Dreams are weird. Here’s proof by way of example: I had a dream a couple nights ago that I was at my dad’s place. I was just there, hanging out with the fam…and then I had a baby. I don’t mean I “had” a baby, like I was pregnant and gave man-birth, or I adopted a baby, or I stole a baby from a neighbor and named it as my own. What I mean is that one moment I was sitting there, just a guy visiting his family, and the next moment I was a father with a live baby. And (in the dream) this didn’t seem weird, it was just matter of fact; I have a baby now. To satisfy your visual desire, it looked something like this:
How cute, right?
The only weird thing (well, the first weird thing anyway) was that I didn’t get the normal nine-month ramp-up period and had no idea it was coming…it was just suddenly there. I had no food for it, no clothing, no place for it to sleep, and certainly no experience with which to take care of it. I also didn’t have it with anyone, and since I’m a male, I guess I just kind of asexually produced this offspring? Or maybe it materialized from another universe somewhere, sent to change the world in some way, and I was like the modern, male Virgin Mary or something? How weird right? Oh, and then I ate it.
Yeah, I started eating my baby. Don’t judge, it’s my dream! And it’s just that, a dream. So I started eating my baby, and that kind of just happened out of nowhere too. It wasn’t like “Hey, I wonder what babies taste like?” or “I’m starving but there’s nothing to eat, so I guess I’ll just eat my baby,” but more like I was simply going about life and nonchalantly eating my baby, just as I’d eat a chocolate bar or something.
But HERE’S the weird part. Every time I ate my baby, it just grew back, and really quickly too. My baby was like a salamander that could regrow limbs at will but within seconds. So I’d be holding my baby and eating it, like maybe the leg or something, and then it would just spawn a new leg, right there in my hands.
Then I did have an actual thought: “What if I ate the head? That’s where the brain is, so if I eat the head, the baby will probably not be able to regenerate and most likely die, right?” At that point I got really nervous about forgetting this important fact and was really careful not to eat the head. Until a few minutes later when I was mindlessly eating my baby again and looked down in horror to see that, in spite of all my best intentions, I had just eaten the head right off of my baby…like all of the head! “OH MY GOD!” I thought! “I JUST KILLED MY BABY!”
But just as I was feeling very down on myself for such a careless act as eating my baby’s head, an even crazier thing happened: the baby just grew back again anyway! It completely respawned like an avatar in Halo! So any theories I had about the brain being key to regeneration were totally blown out of the water! This was a huge scientific breakthrough, I figured, but then just went about eating my baby for a while longer, totally unfettered, until I awoke from the dream.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a lucid dream, so I’m still seeking that elusive gem. It was, however, a very vivid dream – albeit strange and horrifying – and I’m getting better at dream recall, so I think it’s only a matter of time. Until that day arrives, perhaps I’ll still have plenty of babies to eat. I’m sorry if this disappoints those of you rooting for and expecting an update on an actual lucid dream, but I assure you that I am much more disappointed than you are, both in myself for eating my first-born child, and in my dream for it not being lucid.
Anyway, it got me thinking “Is there anything to be learned from dreams?” I don’t know…perhaps. I mean, I had a baby, so maybe part of me might actually want kids and subconsciously looks forward to being a father someday. But then I ate it, so what does that say? That I only want babies because they’re delicious? Seems like I’d be a terrible father, so I probably should NOT have a baby, right? Then again, the baby lived in the end, and I was responsible for the first breed of rapidly regenerating humans, so maybe that’s my gift to offer the world, and I should try this while I’m conscious and see what happens.
I think, if anything, this just underscores the point that we ought not get caught up too much in trying to understand dreams or use them as some sort of oracle sending meaning or guidance through sleep. I’ve certainly gotten caught up in the past trying to make sense out of crazy dreams, especially ones that relate to something actively going on in my life at the time, and try to understand what they’re telling me. The reality is that they probably aren’t telling me anything. Maybe it’s brain maintenance. Maybe it’s creative neuron shuffling, memory ordering, something of the like. Whatever it is, I probably shouldn’t – nor should you – try to eat a baby.
What I’m really hoping to get out of this is a “Top That Dream!” competition. If you’ve had a weirder dream, or just a sort of weird dream not quite so out there as eating your baby, I’m sure all the other readers would love to hear about it if you post the dream in the comments below. I may even come up with a prize for the best (weirdest) dream.
Hopefully sometime soon I’ll have my first lucid dream update. Until then, remember…babies aren’t food.