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September 3, 2006

I don’t believe I’ve ever written a thing about a dream I’ve had. I will do so today.

A couple nights ago I had a vivid dream, which is extremely rare for me. I almost never remember my dreams, and the ones I do remember, I can usually only recall vague, unconnected details. One night not too long ago, for instance, I dreamt about peanut butter. That’s all. I don’t even remember if I was eating it or spreading it or what. I just woke up and had “peanut butter” fresh in my memory. That’s a fairly typical dream for me. A dream as vivid as the one I’m about to recall occurs maybe once in a fortnight if I’m lucky.

So, I was kind of just walking around in this dark dungeon with a few nameless friends. I often think of my dreams in terms of video games, by the way, because really they’re quite similar. They both make some sort of attempt to be realistic in terms of basic laws of physics, except really weird things that could never happen in the real world happen in them. And just like in video games, you perceive these things to be relatively normal. I mean, if this giant octopus creature suddenly started attacking you in real life, you’d be freaked out beyond the function of all your motor skills. But in a video game, it’s more like, “Aw, now I have to fight this giant octopus creature.” Or, if the game has impressive graphics and the octopus is really huge, it might be like, “Holy crap, I have to fight that thing?” And if the game is so vivid that you actually feel like you’re in the game world, you might actually start getting pretty scared, even though you would understand in the back of your mind that it isn’t actually real. That’s sort of what a dream feels like to me. And I imagine that’s what video games of the distant future will feel like too.

Um… peanut butter… oh, dungeon, okay. So I’m walking around in this forest dungeon that has a lot of cobwebs and stuff everywhere that completely blocks out all sources of light, except that everything sort of produces its own soft light that is just bright enough for us to see what’s in front of us. We’re trying to find the exit and getting frustrated because there seems to be no other way to go except the places we’ve already been. If you play any video games, you should probably know the feeling.

Then, out from between the trees comes–you guessed it–a talking chicken. So we were all like, hey, maybe the chicken knows where we’re supposed to go. We ask it, and the chicken tells us, “Yeah, there’s an exit right this way.” And it points out this small, cobweb-ridden space perfectly hidden amongst the foliage, but now that we see it we feel stupid for not having tried going in that direction before. One of my friends goes into the space, and we’re about to follow him, when he says, “Hey, this is just another dead end!” We all groan in exasperation and start glaring at the chicken. The guy who went into the space comes back out all angry and shouts, “I have had it with these mother-@#%!in’ chickens in this mother-@#%!in’ dungeon!” No, not really, but that would have been awesome. What he actually does is pull out a pair of shears or hedge clippers or something (I guess it was one of the items we picked up earlier in the dungeon) and unceremoniously clips off the chicken’s head.

Well, it wasn’t really as bad as it sounds, because remember, this was sort of a video game, and in video games you can take out your frustration on just about anything in the level and it’s usually pretty inconsequential. Still, we’re kind of like, “Dude, you should not have done that.” And at that moment a memory appears in my head from when I was playing Four Swords Adventures at Greg’s house, and we were using our swords on the chickens in the village, and I said, “Hmm, maybe we shouldn’t be attacking these chickens.” And if you play any Zelda games, you can guess what happened next.

Fortunately, the dead chicken is not avenged by dozens of other angry, pecking chickens. What happens instead is, the chicken’s body, after lying limp for a number of seconds, begins to move. The body flaps its wings and lifts up into the air, flying around my friends a few yards away to the side of me. Then my attention is directed to the head, which landed just a few feet in front of me, and it too is beginning to levitate. Then it opens its eyes, which are now of a fierce bright green color, and looks at me. Despite the inherent humor in the situation, I must admit my heart started pounding a bit faster.

Then I mutter, “His eyes are glowing.”

Somehow I realize that I’ve just said this out loud, and my next thought is, “Oops, I hope I didn’t wake Nehal up.” And then I realize that I just thought about something in the real world, and now I was inevitably going to wake up. Crap.

In the course of a few seconds, the following things happened in succession: I glanced at my friends and the chicken’s body in my peripheral vision, but I couldn’t see them; my arm felt tingly and uncomfortable from the way I’d been lying on it; the trees and surroundings of the dungeon began to fade away so that the chicken’s head and glowing eyes came into clearer focus; I felt my giant purple stuffed snake rubbing against my hand; the chicken’s head started bobbing around more and more erratically until it was just sort of whizzing here and there; I noticed that my blanket was gone and must have fallen on the floor again; and finally, the chicken head disappeared into the eternally dark realm of my eyelids.

After a few seconds had passed and I knew my dream was not coming back, I reached down and grabbed my blanket off the floor and put it back over me. Then I just replayed everything in my head as much as I could so that I could remember it after I actually got up. When I had it all clear in my mind, I fell back asleep.

It’s always interested me, though, how even when I’m dreaming about something not particularly pleasant, I always try to go back into the dream if I feel myself waking up. It very rarely works, but I always try. I guess more than anything, it’s curiosity. What would the chicken have done if I’d stayed? Shot lasers out of its eyes? Pecked me to death? Would my friends and I have been able to defeat the chicken? Or if it defeated us, would it return us to the last save point in keeping with the video game theme?

My dreams (and I expect most other people’s dreams as well) all share one characteristic: they introduce some conflict and then abruptly end without resolving it. It’s like watching half a movie and then being dragged out of the theater. It rarely matters what the movie was about; if you’ve already invested that much time and thought into watching the movie, you want to see its conclusion. Especially if you’re the main character. It sort of makes sense that a movie of your life would have no conclusion, though. That would imply that your life is already over.

But I sure would like to see what happens…


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  1. Well now, your dreams seem to be complete and utter nonsense ^_^.  Too bad.

  2. reminds me of the computer game from ender’s game

  3. Dreams ARE complete and utter nonsense. You’re weird if they aren’t.

  4. reminds me of david blogging about his dreams 😛

  5. Not true.  Dreams are capable of making sense.  Usually this means they will take on the form of what you had experienced during the last few days or your anxieties.  They could also, though the case is rare, take on the form of showing you the future.  Either way, dreams CAN make sense.

  6. Okay, so if my dreams are nonsense, it means my anxieties are few or none. Or maybe, my anxieties are just way more complicated than everyone else’s because I don’t worry about the trivial stuff and get caught up in “all the drama,” as people say. Mere mortal, you fail to understand the subtle complexities of the disembodied chicken head.In either case, I fail to see how that’s “too bad.” Sleepy time is MY time. I don’t need to be bothered by stupid mundane anxieties when I’m trying to rest. I want a show.

  7. lol I hate dreams etc etc and don’t find the study of them very interesting because I know it’s just my perverted mind yada yada yada and I think it’s annoying how people are always like OMG I DREAMT (dreamed? dreampt?) THIS— HOW WEIRD! because DUH of course you did……. we’re humans for goodness sake and capable of thinking about things that our “conscience” or whatever blocks from us most of the time. 
    But yeah, I often wake up and am like, “Ew, I was thinking THAT?!?”  But, to tell you the truth, I probably think about/obsess over weirder stuff in the daytime.   lol the anxiety never ends!!!!!!!!!!  I need a life coach.

  8. Anonymous permalink

    Chris! We’ve met randomly twice now and we still haven’t hung out. Are you free tomorrow (Thursday) for dinner?

  9. Anonymous permalink

    Yeah, I can eat early. I have a meal plan, actually, so how does Crossroads at around 5:45 sound?

  10. hello!! i found ur xanga!!

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