August | In Your Dreams
A DREAM COLUMN
It’s hot out there. The season of overtaxed AC units is upon us, and everyone seems just a little grumpier in the Trader Joe’s line lately. If you’re someone who has trouble winding down, particularly in the summer heat, we have a few sleep hygiene reminders…
Keep your bedroom dark with blackout curtains or use a sleep mask.
Take a shower or bath at night, which helps cool your body temperature and makes drifting off easier.If you’re tossing and turning, try relocating to a couch or another bed.
If all else fails, deploy a dream-themed dad joke to get everyone in a better mood. (What do you call a horse with insomnia? A night-mare.)
Now that we’re all cheered up, let’s see what fever-dream the heat has called up from the depths…
I had a dream once where I was going about my business at the office, and I looked down at my hands to discover they were almost completely covered in unfamiliar tattoos. I was shocked. I couldn’t remember getting them at all. When I asked my coworkers, they all said I’d just gotten them recently and pointed to a corner of the room where apparently they’d all watched me get inked, which freaked me out. I don’t mind tattoos, but my hands felt like they belonged to someone else. Wtf?
Mystery tattoos and a failing memory? All you need is a non-linear storyline about avenging your late wife and this dream could be a reboot of the 2000 Christopher Nolan movie Memento. (And for your unconscious to come out as explicitly pro-Nolan in the summer of Barbenheimer? Unusual. Brave. All are welcome here, bestie, but we are suspicious of you.)
In dreams, tattoos often represent emotions, each piece a sliver of joy or devastation or anger erupting on the skin.
In dreams, tattoos often represent emotions, each piece a sliver of joy or devastation or anger erupting on the skin. If you’re a person who struggles to identify your emotions in your waking life, this is a friendly guidepost inviting you to check in within. And that’s just one tattoo. Your hands are giving Post Malone. Is everything okay? Is there anything roiling just beneath the surface you want to talk about? No? Okay, what about beneath that? And so on.
The most interesting dynamic here is the one between you and your coworkers. How unnerving that they all witnessed this, and thus have intimate knowledge of your body that you don’t. It sort of feels like they drew a d**k on your forehead because you fell asleep first at a sleepover. Not only was there a violation of personal space and autonomy, but also the girlies all had a bonding moment at your expense. Ah, the trauma of being
But mischievous preteens aren’t quite a fair comparison for your officemates, who are merely guilty of watching. It’s hard to know how joyfully you entered into your new life as a Hot Topic hand model, but let’s work under the assumption that you signed off with full enthusiasm. You’re wearing the new you on your sleeve, nearly literally. We lead with our hands so much in life. So perhaps your uneasiness is more about how you’re being perceived. You don’t feel like a Hand Tattoo Person™, except you literally are and everyone knows it. That’s a hard pill to swallow. There’s no way you’re hiding those puppies at the office, unless you become a Glove Person™, which you absolutely should if you’re the sort who could pull that off.
You could be feeling that sort of cognitive dissonance in waking life, too, if you are going through an identity shift, like parenthood, a new job, or maybe you’ve just really gotten into Yellowstone lately. The old you remains while the new identity starts to establish its foothold, and unfortunately, there’s no human-sized cocoon to enter into while we become primordial goo. We’ve gotta do it out in the open, like at work and at the beach and stuff. That sh*t is tender. But resist the urge to push yourself to the other side of your metamorphosis. Be patient and find curiosity about the moments of contradiction as you expand into your new identity. They’re some of the most human moments of life. The stuff Nolan movies are made