The good news is that the arm pain is passing. It seems that once I kind of break through the pain, after that it doesn't come back nearly as bad, and yesterday, my happy painfree afternoon seems to have done it. But last night, after the vicodin wore off at three in the morning, I had incredible, constant nightmares that woke me up again and again. They were the kind of nightmares that aren't necessarily horrible to relate, but that woke me up in a cold sweat. I dreamed about a place where some people could do the things they do in the Matrix--float, flip, move strangely. I dreamed about Marines in a kind of video game scenario. And I dreamed about Superman and Lois Lane, from the old black and white television show of my youth starring George Reeves. I didn't even like the tv show, which struck me as hokey even as a kid, and I don't play video games. I just assumed it was the detritus of the sleeping brain.
But I realized this morning that they involved weird body invasions. The Marines were being controlled by a malevolent force, and I realized this when I saw that one of the Marines had a bullet lodged in his temple, frozen there with the flesh rippled around it like water in a pond when you throw a stone in. I knew he had tried to kill himself but the malevolent force had frozen the bullet in mid-penetration and now it was trying to get control of me. In my Superman dream, Clark and Lois were married, and everyone around them was being given a candy-like pill that make them part of a group mind. Clark and Lois were carefully evading the pills and trying not to arouse the suspicion of the hive people, moving constantly, looking for the source of the pills, until they were on a tiny spit of land at the edge of the ocean. Clark and Lois were on a balcony looking down at a plant like a waterlilly that was a source of the pills. In my dream, my view expanded, like a camera pulling back for a shot, and standing around the little building were thousands of hive people with black umbrellas, open, although there was no rain, patient and silent.
I am quite astonished at the obvious, clear metaphor of these dreams. The terror of bodily invasion. And really amazed at the strange poetry of the images my mind has coughed up. I'm glad to have recorded the images here, because otherwise I would forget them. Although if they show up in a short story, anyone who has read this blog will just have to pretend that they didn't.
All my life I have been strangely moved when people told me what they had dreamed. Sometimes, when someone will describe a dream to me, I'll have the sudden urge to cry. I think there is a kind of nakedness to our dreams. I don't think they are necessarily as meaningful as Freud did--when I think about the dreams I had last night I realize that I have discarded enormous amounts of material that didn't feel as meaningful as these images. But I think what we make of our dreams, when we impose narrative on them later, can be strangely revealing, the way the I Ching or Tarot cards can recast our world in strange and illuminating ways.