My synapses. Probably.
I’ve dreamed some peculiar acid trips lately. These dreams appear in technicolor and frenetically unfold in a fast-paced action sequence than rivals the entire Bourne Legacy franchise. Often, I’ll dream the same story pattern from week to week, bringing to life story “blocks” consisting of a piece of the dream that repeats from night to night.
One of these story elements is me, walking up a steep hill like you’d find in San Francisco. I’m always headed to the same apartment, but each dream features different people living there. Sometimes, I look behind me and see a stunning blue harbor unfurling at the hill’s foot with a hundred boats bobbing and other times I can’t walk at all and it’s a supreme effort to get my legs to move. I don’t always make it to white-shuttered yellow apartment, but I see it in one form or another, from dream to dream.
Another repeating element is that I’m in New York City. The reasons I go there change – once I just picked up and left and called The Rock from a sidewalk restaurant to tell him I wouldn’t be home for a week. Other dreams I drive to the east coast, midway passing a large blue lake fronted by a futuristic dam in the center of a vast dune-filled desert. Every time I go, it’s a surprise to me that I ended up there and left home without telling anyone, but it always feels right, like Mecca.
Yet another dream sequence has me waiting for an elevator. I wait and I wait and I see people I know getting inside but there’s never enough room for me. These elevator waits usually take place in a marble-floored hotel situated in a roundabout in some strange city. Sometimes I get into the elevator and I’m let out on a weird floor where it’s clear I suddenly transported myself to a hospital or a school. When I’m on these strange floors, someone is always chasing me and I run into the bowels of whatever building I’m in to escape.
A little less frequent is my dream where either I buy a house in a questionable neighborhood or I visit someone in a sketchy part of town. I always leave the house at night to walk home or to the store and I wonder if it’s safe. To protect myself from gangs or vagrants or whoever I think might attack, I get to my next destination by weaving between houses and slinking through open doorways to hide myself.
Then there’s the flooding dreams. Rarely I’m in a car skidding over a water-logged highway with waves bulging over the sea wall. More frequently, I’m somewhere on the waterfront – a bar or a cafe – watching the ocean waves grow taller and taller until they begin cascading just feet from where I’m sitting. The ocean always advances and I run up some type of hill to outrun the water. This is the only dream where the San Francisco apartment sequence intermingles with the flooding because I usually escape the sea’s approach by running to that apartment.
That is, until now.
These dream clusters pop into my REM sleep haphazardly and in isolation. The errant New York trip stays in my “New York” dream, and the elevator wait is specific to my “hotel” dream. But the other night, I dreamed one big whopper of a hallucination where all these sequences crowded together into one “greatest hits” dream version.
They appeared woven together in a story that made every kind of sense at the time. Like I could be in New York and then run from the waves to that San Francisco apartment, which upon leaving, I discovered was in the ghetto and I needed to slink in doorways again. As I ran from whoever tailed me, I came across a large white hotel in a roundabout and remembered in my dream that the elevators there suck and take too long to arrive, and if they do ding and light up, they’d transport me to a dark hospital floor with flickering lights or a dusty school basement where the janitor was up to no good.
I feel a little like someone is trying to tell me something.
In an attempt to decipher the meaning of all these “visions,” I wrote a list of the images or themes that continually show themselves to me at night. I came up with: water, running, and nefarious people.
So that really narrows it down.
Who’s a dream analyst?
Interesting tidbit: This song is what I always imagine my dream soundtrack to be.