caution: this tale may make you lose sleep at night

I don’t typically dream, or at least I don’t typically remember my dreams. Many times, if I do chance to recall one upon waking, it’s fleeting and quickly gone from my memory. I know that there are many techniques out there to help you remember your dreams, such as keeping a pad of paper next to your bed or a voice recorder nearby and storing everything you can remember immediately upon waking. I’ve also heard that setting an alarm in the middle of the night and thinking of something while you are half awake / half asleep can influence what you dream of while you fall back into slumber. Frankly, as a parent of a child less than one year old, I try to avoid being awake in the middle of the night at all costs, because that would mean I’m up dealing with a crying baby.

Last night, I had a dream. And I remember it.

Vividly.

In fact, it was more than a dream; this was a full-fledged nightmare, and probably one of the worst I’ve ever had that I can remember. Maybe it was the sugary cereal that I had a couple handfuls of before going to bed or maybe it was the random thunder that was booming throughout the night, but something triggered my brain to create one of the most terrifying scenarios I can imagine and store it, permanently etched into my waking memories.

I dreamed that I was bald.

(I’ll wait for you to recover from the shock and horror of that statement. It’s been several hours for me, and I’m still not fully recovered.)

As in, really bald. Shiny head bald. (Sorry, Dad.)

I woke up from this dream around 3:30am and slept fitfully until the alarm went off a couple hours later, fearful that I might have the same dream again. People, you do not realize the significance of this for me. This is how insomnia is born – the thought of having this nightmare again makes me not want to go to sleep at night.

Some people think it’s stress that makes hair fall out. Well, what if you’re stressed about your hair falling out and then more stressed about the fact that you’re stressed and might bring that very scenario upon yourself all that much sooner?

I’m buying Rogaine on the way home tonight and sleeping with a bottle under my pillow.

And Jiminy Cricket and his “When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true,” is officially on my persona non grata list. No dreams coming true for me, thank you very much.

At least until I dream about winning the lottery and remember it. Then we’ll talk.