I don’t have any recollection of my dreams. Some days I wake up and my mood is set by whatever was going on in my head while I was sleeping but I have no idea why. I can wake up sad, glad or mad and in the cases of sad and mad, I would like to know what the effing deal is so I can move on.
Have you ever written a song in a dream? It’s like the most amazing sounding thing ever, so good that Jesus is playing a mean lead guitar and singing back-up but when you wake up you can’t remember a damn thing.
My inability to remember my somnambulative adventures is so weak that I can only recall a handful of dreams I’ve ever had in my entire life.
About thirty years ago I had a dream that I was walking around a foggy version of the neighborhood that I grew up in. This, first off, is clearly a dream as I don’t walk anywhere. Why would I pay for a car and then go for a walk? Exercise? C’mon. Anyway, I walk by my mom’s friend’s Judy’s house, and she invites me in for a coffee. When I was a kid Judy used to give me a cup of those International Foods flavored coffees which made me think I was a pretty big deal, drinking coffee and all, like an adult. So she sits me down at the dining room table, gives me my coffee and proceeds to tell me that she’s going away and won’t see me anymore.
Pretty standard dream I guess until I get to work the next morning and my mom calls and tells me, “Judy died in her sleep last night.” She wasn’t ill and was in her early fifties. Weird. How did this happen? Why can’t this happen more? I mean, not the Judy dying part but the cognitive ability to tap into this kind of information. Like I wouldn’t mind knowing who’s going to win in the third at Belmont tomorrow or which team to throw a large amount of money on in the next Superbowl. It was nice and all of Judy to come tell me goodbye but, all I’m saying is, maybe she could have dropped a little financially beneficial knowledge on me on my way out the door. Like, “Oh, hey, Jonathan, by the way, you might want to lay a little cash down on this company that’s going to have an IPO in a few years, remember the name Apple.” Would that have been so hard?
I think I was in the third grade? Maybe fourth? Somewhere in that eight or nine year old wheelhouse. I was playing intermural hockey and was a blue line right winger. Blue line being second team kind of thing. So one Saturday morning game I go crazy and score three goals in my limited playing time. As I remember it, two of the goals I scored went down because the goalie was actually picking his nose when I blew a meteoric slap shot right past his non-existent defense but the coach didn’t notice the nose picking and thought I really had some skills. Life is not always about being good, moist of the time it’s about somebody else not paying attention. I was immediately promoted to the red line. Red line being a starter for those of you from Akron.
In my mind, I was the next Gordie Howe. Gordie Howe being one of the all-time great professional hockey players but probably a non-entity to anyone under the age of forty. Kind of like my grandmothers favorite actor was some guy named Tom Mix. Who the hell is Tom Mix?
This was also, in my mind, the time to start worrying about the next game. If I was to keep this goal scoring frenzy up, I would need some kind of goal scoring plan and I was not sure if I could count on the next goalie to be struggling with a sinus issue.
The night before “the big game” which is stupid anyway because I was eight and nothing should be that serious at eight, I had a horrifying dream that I remember as vividly today as if it just happened last night. I was skating around the ice warming up for the game when I realized that I had forgotten my hockey pants. This wasn’t one of those “forgot my pants but still had my underwear on” kind of frustration dreams, I had nothing on but my sweater and skates. As I continued to glide around the ice, I suddenly became aware that no one had noticed. That’s when I noticed my grandmother in the stands cheering me on. I mean, if my grandmother hadn’t noticed then I was pretty confident that I could probably play this whole game half naked, score a ton of goals off of some snot eating goalie, get carried triumphantly off the ice on the shoulders of my teammates then quickly run to the locker room to throw on some pants. My fans would be so enthralled with my greatness that they would be blind to my nakedness, sort of like the statue of David.
My grandmother had other ideas though. Oddly she was setting up a hot dog kiosk in the stands. Strange, I thought, but even she should be able to financially capitalize on the greatness of her extremely gifted grandson. I mean wouldn’t you rather buy your hot dogs from the grandmother of the greatest hockey player to ever grace the ice? Don’t they taste better that way? However, to my horror, my sweet grandmother started hurling ketchup covered hot dogs, without the bun I might add, at my bare ass. All around the ice there was a trail of steaming hot dogs and ketchup. People were in hysterics and I looked like a chump.
As if the pressure of being the new starting right wing weren’t enough I was now having dreams about my sexual identity? Is this really happening? All the next day, game day, and still to this day, instead of playing the game of my life, I’m sitting there mentally punishing myself with the question, “is my grandmother trying to tell me that I’m a gay right wing?”
In the eighth grade I had to get glasses. I was for all intents and purposes, blind. You could have taken two of those clear glass restaurant ashtrays, wrapped a couple of black pipe cleaners around them and tied them to my face and I might have been able to see correctly. At the eye doctor, of course I opted for the douchiest pair I could find, black, metal rimmed glasses that with gray tinted lenses and made me look like a fourteen year old Russian porn star. You could have taken these glasses of mine outside and burned ants with them the lenses were so thick.
I got braces in the ninth grade to go along with the telescope fastened to my head which pushed me into a dork spiral that I didn’t recover from until I went to college. I still had the glasses in college but at least I had straight teeth. My mom told me that chicks dig straight teeth. Apparently even she knew I was a tard.
When I was 35 or so and had become accustomed to the burden of horrible vision, I came home from work and decided that I would get a little sun before dinner. It was one of those hot and steamy summer days like in the high 90’s and within 30 minutes, I was sick to the point of throwing up. I head inside to take a nap in the air-conditioning and wake up a half an hour later to absolutely perfect vision. I mean better than 20/20 vision like I’m an effing superhero or something. I, of course, am freaked out by the whole affair because I am certain that I have a giant tumor pressing against my optic nerve temporarily giving me this glorious vision. Clearly as the tumor grows, my vision will ebb back to virtual blindness but, by then, I won’t care because by then I will in the throes of death from a cripplingly painful form of eye cancer.
I go and see an eye doctor and tell him the whole scenario. Bear in mind that this guy is old, he has seen every eye issue known to man and probably fitted people with monocles before the advent of dual lens glasses, and he goes, “Hmm, not really sure what happened. Saw it once before but that guy died a few months later.” WTF!!! And I’m paying for this kind of help? It took this idiot twenty minutes of jamming lights and wind into my eyeball before I said, “Look man, be straight with me. This guy, did he die a slow and painful death wasting away to nothing as the cancer ate away at his body? I mean, I need to know what’s going to happen to me so stop fucking around with my eye and finish your stupid story!!”
Let me first say that I don’t think eye doctors are used to being spoken to like this but he literally just told me that the only person he’s ever seen self-heal their eye in his 150 or however many year career died and I was inconsolable. “I mean, how can you be so flippant about this? You just told me I have head cancer and all you keep doing is shoving that pen thing in my eye!”
Looking up from his glasses, he goes, “Who that guy? Oh his wife’s boyfriend ran him over with the car. Dead before he hit the pavement”