Author : Desmond Hussey, featured writer

I hate psychologists with a passion, but when I saw the ad requesting lucid dreamers for research into the origin of dreams, I couldn’t resist. Besides, they’re offering stipends and I need the cash.
I stub out my cigarette and suck back their crappy coffee from a tiny styrofoam cup. At least it’s free.
“How long have you been a lucid dreamer?” the black chick asks. She isn’t half-bad looking for a shrink, but she’s still a pompous brain jockey.
“All my life.” I respond. I pull out another smoke.
“How much control do you have?” the other one asks. What a dweeb! I mean, come on, who uses pocket protectors anymore?
“I can do whatever I want.” I light up, inhale and wink at the hottie, then exhale my smoke at the dweeb. “I go wherever I want, whenever I want. I can fly, make it rain, say what I want, make love to – ”
“We’re not interested in your sexual fantasies,” the dweeb cuts in. “Just your range of control.”
“Whatever.” I sulk.
Brown Sugar takes over and asks the strangest thing. “If you were given specific questions, would you be able to ask them in your dream?”
“Ask who?”
“We’ll get to that. Just answer the question.” The nerdy guy is getting testy. I don’t think he likes me. Whatever.
“Yeah. As long as it wasn’t a bunch of whack, nerd lingo, sure.” They share some significant eye contact. Stupid skull fuckers. “So, what’s this study for anyway?”
Hotstuff gets a twinkle in her eye and starts yammering about how they’ve made some breakthrough concerning the origin of dreams. They’ve worked out that dreams are actually the brain’s response to an external stimulus, but they don’t know what the source of that stimulus is. Why? Get this – because it appears to be everywhere, all the time. Whatever this thing is manifests in each dreamer differently depending on their psychology. Some people respond with fear because they’re phobic, some experience joy and great sex because they’re “well adjusted”. I had to laugh at that part. Nobody’s ever suspected an external influence, except maybe native shamans who interpreted dreams as messages from Christ knows where. It all sounds pretty fucked up to me and I tell them so.
“Look,” Brainiac snaps. ”All we ask is that you allow us to take you into REM sleep. When you’ve established control all you need to do is ask some questions and remember the answers. It’s that simple.”
“What do you say?” Dr. Sex-bomb smiles. I think she’s warming up to me.
“Sure. What the hell.”

It’s a recurring dream. I’m in my mother’s house where I grew up, but my mother isn’t there. I’m alone. I search every room, but all I find is piles of junk. I open a door and I’m crushed by an avalanche of garbage. For some reason, I know it’s my garbage; hamburger wrappers, beer cans, cigarette butts, porn mags, televisions, DVD’s, ballcaps – everything I’ve ever owned fills the house to the brim. I’m drowning in it.
I look at my hands. Six fingers. Concentrate. Five. Good. I’m getting control.
I will myself outside and float toward a lime green sky.
“Can you hear me?” I ask.
“Yes.” The clouds respond.
“Where are you?”
“I am everywhere.” The air vibrates.
“What are you?”
“I am your Mother. Sky. Water. Soil. Home. I am Earth. I am death. I am life. I am dying. I am dying. You are killing me.”
“What do you want?”
“I need you to listen carefully…”


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