To Sleep, Perchance To dream…


“Dreaming has been taken for granted…

Not mine. I never dream all that much, normally.

“Memories people have that they call ‘dreams’ are merely the return of conscious thought intruding on mental reality. Deep dreaming is a deeper level of mental activity that cannot generate memory. In fact, recalling it would make you appear to be mad, even to yourself.”

“I’m glad I came to you,” I confess, relieved. “I’d never even heard of oneirology before my psychologist told me about you.”

“Your psychologist is only interested in what you dream. I want to know why you dream and how,” Doctor Bijaksana explained, hands clasp in his lap with forefingers coming together pointing at me and thumbs rising to an arch, giving the impression that either a bullet, a particle beam or an arrow might be shot at a moment’s notice.

“So, what, you just want to monitor my alpha waves and beta waves and such?”

“Yes, and such,” the doctor smiles slyly. “I’m seeing you because of the reported intensity and effect this dream is having on your life. Your health is in danger.”

“Sleeping is a real problem. I only get a few hours at a time, and that’s if I’m lucky. This has been going on for almost four months.”

“You’ve stopped yourself from dreaming. That’s my guess. But being deprived of dreams

Doctor B

has driven people insane. The complete absence of dreams will kill you. This is a fact. That’s why the first thing I’m going to do is help you dream. This cannot be done with drugs. This is a flaw of environment and the state of your matter. Now then, as to the recurring dream which so terrified you of sleep? As you find yourself relaxing, please recount it for the record.”

Last night I

Closed my eyes

And though I slept, I still could see

One more dream

It first seemed

Out on the beach, Watch the sun glide down

The music distant

An abstraction of all sound

Dancing woman

Danced with me…

All of the Sun was red on the water

All of the sky was dark, like space…

All I could feel was a newspaper hand

And a newspaper printed face…

“A nun made out of newspaper?” Doctor Bijaksana asks. “Was it blank newspaper or was there news printed on it?”

“There was writing,” I recall, “but I didn’t read any of it.”

“No headlines even when you were face to face dancing?”

“Nope.” But I thought he was only interested in why and how. What’s all this about ‘What?’

“But the printing implies information,” Doctor Bijaksana thinks. “And the nun part implies religion, possibly representing religious information.  All of this activity plays out in specific areas within the brain, giving an indication as to where a physical problem might be located. Are you Catholic?”

“Nope. Not religious in any formal sense.”

“But do you believe in God?”

“Only when I let myself,” I admit.

“Maybe you subconsciously yearn for religious information?” Doctor Bijaksana proposes.

The people

Around us

Seemed not to notice what she was…

Made out of


Her skin and clothing moved with life –

The people joined us

And we danced into the night

In this dream

In the night…

And just last night

I saw a picture

Of she and him

And I went with her

And I was he…

Many a flower bloomed in the background

Music enchanting both of my ears

A battleship passed with all of its gun sounds

People were dancing, everywhere…

But she was the only one

The only one I touched

She was the only one…

A Newspaper Nun.

“And the other people took no notice of the Newspaper Nun,” observes Doctor Bijaksana,  “so they’re familiar with her and comfortable with her already. But why are you guys on a beach?”

“I forgot to mention,” I say, just now remembering, “the nun flew up out of the water, almost like a submerged paper airplane rising from the sea. And she just landed gently before me.”

“And that battleship firing guns out there – was it firing at you guys?”

“No. Maybe it was protecting us. We kept dancing, so we must have thought things were great as long as the ship kept shooting at some threat that was out there on the ocean – or under it.”

It’s making me dizzy and I have to get back to work. “I’m gonna need a psychiatrist if I’m gonna understand this crazy dream with all of its kooky parts,” I tell the doctor, excusing myself for the bathroom.

“Remember though, Mr. Games – there may be nothing to understand, in the sense you mean, These images could be random, unattached components brought together by chemicals from an outside source.” 

It feels like time is running out. My heart is racing.

Am I having an anxiety attack?

The first thing I see back at work is one of those computer nerds who’ve been loping about for a month. They’re upgrading our computers this week. I’ve got to learn a whole new system -again.

My job is becoming obsolete. My education is practically irrelevant in regards to actual 21st Century careers. Who are these people getting Grammy Awards?

I walk home tonight instead of taking the train. It’s a nice walk on a nice night. The Sun glides down…

I was a fool. I studied random things, things that led to other things that had nothing at all to do with making money. No, I wanted to understand “the universe” – hah!

The trees are wafting with autumn chill after a long summer. People are texting while their dogs shit on random lawns, untended. Who could have predicted a world of self-absorbed, market-centered, egocentric individualists whose wants and needs are hopelessly mashed?

Strangers who might fall in love pass by never making eye contact, never glancing at the fleeting beauty, never noticing the ethereal scent of passion that just drifted under their noses.

I wanted to comprehend Death. I was driven to. I was raised by grandparents who passed when I was young. It didn’t seem real, despite knowing it was inevitable. How could they be here and then not be anywhere?

Philosophy, theology, history, psychology, physics, astronomy, astrology – and so many other subjects I delved into for years.

There are no explanations that make sense for Death, so I have to accept the cruel inevitability as a source of occasional pain and constant motivation for a meaningful life.

But…can I come to grips with the knowledge of my own inevitable termination?

What the hell is that churning inside me?

Hold on a second.

I’m downloading.

Am I…dreaming?