I am a little jealous of my wife. Most mornings she wakes up with a full report of her night's activity. Not that she has to go anywhere physically. She leads a very full life when her eyes close. She builds things. She meets people. She creates works of art. The stories often go nowhere and the sense they make are primarily buried beneath dense piles of subconscious imagery, but they do go on. And on. I confess there are some mornings when I am relieved to have to shove off to work before I experience the entire dissertation of her nocturnal adventure. And still I remain a little envious.
Everyone dreams. That is what science tells us. I know that I have dreams. They are usually the things that wake me up in the middle of the night. I tend to dwell on the logistical end of things in my waking hours, and so I carry that preoccupation to sleep with me. It could be that part of the reason that I don't sleep as deeply as the rest of the creatures in my house. My brain seems to be wired differently: always on alert, ready to leap from bed and navigate the picayune details of life in the real world. That seems to be the way I want it.
When my son was very small, he awoke from a sound slumber with a troubled look, "Where did the cartoons go?" He seems to have acquired the fun and fantastical world behind his eyelids that his mother has. It may also explain why, even as a toddler, he was able to fill up a queen size bed with his flopping about: so many things to do, so many places to see, all from the comfort of his Spider-Man comforter.
Last week we met in the bathroom as we began our day, telling me about the bad dream he had the night before. A fire had raged through our neighborhood and up the hill toward his friends' house. He seemed a little troubled by it, but I felt a twinge. I would have been concerned with the tactical response of the firefighters, then the subsequent property and insurance settlements. I felt another twinge, this one was remorse. The cartoons were gone, replaced by a Michael Bay movie. I am going to try and not lose any sleep over that though.