Weird, Terrifying Dreams I’ve Had: The Reboot

Lucky number seven! Let’s not waste any time…

#97 My Dream Girl (Literally, But Not Really)

I dreamed I was dating the YouTube personality, Jenny Nicholson,* and brought her home to meet my parents. Jenny got a phone call she had to take and while she was speaking, my aunt came over and wanted to speak to me across the street at her own house for some reason. I gestured to Jenny where we were going and she nodded in understanding. Later I was sitting outside on the porch and a van pulled up. A bunch of men ran out, grabbed me, and I woke up.

At some point, I saw my most cherished childhood stuffed animal, Benny the Bunny, but he was completely dismembered. His carrot was ripped out of his hands, his head was torn off. Implausibly, his body was filled with Styrofoam not stuffing. It was a disturbing image, and even though I probably could have stitched him back together, the thought never crossed my mind. To my dream-persona, that would have been like creating an unholy, Frankensteined monster of my little buddy. He was dead, and the proper thing to do was honor the loss rather than Weekend at Bernie’s it.

It certainly wasn’t the most plot heavy dream, but I was hanging out with Jenny Nicholson. So it had that going for it, which was nice.

*ASIDE: Don’t read too much into this, I’ve just been watching a lot of her videos lately to pass the time. My boyfriend and I saw some of her stuff together a few nights ago and shared quite a few hearty laughs as a result. It was one of the few things which cheered me up the day after my grandfather died, so I’ve had a bit of an emotional connection to the series lately. In fact, with Matthew Boman’s vlog series out of comission for the last five years, I’d go as far to say that Jenny is my new favorite YouTube “celebrity.” I love content creators who bring attention to obscure gems and reviews that don’t revolve around awkward skits or needlessly cruel jokes at others’ expense. I know Jenny Nicholson is huge and doesn’t need my endorsement, but if by chance anyone reading this blog hasn’t heard of her channel yet, I recommend checking it out.

Honestly, this is my new favorite “goofy time waster” / “random observations” video on YouTube. And it’s pretty wholesome how every single person in these Hallmark videos reached out in the comments to commend her work.

#98 Bounty Hunters

I dreamed that me, my ex girlfriend, my boyfriend and some other people were lounging around a pool having an afternoon party of sorts. These crazy young brutes next door threw garbage and swore at us. Before we could even process what was happening they ran up and started attacking everyone. I managed to slip away but they followed me. So I began frantically running all over the neighborhood trying to get away. At times, I was climbing trees but they spotted me. Then I was hiding in someone’s attic and my pursuers started searching the house. The middle aged female owner paid them no mind.

For whatever reason, a woman among my tormentors saw my hiding place but decided against informing the others immediately. I think this was perhaps to extend the thrill of the hunt, or to extort me later. She whispered, “see you later, victim.” And I felt a wave of perverse excitement to know that I was completely at her mercy. They left without incident and I immediately pleaded with the homeowner to call the cops. She refused, acted like we were kids playing hide and seek, then tossed me outside. I waited in a ditch while the brutes ran all around the neighborhood continuing their search.

I “knew” throughout the dream that they had rape on their mind, but I was especially worried they’d notice I was trans and kill me thereafter.

#99 Anarcho-Primitivism

I had a dream where, due to a misunderstanding or fear or a prophecy, I had to live out my days in the woods. I really can’t remember whether I was accused of a crime I did not commit or if I somehow knew I’d be imprisoned in the future if I did not retreat from society. At some points in the narrative I was alone and in others I was with a dear friend from my high school days. One of us had a baby and had to raise it in the woods, but I’m not sure who was the parent and if the child had been born away from civilization or had been taken away on our account. We opted not to bring the child to a doctor even though it was sick out of fear of the consequences of returning. I just remember being found by a bunch of state officers and there was an overwhelming sense of regret that we had wasted years living in the woods like savages if we were just going to get caught in the end anyway.

At some point, I remember there was a scene depicting our fateful decision to run away together. It was like the part in The Fellowship of the Ring where Bilbo disappears from his own birthday party. The two of us were acting out some kind of skit to fake out the onlookers. I had pink scissors in my hand which I was threatening to use as a weapon against her or myself. I’m not sure why that would be a good skit to dissuade anyone from finding us, but that’s dream logic for you.

#100 The Shadow in My Mind

So, I’ve already talked about my experiences with secondary school bullying on this site. One of the details in my account was the fact that I’ve had on and off nightmares about the worst of my bullies (whom I’ve dubbed “BC“) over the years. In past installments, I’ve shared some of the tamer examples of these dreams. But I’ve experienced far worse than I’m willing to post publicly. Some have left me feeling intensely unsettled for the remainder of the next day. I used to record those in my private diaries until I decided it was best to let myself forget anything so emotionally distressing. This particular dream which I’m about to share is what led to that decision.

This was by far the weirdest and most cinematic case of BC invading my subconscious mind. I wouldn’t blame anyone if they thought I was making it up, since it reads so much like a fake dream you’d see in a movie or something. I was so upset afterwards that I decided to finally write down my bullying experiences that same day, just to get it all off my chest. This seemed to help, and while I still occasionally experience nightmares related to BC since that fateful night, they’re far less frequent than they used to be.

I was in my old gym uniform and walking through the foreboding, dimly lit halls of my high school. I saw BC in the distance and ran to confront him. As I turned a corner he had stopped and was waiting for me. He started pontificating about my inner nature and weakness. I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it was a lengthy philosophical diatribe about my spiritual failings. This doesn’t sound so troubling when reading the simplified description of events, but it was a long, hurtful series of insults touching on my worst insecurities. I felt like I couldn’t even dispute what BC was saying, because I’d already internalized all of these barbs over the years and believed them.

Something was off this time compared to earlier nightmares regarding BC. It was his body but his voice was different. I would describe it as “a cross between Ben from Lost and the bearded ringleader of vampires in The Lost Boys. He even referred to me as “Michael” like I was another character in the latter. His theatrical mannerisms and eloquent speech were noticeably out of character too. It was almost like a demon or Shakespearean villain had taken BC’s form and was using it to deliver a more thorough dressing down on me than the brutish simpleton I’d once known ever could. All the same, I attacked BC and ended up kneeling on his chest, pounding his head in like so many other dreams. [The tamest examples of which I’ve shared in this series, the others I’ve withheld due to how repetitive and depressing they are.] In previous nightmares, I’d always wake up in the middle of the act, but this time I saw the aftermath of my handiwork. His shattered skull and a pool of blood littered the floor in gruesome detail. I noticed his eyes were wide open and staring up at me, almost condemning me for what I had become. I held up my blood spattered hands and marveled in utter disgust what I was capable of.

I woke up immediately afterward in a cold sweat and just laid there in my bed for almost an hour, unable to move or process anything. The only thing I could think about during that time was utter shame at what my dream-self had done. A part of me even felt as though my violent reaction had retroactively justified all the awful things which dream-BC had said earlier in the narrative. I was in a depressed mood for the rest of the day and decided from then on it wasn’t worth writing down any other nightmares about BC ever again, unless something else occurred in them which was uplifting or interesting enough to offset his presence.

#101 Pop Quiz

I had a dream about an English honors/AP class. The teacher had straight, short brown hair and a tan/beige skirt suit with a shirt collar that extended over the lapels of her jacket. Maybe it puts a selfish spin on the rest of the dream, but I thought she was really cute. I was a teenager in the dream.

It was a big room with two groups of desks facing each other and lining two opposing walls of the room. (Which is the way several of my middle and high school classrooms were arranged–it was to incentivize discussion.) There were balloons shaped like different numbers all around the room, some in grouos of two or three. the balloons were hollographic black, orange and silver. There was a ton of people in the class. An old friend from my early teen years was next to me.

Despite the fact that we had been reading one book previously, we were being pop quizzed on another. I did not read this new book, and knew I’d have to BS it. The test booklet came in a plastic lamination that was hard to open. Indeed, since the first few questions were visible from the cover, I assumed that was the whole test and tried to write on it directly. The pen would not write due to the plastic wrap and I got worried I wouldn’t be able to take the test at all. I eventually figured it out, tho. The test booklet was elaborate and colorful, with illustrations from the story accentuating the questions.

While we were testing, three kids got caught cheating and were taken to the front desk. one of them said something like “i guess we’re gonna get zeroes, huh?” and the teacher answered “if I cant get you kicked out of the class entirely, yes.” It looks harsh on paper, but I could tell from her slightly breaking voice that she was flustered by their actions. Suddenly I was taking my test in a small enclosure meant to look like a haunted house. I was working on a problem about the main character, asking us to describe her personality. I said “quiet and shy.” The teacher came in while I was writing, saw my answer and asked if I’d even read the book. I knew the jig was up and just answered “no.” She wrote a zero on the page in front of me and handed it back. Her face indicated that she was hurt.

For awhile, nothing happened except that us students all looked around the room nervously while the teacher quickly skimmed thru all our tests. Finally, she got exasperated and asked aloud if anyone had actually read this book. Nobody said anything. She looked like she was about to cry and excused herself from the room. I admitted to my neighbor that I hadnt even known we were supposed to read it. He confirmed that she never said so in class. Still, I felt incredibly guilty and knew it was probably written in the syllabus somewhere. (Sometimes those advanced high school and college classes pulled a fast one like that.) I kept imagining that the syllabus described this requirement but I never actually confirmed it by checking the damn thing in the whole dream.

Our teacher eventually came back looking much calmer and excused us from having to read the book at all. The test results were removed from our grade point average. Then to kind of side step it, she put on some music about ghosts and offered everyone an espresso. These were obviously meant to accompany our discussions of the story post-test. It was a really generous move, and made me feel even worse about not reading this book. As class was dismissed, I heard her singing along with the song lyrics, (which were about ghosts) under her breath. I wanted to apologize for not reading the book since it’s obvious it wasn’t just on the curriculum–it was a personal favorite of hers. Still, I did not do this because I thought it would just rub salt in the wound and maybe reveal my crush.

My next class was in the same room and suddenly I was drinking my espresso out of a bottle of glue. Everyone coming in assumed I was drinking alcohol with glue to dilute it. (They acted like this was a common cocktail in this universe.) The new incoming teacher said she didn’t know why all the balloons were there. I implicitly understood that the previous teacher had set them up herself. I somehow understood that they were meant to represent the ages of the ghosts in the story. And I still felt bad about not reading the damn thing.

#102 Tomorrow is Another Day

I had a dream about As Told By Ginger where Darren fell in love with Ginger by reading a story she had written previously. He read it during the night while she slept and protected her from others who were trying to get in. Who these people were, I don’t remember. Darren hung around even while Ginger edited her story. Coincidentally, it was about the two of them getting together and Darren eventually becoming very annoying to be around. Later, Ginger was talking with Macy and Dody about how to get back with Darren as though the story she had been writing had already transpired.

#103 The Twenty-Seventh Prime

Once, I had a dream that involved the witches from Hocus Pocus. (I never particularly liked that movie, for the record, and had only just seen it for the first time earlier that night. But that’s neither here nor there.) I can’t remember anything about the dream itself though, because when it had ended my face was against a pillow and I couldn’t breath. I was experiencing sleep-paralysis; I could hear but not speak. My then-girlfriend had fallen asleep watching Mad Men in the other room, and it was the episode that ended with Don listening to “Tomorrow Never Knows.” I was a little panicked trying to wake myself up so I could breath, but the song calmed me down a little bit. I thought “well, at least this is a good song to die to.” By the time I snapped out of it, I had completely forgotten the dream itself.

#104 Raucous Romulus

In this dream, a Roman triumph was going on and I was in the thick of it. There were parades of Roman infantry marching through the streets, led by their commander in a chariot. He did not have the traditional garb of a triumphator, and actually appeared quite plain and homely. He was heavy-set, bald and somewhat goofy in his persona. The gladiatorial games were announced and it suddenly occurred to me that half of the Colosseum was on one stretch of the road and the other half was further away on the other side of it. In other words, the scale of brutality would include anyone on the road itself who was between the two pieces of the amphitheater–where many civilians were! I started to panic and tried to flee, but nobody else seemed to have noticed yet and continued to mill about. Suddenly, Roman cavalry mowed through the crowds, slaughtering dozens.

I saw in the distance that the Triumphator was on top of a large tower accompanied by scores of beautiful women with nooses around their necks. If they rejected his advances, they were pushed over the side and left to dangle for a few seconds until being hoisted up again. This tended to make the women more compliant and docile towards their situation. One woman managed to escape and was scaling down the walls of the tower while soldiers try to follow. The Triumphator grabbed a whip and was striking the walls furiously to try to make her lose balance.

Later, thousands of people were watching the finale of Bojack Horseman.The seating arrangements were like those of a modern baseball game, but instead of a stadium, there was only one inclined wall of bleachers extending far into the sky. The show was being projected onto the slanted ceiling of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, so it was meant to be viewed from above. In the episode, Bojack was revealed to be a transwoman who was just coming out of the closet. He wore hideous, poofy yellow wig the whole time. The episode was terrible because it just felt like pandering, and the show used this revelation to try to justify Bojack’s actions throughout the series. I thought it was a copout for his character and bad publicity for the community.

#105 Keep Us Apart

In this dream, I fell down the stairs at my family’s old beach house and everyone  laughed at me. I was angry, and told everyone I could have been seriously hurt but they didn’t seem to care. Later, my sister complained about our cousin’s engagement. She said that with her new husband, our cousin would never want hang out with us again. I said that things would certainly be different, but that change is inevitable. Deep down, those words hurt me a little bit too. Not that I wasn’t happy for my cousin, but yes, I knew we would never hang out as a group like we were kids anymore. Somewhere in all this, I saw my childhood friend, Mars, again. I said “hi” to him but he did not recognize me because of my transition and walked away.

In another scene, I was trying to hang out with my friend when the church sent a squadron of their goons to investigate what we were really doing together. My friend and I pretended that we just play football together. So the Christ-patrol began testing us on our football skills to determine if our story checked out. They made us throw passes and kick field goals in the yard while they watched and took notes on a clipboard. Suddenly I remembered we had a baby together, but it looked deformed and had a brown stone-like texture on its face. I tried to hide the child in case the Morality Police found him.

#106 The Time Where Cenk Uygar Was Affable

I dreamed Cenk Uygar owned a bar and fancy restaurant that everyone went to. I wanted to see this someone there but they were getting so much attention I couldn’t break in and make in impression. In an instance of ridiculous dream logic, I tried to open his car to sneak in so he’d have to acknowledge me. But other people were outside and saw me doing this, so I just pretended it was my car and feigned a realization that I had been mistaken. I talked with these people and while doing so, the guy I had been looking for slipped away.

I remember heading back inside and getting food, plus picking the scraps off other tables as I talked to some other guy. I tried to pay my bill to Cenk but he said “you don’t remember what you had and I don’t remember what I gave ya. So why don’t I comp ya?” and I was grateful and offered to pay double the next time. At this point, news came that the guy I had been pursuing just died in a traffic accident. I was devastated but good at downplaying it so no one would know how desperate I had been for his affection. The guy’s mom was there. I said “your son was very nice” and she said “thank you.”

The place was closing so I got free coffee from the counter in one of those keurig machines. Though the mechanism was hard for me to control so I spilled everywhere as I followed a group out. We traversed several corridors and were waiting on an elevator when I turned around and saw I was back in the restaurant area with another group of drunk rowdy men. I singled one guy out and said “weren’t we just almost out of here?” and he shrugged and said “well we’re here now/something must have made us come back.” There was a mirrored coffee dispenser on another counter top and I used it. Then I followed others out the building and randomly started thinking of the scene in Godfather 2 where Mike hits Kay.

#107 Lonesome Adventure

I had a dream that I was consciously living out some famous play or book but it was unclear what. At first it was me and my friends playing in a garage in-character with our reenactment, but eventually they started going off-script and it no longer followed the book. I mentioned going off in another fantasy “Oz-like” world. But rather than go along with me, as their characters were supposed to, they treated me like i was nuts. I went by myself.

There was this scene where a little girl from a nearby farm, some other guy and me were swinging on a swing set and the girl came up to grab my hand in a condescending gesture. Her hand was in a rubber glove so as not to actually touch me, like I was too disgusting or infectious. I was insulted and furious. I walked off and met some guy in a room in the house without furniture, like a kitchen, and discussed my displeasure with the book/play we were adapting. He was watching Lawrence of Arabia on a small, wall-mounted TV while I spoke.

This transitioned into a scene where I was back in High school and we were about to go to a field trip. Lawrence of Arabia was once again playing in the background on a small TV. We were in a plain, undecorated room with five long tables and a pair or perpendicular doorways going in and out. First my friend got called to be responsible for everyone sitting at one of the tables when we left for the trip. I was made responsible for the inhabitants of a different table. I said “Come on, Spinelli, let’s whip them into shape!” but then all my other friends also got to be captains of their own tables. We were furious because that meant our group would waste the trip shepherding our peers around and never see each other. We demanded a change but the teachers said “no.” So I led a sit-in protest just as Lawrence gave a speech about
Western injustice against the Arabs.

#108 Batman Beyond Goes Rogue

I had a Batman Beyond themed dream where the hero wore like a turquoise zip up vest as part of his outfit. His hair was long and combed back. There was a weird subplot where Terry McGinnis wanted to throw a party or something but this party planning guy he was relying on kept giving him the runaround. Finally, Terry took back his deposit from the guy, who was angry at all the aggravation. Later, Terry put rolls of tape on his wrists (why I don’t know) and beat the guy to a bloody pulp.

There was a scene where his friends came over to his apartment while he was suiting up and he had to yell at them to leave in a very unkind manner. In another scene, Terry broke into some old man’s house. The old guy was an ex con yet started going on and on about how cool Batman was before Terry yelled “yeah he’s so great he just killed someone.” (Terry was speaking regretfully about his actions in the previous scene.) His outburst was so emotional the guy knew he was talking to the real Batman. Terry apologized for shattering the illusion, the guy said it was okay and wanted to hear more. Terry talked to him and it lifted his spirits.

Another scene involved some hot girls leaving a nerdy guy’s house who had provided them with drugs. They made a halfhearted promise to bring him to the party later in return. He was excited at the prospect, but I knew they were going to ditch him. Terry broke into the guy’s window to bust him for the drug deal, but that’s when I woke up.

#109 Everyone Was Rocking Extra Flair That Day

I had a dream it was Office Space but the main character got sick and vomited all over the floor. He wasn’t allowed to leave so he could go home and recuperate. Worse, the company wanted him to clean his pwn dried, crusted-over vomit chunks from the floor. So he ate hard pretzels in the break room to settle his stomach and worked up the nerve to begin cleaning. However, no one told him where the cleaning products, buckets, or gloves were. So he devised a plan to use the plastic bucket where he got the pretzel mounds and hand soap. As our hero went to get started, he saw it’d already been taken care of. The janitor was cleaning in the office room while everyone was dancing elsewhere. The main character awkwardly packed up his PlayStation, Lego magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly and was gonna leave when he saw the janitor pretend to be a dinosaur. Suddenly the scene changed to everyone at the office wearing bright, colored, semi translucent dinosaur masks and gloves from all different species doing a dance party.

#110 The Cave of Wonders

I had a dream where I was visiting my grandpa’s grave site. In this reality, it was like a small tomb on the end of a great narrow pathway made of stone, built on a swampy marshland. I visited the site a few times to weep. I think the dream included a scene or two from his actual funeral, but it happened so early in the night I can’t remember specifics. I had to make many trips between my home and the grave on foot. Eventually this shifted to making those trips for some kind of government work but it was unclear what that was at this point in the narrative. To save time, I stayed with an old college friend and his wife who lived nearer to the graveyard. I thought she was a little haughty and stuck up but the two seemed happy together. After a day or two, this couple left and I was upset about being all alone to deal with my emotions. It felt like the end of an era.

I got called to work and it was revealed they had scores of us watching Aladdin in an auditorium filled with long tables to ascertain where the temple was. Like, they wanted us to analyze the film meticulously for clues as if the treasure trove where Aladdin found the lamp was a real place. A few coworkers asked how my friend’s wife was, i answered “I’ve seen guys settle for worse.” A few workers get fed up and left the project. The rest of us called it a night and grabbed handfuls of powdered donuts for the road. Later, I saw all the workers who had left dividing up a pizza through the window of a restaurant.

It was never made explicitly clear in my dream, but the connection between my grandpa’s tomb and the concept of an underground cave filled with riches seems meaningful in hindsight. Like, either his tomb marked the location and I didn’t know it, or was deliberately avoiding the need to confront such a possibility. Or perhaps my mind was telling me that my grandpa is now a lost source of treasure, the same as a buried trove of gold.

#111 Police Brutality

I had a dream that my boyfriend and I were playing on my old elementary school’s playground. A police officer suddenly appeared and shot a seal that had been frolicking in the meadow. I challenged him, I told him what he’d done was cowardly, insecure and unnecessary. The cope then decided he wanted to shoot us next. We could not fight or run away or we’d get shot for resisting arrest, though that was our first instinct. My boyfriend stood up for me, but all the same we basically had to act calm and dodge the policeman’s shots one by one. (Obviously bullets are slower in dream-logic.)

#112 Kirk Cameron Cameo

No joke I once had a dream in college where I was in a bar. Someone said “bless you” and I said “no man, bless Jesus…because he gave us sunshine and daffodils.” And then a guy said “hey that’s right” and lifted his beer to toast. I recognized him and go “hey that’s Kirk Cameron!” He nods, there’s a pause and then “HAHAHAHAHA!!” I laughed as hard as I’ve ever laughed in a dream while the smile quickly vanished from Kirk’s face. And then I woke up to the sound of my roommate peeing with the door open in the next room. (He did that. A lot.)

A Small Dream That Had a Big Impact on My Younger Self

There was one dream I had as a small child (maybe 6-8 years old) where I pictured myself on a strange hybrid playground/construction site with girders and pipes running every which way. I was accompanied by a little red haired girl. Her hair was ridiculously curly and unkempt (kinda like mine would eventually become once I let it grow out). She wore unflattering thick glasses along with a blue denim overall-skirt, and her face was somewhat boyish. Yet despite her awkward, hadn’t-grown-into-herself-yet appearance, my dream-self was very affectionate towards her. I recall wishing that she had been real once I woke up. I can’t remember anything besides that image of the two of us standing together on an implausible outdoor structure looking vaguely concerned. (What it was that made us so apprehensive I don’t recall, or it was just never revealed in the dream in the first place.)

As small as this dream was, it left a profound impact on me at the time. I even created a story based on it, where the two of us were investigating the factory of a nefarious corporation who manufactured muffins with monster-themed icing and decorations on them. (Even though that sounds awesome at face value, in my story they were trying to run my mom’s wholesome neighborhood bakery out of business.) In my imagination, the owner of this evil muffin company looked like the Mad Doctor from the Super Nintendo game, Mickey Mania. (Obviously, I loved that game as a kid.)

None of this was particularly unusual for me at that age. I frequently acted out imaginary scenarios outside or in the basement when there was no one around to play with. As an additional example, I made up another weird story based on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” where Lucy was a sun goddess who soared through the skies every morning and made plants blossom as she went. The conflict involved my attempts to win her affection even though I was a medieval peasant. The antagonist this time around was the resident Lord’s manorial slave-driver, and he looked like Captain Pete. (Again, Mickey Mania really had a big impact on my younger self.)

I was a strange tyke if you hadn’t guessed that already. 😛

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