all), and (6) that the thunderstorms/tornadoes I heard out my window caused an emergency no-moving-around-the-city-by-order-of-the-mayor standstill. And I regularly dream the alarm clock noise is something else.
I had two "wish fulfillment" dreams this weekend:
(1) A Certain Actor Upon Whom I Have Crush kept following me around all over my house (my in-dreamworld-only big modern house) like a puppy. Clearly the wish here was that I wanted his attention. In my house. And that I wanted a house, maybe. Or maybe that I wanted a puppy. Him following me like a puppy. Pretty straight-ahead, I think. See, I wish I had known it was a dream while I was in it, so that I could have taken more advantage of the situation. If you take my meaning. It was just a dream after all. But while I was "there" - in the dream - I just thought it was weird that he wouldn't let me out of his sight. Yes, often when we have wish fulfillment dreams, we do not know it at the time (in or just after the dream) and *often* do not experience the dream as even pleasant. By the way, don't get me wrong, this dream, in this particular instance, was pleasant enough. Quite, even.
(2) The other wish fulfillment dream I had was a "dream within a dream" and this time I was aware that I was dreaming. I saw someone I was friendly with and always admired a lot who died in the last year. He was walking down a dirt road in a desert. And I ran up to him I said to him "You're in this dream because I needed to dream about you so I could see you one more time." Apparantly I'm all self-referential in my dreams. Good self-knowledge. Bad screenwriting. And then he said to me "Don't worry, because I was on a cartoon when I was growing up, I'll always be with you." Okay. Nice end of the sentence, subconscious. But, um, hellloooo? Subconscious? What's with the I-was-a-cartoon doublespeak? (He wasn't like the voice on a cartoon or anything; he and I never even spoke about cartoons). What does this mean, subconscious?? Why won't you answer a direct question? Why all clouded and cloaked all the time? Oh, to preserve my sleep. Somehow.
EDITED TO ADD: As soon as I posted this, amazingly, I realized what the connection might have been. I remembered the voiceover in one of my favorite films, The Ice Storm, delivered by Paul Hood (played by Tobey Maguire), where Paul's stuck on a train that's stopped because of the ice and he's reading a Fantastic Four comic book and explains that "they weren't like other superheroes; they were more like a family" and he goes onto his "a family is like your own personal anti-matter" speech and then after he doses off waiting for the rails to thaw, he wakes and up and thinks/voices-over: "In your dreams, it's like your standing in [a] doorway and the dying people and the newborn people pass by you and brush up against you as they come in and out of the world. During the night, you get spun around and in the morning, it takes a while to find your way back into the world."
I really love that movie and that voiceover, so, I bet that's how I associated a "cartoon" (Fantastic Four) with dead people coming and going in dreams. I know. My brain. It's an unusual place to be.