I woke up this morning in a hell of a mood. Judging from the disheveled condition of my bed I must have spent much of the night tossing and turning. I was so tense and irritable that my jaw ached and my left hand was clenched in a fist. I quickly reached over and hit the snooze on my alarm clock several times and lay back down, hoping that I might be able to relax and calm down a little. I lay there for several minutes thinking peaceful thoughts and soon I drifted back to sleep. Unfortunately that was short lived. A few minutes later I was awakened by my wife when she came in to ask a question. Frustrated, I pretty much barked my annoyance at her, rolled over and pulled my blanket up over my face. Actually now that I’m thinking back on it, my response was probably more like a roar than a bark and totally unnecessary. It wasn’t her fault I had a miserable night.
I stayed in bed while my wife showered but never fell back to sleep. I lay there the entire time trying to figure out why I was feeling so tense. Although I couldn’t remember having any disturbing dreams the previous night I reasoned that it did indeed have to be a dream that had done me in and caused my present unease. As soon as my wife finished showering I got up and took a hot shower myself which helped relieve some of the tension but not all of it. The back of my neck still felt tight and I had a slight pressure headache above my eyes. All the makings of a truly great day. Not!
As a result here I sit alone in the family room sipping my coffee, just me and my laptop, still trying to figure out what triggered this unwanted anxiety. Already my current condition has caused me to alter my plans for the day. I was going to the movies this morning, had planned on it since Sunday. My wife left the house around 10 so I was going to go see the 11:05 showing of the newly released Hobbit movie. Well that didn’t happen. Worried that a extremely loud action movie might cause the pressure over my eyes to explode into a full blown tension headache, I chose not to go. Later maybe or perhaps tomorrow. So here I am.
I still can’t recall a particular dream or nightmare that might have gotten me so worked up, all I remember is fragments. Nothing that I believe would have affected me this way. In one fragment I’m working at Arcadia Lumber around 1979. There are a group of employees gathered outside. One is picking himself up from the ground. Apparently there has been a fight or something. I’m aware that I’m in the group and someone is shouting in anger at the boss,Jim Nickens, who is standing in front of the group near the downed worker. I suppose it could have been me shouting, I don’t recall. It just doesn’t feel that way. I feel more like an observer, like I’m watching a movie. Although if it was me it would help explain my state of mind this morning.
Funny, but as I’m writing this I remember another detail. As this fragment begins to fade, the boss is no longer Jim Nickens, but one of the principals from Azusa HS that I worked for some 20 years later. I remember thinking in the dream “What is Rick doing here?” I have no idea. In another fragment the same group of workers is now gathered inside the office of the Lumber Yard. Rick is still the boss. This time I feel like I’m there but not as part of the group. Instead I feel like I’m somehow hovering above the scene. Rick is explaining to the group that the two fighters had been fired and management had decided that the foreman on the scene was going to be fired as well because he should have stopped the fight.
A commotion erupts and there are shouts of protest in defense of the foreman who was with a customer when the fight broke out. The foreman is upset and very angry. The men are holding him back as he tries to reach for Rick. It’s quite intense. Suddenly this fragment fades out with Rick smiling at the foreman, then turning and walking away from the group. That is all I can recall.
I sure wish I were able to remember the entire dream. These fragments don’t explain much and only add to the mystery of why I woke up feeling the way I did. In other dreams I can usually recall what made my heart race, scared or anger me because I seem to actually feel these emotions. But in these fragments I felt nothing. Like I said before, I simply felt like an observer and not a participant. Of course the condition I woke up in says otherwise. Perhaps in the first fragment I was one of the fighters or one of the agitated group members. Maybe in the second fragment I’m the angry foreman. I wish I knew. Maybe as the day goes on I’ll remember more of the dream that can help explain things. I’ll have to wait and see.
Ha! Here’s a thought. Perhaps these fragments have absolutely nothing to do with the way I felt when I woke up this morning. Maybe my stress was the result of another dream or nightmare all together, one that I’ve blocked out or simply can’t remember. What’s the deal with dreams anyway? They shouldn’t fade away, we should be able to remember them all and in great detail. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Well I’m feeling much better now not nearly as tense or irritable as this morning. Still I think I’ll wait until tomorrow to catch that movie. I’ll just spend the rest of the afternoon quietly kicking it, in my man cave. Maybe play a little guitar, do some writing or watch something on HBO. Whatever I choose to do believe me it won’t be anything stressful. So that means I won’t be taking any naps, don’t want to have any dreams that might rile me up. Jut gonna relax…
Keep on dreaming…