THE BLOG

May My Dreams Not Come True

08/06/2012 12:42 pm ET | Updated Oct 06, 2012

My waking life is agreeable, but I have lousy dreams.

Phones do not work in my dreams. My phone may offer only three keypad options, the numbers 2, 5, and 6, or abort all calls in the midst of dialing. A psychiatrist might suggest that I suffer acute anxiety about communicating. I blame dreamland's phone manufacturers for inept design and negligent quality control.

I often dream I can't find my car. I walk for blocks unable to remember where I parked it. Sometimes I cannot even remember what it looks like because I just rented it. I then fear the evil forces of towing and impoundment, ascendant in dreamland, have triumphed again.

I frequently have unprepared for exam dreams. I face a test on the history of the Ming Dynasty or thermodynamic fluidics, subjects about which, awake or asleep, I know nothing. I berate myself for having skipped classes and ignored homework assignments.

I grab a stack of books from the library and try to read frantically, but cannot concentrate because of the cold. (I am wearing only underwear.) The pages are stuck together, and prying them apart, I find everything is written in Arabic. Panic increases as expressions of nearby students imply my underwear needs washing.

I should not panic because studying is a waste of time at this particular institution of higher learning; exam rooms are impossible to find since the doors are not numbered.

Golf, difficult in the real world, becomes more challenging in my dreams. I get a lot bad lies. I find myself having to hit out of moving elevators, pick up trucks, and bathroom toilets, particularly difficult lies for left-handers like me.

Though retired, in dreamland I am usually on the brink of being cashiered from some fifth rate job and embarrassed by unmentionable scatological faux pas.

My daughter suggested I try dream control and recognize recurring symbols to realize I am dreaming. When encountering a phone keypad offering only six keys inscribed in Hebrew, I could realize I was dreaming and wake up.

This eventually worked but as I hoped. When my phone morphed into a water pistol that dialed only when shot with pinpoint accuracy, I realized I was dreaming. I woke up, went back to sleep, and spent the rest of the night dreaming about being cashiered from some fifth rate job and embarrassed by unmentionable scatological faux pas.

The following night I encountered a telephone rendered inaudible by a slab of peanut butter. Aware that I was dreaming, I told myself, "This is as good as it gets. This is far better than cashiered from some fifth rate job and embarrassed by unmentionable scatological faux pas. " I spent the rest of the night dealing with malfunctioning communications equipment.