I am so tired. We’re in the middle of another heatwave here in Perth (39 on Saturday, 40 yesterday, 41 today), meaning that I haven’t been doing a lot of sleeping lately. I think I got about four hours in last night, and the last hour or so wasn’t particularly restful consisting mainly of a prolonged nightmare.
What’s interesting is that on the rare occasions I have a nightmare it’s always the same one. Well it’s not exactly the same one, the details are usually completely different. But what remains the same is the overall theme.
Something, often multiple somethings, are attacking the city. Totally trashing it – and not in cheesy 50’s monster movie style either. We’re talking collapsing buildings, fires, massive death and carnage. It hasn’t reached where I am yet, and it might not – it’s all totally random. So what can I do?
I could stay where I am, but with a bunch of gigantic terrors crashing around – any one of which could make a sudden direction change – that would mean being a sitting duck. So it would make sense to flee, but with a bunch of gigantic terrors crashing around going out into the open is tantamount to suicide. There’s nowhere to go and nothing to do to be safe.
We (that is myself and whatever semi-anonymous dream people I happen to be with at the time) always decide to make a break for it. We get into a car – or on one occasion a train – and race off, hoping like hell that we’ll be lucky and escape the notice of whatever’s tearing the city apart. What makes this particularly scary is that the “somethings” (whatever they may be in this particular dream) are either truly gigantic or up in the sky, so we can actually see them going about their destruction. And they can see us. Our only chance of escape is if they fail to look in our direction for as long as it takes for us to get away. Which means an eternity – that particular type of eternity only found in nightmares – of sitting in the back of the car (it’s probably significant that I’m never the one driving) staring at the monsters and praying as hard as I can to be invisible – even though I know we won’t be.
Sometimes I wake up before we get away, sometimes I stay asleep until we reach safety. That’s the worst bit because no sooner do we think we’re OK and we’ve made it than one of the “somethings” rises up over the horizon heading our way. Is it after us? Who knows. The point is that we thought we were safe, we though we’d escaped, but we’re suddenly back to square one. There’s nowhere to run. There’s no escape.
To date the “somethings” have included tsunamis, tornadoes, crashing jumbo jets, demonically intelligent ogres, giant burrowing worms and Godzilla (hey, I don’t give you grief about your dreams :). Last night? I revisited the crashing jumbos but with a post September 11 theme of al Qaida terrorism. Dozens of hijacked planes of all sizes plunging out of the night sky without warning, engines screaming in a maelstrom of light, noise and exploding aviation fuel.
Not a lot of fun.
So yeah, I don’t know what that says about my screwed up psyche, but there you go 🙂
It’s not so much the transient fear from the nightmare that I mind. I mean once you’re awake and realise it’s just a dream you get over that pretty quick. It’s the resulting sense of looming dread that follows me around all day every time I have it. The overpowering feeling that somewhere things are very very wrong. A good night’s sleep usually fixes me up, but given that it’s now 8:30pm and the temperature’s only just below 30 I somehow don’t think I’m going to get one 🙁
Oh well, it’s going to be cooler tomorrow. Supposedly.
(PS: Just a note for any amateur Freud Dudes out there – I’ve been having this dream for years, since long before the aforementioned September 11. So there goes that theory eh? 🙂
(PPS: Obviously what with it being 39 degrees I didn’t go and take photos of the old East Perth power station on Saturday. Next weekend. Probably.)