What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.
Its the one and only time I have ever dreamed of flying. It was spring breaking in Lloret de Mar, Spain, my junior year of high school. Not because my family has money. I was an Army brat living in Stuttgart, Germany. The trip was just a couple hundred bucks all in. The 19 hour, double decker bus ride kicked off the festivities, and on the return became a rolling detox center.
Once there debauchery, drunkenness, and general tom-foolery were explored in excess, as were the Spanish versions of all my favorite fast food joints. A new introduction to my bag of indulgences was hash. Hey. It was a week away from rules, so I was running away from the lines. The black, sticky tar was cut and fluffed before being sprinkled over Marlboro Red tobacco. Because the effects weren’t immediate I chased the smoke with some vodka. I had been spoiled with German beer so the Spanish swill just wouldn’t do.
I have only two other memories from that night. First is the dream. Second is how I woke from that dream.
I was flying. High enough that the features of land below were nothing more than a patchwork of dirt and mud. But there something odd about the look of the land. It didn’t have the familiar look of far off land I remembered seeing on plane rides. The chaotically organized quilting of grass and trees and roadways was missing from the view in my dream. And it seemed to be shifting and rolling.
For me dreams never flow in a linear fashion really. Mine are more like hard cuts in a film, flashing vignettes of information. I linger in a scene for a bit, and can even find some momentary purchase and the BAM! Its the next scene.
So I’m flying high above this landscape and then suddenly I’m just above it and it not shifting and rolling. It’s boiling. What from afar looked like dirt and mud was actually the red and brown hues of a brain boiling over the sides of my skull. I dodged geysers of brain matter shooting up at me. But the fear was swept away by the sensation of flying.
Hard cut. The brain rips open and sucks me down. I descend through miles high skyscrapers with no windows. The buildings are black behemoths, packed side by side, and look like a chorus of Easter Island heads. One row of heads sits across from another, heads arched back, screaming each each other. The bridge of their noses almost touch. creating a space just large enough for me to fly between.
Hard cut. I’m flying through a tunnel created by the arguing heads. But I’m traveling so fast everything is a black blur.
Hard cut. I wake to white porcelain. The tiled floor isn’t the cool respite I have retreated to so often when feverish but a warm, sticky kind of hug. I peel myself off the floor, the vomit like a band-aide covering my body. I’m not going to do laundry before the end of the trip so I toss them in the trash and take a shower. That of course was number two.
I don’t remember where that day fell in the Spring Break week. I do know it wasn’t the last day. The last day I got a tattoo from an American guy born and raised in a border town outside San Antonio that didn’t speak a word of english. A buddy of mine translated for all of us. My tattoo was of an upside down peace sign, Artificial Peace, was the slogan of my crew then. I won’t try to pretend I remember the idiocy of that belief. I do remember thinking on the trip to Lloret de Mar, that I wanted to get a tattoo because “I didn’t want to die without any regrets”.
“I didn’t want to die without any regrets”.
Let that hang in your mind for a moment. The profound stupidity. Shocking is that this thought was not borne by drunkenness. It came to me in the light of sobriety.
I still have that tattoo. It sits on my upper left shoulder laughing at its own punchline.
A mind is a terrible thing to develop, unsupervised.