From my early teens I had dreams that involved my falling from a great height. I explained about these dreams to a classmate one day and I was informed that if I ever hit the ground in my dream, I would die in real life. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I had hit the ground in every single dream since I had started having them.
Every time I had that dream after that I hit the ground. I never died. I always felt terrified as I fell until I could see the ground coming up faster and faster and then my heart would beat faster and faster. Would I die this time? Would this be the dream that I never woke from? I wasn’t a maudlin kid. I wasn’t a kid who was dressed in black all the time (well not at that point anyway!) – I was just a dream time thrill seeker who got pissed off when he didn’t die when he smashed into the ground whilst in the state of slumber.
Nightmares, by and large, don’t bother me. The traditional type of nightmares the bogeyman type have never worried me and probably never will. My mind can and has dreamt up more vivid and unpleasant things in waking hours that a few sleeping moments ever could.
When I am busy or occupied with some task, my brain becomes a different kind of beast. It is like it gets taken out of my body and is let loose on day release. It gets to mess around and get up to all kind of crap that it couldn’t get away with if it was attached to my central nervous system. I have been known to wake up in the middle of the night and get dressed (I sleep au natural) and then begin work for the day in my bedroom! In my Theatre days, this could be quite funny to see as I could be found building sets or working a lighting board. I have even been known to go through lines in my sleep, but I had to get up from bed and get dressed (FULLY – socks and shoes) and then begin rehearsing my part. It would be several minutes until I came to and realised what was going on and I would get pissed with myself and have to get undressed and get back into bed and go back to sleep.
The bloody annoying thing though, that could happen two or three times a night. I would be exhausted for weeks on end, but ultimately if I was acting in a play, I pretty much always knew my lines well before the deadline for knowing them.
When I worked in an office, I would end up taking phone calls in my sleep. I think that hastened my slip into mental illness. The stress that job had was too much in normal waking hours, to have it thrust on me in my sleeping hours too, that was pure mental torture.
This whole dream thing sprang into my mind just as I was closing down to come to bed Sunday night. I was just about to close Skype and it sounded off and it was a message from my mum. I clicked on it to open and I really wished I hadn’t. It was quite possibly the worst news to go to bed on you could possibly wish for. The death of a hero.
Director Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) passed away after a battle with Brain Cancer. I have to admit I wasn’t aware that he was even ill. I am terribly sad that he has passed. He gave me my real passion for modern horror. The Elm Street franchise was the one that got me really hooked. That was my gateway to the rest! Whilst Craven had little to no input after part 1 until the final part of the series New Nightmare. It was he who made the premise possible, gave Freddy life and made a generation of kids horror fans for life.
Freddy Krueger was a bogeyman that inhabited that landscape that was most thought was safe from most things in life. Wes Craven took that thought away from us and that was the beauty of A Nightmare on Elm Street. That film showed how dreams would be as real as your mind demanded them to be. It opened up the prospect that, whilst it was “just a film” in reality for me it showed that my dreams really were something … more.
I have used elements from my dreams in stuff that I have written in the past. It has been used in stuff that I have done when I used to act. There have been, I am sure, times when reality and dream states have become so confused that I have gotten them confused and they have become inter changed between real life and, well, not quite so real life. Since being on such strong medications my dreams can be affected.
Mental Illness affords me the chance (whether I like it or not) to experience what my previous psychiatrist liked to call Pseudohallucinations which gave me dream like situations that weren’t very nice to encounter, and to have them fobbed of by professionals just because I knew they were happening, well.. it’s kind of like knowing Freddy’s coming for you!
A slight deviation.
I’m not sure where this should end. I think I just want to not end it on a pun like “put it to bed”.
I think I will just end it with:
Rest in peace Mr. Craven. Rest In Peace.
Until next time…