The strange moment when dreams slip into the bright reality of morning is an odd transition. Often jarring, set to a soundtrack of a blaring alarm. The fantasies in technicolor imagination snap to a reality a bit too bright and too real.
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, both when conscious and un. I’ve been lucky enough to have a vivid dreamscape almost every night. More so if I wake up a few hours before I really need to and go back to sleep for a bit. That hour or so interval is a psychedelic trip into some weird situations. With the egregious amount of water I drink during the day, a habit I picked up living in the tropics, I often wake up early to drain the main vein. Returning to my bed, I sigh thinking I’ll never get back to sleep and feeling I’ve been cheated out of precious sleeping time. With that thought still on the proverbial lips on my conscious mind, I drop off to sleep and am quickly dropped into something weird.
The nature of the world, the situation or the particularities vary each time. No overarching theme here, no greater pattern or narrative arc that I can discern. Cynically I would say it’s just a screen saver while my mind finishes processing the information from the previous day, but hot damn if it isn’t interesting. The places that the mind can go when not tethered to reality are pretty amazing. Amazing enough for some sages to question the reality of our waking existence, postulating that it is the real illusion and the dreamscape is reality.
That moment where the two meet though, particularly in that sudden, jolting, alarm clock induced collision is bizarre. The reaction of the weightless feeling of whimsy smashed with the cold hammer of morning is one my brain has never taken lightly. I keep my alarm on a table away from my bed so I must rise to silence its annoying tune. The cold floor on my bare feet, the phone’s screen not responding to my touch, the moment when quiet again returns but now I’m vertical and a bit dazed. A muddled ‘what the fuck’ is about all my brain can conjure up, along with trying to put the pieces of this reality together so the day can be approached with some degree of decorum. Sometimes I’ll do some weird task right away, guided by an almost dreamlike impulse. This morning I put the dishes away from their overnight birth on a drying rack to their place on the shelves. Why I did this immediately after turning off my alarm is weird, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
This feeling fades as I fold my body into a stretch after a piss but before my shower. I grip the cold porcelain of the bathtub and feel the bending stretch through my back and in my legs. The smells of the toilet waft up and blood flows to my ears. I count to thirty in a foreign language, stand and stretch the other way. My mind is picking up steam now and thoughts are beginning to fall into more predictable places. By the time the shower water hits my face and the dive response kicks in I’m back to reality, often regrettably though. Call me crazy, but moments stumbling around my apartment in an illusion induced daze are interesting, and an allegory for my life at large at a minimum. The peace of the shower, though, is a nice comfort, and a good bookend to the weird start to the day.