Dreaming Isn’t Just For Dreamers

There are certain things people do habitually that really work against them. I do the same thing–I waste time when I should be working, I get online when I should be focused. Did you know know that people spend so much time on their phones because they seek interaction from people who aren’t around? It makes them feel more connected than ever before–but at the same time it also makes them feel alone because they aren’t doing the same things other people are doing, like traveling or bungee jumping or swimming with dolphins or something like that.

Many people will also deprive themselves of sleep when they need it most. Not only that, but they will do things that will deter them from sleeping well, like drinking coffee or energy drinks late in the day, or drinking alcohol right before bed in excess. Just last night I drank a 16oz beer before I fell asleep and I can tell, this morning, that my brain is a little fuzzy. A little off.

The reason sleep is so important is because of dreams. Dreams help us understand our world and problem solve–even if it seems like you’re just flying through valleys or having sex with someone you wish you could have sex with or playing baseball in the major leagues. What dreams are really for is learning. For example: when I was going to college I was really into knitting. I got pretty good at it. I could make a really nice hat in a day or so. But when I first started it wasn’t easy. My neighbor friend was a pretty handy lady. She had knitting stuff and sewing stuff and patterns for both crafts. There was one hat pattern we tried to figure out over and over again, but for some reason we kept messing up and had to undo our work multiple times.

That night, when I was sleeping, I dreamed about knitting. I dreamed about how the pattern worked and why we couldn’t figure it out–this might seem weird to you, but it’s proven that when someone faces a problem and goes to bed thinking about the problem they’re pretty likely to dream about it. And that’s what happened.

The next day when I went over to my neighbors for knitting, I told her I’d dreamed about the pattern. She said she’d barely slept at all. She said she just tossed and turned. We sat down and began to work on our hats, and for the first time, I knew how the pattern worked. It was so easy and just clear to me. I showed her how to do it, even though I’d originally come over to get her help.

So, next time you’re faced with a problem, review it in your mind right before sleep. You might dream of it and then find your answers there. When you wake, all will clear.


Doug fucked things up with family members because he wasn’t really good at things. He was good at being homeless, but that was about it. He wasn’t good at being a brother or a son. He’d thought of being a father once, he’d even had the chance, but had let that go because his sister had talked him out of it. Judith had never been the most encouraging sister. Now she didn’t really need to worry about him. None of them did. Last he had heard Judith had made partners at wherever, and his parents were hitting off on another cruise. They loved cruises. When he had been a kid they had gone on one and left him in charge and he’d thrown a party and some how, he wasn’t exactly sure how, his mother’s antique snowing machine had been broken. This had seemed impossible at the time as the thing had been weighty wood and heavy steel, an artifact of when they had made things differently.

Doug looked in at the knitting store. He’d thought making his own hat and close would have been a lot more cost effective than buying them, but when he’d first gone in there, to The Wool Ball, he’d found the knitting needles, the yarn, everything so much more expensive than just buying something from the Fred Meyers down the street. This was his corner, now that Brooks had co opted the on ramp. He’d never been one for cardboard signs. He thought that was disingenuous. It made it so he didn’t have to talk to anyone. He simply had an old mug he sometimes used for coffee after asking the people at the starbucks to wash it out, and he would wave and smile and hold out the cup to cars as they stopped at the light.

In the first hour he got fifty sense. It was Sunday and still early, so church hadn’t got out yet. He’d never bought into that stuff himself. He’d stopped going with his folks when he was 11 or something. It began to rain, not large drops, just the small ones–nothing like in Wyoming.

“Hey,” a girl in a red Jetta was stopped. She was holding out a dollar.

“Thanks,” said Doug.

“You have a rain jacket?” she asked.

Doug looked at her, she had to be one of the college kids. One of the girls who did those walks of shames and he saw going into Caps Tavern every night, or maybe she wasn’t even old enough, he thought.

“I got this,” he said, tugging on his sweater. He’d gotten it from the Goodwill but he hadn’t paid for it. He’d just put it on and walkout.

“That’s not rainproof,” she said.

“It’s wool. It keeps you warm.”

“You don’t sound like a homeless person.”

“I am.”

There was a honk from behind her. The light had turned green. She sped off without another word. And Doug suspected she’d not think of him ever again.



The gravel path ended at a curb and Doug stepped down onto the paved road. He hated this part. It was like the walk of shame he’d made girls go through when he’d been young. When he wouldn’t give them cab fare when they left. But their decisions the night before hadn’t ruined them. Yeah, sure, maybe they hated themselves for about a week or maybe two, or maybe the reason they’d came home with him in the first place was because they hated themselves all together–Doug didn’t know then and didn’t know now. But this walk was, he suspected, much, much worse than any walk those girls had done back in their college days–just up the hill. Because the new apartment buildings were flawless. Their brick and mortar walls and perfectly cleaned glass windows that lead onto the lobbies and the metal cones that stood in front of the little stip on each side making sure no cars could drive through all spoke of money, which was power, which Doug had none of.

He adjusted the garbage bag of clothes on his back and looked up at the stacked buildings. One on each side, long, thin. The apartments on the ground floor had long green doors and the shades of each were pulled denying Doug even the chance to imagine what those lives might be like. He cast his head down at his feet. Someone was walking toward him. Being pathetic was the best way to not be noticed or harassed. His eye caught something green on his right. The small patch of grass in front of a window–but it wasn’t quite right. There was something weird about it. Something about the—. He reached down to feel it. The person walking toward him stopped. He could feel it. He couldn’t hear them walking, and he thought they hadn’t gone inside. His hands tried to dig into the grass but couldn’t. The ground was too hard. The grass wasn’t grass, it was turf that reflected the light like grass didn’t. So that was what they had come to? A petroleum product that was suppose to trick our senses into seeing grass where there was none.

“Yeah,” said a voice. “It’s fake.”

Doug straightened, but not too much. He didn’t want to look too proud.

“That’s why you touched it, right?” It was a girls voice, he thought now. But it was hard to tell, as he turned around.

“I mean, yeah,” he said, and the words felt thick in his mouth. He hadn’t spoken to anymore for more than a day. The woman standing in front of him wasn’t much of one. Or he didn’t know if she was a she, or a he. Kids were doing that a lot these days. Her (he suspected) voice was just low enough to be confusing to Doug. Her jaw just wide enough.

“It’s weird isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yeah,” said Doug, not meeting her eyes.

“I’ve seen you around.”

“I gotta go,” said Doug.

“K,” she said.

Doug turned away, he wasn’t sure about that grass but he was even less sure about that young woman/man. Was she in her twenties or thirties. Doug couldn’t tell anymore. He was all fucked up. Doug had done this to himself and loved every moment of it. He was just all fucked up.

Behind Doug the young woman stepped over the fake grass and up to the long green door and she must have had a key because when Doug looked over his shoulder the door was shutting. Locking him out.