I don't often remember my dreams. I would say that I don't dream at all, but I've heard that regardless if we remember them or not, we dream every night. I'm pretty sure that my neurological condition is to blame for this, preventing me from reaching a state of sleep deep enough for me to retain what my subconsciousness thinks up. Very infrequently do I wake up, either in the middle of the night or in the morning, with the memory of what I had been dreaming fresh in my mind.
The dreams I do remember are often bizarre or extremely disturbing. When I was going through the thickest and worst part of my anxiety problems last summer, I had the worst dreams of my life. They were truly horrible, made up from my darkest thoughts, swirled into these beastly vignettes that played on repeat in my mind's eye. Those dreams stayed with me for days, some of them for weeks, but I won't share them here.
When I wake up and actually remember what my dreams had been about that night, I make a point to write them down so that I can remember them later, or I tell The Boss about them. On a couple of occasions, I've written about some odd dreams here (the post about the fleas, and the other one about my stint as an arsonist are two that immediately come to mind). I sometimes look up certain elements of my dreams in dream dictionaries to see what they mean, but even after pouring through page after page, I haven't been able to decipher the strangest dream I've ever had.
I'm driving down a narrow dirt road, the tall grass whispering against the sides of my truck. The sky is grey and overcast, the sun burning bright behind the clouds. It smells like it had just finished raining, but the ground is dry. I'm driving fast, hitting hard the bumps and ruts on the poorly kept one-lane road. I'm obviously in a hurry, and despite my speed I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Tall grass lines the road all the way to the horizon.
As I make my way around a bend in the road, suddenly the tall grass ends and I'm in the parking lot of a small hospital. The parking lot is littered with a few cars, most of them clustered together near the entrance to the building. I park my truck at the far end of the lot, and step out. I feel the cool air against my skin, and make an interesting discovery.
With nothing to cover up my indecency in my truck, I cover my groin with my hands and run towards the hospital. I feel a deep-seated urgency, that there is something important I am missing or that I need to do, and despite my nakedness, I must get inside the hospital. I burst through the glass doors, and as I run lightly on my bare feet through the lobby, I catch the eye of the people in the lobby. Their eyes are wide and mouths open in shock, but no one approaches me as I run through the lobby and down a hallway to the side.
I keep running. When I reach the end of the hallway, I see a door that is slightly ajar. I push it open and find that it's a uniform storage closet. I step into the closet and pull the door closed behind me. Finding my size, I dress myself in a set of scratchy blue scrubs. I complete the ensemble with a white lab coat and shove my feet into a pair of sneakers I found tucked away in the corner.
Once dressed, I look around the small interior of the closet. There is a seam of light coming from the corner. I notice then that the far wall of the closet is actually a door; I find the handle, and turn it.
The door opens up into a patient's room. The only light in the room is a florescent bulb hanging over a sink mounted to the wall on the left side of the room. Something is in the sink. I walk over to it, not wanting to see what is in the sink but finding myself forced to by some perverse morbid curiosity. In the sink is a stainless steel bowl, filled with severed thumbs.
I take a few steps back in horror and look away. It is only then that I notice that I'm not alone in the room. Sitting cross-legged on the end of the bed made in crisp, fresh linen, is a black man. His bald head gleams in the florescent light. He's wearing the paisley-printed garb of an inpatient. He's meditating, his fingers pinched together in an "o" shape on his knees. I try to speak to him, but my throat is dry.
Suddenly, he turns his head to look at me. He smiles, his teeth a brilliant white. His eyes are closed. He unfolds his legs and swings them over the edge of the bed. Just as he opens his eyes-
- I wake up.
The dream has stayed with me in vivid detail. I've tried to figure out what the various parts of it could mean, but it just doesn't make sense. It's like my own personal horror story. I suppose I should be thankful that I've only had this dream once, and that it hasn't come back to me in my sleep.
What is the worst dream you can remember having?