Diner of the dead?

Last night I dreamed I died.

I don’t think it was particularly violent or painful or anything like that, but I’m really not sure; I didn’t ever have to see my body. I was just in a room somewhere, a non-descript hotel-like place, being told that I was dead. What seems so odd now, but didn’t at the time, was how calm I was about it. I nodded, and that was really my only reaction. “I’m dead, I can’t go back, so where I do I go now?” The man in the room with me who told me I was dead (I looked at him, but never really saw him, so I can’t tell you anything at all about what he looks like) said we had a few hours before we could really go and that he’d come back for me. And then I was alone in this room, trying to think of what you should do when you’re dead and you have a few hours to kill. My cellphone, for whatever reason, was still with me. So I started calling people. Anyone I could think of – if I just disappeared, they’d worry, right? I think a part of me thought that since they’d have my body they would think that they knew exactly what had happened to me, but since I was still so obviously around, they’d be wrong even if they were right. So I called. I can’t remember everyone I called – my mom, yes, and John – but we talked about everything except my death. Everyone seemed shocked to hear from me (well, duh, really), but once I told them to just go with it, they would talk to me. Eventually the man came back and it was time to go. Instead of being scared or sad, I was actually pretty excited – some place I’d never been. It didn’t occur to me, even when I was talking to them, that I’d be leaving people behind.

So the guy – I guess he’s Death? – and I got into a car and started driving. It was twilight, pretty close to sunset, and I don’t know what sort of road we were on because I still had my phone and now I was texting people that I couldn’t reach by calling. I think we’d been driving for quite a while when we finally stopped at this roadside diner. It’s funny – there were people bustling around with trays and food, but I never saw anyone actually eating. I sat in a room full of other dead people on their way somewhere. It was diverse-and-yet-not in a way that highway rest stops are: you run into people of different races or from different states, people of different ages, with different hair or clothes or manners – but, for the most part, from the same geographical region. Pull off at a rest stop in Tennesse and you’ll see people from Georgia or Kentucky and maybe sometimes a transplanted Northerner, but rarely do run into someone from Britain or Zimbabwe. This was like that; a sort of diverse same-ness.
We all sat around in one big group and I don’t remember how it started, but we began telling stories. We all started, naturally enough, with the story freshest for all of us: why we were here. How we had died. A short blonde mentioned dying on her wedding day and I thought, with a calm detachment that’s sort of eerie now, “Oh…I won’t see my own now, will I?” It went on for, oh, probably hours and there was smiling and laughter, but no tears. Never tears. The undercurrent of the room, even with all the laughter, was strangely sad – like we all knew, once these stories were done, that none of us would ever have any more.
I listened to every kind of tale imaginable, from children and old people and women my age, but there was this one old lady…I’m not what it was about her or her personality or the way she spoke, but somewhere along the way I stopped listening and just looked at her and that’s when it finally hit me, when I finally broke down, because I would never grow old and I would never hurt, but I could also never be this smiling, spunky old lady with her wire-rimmed glasses and helmet of pale grey curls. I went back to the car and cried and ached and, finally, told Death it was time to go.

We left again, back in the car, alone on a really dark road. All my sadness and pain had faded to sort of a dull ache, silent enough to let me be curious again about where I was going. I was still texting people, but the messages were taking longer and longer to send, and we’d started to pass trees along the road. The pavement ended, the trees turned into woods, and Death looked down at my static-y phone and said, “That gets a lot harder from here on in.” So I put it down and turned to watch the trees outside my window.

I’m not usually one for jotting down dreams,not when they’re clear enough for me to keep the details in my mind, but the last person I texted in my dream was snowqueene; when I woke up I thought of her and her dream journal and well…

brain play

I have a headache. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it? 


Also, I had a really odd dream last night, when I finally managed to get to sleep. I say ‘odd’ because that sort of dream is pretty uncommon for me (although this time it’s easily understood), and the person my brain selected was so completely random.

And yet it wasn’t. I listened to Phantom of the Opera on my way to and from work yesterday, and passed by Blair on the way to my car. And from those two dissociated facts, my brain supplied itself with associated details. Fascinating. Neurolgy experts say that dreams are the way your brain reviews what happened to you during the day and processes all that information – that the brain waves you use during the day are repeated, after a fashion at night. But you can’t relive your entire day in just a few hours…maybe this is why the brain makes dreams, to consolidate all those disparate facts into one congealed reality?

Or maybe the brain just likes to entertain itself.

First I dreamed that I had a Spanish oral report due – in Spanish. And I’d written all my notes in English, so I was frantically translating before class.

I woke up panicked, looking for my notes to translate, realized that my presentation is expected to be given in English, and went back to sleep.

Next I dreamed that I had a paper due and I’d forgotten to do the Works Cited page.

I woke up panicked, looking for my flash drive to edit the file before I remembered that I’m not turning in a paper, I did that yesterday, and today’s project is, in fact, quite finished, and then went back to sleep.

Apparently power point is the stuff of my nightmares.

Can I help it that I find the use of flashy visual aids while speaking generally unnecessary and mildly schizophrenic? If I need to show a picture, I’ll show one, but why should I have to make the information that I am already giving you verbally dance across a screen on a cute little background? Invest in an attention span, General Populace.

But it’s over, and it wasn’t bad. The more I go on, the more I find I really sort of like lecturing. Also, it helped that I managed to sneak in no less than three Arthurian tangents. Ahhh, nerdy pedanticism.

Tell me what you dream at night while you’re sleeping…

Since I had to suffer, all you of you may as well too.

I’ve had this same dream twice now – well, not the same dream, but a similar one. The first time was months and months ago, don’t remeber exactly when. It always takes place in the same house, and that first time I seemed to be there on a vacation of some sort with my then boyfriend and his grandparents.  I couldn’t quite feel comfortable there; something felt wrong or off somehow, but I didn’t know how, and no one else seemed able to feel it. It all centred around the long, upstairs hallway. There was a staircase that led up from the main floor onto the second floor, and opened onto a long hallway that contained two or three bedrooms and the bathroom. The bedroom I was staying in was the very first on the hallyway, so unless I never had much cause to venture all the way down it. I remember standing at that hallway when we first got there and feeling vague unease…then stadning at the end of that hallway a day or so later and feeling a strong but controllable urge to run…and finally, a day or so after that, I walked out of my room, glanced down the hallway, and was gripped with nothing short of heart-squeezing, stomach-twisting terror. I couldn’t breathe, much less run, for several minutes. When I did manage to break away, I tracked down Dennis and dragged him up there, to see if he coulnd’t at least feel something. He admitted he did feel a little uneasy for no good reason when looking down that hallway and I think my panic was enough to tell him we needed to get out of there, so we tried to find his grandparents and convince them we had to leave. Their bedroom as the second one down that hallway. Not. A fun. Trip. When we reached them, I was terrified, Dennis was worried, and they were..happy and smiling. And packing. Luckily, they’d already decided to head home. I never did see what was in that house, but I felt we’d left just in time.

Ok. Now that you’re caught up, here’s the dream I actually had last night:
Same house. I get the impression that my friend Samantha had bought the place to use it as a safe house for runaway teenages, but I really couldn’t say for certain. I just know she was there, and the girl who convinced me to come back to the house was a teenage girl who was staying there because she’d run away from home, and Sam asked me about at least one more girl while I was staying there, if I’d seen her lately and if she was alright,etc. At any rate, I was nervous about being back in the house, but this girl (whose name I never learned) convinced me to stay in her room for a few days – the same room I’d stayed in before. And same as before, it took many days before the hallway began to bother me, but this time I didn’t get a warning. I’d been walking all over that hallway just fine for days, but one evening I left an upstairs room and turned towards the hallway – and that paralysing fear was back. And I knew whatever it was wasn’t gone or sleeping anymore. Two of the bedrooms upstairs had been combined to make one giant common area, and that’s where everyone was (and where I had just left) so I turned tail and went back in, intent on yelling at everyone to get out. But everyone was either asleep, or quickly getting there. It was like everything in the room was melting – all the colours slowly faded and seemed less bright; the people slithered to the ground, not as if they were merely falling over, but more like they were being pulled on strings towards the walls. (think Japanese horror film, specifically the scene where the girl is crawling out the well in Ringu) I grabbed Sam and managed to slide down the stairs with her; she was barely awake by the time we got to the ground floor and I couldn’t carry her anymore. We half-collapsed on a bed someone had set up near the door and I as so determiend to keep Sam awake – and so afraid of what would happen if I didn’t – that I took her head in my hands and hit it against a near-by table. The pain jarred her, I guess, and the second her eyes started to focus on me I started screaming at her to stay awake. I repeated it over and over, screaming as loud as I could until all I could hear was my own voice echoing in my head – and then it ran by. I think it took its shape from someone in the house, because it didn’t really look like a girl, more like something trying to pretend it was a girl. The eyes were far too large to be human, and the tongue far too long and almost prehensile, and it had a very high-pitched, constant shriek. It ran through the house with a long, curved knife, killing everyone that was asleep. It seemed the only way to be safe from it was to be awake – it couldn’t hurt you then. It could only scream at you. It was screaming at me and I was screaming at Sam when I woke up. And had to go to the bathroom. But not even that coerced me to move from that bad for at least twenty minutes.