Monday, December 10, 2012

Dreaming and Daring

I read somewhere recently that you never dream about people you've never seen. Every person in your dreams is someone you've actually viewed at least once, which means that the women my brain cast as Amish sisters who were taking part in an obstacle course (one portion of which involved swimming through a tank filled with eels and some especially large, angry looking fish) that was ALSO a televised reality show were people I have seen before, though I don't recognize them.

The older sister was a very good swimmer, by the way. The younger one had some trouble because she was frightened of the fish, though the eels didn't bother her.

I was willing to accept the "You only dream about people you've seen" theory at first, because science, but then I wondered, how do you prove that? How do they KNOW?  It seems to me as thought that could be a statement that would drive fellow researchers crazy at cocktail parties. "Prove your theory is true!" "No, you prove it ISN'T true!" "Smithers, fetch me another martini!"

I've been thinking about dreams lately, because as always seems to happen when Insomnia is slouching around my apartment, a delinquent in a black leather jacket with cigarettes rolled into his sleeves, I've been playing vivid and bizarre movies in my mind when I do manage to go to sleep. I don't remember them all (and I've never been one who writes them down) though the "Wipe Out"ish one from last night is lingering with me -- possibly because there were SO MANY eels in that tank, and the fish had such enormous teeth.

And why was it important that the sisters I was working with (I was not a contestant, I might add, but a production assistant) were Amish? Though now I'm thinking that perhaps they weren't Amish at all, but just very quaintly dressed. 

I was going to go on some sort of dorktastic literary theory nuttiness about dreams here (NERD ALERT) but now I'm not, because it strikes me as significant and kind of sad that even in my dreams I'm a worker bee. I don't even allow myself to play when I'm DREAMING. Instead, I stay behind the scenes, comfort the scared girl, make sure the eels are properly fed, convince a coworker to handle the big ugly fish. There may have been exhilaration and daring present -- the older sister ROCKED that tank, y'all, if only you could have seen her in her 1920's ish bathing suit, all modesty, slicing through the water while the fish crossed her path menacingly and the eels wriggled around her and emerging triumphantly on the other side -- but none of it was mine (though I was quite happy for both her and her sister, who didn't complete it so smoothly but was certain she could make up for the time on the portion of the course that involved an impossibly vast chasm and a very tiny rope bridge because "heights are not an issue for me").

You might be thinking that I'm over thinking it, that it was just a dream and that dreams don't really mean anything. I understand that sentiment, but I also know this: I have become boring to myself. Not because I'm a behind the scenes kind of a girl-- I'm proud of what I'm able to accomplish back here-- but because I've become the girl who only owns black clothing because I would no longer ever consider being on stage, in front of the lights.


I need to find a tank full of eels and take the plunge. Only, please Lord, let that remain simply a metaphor because ... eeew.

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