I have these strange nightmares. I wake up from them in the middle of the night even, not huffing and panting and covered with sweat in the ordained manner, but I do reach the edge of tired and irritated consciousness before falling back to sleep. The thing is, they're not really strictly nightmares. I'll explain that part later. They are strange, however. Let me explain that. They're strange because I cant figure out what could possibly be the cause behind them.
I cant blame it on my childhood. I didnt have a mean childhood in the streets of a tough neighborhood. I lived surrounded by pleasant, slightly ageing people who delighted at the sight of my tender soul and let me climb their guava trees and fed me sweets. We never had a painful phase of financial difficulty when I had to beg for food at street corners, and saw many others similarly destroy their lives after entering the alluring world of easy money with drugs and muggings. Instead, I always could buy whatever toys I wanted (not that I wanted anything other than another GI Joe soldier or vehicle), and the neighborhood kids were hard-working, diligent boys and girls who descended often enough for cricket or badminton.
I probably cant even blame it on my parents. Neither one of my parents is fond of child-torture. And I was never beaten or belted or whipped or castrated for any reason whatsoever. I was slapped for not remembering my Hindi alphabets, however, and that scar remains, but only as a little bruise in my tender heart. You know. My father never expressed a tendency to beat my mother up for sport with his bare hands, or vice versa with kitchen utensils or otherwise. They were, and are, perfectly loving parents who dote on me and feed me well and supply me with enough money to be on the edge of disappointing them gravely someday perhaps if I truly forget myself and am fool enough to let them know, partaking from a staunch belief in the rule that ignorance is bliss, for anyone and everyone about anything and almost everything. So I wasn't witness to violence at home in any form.
My teachers in school didnt stunt my emotional and creative growth either, with an iron ruler or otherwise. They allowed me to do as I pleased, for I was an awesomely sweet child who never seemed capable of doing anything wrong and why were the other kids always blaming him so, those scheming devils. I regularly did large-scale drawings from textbooks of various scenes in kindergarten, and these would be put up on the big board for everyone to see. Last year at a mall, my teacher from Class 1, who'd never seen me since I passed her class, recognized me by name. I couldn't stop gushing. I was made monitor in Class 5, and I obeyed my duties respectfully and sincerely, cutting across any head that dared raise itself to say a word when the teacher wasnt around. I'd not only write their name in neat block letters on the board, but also underline it and tick it a couple of times to see the pure terror develop across their face. I was cold, hard and merciless. I could've been the trauma of their childhoods, now that I think about it.
In short, there has been no serious trauma, or emotionally testing experience in my early childhood to explain these strange nightmares peeping in now. I have always been a person quite irrationally free of dreams of any sort. My slumber is deep, black, and complete. I dont pass through those levels of sleep, in which the dream stage also appears. I plunge right in, to the deepest and soundest sleep phase, which I have made my own residence.
According to all the laws of logic-grinding, common sense pulverizing Bollywood, the cause for recurring dreams and strange nightmares is always a traumatic childhood torn between begging for food for a widowed mother and running away with blind sister in my arms from the gangsters razing our little hut to the ground. Then I dont sleep peacefully for years and years, until I come back to avenge these atrocities. But that, dammit, isn't working out in my case!
Why am I considering only the laws of intellectually deprived and sanity-starved 80s' Bollywood? Well, that has to do with the nature of my nightmares. The nature of my nightmares I'll tell you about in a bit. First, the reason why they dont exactly qualify as nightmares nightmares, you know.
See, they aren't exactly the way we normally define nightmares. Thats all. Because.
Nightmares are supposed to be scary and haunting, right? You're terrified and helpless. Everything thats happening is just barely beyond your powers to change or improve. People die, ghosts chase you, bombs rip apart entire cities, a tsunami rises a hundred thousand feet right above your head, you're tied to a post while someone else eats your subway. Horrifying things. To make you gnash your teeth and scream out for a power above to intervene in your moment of injustice. To make you want to pull your hair out, or run away from it all until you're too far away to care about anything. Things like that. Right?
So what you're talking about are nightmares which are horrifying and terrifying and unimaginably strange within the purview of your dream stage. Thats where mine depart from your typical nightmare definition. My 'nightmares' terrify and tortue me when I behold them after I wake up and think back at what just happened in my dreams. And I want to gnash my teeth, scream to a greater power, pull my hair out and run away from everything.
I'm not exaggerating. I just woke up from one right now, explaining this late night post. I was going to tell you about the nature of my nightmares? Let me tell you about this one.
Dont freak out.
And try not to laugh in my face also. Its very off-putting if your greatest troubles are scorned so by your peers.
And I'm being brave and all about it too. Coming clean and telling about it openly.
It involved, this one, a wrestling match. It was me in a tag team with this other short person who I feel was an uncle/mentor character. My character in the dream/nightmare has had a tough childhood, spent living off the streets and having to now prove himself as truly a major achiever. Through championship wrestling, I admit, but whatever. Thats how dreams work; there's little logic. Its not about tagging each other anymore. We are wrestling all out against two mean big thugs, one of whom resembles the Undertaker and is after my life. Not that this has anything to do with anything much, my signature move was Sweet Chin Music. Yay!
Did you ever play WWF on video games? You remember those short, pudgy characters fidgeting about on the large ring? All they had were 4 or 5 moves and one signature move. Also, when you threw an opponent over your head, he fell outrageously far away. Remember? The other funny thing is, it was all in that image. We were those little 4-bit characters.
The 80s embarrassing Bollywood reference comes here. The mentor/uncle character was constantly chiding me about my being unfit to live up to my father's name and prestige. He found me weak and incapable of fighting my foes and, with intense Hindi film dialogue delivery, he let me have it. I wanted to show him I was tough enough. I wanted to prove to the world I wasnt a coward. I wanted to bleed. I wanted to sweat. I wanted to fight. And with a whole round of fidgeting about on tiny little feet from one corner to the other, climbing the side-bars, and clotheslining, and powerbombing, and punching into air as happened with me quite regularly even when I played the video game, I think I came quite close to proving myself. Just as I delivered a knockout kick, my SCM, the scene faded to blackness and I woke up.
I'm starting to feel there's a nerve problem somewhere here. This isn't normal.