I used to write a zine (printed, not online) back in the mid-90s called Velocity NYC, and I recently re-discovered a bunch of the stuff I wrote back then on archive.org.
What do we talk about when we talk about our dreams? I checked out my dictionary for a little guidance, and it defined a dream as “a series of mental images, thoughts, and emotions occurring in certain stages of sleep,” or as “a hope or aspiration.”
The first one is the sort that nobody wanted in those Nightmare on Elm Street movies. That kind can range from really great to just plain horrible. In one night you might have a dream about your dog wearing a Richard Nixon mask as he strikes out President Clinton in the kickball championship. That same night you could dream about all your appliances coming to life and attacking you.
These dreams are the type that we can’t really manipulate. I learned that back in 6th grade when they gave us a very clinical sex education class. I remember them taking the girls out of the room to tell the boys about the nocturnal emission (or wet dream) and how that was sort of the same thing as sex.
For years after that, I hoped for a wet dream before I went to bed each night and it never happened. To this day, I’ve never gone all the way in one of my dreams.
These are also the dreams that new age quacks claim to be able to analyze. I refuse to believe that when I dream about monkeys playing football or other non sequitur stuff that it has anything to do with anything. Just random thoughts that our mind makes up to keep from being bored.
The second kind of dream is the one that sends a kid from the ghetto to the batter’s box at Yankee Stadium, the kind that wins a scholarship, the type of dream that actually means something.
After I got out of college, there wasn’t a whole lot going on for me. One summer afternoon, the band Dada (“Dizz Knee Land”) was playing a free show in one of those little parks in downtown Washington. I went there with my friend Sheri to check it out.
On the way there and back, we chatted a lot. We didn’t come out and realize we were talking about our dreams, but we were doing it sort of subconsciously. We talked about what we wanted and hoped for in love, careers and all the other ancillary stuff. Back then, it sort of seemed like dreams were all we had.
That kind of dreaming has the ability to develop into something tangible. By talking about it, it sort of helped us make it happen. I think sometimes we don’t realize we want something until we tell somebody that we want it.
A few years later, we’ve both found the love that seemed so elusive in 1993 and our careers are working out the way that we’d hoped they would. Like so many things in life, it all goes back to Dr. Frankenfurter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show when he sang, “Don’t Dream It, Be It!”
If you’re not where you want to be, wake up from that dream and do something about it!