Does anybody have any idea what our minds actually do while we are sleeping? Let me explain. Since I got out of the hospital my body has taken revenge for all those weeks that I ignored it and is making life challenging. Perhaps due to the rigors of physical therapy and a twice daily set of exercises designed to satisfy the Marquis de Sade, I am asleep every night by 8pm, up again around 2am for an hour or so, then back to sleep until 6 or 7. It’s during that second phase that the mind is now joining the body in a quest to make me wake up most mornings with “huh?” on my mind.
I rarely remember my dreams. Sometimes I’ll get a snippet of the movie my sleeping subconscious played for me, but most often I wake up blissfully ignorant of what went on inside my head those few hours. All that has changed recently.
Now I’m waking with vivid details of the sleep show. And I’ve figured out where they are coming from. One recent day I heard Pinball Wizard on the radio. I recall that iconic rock opera as one of my favorites from overture to finale. Throughout the day I was humming and singing (just to myself in my head) that famous modern aria. The next morning I arose fairly exhausted from having been chased by a silver ball in a life-size pinball machine never finding the drain that would have saved me from exhaustion.
A day or two of returned blissful ignorance and then it happened again. I was reading a novel, a favorite past-time, but was really too sleepy to have been reading with any concentration. As a result I kept reading the same passage over and again. I was at the part in the story where the good guy had chased the bad guy to a concert hall then to the concert hall’s basement, then to its sub-basement. Sure enough, the next morning found me waking wondering how I had become the good guy and chased the bad guy through several sub-basements including a fruit cellar, wine stores, utility rooms, a secret laboratory, a bomb shelter, fur storage, and garage. When I finally cornered the villain trying to hotwire a 40 year old MG Midget he surrendered and we rode an escalator back to the surface.
Then there was the day I read in the paper about the upcoming art show in the city and woke up the next morning having wondered why I was painting a geometric abstract including the use of a carpenter’s square and a hand held scientific calculator straight out of the 1970s. And I was painting this masterpiece from inside the canvas.
So you can see why I’m leery of going to bed at all tonight having spent the day craving ice cream. I guess I should wear my flannel pajamas – just in case.
That’s what I think. Really. How ’bout you?