The dream within a dream dream

It’s been a busy day and I haven’t yet had a chance to write about this dream that I had last night. But for it to make sense, I have to explain that when I was in high school, I would get up for school, eat breakfast, and then fall asleep on the couch listening to the news until it was time to leave for school. I often had weird dreams on that couch because I could hear the news in the background and it would make its way into my dreams. I would be very disoriented when I woke up.

Last night I had a dream that I woke up on that couch. I was 17 years old. It was time to go to school. I was dressed and ready. Everything was eerily routine and I was very disoriented. I had been having a dream there on the couch, and as the cobwebs cleared away, I realized suddenly that what I dreamt was my life up until now. I dreamt that I went to UCR, got my job after I graduated, married Tawnya, got my pilot’s license, moved to Washington, got divorced, etc., etc., up to and including selling my story. As I collected my backpack, I realized it had all been a dream, the good and the bad. And you know what, I was disappointed; I didn’t want it to be a dream. I wanted it to be real. I had felt so real. I got goosebumps.

At that point my alarm went off and I woke up back in the real world. I was a little disoriented but I looked around and I was in my bedroom in Riverdale, Maryland and everything that had happened had still happened. It was a kind of Wizard of Oz moment.

I don’t put stock in dreams, as you all know. But I have to admit that this one pushed the limits of my skepticism. I suspect I had the dream because my recent achievement (selling a story) was in my memory and that achievement was a big enough deal to evoke strong reactions to the synapses firing in my brain. And yet it got me thinking: imagine waking up to find out that you dreamed the last 15 years of your life, and that here you are back in high school having to do it all over again.

Cogito ergo sum