I dream. I'm a dreamer. In order to clarify a little bit here, I'm not talking about pie in the sky, someday I'm going to be rich and buy my own tiger that I walk around with on a leash and feed steaks from my hand all while riding around in a solid gold stretch Hummer that's been converted to run on natural gas because I think it would be kind of awesome to have a natural gas car with tinted windows, license plate number bal2hrd. I do think about those things, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being asleep and having dreams that are so realistic even Leonardo DiCaprio could take lessons from me. Oh, and I REMEMBER them, at least for a little while.
I've been told I should keep a dream journal. That sounds boring since usually I just want to go back to sleep and I almost never dream about anything useful like book writing or something. I've been told I should try some recall techniques to remember even more. Ummmmmm. Why? A lot of the time I don't like it because I wake up all amped up, or all depressed, or something, and can't get back to sleep. I've been told I'm lucky. I guess. I'd rather win five-hundred million dollars though. At least that was what I was thinking when I sat down to write this blog. Then I remembered this recurring dream that I've been having for years.
This dream is set at the Springlake Missionary Church and I've been having it off and on for no less than 15 years. Sometimes I won't have it for a year. Sometimes I'll have it twice in one week. Anyway, I'm at Springlake Missionary Church, and not the one that exists there today. I'm talking about 1984, green velvet wallpaper walls and Big Pastor Mueller rocking a wife beater. Have you ever seen a pastor wear a beater with brown pressed slacks and suspenders to greet his congregation? Well, in my dream, that's the way it happens every single time. One of the neat things about this dream is that I age in it. It's always the current me walking into the church I grew up in. Nobody else changes, though. It always starts with me entering the double doors which lead up the steps near the sanctuary. Big Pastor Mueller greets me there, and I comment on his attire. I've actually tried very hard to remember what we say to each other, but either it changes, or I just can't focus on it. Either way, the man works the beater like a boss because even as the most conservative of churchgoers pass him by. Nobody else says a thing. So, I make small talk with a few nearby people and then start talking about the Cubs with my cousin Kevin. This isn't strange at all except that we are talking about the 1984 Cubs like they are the ones playing right now. Maybe that's just my inner me wishing the Cubs would win 100 games every year. Like I said, this is a dream. So, I'm standing there talking to Kevin. People are shuffling by to get into the sanctuary, and even as I sit here awake I can hear the church floor squeak. Then, something exceptional happens. My grandmother, Ruth Burks, walks in the double doors. For those of you who don't know, she died in 1995 and was one of the kindest women the world has ever known. I spent countless hours at her house as a youth and probably my fondest memories of her are epic games of Scrabble over a bowl of frozen strawberries. Anyway, In my dream I am flabbergasted. It is so real to me every single time as she slides her purse over her arm, grips the handrail with both hands, and step by step makes her way up the flight of stairs. She is dressed in a colorful blue flower print housecoat that I must have seen her wear a thousand times, but had absolutely zero chance of being worn to church. She moves slowly, as I always remember her doing, and when she reaches the top she smiles and says.
I respond the exact same way every time.
I'm hoping that someday when I have this dream I come up with something a little better, but so far it has never deviated. My grandma just smiles again and laughs, and it is SO REAL!! It is amazing how minute details are stored in our brains because when I have this dream it is like I'm listening to an audio version of her laugh recorded at 32 bits and 192000 khz. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's awfully clear. Anyway, she hugs me and that is the end of the dream. I wake up right there every time.
I started off writing this installment thinking that I was going to do something kind of funny on how I have these exceptionally weird dreams that cause me to lose sleep, and I'd like to trade my superpower for invisibility or something. Occasionally I will dream a bit about a book I'm writing or a song I'm working on, but most of the time it is just annoying and nothing overly fruitful comes of it. I've woken up drenched in sweat, my heart racing hundreds of times and while I have saved babies from burning buildings, stopped shooting rampages, and ridden my Yamaha Virago 920 to the top of Mt. Everest, it always seemed that it would be better to just get more sleep. I can probably get by without remembering the time I taught myself to flap my arms so hard I could fly anywhere I wanted to go. Probably. That would be a sweet power. Anyway, for the most part I've always felt that my vivid dreaming was a curse and that I'd trade it in a heartbeat. Sometimes, though, sometimes I get to see my grandma...Invisibility and flying will have to wait...sleep is overrated...