A Season of Deep Dreams
Many of you know that I suffer from a sleep disorder. Actually, I don’t suffer from it as much as people sleeping around me suffer. I usually sleep through my somnambulatory events unshaken.
Officially, I have night terrors. The first one I remember occurred on spring break in 1993. My friends and I traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC. One night I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs that someone was in the condo. I described the intruder to my friends—male, tall, tan, blonde hair. After they checked the condo and decided it must have been David Coverdale, I woke up rather clueless about the event.
In 2000, I endured a ‘sleep study’. Aptly misnamed unless you can sleep with electrodes stuck all over you and have 12 cameras monitoring your every move. Since then, I have been medicated with great success. I still have random episodes, but they are less severe and less frequent.
On medication I rarely dreamed. Since the quarantine, I have had an unprecedented season of deep dreams. I imagine they are the dreams everyone else dreams…a person comes to work on the furnace, vacationing with family and friends, odd menageries of story with no beginning, plot, or conclusion. These dreams are calm and peaceful. These dreams do not require me to save Karen from being eaten by the couch (That happened. In a dream. For real. I was pulling her by the leg when she hit me hard enough to wake me up.)
The dreams I’m currently dreaming are filled with people—people I live with, people I work with, family, people I haven’t thought of in decades. I find that peculiar, or at least paradoxical. In a season of distance and isolation, I dream of people and crowds and community.
On second thought, it is not peculiar. My season of deep dreams reflects my unfulfilled need for community. My dreams suggest my longing to interact with brothers and sisters, with friends and family, with stranger and guest.
I know I’m not alone in that need. I might be the only one who dreams about interacting with the rest of humanity, but I doubt that, also. We share the need to need each other. I believe that is a fundamental aspect of our humanity. We need each other in varying degrees and divergent ways, but we need each other.
I hope we remember this lesson long after this virus has left us or we have conquered it. I hope that need changes how we look at one another through masks and shields and costumes—and without them. I hope I never stop dreaming of other people and dreaming for them.
I love you.
[I need you.]
I hope for you.
Please be safe.