Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Dream Is a Threat...Your Brain Makes

I've done this very grown-up thing.

I have finally learned to sleep without the TV on. It's taken about a year (minus a few bump-in-the-night setbacks), but I can finally go to sleep with just an old This American Life story playing in the background for a little bit. I've slept with the TV since I first got one in my room when I was thirteen years old, so this is a little bit like breaking up with a boyfriend I dated for twelve years. My room is eerily silent when I roll over in the middle of the night, but it's okay.

The one drawback is that my dreams have become much more memorable without WPIX late-night infomercials to interrupt them or dissipate them immediately upon waking. They are getting out of hand, actually. Two nights ago I dreamed I was in an endless, shitty apartment complex with skinny white tiled halls, bare fluorescent bulbs blinking in the ceiling, and piles of dirty laundry outside every door.

Of course, I wasn't supposed to be there. That's always the way. Even in a building I have created, brick by brick, from my own imagination, I have to be invited inside. There were women in threadbare robes and curlers to avoid, and shadowy pursuers doing their required shadowy pursuing down dark staircases lined with paint cans and brooms.

I was there searching for a dog. There were lots of imposter dogs outside many of the apartment doors, playing on dirty blue towels. These dogs were either full-size golden retrievers who were difficult to get around in the narrow corridor, or else tiny miniature dogs that would've fit in a dollhouse. Like, a pitbull that you could pick up and put in your pocket, or take for a walk along your desk with just a length of dental floss as a leash.

I never found my dog.

Then, last night, I had this dream that Takashi Murakami was making a line of patterened toilets with his signature mushrooms and daisies all over them. This is already such a jackass dream I can't even handle it, but it gets better: I was some, like, art world nihilist ninja whose goal was to smash every Murakami crapper.

I think the reason I slept with the TV on for so many years was that I'm still not entirely comfortable with the idea of dreaming. I mean, think about it. You feel sleepy, you're lying down and happy, and all of a sudden you can feel your brain being all, "Sssh, just go to sleep already, I've got shit to do that you don't even understand." I can feel myself cede control to a bundle of nerves that craps out things like pop art toilets, but is also supposed to be trusted to handle my breathing and make sure my heart beats regularly.

That's right, kiddos, the moral of the story today is that your brain is out to get you while you're not looking. Sweet dreams!


Blogger Rachel said...

I'm glad you came back to post here! I love your blog! Thanks for getting me through the times when I'm actually supposed to be accomplishing something at a computer.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Hooray! I was just thinking, "Man, I really wish Kathy was still blogging. I know it's pointless to click this link, but I will anyway," and it all paid off and now I am very happy. Huzzah! Also, I'm totally jealous of your sex-toy-description-writing side gig.

9:56 AM  

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