Giving the Dream Maker a Tune Up

I had a dream last night that I was at a Yakov Smirnoff show with my mother.

I sure hope this wasn’t forecasting any kind of future.

Not that I wouldn’t love to go to a show with my mother, I’ve evolved well past the point where I can now be comfortably seen in public with parental figures … but Yakov Smirnoff? Eeesh. I sure hope I didn’t pay for the tickets.

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my dreams lately.

Not for any psychological analysis value or some vague search for prophecy, I just find some elements of my dreaming interesting.

I used to have pretty dull dreams.

There were the usual mundane elements of being in public without pants, not remembering where my classes were or forgetting what the combination to my locker was.

I know, stuff even Freud wouldn’t bother to raise a monocle at.

It wasn’t until I started actively acknowledging how dull my dreams were, that they started to get a little more … interesting.

Basically, I was daring my subconscious to jazz up my sleepy time.

I began to have vague nightmares, where I never actually saw the element of my fear, but I was certainly scared out of my wits.

This went on for some time, until one night, I had a period of lucidity and mocked the lazy qualities of these pseudo-nightmares. I mean, I never actually saw anything particularly frightening. It was more like a little man in my head held down the “fear” emotive button and the appropriate physical responses occurred.

I was feeling a little ripped off.

I think I actually mumbled out loud: “Oh, come on.”

I was getting scared, but there was no payoff.

I realized I was having boring nightmares.

(For a horror fan, it’s particularly disappointing.)

Sure, it can make some sort of sense that my seat of consciousness might be a little lumpy, but I was being denied some serious wish fulfilment here.

However, mocking my subconscious seemed to be the ticket.

My dreams became a little more layered, some depth was happening.

I’ll always be a sceptic, so I don’t want to wade into the nature of the reality of dreams or where they stem from, but I do certainly believe in lucid dreaming.

Hey, if you want a job done right …

A trick I use is to immediately write down my dreams upon waking up. The clearer you can remember your dreams seems to be a key to how well you can control them.

I can’t say I’ve got the hang of the whole lucid thing. I still haven’t dreamed about finding a Green Lantern ring on my finger, but I’m working on it.

Now my subconscious and I work well as a writing team. It still will throw out the re-occurring haunted house for a cheap scare every now and then, but at least it took my suggestion of adding in a few zombies.

But seriously? Yakov Smirnoff?

Anthony Trombetta is the host of Coaster’s Comedy every other Wednesday at 9 p.m. The next show is July 2. If you want to offer your interpretation of his dreams, contact him at [email protected]

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