Monday, September 16, 2013

The Best I've Got

I'm very much disappointed in myself. For reasons you'll soon understand. But for now, just know that that's where my head is.

Dreams are weird. Every night, whether or not you remember it, your brain is building somewhere around seven different worlds in an attempt to keep itself busy while your clumsy corporeal form gets the rest it requires. Your brain isn't tryna do that. Your brain is that kid everyone knew in college who never seemed to need sleep. Ever.


Detailed environments are invented and recalled. Things you're sure you'd long forgotten will rise to the surface. Absolute bananas nonsense things will happen, and you'll go along with it like it's normal as garbage stir fry dinner on a Tuesday night.


Then, of course, there's waking life. The moment you wake up, you've got feelings you need to deal with. Happy feelings - if you've just dreamt about your arms falling off. Sad feelings - if moments ago you were in your 4th year at Hogwarts. Paralyzing terror - if and when the sickest, deepest depths of your most sinister brain fold was in charge of dreams that night.


I've always been fascinated by dreams. More specifically, lucid dreams. In a lucid dream, you are completely aware of the fact that you are dreaming. It's rare. At least, for me it is. And I consider myself to be an exceptional being, so let's stick with rare. Is everyone good with that? Voiceless audience? Good.

There have been a handful of times in my life where there has been definite potential to turn my run-of-the-mill dream into a lucid one. When that thought comes into my head - are you dreaming right now? - one of three things will happen.

1.) I'll voice it, and the dream people around me will tell me that I'm an idiot. I will take the insult graciously, and go back to cutting whale hair.


2.) I'll voice it, I'll believe it, and I'll freak out. I'll do whatever it takes to wake myself up.


Waking myself up is priority. Terrible things will happen if I don't. My first instinct is always to jump off of buildings, because if I die, I wake up. Right? No. I learned that in order to wake up, I have to be mentally grounded. I have to tell myself truths. I'll say out loud, "My name is Kristin, I'm from Connecticut," and as soon as I say Connecticut, I'm awake. It works every time.

Of course once I wake up, I'm mad. Mad at my brain for not taking advantage of the opportunity.

3.) The third scenario is the most rare. I'll realize I'm dreaming, and I'll keep my shit together enough to understand - and this is the whole point - that I can do literally anything I want. There are no rules. Physics isn't a thing anymore. My imagination is the limit. Incidentally, that's the title of my new book. It's a book of recipes, and every ingredient is cheese.


I had a scenario three experience very recently. One of those extremely rare moments where I realize I'm dreaming, and I keep my shit together. It did not end well. I hesitate to even tell this story. My greatest shame. But oh, look. Here I go.

So in the dream, I'm on an airplane. A private jet, to be more specific. I'm with two unknowns, and we're going to some sort of awesome place. At this point I'm blissfully unaware that this is not my actual life. Completely oblivious to the fact that in reality, at that moment, I am sleeping spread-eagle without covers on my twin-sized bed, damp with sweaty dew because I'm trying to brave the rest of the summer without an air conditioner.


All of a sudden, we're all in a swamp. It's clear that the plane has crashed, because I can see the plane - looking like a broken toy - in the distance. No one is hurt. I'm confused, because I can't remember the crash, but everyone else is unconcerned. I reason that had I actually been in a plane crash, I would have been injured. At the very least, I would have remembered it.


At that moment, it clicks. I'm dreaming.


No, I didn't actually summon Joffrey. That would have been a good use of my omnipotence. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, guys.

Here's what I ended up doing. So overwhelmed with the possibilities, I did the first thing that came to mind. I stuck my bare hands into the mud I was standing in.


As soon as I thought it, an enormous, cavernous sinkhole appeared at my feet. I was thrilled. It was working. I was controlling the world around me, and I was lucid.


Do you want to know what I did next? Knowing full well that there were no limitations, no restrictions, and no consequences? Do you want to know what I did?

Lucid_17 Lucid_18

Moments later, I was a barista at the Starbucks I had created with my mind.


So what does this say about me? It says that in my wildest fantasies, I am a part-time employee at the only known Starbucks sinkhole location.

As soon as I made it happen, I understood that I had failed. I could have wiped the slate clean and started over. But I didn't deserve it. I sat on the floor, put my face in my hands, and told myself that my name is Kristin, and I'm from Connecticut.


  1. Amazing as always!

    I have lucid dreams quite often. I've never buried a Starbucks franchise though, so I must not be doing it right.

  2. I have had enough lucid dreams to realize that my brain doesn't want me to be in control. So I'm all like I should fly and then I find myself in a basement. Or I'm all like I should Grand Theft Auto this place and then I'm on the tundra.

    My brain is a jerk is what I am saying.

  3. I absolutely love your posts! They're hilarious and honest, and you can really tell how much time you put into them. I look forward to reading them whenever they come up on my blogroll. =)

    I've always been fascinated by lucid dreaming, but too scared to try it. My fucked up normal dreams are pretty entertaining in their own right, so I guess I'm okay with that.

  4. I adore you.

    And I lucid dream too, sometimes awesomly well, sometimes...not. Sometimes I run around trying to convince people to wake me up.

    SOMETIMES really mad at Eddie Murphy for not doing the shrek voice at the bad hotel we're staying at so they upgrade our room.

    I can't do it well either...

  5. It's rare that I'm actually laughing out loud at a blog. You win. This is fantastic.

  6. My brain began to lucid dream when I was about 12 in an attempt to stop my horrifying nightmares from driving me insane. I can still lucid dream from time to time but not nearly as often as before. I usually just use my infinite powers to fly. I know, lame.

  7. I HAVE DONE THIS. I once worked at an Arby's for a month between college semesters. I hated it. One night I found myself in a lucid dream. In the dream I was working at Arby's. I was mad and thought I could do better and so I tried to summon up a different scene, but all that happened was a crowd walked in to place am order. I imagined a banana on the counter, threw it, it exploded like a gooey grenade, and then I forced myself to wake up because I was so disappointed in myself.

  8. Oh, Kristin. It could have at least been an independent local coffee house. For shame.


  9. I have a dream book that gives instructions on how to lucid dream. The easiest thing you can do is ask yourself if you're dreaming regularly throughout the day. Then your brain carries that over into dream land. However, if you're lucid dreaming your brain isn't getting the right kind of sleep, which can make you tired the next day. Anywho, I found your blog a couple weeks ago and devoured the whole thing (along with the cake blog!), and I'm so excited to see another post! Thanks for all your hard work!

  10. dreams are amazing, but i would probably have a starbucks somewhere in mine too, not guns lie... however i'm sad u didn't allow urself a do-over, everyone deserves a do-over xP

  11. Kristin, this is amazing. I have been lucid dreaming for years now and I can tell you, while it gets easier to control, you still can't predict what will happen. I feel like the more control you try to have, the more you brain will just laugh, then send you into circus or an oil rig. If we ever happen to cross paths in NYC, maybe I'll tell you about some of those weirdly hilarious dreamscapes. Until then, keep up the awesome work!

  12. I loved this post, so funny haha. Never thought of putting starbucks in a hole though :P Usually all my dreams have a dark grey sky or its dark. Anywho, you mentioned that you interested in dreams, and then went on to mention that you had two "nobodies" in your dream. Just a nice dream fact for you: the people we see in our dreams are people that we have seen before in our waking life and somehow its encoded into our brains for later use (such as dreaming).

    Keep making posts :)

  13. You are such a great writer! Your humility is endearing. You are insightful and laugh out loud funny. Seriously you're my favorite and I think we would be friends. I loved this post and SO relate. Every time I manage to find myself in a lucid dream all I can think to do is see how high I can jump. Both feet together like a human pogo stick. It's not impressive or even that fun. But apparently my go-to desire in the world of all possibilities. Thanks for sharing : )

  14. So, I ran across this while getting ready to share your bit about Hurricane Sandy and people that shop before disasters. I'm actually participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and my story I'm writing next month is going to heavily involve lucid dreaming. I'm glad I ran across this. Keep rockin'.

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