i’m the reason i can’t have nice things

I’m not usually one to share my dreams; no one needs to know what goes on in the dark, weird corners of my subconscious, and most of my dreams are pretty typical (read: boring) anyway.

But I have to write about a recent one, because for the first time in my 40 years of dreaming I had an actual honest-to-god lucid dream. For those who never watched Inception, a lucid dream happens when you become aware you’re dreaming but you don’t immediately wake up.

To set the stage, I dreamt I was at a meetup. Since I started traveling for work, meetup dreams are pretty common. Usually there’s an element of anxiety — a missed flight, an inability to re-pack everything I’ve magically acquired in a five-day stay (random stuff like old toys, boxes of books–mind clutter), a plane crash, an inability to find the meeting I’m hours late for — but in this dream, my team (not my actual team, because that would make sense, but random people* who I took to be my team) and I were just hanging out.

* As an aside: Do other people have dreams that feature casts of complete strangers? Sometimes with backstories and personalities unrelated to anyone you know in real life? Does anyone else find this weird, that your brain just makes up whole people for the purposes of nighttime entertainment? Just me? Anyway.

We went to lunch at a café, then back to the house where we were working. We’re all sitting around a big table talking about what to do next, and I started thinking to myself how strange it was that we were going home tomorrow but we’d only been here for three days, and that didn’t make sense, because three days is a pretty short meetup. Then I thought, “Wait a minute, my next meetup is in Peru, and this is not Peru…”

At which point I slammed my hands down on the table and said, “This is a dream! I’m dreaming!” and my colleagues looked at me like, “Yep, we know.”

Miraculously, I didn’t wake up at that point. I stayed in the dream, and kept talking about how this wasn’t real, how I could do anything I wanted, and how cool was that? My colleagues were totally unfazed.

Then, as if to prove to myself I was lucid dreaming, I said, “Look, there’s Pedro Pascal!” and voilà! There he was. And I was like, “I could just go make out with him right now! Because this is a dream! Anything goes!” My colleagues agreed. But did I make out with Pedro? Noooooooo. I just ignored him and continued to gush about how not-real this whole situation was.

Then I stood in a line for a while? And got some fruit? And a lecture on how unhealthy my eating habits were?? All while chattering to my colleagues, who looked at me with growing disdain, about how this wasn’t real, how I was having a lucid dream and could do anything I wanted! Wow!

And then I woke up. No steamy Pedro scenario. No flying. No superhuman strength. No summoning my dad from the dead so we could have a real conversation.

Think of all the things you could try in a place where the only limit is your imagination! And I just…stood in a line for a while. And ate some fruit.

Even my subconscious knows I’m lame. 😒

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