I hadn’t intended to do a sequential series of dreams, but in this turbulent time I’ve been pretty loaded up with them, at least when I can sleep. Last night a cat woke me up about her usual time after four in the morning. I let her out and when I went back to sleep I was having a strange dream where a friend from high school had been sent to look for me by my wife. He rode a bicycle up pulling a trailer with a fish tank full of water on it. I had had it with the world and was leaving town and my friend knew he had to kind of talk me down. We stopped on the corner of the busy street heading back to my house where I saw the smaller aquarium from my desk tipped over in the gutter with a top corner broken off. There were fish everywhere and I started picking them up and brushing the leaves and dirt off them and putting them in my friends trailer aquarium. I started noticing these weren’t my fish, and they were salt water fish, but realized fresh water was better than no water and put them in the tank, too.
We got back to my house and got the fish inside and as I started dealing with the rescued fish I recognized the dream for what it was. I think I’ve written before about the pet store my brother and I owned and how I have reoccurring dreams about going back to find the neglected tanks of fish that were abandoned for decades. In reality we moved all the fish from our store home to my parents house, nothing was lost, yet I dream often about fish suffering in too little water with no food for years.
When I began to suspect that I was in a dream I actually did what I had tried to do for years to recognize that I was dreaming, I looked at my hands. I’d heard that your brain has a hard time realistically representing common things, but you usually don’t try to perceive detail in a dream. My right hand was backwards on my wrist with my palm facing away from me, and my middle, ring, and little finger were one piece with lines where they should be separate, like a toy. As I tried to spread my fingers I had to use my left hand to pull on my little finger. They separated with some effort, but it was like pulling on gum and they stretched and parted from each other then snapped back together.
Since the time in high school when I read about lucid dreaming in Omni magazine I’ve tried to be able to control my dreams. But on the few instances I have actually realized I was dreaming the dream immediately shatters and I wake up. In this dream, after I realized it for what it was, I looked around and nobody was in the house with me anymore, but the dream didn’t end. I’d always wanted to fly in my dreams, but on any flying dream I have I don’t get too much sky, just bump along the road or up a mountainside. I decided I wanted to try flying and began swimming up towards the ceiling. As I got close I could kind of see through the ceiling and I broke through and the roof of my house splashed away from me like water and I climbed up into the sky… for about a minute. Then I found myself bouncing along the street unable to climb higher.
I went back to swimming through the air instead of flying and the dream changed. I don’t remember much of what happened after that, but I do remember that every little while I checked my hands and realized I was dreaming again and I’d try to fly without any real success. I suppose the next time I do it I ought to give up trying to fly and see if I can teleport instead. Or maybe I’ll try to create something and see if I can come up with something cool to do in my waking life, something that goes in a different direction than I habitually make.
Actually, maybe I should just settle for making something at all.