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The last couple of nights, I’ve dreamed about running, a little way for my unconscious to attempt to guilt-trip me into getting back into my running shoes. It’s been one thing after another for the last week: a strained something in my left knee and hip that had me walking funny for a couple of days; a big pile of meetings that required me to be showered and dressed earlier than I usually can if I run first; the muscle spasm; sheer inertia. The dreams only kicked in once I hit the sheer inertia phase of the cycle, signaling that it’s time to get going again.

My dreams are often like that, embarrassingly obvious little nudges from below telling me that something’s going on that needs attending to. Like the night not long ago when I went to bed after having drunk a fair bit more than I should have: I dreamed of drinking glass after glass of water, the best-tasting water I’ve ever had. Of course I woke up dying of thirst, completely dehydrated.

And let’s not even get into the recurring dream about my inability to find a working bathroom at the MLA.

What I can’t quite tell, though, is if the dreams are intended to wake me up — “Hey, stupid: you’re thirsty!”; “Come on, lazy slug; don’t you remember how good it feels to run?” — or if, rather, they’re intended to keep me asleep, simulating the satisfaction of whatever need my body has such that my mind can keep dreaming.

It never works with the MLA dream, though; I never can find a toilet that isn’t either occupied, broken, or so repulsive as to be unusable.

At some point, of course, all those bodily demands have to be answered. I’ll be back on the treadmill tomorrow morning, in more ways than one.


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