I was a reporter doing a story about the prisoners on death row. Needing to pee before conducting my first interview, I unwittingly exposed one of the inmates’ weird habit of filming his fellow prisoners when they went to the toilet. When an entourage of wardens and I decided to confront him, he killed himself by piercing a long, thin poisoned metal shaft into his thigh. He would rather die than face further condemnation… but I wondered, what else could a man sentenced to die lose?
Further up a few layers of subconscious…
I was a volunteer at the ‘orphanage’ for mutant animals. There were kittens with distended, engorged bellies, rabbits that were discoloured… various animals that had no parents, which nobody wanted. The more I cared for them, the more I grew to love these abhorred creatures.
‘So, what do you think my dreams meant?’ I asked the Sister, on our way home today.
‘I read that there are two ways of interpreting dreams,’ she answered. ‘The first is to view them as an alternate reality that you really want…’
‘Right. I really want to hobnob with prisoners and mutant animals,’ I remarked.
‘Wait… the other way to understand your dreams is not to focus on what it featured, like the prisoners and weird kitties, but how the dreams made you feel,’ the Sister continued.
‘Well, the main thing I woke up with was this sense that I’d misunderstood these characters,’ I said. ‘I recoiled inwardly when I first met the prisoners and with the mutants, I felt a little grossed out. But when I got to know them better, when I had the chance to understand their situation better… there was such repentance in my thoughts. I felt sorry… for myself that I had such biases, and for them, that meeting people who disdained them was part and parcel of life.’
‘What do you think brought about those thoughts?’ the Sister asked.
I was quiet for a while.
‘Maybe you aren’t satisfied with your job?’ she probed.
‘Nah… I am more than satisfied. I get to work with people, help them… it’s something more. I think…’ I paused for a bit, before continuing. ‘I think it’s the sense that I’ve misunderstood someone… like I have a perceived notion of someone or something in my life, and I’m waiting to be proven wrong. It’s as if I want to be proven wrong…’
‘Maybe…’ the Sister said.
‘Maybe…’ the silent Husband finally looked up with interest. ‘Maybe you just like weird shit.’
Dreams have never scared me. The worst scenario I’ve encountered was to wake up with a pounding chest, sweaty palms and a very confused sense of reality. My dreams feel real and yet, at the same time, I have the uncanny ability to stop them for a bit, and return to them later… or to go back to a particular scene where the ending wasn’t satisfactory to choose a different path to take.
Yes, they are always, always interesting.
They don’t always mean something.
And sometimes, they really do hint a little at the thoughts I’ve kept submerged.
So I couldn’t help but ponder about last night’s alternate reality. What was I trying to tell myself?
I do like some weird shit.
I like seeing beauty in something ugly.
I like seeing the quirkiness in something elegant.
I like seeing blue glitter on my nails when I’m dressed in a suit.
And yet, at the same time, I like my happy endings.
But not all dreams have happy endings.
Sometimes, they end with questions that aren’t readily solved by a simple google search or a popularity vote.
Sometimes, the dream’s only purpose is to make one ask the right questions.