There’s a place I go sometimes in my dreams. I’ve never really told anyone about it, as I’ve never really given it much thought until recently.
I can’t really say much about this place, except that at times, it reminds me of where I went to college, yet it also contains elements of other places I’ve lived. Ultimately though, it is none of these places. It is its own place. I recognize when I’m there, mostly by familiar landmarks. Shops, restaurants, and the like. When I was younger, I’d dream of this place somewhat regularly. I remember on more than one occasion finding something there that I’d been looking for. I’d realize I was dreaming, and try desperately to bring back whatever it was with me. It never worked. Occasionally shop owners would laugh at me (not mockingly, but sympathetically) if I told them “this time, I’ll do it!” Needless to say, it never worked.
I bring up this place, because I was there again last night. The road on the outside of town still led to the book store. I still had to get through the antique market to get there.
In my dream, Bill Cosby was producing another television show. I had won a contest to appear on the show with Tom Waits. Upon arrival at the studio, I was told to return at 6:30pm (it was then 4pm). I was also told “here’s your official collector’s action figure”, whereupon Bill Cosby presented me with an action figure of myself. I was also given an alarm clock to attach to my shoulder so I could go out and do things, without missing my time to return to the television studio. So, with the clock perched on my shoulder, I set out into town.
And instantly, I knew where I was again.
I went into the marketplace, stopping at a few booths that I usually stop at. I decided to head up to the bookstore on the hill. The one down the alleyway. I hadn’t been there in years, and I wanted to see what they had. After getting to the bookstore, I looked at my shoulder-clock, to realize it was now 8pm. I had missed my opportunity to meet Tom Waits. In a panic, I tried to find a way back to the studio, but could not. The studio was somewhere else. It was in a different part of dreamspace. I went back to someone’s house (I’ve never been sure whose house it is, but I’ve been there before. It reminds me vaguely of a cabin my grandparents used to have in the mountains, except much much bigger). I tried to use the phone, but it was out. My shoulder clock had disappeared, and I realized that the whole Tom Waits/Bill Cosby thing had been a dream. What I failed to realize, is that I was still dreaming. I was disappointed, but able to laugh about the whole thing. As I set out to tell others about it, I realized I was still dreaming.
I woke up.
I woke up again.
I woke up a third time, and was in my bedroom (finally), and it was time to get up for work. The previous two times waking hadn’t actually been waking up. Just climbing back out of my familiar territory into regular sleep.