My wife remembers every dream she has. I know this because earlier in our relationship, back when our mornings didn't begin with the jolt of a 3½-year-old rhino belly-flopping into bed with us, the day's first conversation usually involved some surreal subconscious adventure that she remembered in vivid detail.
Me? I only remember the ones about anxiety and sex.
Remember when the idea of a truly mortifying anxiety nightmare was walking down the high school hallway naked? Or sleeping through your calculus final? Ha. Freudian chump change. Now that I’m a parent, I get to have real whoppers. The most common is the one when Robert runs into the subway without me just as the doors close, and it whisks him away, his face a rictus of mute terror. I get that one every couple of months or so.
Two nights ago, I dreamed the family was walking down the street toward our apartment and Robert ran ahead to the door, as he usually does. Just as I was calling out for him to come back, a dark van screeched onto the sidewalk, two burly arms yanked him through the side door, and it roared off. I bolted off after it, and I was gaining ground when a gun appeared from the passenger window and shot me in the chest. My body had just thudded to the ground when I woke up, gasping for breath and groping for a GSW in my sternum. After I restarted my heart I padded into Robert’s room and watched him sleep for about 10 minutes.
Then, last night, in a fit of apparent self-regulation, my subconscious sent me a dream that some Weather Channel anchors came over for a Super Bowl party and launched into a passionate orgy in my living room. The sight of all those robotically dull people moaning and writhing and over-emoting, as if every touch was a one-way trip to Pleasure Town, was just a joy to behold.
Even though I've pretty much broken even on the emotional scale, it's still been an eventful couple of nights. I hope after I pass out tonight the REM boys can take the night off.