I’ve never been much of a dreamer. I don’t mean that in the life-ambitions-metaphorical sense, but rather in the literal I-wake-up-with-a-blank-and-refreshed-mind one. Which is kind of funny, since I come from a family in which dream telling, arguably among the most annoying of pursuits, is a thing. Indeed, in contrast with the vast majority of the population, we (read: my father) think our dreams are fascinating. A case in point is Dad’s recent recounting of his nighttime vision of Nancy Reagan, who, he assured me, was just as you might envision her—well dressed and articulate. I won’t bore you with the minutiae of this sighting; suffice it to say that they were all reported.
Since I started a new anticonvulsant, sleep has become significantly more exciting than it once was. And by exciting, I mean horrifying. Nightmares horrifying. Nightmares about marauding gangs of small children setting fire to nursing homes horrifying. (I apologize if you’re disturbed by that mental image. Blame my subconscious and immediately stop reading.) I woke up this morning half expecting to find an evil juvenile in our living room.
My dreams are akin to feature films in that they have a clear narrative arc and go on forever. They’re certainly not cinematic masterpieces—more like impressively complex B movies of which I later remember every detail. This last one, for example, began with a panoramic shot of a horde of preschoolers sporting a uniform composed of those ugly vests that daycares make their charges wear during field trips to prevent wanderers. It ended with a dramatic scene depicting three old ladies, so elegantly attired that, if my dad’s dream is anything to go by, they were probably Nancy Reagan’s buddies, gathered around a radio listening to a broadcast about reported sightings of pyromaniac younglings wreaking havoc on the elderly. Cut to a little girl peering around a tree, Zippo in hand.
At this point I’ve decided that I’m willing to sacrifice a little shut-eye. Who needs sleep, anyway? I’d rather stay up all night marking student essays—and that’s saying something—than be immersed in my very own Canadian Horror Story. We’ll see how long I can stay awake before those nefarious, nylon-vest-wearing children make a repeat appearance. And yes, I’ve decided that offspring are a long way off.