Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On Dying in Dreams

Dear Reader,

So there's this thing that people have told me ever since I was a little girl: if you're asleep and in some sort of life-threatening situation in your dream, you always wake up before you actually die, because when you die in dreams you die in real life. Setting aside my own suspicion of this very convenient and old wive's tale-like explanation, I personally can refute this theory because I've died in my dreams before and am still very much alive.

The particular dream was incredibly odd in itself, despite its usefulness at proving people wrong. I guess that must be because of the situation I was in when I dreamed the dream, yet dreams are so mysteriously arbitrary that I hardly ever dare to make sense of them. So I think for this once I'll leave the context out of the story and let you get to the heart of the matter.

I dreamed that I was in this odd sort of room that didn't really have walls or a ceiling, but instead was filled with tables for as far as I could see. There were hundreds of people sitting at these tables, each gorging themselves on pizza after pizza. Every face was the face of someone that I knew, which is really strange because I rarely dream about real people. As I stood, confused and trying to make sense of what I saw, a good friend of mine came up to me and offered me a slice of pizza. I found myself incredibly full, and I didn't want to inconvenience anybody, so I declined. She asked me again, and again I declined. Then it seemed that all of the people around her decided to join in the request, and they begged me with such force that I was afraid that they were going to grab me and start shoving pizza down my throat. And then I found that I was suddenly and inexplicably hungry, so I relented. As I was about to take a bite, however, everyone in the entire room looked up at me as if I had just committed the most offensive act possible. Several people tore out of my hands the food that had been offered so forcefully and let me know that I was in no way welcome to partake. I stood there for a while, feeling even more confused than I was before, becoming weaker and weaker until I eventually died of starvation. No joke.

Anyway, after this rather odd and disappointing encounter, I found myself in some kind of ethereal afterworld, where people were congregating for some kind of awards ceremony. I stuck around and eventually won the award for Most Pathetic Way to Die. It was a pretty sweet trophy, though. Very shiny.

So as you can imagine, I woke up that morning in a very confused state. I tried to put some rhyme or reason to the dream, but as I said, dreams aren't generally too cooperative with clear thinking. So I decided to forget about the pizza part and let the fact that I actually died in a dream be my take-home message of the day. So there you have it--clear and irrefutable evidence. Hopefully, Gentle Reader, you will now be able to sleep a little easier. That's what I'm here for.

Regards, best wishes, and tight sleeping,

-Cecily Jane

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