Thursday, January 18, 2018

You Can't Smell in Your Dreams

Trouble sleeping lately, combined with very intense dreams. Without my mentioning it, some folks out there might know where this temporary condition comes from, see below.

Preface – my parents bought a new mattress. I ask my dad if they bought a Tempurpedic, hoping they did not. I think they’re a sham, at least as far as their cost (I also have this thing about mattresses; I think they’re all a sham). My parents did not fall for it; they bought a Bob-o-pedic. That’s basically a generic version. My parents are frugal. My real problem is when it comes to moving a Tempurpedic. I’ve moved a lot of people and a lot of mattresses, and moving a Tempurpedic is like moving a dead body. I tell my dad that; he’s never had the experience. Hopefully he never will.

Keeping that in mind, last night I have this dream that my whole family is moving this dead body, in a truck, to somewhere. Why? Not important, this is a dream. My dad and I are trying to stabilized this dead body in the back of the utility van/ambulance that we’re all taking on this family road trip to who-knows-where for who-knows-why, and it’s really hard, you know, like moving a dead body. Oh, but this was better, because it wasn’t just any dead body – it had no skin so it was extra slippery, making it extra hard to move. Like, harder to move than a Tempurpedic mattress.

Anyway, at some point, my dad is like Damn, this thing smells! And for dream reasons, my brain inputs the “smell” as formaldehyde, although nobody actually says that. Not “dead body” but “formaldehyde.”

We get the thing stabilized in the back of the truck. My hands are all slippery and sticky with dead body. I have the sense that I’m holding my breath, to avoid the smell, and yet I can’t seem to smell anything. Now, I’m really sensitive to smells, so you would think I notice it, and yet I don’t. And needless to say, nobody knows they’re dreaming when they’re dreaming, so that doesn’t compute for me. All I know is, I can’t smell this thing. And we’re driving, and this skinless dead body is bouncing in the back of our van, and my hands are still covered in death schmutz.

I can’t believe that I can’t smell it, and so I whisper to my mom, who’s driving, “Mom, what does it smell like in here?” And she says, “formaldehyde.” And I say, or think, or dream, “Damn, I’m anosmic to formaldehyde, and that’s weird, because you’re usually not anosmic to more than one thing.” (I am anosmic to putrescene, or semen, and for real, not in my dream, but I know this in the dream.)

When I wake up, the dream is still real, as it usually is within the first few seconds, and I am still anosmic to formaldehyde, and I am surprised and excited that I discovered this via a dream.

But then, alas, I realize – you can’t smell anything in your dreams!

And I lay there for a minute thinking if this is true or not. And I conclude, yes, it is true. We can only smell things in the presence of an initiating chemical. Sure, you can dream about your grandmother’s attic, or your preschool lunchbox, and have all the connected emotions, but you can’t do an anosmia test in your dreams. You’re anosmic to everything in your dreams.

And for now, I’m looking for some formaldehyde, just to check.

And for those of you who have been living in California or Colorado for the past few years, I suggest you take a step back, and watch the flood of bombastic, surreal extriculations that you’ve been missing all these nights.

[nope, not a word.]

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