This one is going to get me in trouble. When someone comes up to me and says, let me tell you about this dream I had last night, I wish my sense of civility would be hit by REM sleep and I could bolt. Or say NO. Please, please do not tell me about your sleep saga.
- First of all, the Eraserhead quality of dreams is most interesting to the one dreaming them. Not so much to the innocent bystanders. There have been exceptions to this but not many.
- Second, stop saying how bizarre or weird it was. Dreams are bizarre or weird by definition. They're an amalgam of reality and fantasy and fear. Of course they come across all crazy-quilted.
- Third, you don't need to start at the beginning and trundle all the way to the bitter end. Hopefully, one part of the dream is more interesting than the rest. If you have to tell, tell that scene.
- Context? Context is often irrelevant. If not, a quick summation will suffice. It's tortuous for your listener to hear you launch into Act I after 20 minutes of the acid-trippy preface. Watch your audience. Are they drifting? Wincing? Grimacing? Praying for death?
My dreamlife is clearly affected by watching CSI just before bedtime. Last week I was stuck in a cult. Last night I witnessed a van come careening around the corner (all TV-car-chase angles) which begin to hit parked vehicles and people indiscriminately. Car sides were sheered off. Kids' legs were amputated. It was a very disturbing conglomeration of crime scenes.
The significant part was me desperately trying to get through to the 911 operator. The hold portion of emergency services had been bought by advertisers. That's right. Advertisers were pitching their goods and services with commerce-perky voices while I watched dogs and children bleed out. The most maddening thing was that when I tried to dial "0" to get back to the operator, it thought I was "clicking" on the product (like getting my gutters cleaned was suddenly more pressing than triage) and transferred me to the advertiser.
I woke up jonesing for retirement.