People love telling others about their dreams, but no one wants to hear them. Dreams are fanciful and immaterial. They’re stories that did not happen. They contain none of the introspective weight some claim they do. So, why burden others with the absurdity of what you dreamt? Keep that shit to yourself.
With that said, I would like to tell you about a dream I had. So, in this dream, I’m on a plane, flying to San Francisco. As the plane enters the Bay Area’s airspace, but well before reaching SFO, the plane starts flying low to the ground, which begins to concern me. I look around and others on the plane don’t seem bothered, so I’m given comfort that there must be no danger. Eventually, though, the plane gets so low that it lands on the freeway, taxiing down Interstate 5 six times faster than the next fastest vehicle. The drivers on the freeway swerve out of the way but continue onward. None are stricken.
I look away from the window back to my fellow passengers to take some comfort in shared horror, but I find that they all remain nonchalant as if this were standard protocol for touchdown. Then, I notice the plane is fast approaching the Golden Gate Bridge. The plane’s wingspan is far wider than the bridge, and the wings will be snapped off within seconds. We’ll likely explode into a ball of fire and plummet off the world-famous bridge to our certain deaths.
Now, I feel genuine terror for my life. I feel it in my stomach. I look around the plane again, but now people seem almost bored, checking their phones, sending texts, adjusting the time on their mechanical watches. They look out the window, see what I see, and then look back at their phones. What the fuck is happening? As we are seconds away from the bridge, I brace for impact.
And…the pillars and steel cables of the bridge all expand outward such that the plane fits right through. Streetlights, pavement, and semi-trucks all bend out of the way, almost choreographically, at the exact right moment to let the plane proceed. My terror subsides momentarily but is replaced with confusion. Why would the plane land on the freeway? How could the bridge warp to let a plane enter? Why are none of my fellow passengers even the slightest bit disoriented? How am I still alive??
A menacing alarm sounds. What is that noise?? I opened my eyes. I looked up at the unfamiliar ceiling of a hotel I forgot I was staying at. And for a solid eight seconds afterward, now awake, I still had that feeling of dread. The discomfort of befuddlement. I was still trying to piece together how space bent like that, why everyone was seemingly unfazed, what will happen when the laws of physics regain their grip on reality.
Then, at once, the answer to every single one of these questions became comically apparent to me. All of it made complete sense, given one truth I had thus far failed to consider. It was a dream. Just a dream. Oh.
The fear drained from me and the memory of the dream faded. I silenced my alarm clock, got out of bed, and went about my day. Like nothing happened last night.
Like nothing happened last night. Which should be surprising. It should be surprising because I just caught my brain in a lie and proceeded to place blind trust in it for the rest of the day. It’s a nightly ritual I go through and that you do, too. We recognize and ignore the evidence of dishonesty by the organ we trust most and pretend that this same organ becomes a conscientious truth-teller the minute we wake from a rest.
Ladies! If your man comes home at 5am, whiskey on his breath, lipstick on his neck, glitter on his chest, shirt inside out, and insists he was held up at work, you dump his sorry, lyin’, cheatin’ ass, and never talk to him again. But somehow, that isn’t the relationship we have with our brains. Dreams, a.k.a. lies, are exhibits A-Z in dishonesty. And if we’re observant, we’ll notice its fibs during the waking hours. See: psychological biases and optical illusions.
And yet, again, we rarely consider our minds fundamentally dishonest. Because, sadly, we are our brains and it’s never fun to self-criticize.