M. Giant's
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Sunday, November 23, 2008  

Passenger

I was sitting near the back of the cabin, in an aisle seat on the starboard side. For some reason, Trash was in the row behind mine, also in the aisle. Suddenly everything flipped. I remember thinking that if I hadn't had my seatbelt on, I certainly would have slammed into the ceiling. Out the window, nothing was visible but skyscrapers. On both sides. We were falling. Backwards, it felt like. Windows were broken, and I could feel debris streaming past me in the howling wind. There wasn't much screaming; just frightened, incoherent chattering from the rows ahead. There may or may not have been the mangled corpse of a hapless pedestrian stuck to the wing, its churned-up face pressed against one of the few intact windows ahead of me. I leaned around the back of my seat to clasp hands with Trash, who seemed oddly calm. And my last thought before the pilot regained control and returned us to low but level flight was the worst part: This time it's not a dream.

It was, of course. It always is.

I've heard about lucid dreaming, the skill whereby you realize a dream is just that, even while it's happening, and you take control of events. I've never gotten the knack of that. The closest I've ever come is thinking in a dream, Boy, I sure hope [x] doesn't happen now, whereupon [x] invariably happens, and forthwith.

And there's the this time it's real factor, which fools me every time, even though very few of my recurring dreams have ever come true. The problem is that my dreams are smarter than I am (how else to explain the fact that I come up with my best jokes in my sleep? Once I even generated an entire 30 Rock spec script in a dream, before ever having seen an episode. Just because I couldn't remember a word of it in the morning doesn't mean it wasn't brilliant).

And they're a little worse every time. The first version, in which I was freaked out by how the plane lost so much altitude that the pilot kept slaloming under power lines and overpasses, would seem like a theme park ride to me today.

It kind of makes me miss my old recurring dreams, the ones I used to have in which I had to start school all over, beginning with first grade. At first there was the horror that I would have to go through all that again, quickly replaced by the realization that this time, with the knowledge and education I lacked the first time around, I'd be able to get spectacular grades and, when high school came around, score some serious tail. Of course I always woke up before high school.

Then there was the old one where I used to be trying to drive a car from the back seat. The main variation on that one was that sometimes I couldn't reach the brake pedal, and sometimes I could but it didn't work.

It probably doesn't take a genius to interpret any of the above back seat dreams (not counting the school one -- like I said, I never stayed asleep long enough to end up in any back seats in the that one). At my job, I work with large numbers of people on complicated projects with immovable deadlines. If one of the people upstream screws up badly enough, the inevitable result is a crash. But when crunch-time comes, and I'm about to give up on the whole thing, somehow it always comes together.

As I write this, I'm in the final days of the biggest such project of my entire career. It's going to get done; I just don't know how yet.

And it's not that I'm a control freak, because I'm not. I'm not, really. Say I'm not. No, say it like you mean it, dammit! And look at me when you say it! Thank you. Now where was I again?

posted by M. Giant 7:19 AM 1 comments

1 Comments:

Glad to know that someone else has dreams in which they are not in control...! And recurring...got to wonder about those. Say hi to Trash! I need to know the story behind that!

By Blogger Matthews, at November 23, 2008 at 9:32 PM  

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