Tag Archives: dream

It was all a dream

I went skydiving a few weeks ago, but it turned out to have only been a dream. I wrote about it. It was really scary. A couple of days later I got into a really bad car accident. It wasn’t even my car, it was my sister’s, and I was really drunk, and the cops were making me take this field sobriety test, because in my belligerent state, I took the breathalyzer out of my mouth and threw it into the woods. And so everyone was really pissed off, they were cuffing me, someone was trying to get my sister on the phone, but then one of the cops started blinking red and saying, “Beep! Beep! Beep!” and then I woke up in my bed to the alarm clock, it turned out that it was all a dream.


So that was kind of a relief, until a day or two after that I came home from work and my house wasn’t there, it had been burned to the ground. And my wife was standing outside, she was crying, obviously, and she turned to me and said, “Didn’t I tell you to make sure my hair dryer was unplugged? Didn’t I? The fire marshal said it was an electrical fire. It’s all your fault Rob. It’s all …”

Dream. That was a dream too. It was also a dream that same night, after I finally managed to get back to sleep, I had a dream that I was in the emergency room, some doctor was like, “Well, you shouldn’t have taken so many Tylenol. Why did you think ten pills was a good idea?” and I couldn’t give a good answer, because of course I know you’re not supposed to overdo it on Tylenol. Advil’s OK once in a while, you can take three or four, but Tylenol will mess you up. But like I said, it was a dream, even though I didn’t know it at the time, even though it felt so real, the priest being called in to deliver my last rites as my liver and kidneys started to fail at the same time.

The next day I got home from work, the next thing I knew I was right back at the restaurant, I felt like no time had passed at all, and the place was crazy. “Rob!” my boss screamed, “I need this side of mayonnaise out to table thirteen right! This! Second!” and I was trying, I really was, but I couldn’t remember when they’d installed the moving sidewalk in the middle of the dining room. If it was supposed to be a convenience, it wasn’t, and all of the customers kept fighting it, walking upstream, and I was trying to get to table thirteen but all the table numbers had changed, and my boss was just standing right next to me, I don’t even know how was managing the crowd when I could barely stand up straight, “Rob! What’s wrong with you! Table! Thirteen! Now!”

And I turned around and I slipped and I was lying down face first in a really shallow puddle. It was so shallow, only an inch deep really, just barely enough water to cover my mouth and my nose, but I couldn’t move my body, I could only barely rock it back and forth, but only if I used every ounce of strength I could muster, and still it wasn’t enough to break free from that puddle, and I couldn’t breathe and I felt the life slipping away, all while my boss kept yelling at me about the mayonnaise.

Finally I managed to get to my feet, but I had been struggling so hard, every muscle in my body was clenched, including my jaw, which was unnecessary, and unfortunate, because I’d chomped down to the point where my teeth crumbled, it was just tooth-sand in my mouth, tiny pebbles falling past my lips while I futilely tried to keep everything in, like maybe I’d be able to fix this, all while more pebbles got in my throat, I was choking, I couldn’t breath again.

And then I woke up in my bed, it was all a dream. But I couldn’t move yet, because I’d woken up too suddenly. All I could do was open my eyes and wait for the movement to return to my limbs, all while the sleep-paralysis demon sat grinning on my chest, in the middle of the night, staring down at me, whispering incomprehensible threats in his sleep-demon language. And everybody in the classroom was pointing and laughing. Because I was naked. And it was all a dream.

And it was all a dream

I was getting ready to jump out of the plane, but just as I peered over the edge, something kept me from pushing myself through that invisible membrane separating me from terminal velocity. What was it? I couldn’t be sure, so I tried to shake it. Just nerves, I told myself. Still, I tried to jump one more time and it was the same, no good. What had gotten into me?


So I resolved to sit this one out. But Rick, my old trainer, the guy who’d taught me everything I know about skydiving, maybe he saw something that I didn’t. Maybe he had been there before, somewhat new, but enough dives under his belt to mistake the momentary hesitation for what it really was, doubt, fear, crippling anxiety. “Don’t be such a …” was all that I heard, because Rick had pushed me out midsentence, and in less than I second I went from being on the plane, to the plane disappearing above me.

The unexpected shove jolted my senses, like when your hot shower goes suddenly ice cold. But it didn’t take long for me to come to terms with how it went down. And now that I was in free fall, the familiarity of the rush started to kick in, clearing my head. A heartbeat later and I was back to where I always was, falling, flying, whatever, just pure adrenaline induced euphoria.

But the very instant before my altimeter alerted me that it was about time to deploy the shoot, it hit me, the reason that I was so reluctant to step off of that plane. The chord. I don’t know why, or for reason, but I knew that it wasn’t going to work. The idea that I was by myself up here, coupled with the lack of any details, it stopped my breath, it was like I was in the beginnings of a panic attack.

While my brain stumbled through a replay of my preparations this morning, my equipment check, refueling the tank, I couldn’t for sure identify that all of these little steps, steps that I’ve completed dozens of times by now, I wasn’t positive if they were from today or yesterday or the week before. Finally my hands took control of the situation and gripped the handle sticking out of the left side of the backpack.

And I pulled. And nothing. I pulled a little harder. It was the same. I was dead.

I thought, what do I do? Can I try to take the pack off my back, somehow go through it in mid-fall, identify the problem, fix the problem, get the pack strapped back on, with enough time to successfully open up the chute? Because the ground was coming fast. It’s like, those first few thousand feet, yeah, you feel the wind, but the surface is so far away, it doesn’t even really look like you’re moving in relation to anything down below.

But now, I was seeing less and less of certain objects in the horizon. My mind kept jumping forward, all the way to the automatic conclusion. My body cringed as I imagined what it would feel like, if I’d even have time to feel anything at all. Would death really be instant? Or would I kind of exist in a breathless state of panic while my surviving brain cells slowly shut down due to lack of oxygen?

Could I somehow make it through this? I mean, it was at least technically possible. I’ve heard of people walking away from stuff like this. Well, if not walking, at least breathing. Would it be enough to just breath? Should I try to get my body to start rolling the second I make contact with the ground?

A thousand questions, a million different thought fragments, mostly just emotions, fight, flight, instinct into overdrive.

And then just before I started totally freaking out, arms flailing uselessly in the sky, my bladder releasing its contents into my jumpsuit, just before the ground came right up to my face, I woke up.

I was in my bed. I’ve never been skydiving. What the hell man, I’ve never been on a small plane. Fuck that, are you crazy? Wow, it just felt so real. But it wasn’t real. It was a dream.

I thought I was about to fall to my death, but I didn’t, because I woke up. Because it was all a dream.

Bill, I had a space dream, and you were in it

Dear Bill Simmons:

I had this dream last week where NASA offered you the chance to hop on a rocket ship and captain a deep space mission. “Bill,” they said, “We want you to spread sports across the cosmos. Get out there, find some alien life, and teach them all about basketball and football and hockey. Show them about sportsmanship and being a team player and the importance of picking a good mascot to represent their species. If there’s anybody that can not only show the aliens what Earth sports are all about, but can also get them actually interested, it’s you.”


And you were like, “I’ll do it.” And everyone smiled, but you continued, “On one condition. I pick the crew.” And they were a little skeptical, I mean, what do you really know about staffing a spaceship? But eventually they realized that it was the only way they’d get you on board, and so they agreed, “All right Bill, we hope you know what you’re doing.”

You did know what you were doing. You picked me to join you as your first officer. I was sitting here on my computer, dicking around, killing some time before I had to go to work, when I got this call on my cell phone from an unknown number. It was you.

“Hey Rob, Bill Simmons here. I’ve been reading your letters to me every week on your web site asking me for a job. Well, here it is, your lucky day!” And at first I was really excited, like, yes, finally, I’m going to get to work at Grantland, me, a full-time writer at one of the best sports and pop culture web sites on the Internet. My imagination went crazy, I started picturing what kind of posters I’d use to decorate my office, or how I’d casually drop by your office around three-thirty to ask if you wanted anything while I went out to Starbucks.

It was a shock when you told me it wasn’t exactly the offer that I’d been dreaming about, but of course I still accepted without hesitation. Because seriously Bill, I’d do anything to work with you. I’d leave all of my family and friends here on Earth as we set out on a one-way trip to explore the galaxy. That’s the kind of dedication I’d bring to your team, in both my fantasy dream world and in real life.

Yeah, the dream kind of went in a weird direction after I said yes to the mission. Like most dreams go, there were huge gaps in the narrative, weird tangential events that didn’t really make much sense in terms of context or continuity. For example, all of the sudden we were both deep in space, and you told me that the months of isolation were starting to get to you, that routine spaceship maintenance work wasn’t as satisfying as you thought it might be.

But I was like, “Bill, why didn’t you say something earlier? I brought a chess set. We could learn to play, together.” And yeah, you lit up at the idea of a new hobby, something to really challenge your atrophying mental faculties. But we discovered pretty quickly that playing chess in zero-g isn’t really possible pastime. Maybe if I had thought it out a little better, like if I brought some Velcro, something to keep the pieces from flying off the board. But no, I didn’t have anything, and so we both gave up after a few minutes of futilely trying just to keep everything still on the constantly floating surface.

And then pretty soon after that, we weren’t in space anymore, we were at a McDonald’s. It didn’t make sense at all, but neither of us questioned our new surroundings. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, you didn’t even remember being in space at all. And when I was like, “Bill, don’t you remember? The spaceship? The chess set?” you were like, “My name’s not Bill, it’s Fred. And can you hurry up a little with my order?”

It was then that I looked down, and I was actually behind the counter, I was wearing a McDonald’s uniform, and my name tag didn’t say “Rob,” it said, “Jean.” Which, yeah, that doesn’t really make much sense. The rest of the dream went on for like another minute or so, in dream minutes anyway, who knows how long it was in real life. Everything got fuzzier and fuzzier until I woke up, it was ten-thirty, I was late for work. But I still thought, I’ve got to write this down. I’ve got to tell Bill.

And now that I’ve written it all out, I’m actually kind of sorry, because for real, I know how boring dream stories are. Whenever anybody starts telling me, “Rob, listen to this dream I had …” I automatically shut down, because regardless of how interesting the dream may have been in the dream, it’s never even remotely worth retelling once you wake up. And so I don’t know why I thought this one was going to be different, because it wasn’t, and again, I apologize.

All I can say is, when you hire me to work at Grantland, I’ll never talk about my dreams. Unless you order me to. Then I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever you say. That’s the kind of employee I am. Unless you order me to stop following your orders, because I’m not that clever, I won’t really know how to respond to one of those logical paradoxes.

Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope that whichever team you predicted to win the Super Bowl wins. And I’ll tell everybody, “See? It’s just like Bill Simmons said would happen. That guy is the best.” Me? I predicted the Giants would win, way back when they were 0 – 6. Things were looking pretty good for a while, until Dallas scored that field goal. I hate the Cowboys.

Your friend,

Rob G.

I had a dream where a red comet fell into the ocean and turned all of the earth’s water into red Kool-Aid

I had this dream the other night where a giant comet fell to the earth from space. It was gigantic, twice the size of the one that killed all the dinosaurs. And by the time NASA figured out that this thing was on its crash course, it was too late to do anything.

red comet

“But don’t worry,” the lead scientist tried to reassure the public, “because luckily, this thing is set to land right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, really far away from any of the continents. Maybe some small islands might be impacted, but if we get them on planes right away, I think they’ll be safe.”

This was all at a huge NASA press conference, and some reporter raised her hand, “Really? You think there’s enough time to ferry all Pacific Islanders to safety?” and the scientist really shouldn’t have spoken so soon, his expertise was astrophysics, not aviation, and yeah, now that he thought about it, that probably was a logistical impossibility.

“Uh, you know, I don’t think there’s going to be any real danger with those islanders,” he kind of lied, wishing they had had enough money in the budget for a PR spokesman, someone who could have done all of the reassuring, the translating all of the technical science to everyday English.

The comet fell from the sky, it was much bigger than even the scientists had anticipated. It was all caught on camera, a giant ball of red fire splashing down right in the middle of the ocean. There was a big dip, an audible gulping sound, and then the water started getting red.

It was a slow change at first, like from the orbital cameras pointing at the crash site, you could see the red seeping outward, but it wasn’t until months later that the extent of the red became too much to ignore. It was the entire Pacific, it was turning crimson, and it continued to spread to all of the other oceans, to the rivers and lakes and ice caps, everything red.

And someone eventually tasted it, and the rumors came back that it had the exact same flavor as red Kool-Aid. Nobody believed it at first, but sure enough, it was like right out of the pitcher, red Kool-Aid.

“You see,” the scientist explained at the follow up press conference, “the chemical composition of that comet was precisely enough to not only add red Kool-Aid color and flavor to our planet’s waters, but there were also foreign agents that, when combined with ocean water, had the effect of negating out all of that gross oceany stuff.”

Maybe he didn’t say gross oceany stuff, but all of that science jargon, I couldn’t remember it word for word. Surprisingly, nothing really changed, like in terms of the marine ecosystem, you would have thought that the plants and animals used to living in seawater would have died pretty quickly after having their habitats turned sweet red, but they loved it.

Still, the governments and scientists couldn’t leave well enough alone. They insisted on pouring money into research and development geared at turning the water back to its regular blue. And it took like fifteen years, but finally one of them invented a really powerful bomb that, when submerged deep enough back in the Pacific, it was going to turn the red Kool-Aid into blue Kool-Aid.

“Close enough,” was the consensus. And everything was great for a little while, until another comet came crashing through the sky, landing almost in the same exact spot. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but scientists later figured out that this second comet would have turned the ocean into one of those trick Kool-Aids, like one of the ones that changes colors and flavors halfway through. I think they called it the Great Bluedini or something like that.


Anyway, it was only supposed to work because the ocean was red originally. But scientists had to go ahead and get in the way, making it blue, and the Bluedini comet had nothing to work with. So instead of changing the color of the water, it changed the color of all of the marine life, all of the plants and animals. But this time they all got very sick, like really sick, they all died and floated to the top and the earth’s waters were forever sick and polluted.

And we couldn’t drink regular water because there was no regular water. The change in the evaporation cycle was complete. Now when it rained, it rained blue Kool-Aid, and when we cried we cried blue Kool-Aid tears. And cried we did, that we had to get involved in nature’s plan, that if we had just left things alone, the space lords would have changed it back from red to blue via that second comet, but we had to be big-shot know-it-alls and ruin everything, and now all the fish were dead, and nothing was ever going to be OK ever again.

I just had the craziest dream

I had this crazy dream last night. I’m just kidding. I’m not going to write about my dreams. That’s super boring. Every once in a while somebody will start talking about, “Oh my God I had the craziest dream last night,” in which case I prepare to be really unimpressed with the oncoming barrage of mostly nonsense sentences strung together back to back in no apparent order, all the while trying my best to maintain a look, a facial expression that says, I care about this story. I’m interested. Please continue. You telling me this dream is almost as good as me having it myself, which is impossible, but this is the next best thing.

There’s obviously one exception to this rule: Inception. If you haven’t seen Inception, well, you know, I don’t have to tell you what to do. Just go and do it. I hope they make an Inception 2, and the whole movie will start with Christopher Nolan waking up in the middle of the night, having dreamt the whole thing up, the whole movie, the whole release, the critical acclaim, that episode of South Park where they make fun of it, it’ll all have been a dream.

So he’ll wake up his wife and he’ll be like, “Honey! Honey, I just had the craziest dream!” and his wife will be like, Oh my God, what time is it? Three in the morning? Jesus Christ. These fucking Hollywood guys, they think they’re so important, so bloated with their own lame inflated sense of self. Seriously? He’s waking me up at three in the fucking morning for a dream?

This is still part of the movie, Inception 2 (Nolan: call me.) And we know that Nolan’s wife is thinking all of this because it’s one of those directorial tricks, like we see Nolan, then he’s like, “Honey! Honey!” and then it cuts to Nolan’s wife, and maybe she has one of those sleep masks on, and while Nolan is busy talking about his dream, about Inception, which, in this movie, Inception 2, it’ll all have been a dream. That was clear when I said it the first time, right?

And as the camera is on Nolan’s wife, you know, she’s pulling up her sleep mask to check what time it is, then you’ll hear her voice, her thoughts, like Nolan won’t hear it, and she won’t be talking, it’ll be like the audience is hearing her thoughts, and she’s making all of the appropriate facial responses as each thought pops up.

Her thought monologue will be like, “What time is it?” and her face will be puzzled, like she’s thinking hard, and then when she sees it and goes, “Three in the morning?” her face will be shocked, angry.

It gets better. It turns out that, in this movie, in Inception 2, not only did Inception never happen, but none of Nolan’s other movies happened either. He says to his wife, “Honey! Get DiCaprio on the phone! I don’t care who you have to wake up!” and his wife will be like, “DiCaprio? Leonardo DiCaprio? What are you high?”

Because it this movie, Christopher Nolan isn’t an award-winning director, he’s a furniture salesman. And he lives in Pittsburgh. Well, not in Pittsburgh proper, but like an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh. And when reality sets in, when the dream starts to fade, even though it was all so clear in his head, even though he actually felt it, like he remembered watching that South Park episode where they made fun of Inception, he vividly recalls getting super pissed off, “How could those two bozos not understand my genius?” he looks in the mirror, in real life, and he’s not even close to being as handsome or as in shape as his dream persona.

He gets depressed. He has to be at the furniture store in like four hours, plus getting up and getting ready, plus driving an hour and a half to Pittsburgh. And that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. So far. I’m thinking eventually he’s going to have to wake up from that dream also, and that will have been a dream, and he wakes up and he’s the real Nolan again, but that dream of being a regular furniture salesman, it will have stuck with him. And so instead of making cool mind-bending reality-is-a-dream movies, he’s going to start making furniture commercials, and documentaries about Pittsburgh, even though he doesn’t live in Pittsburgh. Also, I thought that it would be cool if Nolan had another dream about being that regular Pittsburgh guy again, and he takes a day off and goes to see Inception in theaters. And he’s watching this movie about dreams within dreams within his own dream.

Yeah, you know what, this isn’t going to work. And this is why you don’t start off any story with, “I just had a crazy dream,” because it’s not crazy. It’s boring. It’s a dream. It’s nonsense, just like this blog post. Everybody has dreams. Nobody remembers them well enough to tell an interesting story the next day. Except Christopher Nolan. Seriously Inception was bad ass.