Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The title of this post is stolen from the title of a book written by one of my favourite philosophers. A fellow by the name of Soren Kierkgaard wrote "Either/Or" in 1843, and it contrasts two particular life views. One, is the consciously hedonistic, and the other is one based on ethical duty and responsibility. Many, many, moons ago, while I was being classically educated, I read Either/Or. The details of that reading, and the memories of it that I still possess need not detain us here, the fact that I read it doesn't mean that I've figured out which life view I believe to be correct, nor does it give me any insight into the reason of this post.

I have discussed before how sometimes my unconscious self, the sleeping self, the dreaming self sometimes wages a very dirty, very effective war on my waking self. The dreams that I have are beyond the control of my waking self, and like all of us, sleep can be considered a gateway to a lottery. The lottery of dreams as it were, where Queen Mab with 'her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs' allow dreamers, such as myself, to give birth to their dreams. A fairy that allows sleepers to experience dreams of wish-fulfillment. The unconscious self that is really in control of a lot more of your life than you are willing to admit, takes over once we sleep, and guides the mind where it wants it to go. Many times those are places that are best left unvisited, and places that the conscious mind, if it weren't 'asleep at the switch'as it were, would never revisit. 

Therein lies the rub, the conscious mind is asleep at the switch, and when that happens all sorts of shit can start to break bad. This is a glimpse into my own personal 'Either/Or', and trust me it has absolutely nothing to with an 19th century Danish philosopher, at least not that I can tell.  My dreams, as of late, have been taking two forms, hence the 'Either/Or' dilemma.  Either they are type A which is a dream about work, or something related to work. I had a long week at work last week, so part of this type of dream is understandable, and probably unavoidable. They weren't necessarily nightmares, but they were certainly not the type of dreams that inspire a desire to stay asleep. After all, I have to go to work, and 'live the dream' as it were, why should I be doubly punished/blessed by having work invade another 8 or so hours of my life. I recently made the conscious choice to try to avoid talking about my job that much while I am not actually at my job. I am trying, and failing, to not let my job define me as a human being. After 10+ years in the job, I am beginning to fear that is a problem that I might not be able to repair. My job is not taking pictures of half naked supermodels as they pose on piles of money, therefore dreaming about it isn't something that I particularly care to engage in that often. However, the good news, if there is any good news is that at least type A dreams are better than the 'Or' in this dichotomy of dreams. 

That 'Or' are what I call, for the sake of simplicity, type 'B' dreams. Type B dreams are very, very, very rarely pleasant. They involve any number of what could be deemed my 'ex's' flings, long term relationships, or fuck buddies, each have had their representative in my dreams. These are, for the most part, not happy dreams. Dreams of former fuck buddies hardly ever center on the activity that gave the particular girl her 'title'.  No these are not playboy channel type dreams, these are revenge dreams. Dreams in which an ex, any ex, plays the starring role. Sometimes it is merely a 'normal' dream about some everyday occurrence, but it has to have the ex in it just for the hell of it.  There is no reason, on its face, that the ex would have to be in this dream, other than the unconscious self deciding that she needs to be there. 

Those are the easiest of the type 'B' dreams to take the mostly normal ones. The ones were she is just there like window dressing to poke some sort of fun at my waking self.  A little nudge from the sleeping self to the waking self to remember it that the sleeping self hasn't forgotten. The other type of type 'B' dream are much, much worse they usually consist of the see the ex happy with new beau type of dreams, or hear the ex tell me what a total loss my life is since she had the pleasure of walking out of my life. Those are a little bit tougher to bear, maybe because the grain of truth in them is a bit too big for me to swallow. That grain of truth, which I must admit exits, keeps coming back almost nightly to haunt me. The leading actress, i.e. which ex my subconscious decides to torture me with, changes sometimes nightly, but that doesn't really help a lot. The only small bit of joy that I am able to get from these type of dreams is the bet with myself as to which ex will be the star of the show tonight. Not a bet that has a winner or a loser, but a bet that is both, a winner and a loser.

 The starlet that takes the stage probably isn't really the point, but the subconscious is a clever bastard. It has access to all the memories that even the waking self has forgotten, or stored away in some deep, dark compartment never to be opened again, and it makes my dreams a cinema of horrors designed especially for me. The subconscious self remembers all the details about each of the leading ladies, and is able, with seemingly little effort, fashion a dream that is very specific to the ex in question. It is an absurd bit of theatre that makes me want to stay awake as long as possible, but as I have mentioned before, sleep comes to everyone while we wait wide awake and blue.

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