Tangent - "Mr. Sandman..."

As I’ve told a few of you, my dreams have been incredibly lengthy and vivid as of late. I’ve curled up for an eight or nine hour sleep and woken up at the end of it after what, to my subconscious mind, has been days and, one time, even a whole week. Every night becomes a surreal adventure, albeit sorely lacking the backwards cadence of Twin Peaks’ Man from Another Place.

But the ones that actually irk me are those I can’t clearly remember as being dreams. One time I imagined a friend and I chatted about cats at length, and once awake had to firm up with her if the conversation actually happened (as we do regularly talk about the abnormally cute kittens we’ve discovered online). It’s gotten to be quite annoying, as these fairly mundane dream fragments can be nearly indistinguishable from the chunks of memory that lie on the outskirts of the conscious mind.

What I’m saying is, I’m starting to think I need a totem.

The following are a mixture of the most bizarre and bizarrely mundane dreams I’ve had to date.

The Northern Ontario Chainsaw Massacre

It’s night, somewhere in and around Killbear Park, near Parry Sound. Leatherface, the human skin-wearing, Husqvarna-flailing antagonist of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is chasing me and a fellow musician from the high school jazz band I played in down one of the provincial park’s many trails. I’ve already gone on about how Tobe Hooper’s seminal horror film is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen, so being put in the position of one of its beleaguered protagonists is downright terrifying.

At some point, the trail veers down toward the rocks along the shore of the Georgian Bay. To our surprise, Roy Scheider, in the role of Chief Brody from Jaws, is waving us toward him. My respond is appropriate: “Roy Scheider?!? What the fuck are you doing here?!?” “Lure him down by the rocks! The shark will jump out and grab him,” he replies, ignoring me and the fact that the Great White Shark, of which the titular creature of Jaws is a member, cannot survive in the fresh water of the Great Lakes. Realizing Scheider’s plan is fruitless and the man himself possibly insane, we follow the trail back up toward a cabin farther down the trail. We get in and bar the door behind us, and as Leatherface starts to saw his way through the wooden door, I produce a hitherto unknown revolver and blast our pursuer in the face until he expires.

The Isle of the Well-Groomed Cannibals

There’s really not much to this one: for some reason I’ve become stranded on an island populated by cannibals who possess a surprising degree of sophistication. This one has a vaguely Chainsaw Massacre vibe, and now that I think of it I think I might have dreamt this a day or two after my subconscious encounter with Leatherface. The cannibals are led by, of all people, Tom Selleck circa 1985, resplendent in mustache and Hawaiian shirt. Eventually, me and my fellow survivors—Jack Nicholson and Keith David—escape the island on a rowboat as the cannibal’s compound explodes behind us.

My Subconscious Architecture

This isn’t necessarily bizarre, nor is it restricted to one dream, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Perhaps Christopher Nolan’s Inception has had more of an influence on me than I initially thought, because recurring, nonexistent locations in my subconscious actually have fairly stable architecture from one dream to the next. Chief among them is a pretty kickass shopping mall that houses a thoroughly-stocked comic book and action figure shop and a movie theatre that plays whatever I want on IMAX-sized screens. I still have yet to plot it out on paper, but if I close my eyes I can clearly imagine its layout. In spite of the wide, Wal-Mart sized parking lot that surrounds it, the mall connects to the Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa via a long, disused corridor (if you’re familiar with the Rideau Centre, the hallway in question would start where the Old Navy is).

Other locations include a wood-furnished pub on the outskirts of some city, possibly Brantford, that’s built overtop a river and done in the style of a log cabin; a small college campus located along the shore of the Atlantic ocean, complete with a miniature sports stadium and student-operated open air market; and a sprawling, towering metropolis that my subconscious mind has somehow processed as “Future Cleveland.”

Feel free to share some of your weirdest and most fascinating dreams in the comments below!

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