Monday, February 13, 2006

Dream On

I sometimes wonder what my dreams say about me. I think my dreams are pretty unusual. I don't seem to have the kind of anxiety dreams that a lot of people have - getting lost, falling off bridges, being naked, etc. Mine are often ridiculously action packed, dramatic and outlandish. They are like adventure movies or computer games. I wake up exhausted sometimes after haring around saving the world and being heroic. One theory I have is wish fulfillment; In my dreams I am usually decisive, fearless, even reckless. In real life, I am actually risk-averse, fairly unambitious, and a terrible procrastinator. Maybe it means I would like to be a more forthright, decisive person. The other explanation, which my wife often suggests, is that I watch too much TV and films.

For instance, here is last night's epic:

I was travelling on a plane when some kind of disaster struck, and we crash landed in a remote location. Somehow it came to light to me and the other survivors that all the major cities in the world had also been destroyed by the disaster, and that we were among the last humans left alive. We realised that not only did we need to somehow stay alive ourselves, but that the future of humanity also depended on us to get things back together and start repopulating the world. So we tried to survive in the remote wilderness, and inevitably started forming relationships with others in the group. I fell in love with a woman survivor and we decided to settle down together. Everything was going OK, until our first night together, when I found out she was a vampire. She always looked normal in the daytime but at night she grew fangs, her hair turned black and her eyes darkened. She was not evil, but sadly told me that we could never be together because I was a normal human and she was a vampire. She told me some of the other survivors were also vampires. We told the rest of the group to make sure that vampires only paired up with other vampires, and humans with humans, otherwise the next generation would be mutants and may not survive. I was crushingly disappointed as I really loved this woman. I decided to stay single and just help out with general planning for survival.

Some weeks later, we managed to repair the plane, and also we had come up with a long term plan to reorganise and save humanity. In the outside world, anarchy reigned due to the general collapse of organised government. There was starvation, poverty and disease everywhere. We had radios and so were keeping up to date with what was happening. Because we were outside of the smashed civilisations, we managed to keep things together and had space to think and plan. We now knew it was our duty to fly the plane back to New York, where we had heard that some kind of world government was left hanging on and tell them what we all needed to do as a species to survive.

So we flew the plane back, and we were very fearful of what we would find happening in our ruined civilisation. However as we approached, we could see that all the major cities were actually still standing. Paris, London, and New York were all still there and functioning normally. When we landed in New York and were greeted by huge cheering crowds, we realised that our entire experience had been faked, and we were actually put in that position and fed the misinformation deliberately in order to come up with solutions to the world's problems of racism, violence, war and pollution. They could not wait to hear what we had come up with. We were bursting to tell them.

We wondered how we could communicate everything to the general public. We had some genuinely new and innovative ideas that had come about because of our isolation and our true belief that the end of civilisation was imminent. In the end we decided to present it in the form of theatre, where we would get the ideas across using dramatised situations.

We worked on the production for a long time, with complex special effects and music. When it came to the opening nights across the world, things went badly. The props and sets were poor quality, the special effects did not work. Actors did not seem to understand the concepts and so did not communicate them properly. They forgot their lines. Everyone wondered what all the fuss had been about. By taking our ideas away from our protected space, by having to get them across to others who had not shared our genuine terror, they had become dulled, corrupted, cracked and flawed. They seemed ridiculous, infantile. Even we ourselves started to lose our grasp on what we had come up with, the concepts just fluttered away on the breath of our words. We knew we had been right, but now the edge was blunted, the crystal ball was dark. It was too long ago, we were all too much in love then, and reality drifted down over us like a dusty old blanket.

We slipped out of public view, and people forgot about us. The world carried on not knowing the answers. We missed our opportunity to reshape life on earth, but we knew it was in our grasp once. We were happy because of that. We never let on that there were vampires among humans, because we knew they would be persecuted even though they were kind, but looked frightening.

The end.