To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

017I got an email from my friend N the other morning. N and I met in junior high when we were thrown together in home room class because we both had surnames beginning with S. (It’s interesting how something as random as shared initials can be responsible for a lifelong friendship.)

We don’t email as regularly as we used to, but we still keep in touch and we always get together when I’m in Powell River. It was a nice surprise to find her email in my inbox until I read the first line: “I had a dream about you last night (don’t worry–nothing bad!) and thought I’d check in with you.”

Oh my God! Not a dream! I hate it when people dream about me.

I worry about dreams because I know they can reveal the future. Don’t believe me? I once dreamed of walking through the forest and sure enough later that week I accompanied my boy’s Cub troop on a nature walk. . .in the forest.

But my uneasiness about being the subject of dreams goes deeper than that.

It goes back to my older brother who, if he’s to be believed, dreamed about me regularly. He shared his dreams in lurid details.

“You’re not planning to ride in a car anytime soon, are you?”

It was summertime. I was nineteen, working shifts at the local A&W and hanging out at the beach on my days off. Of course I was planning to ride in a car.

“Why?”

“It’s probably nothing, but I had a dream you were in an accident.”

“Oh. I’ll try to be extra careful.”

“Good, because it wasn’t just a little fender bender. You were thrown from the vehicle.” Pause for effect. “Your head was found several metres away from your body.”

I still get chills thinking about that conversation. I still get angry when I remember he told my superstitious mother, who spent the rest of the summer worrying about me every time I left the house.

She died of cancer a few years later.

Shortly after, his cancer dreams about me began.

It’s okay. N’s dream wasn’t anything bad–just an indication she’s been thinking about me. It’s nice to be in the thoughts of your friends. This should bring warm and fuzzy feelings, not dread and anxiety.

It does. . . until I get a Facebook message from M, another high school friend: “How are things? Had a dream last night where you featured, nothing odd, just saw your face!”

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4 thoughts on “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

  1. Ah, Nanette. Live! Live! Live!
    As Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” says
    If we shadows have offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumber’d here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,

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