Can we compose and direct our own dreams?

A few weeks ago, as I put down the book I was reading before turning the light out, I ventured a vocal request for a cohesive, amusing dream.

I hadn’t been enjoying my dreams for quite a while. They were uninterpretable shards consisting of re-imagined events which were reminders of disappointments, embarrassments, guilt, negligence…

I haven’t been accustomed to such dreams; I haven’t been accustomed to any dreams at all. When I’ve been thoroughly absorbed in something I’ve been writing, something long-ish like a book, I don’t dream. So not only were my dreams uncomfortable, they were, additionally, an uncomfortable reminder that I wasn’t working on a book.

“Look,” I said to my invisible dream machine mechanic, “I’m a witty, funny person, a good storyteller. Why can’t I get a funny, entertaining dream?”

I laughed at myself and went to sleep. Wherein I had a funny, entertaining dream. No shards; a full-length story was going on in my brain about the production of a romantic comedy involving a large, screwed up wedding. The population of the dream, people I actually have known in my life, said and did funny things, the caterers were crashing into each other while carrying furnishings into the wrong places.

It was pretty good.

OK, I said, when I woke up. That’s what I meant. Can we keep this going?

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