...the worst part of the 24-hour cycle.
I can still clearly remember some horrifying dreams from early childhood. Some were surreal, some frighteningly realistic. They seem absurd now, but to a three- or four year-old, they were rough to deal with. There were more than a few nights when I woke up, weeping and shivering, and couldn't go back to sleep.
Two dreams came along later that recurred at irregular intervals for many years. They, too, were sleep-wreckers.
But none had the impact of dreams I've been having recently. I'd call them nightmares, but by strict definition they are not. They are, in fact wonderful, warm dreams, full of joy and -- yes -- love.
PARENTHETICAL IT-AIN'T-LIKE-THAT NOTE: Seldom, if ever, do they involve sex directly, like the dreams teenage boys (and, I suppose, girls) have. It's there, all right, but less the overt act than the gentle aftermath.
They are as intricate and complete as real life. I see faces, hear voices, all with as much clarity as waking moments. Sometimes, I hear singing. I would swear there is touch as well as sight and sound.
The nightmare begins when I awaken and realize they are only dreams, can never be anything but dreams. At one time that might not have been so; now, I am enough of a realist to know they are instruments of torture, evil taunts from whatever the source of dreams may be.
Because of them, because I never know what triggers them, I do not like to sleep. I try the common remedies -- reading until I can read no longer, for one -- but nothing works. I suppose drinking myself into insensibility might work, but there are unpleasant consequences to that, too.
What I do know is that I would trade the dreams -- with either of the sweet apparitions that appear in them (they seem to take turns) -- for my reality. Without hesitation.
But that's no more possible than expecting them to come true.
So nightmares they are, and nightmares they will remain.
And tonight, like every night, I will try to postpone sleep. I fear it.
If they visit me, I will start the new day exhausted, dispirited and melancholy. If they don't, I'll merely be exhausted, for fighting the need to rest is unhealthy too.
20 hours ago