The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

LAUGHING MYSELF AWAKE
I rarely ever remember my dreams. That may sound odd to some people, particularly those who regularly have vivid recollections of their dream states. I've actually been accused of lying about this, and using that as a false excuse for not wanting to open up and share, out of fear for revealing something about myself.

But it's the fer-real truth. For whatever reason, I can't seem to retain very much from my dreams, and I believe this has been the case for most of my life. I think I dream as much as the average sleeping person, and I usually get the faint impression that I have dreamed most nights. It seems that if I wake up in the middle of a dream, or if I'm dreaming pretty close to the time I normally wake up, I will retain at least some partial recollection; but even then, half the time that memory fades to nothing within minutes of waking up. It's exceedingly rare that I'll ever recall a complete dream, from start to finish.

Why is this? I've never had it analyzed, but I suspect the prognosis would be something along the lines of avoiding whatever underlying meaning the dreams may have--by wiping them clean from my brain right away, I don't have to examine them, as I'd be wont to do. I'm sure the relative lack of sleep I get regularly is part of it: I tend to remember my dreaming from the occasions where I sleep longer than my usual 6-7 hours (which might suggest I actually dream more with more hours of slumber). I don't know that that's the whole story, though, because even as a kid who got more than enough sleep, I had the same trouble remembering them.

Since I've lived like this all my life, I've been used to it, and don't really feel like I've missed much. But sometimes, the lack of remembrance in this area is nagging, at least for the day or so after it happens.

Like last night, for instance. I was having some sort of dream, but if I had a gun to my head, I couldn't tell you any details. The only thing I know for sure was that there was something intensely funny about it. So intense, in fact, that I felt myself laughing really, really hard in the dream. The next thing I knew, I was awake, having woken myself up with my own hard, sustained, out-of-my-mouth laughter. I had dreamt something so funny that it managed to wake me up in the middle of the night!

And of course, as soon as I woke up, I didn't remember a damned thing about it.