Briefly: the meta-dream

But first: the Parable of the Somnolent Professor, a parablized version of a real-life event (involving close friends of mine) that I recounted many years ago:

The professor’s wife looked anxiously at the time, went once more to attempt to rouse her husband from his domestic torpor. Shook him, cried out, “You have to get up and get dressed; you have an important faculty meeting in half an hour. Wake up!”

To which her husband objected, woozily but in all earnestness: “But, N,  I am up and dressed.” So convincingly that for a brief moment his wife believed him rather than the evidence of her own eyes.

In his dreams he was indeed up and dressed, maybe even already at the university. In the situation where he was being implored to get up and get dressed, he was in a dream world where he had already gotten up and gotten dressed, satisfying the demands on his time, while back in the real world he was still clinging to pleasurable sleep. He was in the grip of a (self-serving) kind of meta-dream. (Note that he was in a half-conscious state straddling the two worlds — recognizing his wife and understanding her call to action, while unwilling to give up the sweetness of sleep.)

Now: my tale. I went to bed yesterday at 5 pm — it had been a very long, very full day — and slept soundly, waking up roughly on the hour, every hour, to whizz, easily and satisfactorily each time. At midnight I noted with pleasure that I was going to be able to slip back easily into sleep, rather than being irrevocably up at an unreasonably early hour after only 6 or 7 hours of sleep, as has happened to me several times recently. And then at 1, 2, and 3, that I was able to happily whizz out what was becoming liters while still being able to luxuriate in sleep. It was delightful.

At 4, I truly woke up. To find that it was actually only 1 am, and I had dreamed three hours of sleep. It was a meta-dream.

Well, 1 is better than midnight, and I did at least get 8 hours of sleep. I had my normal breakfast at 2 (waiting an hour on account of my thyroid medication) and am now, at the first glimmerings of dawn, about to start turning some Chinese leftovers into soup for a second breakfast at around 7. Meanwhile, I’ve done lots of useful housekeeping tasks, saved a Zippy strip to post about, and engaged with friends (mostly those in distant places) on Facebook. Not a bad morning.

2 Responses to “Briefly: the meta-dream”

  1. Doug Wyman Says:

    “waking up roughly on the hour, every hour, to whizz, easily and satisfactorily each time” Oh how I wish for easily and satisfactorily. Patiently waiting each time for the faint seeping of a full bladder through the bloated prostrate.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Sad to hear, though the problem’s not uncommon. My own prostate, for whatever reason, is only a bit enlarged, and then I’m taking a phalanx of diuretics.

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