I always remember my dreams. Even when I was a child, I could hang onto images and moments in the time right after I woke up. Because I have been a writer my whole life, some of my childhood diaries and notebooks are filled with descriptions of my dreams.
Recently, and I don’t know if this is a side effect of my medication or simply a factor of getting older, my dreams are becoming more vivid. More realistic, to the point that I often don’t know if they are real memories or not.
This summer, walking from the bus stop to my parents’s house, I passed the neighbour’s house, which I was sure had been torn down. It wasn’t until I saw the house still standing that I remembered it was a dream.
Just now, while I was reading a completely unrelated book, I had a flash memory of sleeping on somebody’s couch. The moment I’m remembering is choosing who gets to sleep where. But as I turned the memory over in my mind, I realised it was from a dream, not from real life. (Though I have slept on many friends’s couches.)
My best dreams don’t happen at night. My best, longest, most complex dreams happen in the few minutes when I fall asleep after the alarm. Something about that time, in the morning, when my brain hasn’t quite woken up. Some very good stories happen in that time.