There is that strange moment of partial lucidity in those early AM hours, when I am semi-aware that I am dreaming; in these moments, I can ride the knife's edge of consciousness, actively choosing to either wake up completely, or continue the dream in progress. Sufficiently interesting/engaging dreams are irresistible to my half-slumbering mind - and recently I've been sucked into a number of dreams that are highly engrossing in the moment ... but make absolutely no sense when I am fully awake.
Lately - it's been serial dreams; where I return to the same settings/environment dream after dream, like a miniseries. In this dream, I am engaged in a mind-warpingly complex real-time game against an opponent I can barely see at the other end of a large field. Between us are game pieces - giant floating translucent blocks of varying sizes & colors that move according to a arcane set of rules that I understand completely during these dream - but now, in my conscious attempts to transcribe it, defy even the most rudimentary of explanations.
Though my fully-awake self can't articulate what it is that felt so damn important ... during the dream, there is this unshakable sense that we are playing for colossal stakes.
A soul, perhaps?
The game itself is a blisteringly fast snickt-snickt-snickt blur of colors; fast enough that I can sense the limits and brutally sharp reflexes of my adversary. Fast enough for me to know we are closely-matched in ability. Fast enough that I am running at the ragged edge of my ability to track details of the floating game board as we trade incursions, feints, fake-outs and blitzes in the colored blocks between us.
As the game rushes to some conclusion and moments before imminent defeat or victory (and feeling that crescendo of fear or elation, respectively) ... I wake up.
What the hell?
Did I win? Did I lose? What were we playing for, exactly?
When I awake, I am exhausted - my head still spinning at 8,000 RPM as I stumble, dazed, out of bed. Now it's been a different game each dream these few weeks - and not once does it progress to the point where I can actually witness an end to one of these duels.
As I dress for work, I can't help but wonder ... if I actually lose one of these games, do I die in my sleep? Or just forfeit my soul?
Magic 8-Ball ... what say you?
Outlook hazy. Try later.
Yep. Sounds about right.