October 23rd, 2009 @ 20:58 by NormMonkey
Why are they called nightmares?
Wikipedia says that the name comes from Ye Olde English mare which meant demon.
In particular, the “Old Hag” demon would leave her body to sit on her victim’s chest. You (the victim) would wake up with a start but be unable to move. You’d feel terror and an urge to breathe which you couldn’t satisfy.
Since you don’t have modern science, you’d explain this away as some old demon who gets off having out of body experiences on you at night. Nowadays we DO have modern science so we know that your body is smart enough to paralyse itself so that you don’t thrash about and hurt yourself while you … uh, make up stuff in your mind for no clear reason.
Well, we’re getting there, eh? Give them scientists a break, they’re trying.
Anyways that can’t be what happened to me last night ’cause I specifically remember lying on my side when I woke up with a start, still paralysed and wanting for a deep breath.
Normally I don’t remember my dreams beyond the first minute or so after I wake — even though I try to remember the particularly interesting ones. Last night’s dream is memorable enough that I can still recall bits of it now.
I remember floating in Space. There are people in Space with me. We are a team. We’re on a mission. There are two spaceships. One is ours, the Other is unknown.
Our goal is to investigate this unknown, dirty brown spaceship.
One of us is still back with our ship. Another is already over beside this unknown intruder. I am floating through Space on my way to the Other ship, to explore it and find out What It Is.
(when you read that last bit, read those last three words aloud in your mind as though you’re from the ‘hood in the ’80′s. “What it is, yo?”)
As I float over there, I have this horrific feeling that something is wrong. Very wrong.
This is the part where this whole experience stands out for me: I must have gotten ahead of myself because I specifically remember a pause in the dream action here while my imagination tried to draw up the most horrific scenario for exactly why things feel so wrong.
I remember the challenge of coming up with this bit, as though I’m a writer/producer sitting there, eyebrows in an evil upturn, cackling with wicked glee.
Knowing what we now know of nightmares, we could suppose that this writer/producer is The Old Hag, sitting on my chest as she thinks up the nastiest scenarios. Except I’m certain I was lying on my side so that can’t be it.
What was horribly wrong? How does it end? Oh, the suspense!
The premise is this: every time someone from our Team of Intrepid Space Explorers enters the Other ship, that person is devoured, the rest of the team’s memory is wiped and we’re moved back to our craft. Then the cycle repeats.
That’s just how these aliens roll, so that they don’t have to waste effort, you know, fighting us and stuff. They just take us one at a time as we arrive on their doorstep, eyes open wide with curiosity, over and over again.
The cycle is broken by this Feeling of Wrongness, this overwhelming cognitive dissonance. In the next scene, I’m standing on the bridge with a colleague holding the spiral-bound Operations Manual in my hand, pointing out where it says the ship is supposed to have 87 crew members and that there are only three of us.
I woke up before the wonder of how the ship could still be running with only three people, two of whom are standing around reading a spiral-bound manual, took hold. I mean, seriously, what futuristic spaceship has spiral-bound manuals instead of some slick computer system?
ASIDE: by the way if any of this seems familiar to those of you playing along at home, I can’t imagine why. I use only fresh, original material in my dreams.
Since we know from my waking orientation that this nightmare was not in fact caused by some mythical, haggard old witch scheming up stories on my sternum, I stand (sit?) stymied as to its cause.
Personally I think it’s this bathroom renovation I have going on. I mean, look at these correlations: this reno is a series of similar problems occurring over and over; and the bathroom is an ivory/brown colour scheme with dirty brown tiles and beige coverings, with a beige vanity counter-top.
It’s official: my bathroom reno is a nightmare.
 A post describing this metric (water)closet-full of events can be found by directing your browser’s attention to the former part of this sentence.
[*] This dream actually happened a few nights ago. I delayed posting about it ’til I finished the Bathroom RENO post (above), along with the 2nd YouTube video. You can find both videos, as well as pictures and even a PDF report I sent to the contractor. YAY for cross-linking!