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09:19 - Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013
the analogy stands
Lately I've been doing this lucid dreaming practice thing where I wake up automatically around 5 or 6 in the morning, stay up for a half an hour, then go back to sleep. This makes it exponentially more likely that I will have lucid dreams and almost a certainty that my dreams will be extremely vivid.

Occasionally, though, it'll go wrong. This time I can't really blame it on anything but my own stupidity, since the things I did while I was awake included watching a 50's housewife get dosed with LSD for an experiment and reading this Reddit thread about creepy mental disorders.

I should not have been shocked that when I fell back asleep it was a parade of unsettledness for the next hour and a half.

I don't often have nightmares (I'd say maybe once a year) and none of this was really a nightmare. It was just flashes of vaguely undesirable things, like

- my advisor taking on the persona of Dr. Cox from Scrubs and telling me my qualifier was the worst example of political psychology he'd ever seen

- finding out that a girl from my past was still keeping an online diary; when I emailed her to say I was happy to find it and that I missed her, she password-protected it and blocked me

- sitting on my bed looking in my closet wondering it this was what it was like to go insane (this was a flashback to the one day a psychiatrist tried putting me on Lexapro)

And then there were a series of false awakenings, where I would wake up in my bed, but something would be off, like:

- my roommate and her boyfriend standing over me.

"Oh, I'm still asleep," I'd think, and blink:

Wake up, and

- I am a cat

"Oh, I'm still asleep,"


- sitting at my computer but I can't type words without first listening to an audio podcast of it in Vietnamese



- doors don't have borders


- my hands are the size of umbrellas


This went on for a very, very ridiculously long time.

When I finally woke up, I had to force my eyes to stay open because I knew that if I closed them, I'd fall back into it. I looked at Bagel, who was on my chair staring at me.

"Good morning, Bagel," I said, because I say it just like that every morning and it's a morning routine and if I am doing a morning routine that means I am awake.

For awhile I couldn't move any of my limbs. Exiting sleep paralysis, probably. When I could, I picked up my phone and checked it. It said a bunch of people had played moves in Scrabble, and I didn't know what that meant.

When I could finally move enough to get up, I tried to make tea and promptly poured most of it down the sink. I switched mindsets halfway through the task and thought I was doing dishes.

I even stared at the toilet for awhile before I remembered what it was for.

Even now, as I type this, my hands feel like baseball mitts and I've had to correct almost every word of spelling.

What it felt like, actually, was almost precisely this (second entry down). Back then, I didn't understand why we felt like that and always harbored a tiny suspicion in the back of my crazy mind that we'd been drugged.

Now I know the basic mechanics of sleeping and dreaming and it makes neurological sense, but it doesn't make this any less utterly bizarre and unsettling.

I guess back then I liked it: I compared it favorably with being high. But, you know, back then I smoked constantly and loved it, and when I try to smoke now I get paranoid and jumpy and shivery. So I guess the analogy stands.


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