Day Seven: Dreams

We’re naked and you’re lying on your back in bed with your eyes closed.  I come over and lie next you, on my side facing you.

“Did you ever think we’d be here?” I ask.

Opening your eyes while nodding yes you say, “Yeah” with a huge grin spreading across your face.

I laugh.  It wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.  I thought you’d say something like “No, this is crazy.” or “I thought about it so much but never thought it’d happen.”  But with you, you aren’t afraid to just say “Yeah” and it’s absolutely perfect.


I’ve always had a lot of bad dreams. Apocalyptic nightmares featuring nuclear bombs, tsunamis, mass electrocution. I used to really worry about myself. At 10, I would wake up terrified and sit at the top of the stairs and wait for the sun to come up, certain that it wouldn’t. Later, after talking to other people with similar dream lives, I realized that these terrible dreams aren’t that unusual. We were all bookish kids with too much time alone and probably too little supervision. Throw in a dash of real disaster or trauma and it’s no surprise that an interest in survival sets up early.

What’s strange is that I’ve never had a dream where my teeth fall out. That’s a common and disturbing one, more often men than women, I think. I consider myself pretty good at dream interpretation and it makes perfect sense to me that the “bite” represents the power you feel or don’t feel in your life. But what could make you feel more powerless than the end of the world? I guess with the lucky discovery of lucid dreaming and the ability to finally outrun the waves (well, some of the time), teeth never seemed very important to me.

I love hearing about other people’s dreams. It makes me feel like I know something about them that they may not even know about themselves.

Someone once told me that the popular myth that most people only dream in black and white comes from the 1950s, when television was primarily black and white. Once color television became more common, more people dreamed in color. That just makes me so sad! Are imaginations really that numb? On the other hand, taken to the silly extreme, it makes me laugh to imagine a world before television, when radio was king, and people only dreamed in broadcast sound. And before that, maybe only conversations? Or maybe symphonies? Or drums? Imagine your dreams are only wolves howling in the dark and the smell of meat and fire.



From the age of eight, I had the same dream repeatedly for almost 15 years.  In my dream, I am with my parents at Kmart (the one in Roebuck if you are old enough to remember).  We enter the store together and I take off for the toy department, as I always did.  Eventually I wander back to look for my parents.  I see my mom in the women’s clothing department and run toward her.  I begin to chatter excitedly about whatever doll or toy has caught my eye.

Through all of this, my mother never acknowledges me.  At first I think she is annoyed because I ran off, so I apologize and then continue to tell her about whatever toy I want her to buy me.  By this time my father has joined us.  Neither of them acknowledges me.  I begin to grow more and more frustrated, unable to fathom why they are acting this way.  Eventually, I start dancing all around them and the shopping cart, frantically trying to get their attention.  This is when I realize that they cannot see me.

I follow them through the store for what feels like hours, desperately trying to find a way to make myself known to them.  I listen to their conversation and realize that they are not talking about trying to find their missing child.  Not only can they not see me, it is as if I never existed.  At this point I start to panic. 

I continue to follow them, screaming at them as loud as I can, bumping into their shopping cart with my body.  None of this elicits any response from them.  As they approach the checkout line, I formulate a plan.  I will sneak into the car with them, which should be easy since they can’t see me.  Once we are home and they see my bedroom and my toys, they will remember me and will see me again.

I follow them as they head out of the store.  However, as I reach the exit, I cannot move through it.  I realize that I am stuck in this store.  I watch through the glass doors as my parents load their purchases into the car and drive away.  I feel a huge knot forming in the pit of my stomach as I fight back tears.

I also realize that none of the employees can see me either.  I am literally invisible.  I watch in apprehension as the employees begin to close the store for the night.  As the last employee leaves and turns off the light, I feel the most intense anguish.  I wander through the darkened store alone, wondering how this happened to me.  It is usually at this point that I wake up, heart racing, skin clammy. I stopped having this dream in my mid-twenties, but I still remember it vividly.

Leigh Ann


I had one dream that would reoccur when I was a small child.  It was a giant tire, think Big Foot monster truck tire, and it would bounce towards me.  I could feel the vibrations every time the tire hit the ground.  I could hear the tire hitting concrete. I could smell the rubber.  I couldn’t move and just as the tire was about to smash me into oblivion I would wake up. It would be so quick. Like the dreams where you step in a hole and you wake up kicking your foot at full force as you wake up.  It’s the only dream I remember having over and over again.



I dream in Roy Orbison rose gold and rhinestones ribbons and pleats

pearls on collar bone bittersweet, Baby nostalgia on the half shell the half-life

of Happy Days reruns in syndication
in my subconscious beautiful; Baby, perpetually leaving me in present progressive biting bottom lip cranking down window wiping chrome

tears on powder
cheek to cheek
with glass and glow
of the Shake Shack
and ‘Baby’ is often
‘Richie’ or ‘Arthur Fonzarelli’ or even ‘Potsy’ but ‘Baby’ is just as often

a music
a name on an envelope
a piece of sunset over the city and behind dark sunglasses, “I’m crying,
over you.”



I am no dream expert, but I have read my share of books about dreams.  I understand there are many types of dreams and many ways to interpret them.  

I read somewhere about deep meditations, and that they can bring on a dream-like state in which you can actually summon a dead person.  It sounds kind of creepy, but I think I want to try that. One of my oldest and dearest childhood friends has just passed away, and I want to try to visit with her in a dream.  In a recent Meditation class, I had a visit with my guardian angel.  It was nice, not scary.   

I have had a couple of recurring dreams, which are pleasant and affirming.  One is where my hubby and I buy a new house, and when we move in we keep finding new rooms we didn’t know were there.  This is a hopeful dream to me.  One that tells me there are many more of our lives to explore and discover.  The other recurring dream I have is in the mountains, where there is a little cabin with a buttery light shining from a window.  I follow the light inside the mountain cabin, and there is an old lady who runs me a bath and feeds me.  I never want to wake from this dream.  Recently, when I was in the mountains of N.C., I saw this same house that I have been dreaming about and hiked the mountains behind it.  Have not had the dream since.

Of course there are nightmares when I wake up with my heart pounding and in a cold sweat.  Many of my nightmares are about tidal waves.  The worst one was when my husband jumped into it, from a balcony.,  I know enough about dreams to figure this one out so that it represents the feelings of being overwhelmed.  In this particular nightmare, I am standing on the balcony of a beach hotel, and I am watching the waves swell, knowing they will eventually wash over me.    Horrifying.   I have developed a slight fear of the water since the nightmares began.

Then there are those dreams that predict the future.  I had a dream where a friend’s son came to me, and said, “Please take care of Mom and Dad.”  Two months later he was killed in a motorcycle accident, and my husband and I tried to help his parents, our best friends.  Heartbreaking.  He warned me in this dream.

I have saved the best for last.  This one is my very favorite dream of all times.  I was fortunate enough to have a visit with my deceased grandmother in my dream.  I didn’t want to wake up from this dream because she was hugging me so tightly, and I felt loved.  When I finally woke up, I could still feel the pressure of her arms around me.  There were real tears on my face from the joy this visit brought me in my dream.

I keep my dream journals right by my bed for easy access in case I wake up and need to write my dreams down as I have them.  This is crucial.  You think you will remember every detail, and every detail is important in a dream, but you won’t.  Write them down.  You won’t regret it.



Strange. So strange. Waking from a dream that’s embarrassing to have even had.

Rubbing your face and shaking your head thinking, holy god damn almighty that’s my brain. Dreams like bad decisions you want to learn from, but can’t entirely admit actually happened. In some terrifying way, you know it did happen. At least for you it happened. You try to find the words to share your dreams with someone, but all that comes are fragments and falsehoods and flushed cheeks. Fuck me, who am I? So. I had this crazy fucking dream last night. 

From where I can remember, it starts with a dear, dear friend being run over by a truck driven by another dear, dear, but more estranged friend. From a moment of laughter and farewells to a thumping sound of tires repeatedly pummeling human head. It won’t stop. Oh my shit. Why brain, why! I don’t run to her. I’m scared of what I might see, but like a thought within a dream – which is also a thought? – I imagine it. I see it. Something is actually happening to me somewhere in my tangled psyche. This episode of my minds horror wakes me up at 4am. 

I fall back into a half-sleep-half-scared-to-sleep dream. This time, one of those where people and places shape shift from scene to scene. Major meta madness of watching myself watching a movie I was in that I haven’t seen yet. What? What are you doing, brain? Well, what my brain might be doing is trying to put the pieces together from a hugely complex experience I had on a wildly weird film that is coming round the bend that I’m oooh so terrifuxcited* for.

*terrified + fucking + excited = terrifuxcited

So. After nervously sitting with the writer at the kitchen table of my mother and father’s home, members of the team begin to walk along a route where we collect other team members on the way to what becomes an outdoor drive-in like screening of an uncommonly in-depth trailer for our movie. More like a little movie of the big movie. Followed by a teaser that consists of me on a walky talky in a corn field wearing a ‘make america great again’ hat. The thing that stands out is how stupidly unique the film’s look is and how it’s like nothing that we actually filmed. The colors are dark and peachy warm with a graphic novel texture to it. The poster art has zombies. This movie doesn’t have any zombies. I hate zombies. It’s an unusually unrecognizable genre of horror, action, heart, and art. I don’t understand it, but it is thrilling. We’re scattered amongst a lawn, more like watching fireworks at a picnic than a movie. There is absolutely nothing traditional about anything. My director boyishly leans his head on my shoulder, like it’s his first ever show-n-tell of this creature no one knows he has. I say to him, “I’m proud of you”, like someone who knows him better than I do, someone who understands the trajectory of his doubt.

The strange and estranged audience we’d gathered begin to dissipate, like an unmotivated transition in a really bad play. Then, we’re on the move again. I’m driving one of my co-stars to his new apartment near Elysian Fields in LA. We navigate our way through a tall, very white building still under construction. We find what seems to be his room, it’s missing some walls and he precariously climbs down the side of the building to get there. Somehow, I’m already there and I watch him. Who is now a her? But him? Oh lawdy mercy, brain. As is true to his real life persona, he has the funniest line in my dream. He asks some construction workers (or were they hotel managers?), “If someone just stumbles into my home, that I don’t want to be here, can I send them to detention?” Person of unclear occupation replies, “Sure, I don’t see why not, it’s your place”. I think that’s where it all ends. Insert laugh track. End scene. But, not really, because I’m carrying all those colors and moments, horrors and hilarities with me today. These dreams are really real. It’s too soon or I’m not ready to say in short what I’ve learned, but I can’t get the song, Last Resort by Papa Roach, outa my brain. My fucking brain.


{featured image: channel instincts}

Join us all November long for our 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Send your submissions to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *