Perchance to dream.

All week, I have woken up about 2 hours after I fall asleep. I end up staring at the ceiling for what seems like an eternity, before sinking into a restless slumber, waking about once every 90 minutes. I have had terrible nightmares, from which I awake with a scream somewhere between my stomach and my lips, depending on the severity of the terror.
The dreams are always the same: I’m running from someone, or someone I love has been taken from me, or there is some Big Terrifying Thing just outside my field of view. Two nights ago, I had two separate nightmares; in both of them Anne was kidnapped and I knew that I’d never see her again.
When my head touches my pillow each night, it is with a sense of grim resignation. Many mornings, I am exhausted when I get out of bed. I feel like I’m not getting any rest at all. I look and feel like hell.


Last night, I decided to stay awake until I was just too exhausted to keep my eyes open, rather than turning the lamp off at 11 like I usually do.
I sat on my couch and read my book in the dark and quiet house. Around two, there was a ruckus out on my patio.
I put my book down on the table, and turned on the patio light. The Bogeyman stood in the center of my patio.
When he hadn’t found me in my dreams, he must have climbed over the wall of sleep to find me in my house. He had terrified me all week, worn me down, taken little bits of my life each night, and was here now to take what was left.
His skin hung loosely off his body. His arms ended in two enormous claws. Beneath his firey eyes, his mouth hung open in a silent scream. His black tongue flashed across jagged and uneven teeth.
He teetered forward, and I saw him flex his toes into the bricks. He clenched one of his claws into a fist, piercing his palm. Dark blood exploded from the wounds, and formed shiny puddles on the ground.
He raised his fist, and took a step toward me. I began to cry.
He took another step, and I smelled his Terror. His roar filled my head.
I tried to run, but he was too close, too fast, too powerful. His fist came flying at me. He punched through the screen, through the door, and through me. I looked down and saw his arm ending in my stomach. He clenched his fist tightly and pulsed his blood into my veins.
He pulled me close to his face, and tasted my tears as I died.

168 thoughts on “Perchance to dream.”

  1. I am really sorry to hear about those nightmares of yours, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about their recent dreams and most of them have had really bad nightmares, similar to those that you describe… I guess it is a ‘global’ thing, something perhaps related to the universal mind, to common affairs, to the fact that we are all afraid, not only because of wars and the likes but also because of humanity per se… I wish from the bottom of my heart that you and all of those who have had constant nightmares, have a chance to have sweet dreams for a change. // The way you narrated the last nightmare, was captivating, thank you for sharing.

  2. I am really sorry to hear about those nightmares of yours, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about their recent dreams and most of them have had really bad nightmares, similar to those that you describe… I guess it is a ‘global’ thing, something perhaps related to the universal mind, to common affairs, to the fact that we are all afraid, not only because of wars and the likes but also because of humanity per se… I wish from the bottom of my heart that you and all of those who have had constant nightmares, have a chance to have sweet dreams for a change. // The way you narrated the last nightmare, was captivating, thank you for sharing.

  3. I am really sorry to hear about those nightmares of yours, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about their recent dreams and most of them have had really bad nightmares, similar to those that you describe… I guess it is a ‘global’ thing, something perhaps related to the universal mind, to common affairs, to the fact that we are all afraid, not only because of wars and the likes but also because of humanity per se… I wish from the bottom of my heart that you and all of those who have had constant nightmares, have a chance to have sweet dreams for a change. // The way you narrated the last nightmare, was captivating, thank you for sharing.

  4. I’ve always liked ya, man, so here we go.
    Your realizationis totally correct that your successes or failures as an actor are not reflections of your successes or failures as a human being. It also seems to me that the agony that you used to place upon whether you ace this or that audition has been trasnfered to whether you do well or not on this, the first of your books.
    Wil, write the books for you. You made this site for you. You realized that your being a good person is different from being a good actor. You did that for you. There are always going to be critics of everything you write. Some of them will be people you respect. I know.. I write. (I used to write daily.)
    Forget about what people say about the book. Write it for you. Follow what your editor says. Make adjustments to the book from what your editor suggests. Then publish it and let it be.
    Being a good writer is not reflective on yourself. Maybe the dream of being chased will go away.
    I’m not a psyc. I think dream analysis is interesting, but, as was pointed out earlier, it’s not an exact science. Take everything in moderation, I say. So take it for what it’s worth. You’re a good person.
    Keep it up.
    — Robert Aldridge, [email protected]

  5. Sorry about the nightmares, Wil.
    I don’t know about your religious beliefs, but when I get scared at night for no reason or have a dream about a family member dying or have something bad happen, I say a decade of the Rosary (Glory be, Our Father, Hail Mary, etc.)
    It does seem to help calm the mind down.
    Also works with middle of the night earthquakes.
    Hope you get some quality sleep.

  6. “…and tasted my tears as I died.”
    You know what, I’ve trolled for a bit…enough to give me some kind of reconciliation with the image I developed of you as an actor in STNG and SBM. Frankly, I like you better now, as a colleague. Rather than hold you up as some Hollywood icon, I now want to buy you a beer. While that seems trite and ridiculous as a write it, it’s the truth.
    What I’d like to say is this:
    The hype of your site (the Onion and /. being the primary sources) cannot compare to my enjoyment of your writing. You have the skills. You have the material. You have the voice. Keep it up. Seriously.
    Quotes like the above are all the proof anybody needs.

  7. hmmmmmmmmmm k, what the hell was that about?? I was like “what? someoen broke into his house??” then i was like, “no, he’s dreaming” then i was like, “no, he’s doing creative writing” now, i don’t knwo what the hell to think. Drink some ovaltene for god sakes!

  8. Valarien, my friend. It’s an herb – it will help you relax and sleep and without the side effects of something like Sominex. Try it – trust me.

  9. Change your sleep habits; sleep on the couch for a night, rearrange the furniture, or burn some incense. Just break the pattern.

  10. I’ve had nightmares all my life. Funky ones that involve screaming that wakes eveyrone in the house which I sometimes do not remember at all the next morning. Best solution I’ve found is when I’m sleeping that restless sleep, I get as close as I can to my nice, warm, sleeping hubby and that comfort seems to seep into my sleep. It is worth a try and I’m betting your wife wouldn’t complain about it. ;)

  11. Dude… i still don’t think that beats out the F?ked up dreams i had after watching the Ring. Now, be glad that you died in that one! oy…
    ever been ripped at by burning hands for 30 minutes? be glad…
    damn imaginative personality…

  12. I had this dream once where I was a bi-pedal, human-sized cat hanging on to the tail of a 747 as it plied the once-friendly skies. I was flapping up and down wildly as I recited lines from “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”, until I was shaken loose by a sudden storm of Jujubees and milk. As I plummeted to the earth, I wondered how I would survive the fall. That’s when I noticed that I was a bi-pedal, human sized cat in a bright red dress. The dress billowed out and carried me gently to the ground where I was suddenly surrounded by auto-erotic mannequins..wait, ANIMATRONIC, yeah those things…with police-line tape for fingers. For some reason, that dream scared me enough to cause my bladder to empty.
    Perhaps I’ve said too much.
    Kevin

  13. in my recurring nightmare i am in a battle to the death with satan himself…shooting fire and lightning from my fingertips…and using my mind to create a psychic shield to protect me…i refuse to let the monster kill me and the ones i love…i fight back!…i took control of my dreamscape…maybe you can find a way to gain some control in yours.

  14. I’ve realised that it helps a lot if you sleep on your side instead of on your back or your stomach. Also, if you eat a bit of chocolate or have a cup of tea before bedtime…
    Saying a little prayer helps as well. ;););)
    Cheers… and sweet dreams!

  15. “He pulled me close to his face, and tasted my tears as I died.”
    Wow, what a great image.

  16. This has been a strangely emotional week for me too. I haven’t had any nightmares, just an uncomfortable sense of uncertainty and fear. Very unlike me.
    I’ll pray for you Wil.
    -Jeffery

  17. What’s been on your mind lately Wil? What’s been going on? We’re here to listen.
    Brock

  18. Wil,
    Maybe if you quit eating onions and drinking Miller Lite, the demons will stop. :) Drink Guinness instead!
    Oh, and about the part about you looking like hell, well…. we all can’t be perfect! LOL!!!!
    BTW….. no need to see a counselor, the post about seeing one, was one! Money lost. Keep on with the Guinness and woking on the web. Should do the trick!
    Bob

  19. i’ve learned that dreams are very significant if you know how to interpret them. recurrent dreams always mean that you have something that you need to work out in your life. try changing something, small or large and see if the dreams happen again. eventually you’ll get it. ^-^ i hope you sleep soon, at any rate.

  20. PTSD sufferer here…screaming-out loud dreams included. I’ve found journaling before bed really does help.
    Hope you get plenty of restful sleep soon!

  21. Monsters don’t bother me much, what I think is supper scary is those creepy robot guys at Chucky Cheese. I’m not a person that is rattled easily, but those m-f-ers are nasty. The last time I was there I was a teen. I kept running up to the stage to see how long I could last standing only feet from the thing watching it’s big oil stained eyes blink out of sync.
    When your having a bad dream and you wake up, just roll on over and give the Mrs. a big ol’ squeezy squeeze. Thats what I do to my husband when it happens to me, and if it’s a real bad one just squeeze hard enough for them to wake out of their own peaceful slumber so they can comfort you.

  22. That’s scary!!!!
    Hi!
    1.Once I dreamed that I died. It was so strange, becouse I was out off my body, I was a ghost!!I saw my mother that try to tell my brother that what happend with me…and I start to cry silently. I saw everything like throught a gray rainy fog.
    2. Never eat mashrooms before go to bed!!
    3. Try to ask from that chasing thing that why is he/she chasing you!!
    4. Drink a warm milk with honey and a little cinnamon before sleep!
    I hope that you wil better!!

  23. “Once I dreamed that I died. It was so strange, becouse I was out off my body, I was a ghost!!I saw my mother that try to tell my brother that what happend with me…and I start to cry silently. I saw everything like throught a gray rainy fog.”
    I have actually died and had an out of body experiance, I promise you there is nothing to be worried or scared about. It’s the best you will ever feel, no cares, no worries. The happiest time of life.
    Spike
    8.41pm GMT
    8.3.03

  24. Willy,
    I just started using the patch so that I could quit smoking. And everynight since then has been a nightmare. These fackin’ patches are supposed to give you nightmares/vivid dreams. What a tough choice I have, quitting smoking is driving me nuts PLUS i get nightmares every night. WTF!!!!

  25. Wil:
    Something has occurred recently that has caused you to think or consider that Anne might go away or not be there with you. Any ideas what might have triggered such a thought?
    Scott T

  26. Wil:
    Something has occurred recently that has caused you to think or consider that Anne might go away or not be there with you. Any ideas what might have triggered such a thought?
    Scott T

  27. Hi Wil,
    I’m sorry to hear that you are suffering from these nightmares. My boyfriend used to suffer alot from them. He would wake up yelling or screaming. He would even have 2 or 3 some nights. He could not get any rest and so went to his doctor for help. It turned out that he was suffering from a form of depresion and was perscribed an antidepressant. The nightmares quickly left and never came back. I would urge you to seek help if your nightmares persist for more than 1 or 2 weeks. You may be overworked or you may be stressed or worried about something and it’s coming out in your dreams. A good doctor could help you get some good rest.
    I hope you will feel better soon.
    A fan since childhood,
    Caroline

  28. Treefingers

    I slept through the night like a baby. No dreams, no restlessness, not a single disturbance. When I woke this morning, the clock said 5:58. I beat the alarm by 3 minutes! I victoriously turned it off before it could beep, and hopped out of bed feeling …

  29. I enjoy nightmares. When I have a nightmare, I like to walk down my dark and mysterious hallway to see if anything will really come out and put my life to an abrupt and painful end. When I get to the kitchen, I check the windows on and off as I digest some midnight goodness from my eternal refrigerator that never sleeps. After that, I go to bed.

  30. Yeah, Wil, take into serious consideration what that concussion kid posted. God knows I do…

  31. Chances are you won’t end up ever reading this since there are sooooo many comments to this already, but I’ll say it just in case :) Oh, and sorry if this has already been said, I don’t have the time to read EVERY one of the comments – just as I’m sure you don’t ;)
    Anyways, I’m no dream professional or whatever but it sounds to me like these dreams are being caused by an underlying feeling of losing control in your life. Perhaps this is because you’re spending so much time in perfecting your book and it’s causing you to lose time with your family and friends. Hopefully they’ll go away when all this stress is out of your life – and after that, take a nice BIG vacation :)

  32. Wil:
    Something has occurred recently that has caused you to think or consider that Anne might go away or not be there with you. Any ideas what might have triggered such a thought?
    Scott T

  33. Wil:
    Something has occurred recently that has caused you to think or consider that Anne might go away or not be there with you. Any ideas what might have triggered such a thought?
    Scott T

  34. Wil:
    Something has occurred recently that has caused you to think or consider that Anne might go away or not be there with you. Any ideas what might have triggered such a thought?
    Scott T

  35. i cannot add to what’s been said in the advice dept. but i will say that from personal experience when things are off kilter in my concious times, my dreams are pretty freaky-deaky. I have bene having recurring nightmares of being chased by tornadoes.i wake up as soon as it’s about to get me. Oddly enough, i am a storm chaser every other year.
    Your writing is amazing and a great read, and i hope your dreams become more soothing.

  36. Sorry if anyone already suggested this…
    Make sure you are not too hot when sleeping. The temp should ideally be around 60 degrees when sleeping and a warm room or too heavy of blankets can send you into nightmare land.

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