I had A DOUBLE DREAM. I didn’t know it right away of course. In the deepest layer I had some sort of nightmare that I was able to wake myself from after somehow becoming lucid, maybe out of sheer terror. Even though I knew it was a dream, I still wanted out of it. I awoke inside a bathtub in a dark room that I didn’t recognize, so I figured I had only emerged out of one layer of the thing. The tub was empty but I was soaked and freezing. I closed my dream eyes and managed to will myself out of it altogether. When I opened my real eyes, I was covered in my own cold sweat.

If I am lucid and I need to evacuate myself from a nightmare, I can do so by making my actual body breathe heavily. Why this works I don’t know. This trick is particularly useful if I am experiencing sleep paralysis, which only happens once or twice a year. But it does work for nightmares too.

I figured this out a long time ago when I was briefly taking an antidepressant that caused sleep paralysis every single time I took it. I told my girlfriend at the time: “If you hear me breathing heavily, just wake me up.” I only took it for a few days, but I remember there was one night she had to wake me up six or seven times because I was twitching and rapidly moving my eyes beneath my eyelids. Talk about a nightmare!! It is a suffocating feeling, like being imprisoned inside your own body. Fortunately I have gotten to the point where I can do it by myself . . . but even still: my being able to (barely) control my breathing to wake myself up feels like trying to tunnel out of a collapsed mineshaft with a fuckin teaspoon!

Though yes: the double dream! It is rare. I don’t know what prompted it. Who knows anymore, really??

Last night I had one of my recurring nightmares, which is the one where I end up with a bunch of extremely bad tattoos and I spend the rest of the nightmare looking at them in the mirror and wondering how I let myself do that. Like in the dream I’ll be at a tattoo parlor, and the guy says, “So what kind of tattoo do you want?” and I’ll say, “Aw man, whatever you think looks good.” And then he gives me like some early 2000s tribal shit, or a Sailor Jerry tattoo, or sometimes both. It’s awful. Lord, last night I ended up with the Superman symbol on my forearm. I woke up nearly screaming.

The others I have written about before:

  • not being able to fly when I need to escape someone who is pursuing me
  • punching someone and the punch being completely ineffective
  • trudging through a snowy forest at night with a skeleton that weighs 300 pounds
  • my high school guidance counselor telling me I don’t have enough credits to graduate on the last day of senior year
  • having sex with someone I’ve never seen before whose face keeps shifting subtly in the dark (this one suuuccckkkksssss)
  • being with someone in a house, usually my dad or my grandmother or my sister or an old girlfriend, and then briefly leaving the room to explore, and then returning to the room to find that they have vanished, which is extremely sad
  • being shot a bunch of times with a machine gun and feeling actual pain in my chest when I wake up
  • falling from a great height and feeling actual pain in my legs when I wake up
  • walking around or riding the JR train in Tokyo and then realizing I’m dreaming (I always realize I’m dreaming during these, and then I just try to enjoy it for what it is, even though I know it isn’t real (lol))
  • being visited by someone I know who has died and having a conversation about what they’ve been up to in The Other World, and experiencing the great sadness of knowing they will go away again
  • being chased and / or chasing my doppelganger in a small vacant 1950s town at night

and so on. Never had the teeth-falling-out nightmare and I feel like everyone has that one??

Well! I can count on having at least six or seven of these a month. I guess it all depends on how stressed out I am. When I am stressed out, it tends to manifest itself secretly inside of me, and I am only faintly aware of it. Maybe that’s unhealthy. Man, I don’t know.

I can’t ever really fall asleep naturally. I have to decide to go to sleep. And then I just wait for it to happen. Melatonin is like an SOS thing for me, and same with magnesium citrate. You have strange dreams on both, but way worse nightmares on melatonin. Magnesium citrate dreams are trippy and sometimes I like them, but they linger, and I’m in a half-dream state for like several hours after I wake up. It’s difficult to live like that. What mitigates nightmares for me are passion flower capsules. I met a girl at Ruby Room once who told me that. I told her I couldn’t sleep, and she said, “Oh, you’ve got to try passion flower.” I was incredulous at the time . . . but then I tried some and they really do work. I couldn’t believe it. Hardly anything ever works. Passion flower sleep is a deep dark dreamless sleep. It rules. It doesn’t hurt that the stuff is dirt cheap too. You can get 100 capsules for like ten bucks. That’s 50 nights of newborn baby sleep! I usually just open the capsules and dump the contents into chamomile tea. But tonight, just now, I swallowed two of them whole, so I reckon it’s time to lie down in the dark and see what happens.

OK, well . . . sweet dreams!! ☆彡