February 27th, 2008


Flashback time

First of all, a hearty hello to the several folks who added me recently. Quick version for my newest readers: I use my LJ as a dream blog, logging my dreams and stuff to do with dreaming. My real-life blog is here on my own site, and if you'd like to keep up with that it's syndicated to LJ as rob_vincent.

Now, then. A friend of mine made a post asking about superhero dreams. It reminded me of how much of a major factor superhero dreams were in my childhood, so I thought I'd write about that a bit here.

Going way back to when I was five or six *shimmery flashback effect with harp strummimg* I became prone to terrible nightmares. I used to always end up waking up in the middle of the night terrified, and going over to my mom or my grandfather's rooms to sleep in their beds, as you do at that age. My nightmares got pretty serious, to the point where I was really scared to fall asleep at all.

One night I woke up from a really scary dream that Godzilla was trying to get me, and went into my grandfather's room and woke him up to tell him about my nightmare. In a stroke of sheer laziness and/or sheer genius, he mumbled back at me "So, just dream that you're Superman and you beat up Godzilla. Now go back to bed."

Well, that made sense! Not having any preconception that such a thing couldn't be done, I simply said "okay," and did just that. And that's how I got into lucid dreaming at a very early age.

Now things got cool, and even though I never really went fully lucid at that age, I gained a new level of control over my dreams just by telling myself I could as I fell asleep. As things got less scary, or perhaps to make things less scary, I'd often dream myself as a superhero.

I even ended up developing a total superhero character as a kid, which I'd keep returning to. Although my super-self never did get a superhero name, he seemed to have a history, a stable of villains, and a rotating cast of sidekicks (often my real-life family and friends, or at least a bit based on them.) I remember all the standard superhero-type stories; fighting criminals or supervillains, getting caught or kidnapped as a normal kid and taking the culprits by surprise when I turned into my superhero self, saving people, and so on.

Now for a detail I don't think I've ever told anyone. When I was that age, I didn't usually wear pajamas to bed. My grandfather was a retired school custodian and a handyman type, and he had a drawerful of t-shirts with holes in them, paint splatters, and so on, which he saved for messy work. He gave me a bunch of these to use as nightshirts, since they came down to my feet.

Whenever I would dream of being a superhero as a young child, my superhero uniform wasn't anything fancy or comic-book-ish. No tights, no capes, no insignia. Whenever I was super in a dream, I was proudly wearing one of Grandpa's paint-splattered, hole-riddled, torn-pocket t-shirts, collar almost as big as my shoulders, hem flopping down around my ankles as I flew through the air doing super deeds.

Subtle, eh?
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