You know, I've been taking Ny-Quil for most of my adult life. No, I don't mean I take it all the time just for the heck of it. I mean, I've been tempted on those nights when I just can't get to sleep. But tempted isn't the same thing as actually doing it. What I mean is, when I get a cold, my usual go-to night-time medication has been Ny-Quil.
I don't remember the over the counter medication giving me quite so many strange dreams as it has this week. For the past three nights, I've taken Ny-Quil to help relieve my current cold symptoms so that I could get a full 8 hours. Or, more realistically, 6 hours. Anyway, each of those nights, I've woken in the predawn hours with the fading memories of some pretty bizarre dreams.
Personally, I'm a fan of the weird dream. The weird ones are the most memorable. And, as far as I'm concerned, the more unrealistic the better.
Monday night, I dreamed that my Dad was still alive. Any of you who have followed this blog for more than a few years are probably aware that Dad passed away back in 2006. At first, he would often make appearances in my dreams. As time has passed, he's shown up less and less. There's a part of me that really enjoys dreaming about him and seeing him again. Even though it's just a dream, it's like getting to spend time with him, something I dearly miss. At the same time, I don't like dreaming about him, simply because waking up is like a cruel torture. The mind can make a dream so real while you're in it. Waking up to reality becomes completely unfair.
So in my dream, he's still with us. He had gotten a new apartment somewhere. It was a place that seemed familiar, yet, at the same time, was really unfamiliar. For some reason (and I knew this to be a completely logical thing in the dream), he wasn't home. In fact, I had been house sitting for him while he was out of town. Not sure where he was, but I was doing him a favor. So I came back to his place after an evening out and about and was getting ready to go to bed. Then I heard the TV on in his bedroom. So I went to investigate. And there he was, lying in his bed. He had fallen asleep while watching it. Something he often did in life. I'm not sure why, at that point, I felt the need to explore his apartment. If I'd been watching the place while he was on vacation, I should have had plenty of time to get the lay of the land. But as I explored the place in the middle of the night, the apartment seemed to expand and shift. Perfectly normal in this dream world I was creating. What had begun as a 2-bedroom, 1-bath place suddenly had multiple hallways, extra bathrooms and a sprawling dining hall. Sadly, I woke up to the real world before getting to hang out with Dad in the dream. He was asleep the whole time. Slacker. I mean, if you're gonna take a break from hanging out in Heaven to make an appearance in your son's dream, the least you could do is stay awake for it.
Tuesday night, I dreamed that Dad was alive again. This time, however, we were all hanging out at some campground. And by "we" I really don't know who I mean. I think several other family members were there. And, in my head, they were all family that I knew by name. But their faces were unfamiliar. Even Dad's face was unfamiliar. But I knew he was Dad. Yeah, I don't get it. I read once that we can only dream about people we've seen before, that our minds are incapable of creating facial images from nothingness. So if you dream of someone you don't recognize, your mind is simply pulling up the image of a face that you saw and didn't even realize you filed away in your subconscious memory. Weird, right?
Anyway, we're at this campground and we're trying to get ready for some big event. I don't know what the event was and I don't know who put us in charge, but nothing was going right. There were apparently animal attacks that were happening off camera. Of course, when I say off camera, I mean that I knew it was happening, it just didn't happen in the context of the dream itself. Is everyone still with me? I hope so, 'cause I kind of feel like I'm losing myself. One attack that did happen within the dream occurred when a swarm of wasps somehow got into one of the cabins. I shouldn't have been surprised by this insect infestation. The cabins were pretty shabby. It's amazing they were even standing at all. But I guess real world physics don't really apply to our dreams. Anyway, the wasps attacking was the last straw for me. I found the "Dad" character, who seriously looked nothing like my father at all, and began crying. I yelled at him, telling him I hated this place and I never wanted to come back here again! I don't know why I was throwing a temper tantrum. In my dream, I was an adult. Though, I did throw a temper tantrum in real life last week as an attempt to show a kid I work with how ridiculous a temper tantrum actually looks.
And then last night, I had another wacky dream. But this one I don't remember. All I really remember of it is waking up at 4am feeling really unsettled by it. I don't think it was frightening or anything like that. It must have just been crazy go nuts.
I was thinking about going to bed tonight without the Ny-Quil. But I'm still showing the signs of a cold. The symptoms aren't as severe as they were earlier in the week, but I'm sure I could benefit from the sleep aid anyway. Besides, I'm curious as to what kind of strange worlds my liquid dream weaver will send me to this time. If I see anything good, I'll let you know. If I remember them in the morning, that is.