Since I was very young, whatever age I was in the fourth grade, I have had nightmares. When they first started, I would, as is often depicted in movies, awake in a cold sweat, sometimes even screaming. The nightmares ranged from monsters in my closet to alien abductions to demons and ghosts. As I got older, they got worse, and more frequent. What started as a fairly rare thing became almost nightly, and then it was nightly.
One time, in high school, I tried to avoid my nightmares by not sleeping. That lasted about three days, then I succumbed. After moving out on my own at 19, I tried it again. Seven days without sleep, and I started to halucinate. My nightmares, not being able to torment my sleep, came to get me while I was awake. At ten days, I was literally out of my mind. Somewhere, stuffed in a box in my closet, I have pages of … text that I wrote. I don’t remember writing that stuff, in fact I can’t even read most of it. Its largely not in English. But what I can read of it confirms to me what I do remember, I was scared, really really scared. After ten days awake I finally passed out. I slept for two whole days and had to make many apologies for missing work.

Since then, I still have nightmares, well, what other people would call nightmares I guess. However, they have lost one quality: they don’t scare me any more. Night after night, I dream of apocalyptic worlds where zombies eat human flesh, worlds overrun by powermad dictators and their ruthless armies, jungles overrun by monsters and beasts. I dream of death and destruction, often involving people I know and love, and every morning when I wake up, I wake up calm. In ways, I have even come to find comfort in my dreams. In zombie filled cities, I team up with other refugees, friends and family, and together we fight the undead. They die, I die, and in the dream the emotions are there, its not like I’m some automoton just mowing down zombies. But the emotions of my dreams no longer translate to my sleeping body.

Why do I bring this up? Ever since I “broke” my nightmares, its hard to keep those thoughts out of my head. Its not as if I am some kind of mental defective, and I’d never actually act on or try to carry out the things I imagine. But I’ll be standing on the street and see someone walk in to traffic, at which point I’ll imagine them being hit by a car or truck, or that having stepped out into the open the monsters or zombies see him and move in for the kill. The good side of this is that I never lack for things to write about. The bad side is that I often can’t stay focused in one line of imagination long enough to craft it into a story worth selling. So I have these folders on my PC and stacks of paper in boxes and drawers full of short snippets, vignettes, that I want to use but just can’t seem to make sense of…

Anyway, enough rambling out of me.

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