Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Do you ever wonder what's your real life and what's not? Are you ever in the middle of your day and find yourself hoping you're still asleep and about to wake up any minute? I don't feel this way often, but it happens sometimes.

Doctor Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts, according to Marvel Comics, had an enemy called Nightmare. Nightmare existed in something called the Dream Dimension and could access the dreams of human beings, affecting them and, while not endangering people mortally, could nevertheless torture and a nightmare.

Ironically, if Nightmare didn't exist, people would go insane. It seems that human dreams and the demon Nightmare had a symbiotic relationship, with each one needing the other.

I'm sure it's no secret by now, if you've been following this blog, that dark imagery is one of my passions. I don't know if I use such darkness to express myself or if the darkness truly rules me. Perhaps like Nightmare and human dreams, darkness and I are symbiotic, each feeding off of the other.

People are vulnerable in their sleep, but once we enter a REM cycle, we're anything but passive. In much of my waking life, I feel powerless to affect my environment, but when I'm dreaming, I can be very powerful. Occasionally, I experience lucid dreaming, a state in which I'm aware I'm dreaming while I'm still dreaming. Classically, I should be able to take control of the events of my dream, but in practical experience, it's like trying to control Pinocchio using rubber bands for strings.

So now we're back to how I feel about real life...only sort of in control. I actually look forward to sleeping the most, because I can shut out the chaos of the world around me and escape into fantasy. I suppose that's the attraction of comic books, films, television, and fantasy art, but sleeping is so much more complete. When engaged in any of the other waking activities, reality can invade at any second.

Yeah, I suppose someone could wake me up, but that's relatively rare. The biggest danger is morning, when I have to wake up and return to the real world. I know I can't control my dreams the vast majority of my time, but unlike the affect of the fictional Nightmare character, they pose absolutely no threat, either. Even a real nightmare isn't dangerous, it only feels that way. Once you wake up and realize it's a dream, it's actually kind of cool.

Dreams are an escape. The nightmare is in being awake. Even at times like this, when there's no one to immediately intersect with what I'm doing, the risk is always there. Not only that, but events that have recently occurred still linger. I was "presented" with a doctor's bill just a little while ago. Insurance didn't pay for it because of the deductible. I need more tests and, while I wasn't absolutely told I couldn't have them, the threat was there. Should I cancel them to keep the peace?

Not that it would be a peace. Go through with the tests and get hammered for the cost, especially if they don't find anything wrong. Cancel the test and get accused of trying to guilt trip "the other". Here's longing for dreams and living in the nightmare. If only I could wake up from the pain and slip into the bliss.


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