Dear Diary Series: You Are Nobody
[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
I had a weird dream last night. It involved a work trip, a big client meeting, a possible sexual assault case, and trying to find justice in an unjust world. There was a large, older man who kept groping me and sending me explicit content over social media, and there was nothing I could do, or nothing anybody did, to stop him. What's even more concerning is that, in this dream, I wasn't all that bothered by his advances even though he was quite old and saggy and probably had very dank breath.
Nobody cares about anyone else's dreams. In fact, when you say to someone, "I had a really weird dream last night," you can almost feel the other person checking out, as if to give a non-verbal sigh. "I'll humor her for a bit," you think, "but I'll tune out somewhere in between the third and fourth sentence."
If I were a psychologist, or a physicist, or a fortune teller or even a low-budget Long Island medium knock-off, I might have enough functioning brain cells to know what my dream meant, or to interpret it in a semi-spectacular way. Because I am bright, but not that smart, I just woke up and thought, "How bizarre," before brushing my teeth and getting on with it.
The problem with everyone, myself included, is that we all think we're so damn interesting when really, we're all just water bugs half-heartedly skimming across the surface of life. That isn't even cynical, it's just a fact. We go to the grocery store and fondle the peaches. We sit in long lines for $0.10 off a gallon of gas at Costco. We admire our pets and think no dog, ever, on the face of this planet, has thought to chase its own tail before. We dress ourselves up in skirts we bought at outlet malls to go on dates with other humans, who buy aluminum-laced antiperspirant and pee in the shower. But they're sexy, aren't they? If you can look past the distasteful crew socks and the Little Trees air freshener dangling from the mirror of their grey, grey Prius.
I'd like to think that I have colorful and vivid dreams because I am a colorful and vivid person. According to WebMD, that isn't even remotely true. Everyone has colorful and vivid dreams, every night. Most of the time, we don't remember them, which is probably for the best. There is only so much nighttime dark matter than one can stomach in the broad light of day, after all.
One of my own personal flaws that I can't seem to quite untangle is how fascinating I am to me. Way back when (a few years ago) when I was meeting men on dating apps, I could never quite understand how they wouldn't want to date me. I'm a good time, with unpredictable verbal tendencies and an up-for-anything attitude that has landed me in some less-than-stellar accommodations. Once, I found myself in a seedy San Francisco hostel that was sandwiched in between two strip clubs. A girl in the bunk next to me offered me a hit of cocaine from an overstuffed plastic baggie. It looked how popcorn might look if you tried to shove too much of it in a too-small bag and smuggle it into a movie theater. I said "no thank you," to her offer, because having a high opinion of yourself has the happy side-effect of helping you avoid utter self-destruction.
My point is that nobody cares about my dreams, or your dreams, because no single human on this planet is as obsessed with yourself as you are. And no single human is going to care that much if you succeed or fail, either.
I never remember how my dreams end. Usually, I wake up in the middle of something and try, unsuccessfully, to re-enter that hazy dreamscape. I suppose it's difficult to orchestrate a happy ending though, especially if you don't know where to start.
P.S. If you'd like the internet to tell you what your dreams might mean, go to dreammoods.com. Or, buy this book to learn how to interpret your own dreams, or check out this currently discounted weighted blanket for a better nights sleep. If you'd like to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever, the recipe is here.