One of the things you always read about when you look into Lucid Dreaming is the idea of the “reality check” – something that you can refer to in order to determine whether or not you’re actually dreaming. So for example, if I look down and see that I’m wearing giant green Ronald McDonald clown shoes, I can be absolutely sure that I’m dreaming. I would never wear anything like that in the waking world. Mine are red.
I was at work, and, as usual, late to teach a class. Not that I’m usually late for class, mind you – this kind of scenario is the one that my brain usually throws at me while I’m dreaming. Late for X, where X is anything that I consider it to be a HUGE PROBLEM to be late for. So I grab my stuff, double-check that I know which room I have to go to, and start running. I vault up the stairs, heading to the fourth floor. When I get to the top of the last set of stairs, I’m suddenly on the subway, heading home, and have no memory of how I got there.
It was at this point that I distinctly remember thinking, “Is this a dream?” I looked around me, and everything seemed perfectly normal, including the 18-inch gap between the subway and the platform that people had to vault over. I tried to remember how I’d gotten from the fourth floor to the subway and figured that I must have had some kind of nervous breakdown, or I’d passed out and was dreaming about the subway, but since I seemed so aware of what was going on, that didn’t make any sense. I checked my phone to see if there were any frenzied messages, and there weren’t, which made it even stranger. I mean, if I didn’t show up for a class, one of the kids would have gone down to the teacher’s room to find out where Mr. Gladis had gone, and then my ass would be in a sling. So I hopped across the platform to catch a train to go back.
At no point did I consider the possibility that it was Sunday morning and I was still sleeping. Until I woke up.
By the way, if I ever some across as kind of neurotic about being on time and making sure I know shit in advance – this is why. This is the kind of dream my brain throws at me all the damn time, and since I apparently can’t tell the difference between dreams and reality, I’ve developed a neurotic terror of being unprepared or late. Huzzah.