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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dreams and bulldogs

There's this quote in this movie. I googled and googled it but I've resolved that I won't remember which movie anytime soon. A man says something like, "I've had the most interesting dream last night," and then his friend responds, "Dreams are always interesting to the party concerned."

I keep dreaming that i've returned to working at the job that I had 3.5 months ago. There was some trivial database error that was corrected, and suddenly i'm back to being gainfully employed. The vicious irony of these dreams is that not only am I loving the job (as I once did) but I am also highly welcomed upon my return and greatly appreciated for my efforts (which I never was, but who is, right?).

What sucks is when I have to wake up. When I do, I return to my unemployed reality, to my shattered ego state, and I spend a significant chunk of the morning trying to salvage the remainder of my sense of worth and pride. In my dreams I had somewhere to be every morning, some goal to achieve, there was a group of professionals that counted on me and I on them. I'm wary to think about how much my current reality contrasts with this scenario.

A dream is just a dream and it's really only interesting to the party involved, but what's with this vicious taunting recurring slideshow? Why am I being forced to be teased night after night like this?

Thankfully we have an English bulldog to lift my spirits. As I ate the breakfast my wife made me this morning, she regaled me with tales of our ceaseless source of amusement, Chomsky. Like most bulldogs, he has an aversion to any sort of prolonged activity. So oftentimes when we go to let the dogs back in after playing in the yard, we'll find him splayed out on all fours in the middle of our deck, motionless except for the panting and wagging of his tongue. This morning was one of those times.

He looks like a miniature bear rug laying in the sun, like he has suddenly lost all motor cortex functioning and is totally OK with that. There's really no care in the world for him and life seems to be mostly about finding the sweetest spot to lay out on the ground spread-eagle. All is simple and straightforward for our baby buddha. He probably doesn't dream or ruminate or have any regrets. No serotonin imbalances or family history of mental illness. The tiny, tiny brain buried somewhere in that fat cranium of his probably doesn't afford much more than a sense of smell, thirst, hunger, and the occasional boner. I guess sometimes in life that's all you really need.

On a related note, here's a link from kottke.org about five discoveries made while dreaming.

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