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100 days of Love and Hate - Day 45 [Nov. 15th, 2006|02:18 pm]
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It's very, very rare that I remember my dreams. It probably happens no more than four times a year at best. I wish I could remember more, but hey, them's the breaks.

But is there anything more mind-numbingly boring, than to be told about a dream? Seriously, is there? My god, its fucking painful. I think the problem is, people don't know how to edit. They tell you every, single detail, because it's so weird, or so interesting.

Of course you're fascinated by it you bastard, it's your dream! Most of us, on the other hand, aren't that interested beyond the first few moments.

95% of the time, when someone tells me they had a dream the other night, I can feel a part of me die. It's that little bit that is interested in people and their stories. The part that can sit their patiently while people tell me the ins and outs of their life. It, like me, can't stand to hear dreams.

People tell you the whole dream, every bit that they can remember. And being a dream, it's rare that there's a narrative flow, so what you're getting is a confused jumble of detailed information that, at the end of the day, you stop being interested in after about 30 seconds. It means nothing to you, but the teller, they're so lost in trying to dredge up every little bit of it, they totally miss that your eyes have glazed over, that you're wishing for sudden bout of explosive diarrhea just so you've got an excuse to get away, that the first bit was okay but for God's sake, get to the point or shut up!

But no, forced to sit there politely while people rabbit on. It's rude to cut in and say, "Okay, you've been going for five minutes now, is there a point to this story?" Though apparently it's not rude to force someone to lose valuable minutes of their life sitting through the detailed, demented wanderings of a dream. Of course we want to hear about your dreams, cos you're just so damned interesting all the time!

NOTE - Telling someone you've had a dream about them and then not telling them about it is crap. If you're not going to tell them what the dream was about, either because it was nasty or sexual, don't tell them you had it in the first place you sucky bastard!

I had a dream I remembered the other week about my dad. I think it's about the fourth I've had about him in the ten years since he died. It was long, drawn-out, weird. When I told the couple of people I thought may have been interested in the dream, what they got was the last little bit. The bit that was relevant, in its way, to my family history. My dad was made King Barry, but Barry being not a very regal name, they used his family's nickname for him, so he became King George.

See, you're bored already. So were they. And that's the short version.

Can you imagine if I went into all the detail, the conversations, the things that happened that had nothing to do with the most interesting (to me and me alone) bit? You can, can't you. I can hear the snoring. You don't care, and nor should you, it wasn't your dream.

When was the last time somebody bored you shitless with a gaming anecdote? Well that's what it's like to listen to other people's dreams, baby! Just because you find the whole thing interesting, that doesn't mean others do. If you're so sure that people want to hear about your dreams, ask yourself this -

When was the last time someone regularly asked what happened next with breathless anticipation during the telling of one of your dreams?

When was the last time anyone said "That was cool! Thanks for telling me that!"

Or do they all say, "Yeah, that was freaky," with feigned interest?

Every one has a story attached. Scars often show someone who has lived. Sometimes the stories are ordinary, "I slipped with a knife." Sometimes the stories are tales of childhood mishaps, "I tried to run under a table when I was four." And sometimes they more unusual, "I cut open my hand on a VCR and the muscle was hanging out."

I love scars. My politeness often stops me from asking about it when I see a big scar on a woman, since many women are self-conscious about them. Which means when I noticed the huge white scar on the leg of my real estate agent in Melbourne, I didn't ask her about it. But I wanted to. If I see her again, I think I shall.

A friend showed me some scars she got during childhood that were pretty damned impressive. I feel privileged to have seen them. Another showed me her recent dog bite. Very cool. Got upper and lower teeth marks from the one bite.

My dad had a cool scar. A 1-inch long pucker in his cheek from a broken beer bottle to the face. The original cut was big enough he could stick his tongue through it.

I used to be embarrassed by my scars, mainly because I had a girlfriend who used to count them, and regularly ask where I got them from. Most of them were from fights, but they were never that big or serious looking. This was back in the days where I got a lot more sun. Believe it or not, I brown up a treat, so the scars showed up really well.

I had a lot of scars, but haven't had any new ones for quite a while, and most of my old ones have faded. I was quite annoyed a while back when I went to look for one particularly impressive one and couldn't find it. Even checked the other arm. Faded to the point where even I don't know it's there.

But I still have the scar on my willy from catching myself in the zip a quarter-century ago. I actually had to undo the zip to get it out.

Buy me dinner and I'll show it to you.

[User Picture]From: mortonhall
2006-11-15 03:46 am (UTC)
I tend to not remember details of dreams unless they have similar content to dreams I've previously had. Y'know the whole repetitive dream thing. Quite often the dream isn't truly repetitive, just similar.

What I do remember, however, is the emotions attached to a dream. Those emotions have sometimes taken me by surprise and caused some confusion - like having a really steamy, sexy dream about someone you had never considered in that way before.
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[User Picture]From: rendragon
2006-11-15 04:50 am (UTC)
Or waking up petrified and not really knowing why.....
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2006-11-15 04:06 am (UTC)
I actually don't mind being told about dreams. As long as the person telling you is selective. They can tell you the bit that seems symbolic or meaningful, and then there is something to discuss. They can tell you the bit that was a cool image, without bothering to tell you every little detail without editing.

There was a cool comic a few years ago, Rick Veitchs Rarebit Fiends, which was just retelling his dreams, and the dreams of guest writers. I thought it was really pretty cool, a really different and interesting creative project.

But the important distinction to me is that dreams are the raw material, not the story. A good storyteller can pull something interesting out - hell, a good storyteller can pull something interesting out of applying for a bank loan, and dreams are way more interesting than that - but they know what to cut.
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[User Picture]From: purrdence
2006-11-15 04:07 am (UTC)
Remind me to show you the big scar I have on my should from when I had a funny mole take out. It's part of the reason I got a tattoo on the other shoulder.

I don't really remember my dreams. The last one I do remember is now in my notebook of potential story ideas. It should be interesting, if I can get the story right - it has Nazi's in it.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2006-11-15 04:09 am (UTC)
my two most impressive scares are both from falling over while very drunk at the same pub, on two completely separate occasions. A misspent youth. I'm particularly proud of having a slam-dancing scar - instant old punk cred, I reckon.
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2006-11-15 06:26 am (UTC)
Most of my scars are hidden by hair, but I still have the impressive surgical scar that reaches halfway around my chest. When I'm asked about it, I usually come up with some answer that involves a lightsabre and some tall guy in black...

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[User Picture]From: cheshirenoir
2006-11-15 07:09 am (UTC)
My best scar is a surgical one. I had a mole removed from my shoulder blade and the operation was botched. (Wrong type of stitches put in according to a doctor who examined it later.)

As a result the scar is a big round one slightly larger than a 50c piece.

The other two moles I had removed (That were done properly) ended up simply as lines, already fading.
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[User Picture]From: vegetus
2006-11-15 07:19 am (UTC)
I can't remember my dreams much either, though it was odd a few years ago I found that I would dream everytime I slept next to a particular person... I do wonder why that was.

And scars are cool. I got to know a fairly good friend of mine alot better because I asked about her scars. She had heaps of small scars all over her body- arms, legs, tummy etc I had assumed she was in a bad accident so asked her what had happened. She looked at me and said that she did them all. We then ended up having a really long heart to heart about mental health, self-harm and depression. Noone else had ever asked her about it. Even though she lives on the other side of the planet I consider her to be a close friend and this conversation triggered that. I am so glad I asked when others would have been too polite.

And yes my dog scar is cool :D
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[User Picture]From: thinarthur
2006-11-15 11:10 am (UTC)
Best scar I seen was our guide in Zimbabwe who had been bitten by a crocodile. teeth marks right up his leg. He'd steped on it in the river thinking it was a log (having just been up the Daintree I can see how easy it would be to do this) and it blody wasn't. The best part of his story was him telling his mate he was being attacked by a crocodile and his friend saying "aw yeah bullshit" (or its nearest African equivalent) and then pissing off out of it when he realised it was true.

My own personal scar is somewhat more modest, it's on my left foot and I got 39 years ago 6 when I rammed a pitchfork through it while playing "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", I was digging for treasure on the sea bed in full diving gear (well an old WW2 gasmask) and misjudged. I can remeber that moment as clear as day, ouch!
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[User Picture]From: ghoath
2006-11-15 12:01 pm (UTC)
yeah i agree with all of that wit the dreams. detail is not omportant to other people, just tell people why you found the dream remmorable/noticable/funny or whatever, and not what colour the carpet was in the house you lived in two houses ago except the tree wasn't where it should be...
that whole "i had a dream about you" adn then not tell thing, was such a high school thing. you mean to say that adults do this? urgh.
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