Communal Nightmares

No, not just the awesome name of my sweet new Christian, new wave, rap-metal band. It’s a semi-freaky phenomenon that occurred in my own household about a month ago.

I woke up late that morning after not sleeping too well. My wife had gotten up naturally early and was playing with our son, and her mother and step-mother who were visiting us at the time.

Coffee-wielding, finger-pointing in-laws: the real nightmare.

When I stepped out to the kitchen, I immediately recalled that Garrett had cried out in the middle of the night. When Garrett wakes up like that, he either goes directly back to sleep after about 15 seconds of rubbing his back or holding him; or he is up for good. Fortunately, he went back to sleep pretty quickly.

In those cases, Kelly and I choose to assume he’s had a nightmare. When he stays up for good, it’s usually over something that can’t be quickly remedied (e.g. teething, him having soaked the bed, him having knocked his head against his bed, etc.). What nightmares do babies have? On one hand, it is CRUSHING to consider your little one having a nightmare; on the other, it’s hard to not joke about him dreaming about small breasts and long time-out sessions.

Garrett’s worst nightmare?

When I saw Kelly, I immediately hugged her. When she asked me what was wrong, I said, “Nightmares. I did not sleep well AT ALL last night.”

She said, “Me, too! Man, I hope you didn’t dream about someone sleeping in your bed.”

And the totally fucked up thing was: I had.

In my top three worst nightmares… the other two were also written by Kiran Nagarkar…

I dreamed that Kelly was in bed with another man. Worse than that, in this bizarro-world dreamscape, I was supposed to accept the fact that she was in bed with another man. Like I have to share my wife or we lived in some polyamorous culture, except I wasn’t cool with it. So, on top of having to smile and wave to the guy (who was, no doubt, preparing to nail my wife with me under the same roof), I couldn’t even object. It sucked. I felt like nothing.

I described all of this to her and her jaw dropped. Not at the fact that I thought I was being cheated on (I trust Kelly with my life; I don’t actually fear her cheating on me), but because she dreamed someone else was sleeping in our bed (this time, a family member instead of a hot 20-something).

Sleeping in the same bed with your brother… definitely not this cute.

She then went on to describe that both her mom and her mom’s partner had dreamed about relatives sleeping in THEIR beds.

Communal nightmares, my friends.

This led us to wonder what exactly Garrett had dreamed about, and if it wasn’t some nightmarish version of the Cookie Monster sneaking into his bed to eat all of his animal crackers and steal his water bottle. Or, like I said earlier, maybe just tits.


One thing Googlec considers a “communal nightmare,” although it looks dangerously close to my D&D character from seventh grade.

One thought on “Communal Nightmares”

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