To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep? To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

I walked into the washroom this morning and reached for the green electric toothbrush sitting alone in its little rosy holder. As I grabbed it, an image of me clutching the same toothbrush in red while brushing my teeth with the green one flashed across my mind. My dream came rushing back to me. My mind was flooded with scenes from it…from them. There was more than one. My dreams usually bring with them a great deal of discomfort.

I remembered the word “Doritos”. It was part of…a message of some sort that I received on my phone. Was it a text message or was it something on facebook? I couldn’t remember. It said “at Doritos this evening”. That was a shop in my dream. A shop alongside two others. The boy the message was from made my heart skip a beat. Was he asking me if I was there or just saying that he was? I didn’t know, even in the dream. I walked around the shops and suddenly caught sight of him sitting on a bench near it, having a beer or something. My greeting to him was a startled one. He was there with his friends, he explained. I asked him when he would meet me and he seemed quite keen to.

“It’s Saturday tomorrow,” I said as his friends joined him.

“Oh, hmmm. Let’s see…I don’t think I’m doing anything…”

I realised I was wrong. “No, sorry, it’s Sunday tomorrow.” I was confused.

“Oh, is it?” He made a face.

“You must be busy,” I gleaned. He must have to go to church or do something with his family, I assumed.

“Yea, I usually am on Sundays.”

Even in the dream I was aware of how he seemed to be so much more willing to meet me.

My alarm went off at some point, I switched it off and fell asleep again.

Who was that person? I can’t remember how this dream started. I can’t remember most of the beginning. He fell sick. Very, very sick. He turned pale and had sores all over him. These sores grew into pustules. He was horribly disfigured. I now assume it was probably because he was so drained and weakened by the sickness or whatever that was. We all still loved him. Our entire family did.

There was something about a bridge…a car on a bridge on a hot, sunny day. It was an uncomfortable situation. I was talking to someone outside the car. I don’t remember much else about that scene. No, wait…there was someone in the car with me. It was this person who was becoming sicker…

We admitted him in the best hospital. Through the course of the dream, the hospital was like a maze. I would try to look for someone and would find myself going back to a place I had just been to over and over again. There was a corridor that forked into two others and this was the right fork. It had three…desks? No, they looked more like podiums. The one closest to me had a woman at it and the other two had men. Maybe I was looking for my parents. Maybe something had gone wrong.

The doors all over the hospital were made of heavy wood and were a dark mahogany brown. The walls were a not-too-dark mustard yellow. There was subdued, soothing yellow lighting. It was very quiet with only the hum of the technology in the hospital audible.

I remember seeing the person closely once. His entire right eye was a lesion, dripping pus. He was pale, wrinkled, hairless. He never talked. Throughout the dream he did not speak. I remember us just feeling love and compassion for him.

Then we were in a room. He, my brother, sister and I were there. I think he was one of us too and I was the oldest. So, in my dream, in addition to a brother I have in real life, I also had a sister and this other sibling. My brother and sister were setting something up. I can’t remember what. They seemed to be closer to him but I loved him a lot. There were two double beds in the room. They told me he was in the room but I couldn’t find him. I looked under the sheets and under the bed. He wasn’t there. I begged them to tell me what had happened. They insisted nothing had.

“Please, please, please tell me. If there is something you guys and mom and dad are hiding from me, you don’t have to. Please tell me,” I pleaded.

They remained silent. At one point, I think, they looked up towards the ceiling. I don’t know if I saw it as me or as an observer of the dream, but there he was, sitting on the ceiling fan with something that looked like a pink gift box.

Then I was outside again, looking for someone. I thought I took a different route but I came to that corridor again, saw those three people again. Why couldn’t I find my way?! Then I came to the end of another corridor. There was a glass door at the end with a vending machine beyond it. The light was bouncing off the glass and I could only see my reflection, but as I got closer I saw there was a small garden there. I think I saw my parents in the garden.

I remember a huge black car. Like a limousine. Maybe we were taking the person out somewhere. It was part of the same dream, I do remember that. There was a huge crowd in front of the house we were going to. They had an enormous porch and there were people everywhere. The house, I think, belonged to the parents of a boy I once liked. The one who still made my heart skip a beat. His dad was part of the crowd on the…terrace. I don’t know how to explain what exactly the structure was. It was overhanging both sides of the driveway with a concrete railing along the sides. He was right at the front of it. He called out to me, said something I can’t remember. I remember his mom being nearby.

Everyone around was excited, in great spirits. Then I saw the boy I liked walking down the porch, towards our car. I remember wondering if he was coming to see me. I realised in my dream that he had heard I was there and, yes, he was coming to see me. I was still in the car with the door open. He came around to the other side and started talking to me. Mild surprise registered on my face. I turned and wiped a little pus off my sibling’s cheek.

I woke up. I checked my cellphone and saw an email sent by my dad from my mom’s email address and tried calling my parents. While I waited for them to call me back, I reached for the medicine I have to take every morning and swallowed it with a glass of water. Then I rolled out of bed and went to the washroom to brush my teeth…

Given a choice, would you want to remember your dreams knowing they usually are dark and disquieting or would you rather never remember another, including the good ones, again?


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