The Dream Conveyor Belt

The understanding of time, the night sky and dreams are common themes of hilarity with the toddler son. His proud sister breaks into giggles every time he spouts a dubious theory to his great annoyance. He is a serious fellow and likes to think that his theories have merit. It was even harder for us when all he said after a bout of serious thinking was the word, “CAR” and shoved a toy Lightning McQueen car in your face. Though Lightning McQueen still reigns in the fellow’s world, we get a lot more of narrative content to aid our understanding these days – thank heavens for that.

One evening, he bounded into the kitchen full of energy from his afternoon nap: “Hi Amma. You know I had a dream. A bad dream. It was so scary: I cried and everything.”

“Oh! What was it?” I asked him injecting a note of concern while sipping blissfully at my tea. He looked fine to me. In fact, he looked radiant and energetic, not at all like a child scarred by nightmares in other words.

“You already know. You was in my dream remember?”

There are times for deep breaths and times for deep gulps of fortifying tea. I did both and then broke it to him gently that though I may have appeared in his dream, it did not mean that I knew his dream. He looked confused at that, and said, “But you hugged me and then we went for a hike, remember?”

“Maybe we did that in your dream, but I don’t know that because I can’t see your dream.”

“But yesterday you said you had a dream too.” Technically, I hadn’t said this the previous day, I had said it the previous week. But I explained to him, again that I may have had a dream and he could not know what it was even if there was a chance he starred in the dream.

“So what was the dream bone-head?” said his sister giggling to split, and thoroughly intrigued with this whole business of streaming dreams like television channels that one could tune into on demand.


“Oh! I am hungry. Ask Amma – she knows.” said the maddening fellow and set to his evening snack with relish.

I wonder what Sigmund Freud would make of that theory, and whether our dreams could overlap in an alternate universe even if they were a week apart. Maybe in that world, there is no concept of time and so we all see different parts of the dream theatrically produced and fragmented by the stars of the night. Like stepping on and off a dream conveyor belt. Who knows? I think I’d like to retain the mystery of the dream. Even if they are confusing at times.

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