It was a busy night of dreaming, started off normal where I was driving my car and turned onto a street where they were doing construction. The road was now all dirt, and there were pylons and exposed manhole pipes making the drive like an obstacle course to the point I stop my car because it was too cluttered and unsafe to drive on. I get out of my car and meet this dream character who introduces himself as Andy and complains that he has to drive this road every day because he lives on it. He sees that my car has YouAreDreaming.org on the back and asks me what that is all about. I tell him it’s my web address to my website, and that I like to lucid dream and write about it. I give him one of my business cards telling him this card could change him for eternity and I introduce myself.
It’s night time in the dream, I tell him it’s impossible to drive on this street, too many things on the road to run into. He tells me he’s having a party and invites me over to his place. I decided that would be fun so over to his house I go. It’s full of people and I hang out in the kitchen. It has a countertop island in the middle with food and drink.
I sit at the counter and Andy introduces me to his friends and tells them that I’m this guy who lucid dreams and asks me to give them my business card as well. I pull out my wallet and take out a few cards passing them on to his friends. This guy who has shaggy blond hair, kind of reminds me of a surfer reads the card and looks at me asking, “What does this mean? You are living a dream that lasts a lifetime? You are dreaming? That’s strange stuff man!”
I look at him and smile, “I like to lucid dream, it’s fun. So my business card is meant for people who might want to learn about it.”
He doesn’t know what lucid dreaming is and asks me about it. “Its when you are able to be fully awake within a dream and realize that you are dreaming.”
“But it says you are living a dream that lasts a lifetime? This isn’t a dream,” he tells me.
“Perhaps you don’t realize this is a dream, but I do. We are in a dream right now.” I tell him.
He doesn’t buy it and knocks his knuckles down on the countertop, it makes a loud rapping sound. “See, this countertop is solid. This is reality, not some dream.”
I laugh. “Just because it feels real, and appears like waking reality doesn’t make it any less a dream. Dreams are often as real as our waking counterparts. A perfect simulation of reality hence why most do not realize they are dreaming at all.” I explain.
“Whatever man, who wants to dream when you can have this,” he tells me. Implying reality vs a dream.
“I don’t know, I mean we only have so much time to live and many people lose 30% of their potential conscious experience to unconscious sleep. Why not add conscious experience as real as this to your overall experiences. Just because it is a dream, doesn’t make the experience any less real.” I tell him.
“That’s because this is reality! This isn’t a dream!” he argues.
“Look, you have your beliefs, and I have mine. If anyone here should know this is a dream, that would be me. I’ve been lucid dreaming for almost 3 decades now. Maybe you should try to be conscious in your dreams and get something from them, like new experiences.” I tell him.
“If this is a dream, prove it!” he asks.
I smile and extend my hand for him to shake, “I cannot dream your dream for you, it is you who has to come to that realization. So let’s just be friends and enjoy this party.”
He reaches out and shakes my hand. His hand feels warm, I can feel the solidity of bone. It is indistinguishable from what a handshake would feel like in waking life. But as I shake his hand, I emit some energy from mine transmitting information and he looks at me, his eyes open wide and he starts to tremble. The information starts to overwhelm him and his eyes roll back as he starts to process and he collapses to the floor.
People at the party think he’s having a seizure, or worse a stroke or heart attack and everyone starts to pull out their cell phones to call 911. I tell them he’s going to be ok, that he’s just processing a very deep insight that he’s not quite ready to handle. He’s seizing on the floor, there are a few Asian women who are trying to calm him.
Everyone is in a panic, and this lady can’t figure out how to use her phone so she gives it to me to call 911. “I can’t get the numbers to work, the phone isn’t working properly. We need to get an ambulance here.”
She passes me the phone and it’s your modern-day smartphone with icons for apps. I press the phone app and the number pad appears and I call 911 and pass the phone back to her. “It’s just a dream, so things don’t always work like they do in waking life.” I tell her.
She’s frantic because she realizes she doesn’t know the address of the house she is at. She starts asking anyone if they know the house address. I realize I don’t know it, but also that it doesn’t matter because the house is just a simulation in a dream. A temporary setting for this current course of dreaming.
The man finally comes too and he stands up looking at me. “Who are you? What did you do to me? This can’t be a dream! It’s real!” and he staggers back and turns to run.
“You can’t run from the dream friend, you can only come to realize it.” I tell him as he leaves with a couple of friends.
I laugh thinking about how silly the drama of just realizing a dream is a dream can be for dream characters. I don’t know why they insist that a dream is reality but the endless number of encounters like this are noted. Breaking out of the trance-like immersion of a dream and challenging the realism to assert a logical rational context of a dream being an actual dream is the path to lucidity. It’s like being in a grand illusion and you suddenly need to disbelieve and roll a d20 to break free of the illusion (for all you D&D gamers out there).
I decide to walk outside and thought it would be fun to make the dream world more like Fallout 4 with ghouls sticking with my usual desire to have a Genre Specific Lucid Dream. The dream takes on some of the elements of the game, but now in the rich high-end graphics that only nature’s perfected virtual reality simulator can provide. I recognize the setting as College Square with cracked pavement, ruined cars and access to a subway terminal. It looks very close to what it was like in the game and I decide to go explore the subway and start to walk down these concrete stairwell. As I am walking I hear something shambling up the stairs, it has a turn so I can’t see and I grab ahold of the rail right near the corner.
This ghoulish zombie shambles up, it’s flesh is pale and there is a strong color of green on the skin. I can see its dried out rib cage, the eye sockets are deep but the face looks very similar to Eddie the Head, the Iron Maiden mascot. Now keep in mind, I am fully lucid and aware it’s a dream and as an Artist, I like to take a moment to appreciate the artistic value of seeing something that normally doesn’t exist in our waking reality but is composed so realistically as a 3D character in this rich dream realism, so I really admire this from that artistic perspective. This Eddie looking ghoul sees me as it turns the corner, and I swing my legs into a kick holding the rail but miss it.
It growls… it’s teeth and gums exposed in its grimace frown. I do a forward snap-kick to its chest knocking it backwards down the flight of stairs. It tumbles back rolling hard against the concrete making zombie noises as it bounces down the steps tumbling to the bottom. I realize that I don’t have any weapons and start to pay attention to the setting to see if I can find anything to defend myself.
This form of immerse role-playing in dreams is really fantastic, I have a lot of fun with it. It’s really like living in your own movie or video game when you take control and make it what you want the dream to be. The subway entrance is not lore accurate though, it’s not like I remember it from the video game although close. I don’t always get it accurate and it is interesting to note the differences when in the dream comparing it to memories from waking life. So I can’t complain, the dream did have a lot of Fallout 4 details but it was merging with more realistic waking life elements.
Eddie has shambled off by the time I walk to the bottom of the stairs. The ground is dirty, lots of debris and dust everywhere. I can see an abandoned counter for subway ticket sales. But the out-of-lore part of the dream is a kitchen setting with a real-world appeal, it’s clean, there are brown chestnut cabinets, a modern-day white fridge. I see a block of knives and drawers. I decide this is where I’ll need to arm myself and walk over to one of the drawers and pull it open. It has a bunch of metal nuts and bolts. I grab a few and put them in my pocket to throw if needed. Then I see the knives in the block, some of them are throwing knives.
I grab a butcher’s knife, and the throwing knives then realize I have nothing to put them in. I can’t stick these bladed items in my pockets because unlike a video game, dreams capture a rule-set similar to reality thus I needed a safe container to store them all in. There is this large thermos without a lid. I decide I can use that to hold the knives like a quiver. It has a handle, so I undo my belt and latch the handle to the belt and fill the thermos up with several knives. There is a large meat cleaver in a drawer, so I grab that and decide it will be my primary weapon, and I use the butcher’s knife in my other hand dual wielding these but really wanting guns if I am going to fight ghouls.
I walk back to the portion that is more lore accurate to the subway, and I see this slithering creature on the floor. Again, not lore accurate at all. It looks like a fleshy version of a trilobite, but with a soft pink exterior leaving a slimy trail behind it. I take the meat cleaver and cut down on it, it’s soft flesh carving like jelly. It bubbles and dissolves into this bubbling pile of goo. I look up and I see this hideous ghoul leaning over a corpse feasting on it, the ghoul was more lore accurate to Fallout 4. It doesn’t see me, so I try to sneak away into a hallway hoping to remain undetected.
I look at my throwing knives thinking I could use those against the ghoul, but I really want some guns if I am going to be in this simulation of Fallout. But haven’t seen any, and the dream isn’t giving up one like sometimes they will just appear in a cabinet or on a counter like magic. I’m stuck with these knives but they will have to do. Then I see this small motorized robot, it’s square, probably 1’x 1′ on two wheels, but it too is distorted with flesh and metal. At closer inspection, it is a bottle cap mine wrapped with duct tape and skin. I kick it towards the ghoul and it explodes violently dismembering the monster.
Now that was a pretty cool effect, except the jelly-like creature now has started to reform itself and regenerate. I take the butcher knife and start to carve away at it while it tries to recongeal, and I notice other blobs and oozes are starting to crawl down the wall and on the floor. Fortunately, I know I am dreaming so this creepy horror show isn’t that bad to be in, but I realize the knives are fundamentally useless here and decide to leave back through the kitchen.
The kitchen exits into a hallway, and I search the closet for guns but only find clothing. There is a bedroom, that has a glass window in the upper part of the door. I go in the bedroom close the door and search it for any weapons better than the knives. I’m hoping that my intention to find a gun will make one appear as it has in the past but nope, nothing but clothing, towels, and bedding in the closets. Then I see this woman shamble towards the door through the glass window.
She is realistically human-looking, with long black wavy hair. Her eyes are rolled back, grey and she has a black ichor outlining her mouth. Her veins are black and her skin pale. She opens the door mumbling incoherently moving slowly like a zombie. I see her bare arms, the skin is dry and again the veins look like they have dried blood in them. I take the butcher knife and stab it into her throat, but it doesn’t even make her flinch. The skin is dry, like cutting into a thanksgiving turkey, there is no blood and I pull the knife out seeing the slit that it made. I drive it into her chest near the heart, and it gives a sickening crunch as the blade meets little resistance as if she’s hollow. She just looks at me, turns around and shambles to the kitchen.
I close the door and resume my search for better weapons and notice that she’s returned as she opens the door. This time she has knives in both hands, and I feel even more threatened by something that is hard to kill, plus when I dream in such a vivid lucid format I do feel pain so I don’t want to get stabbed. I decide the best thing to do is to flip her, so I give her a hip toss and stomp on her head crushing her skull. It’s dry and brittle and her body still moves, the hands now clawing at the floor which creeps me out.
I decide this dream is getting too weird even for me and leave the house. On the street, there are more zombies and ghouls making me wish I had a gun even more. But I also realize I’m dreaming so I decide I’ll just harden my dream body and make my skin like steel. My arms start to grow more muscles and my fists clench. I power up and walk towards a group of ghouls telling them I’m ready to fight.
They look at me and point at this other person who is leaning against a car from Fallout 4, the mixture of this game’s influence and real-life is very noted. Instead of a diner, there is a food truck with some women tending whatever customers might come there way. This person who they point at puts out its hands and this large wire-like whisk appears and it starts to spin very fast, I assume with the ability to shred anything that comes into contact with it.
But I’ve pulled some kung-fu diamond hardening of my dream body and decide to test it out against this new threat. I punch into the blender of wires and they break and have no effect on my arm. I then lay an uppercut on the ghoul, right under the chin and with these super-powers and super strength I grand slam it knocking it up into an arc over 100 feet. The other ghouls see this and scramble away in fear leaving only the food truck as a point of interest.
I walk over, and it’s like going to a drive-through with some young women dressed in whatever uniform was mandated. I start to talk like Rocky Balboa, “You ladies all right? Any more ghouls you want me to punch? I’m a good puncher, I’ll knock ’em flying.”
They laugh at my funny impression and goofy face. “No, there’s no one left to punch.” one of them tells me. I laugh and decide it might be nicer to stop role-playing so much and just chill and enjoy the dream. I go for a walk in this quasi-fallout 4 inspired landscape to check the sights. I come up to this railway and decide to follow it. There are lots of dead trees and dry grass. The ground is mostly gravel with other larger rocks mixed in.
The tracks lead to this cliff and I lean down and pull some gravel into my hands feeling the tiny rocks. I think to myself when I’m this lucid in such a rich realistic dream, it’s certainly worth just observing the details because how often does one get to be in such a fantasy-inspired setting. The cliff is made of shale rock, the rock is reddish-brown with layers of black. I decide it might be fun to do some rock climbing as falling in a dream doesn’t really intimidate me. I take off my shoes and climb barefoot. The cliff face is made of shale has very unstable portions of rocks jutting out, they fall when I pull on them and again feel very realistic, solid and with weight.
I take my time, checking for stable points and climb up the cliff to have a better view of the landscape. As I make it to towards the top, however, I wake up suddenly. My phone alarm has gone off.