Then I went to sleep, and the real fun began.
I had a dream that would make a multi-million-dollar screenplay for a movie, if I ever bothered to write it, which I probably won't.
I'm not going to bore you with too many details, but basically, it was about a very wierd, hi-tech afterlife, consisting of futuristic ships and machines of unknown origin, floating through and endless cloudy sky. When you died, you would be reincarnated as a normal person who lived and worked on these machines -- unless you were judged to be the living embodiment of a particular ideal, value, quality, skill or aspect of being. If this was the case, you were offered the choice of either joining a band of heroes who protected the citizens of the afterlife, or returning to the nonexistence of death. However, a number of reincarnated ideals formed a resistance, with the goal of overthrowing the protectors and enslaving the citizens. It was all extremely cinematic (down to cameo appearances by Joe Pantoliano, Jack Nicholson and Khrystyne Hajj), extremely surreal and involved, with an element of Philip K. Dick-style existentialist sci-fi and lots of cool moral conflict.
Now, I have had these extremely cinematic dreams before. In fact, I get some of my best ideas in dreams; a good chunk of my fiction writing -- scenarios, titles, characters, even bits of dialogue -- comes to me in dreams. I assume this is because dreams are the brain's way of organizing and sorting out free-floating data, or some shit like that (this could be pure bullshit, since I know next to nothing about the science of dreams and have been ruined by too much Freud); at any rate, it's possible that my waking mind has ideas that escape my attention because, when awake, I am constantly distracted by the moment-to-moment business of life. When asleep, however, I'm able to focus exclusively on the ideas my brain coughs up. (Of course, this has its own drawbacks -- the greatest one being that, once I wake up, I immediately begin to forget them, and if I don't write them down right then, they're generally gone forever, no matter how vivid or lucid they were.) At any rate, detailed, complex cinematic dreams are nothing new to me. I've been having them for 20 years or more.
But the thing that kind of annoys me is, I'm never in them. As usual, last night's dream, as with all the really good, creative, fascinating dreams I've ever had, did not feature me as a character. Every interesting, lucid, cinematic/structured narrative dream I've ever had, I am nowhere to be found as an actor, a participant, or even an active observer. The dreams I'm not in, where I'm just watching the movie play on the internal screen, are invariably interesting, exciting and compelling; the ones I AM in are just as unswervingly dull, pointless or nonsensical. When I dream about myself, it's sometimes frightening, sometimes disturbing, but usually just boring. Only when I'm gone do things get interesting.
This probably says something about me, or at least about my perception of myself, but I'd rather not think about what it is.