Friday, February 13, 2015


Do you dare to dream? I’m not talking about aspirations or life goals. I’m referring to dreaming. As in your subconscious coming to the forefront. Usually in bed. At night. While you’re asleep.

I have a propensity for dreaming a lot, and vividly. Occasionally the dreams come in the form of nightmares. Sometimes they are recurring, or at least it seems that way to me. Perhaps that is a trick of my mind, telling me I’ve had the dream before when in reality something in the dream itself tells me that it’s that way. Does that make sense? I remember I used to dream of choking on bubble gum. I know I’ve had that dream more than a dozen times, and even the smell of bubble gum makes me want to choke. But maybe my mind is playing tricks on me and I’ve only had the dream one time. I don’t know.

This last week, for whatever reason, my dreams have been plentiful and crazy. I don’t know of anything different going on in my life, and I haven’t been eating spicy or exotic foods, but every morning I wake up and think, good grief! What brought that on?

Often I don’t recall many details of my dreams. Sometimes I simply wake up with a feeling of sadness or my heart is extra light, and I’m aware that I had a dream, but when I try to recall it, the details or too vague to pin down. Occasionally I will wake myself up laughing or with an urgent need to relieve my bladder (I’m grateful for those particular dreams because they serve as a wake-up call that saves me a lot of embarrassment!) At other times, the dreams are frightening and I don’t even want to go back to sleep. I’ve even had the experience of knowing in my dream that something really bad is about to happen, and I have tried yelling in the hopes of waking up my husband, whom I know in my dream state is sleeping beside me, even though in the dream itself I’m not even in my house. It’s quite a strange sensation, and one that many people may not be able to understand because they don’t even realize they dream at all. My husband is that type.

Last night my dream was particularly weird. So weird, in fact, that I thought it might be therapeutic to write it down and share it, in the hopes that someone with much more insight than I might be able to dissect it and come up with a plausible explanation.

In this dream, a FedEx truck drove up my driveway – which was about a quarter mile long and was lined with junk cars.  If you know me, then you’ll know that’s a sure sign of a nightmare on the way. I hate junk cars!

But it didn’t work out that way. The FedEx driver jumped from the truck with a big smile on her face and said, “I have your inheritance here for you! Aren’t you a lucky duck?” Then she handed me a Wal-Mart bag that was filled with an assortment of mismatched flatware and a can of spray paint. I didn’t notice what color the paint was, but I do recall being quite disappointed with the flatware. But the driver had more for me. She threw the big door at the back of the truck open – it was one of those doors that slide up with a lot of clattering. Then she pulled a slab of meat out of the truck, and it looked about the size of a yearling cow. But she tossed it onto the hood of one of the junk cars, and I could see right away that it was not a cow. She smiled at me as she swiped her hands across the back of her pants, even though the meat was in a vacuum-sealed bag, and said, “Now what do you think of that?” As I was still holding the bag containing the silverware and the spray paint, I didn’t know what to think. Should I have a picnic or start a craft project?

But I was upset about the meat. I said to the driver, “This isn’t beef, is it?” Like I was accusing her of something. We argued for awhile, and I don’t remember most of the conversation, but I knew after a few minutes that the bag contained woodchuck. A lot of woodchuck that appeared to have been mechanically separated and squished together in a big, cowish shape. I don’t know why that made me mad, but a minute later some woman I knew in my dream but have no recollection of, slapped me on the back and said, “Oh, good! Now we have enough food to feed the nursing home residents.” I don’t know who that was good for, but I can’t imagine it was good for the residents. Yuck!

I couldn’t worry about it for long, though, because I suddenly remembered I was in a race. I called my dog and told her to “come on!” and we took off running down the road. When I got to the corner, I stopped to clean the toilet, just as I knew I should, and one of the ladies from church was there making a pie for the graduation ceremony. The pie was green, and I told her it looked really delicious. She only smiled and kept slapping on whipped cream.

Then I continued on the race, but I suddenly noticed that my purse was really heavy and it was slowing me down. Instead of just chucking the purse, I stopped and opened it. Inside I found that the candy corn I had put in there had sprouted and I was actually carrying a dozen huge ears of corn with me.

That was the end, thankfully. It wasn’t a bad dream, per se, but it’s probably the strangest one I’ve had in awhile. Maybe the strange part about it is the fact that I still remember that much of it so vividly. Usually dreams are fleeting things, but not this one. And although as a writer I know we are advised against using the dream trick in our novels, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a story, or at least a picture book, hidden in this soup of freakishness. So far I haven’t been able to come up with anything usable, but I thought that by writing it down I can at least come back to it if something strikes a chord. Who knows? It might contain the seeds for the next best seller. In the meantime,


Cordelia Dinsmore