To sleep…and perchance to dream

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. It’s been going on a few months now, and the pattern has been that I fall asleep and wake up every three or four hours thereafter. Most nights I’m getting a total of around six hours. I used to be a solid eight to ten hour sleeper, so this has concerned me a bit since I feel tired all day.

A few nights ago, I became a little obsessed with the idea that my interrupted sleep was driving down my immune system and/or causing other negative health consequences, so I decided to take a few does of the over-the-counter ZZZZquil concoction. It seemed to work fairly well, and I went to sleep at a reasonable hour. I woke up once to go to the bathroom, but was able to go right back to sleep. I got a total of more than seven hours of sleep, and felt pretty well after the dog drug me out of bed that morning.

I have a relatively slow metabolism, so the after-effects of the sleepy stuff lingered into yesterday, and it’s been more than two days since I took the stuff. I had my 3rd COVID vaccine dose on the day I took it, so don’t know if that played into the prolonged effect, but I was dead to the world again last night. It was an eventful night of sleep, though.

I had the weirdest dream ever, one that seemed to last for days and one that made me feel as though I had run a marathon in my sleep. The dream included people, at least one who I recognized as an actual friend in real-life. I was talking to her and realized I had to go to the bathroom, and while I was telling her that I was going to do that, she suddenly morphed into another person. It was somewhat scary, and I remember in the dream that i felt my solar plexus turn upside down. The “new” person just kept talking as though nothing had happened, and when I came out of the bathroom she had disappeared. Hmmmmm.

After that, I was somehow in a shopping mall, and then an arena, and maybe a convention center. In all of those places, I had to do a lot of uphill hiking, and I’m not sure where I was going. I was surprised that I was able to complete each hike, uphill and all. That was really interesting. I was trying to get somewhere, but I didn’t realize where until almost the end.

When I was in the arena, I knew that I wanted to get down to floor level but I was up higher. There were a lot of people there. A party of folks sitting near me, who looked like maybe a family with kids, said they were going to switch seats so I could have their seats. I didn’t understand but they made me understand that if I took their seats I could tunnel underneath the entire bank of seats and get down to the floor that way. Once I understood what they meant, I realized I had to keep pushing out bricks in the wall that held up each row of seats in order to lower myself to the floor level. Very weird.

So, I did all that, and by that time I realized that I was trying to get to the Michigan Womens Music Festival (to which I have been in the 80s and 90s and which is now defunct). When I got to the floor, however, I still didn’t know how to get to where I wanted to go, so I told a staff person that I needed to get out of the arena but every door I tried wasn’t an exit. (???) The person asked me where I was trying to go, and I told him. He stared at me and said he thought that festival was shut down, but the path was still there. He pointed out to the left, so I headed that way.

When I got to the point the staff person had indicated, it was a dirt pathway, but I started walking. Uphill yet again, but not terribly steep. The foliage got thicker, and that was fine with me. The incline began to increase, and there were some boulders and rocks blocking the path. Because it was a dream, there was some man hiding in the bushes and talking on the phone. (You can’t make this shit up.) I kept going and conquered all of the obstacles and found myself on the dusty road again.

As I kept walking, I began to hear music. It was so welcome to my ears, and this WAS a music festival after all. I kept walking in the direction of the music, and then came to a clearing that seemed familiar. There were a bunch of people there, packing up their campers and trucks and cars, as though preparing to leave. They all just stared at me blankly, and they were not at all surprised that I was there.

I woke up shortly after that, feeling that if I fell asleep again I’d be at that point again and might continue the dream experience. The dog was more than certain that it was time to get up, so I did not attempt a reprise of the dreamscape. It was odd, to say the least.

Normally, I don’t remember my dreams with so much clarity. Normally I don’t remember my dreams at all. But this one I did, and felt that it was very near lucid. I was conscious of doing things and being intentional about the actions I was taking at various points, which is a notch above a simple dream. But who knows.

I wish the Michigan Womens Music Festival was still alive, though. It was a fabulous experience when I was there, and was the safest place I’ve ever been. In this day and age, I would no more dream of sleeping outdoors in the middle of rural woods than I would eating a live crawfish, but…it was Festival, and you could do that. It was 600 acres in the middle of nowhere and they had their own security. Feminist uptopia for a week in August.

Whatever that dream signified to me will come to me. It had layers of meaning and significance that have left me feeling a lot more in place than I have been lately. That’s really bizarre, but welcome. Maybe I need to go on a hike…out in the middle of nowhere…although i’ll need to pick out a safe spot. People iz crazy out thar.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).”

Is that a watch in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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