“I had a bad dream last night,” said old Ted, after he’d taken the first long draw on his first pint at the ‘Slug and Philosopher’.
“That must have been a nightmare for you, mate,” I replied.
“You’re bloody hilarious, you are, d’you know that? You should write one of those bloody stupid blog things!” He shook his head in disgust.
“Sorry Ted, tell me about your dream.”
“Well it starts off that I’m driving a train into a tunnel and my wife’s shouting; ‘Drive it, Ted, Drive it’, and then I pop out of the tunnel and we’re in a café in Paris and this French guy offers the wife a cigar and she starts smoking it.”
I sipped on my beer for a bit.
“What the hell does that mean, clever dick?” said old Ted.
Wayne was sitting nearby, sharpening his darts and he offered his reply:
“There’s several schools of thought about dreams. One is that it’s yer brain practising thinking, cleaning out the rubbish, pruning itself. Like a computer backing up at night. That’s dreaming as a physiological function, that is.”
“Annuver group of dudes say that it’s for psychological reasons, like you’re sorting out feelings and stuff you can’t confront in your waking life. Ye’r Jungians would say that you was trying to work through your every day problems, you know, like your wife wants a holiday in France and you’re worried you can’t afford it because she spends too much on fags, shown as cigars in the dream.”
He moved a bit closer but continued dragging his darts back and forth on his sharpening board.
“Yer Freudians on the other hand, they believe that dreams state a dude’s repressed sexual feelings and would say that the tunnel represents a vagina, the Frenchman indicates a more liberal attitude, and the cigar symbolises a penis.”
Ted spluttered out some beer but Wayne ignored him and kept talking.
“I however disagree with both the physiological and the psychological schools of thought and tend more towards the theory followed by the Australian Aborigines, which is that your dream state is more real than your waking state.”
I was interested now, “What do you mean, Wayne?”
“Remember that I told you that time is like a ball of water and that we only survive as we do because our brains fool us into living our lives as if time’s a straight line?”
“Yeah, I remember.”
“Every action we take can alter our future and our past and the dark matter that surrounds us is changed in all directions. That can confuse a brain no end, so whilst you sleep it makes corrections to take account of changes to your past time frame. You choose tea rather than coffee and the book you bought lunchtime has a different ending. Put on a red tie instead of a blue one and you find that you never fed the cat this morning. Join the army and you broke your leg as a kid. The bigger the decision, the bigger the ripples and the more your brain has to correct. Because yer conscious self can’t handle the ‘big-picture’ it weaves little stories to keep you happy – dreams.”
“Does that answer your question?” I asked old Ted.
“My wife would never put one of those things in her mouth!” he replied angrily, “Especially not in a non-smoking area!”