Monday, December 12, 2011

I Dream of Zombie

Weird fact: when I watch horror movies, I generally don't have nightmares. There is one exception to this rule, about which I'll probably post another time; but in general, the above holds true. Given last night's adventures in Dreamland, I'm beginning to believe the opposite also holds true: if I don't get a fix of one kind or another of the scary, my unconscious mind will seek any outlet it can find. Usually when I'm sleeping.

What's funny is, as much as I view and read (and, my wife would say, obsess) about zombies, I almost never dream about them. I've had nightmares featuring serial killers, demonic possession, a black-clad headless guy with a badly-dressed spokesman (seriously -- it's one of my most vivid childhood dreams; remind me to tell you about it sometime), fires, drownings... but almost never zombies.

Strange: Usually it's Mario
Lopez who gives me
And then last night happened. For reference, The Walking Dead has been on a seasonal hiatus for two weeks now, and I spent the two hours before bed watching a Christmassy romantic comedy with my wife. In spite of where you think I'm going with this, I actually really enjoy watching sappy romantic comedies with my wife. Still... it's a weird coincidence.

Actually, neither Zac Morris nor the blonde on the right were in my dream last night. Unless they were zombies, which I suppose is possible. There were an awful lot of those wandering around.

In my dream there was a school. I think it was a school. It was large, nondiscript, and sterile. Empty. It was maybe the least interesting building I've ever seen. As I remember it, there were no banners, no posters, nothing to identify it as anything other than a ... building. I know there were at least two stories, and possibly a basement level. Stairs in the clean, white entryway. Come to think of it, there was a distinctness in the lack of markings of any kind on the floors and walls. Here was a building of few survivors, and rank upon rank of hungry, walking dead -- and yet no smears of blood, no bodies -- not even the telltale scuffmarks of dragging shoes. A blank canvass which my subconcious mind couldn't be bothered to decorate. 

(This is actually more frightening in my memory than it was during the dream itself. Dreams, after all, are built upon suspension of disbelief: it is the very unreality of the Dreamscape that becomes a part of the mundane backdrop to whatever story is playing itself out in your subconscious. I begin to wonder if this veneer of unreality is the mind's way of allowing you to cope with the substance of the dream: a subtle reminder that it's all in your head.)

Where was I? Right. There were survivors. A group of them, stuck in this school/hospital/whatever building, but who knew the Living Dead could be behind any door. The gist was, they wanted to leave, and not just because it was a creepy, blank building. At some point, before my daughter crawled into bed with us, the survivors had come up with a brilliant plan: use themselves as bait to lure the zombies into into an entryway, where most of them would exit the building, one would hop the stairs (entry blocked for your standard shuffling undead) and close the back door before exiting out a window. Great plan. If my subconscious may say so itself.

Plan set, my daughter woke us up, crawling into our bed. I went back to sleep, and something that never happens, happened: the dream continued. Only, this time, though the setting was the same, I was following a new cast of characters: The Walking Dead survivors. Rick and Co., as it turned out, had a similar plan in mind, and followed it, only added shooting. Some peripheral "characters" died getting out. Some made it.

Then came the real problem: turns out, while this second cast was doing its thing, Dream-cast #1, who knew nothing about the second crew, had been biding their time. They -- about 50 men, women, and children, made their way to the entryway... only to find that the previous group's excursion had attracted a large group of zombies to the front of the building.

Trapped. Flesh-eating dead in front, and slowly dragging in from behind.

And the alarm went off.

After about 20 minutes of hitting snooze and trying to solve the dilemma faced by my dream survivors (I was literally unable to sleep without figuring it out -- I was simply not willing to go back to sleep and put those dream kids at risk without having a way out), I finally gave up and turned off the alarm.

Incidentally, my daughter also informed me, after I hit snooze that first time, that she'd been having a nightmare. I'm honestly a little afraid to ask her about it.

Lesson learned: a lack of horror movies will make me lose sleep. Or, in this case, give me a nearly two-hour semi-waking nightmare. 

No comments:

Post a Comment