The Urban Sherpa - a blog by Christopher DeWan

(el camino unreal)

Read Work and Other Essays, a collection of nonfiction by Christopher DeWan.

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File under: Crazy Talk

or, the Ids of March (part three)

Have I told you about the dreams?

Probably I haven't.1 Or I'll mention one every now and then because it's quirky or interesting or entertaining; I'll make passing reference to that "action-adventure dream" or the "dream where I had no arms," and you'll say, butterflies"Wow! That's intense!"

You have no idea.

That's the warm-up act. That's the sneak preview.

Between midnight and 8am, it's a grindhouse, a grotesque opera, a ballet of the deformed. My id gallops whole herds of nightmares roughshod through my head. Just this week, I drowned in a riptide, commanded an army of elephants into battle, put holes in my throat with a Swiss Army knife awl, rode a Third World bus knowing it carried a bomb set to explode, and the finale, last night, when I was held captive, locked in a closet with two other men by a mime who sometimes got in a mood to reach his black-gloved hand through a hole in the closet door, and slash at us with his butcher knife, while we crawled over one another trying to hide from the invisible blows. Yes, a mime.

If you think I look tired when I come to work in the morning, well, I am. At the water cooler: "What did you do last night?" I've been drowned, war-ravaged, blown to bits, cut up, and exhausted with fear. How about you?

Shelley: "A dream has the power to poison sleep."

Last week, I slit my throat for no reason at all, almost on a whim, almost by accident. I used a serrated knife, and it hurt more than I expected. But rather than die, I became invisible to others, and with no throat, I couldn't speak—so I was speechless, bloodless, unseen, and alone for the rest of my days.

The week before, I dreamt up a sexy psychiatrist. (I never said my dreams were subtle or hard to read...) She told me wanted to press me into a book like a butterfly, for her collection. To "save" me.

"Dreaming," said sleep expert William C. Dement, "permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." Well, it's not on account of my waking hours that I claim to be the craziest person you know.

I've told you that I miss you, that I miss falling asleep next to you, I miss seeing you when I wake. What I haven't told you till now is that when you're with me, I don't dream. Not one bit.

1. I have told you about the dreams—here, here, and every March 15th...

mime eyes

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