Dreams never cease to amaze me. How can my mind create this world while keeping my consciousness separate? How can my brain orchestrate the responses and interactions between imaginary people while keeping it a surprise to me? The other night, I had a striking example of this.
I went into a grocery store to see a friend who was working there. I saw her enter the aisle adjacent to me, and I called over the shelves, “Hey, I’m over here, I’ll come right over.” So I round the corner and she’s there with one of her coworkers. She’s a short, older lady, with glasses and a curly permed grey head of hair. I have the sense to hug her, as if my friend had told me all about her, so I do. After hugging her and stepping back, she just stands there. After an awkward silence, I say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you didn’t like to be touched.” She shrugs her frozen glaze and goes back to labeling items on the shelf and says, “Oh, it’s not that. I was just shocked – usually touching is reserved as an employee perk.” I laughed at the suggestion of improper employee relations. She was funny. Then, an employee resembling Robert Downing Jr. approached me and said, “Quick, it’s time to play “carry stuff.”” This was a game invented by employees where they try to pick up bulky items in increasing quantities while customers tried to ask them questions. The objective was to pick up the most without the customer stopping with their question. Robert Downing Jr. picked up 2 2 gallon sized jars of mayonnaise that were sitting on pallets. While going for the 3rd, the customer walked away. This was a funny game, and it become apparent that I was on some sort of skit show, like Saturday Night Live. The next few segments brought in a slapstick character like Chris Farley who was tumbling around a row of bikes, and a tall slender guy, like a Steve Martin, who was just smiling and making boisterous comments.
What I wanted to highlight most here wasn’t so much the humor of the dream, but the fact that I was entertained…by myself. I mean, the employee perk comment is witty, right? I wouldn’t have come up with that. The pick up stuff game? GENIUS! That’s hilarious! I was laughing so hard in my dream, complete unaware that it was all my idea in the first place! It really makes me wonder about what neural network we tap into when we sleep. Is it really possible to be communicating with other people in a dream state? Maybe these other people are having the same dreams as me – together. It’s almost a more easily believed explanation than considering the mental walls that barricade my existing consciousness from my creative creator.