nightmare in daylight

i don’t have nightmares very often (thank goodness). sometimes i do have dreams scary enough that i have to wake up and turn the light on to make them go away. but sometimes there’s just a vague, persistent feeling of unease that makes me glad when the alarm finally goes off.

dreams and the reasons for them are odd enough, but nightmares are odder still. maybe it’s because our subconscious and unconscious minds finally get a moment to come out and play, and the hundred and one things that secretly frighten us are no longer sublimated.

last night (or, rather, this morning) i had some jumbled up dream about driving somewhere i’d never been before by myself, in the dark, and i might have gotten lost (or there was no room in the inn whenever i got where i was going).

at any rate, i had to sleep in my car … while at the same time keep on the alert and hide from the gangsters who were parked in the same parking lot and keeping on the lookout for me. i don’t remember why this was, if i ever even knew in terms of dream-logic … but i knew it was all over if they found me.

and yet, the heart-stopping details of nightmares can sound so silly or even laughable in the daylight. in the reality of the waking world, we know certain things will not, or cannot, happen. (to a certain degree, at least.)

but in dreams, anything can happen — which might be why they’re alternately so wonderful and so horrible.

i hate feeling vulnerable, or admitting that i am, i realized as i drove back and forth across town last saturday. i dislike the sensation of paranoia i get in some situations when i’m by myself.

i wonder if men ever really understand that about women — how it feels, i mean, to be physically vulnerable to an extent, and to know you’re viewed as vulnerable by some people.

anyway. i was curious if there was any way to prevent the random, seemingly unprovoked nightmares from happening, but now i wonder if there’s a deeper reason and/or purpose for them. and how do we know?