That Dream Where You Can’t Scream…

I suppose it means I feel stifled, or that I’m not being listened to. I’ve had it twice in the last few months, both times in the middle of being attacked (and my brain has me convinced it was by the same random dream person both times). It’s scary not having control over something as basic as your ability to communicate, probably made all the more so by the fact that nearly every technological advancement is about communicating or connecting us further to the rest of the world in some way.

The first time I was calling out for help, flailing during a violent attack and hoping for some kind of rescue. Last night was worse. I was trapped in a bank’s after hours ATM room, trying to find the right check. As I rifled through the impossible number of papers shoved in my pockets, I found two checks. One for a paltry amount — $5 and change — and the other for semi-significant cash, I noticed the larger check was torn at the top, destroying the bar code (which I can only assume was an easy visual stand-in for the routing or account numbers, since I always have problems with reading/numbers in dreams. As I tried to figure out my next move, the man who (I think) had attacked me in the previous dream months ago was there. He stalked toward me and I back pedaled, trying to scream.

My girlfriend was outside the thick glass of the ATM booth, which by this point was its own standalone glass cube, not part of any physical bank or other structure. My own fish tank torture chamber. I couldn’t make much noise. Barely more than a whisper. She couldn’t hear me. My attacker drew closer, and while his approach was subdued — I managed to hold him off by keeping him at arm’s length (I may have been pushing his face back with my palm) — my attempts to scream grew all the more desperate.

He “chased” me around the cube as I continued to try to yell. I banged on the glass walls but they had enough give that there was barely more than a soft warble, like the tiny clap of clunky, uncoordinated hands. She couldn’t hear me. She wasn’t looking. And I couldn’t make a sound.

I woke up at some point, but the dream had already gone on far too long. I was shook.

After starting to write this (admittedly pointless) post, I remembered another dream from last night. [Sidebar: I’ve been having less than restful sleep for a few months, leading to multiple awakenings and thus multiple remembered dreams.] I stopped in at a donut shop to get something — I must have been on my way to work. As in real life, I’m always looking for a chocolate glazed (we miss you in SoCal, Dunkin Donuts). I didn’t see anything that fit so I asked the girl behind the counter who pointed me toward a semi-brown, glazed monstrosity with what looked to be Munchkins™ on it. I figured that would have to do in the absence of the real thing, but when I reached for my wallet — it was gone. I told her I left it in the car and had to run out to get it, but when I went outside my car was nowhere to be found. I should also note the dream logic here, since this place had ample street parking (in LA no less) and cars parked inside the dining area. I went up and down the street looking for my car, becoming more frantic as the search became more and more hopeless.  But rather than worrying about the loss of my car or wallet, I was worried that I wouldn’t get that donut…

With this second dream in mind, I have to imagine both were about financial ruin rather than being unable to speak or be heard. It’s also possible they were both about me having a goal (cash a check, buy a donut) and being denied. Or maybe it was just that I did go to the bank and cash a check yesterday. But why was I attacked in the first, and where did my car go in the second? I love dreams, even the weird ones, but today I’m at a loss and don’t feel nearly as rested as I should.

Maybe I should get a donut…

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