Sleep settled on me before I wanted it to – 11:30 pm. Then released me from its grasp before I desired – 2 am. It refuses to return for several hours, begrudgingly settling over me at 6 am.
Having insomnia is frustrating, having it with zombies only amplifies this frustration.
Last night my dreams were literally about zombies. I’m not particularly frightened of zombies – and it isn’t the content of the dreams which is most unsettling (zombies, murderers, demons), its their zombie-like quality: they refuse to stay dead.
I remember as a child a puppet that haunted my dreams. I was always in a room – but a room with no visible ways, ceiling, or floor. It was defined – it existed, but I could not see what it consisted of. It was always dark – and out of the darkness a puppet would drop to torment me.
I don’t remember the puppet ever actually doing anything – it just tormented me with its presence. It would disappear and then reappear. It would be gone and then it would be there again – dropping out of the darkness t frighten me.
Some of these zombie dreams face similar monstrous opponents – the serial killers and demons – but I’m not really afraid of any of these monsters, I’m just exhausted. I do everything possible, necessary to eliminate them but they always return. It is an endless loop of me trying to fend them off – usually not so much for my own sake as for those around me, especially those I love.
Somehow the door I just locked, the enemy I just killed, the defense I just built is always being undone, unlocked, unkilled. I’m not afraid as much as I am tired.
Last night it was zombies – literal zombies – and they just wouldn’t leave me alone. The scenario and the participants changed a thousand times over – but the constant threat of the zombies remained.
At one juncture I found myself in a metal trailer with all the doors locked and windows secured. I lay on the floor with dozens of other individuals. We were all wrapped in our sleeping bags, hoping we could outlast the assault of the zombies.
There was a TV. Of course there was a TV. And while the entire world had gone to hell, there was electricity for the TV…and of course, on the TV was playing zombie movies. I tried repeatedly to turn them off, but every time I turned them off someone else turned them back on. There was at least three of them – and by turns I’d end up as a participant within each one. It was a dream inside a dream.
I’m not huge on dream interpretation. I don’t look in every nook and cranny for meaning – but when I have a dream which repeats itself over a span of time, I don’t mind looking to see what exactly my sub-conscious may be trying to work through…
In this case, as in every case of these monstrous dreams, I seem to be processing, very abstractly, the feeling of helplessness – a lack of control – over some aspect of my life.
It could be financial difficulties, a ruptured relationship, a difficult decision, or ongoing health troubles. The monsters of the dream, the frustrations of the dream are simply a sleeping representation of the obstacle I find myself facing in the daylight.
I awake feeling exhausted and my muscles are sore from being clenched through the night.
I stumble into the shower and let the hot water pound against my frame…hoping some of my muscles will get the message and unclench.
Apparently I fell asleep at the keyboard with my fingers still on the keys.