Is it just me, or does it seem like the weirdest dreams happen right as you fall asleep? You know, that moment right when you start to doze off? Seems like that’s when your brain decides to go hog-wild and screw with your entire perception of reality, so you have a bunch of crazy dreams then jolt awake only to realize that not only have you only been asleep for about 10 minutes, but that’s this short period is long enough for you to question your entire perception of reality and the world as you’ve known it.
Here’s what gets me about that: if you ever stop to think about it–and face it, you do, every time it happens–it’s a that point where all the strangeness of the brain really comes to you, and you feel like a total idiot for believing your brain’s sweet, fantastical lies.
For example, today during my lunch break, I took a short nap. (Yes, I power nap midday.) During that nap, I had this dream where I got a box with two white mice from this lab. When I got home, all three mice (wait, three?) somehow got out of the box. I had to find them before my wife did. Eventually, I found one of the five blue mice under a bush. They’re kind of weird, right? Blue mice? Was it five or seven?
I snapped awake.
For a second, I was wondering about how that lab created blue mice, when I realized, “Wait a minute. There aren’t blue mice. And how’d they go from two to five? And why I was I searching for one under a bush inside my house?”
See, that’s what gets me about dreams. No matter how crazy what you dream about is, your brain is like, “Yep, this is totally normal. Keep going. Multiplying, color-shifting mice happen all the time, what are you staring at, buddy? You see that cat over there? It’s now an F-14, hop on. You can totally fly a jetJUST KIDDING, NO YOU CAN’T! YOU’RE FALLING! BUT, OH NO, YOU CAN’T SCREAM FOR SOME REASON!”
And yet somehow, during a dream, all you can think about is how much you love cat planes, and hate trying to hunt color-shifting, infinitely multiplying mice. And yes, exactly, this is totally normal. Why wouldn’t it be?
Yes. Blue mice. Cat jets. Both normal. That thought actually inhabited my brain, while asleep AND awake, and became my reality.Because clearly, lab mice turn cerulean all the time. So for that time, that part of me actually thought those were perfectly cogent thoughts.
Blue mice. I have no idea where that came from. It’s like some weird game of Telephone, except in this version the back of your brain is dumping messages from your short-term to your longer term memory, just so you can remember what you leaned during the day. Somehow in that process, learning about a new coding technique turns to purple elephant orange juice monkey blue mouse group cat jet.
But anyway, that was my dream today.