When I walked into the master bathroom, I noticed that it was filled with tiny little black specks, buzzing around the room and bouncing off the surfaces. I peered closer: the insects were not black, but fuzzy and yellow. There were other ones too, slightly larger ones, with black and yellow stripes. I backed out of the room in a panic, and woke K. "The bathroom is filled with bees," I said.

He looked. "So it is. I guess we can't eat at home. Want to go out for breakfast?"

We got in the car (I noticed that I was still wearing pajamas, but didn't feel like turning back) and drove to a diner. We ran into a couple of friends and I told them about the bees. They thought the bee thing seemed unlikely. "Are you sure you weren't hallucinating?" one of them said. "Or dreaming?"

"I suppose I could have been," I said. "It is the sort of thing I would dream about."

"Couldn't have been a dream," K said, "since I saw them too."

It was a good point, and I went back to worrying about the bees while K ordered food.

(Then I woke up, because the alarm was going. K slapped the alarm and I went back to sleep. I always set two alarms, a few minutes apart; the first serves as a sort of warning bell for the second.)

I slid back into the dream. "It was a dream after all," I told him triumphantly. "There really aren't any bees in my bathroom."

He looked disappointed. "So I'm not really eating breakfast?"

(And then the second alarm went off, and I woke up for good.)
I think in words, you know. I mean actual words, each neatly typed out. Whenever I hear a new word, I have to know how it is spelled; otherwise I cannot call it up again. I confuse titles when they look visually similar, such as Requiem for a Dream and Remains of the Day. Or Return of the Dead.

My dreams are as confused a jumble of images and actions as anyone else's, but once in a while they are also reading material. I distinctly remember a dream I had back in high school: I was trapped inside a building, and the building collapsed in a cloud of dust and noise. My view zoomed out as the building fell. Somewhere above and to the right of the debris, in neatly typewritten text, the narration concluded: "…and then she died."

Dead and therefore purposeless, I floated above the dream-landscape in vague puzzlement until my alarm clock beeped me awake.

Anyway. I bring this up because I dreamt book reviews today.

See, I take the Book World section of the Washington Post to work every Monday and read it over lunch. (It's a fun change from the other stuff I have to read all day.) I only read for as long as it takes me to eat, which is why one issue can last me all week. I then nap for the remainder of the lunch hour, partly because I perpetually get too little sleep and partly because my stomach is full and comfortable. This afternoon my brain apparently hadn't had enough Book World; I dreamt in book reviews, text scrolling across the surface of my mind. Nameless critics praised the flowing prose of equally nameless authors, calling out several illustrative sentences. Characters and plot points were dissected, the accuracy of historical details debated. When I woke, I was unsure of whether or not I had slept at all.

It's not real, though. The dream-reviews of the dream-books are nothing more than nonsense text, in this case strung together in the language of book critics. Sometimes while dreaming I've tried to concentrate harder on what I'm reading, on the actual words, trying to commit them to memory; upon close inspection, the words never make any sense.

Still. It's an odd feeling, waking with fading ghosts of words in my head. I know that they're meaningless, but I still want to keep them.
Lightning outside makes me instinctively want to turn off the computer, even though it's a laptop and would be perfectly fine.

I lurch from deadline to deadline. Nanowrimo is done (a winner is me!), and now I have cards to send out, people to call, a month's backlog of Lost to watch. Not to mention shopping for presents, which I always put off until it becomes inconvenient.

Online shopping is always an option, I suppose. Otherwise, I'd never find things like the Legolas Ken doll.

I had a vivid X-Men dream the other night. I'd been reading comic books before bed, but in the dream I was movie!Rogue, poor useless Anna Paquin. Pity; I would've liked to have been able to fly.

dream content, second person, present tense )
We were getting on the plane when I realized that I had left my cat at my grandparents' place. I told my mother that I couldn't go back home without Kitty. Mom pointed out that it was Christmas Eve, that there was no way that we could get another ticket home before Christmas, and that I would just have to deal.

I refused to deal. So she took me back to my grandparents' house in the minivan, but warned that I would have to find another way home. We discussed alternate modes of transportation, and finally settled on the train; it would allow pets, and be slower than air travel, but I would still be back home in time to unwrap Christmas presents. (How Mom would be able to get home by air was never explained to me, but I didn't question it.)

We got back to my grandparents' place by driving at breakneck speed; my grandparents had already left on their Christmas activities, and the house was deserted. As I rooted my cat out of her hiding place, I heard the minivan screaming out of the driveway and I realized that I was stranded. I couldn't get to the train station, because I didn't know where one was. I couldn't open the laptop and use the internet to find my way back, because...

...I had left it on the plane, in my bag along with my wallet, passport, and everything else that I needed to function in a foreign country.

I sat huddled in my grandparents' house, petting my cat, realizing that I was well and truly stuck. Alone. Abandoned. On Christmas Eve. The situation was just too impossible, too steeped in pathos. This is a dead-end dream, I realized. There is no place for the story to go from here. I guess there's nothing for me to do but wake up.

So I did.

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July 2011

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