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Dreaming a Story

(Fri May 28 11:02:56 2010)

I love dreams, I really do - good or bad.

Growing up, I remember listening to my parents describing their dreams; Dad had an exciting dream about being able to find an exact measurement ("On what?" "I don't remember..."), while Mom had a much more interesting dream about being an Indian princess trying to rescue people in a castle, all while being pursued by a Dark Knight. In case you're wondering - my dreams are definitely more like the latter.

If you can describe your dream in 5 minutes or less, you don't dream in as much detail as I do. My dreams go beyond snips of an alternate reality and into vast universes, uncharted by anyone but myself. I like my dreams. When I dream, I'm a warrior on the field of battle, a scientist on the brink of an earth-shaking breakthrough, or a hero on a perilous quest. While my body rests and rejuvenates, my mind is active - arguably more active than when I'm awake. Dreams are the ultimate form of escapism (because, frankly, sleeping is boring). When I dream, I wake up a hundred times more refreshed than if I hadn't dreamed.

My most recent dream was (as closely as I can describe it) a cross between "I Am Legend" and "Terminator 3"... I'll try to give you the basic outline, but no way am I going to be able to explain the whole thing! :-)

The world had been infected by a virus that turned people into zombies (not the bloody, shambling kind, though). There were multiple types of zombies:
Dummies, who acted a lot like dementia patients - not very bright, mumbled half-speech, and a tendency to be fixated on an item (ie, a set of car keys). Not very dangerous, apart from not wavering from a goal, even if it meant tearing you in half to get to said goal. They were the most common.
Muscles, who were strong, somewhat violent, but not too bright; mostly like the zombies in "I Am Legend". The second most common.
Freaks, ultra-violent creatures with long teeth and nails, and tended to destroy any and everything, including other zombies; these were *scary* to be near.
Springs, super-fast, super-agile zombies, with a tendency to spit; they could run at sustained speeds of around 25 MPH, and as fast as 60 MPH in very short bursts. Not very violent, but spit is how most zombies infected you...
Smarties were the worst, though. While the Dummies were just stupid, and the Muscles, Freaks and Springs were animalistic, Smarties kept their full intellect, maybe even becoming smarter; they were people who *liked* being zombies, and could control other zombies to do their bidding. While it's easy to feel pity for a Dummy, there was no pity for Smarties. They were the ones that led hordes of zombies into camps, killing everyone...
Anyway, Lindsay was a research scientist, and I was the boss of a way station; way stations were buildings scattered around the perimeter of the main compound, acting as early warning systems in case of attack.

People tended to be friendly; if you weren't, you tended to get killed pretty fast. People weren't very trusting of someone with a bad attitude. Overall, it was fairly safe in my area, but everyone was still pretty on edge. There were six or seven people under my roof; Xan, a girl about 9 years old, two teens, and 3 adults. We grew tomatoes and other plants, shopped at WalMart (that was the headquarter building, too), and generally tried to keep from getting eaten or infected; I interacted with them, and other characters like "Johnny Tomato", a guy that went around planting tomato plants, and "Diesel Jay", a guy that drove a huge tanker truck around to the bases, fueling them up for a healthy profit. There were scary situations, like when we thought a Smartie was invading, or when a Freak and a Spring broke into our camp, and funny situations, like when the little girl thought one of the teens had turned into a zombie when she saw him kissing his girlfriend ("I know what kissing is, but I thought he was eating her face!").

I think that's the difference between my dreams and other people's dreams - mine come with a back-story. Instead of jumping into a dream, I think my mind invents a plausible story around the dream, gives the basic details, then starts the actual dream - like a movie that gives you a story about what happened before hand, so you don't go into the movie unprepared. I also tend to wake up, remember the dream, then go back to sleep and continue it, rather than waking up fully and ending the dream, or going back to sleep and starting a new dream. Mostly because I just really like dreaming.

I won't ask if I'm weird; I already know I am. Good or bad, I love my dreams (unless I'm stressed, but that's a different story). What I do wonder, though, is what other people's dreams are like; do you dream a lot, or just once in a while? Do you remember your dreams, or just a few vague details? If you wake up during a dream, do you try to continue it as you fall asleep, or do you just go back to sleep? Are your dreams like stories, with a plot and a goal, or just snippets, various things happening fairly linearly? Can you turn a dream into a lucid dream (where you know you are dreaming, and can control things), and if you can, can you choose to leave that aware state and just go with the flow on purpose? I can, and have, usually because I liked the 'story'; something tells me there aren't many people who can do that...

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This blag is tagged: Dreams, Zombies, All