My Dream Diary from 1984-1985

My second attempt at a dream diary was begun after a memorable dream in 1984. I had long since abandoned any serious study of dreams but was so taken by the first dream recorded here that I wanted to write it down. As the “diary” was not a serious attempt to record all my dreams, I only noted a few before abandoning the project, probably because of lack of time.

September 29, 1984

I dreamed about Diane Lee last night. [Diane was a friend from my high school who was a year older than I and on whom I once had an adolescent crush years ago. After a storybook youth and marriage to her high-school sweetheart, she thereafter led a rather tragic life which ended in an accidental drug overdose during the summer of 1984. She was the first of my friends from high school with whom I had been at all close to die, and her death really shook me when I learned of it.] I can’t remember many details, but it seems as though several Saks graduates were together for some reason, though I can’t recall any others who were present besides Diane and myself. Diane came back from the dead to visit us, but her presence did not frighten any of us — it was actually quite casual, as though she really were alive. Her appearance was not at all spectral, but she looked just as I remember her from high school. She was standing in the doorway, leaning against one of the doorposts with her ever-present smile. She seemed quite content. I remember one point at which she joined us in looking over some old high-school photographs, and she would reminisce along with the rest of us, again not really as though she were dead though we all recognized that fact. I spoke with her briefly and told her how much her death had torn me up, and she said she knew about that and was sorry she had died. Somehow I seemed to understand that she had been aware of my great sorrow and that we were a little special in some way. I do remember asking her if she could come and go from the dead as she pleased and she replied, “No, only those who have had hands laid on them can come back.” I understood that to mean that the dead had to have special permission to come back to visit the living. She had been allowed to return two or three times because something about her was very strong. (I will used the term “psyche” for this, though I don’t think that was the word used in the dream.) She told me my psyche was very strong too, and in fact it made hers pale by comparison. This made me look at death as more of an adventure than something to be feared. I found myself in the dream actually looking forward to death, partly because I had learned that I had such a strong psyche and partly because I knew I would be able to be with Diane. Since others were still present I asked Diane if I might talk to her alone sometime, and she said yes. But first she went off with one of her former girl friends (I don’t know who) to visit, and as my dream faded away after that I don’t believe I ever got to see her alone. It was a strange and stangely beautiful dream. When I awoke I felt that perhaps Diane really had visited me from the dead, though I know that to be most unlikely. She still lives very vividly in my memory.

October 22, 1984

Haven’t been remembering very many dreams lately, and when I do at all it is only in bits and pieces that would be difficult to record. Last night, however, I had one of the erotic dreams that seem to occur on a rather frequent basis. I remember only a small part, but I will record that here. It seems as though I were a new worker in some kind of lab. As we were all learning about the job someone mentioned playing “pat-a-cake,” which was an inside name for some sort of lab technique. One of the girls asked me if I knew what pat-a-cake was (as though it had a double meaning and could also refer to sensual petting). I replied that I knew what it meant and gave her the laboratory definition. She understood then that I had heard about it from someone at work that day, but then she jokingly continued making references to its “other” meaning. I kidded along with her, suggesting, I suppose, that she and I should engage in some sport — though I can’t remember exactly what was said. She responded by interpreting my jokes as advances and promptly proceeded to become very “friendly.” We left the lab together arm in arm, though my arm was around her more because she was so close that I had no alternative. I remember thinking that I didn’t want anyone who knew me to see me like this. I also was wondering whether I really wanted to go through with this “joke.” She obviously was intent on becoming intimate, but I wasn’t certain I wanted to let her. She was attractive, though not what I’d call a knockout — very much like someone I think I’ve seen, but I wouldn’t know who. We went into some room (the surroundings were now more like a college) where we were alone, but where there was a one-way mirror and we could look out onto a kindergarten class. (The room was used, I suppose, for observing student teachers.) We stood watching the class for a while. Soon she reached down and touched me in a way that I understood she wanted to be a little too “friendly,” but just at that moment someone else entered the room (I think other children). I quickly told her, “Not here.” She said we’d go someplace else (I think she said something like “back to the music department”), and as we walked out of the room we were wrapped in each other’s arms. I kept hoping no one from church would see us. After we were outside, still arm in arm, I asked her, “You do know that I’m married?” She replied, “Yes, and I know that you’re a good Christian and have a church, but you’re also human.” I took that to mean that she wouldn’t think less of me for having an affair with her. I also remember telling her I’d never been unfaithful to my wife. That’s all I can recall for certain. It seems as though we went to her apartment, but as strange as it may seem I cannot remember any more. Oddly, that is one of the few dreams I have been able to remember lately, and it isn’t one I particular would want to have or remember.

January 19, 1985

An interesting dream last night. Somehow it was supposed to have been a movie but was more like real life. I had several “previews” of the dream during the night, one scene standing out: a view of an unfinished basement with mounds of dirt, a skull atop one mound near a cobweb-covered doorway. An actor from the movie is superimposed over the skull, gets up and, while telling about the movie, walks through the doorway. I saw this scene or one like it several times.

What I remember of the dream itself, it began with me (now transposed as the main male actor) walking toward “home” through a field or pasture of some type. I think the field had sheep in it. There was a stream I had to cross, but I don’t remember actually crossing it. Somehow I became aware that there was an alien spaceship in the field on the other side of the stream. It’s a little sketchy here. I perceived it had some sort of mechanical trouble, and the aliens wanted only to leave. I did not talk with any of them at this point, but was more or less watching things develop as in a movie. A young alien girl, who I later learned was named Nila, wanted to stroll through the bucolic surroundings. She was an attractice — though not beautiful — girl about 17 or 18 years old by earth standards. She was very gentle, and I remember at one point seeing her holding a little lamb in her arms. One of the adult aliens told her that it was all right for her to stroll, but that as soon as the ship was repaired they would have to leave.

I can’t remember everything that happened through this section, but somehow the aliens were discovered (I assume by the police or government agents) and a big battle ensued all around our house that night. I watched the battle (similar to a scene I’d seen in The Osterman Weekend that night before going to bed), but supposedly my family and I were all in bed asleep. The aliens killed everyone who knew about them (except me and my family), and I wondered as the fight went on why we in the house were not awakened by the chaos.

The next scene was the following morning. Nila was still strolling through the field, having taken no part in the battle, and she was still holding the lamb in her arms. She was making her was back to the ship when she realized it was gone! The others had left without her. Apparently she had strolled too far, and after the battle the others were in a great hurry to leave. As soon as the ship was repaired they had taken off, having of necessity to leave Nila behind.

When we came out of the house that morning there were no bodies of the victims from the battle anywhere, though I did see some blood. The aliens apparently wanted to leave no evidence that they had been there. (Perhaps they would think we would believe Nila was simply mad if she explained who she was.) I think they had taken all the bodies and a wrecked police car with them on the ship, though somehow I got the impression that the skull in the previews was one they hadn’t been able to get aboard and had simply hidden it under our house.

I’m not sure how, but I knew the truth about Nila. I met her in the field and wanted to help her. Someway I convinced our neighbors about Nila and enlisted their help by having them let her stay with them. I tried telling my screen father about the aliens, but he acted skeptical (though I think he believed me). I began telling him the story from the time I was walking through the field and crossed the stream, which we nicknamed the “Colorado River.” At some point in all this I called for Nila because I wanted to meet with her. I called toward the woods, and she answered from a neighbor’s house. The neighbor woman said something about Nila’s being too tired to come down tonight (it was evening again by this time and Nila was wearing a nightgown). I went up briefly and talked with them. Nila said she’d come down the next morning (all the aliens spoke English). When I returned to my dad he joked about the fact that Nila wasn’t coming and said something like, “There goes my last hope for my son to get married.” I told him not to worry — Nila said she would come to see me in the morning. That’s all I remember. Fascinating dream. Lovely Nila. Would like to meet her again.

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