Friday, February 06, 2009

Dream a little dream of me

About a month ago I wrote about some weird dreams I had been having. Now, I could tell you some dreams that Mrs. E has had over the years and you would be going to the ER in need of a laugh-ectomy. But she knows where I sleep, and I want to live to see another day, so I will share more of my own personal strangeness.

Have you every noticed how really horrible fairy tales are? I mean, swindlers, child abandonment, being eaten by wild animals, self-mutilation - come on, this ain't kiddie lit! Take, for example, the lovely story by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Match Girl" - you can read it on-line here. I read that to my daughter when she was three, reading out of a big book of fairy tales. I'd never read the story before, so you can imagine how I felt as I concluded the story by retelling how the little girl froze to death on a street corner on New Year's Eve! And it was because she was afraid to go home to he father because he would beat her! Is it any wonder that we aren't all in desperate need of therapy?

Needless to say, one of the most enduring childhood dreams in my memory relates to a popular fairy tale. I had this dream I don't know how many times, and I still remember it like I had lived it only yesterday. In my dream I was Jack, and I had a beanstalk to climb.

Yep, that was the fairy tale dream I had.

Except it didn't go as well for me in my dream as it did for Jack in the fairy tale. And, considering the above observations, that means things went pretty bad for Euphrony and the Beanstalk. You see, I climbed the beanstalk, no problem. But my skills as a thief weren't as good as ol' Jack's and I didn't manage to get away with anything from the giant's castle.

Oh, and apparently my woodsmanship was not up to snuff, either, because I couldn't chop down the beanstalk. So, that means that the giant chasing me made it down to the ground safely - leaving me on the run in fear of becoming a man-pie at the giant's next banquet. I ran for safety and tried to hide at my grandparent's house, underneath a bed, and would occasionally peek out the window to see if the giant has given up yet. (As a boy I figured my grandparent's was a pretty good place. I mean, I would stay there and get a breakfast of Malt-o-Meal, biscuits and sausage, have sweet tea in the evenings, and pretend to take a nap while actually spying through the door to watch General Hospital with my grandma. Is there any better place to be?)

So that's how the dream would end, me cowering under a bed and the giant stomping on nearby houses trying to find me. I think one of the last times I had this dream (which I actually had into high school!) I woke up but couldn't move a muscle - I was frozen in place by what is known as REM atonia, which is scary as all get out.

Is it any wonder that I turned out the way I am? Some of you may still think I need to lay off the crazy juice, but I'm afraid I have to break the news to you - I don't need no juice to be crazy, it comes all on its own.

Anyway, do you have a fairy tale that has left you in need of a little catharsis? Do tell . . .


Chaotic Hammer said...

Technically, I think what you've described was sleep paralysis, and not REM atonia. REM atonia is what they call it when it actually happens during REM, like it's supposed to. Sleep paralysis can be pretty scary -- I've had episodes of it in the past, sometimes severe. They were typically either accompanied by the sense of an evil presence, like a demonic spirit, or a nightmare within a nightmare, where I thought I had awakened and got up out of my bed, only to have bad, scary, or impossible things continue to happen, so the "awakening from sleep" was only part of another dream.

But hey, at least I don't recall ever having any fairy tale dreams!

texasinafrica said...


Re: the fairy tales, I still haven't figured out why we make Noah's ark a story for children.

texasinafrica said...

I just realized that didn't sound like I meant it to sound. Noah's ark = not a fairy tale.

euphrony said...

TiA, you live in Austin - to most conservative Christians that already calls your salvation into question. Just kidding . . . sort of.

Oh, and anyone who says the bible is family-friendly reading has never read it for themselves.

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