We’ve all read those scenes.
Usually sparked by something that has happened earlier that day, we’ll cut to one of the lead characters in bed that night. We immediately know it’s a dream because the entire scene is written in italics.
They’re reliving a bad moment from their lives, and they go through the entire scene from start to finish, just as it happened. We’re likely about to find out they have this dream on a regular basis.
They wake up crying out, and… the other lead character is there with them, ready to comfort them…
Maybe I’m odd, but I didn’t think people dreamed full, chronological scenes from their past, and I didn’t think anybody had a memory that good they remembered entire conversations, word for word!
And maybe it’s me being odd, and maybe I’ve missed my calling as an action movie scriptwriter, but I’ve never had a perfectly-remembered, slice-of-my past dream in my life!
A recent dream of mine:
I was somehow in the world of Downton Abbey. This is odd because I don’t particularly like the show, haven’t seen many episodes of it, and only know about a third of the characters’ names. I hadn’t even seen an episode recently to spark the memories.
And yet there I was, in that world. Only, in my dream we were at war, and bombs were falling, and there was a chemical weapon attack, and we were all running around, and…
I have a lot of dreams that turn into action movies. I also have a lot of dreams about my years in intensive ballet training, but even then it’s a jumbled version of my past, in scenarios that never actually happened.
Even when I dream about people I actually know, I never dream real events. Isn’t that why there are so many books and websites to help you interpret the meaning of your dreams – because people dream in symbols, not reality?
I don’t think it really bothered me in the past, but recently when one of those dream sequences starts in a book, I’ve been having a reaction of: Yeah, right. Not this again!