Monday, October 28, 2013

Only In My Dreams

I'm in my wedding dress, but I've forgotten to wear the special, super-low cut bra that I bought because it would remain perfectly concealed under my strapless gown. Instead, I'm wearing a regular old ratty bra that I'd typically have on underneath a cable-knit sweater during an off laundry day. Everyone can see the straps protruding out from my sweetheart neckline. They droop loosely over my shoulders like unruly stands of fettuccine. The band of the bra sits a good three inches above the back of the dress, like a faded white censor strip placed on the wrong side of a topless women.

I'm at the altar, and I know the bra is all wrong. More than all wrong, down right ridiculous. But I've come this far, and I can't go back. I hear a low roar as the crowd of guests takes in my unorthodox underwear, and I flush a thick scarlet as the tears hurl out from behind my eyes. This is all wrong. How could I let this happen? Why the hell didn't one of my bridesmaids stop me before I put one toe outside the dressing room? This is unbearable. I have to get out. I turn around and run, as laughter pounds at my ears. Even JT lets out a little chuckle. I run past pews of hysterical guests, who only roar louder at my escape attempt. I flee past my parents, who can only shake their hung heads in shame. This is by far the worst moment of my life.

Until the next time I have a wedding-related night terror, that is.

My dreams have always been bizarre. Either they're so realistic and in tune with something I've been thinking about that I catch myself a week later realizing something I thought happened, didn't. Or they're so banana-sandwich insane, I'm afraid to tell even JT their plot for fear he'll decide to leave me at an inopportune moment, like say, mere seconds after I recite my vows to him.

Wait, that was another dream. And I woke up with a knot in my chest, tears on my face and a horse voice from screeching after him as he took off with a faceless, scantily-clad wedding crashing bitch.

Wedding planning is wreaking havoc on my sleeping brain, and I have no way whatsoever to stop it.

Last night, I had a dream that JT and I were walking on a path in a beautiful forest. Sunlight streamed through branches of tall trees surrounding us. I thought we were alone until a woman walked past us. We all exchanged pleasantries, but her smile lingered a just moment too long as she nodded in JT's direction. As she walked on, JT suddenly stopped and turned to me. He confessed he'd always harbored a secret crush for this mystery woman and wondered if I'd be opposed to him pursuing it now.

“But we're in the middle of buying a house!” I exclaimed. “And we're engaged!”

“I know,” he said solemnly. “But I really want this.”

Stunned, all I could do was nod. The instant my head ducked in agreement, JT was off like a bullet, chasing after his future happiness.

I woke with a start, then shook JT awake to relay my most recent subconscious episode.

“Hmmm,” he said, rubbing sleep from his eyes and yawning. “Was she hot?”

He's really got this reassurance thing down.

Truthfully, his nonchalant response more likely stemmed from the fact that I'd woken him with these nocturnal tall tales no fewer than three times. In the last week.

There's truly nothing to be done to stop these bizarre scenes from running through my mind. All my life, my dreams have run the gamut from introspective to nonsensical in extreme waves I have no control over.

When I was younger, my dreams were so strange, my parents encouraged me to keep a dream journal. A sample entry:

Nov. 12, 1997

Last night, I had a dream that I was in this jail place and all of the sudden, Leslie Nielsen came flying out of the sky. He had a gray suit on. When he landed, his head fell off. Then me and this other person were trying to stop Leslie Nielsen and this other really pretty dark-haired woman from doing something. We were on their shoulders pulling their heads off, but they were still alive. Toward the end, we were all laughing about it.

The what? So wait, Leslie loses his head once, then it regenerates, and I and “this other person” try to rip it off again? And who's this dark-haired woman? Priscilla Presley? You know what? It doesn't matter. We all laugh it off in the end.

The bottom line is none of it really means anything. In the weeks since I've become engaged, I've dreamed that my Mum, in a fit of rage over me not sending out the invitations in a timely fashion, forced me to run an obstacle course while wearing my wedding gown. I dreamed that my ceremony was moved from my parents backyard to a tree house, and people, especially the grandparents, were furious that they couldn't scale the branches to get to it. I dreamed that no one came to the reception and JT and I ended up with 130 plates of chicken Marsala to eat on our own. It's all nonsense.

Yet, in some way it's serving some purpose. Because while I'm tormented in my dreams, I remain calm and collected in my waking hours. Things are going well. Details are falling into place.

Check with me in a few months*. I can only imagine the dreams I'll be having then. Probably something along the lines of JT swapping his tux for my wedding gown, rallying the wedding party to participate in a celebratory game of rugby in my parents' backyard, then hooking up with the caterer.

I'll be in the tree house, looking for scissors to cut these damn bra straps.

*This was written about four months before the wedding. And yes, the dreams did get worse. I actually think I exhausted my subconscious, because about a week before the wedding, they finally let up. I think my brain had its fill and was all, "ENOUGH." Either that, or it simply ran out of horrifying scenarios to throw at me. 

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