In the past couple of weeks I have had at least four nightmares about worms and many-legged squirmy critters. There is a Human Centipede horror movie franchise, but I would be much more terrified of a film called The Actual Centipede.
Last night I dreamed that there were extra doors in my house, and none of them were secure. I’d lock the locks at night but this guy kept getting in somehow. One morning I found that he had rigged up this machine on my kitchen counter that turned lemons into lemonade (GGRRROOOAN). He was short and mustachioed (universal symbol for evil, duh) and I told him to stay out, but he wouldn’t. The doors just wouldn’t close all the way. I recruited his two large, sympathetic sons to help me reason with him, and they tried, but he just kept coming back and he yelled at me for throwing out his lemonade.
I always thought the word “nightmare” was equine in derivation: a metaphor for sinister black mares stampeding through your head, causing your fears to hemorrhage out from your psyche in the form of bad dreams. The internets, however, suggest it comes from “mara”, the name for an old Nordic demon that visits you in the night. That’s way creepier, and pretty cool, but I still prefer my theory.
Several nights ago I had a dream that has mostly left my memory, but a small detail remains. I had rented an apartment somewhere and was poking around in the bathroom. Along with the usual fixtures, my bathroom featured several items of antiquated medical equipment. Most notably, an old-fashioned mercury sphygmomanometer was affixed to the wall above the toilet. There may also have been some probes or scales, and the lighting was low and vile and the atmosphere grim and clinical.
This was visually interesting (to my dream-eyes at least), but what struck me was the way in which dream-me interacted with her environment: I felt a pang of desire to photograph various elements of my bathroom and may have even imagined, within the dream, how I would steady the camera against myself to capture a clear image in the dim dankness. When I woke up I was annoyed that I could not photograph that which exists only in the ether of my sleeping mind. Though I usually seem to be played more or less by myself in my dreams (some girl with long dark hair, about five foot four), and often feel anxieties and sadnesses that are characteristic of waking-me, I don’t tend to exhibit much specific personality. I seem to be mostly an Every-Man, neutrally experiencing the dreamworld without the tics and mannerisms and ethics and interests that define me in real life. This dream was different.
Okay, last night’s dream: I’m lying in bed with Alec Baldwin (in a platonic sort of way–I’m at his feet, perpendicular to him) and he’s confiding to me that his occasional nighttime incontinence is getting him down. I tell him to wear Depends when he’s sleeping and not to worry too much. Our conversation is relaxed and familiar, as if we’re together in this setting all the time.
What the fuck?
I’m visiting some guy, and the first thing I notice when I get to his house is that he’s crouched on top of the blade of a giant ceiling fan and letting it spin him around. Next I see that he has a system of clear tubing that runs throughout the house, supplying fresh spring water to every room. One end of this tubing feeds into a room which is in fact a giant aquarium where he keeps large beasts of the sea, including a gigantic eel. He somehow entices the eel into the tubing (note: Freudian analysis is not welcome on this post), at which point it doubles back on itself and gets stuck. While trying to free itself, it splits in half, and the head-half takes off through the tubing while the butt-half flops out into the bathroom in a multi-colored bloody mess, which he tries to show to me. I’m watching from closed-circuit tv in another room, disgusted by the whole ordeal.
A glucometer, large quantities of ice, a stranger’s hand down my pants, and me telling a joke about Electric Light Orchestra that made Patrick Stewart chuckle.