Dreams are crazy things, aren’t they? Can’t be predicted, can’t be controlled, hell they can’t even be understood, let alone explained (though a lot of people make money off of doing so anyway.)
What are dreams? Why do we have them? Why do so many of my dreams involve zombies?
It’s typically at this point where I’d turn to my friend and long-time contributor Dr. Gooch for answers, but we’re currently in the middle of salary renegotiations and he refuses to appear in another Eighty-Four Glyde until he gets paid more. Greedy bastard.
When Dr. Gooch fails me I turn to that glorious thing known as the internet for help, but unfortunately, due to recent false online voter registrations I did for Acorn, (who knew they’d notice Mickey Mouse doesn’t live in Michigan? I thought I was being slick.) my internet privileges have been revoked. So I guess I’m just going to have to speculate wildly about the nature of dreams.
The first time I had a dream, I was asleep. Of course, in the elusive nature of dreams, I can’t remember what it was about. I can’t remember what 90 percent of my dreams are about and I bet you can’t either. From what I understand about dreams, they occur in a part of the brain (the clitoris, I think it’s called?*) that doesn’t really deal in memory. Also, when talking about dreams, it’s important to throw in words like subconscious and unconscious. Not really too sure what the difference is, but they seem pretty damn similar and make me sound like I know what I’m talking about.
Dream experts (which is a totally made up term, like financial expert) say that the best way to remember dreams is to keep a “dream journal,” or “dream log,” next to your bed, on your “dream bedside table,” and every time you wake up, immediately write down what you remember with your “dream pencil” or, failing that, your “dream cheap-ass Bic pen that fell down behind your mattress like 6 months ago that you’ve been too lazy to get.” It seems that writing down what you remember helps train your brain to remember more.
There are a lot of different kinds of dreams. Some of the most popular are dreams involving falling, flying, being chased, sex, people from your past, what you’re going to get for Christmas (or equivalent holiday) and in my case, those damn zombies.
Dreams that people rarely have, yet have somehow been made popular by Hollywood, involve not studying for a test, forgetting to wear pants to school, getting everything you want only to see it taken away and getting it on with a totally perfect female form with Abraham Lincoln’s head.
From previous research I’ve done on dreaming, “experts” say that dreams are any number of things, from entertainment for our brains while our bodies recharge, to a download of everything you observed during the day (both consciously and unconsciously) for filing away in your mind. Considering that we use only around 12 percent of our brains (Joe the Plumber and people who enjoyed Beverly Hills Chihuahua, use significantly less) there’s plenty of room in our heads for useless stuff, which is probably why I know so much about bad movies.
Of course, in the end, we really don’t understand our minds at all. I know I certainly don’t, and I’ve been eating the brains of my enemies for years to absorb their knowledge!
They say that different dreams mean different things. Dreams about falling probably have something to do with an unaddressed fear of being overweight. Likewise, dreams about flying deal with an irrational fear of gravity. Dreams about being chased represent a subconscious feeling of guilt about something, or a subconscious desire to be a track star. Dreams about people from your past are really about unresolved issues that continue to haunt you, or maybe they’re about a love of fishing. I’m not too sure. And, of course, dreams about sex are really about an urge to do your taxes and roast a turkey until it’s really dry and tough.
As previously mentioned, I have an inordinate amount of dreams about zombies. I honestly have no idea why. In some of these dreams the zombies are people I know (but gladly kill anyway) and in others people that exist only in my mind. The oddest thing about the dreams though, is that I remember them clearly, down to the last detail, and can recall them at will, years later.
I’ve always had a theory about dreams. While dreaming, I can never tell that I’m in a dream. I mean, I know things aren’t right and that the last thing I remember before I went to bed isn’t being a superhero in New York, but I can never put two and two together and say to myself “Hey, I’m dreaming!” All I know is that I never really have to fear or take anything seriously in a dream because I can somehow tell that it’s not true.
My theory is that if I can realize I’m in a dream while dreaming, then I should be able to control the dream, much like Neo can control the Matrix. It’ll be a Battle Royale between my conscious and subconscious. Two parts of my brain fighting it out over control, kinda like being able to sneeze with your eyes open.
Once, a few months ago, I actually realized that I was in a dream and decided to take advantage of it. I started off small, changing the color of a nearby mailbox, and graduated to turning myself invisible to engage in shenanigans. The problem though, is that when I woke up, I didn’t know if I actually had control over elements in my dream, or if I only dreamed that I had control. My subconscious is a wily devil!
I hope I answered all the questions you had about dreaming. And I did it all without the help of Dr. Gooch or actual research! I’m so proud of myself.
Now why don’t you take a nap and dream a little dream of me?
*I’m not that stupid! I know the clitoris is in the gastrointestinal tract, what kind of idiot do you think I am?!