Friday, August 19, 2011

Dreams, updated...

Over the past month or so, to my great annoyance, the use of homeopathy seems to have removed any pleasurable effects of smoking weed, and this means I've been sober except for a few unsuccessful attempts. One of the effects of marijuana is to block memories of dreaming, so as a result of sobriety I've been experiencing a sudden flood of extremely vivid dreams. Since childhood I've had a recurring dream of being pursued by a serial killer. For a long while this dream usually involved me being in slow motion and, later, the lone killer became a team of them, sometimes seeming to be mercenaries or military of some variety. Over the past few years the slow motion sensation has gone away and there have also been people in the dream who are assisting me. At times, there has also been a vague goal of getting the team shut down somehow or even prosecuted. The dreams have gone from being horrific nightmares to being exhilarating, with a lingering sense of accomplishment, although there are still exceptions to that rule.

A few weeks ago was one of those exceptions, a nightmare I had while staying over at a friend's house. This particular friend has been through some extreme situations, so my dream may have come about as a result of absorbing any ambient detritus that may have been floating around in her house. I dreamed that I was living in the apartment of a mercenary soldier who had been decorated with many awards, and had a very well-respected position in his community. I was staying there with a young guy and it was expected that we were to stay out of sight as we would not be welcomed in the community. The soldier wasn't home very often and when he was he rarely interacted with us. One day, while he was gone, the younger guy took a parcel out of the closet and unwrapped it for me to see. It contained a sizable collection of brightly-dyed leather masks, which he claimed were made from the skin of civilians the soldier had murdered in cold blood. The soldier came home in the middle of our intrusion and quickly explained that the masks had come from a South American tribe that practiced cannibalism. By his demeanor I knew he was lying, and indeed the masks had been the culmination of his ritualistic killing spree.

Doing my best to generate exuberance, I said that he should take the masks to a museum or an anthropologist to ensure their preservation. He returned my distrust with a penetrating gaze and I believed I was not safe in his house, or even outside of it, since the surrounding community was hostile to strangers. He left shortly afterwards and I resolved to catch him by surprise before he could murder me. The soldier returned home in the middle of the night and, waiting in the shadows of the hallway, I approached him, wrapped my hands around his throat and strangled him until he stopped breathing. When I awoke in the morning, I was disgusted and queasy about what I had done and there was no feeling of success as there has been in other dreams. I also realized I had not come prepared with the proper clothing since the area my friend lives in is fairly chilly compared to the climate I'm used to. When I left, she gave me a bright red leather jacket to keep warm. It wasn't until I was almost home that I realized exactly what the dream had been trying to tell me.

Putting aside the obvious meaning, a simple verification of non-violence as the most ideal response in any situation, and certainly the one in my dream given that it would have been far easier to just leave the house, I looked up an online dream dictionary which had this to say: "To dream that you have committed a murder, indicates that you are putting an end to an old habit and a former way of thinking. This could also refer to an end to an addiction". A possible reference to quitting smoking weed, or maybe also the ethos of fear-based survival? Hopefully I'm not boring people with the dream analysis, because this kind of analytic thinking can really gloss over less academically acceptable possibilities, such as external influence, not to be discounted in the overall scheme of things.

Then last night I had yet another serial killer dream and it was better, in the sense that I was not doing something which directly contradicts my personal ethics, even if the plot development is a bit lacking. This time, I was working at a mall that was owned by a family which was, again, very prominent and influential in their community. Most of the franchises at the mall were also owned by said family and, like the way that many Chinese corporations have their own police forces, the entire place was run like a prison, with tall fences surrounding it and armed guards at every entrance. One of the girls I worked with, who was an accountant for the family, had also been given access to a walk-in freezer which was off-limits to other employees. She brought me there one day and showed off what appeared to be rows of human bodies in cold storage. I convinced her that this was not a place where we should be working and that knowledge of the freezer was, in itself, a liability. We rounded up another guy who worked with us and decided to try and escape. In the parking lot, we found an older biker couple who agreed to give us a ride in their pick up truck. Along with the couple's giant mastiff, we all jumped in the back of the truck and they covered us with a tarp, before successfully driving out of the compound.