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Self-Inception

Rating
Cohesion
Friday, January 11 2013 Views: 333

Length: 7-8 minutes
Rating: E for Everyone
Weirdness Factor: 8 out of 10
Coolness Factor: 5 out of 10
Humor Factor: 8 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Comments: While I've certainly had "dreams within dreams" before, this is the first instance I can remember in which I deliberately inserted myself into another dream (hence the name.)  It seems as though I ad-lib the dream as it goes along, resulting in one of the most random I've had since high school.

     The dream begins as I'm sitting with a bunch of other people in a room at the local courthouse, absentmindedly browsing the Internet on my phone.  Evidently I'm on jury duty, and I've been sitting in the same spot for about 4 hours.  A voice comes on over a loudspeaker saying that all prospective jurors can now break for lunch, and everyone gets up and exits the room.  I follow suit, walking down a short hallway towards the exit.  I realize that I'm not allowed to leave the building until jury duty is over, and make a detour towards the courthouse cafeteria.
     I get to the cafeteria and join a couple of people in line to get food.  As I wait, I take a look at the food they offer, which consists of some of the strangest and most disgusting-sounding sandwich combinations I've ever seen.  A person in front of me grabs a peanut butter, ham, and spinach sandwich, and next to those are sandwiches consisting of bean sprouts and mayonnaise on cinammon toast.  I feel my stomach turn, and finally spot a small, plain turkey sandwich sitting in the corner of the display.  I grab one of these as well as a small bottled water, and get up to the cashier.
     "Your total comes out to $8.50," says the cashier.  I'm apalled that they would make me pay that much for such a small amount.
     "You've got to be kidding me," I yell, and everyone in the cafeteria turns to look at me.  "This is straight-up robbery!"
     "Don't take it up with me, sir, you're the one that's here on jury duty." she responds in a matter-of-fact voice.  I decide that a courthouse full of law enforcement officials probably isn't the best place to pick a verbal fight, and reluctantly give her the money.  I walk away, and start drinking from the water bottle while thinking about what she said.  I suddenly realize that I had just gone to jury duty a few weeks ago (which, in real life, I did) and as such I don't even have any reason to be here.  I see the jury duty director standing next to a nearby table, and I walk over and try to get her attention so I can tell her I'm leaving.  However, she doesn't respond to me at all, and is talking to 2 other people in Spanish.  I tap her on the shoulder, and she looks back at me, gives me a look of pure resentment, and continues her conversation.  I yell something at her in Spanish (I don't recall exactly what it was) but she continues to ignore me.  Finally, I give up and decide to leave on my own.
     I walk out of the cafeteria into the courthouse lobby, which looks more like an airport lobby - there are souvenir shops, newsstands, and even a McDonald's situated in the area.  I walk through the lobby towards the hallway leading to the exit, and as I do I strike up a conversation with two cute girls who are also heading out.  I don't remember the specifics of the conversation, but somehow the subject of my dreams comes up.  They ask me to relay the strangest dream I've ever had, and I gladly oblige.

At this moment, I enter into a completely different dream, while still hearing my own narration to the two girls of what is happening.

     This dream starts at the bottom of a steep uphill suburban street on the edge of a cliff, and I feel as though I've seen it before in real life.  I am a prisoner, dressed in a striped jumpsuit with two armed guards standing next to me.  The three of us are on top of a prison truck, which is covered in astroturf.  I am hitting golf balls off of the astroturf towards the cliff.  However, I can't seem to hit the balls very far, and as I try to figure out why I notice that the balls that I'm hitting are half-covered in black sludge.  I hit one as hard as I can, and sure enough the sludge hampers the ball's movement, limiting it to about 10 feet in traval distance.
     "Hey, wait a minute... these balls SUCK!" I say to the guards.  The two of them burst out into hysterical laughter (evidently it was a prank of some kind) and turn away from me to laugh even harder.  I realize that this is my opportunity to escape, and without further ado I jump down from the truck, and run up the hill slightly into the nearest house.  I exit out the back and find a small swimming pool.  A bunch of Polaroid photographs are taped to the deck and a wall just beyond the pool. I notice that a lot of the photos have me in them, and I piece together the backstory of the dream by holding successive photographs up to my vision.  According to the photographs, I had been partying and drinking here the night before with some girls I had known from high school, which is where the pictures came from.  However, something went down (I never find out what) and I ended up arrested by some crooked cops.
     I realize that the only way to escape them is to get all the way up the hill without them catching me, and I go back into the house to look for a way out.  I see a chandelier above me in the entranceway, and notice a small, vent-like passage on the wall next to it leading to the next house up the hill.  I jump up and grab the chandelier, and swing over to the passageway.
     Instantly I find myself on a small platform sliding downwards on a wooden track towards what I assume is the next house.  I enter the basement, and the platform suddenly drops out from under me.  I fall into a pile of mattress cushions, and get up and start walking around the rather spacious basement.  Evidently I've dropped into some sort of underground fight club - the place is damp, dark, and filled with big, scary-looking people.  Lots of them are practicing fighting moves on one another, while others are crafting weapons in what appears to be a crude machine shop.  As I'm trying to find a way out, one of them suddenly walks up to me and challenges me to a fight.  I decline and try to leave, but he grabs my arm with a massive hand, giving me a look of pure hatred.
     "I wasn't asking," he says in an intimidating voice.  I promptly dispatch him with a punch to the face.  He falls to the ground in a heap, and everyone in the basement looks over at me and starts to come towards me, whispering to each other and cracking their knuckles.  I decide that it's time for me to go, and spot a set of stairs leading up to the garage.  I walk up the stairs into the garage, and go back out onto the street.
     As I get into the middle of the street, I look back down and see the astroturf-covered prison truck coming up the hill with its sirens blaring.  I realize I'm still running away from them, and start moving up the street again.  I stop after a second, and realize that the street is covered, almost flooded, in slippery water.  I decide against running up the street to get to the top because I don't want to get wet or slip and fall onto the ground.
     It is here that I utter quite possibly the strangest sentence I've ever heard in any of my dreams: "If I wanted to be wet,  I'd go into a quail." 
     I run off the street into a clearing, which turns out to be a park of sorts, built vertically on the side of the hill.  There is a concrete path snaking its way up through grassy fields, and I run up through the fields and a couple of staircases before reaching a brick wall that blocks my path.  I see an exit back out onto the street, and as I run through it I look towards the top of the hill.  I am almost there, and waiting for me at the summit is a set of large, crumbling Greek ruins.  There is another clearing on the other side of the street, and as I run into it I realize it is a dead end, with nothing more than a tall wooden barrier separating me from the top of the hill.  However, I do another quick scan of the area, and notice what looks like a lift from the Assassin's Creed games sitting in the corner of the barrier.  Without thinking I run towards it, grab onto the handle and push the lever down with my foot.  Sure enough, I shoot up towards the top of the barrier, and as I reach the edge I let go, and let my momentum carry me up over the edge.  I land on top of the wooden barrier amongst the Greek ruins, and know that I have succesfully reached the top of the hill.
     I hear someone behind me clapping, and turn around to see someone I recognize as one of my college classmates giving me a round of applause.  I know that she is a heavy smoker, and I walk up to her and ask her for a cigarette.  She gives me a look of confusion, evidently aware that I don't smoke, but she reaches into her purse and gives me one anyway.  We celebrate my freedom by smoking cigarettes and drinking from a small bottle of Jack Daniel's that she has in her purse.

With this the second dream ends, and my vision goes back into my first dream, where I've been narrating what just happened for the two girls.

     The girls stare at me with looks of pure amazement, and start clapping.  I give them a little bow, and we all laugh.
     "That was... pretty strange, I gotta admit," says one of the girls.  "What would you call a dream like that?"
     I try to recall if I had named the dream.  "I seem to remember the dream being called 'The Rope,'" I respond.
     "Really?" says the other girl.  "Because... I think SHE might have issue with that."  She points behind me, and I turn around and see the smoking classmate from the dream I just narrated, glaring at me with a cigarette in her mouth.  I feel a bit freaked out, as I assumed that she was just part of the dream and didn't actually exist.  I back away slowly, and she starts walking towards me.  Still weirded out, I turn the other way and start running down the hallway towards the exit of the courthouse.
     As I reached the exit and opened the door, my alarm went off and woke me up.

 

Additional Comments:

Discernable inspirations for this dream included Memento (the photo part), Fight Club (the fight club), and Assassin's Creed 3, which I just started playing last week.

I'm not sure what the "quail" line was supposed to mean, but I assure you that is exactly what I said in the dream, word for word.  I was also confused by the fact that I wanted to smoke a cigarette, something I never have (and never will) in my entire life.

What was most interesting to me, however, was the fact that even though I talked for a long time about my dreams, I never realized, or even considered the possibility, that I was actually in one.




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