Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dreams Is Dapressin'

If my day today was a Popeye cartoon, that would be its title.

I went to bed late but was awakened early, after just a few hours, by one of the most remarkable dreams I ever had. It was scary, funny, full of action, and it had a tense dramatic story attached to it. I woke myself by consciously realizing, in the midst of this subconscious wallow, that I had never seen a movie quite like this, and it would be lightning in a bottle if I could only get it onto paper. So I woke and scribbled down eight lines of notes -- I used to do this all the time in my twenties, as an aspiring novelist, and rarely do it anymore, which made the effort seem even more exciting.

Then I returned to bed, where I found myself unable to sleep because I kept going over the idea and its imagery in my thoughts, trying to reel back in the parts of it I was losing touch with. An odd thing is that parts of it dovetail with fragments remembered from another dream from decades ago, which I've always held onto as having possibilities. The more I tried to fit these two together, natural as the fit seemed to be, the more I could feel the new dream's freshness and unpredictable, mercurial quality becoming hemmed in by the hard nails of conscious detail. Unable to get back to sleep, I got up for the day about an hour later and looked at the notes I'd written down. Fortunately, they didn't say "Boy Meets Girl" -- there is a real live germ of a book or movie in there, but it's sketchy as hell and it's going to take a lot of work to romance it out of the dream world into this one.

The torment is that part of me keeps saying "This could be your fortune." And I know that, if I don't take the most important steps in this process in the next day or two (which I can't, due to other obligations), or at least within the next week, there's a good chance it will be pretty much gone. No wonder so many people just play the lottery; it's easier than playing "The Old Man and the Sea" with one's own inner pool of hobgoblins.

As long as I can keep this idea interesting to myself, and add to it slowly, there's a chance it could become something. But, because of this dream and attendant lack of sleep and a determined return to the gym yesterday, I've had a long day of fuzzy-headedness, tired muscles, and haven't gotten much done other than some laundry. We have a dinner date with friends this evening, so my only aspiration for the rest of the day is to be good company.

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