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One summer morning when I was four years old I woke up suddenly, frightened and crying, from an intense and vivid dream. In this dream I was exploring a very old house, not unlike the house I actually lived in, and became aware it was inhabited by an unseen evil entity. The nature of this entity was malicious and aggressive; it wanted to kill me and it wanted to kill my family. There were certain rooms in which the presence was stronger than in others and upon entering these rooms I would hear its voice inside of my head and slowly become paralyzed. Unable to run or use my hands except in the slowest of motion, I struggled against a magnetic pull emanating from some object or another. In one room it was a dark picture hanging over the fireplace. In another room it was a vase sitting on an end table. Eventually my paralysis would break and I would run out of the room, only to end up in another room (in my mind I called these "power rooms") to repeat a similar cycle, each one more dangerous than before. Upon waking I was overcome with the desire to return to this dream. The fear was electric and the circumstance exhilarating, but try as I might I couldn't get it back.
I tried to explain this dream to my mother and remember feeling deep frustration at her inability to comprehend the gravity of what had happened. I wanted her to understand how terrible this place was and how real it all seemed, but mostly I wanted her to know how desperate I was to return to the dream. I had never had a dream like that before, it was my first genuine nightmare, and I was hooked. Every night for a long while I went to sleep hoping to return to this magnetic, evil house but it wouldn't come and my mind eventually moved on.
But the dream did return, maybe a year later, in full force and seemingly identical to the original. Thus began a run of several years of the "Power Room". By the time I was 8 the dream had stopped and given way to a series of recurring dreams that involved levitation. This levitation series continued in one form or anther through my teens, with the last occurrence at 22 after a five year break. To this day I will often fall asleep hoping to experience floating down the staircase just one more time.
There have been a host of short run recurring dreams over the years, two or three repeats each, but none have been as good as the original "Power Room" or levitation series. Mostly they are pedestrian teeth falling out and naked in public dreams, or the dreaded 'I fucked up at work" sheet drenchers where all of my anxieties and insecurities play out in slow motion panic.
I have no idea how common it is to have so many recurring dreams over so many years. Usually when I tell people about them I hear they have had one or two, or none at all. I've met a few folks who can relate to a life of dreamland reruns but no one seems to share my enthusiasm, particularly about the nightmares.
So, I'll put the question to KTK. Are you a recurring dreamer? Do you enjoy the nightmares? Do you remember them at all? What is the earliest dream you can remember?
Yup, I'm that person who is always dying to tell you what I dreamed last night. How about you?
Last night I had the strangest dream...
Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.