chainsaw_headerThis is a Chainsaw Classic column.  Saw will be back with a new column next week!

We open onto a scene of serene white and dead silence. It quickly dissolves into wispy clouds and then fades into a crisp blue sky. We pan down, catching a glimpse of a mountain peak or island floating in the sky? Atop the narrow peak stands a pillared Grecian archway, looking akin to a miniature set piece from the original Clash of the Titans. As we draw closer, there appears to be a person standing under the arch. Suddenly we zoom forward towards the figure. Our view shifts to an entirely new perspective, first-person P.O.V. And now here I am suffering from vertigo. Each glance over the side of this precarious peak sends waves of nausea through my soul. Can’t stay here! Gonna fall off. There’s one way down, a path that starts from between the pillars and goes over the edge like a slide leading to oblivion…a bright orange, 2 foot wide Hot Wheels track.

“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~ Marsha Norman. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon. “I’m having daydreams, about night things, in the middle of the afternoon.” ~ Ronnie Milsap.  “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe. “Sweet dreams are made of this.” ~ Eurythmics. But what is this?

Inevitably the break-neck drop must be taken. Usually it starts with a foot testing the slide leading to a slip, a fall and down we go. It’s a reoccurring dream and thus I have awoken many a time mid-terror at the near vertical drop. The fear of falling whilst bouncing on and off a thin plastic track is horrific…but it always gets worse.

What are dreams? Why do we have them? Could they simply be our subconscious attempting to entertain us while we’re unconscious? Are they images we can only envision during sleep of an alternate reality? Or is it simply a random firing of our synapses, an eclectic collection of our thoughts and memories that our mind tries to organize in such a way that we can understand?
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The track levels out. Carefully standing on the flimsy slick surface, a glance back tells me there’s no going there. But a look forward reveals there’s really nowhere to go. The orange track stretches out ahead into blue infinity and beyond. Nothing above nor below. So it’s forward forever, each step a wobbly leap of faith.

Spontaneous mental playback-that is the scientific communities’ best theory. Initially it makes sense, for who hasn’t dreamed of a crazy day at work or humiliating naked trip down their high school’s hallway? However, this theory rapidly falls apart when we consider our dreams that have us interacting with people we’ve never met in places we’ve never seen. In most cases doing things we’ve never experienced in the waking world.

I have fallen from the tracks a time or two. Each time with new realizations: mostly it’s scary and it sucks. But when my feet leave the track I can see other tracks…hundreds of them. As though the only way to see a new path is to completely abandon the one I’m on. Of course considering a new path whilst potentially falling to one’s death seems a bit impractical.

Psychologists say that dreams have meaning. They say we can divulge truths about ourselves and explore our true fears and hidden desires with proper interpretation. It seems logical and would be nice to text-book dreams into some form of significant categorization. However if a person who is afraid of bears has a nightmare about being chased by bears, doesn’t it just emphasize their fear of bears?

At times I have smacked into a lower track and then catapulted off. There are other people on some of them sometimes. On the closest track there was a young girl, I tried leaping for her track one night looking for answers. She reached out for me then looked really sad when I missed and just kept falling. It makes me wonder if you can’t hop tracks because you’d interrupt someone else’s life. But if you made it, would you meet them in the real world?

When is a dream no longer a dream? When we awaken or it turns into a nightmare?

A man in black is on my track tonight. Is it the dream’s interpretation of death or the representation of a hurdle to overcome in real life? Either way he’s threatening and creepy pants. Can go around him, can’t go under him, can’t get over him…but what he doesn’t know is tonight I opted to sleep with my chainsaw. Guess I’ll go through him.

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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!