I think I might be a prolific ‘lucid dreamer’. I’ve jokingly titled this post Cheesy Dreams (as in being about dreams induced by eating cheese before bedtime as the old wives’ tale would have us believe). I don’t consume a lot of cheese and seldom before bed but I do have some of the wackiest dreams.
A Lucid dream is one where the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming while dreaming if that makes sense. Once he is conscious of this he may have the power to predict where the dream is going and may even manipulate the dream to some degree, replay it over and over or even pause and rewind. I’m not sure if all Lucid dreamers can do all of the above but I can.
For a dream to be classed as Lucid, some scientists say all the following criteria must apply (source Wikipedia ‘Lucid Dream’):
Awareness of the dream state (orientation);
Awareness of the capacity to make decisions;
Awareness of memory functions;
Awareness of identity;
Awareness of the dream environment;
Awareness of the meaning of the dream;
Awareness of concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state).
In most of my Lucid Dreams all of the above apply except I don’t always know the meaning. The most recent production was one of those. In nearly all cases I can remember and replay the dream in my mind while awake anywhere, anytime. Lucid dreaming is thought to be rare and has in the past been linked to the Occult, Eastern Religions or New Age. I don’t practice any of those – all I know is I dream in spectacular hi-def colour. Most people including me most times aren’t aware we are dreaming, which we all do (including PJ my cat who seems to have whole conversations with himself in his). We seldom remember our dreams and then only fleetingly before it is swallowed by our waking rational minds.
So to the latest epic (and this whole blog as just been an excuse to write about it as I just had to do SOMETHING with it). I’m on an airliner. Not just any old airliner but the new Airbus A380 Double Decker. I’m in the dream but very much an observer of the action rather than part of it. I seem to be one of the Cabin Crew as during the ensuing plot I have access to parts of the plane only authorised personnel would have. It’s not just any old airline but my favourite British Airways. Ok, I can see where this dream might be coming from. As a kid I always wanted to work for BA. I’ve flown with them 4 times this year already with 2 more flights to come. Back to the Dream…
I’m on the lower deck of the plane and we have just taken off heading west out of Heathrow to the US. Now at this point I should say I woke out of the dream several times but went back into it, starting from the beginning. The first time in, I didn’t know where we were flying to. By some point later it was New York. As we were ascending the plane suddenly lurched violently to the right while the in-flight service was starting up. Then the dream jumped forward by a few hours. It was daylight when we took off but now it was dark outside and the passenger cabin was quiet as people slept.
Then one guy sat on the very last window seat on the right of the cabin called us (Flight Attendants) to say that a mysterious sleeping passenger, covered in a blanket had appeared in the seat next to him. The man was not sat there on take off and was not known to the guy complaining. When he checked in, he had this whole row to himself. The sleeping passenger was a blonde, good-looking young guy. His head was rolled back, mouth open, eyes shut. One of my colleagues went to wake him up. He slumped forward and the blanket covering him fell off…and he was bleeding from his chest profusely.
We didn’t want to start a panic (it seemed) so we carried the bleeding guy through to the crew quarters at the rear of the plane. As all this happened at the back, the passengers all seemed to be asleep and unaware. There was no panic in any case. The crew quarters held a number of bunk beds where crew can rest on long haul flights. We laid the guy out on one bunk and then two things happened: one of the crew called the pilots on the internal phone to explain the situation. He immediately ordered a head count of all passengers on both decks. Next thing, we were walking through counting, checking bathrooms and locking doors. The other thing was we knew there was a medical doctor on board called Dr Singh who was in First Class at the front of the upper deck. BA doesn’t put its First Class on the upper deck of the A380 btw. A small detail but one I picked up on in the dream.
Two further shocks were to follow…actually four before the dream would end frustratingly abruptly. The passenger head count revealed there was now one more passenger on board than was accounted for on the passenger manifest or the head count before take-off. The young still unconscious bleeding boy was included in the count. Somehow, not sure how, it turned out the young guy was Dutch. His first name was Martin but he was not or should not have been among the passengers on our flight. The next shock was Dr Singh arrived on the lower deck to examine Martin…whom he pronounced dead at the scene.
The next shock was revealed by the Captain. He had radioed back to Heathrow explaining our situation with one too many passengers on board and a fatality and was requesting an emergency return landing slot. The Control Tower guy he was speaking to replied back how odd it was that a Dutch KLM flight had earlier landed from the USA reporting one of their passengers missing. A guy went missing sometime time while they were in the air and they were one down on their manifest and head count. It also turned out that we had been in a near miss accident with that same KLM flight on take off accounting for the violent lurch to the right at the start of the flight.
The final happening in this weird and fascinating play out was that as we were preparing to return to Heathrow, all the Cabin Crew and Dr Singh, had come out of the room where Martin’s body lay. The room was dark and silent and was the closing scene for me though I woke and tried and tried and tried to go back into the dream because I HAD to know what happened after the last thing I saw. That last thing was inside the darkened crew quarters but the body of the young deceased Dutchman was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a mysterious and sinister beautiful dark-haired, dark-eyed BA Flight Attendant in pristine uniform stood there adjusting her make-up. And she had most certainly not been on board at take off.
So there it is. My latest Lucid dream. I’m not aware of any meaning to it but I have wanted to go back into it to find out what happened next. Maybe the dream will manifest itself into a short story one day.
Or maybe it just has.