I am a dreamer. I dream of a better world. I dream of great things both for me and for those I love. I also dream at night and I dream often. I’ve had people tell me they rarely have dreams at night and while I do not report to be an expert on the topic something tells me that they simply aren’t attuned to remembering them. As a kid I had such vivid dreams that I began to journal them. Sadly, that written remembrance is lost but plenty still linger in my memory. By writing them down as soon as I woke up I conditioned my consciousness to retain more details.
As if I had just woken up from them there were two scenarios that played out over and over when I was younger. Beginning when I was about school age and alternating in frequency every week or so up through my pre-teen years with very little variation, they became quite familiar to me.
The first was likely inspired by love of dinosaurs and began with me walking along in a pre-historic environment. Brightly covered flora dotted the mostly flat landscape. There were boulders off in the distance and the sky was a kind of dingy orange. I would hear a rumble behind me to turn and see a Triceratops charging at me. Instinctively I would begin running to the horizon and before long I’d find myself racing up a steep rocky ramp.
The path was narrow and barely wide enough for us. After what seemed like forever I would reach the top to only discover a sheer drop off with no room to descend safely and no way to slip past him. Frozen in terror I turn to see him right as he spears me in the center of the chest with his massive front horn. There on the top of this unrealistic shaped peak he raises me up and shakes his huge head back and forth dislodging me. I fall for an impossibly long time finally landing with a thud on some plants scattering the nearby small animals.
Now I had read before that if you die in your dreams you die in real life. This is total BS as while there my perspective shifts to a 3rd person view and I observe my body as it slowly deteriorate as animals and insects assist the return of my body to the Earth. Time speeds up and I see the rapid succession of sunrise and sunset and the mass that was my body shrinks until it is all gone. It’s at this point I wake up.
The other frequent flyer in my psyche opened with my father and I driving along a desert road in his 1969 Pontiac Firebird and stopping at this tiny shack barely larger than an outhouse. Upon opening the door we saw a staircase leading underground. After descending we found a small chamber that had a striking resemblance to the queue house for the old Orient Express roller coaster ride at Worlds of Fun complete with a track and a series of ride cars. The only differences being the surrounding structure was roughly hewn stone and the cars featured a pull down lap bar instead of a harness.
For some inexplicable reason we picked one of the cars in the middle and upon sitting down the car instantly began to lurch forward. As expected, the ride was quite dark and only lit by a few sparse torches. It rolled on at a slow pace at first with a few Halloween type cheap horror props leaned against the walls. Eventually the quality and quantity of the pieces begins to improve until we finally enter a larger chamber filled with coffins and headstone markers.
Suddenly it slams to a stop and we look around only to realize the coffins are slowly creaking open and the dirt in front of the cemetery plots had begun to stir. Before we knew it skeletons emerge and began stumbling/crawling towards us. In a panic we hop out of our seats and rush to corner of the room grabbing rocks and chucking them at these would be aggressors. After a short skirmish we spot a lever near the front of the train and release it. The ride begins moving again and we climb on to be carried away. Upon disembarking we quickly start for the stairs only to be grabbed on the ankles (presumably by the skeletons) and the dream ends before we are able to reach the top.
The first time I dreamt each of these it scared the hell out of me. My father and I watched a lot of horror movies and I think this contributed to the darker tones. Some of the smaller details would change over time like the colors or background object but the overall story as outlined here remained the same. I’m sure there are other themes at play like the lack of characters speaking to the isolation I felt as a child and the inclusion of notable subjects in my life like dinosaurs, my father’s car and roller coasters spoke to what was was important to me.
In addition to these two many of my dreams would be better classified as nightmares by most folks. Growing up feels like a slow arduous process but I began to adjust, puberty hit and finally adulthood. Luckily most of my dreams these days better fall into the comedy rather than the horror genre. 2/22/2021