Physical Sensations and Dream Fragments, by Jennifer
Immediately after getting into bed, I slipped into hypnagogia, that half dream state that comes on at the onset of sleep. Because I usually fall asleep easily and quickly, I rarely spend time in hypnagogic states (as opposed to hypnagogia’s twin on the other side of sleep hypopompnia, the half dream state that occurs as we wake up, perhaps my favorite realm of being). I really enjoy the weirdness of hypnagogia, however, so spending the half hour or so in that half sleep drift was really a treat for me. Most of the imagery involved people, crowds passing in front of me, individual faces coming into focus, shifting viewpoints so I saw feet and legs passing by, hazy views of many people standing clustered together.
Not long after falling fully asleep, I woke to find myself overheated, sweating enough that the sheets were damp. I also felt and heard an unpleasant, almost sickening buzz that flooded my entire nervous system. I threw the blankets off and lay feeling sick until I managed to drift off again, only to awaken again shivering, teeth chattering cold, still awash in the nervous buzz. This pattern repeated several times for the first hour or two of sleep, then subsided.
Throughout the rest of the night, I dreamed many short, vivid fragments of story, also unusual for me, who generally remembers two or three clear narratives every night. In one fragment, I walked through a New York City East Village tenement hallway through a crowd of shady looking characters. As I went by, I realized I had interrupted one guy selling hashish to another. At first everyone tensed up and I feared what might happen, but then the dealer said that since I’d realized what was going on and had tried (albeit too late) not to notice, it was OK. In another dream fragment, I drove my VW van, Baby, to a remote cabin. There, Erik and I talked on the phone and agreed to break up. He drove away in my van. Another fragment involved several young kids running from the police on abandoned urban streets at night. In another, the Oneironauticum group gave a performance from the attic eaves of a house through a missing wall to crowds gathered in the street below. In yet another fragment, several us walked down a country road. We came to a fence we needed to jump, and I placed my hand on top of it, pushing myself across and over it with one fluid, graceful motion. The sensation was very vivid.