logic, memory, time.

In my dreams, logic goes in reverse. Once, in there, I saw my ID card — which was slightly bigger than it was in un-dream (or, the waking world, to avoid using the word “reality”), therefore might be fake and, in fact, was confirmed as (in that dream) only a reproduction — slipped away from my hand and instead of falling down to the floor actually started to float up in the air. It kept floating up, and up, and up, until it almost reached the ceiling. At one point before the ceiling, however, it touched a surface that I was unaware of previously. I knew that it was some kind of a surface because that surface suddenly rippled … like the surface of water touched by an object.

I gasped. I was underwater! I was underwater the whole time and did not realise that I was, until I saw that ripple. Immediately, the world changed — I was breathing underwater. That was how it felt to breathe underwater. It could not be anything else, because the card floated up. Only under water can objects float up.

This is the way most memory served me in my dreams as well: in reverse. As one event was happening, a memory was built to explain it. When a dream started with a scene whereby I could not open a door, for example, suddenly I would realise that it would be impossible for me to open that door because, in the dream, I remembered that I have lost the key just a few days ago.

Some of my dreams also feels like a reverse explanation of something that was happening in parallel in my waking world, like an alarm clock that failed to wake me up fully. Let us call this X. Upon hearing X, in my dream, my logic would construct a whole story to explain that sound — failing to get sufficient information from my senses — and it would work in reverse. X — now representing that loud inexplainable ringing-like noise — must have happened because of Y, and Y must have happened because of Z. Then, offering that explanation to my brain, my logic would have to put it in order of normal time (which is, forward), so that it makes sense. It would say, once upon a time Z happened, and so as a consequence then Y happened, and that was why we now had X. And so I would have a complete forward (non-reverse) dream-story in my head of how a friend told me she was going to call me up (Z) and so I was waiting for her call (Y) and finally the phone rang (X). This must have happened in a split millisecond.

Then when I woke up, I would exclaim, “what a coincidence!” — referring to the ring in my dream that somehow blended into the ring in my waking world. Dear old me. It was not a coincidence. It was my brain struggling to explain a phenomenon and constructing a whole story to support its theory of what that loud ringing noise was, having limited information from the waking world because it failed to wake my senses up fully.

Once, however, I remember seeing a character in my dream that was, although he stayed in the background, quite memorable. I thought about that character the whole day. Later that day, I somehow discovered my old journals, and started to read through them. On one page I saw my note and sketch of a dream I had approximately twelve years earlier. Eerily, that memorable character from my recent dream was in that old note. Lucky I sketched him — I could say that character (the old one) looked exactly like him (the one I have just dreamt of). I never remembered that old dream before that day. I always remember it now, together with the newer dream where that character had reappeared.

Had I not sketched that character twelve years earlier, I would not have known that the appearance of that character in my new dream was a reappearance. This unawareness of that reappearance made me think that my memory in one dream does not always connect to my memory in the other. It is as though one dream is a universe within itself, isolated from another.

It is amazing to think that it is possible to have a separate universe within myself. But it is even more amazing to think that this one character lives in both universes within myself, and I did not even know him. I still, actually, do not know him.