I had a dream last night that I needed to be at a wedding in four hours but was more than four hours away.
I started driving like a maniac, but I knew I’d never make it. Traffic. Rain. A billion stops signs. The world was conspiring against me. Somehow I suddenly realized that I was in the midst of a dream (probably the unrealistic number of stop signs) and decided to change the parameters of the dream.
“I need to be there in six hours instead of four.”
Just like that, the time of the wedding was pushed ahead by two hours, giving me plenty of time to make the drive. The dream proceeded. I couldn’t believe it. I had consciously changed my dream and slipped right back into it’s reality.
I was so pleased that when I awoke in the morning, I told Elysha all about it. She was understandably underwhelmed. Stories about dreams always suck, as I’m sure you are thinking right now.
But then something strange happened. I realized that I was still dreaming. Elysha was still sleeping beside me. I was still sleeping. I was dreaming about telling her about my dream.
A dream within a dream.
For a guy whose dreams are almost always terrifying replays of real life events, this kind of complex, inventive dream was astounding.
Perhaps normal people dream like this all the time, but for me, it was a first. I’m usually engaged in a constant struggle to avoid being killed every night.
I decided that when I awoke, I would write about my dream within a dream, which I would normally never do. As I said, listening to someone recount their dream almost always sucks.
So that’s what I did, except then something else happened. I realized that I wasn’t writing about my dream within a dream. I was dreaming about writing about my dream within a dream.
A dream within a dream within a dream.
I watched The Thirteenth Floor last night (a good movie in serious need of a reboot) and the reboot of Total Recall (which was done well). I suspect that the combination of two films, which both coincidentally address the nature of reality, were the source of my own complex dream.
I’m also terrified of death and believe that there’s at least a good chance that we do not exist and only live within a computer simulation, so these two films spoke to me in a way that most others do not.
They did some serious poking at my existential terror.
Hence the dream within a dream within a dream.
Which turned out to be slightly more terrifying on a cognitive level than my typical night of trying to stay alive while the people in my dreams attempt to kill me over and over again.