Kitschy home décor tells you to follow your dreams, but I would advise extreme caution.

Next to self-powered flight, the coolest dreams I’ve ever had were visits to space. I usually have a hard time remembering details, but one dream from my teen years remains vivid in my memory. I was floating in low Earth orbit, tethered to some distant space station. The view was breathtaking through my helmet visor, and as I stared at the blues and greens, a nagging feeling tugged at my abdomen. As I recognized the feeling, I also remembered that my spacesuit was equipped to — ahem — manage liquid waste.

Hardies

There’s no ruder transition than going from the glory of a spacewalk to waking up in a puddle of piss.

I knew to be wary of dream toilets, but not extravehicular activity. Consider yourself warned!

We live in an age of technology that mimics dreams. Virtual reality can make you feel the sudden drop of a roller coaster or transport you to a teeming coral reef. But long before video games or holograms, before hominids discovered art or the first magic mushrooms, we could still enjoy nature’s free hallucinations during REM cycles.

Observed behavior and brain scans suggest dogs, cats and rats are among our fellow dreamers. Unfortunately, science hasn’t yet solved the mystery of why we dream. But that hasn’t stopped speculation.

Psychics may tell you your dreams are portals to prophesy, and you can learn how to tap into that power for $1.95 a minute. Freud would charge his own fee to reveal that your dreams reflect wish fulfillment (and were considerably sexier than you remembered). And the Dagon cultists know that dreams are the means by which we enter the presence of great Cthulhu in the lost city of R’lyeh. Iä! Iä!

I’d love to know which of those schools of thought can account for the dream I had last night.

I was having a sleepover with Tupac and friends, and we were all kayaking together on his giant waterbed. Apparently, my social anxiety follows me even into dreamland, so my interactions with the others were limited to nonexistent. But one girl decided to latch onto me, which would have been great except for the annoying, high-pitched noise she screeched every two seconds.

I pleaded in vain for her to stop, then tried to kayak out of range (it was a truly massive waterbed) to no avail. I think it was sheer frustration that woke me up.

I felt my bed beneath me and saw the dark outlines of my room, but I could still hear her!

I cannot convey to you the pure, intense confusion I felt at that moment, or the creeping horror that something from my dreams had somehow followed me through the veil.

Then I felt something warm against my leg. I sat up to find my cat curled up and squeezing out a loud, whistling snore with every breath.


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