Sweet dreams are made of thisThis entry started as a post to a comment thread at a blog I enjoy called Things They Don't Tell You In Film School. I enjoyed writing the comment, although it's long and the blogger there may well not enjoy reading it. Since no one is reading this blog, and SuperGirlfriend is going to drive me to work today so I have plenty of time to fritter away this morning before I get dressed, I figured what the hell, might as well edit it somewhat and stick it up here.
See, in her latest entry, the woman over at TTDTYIFS was talking about dreams she had had recently, especially one in which her teeth steadily get looser and looser and then fall out.
Now, I've had the tooth-loosening dream, too, fairly often. As I understand it, it's a fairly common stress dream, and means no more than that we are currently stuck in some situation where we feel badly out of control and utterly at the mercy of generally malign and incomprehensible Powers That Be.
Similar common "powerless" nightmares are ones where you are staring into the mirror and gradually notice some kind of disfiguring mark on your face, which then becomes larger and more disfiguring as you watch in horror, helpless to do anything about it. Or those ones where people are chasing you around and they won't stop and you can't get away and it's all very existential and you don't know WHY they're chasing you but they clearly hate you and if they catch you it's going to be really bad.
Sometimes... not very often lately, but I used to do this a lot when I was younger... I become more self aware while immersed in a dream and can then affect it more directly, because I realize that I am dreaming and somehow this gives me some modicum of control over the goings on there.
It's always very unsatisfying. When this happens, I can then kinda-sorta fly, but not very high or very fast, and it never really lets me escape from my pursuers, it just allows me to get a little further ahead of them for a brief period.
Other times, I can sort of turn invisible... which is to say, I can tell myself "I'm going to turn invisible". Then my pursuers will all run up to me and I say "No, I'm invisible, you can't see me" and instead of doing whatever horrible thing they are going to do to me, they will stop and argue with me about it.
"I'm invisible!" I will insist. "You can't see me at all. In fact, you are sure you see me running off in that direction even as we speak. Quick! I'm getting away! Be off with you!"
And they will stare at me as if I'm demented and say "Well, I don't know, you don't look very invisible to us..."
But, if I'm insistent enough, they will sometimes humor me and leave me alone for a little while, running on lackadaisically in the direction I indicated that I ran off to, but their hearts clearly aren't in it and they generally look back at me doubtfully and, after one or two halfhearted attempts to comply with my clearly deranged directives, they visibly shrug it off, say to hell with it, and start chasing me around again.
And they're usually even more pissed than they were before, too.
I went on the worst date of my life once with this completely toxic psychobitch named Anne and over dinner at a much nicer restaurant than I could afford (she was a very good looking female comics and science fiction fan; how often do you meet one of THOSE?) she listened to me relate my dream experiences as above and then pronounced, in tones of irrefutable expertise, that I was a 'dream weaver' and clearly had vast untapped psychic powers.
Now, by the end of that date I never wanted to see Anne again regardless of how good looking she was, because she was a truly mindbogglingly annoying person, but I suspect if we'd had a second date, she'd have worked around to telling me she had a must read series of books for me that would let me harness my vast psychic powers for only $59.99. Or perhaps she was genuinely as batshit as she seemed. (I mostly believe that she was just one of these dreadful people who has to seem like an absolute expert at everything and anything, and she totally made that shit up on the spot so I'd think she was very wise.)
But whatever the case, my point here (see, I do have one) is that I really do believe the dream where we lose our teeth is a dream about powerlessness, because I am a dream weaver with vast untapped psychic powers (so don't mess with me, punk) and even though I can fly and kinda turn invisible in those horrible chase dreams, sometimes, I have never in my life managed to keep my teeth in my head in those goddam tooth-falling-out dreams.
I will say this; those are the dreams I am really grateful to wake up from. Well, those and the ones where I'm trapped back in high school or Basic Training (or some weird amalgam of both, where my old art teacher has a Smokey the Bear hat and an M16 while my drill sergeant is constantly giving me my book reports back with a big red F on them and demanding that I drop and give him 50).
And, of course, the ones where everyone in the world is a vampire but me. I really hate those.