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Just as I Died
Preface to Book of Nightmares


Being a chronicle of select nightmares from the year 2019, the first year of my life whence I slept in the normal human rage of 6-10 hours.

When the eccentric lose their mind it happens a little at a time, when sleep comes, threatening to mend the rents of the waking world, the powers of the upper world jealously interfere, must of all, with fear.

As these unrealities ravage my mind while it quests for rest I have thought that I would use them for writing exercises. These dreams, I think mark a fourth stage in my dream life. When I was a boy I dreamed ever of being hunted, chased and drowned by a large, one-eyed pirate, my feet never taking me fast enough away from him, as if the surface of my world became so muddy, tacky and quagmired that the limping old fiend could always catch me. Just as I died or screamed for death to take me the TV screen upon which I had my dreams in black and white, would burst into green, as if doused by a bucket of paint from the other side. As a youth, once I began imposing my tiny will on the mean adolescent aspects of life, my dreams became far more violent, my killing in great gory batches everything under the sun.

As a man my dreams retained that violent character, but as the worlds of work, family and matrimony weighed, doubt in its ever-shrinking immensity permeated every aspect of the nightmare, with me remaining the violent actor, but just as buffeted by the malefic externalities as I had been as a child. This is represented in the dream about Sally’s Head described below, which I had every night, multiple times, for 60 to 90 days in early 2010 as my fourth year of being the general manger for a grocery store in Baltimore had finally wore my substrata bare.

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Charles SteinerMarch 31, 2019 11:29 PM UTC

I want to say this: It's a quotation from Dr. Maurice Nicoll in his book, "Dream Psychology." Dr. Nicoll was more Jungian than Freudian, and he was a student of the Russian mystic and esoteric Christian, G. I. Gurdjieff, a fact that Banjo, one of James LaFond's admirers, would appreciate:

"No one must expect to live in contact with the unconscious without being constantly humiliated." The honest man dreams of theft. The pious man dreams lascivious dreams. The shadow and undeveloped parts of the self dwell in the unconscious and show themselves in dreams.”

Czech writer Ladislav Klima that all dreams are masochistic.

Most dreams are negative. I think an overworked imagination can produce nightmares. Repression can produce nightmares. And certain sleeping tablets or sleeping aids—as well as drugs—can cause nightmares. There's no one cause.

And you know what? Nightmares can be funny, too, in their own weird way. You have to look for the humor. The unconscious is never without a sense of humor, even if it's only a play on words.
responds:April 1, 2019 5:55 PM UTC

Thank you, Charles.