There were so many dreams. So many that seemed so real. So many that seemed surreal. Dreams that occurred during cat naps, after night caps, and dreams that occurred during the deepest slumbers sawing lumber, had seemed the same. Fall asleep, have a drawn-out dream full of color and flavor and feelings. When you wake up it could be tomorrow, or a minute later. Either way just less color, less flavor, less feeling. So many unrealized, or forgotten upon waking, were still dreams. Is that the ultimate human goal, to realize them? The raisin in the sun is typically more human. Even the visions occurring in the drunken mind, the brain that passed out and came to, not really falling asleep and waking, they were still dreams.
They are elusive, they are abstract, and they are symbolic. It seems that every dream book in the world has an interpretation for the visions. They all mean something, every little nuance. The barking dog in the dream foretells a stranger coming into your life, the dragon means good luck. The numbers never mean lottery unfortunately. It can be disappointing to awaken from the really good ones. When they are interrupted by life we are seldom able to regain a grip. The opposite is also true. Life that constantly gets interrupted by dreaming, sometimes it’s hard to get a grip.
Waking can be a welcome respite. It is a break from those pesky dreams and awful moments of rest and peace. Just as your great palindromic racecar dream takes you to the finish line, the road could crumble and your nightmare can begin. Nightmares are welcome sometimes, let you know you are alive, maybe they are a warning. Some people could get a stop sign right in the face, and keep going. We all know better than the third base coach don’t we? I;m faster than the rest, I’ll beat the throw home. A dream certainly wouldn’t be heeded. Some people have to feel it to believe it, the hard headed, the addict and the drunk. How many dreams deferred, for the life of pleasure, the lamp extinguished, and other’s pain.
A thought or anxiety taken to bed, clung to as a teddy bear, will be there in your dreams and there promptly when wake you up. Take your work to bed and watch that stress become a demon or a car wreck in your sleep, a stiff neck or a migraine in the morning. You’ll wish you were hung-over. The television loves to creep into dreams, shaping their narrow plots, changing every half hour or so, putting celebrities in supporting roles. Ask any bartender or food server about their dreams, the work related ones. It’s always the same: The weeds. Eat a late snack before bed, the undigested bit of cheese, and your old friend Jacob Marley could pay you a visit. Enough stress and turmoil and you could wake more tired than when you went to bed, seemingly unrested. Then what? The ghosts of workdays past and presumed stress to come.
A fall from a tall building to the concrete below, a gunshot that blares like an alarm clock siren, flailing through waves unable to breathe, a chimpanzee-cousin-reflex that keeps us from falling from trees; or is it a more evolved choice to escape? What wakes us? Our eyes open. Are we simply rested enough? Some have an uncanny ability to keep time while they are sleeping. The internal-alarm-clock-people can just tell themselves when to awaken and they do. Accidentally, or incidentally, some just get up to pee and try to go back to bed, realizing there will be no comfort left. Those few minutes between when someone’s anxiety wakes him up and the exact time set for the alarm are always interesting. Do you try to get back to sleep for two or three minutes, call yourself a go-getter and start out of bed, or call it a draw and watch the clock tick?
The snooze buttons on alarm clocks typically consent to nine minutes of consolation. A queer allotment for sure. Should you set your alarm for twenty-seven minutes early or an even half hour, knowing it takes three alarms to get your dead-ass out of bed? Forget all the rules and laws of averages if you are really hung over.
It is a fact that quite often when a good portion of the alcohol in the body is metabolized it turns to sugar and increases the poor aching dehydrated man’s heart rate. The living dead awake and attempt to cope. It’s not the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse, but he could fit right in. A greasy breakfast or a handful of ibuprofen and a glass of water combined with the coldest darkest room ever and a huge comforter is the ticket back to the dream tree to test that reflex. A lot of that was routine. Not as much now. He thinks he’s wakened. There are certainly fewer dreams these days, which he can remember, or to which he will admit.
Some days the eyes feel so heavy, he swears they are made of stone, or steel, yeah steel. They are those jingly little steel balls in a silk lined box you can buy from the Chinese import store, the ones that are marketed as circulation enhancers but your friends swear are Ben-Wah sex toy balls. His sockets aren’t silk-lined. His eye sockets are red, swollen and dry like a diseased wound, but dry. Heavy steel balls stuck in swollen dry wounds with rigid clam shells for lids. These are the good days lately; the ones that start like this. No more hibernating until the next gorge. There were a collection of unsure emotions to experience and feel. At least he can feel.
He was just tired, or dehydrated from eating too much salt, maybe just tired. The corners of his mouth melted, giving him a jowl and scowl look. It was as if he was tremendously sad, or morbidly pissed. At least he was shaven. That felt good. It felt agreeable when he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, his clam shell lids, shut tightly like, well, a clam. When the heels of his hand retreated down the face letting the fingers press against the eyes, just before they opened, they glide over smooth cheeks and scornful expression. Very smooth, very close, which felt agreeable, at least he was shaven. He took another pass at his jaw line with the back of his left hand. From right jaw, across the chin and from left jawbone across the chin. He was agreeable and clean feeling. If only his eyes weren’t hot and heavy and hard. It felt like another hangover.
He knew the feeling well. Nearly half of the last half of his life was a hangover. Maybe it was more. Math was never a strong suit. He is actually proud of not having tried to do any mathematics. There was the first college year in Daytona, drunk nearly everyday. There were the remaining five and a half next years of college, earning a bachelor’s degree in education out of spite. There was the month in Ireland- everyday. There were certain toilet paper stringer memories of benders here and there lingering and littering, hanging from shame trees in the perpetual night before Halloween in his head. At least he can feel.
That’s it. That’s what I’ll tell all those people, friends I guess, that’s what I’ll tell them when they keep asking how I feel or am I feeling better. At least I can feel. That sounds like deep shit. This is what he sold himself…………………………………..