the opposite of nightmare

We’ve all woken from nightmares a time or two. Woken, sometimes gasping, sometimes screaming, sometimes just to an awareness, oh thank god that was a dream. The sweaty, sheets-cumppled, heart beating, terror-bleeding-into-relief feeling as dream fades. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the opposite of that. Have you ever a dream […]

We’ve all woken from nightmares a time or two. Woken, sometimes gasping, sometimes screaming, sometimes just to an awareness, oh thank god that was a dream. The sweaty, sheets-cumppled, heart beating, terror-bleeding-into-relief feeling as dream fades.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the opposite of that.

Have you ever a dream that’s so good, so right, so perfect, that waking up feels like a nightmare? A dream of utter contentment, complete perfection, all-is-right-with-my-world.

A waking moment, floating up from the deep, warm, womb-like pool of dream, to find that all life’s problems and pains and losses and realities are terrifyingly still real, and the dream’s bliss, the dream’s utter perfection and contentment, is lost.

I had that moment a night or two ago. At, of course three am – what I call the worrying hour. How often have I had conversations with friends about middle of the night wakings; the eye of that storm turns around three am. AT that hour, life’s tiniest problems are magnified, life’s sturm und drang blown to operatic proportion. I woke, a little after that hour, from a warm and contented dream. Not a sex dream, nothing so raw, intense and carnal. No, a simple dream of simple uncomplicated pleasure, the details of which were fading away long before the night was over.

I woke, and drank water, and stared at the dark ceiling, and felt warm glow replaced by reality, and it feel like I was starting a nightmare, not waking from a dream. Work, and kid’s school, health, tasks to do. Things lost. Desires that live in my heart all the time, yet which are forever beyond my grasp. Wants and needs and fears. Age and aches and frustrations, like a drowning pool, quicksand closing over my head.

I want my dream back, I thought. I need my dream back.

How I envy people who can lucid dream; who can live out in dreams what they want in waking life. Though I fear if I could do it, I might never wake.

I wound up getting out of bed at three thirty, wobbling into my cold living-room, wrapping myself in a blanket, and finishing a book, Bujold’s Hallowed Hunt. (I’ll post a review shortly, that’s another topic). I was still awake when my kids got up for school, though I managed to slip back into bed for an hour of sleep; dreamless this time, no nightmares, no blissful contentment, just black emptiness, which was what I needed.

I want to find that dream again. Whatever it was, lost now in haze. I want it back.

11 thoughts on “the opposite of nightmare”

  1. Dude, I know exactly what you mean. But sometimes I do get repeat performances, if only slightly different and my mind will say, “wait that isn’t right. It’s supposed to go like this.” And then it will shut itself up and enjoy the ride.

  2. I used to have dreams that involved sex, excellent moorish sex but I’d always wake up just as I was getting to the good bit.
    Now my dreams are normally some weird parallel universe I make for myself.

  3. Dear GOD, I completely understand what you’re talking about. The good ones, the really, really good ones, will destroy my concentration for the rest of the day as I try to recapture the magic.

  4. I seem to be the only person here who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. That’s never happenned to me.

    ….I don’t know If I’m awed at the possibility, and jealous and bitter – or relieved and grateful that I’ve never woken up from such a thing (and slightly scared that one day I might). And given that it has never happenned to me, I don’t know why I’m so affected. But something about it was fucking gripping, dude. Thanks.

  5. You should really try smoking DMT. If you like psychedelics. It might be really interesting if you’ve never done drugs. DMT is what makes you dream. Super illegal and expensive e though. But it’s beautiful nonetheless.

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