The blog of Chicago-based freelance writer David Johnsen.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I've never read any of the Fletch novels. I didn't even see the movies, although I remember they starred Chevy Chase. I have seen the books, though. I think my dad owned at least one of the series.

Anyway, last night I had a dream that included a discussion of the Fletch books. One of my wife's friends and I talked about the distinctive title font (which, unbeknownst to me, has become italicized over the years).

Then this morning, I saw this -- Fletch author Gregory Mcdonald died on Sunday. I'm sure I hadn't seen the news before my dream.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008
It was bad enough when I dreamed last night that my wife had died. Then I woke up to this. Although there was no mention in my dream about whether she died in the line of duty, it made today's sad news that much more disturbing.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008
Bicycle Funeral
I had a dream last night. My mom took me to a bicyclist's funeral Mass. It wasn't anyone I knew personally, but that didn't matter. Several men in suits wheeled a riderless bike covered with white flowers down the aisle of the church to the altar. The priest gave some sort of blessing over the bicycle and said a few words about the cyclist. Then the men solemnly wheeled the bike back up the aisle and out of the church. I cried through the whole thing.

Afterward, we went back to, um, somewhere -- it wasn't my house, and it wasn't my parents' house. Then Jennifer came over to mourn with me (though we have never met face-to-face). I recounted the Mass I had attended in vivid detail and began sobbing again. By the end of my description, Jennifer was crying with me.

Then Gracie jumped on the bed and barked in my ear, so I woke up.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007
Unsettling Epilogue to DBT Suicide Week
Over the past week, I have featured six Drive-By Truckers songs that explore the topic of suicide. Yesterday, my wife told me she had a dream where she walked into the house to see me hanging lifelessly from a rope -- just like Uncle Frank. Considering that she had no idea that I've been writing about suicide all week, that's a really creepy coincidence.

I tried to allay her fears: "That's strange because whenever I dream about suicide, it's always with a gun in my mouth." That wasn't an attempt at dark humor; I was serious. For what it's worth, "Welcome to the Jungle" is always playing in the background, too. Try going back to sleep after a dream like that. No wonder I blog at all hours of the night.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
On the Floor
Last night I had a dream that I was playing football in gym class. The last thing I remember was seeing the ball on the ground and diving for it. I awoke on the floor next to the bed, my wife asking if I was okay.

"I was gonna score a touchdown," I said. As I awoke fully, I added, "I can't even score a touchdown in my dreams." Regular readers may recall a similar dream a year ago wherein I was a college student trying to start a relationship with Anne Hathaway. Alas, I was unable to score with her in my dreams, either.


Monday, August 14, 2006
Dreaming Is Free
Last night I went to bed at 7:30 and slept straight through until 6:30 this morning. This was highly unusual; I normally sleep about 2-3 hours, get up and screw around on the computer, sleep a few more hours and get up. I don't sleep six hours straight, much less eleven.

Anyway, I had lots of dreams. The longest and most vivid involved Anne Hathaway, she of the big smile and even bigger -- well, you know. We were taking a college class, and she was sitting near me. I talked to her every so often, even flirted a little, and I was hoping for something more. This went on for weeks (I told you it was a long dream). Finally, she told me basically there was no chance I was going to get anywhere with her. Damn. Moral of the story: I'll never score with a Hollywood starlet, not even in my dreams.


Sunday, May 07, 2006
I've Had Bad Dreams, So Bad I Threw My Pillow Away
The words are from "Angel," a song by the late, great band Belly, and they sum up my dreams lately.

This morning I was having a dream about urinating in a toilet at a roadside rest area. It was the nastiest thing -- I had to hold the lid up, and lots of previous visitors hadn't aimed well. This just went on and on until I finally woke up. Fortunately I hadn't wet the bed (I wouldn't tell if I had!), although I had to make a beeline for the bathroom.

That was nothing compared to the dream I had when I took a nap this afternoon. I woke up speaking aloud (I've never had a speaking wake-up after a good dream) to a 911 operator, reporting a home invasion, saying, "I think someone is still here in the house." It scared the hell out of me.

Maybe I really should throw my pillow away.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I Dream of Muffins
At least this morning, I did. I was in a bakery sampling an all-you-can-eat muffin buffet. I'm not usually a big fan of muffins unless they are blueberry, especially hot from the oven. But in this dream, I was eating everything. It was such a "sweet" dream that I reset the alarm to sleep another hour.

The weirdest part was when I asked whether they had any apple-cinnamon muffins, and they seemed surprised and intrigued by the idea ("We'll have to try that sometime!"). I mean, I didn't think apple-cinnamon muffins were anything new, and this bakery already had more than a dozen other varieties.

Today I took the car in for more work (engine overheating). Walking home, I passed a Dunkin' Donuts. Naturally, I had to go in and order a muffin. They didn't have apple-cinnamon, but they did have pumpkin. Let me tell you, those pumpkin muffins (limited time only) are pretty darn tasty, almost as good as Mom's pumpkin squares, but without the cream cheese frosting (photo and recipe here, but I didn't check to make sure it's exactly the same).


Friday, November 18, 2005
Another Sick Dream
I was scared last night, scared to try to sleep. Wednesday night was so awful, and I still had a terrible, rapid-fire cough. I spent an hour in bed, but I couldn't fall asleep. I decided to try the recliner sofa instead, hoping that being upright might help. Plus I felt guilty about keeping my wife up all night with my coughing and moaning. I think it helped, but I still woke up two hours later. And why is it that the effective lifespan of a dose of Robitussin is three hours when you're not supposed to take it more frequently than every four hours?

My wife was up (so much for sleeping in the living room so she could sleep, although she said I didn't wake her up). I knelt on the bedroom floor and lowered my head to the carpet, much like a Muslim praying toward Mecca. Except I wasn't praying, though maybe I should have. Instead I was coughing up all sorts of foul stuff and spitting it into a tissue. When I finally stopped coughing, I wasn't sure what to do with myself. I feared that any change in position would set me off again. After a couple amazing minutes of silence, I started coughing again.

At this point I was only half an hour early with the Robitussin, so I took it and went back to the living room. Oh, I forgot to mention that I managed to get a sty too, so the tears and eye goo form a glue between my right eyelids when I sleep. Anyway, it was about 5:30, so I hoped that I could at least sleep until sunrise.

Here's the dream. I'm building sets for Saturday Night Live skits. We keep trying to build them in one particular spot, the spot that makes me cough. Then I'm getting mad because these are all Jewish skits, and Al Franken isn't there anymore so we can't even use them (nothing anti-Semitic intended of course, and in retrospect anyone can play a Jew on SNL -- considering how many cast members change genders for skits, playing a Jew is pretty easy). I'm getting really frustrated because they keep telling me to build these sets in the exact same spot, but it keeps making me cough, which doesn't allow me to ever finish these sets that no one will use. I wake up around 6:30 and then drift in and out of consciousness, coughing of course, for the next hour. I keep trying to build the sets and keep coughing. Finally I give up, even though I've only slept 4-5 hours total.


Thursday, November 17, 2005
A Sick Dream
I don’t get sick very often, but that just makes it worse when I do. I freely admit to being the stereotypical male baby when I’m under the weather. This week I’ve had congestion, coughing, sore throat, and hiccups triggered by coughing (the worst). I’ve been miserable. People say to get plenty of rest when you’re sick, but I haven’t slept more than two consecutive hours all week. On the surface, it looks good to say I slept from 2 AM to noon, but not so good when you consider that I was up at 3:00, 5:00, 6:15, 8:00, 9:15, and 10:00. To make matters worse, sometimes it took 15-20 minutes to fall asleep again. It’s been like this for three nights in a row.

Against that backdrop of unrestful sleep, last night I had a dream. Like most dreams, the particulars are hazy. There was some sort of disaster in a city, and reporters were trying to get in to cover it. In my dream I could see the whole city spread out before me. I was responsible for granting access to the media -- anything that the world learned about what was happening had to pass through me first. Every time I gave out information, it was accompanied by a cough (or two or three). It became hard to tell whether I was asleep or awake. The dream continued through several bathroom breaks, picking up where it left off. I was on the verge of tears because I had a job to do, but every time I coughed it hurt worse. I felt trapped, even doomed -- my throat became raw and my chest ached, but I couldn’t escape the awesome responsibilities connected to this disaster. After hours of this, I finally realized that I didn’t have to know everything that was going on and began to let the reporters do their own thing. I felt like a tremendous burden had been lifted, and I seemed to cough less. Or maybe it was just that Theraflu strip I put on my tongue at 6:15.

The dream interpreters would have a field day with this, I am sure.


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