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This Can't be REM!

Dreamed 1981/8/18 by Wayan

THAT DAY

In Science 1980, I find an article on sensory activity in dreams. Two quotes startle me: “The REM state is mainly visual with some audio and kinetic sensation; not much touch, taste or smell.” And: “Intuitively, I consider it unlikely nature would invent an important self-communication system, then make it so inaccessible it requires elaborate interpretation.”

But my dreams are full of touch and often have taste and smell; and they address my concerns rather directly. Are my dreams that atypical?

THAT NIGHT

I dream I’m in bed dreaming most of the early night. Dull! Uncomfortable too. But at last I wake up--at least I'm pretty sure the dream's over. I head for the Stanford campus where I work, thinking: “This can’t be REM state now; notice these vivid physical sensations, and all that noise--not just sights, as they said REM is. And my long muscles are quite free to move.”

I especially note the engine-roar of a shuttle bus passing me, and a sudden stink of exhaust. I think "That researcher wrote 'Dreams rarely have a sense of smell'. Proves this can't be REM!"

And wake. Again.

THAT MORNING

I'm puzzled why the dream's examples of sound & smell roared and reeked like that--Stanford shuttles aren't loud or smoky. I mull over that riddle as I bike to work... As I reach the Stanford Oval, a long red firetruck bursts out of a side street, guns its engine with a ROAR, and farts a black cloud of diesel smoke right in my face! Requiring no "elaborate interpretation"--if you quit assuming dreams are limited to linear time. And to just two or three senses. Try... six.



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