Essay / Misc.

Sleep Talkin’ Theologian: “How Long Will Ye Linger Between Two Cabinets?”

There’s a man in England, Adam Lennard, who talks in his sleep. He speaks very clearly, says truly bizarre things, and is recorded by his wife’s voice-activated digital recorder. His wife has begun blogging his nightly oracles, and their blog is suddenly the Next Big Thing: millions of readers, interviews on talk shows, merchandise, the whole viral internet treatment. Check out a news report on it here. And if you don’t mind a lot of really nasty profanity, you could go to the sleep-talkin’ man blog itself here. But I don’t recommend that you hit the blog unless you’re thick-skinned or work on the docks, because that guy swears like an advertising executive in his sleep. For every fun little tidbit like “I’m baking pillows, burn them slowly” or “monkey power! straight from the jungle”, you have to put up with a dozen things you wish you could un-read.

Though I’m not as prolific as Lennard, I’m a sleep-talker too. Mostly in the early morning, when I’m coming back from the deep darkness of dreamland, into the first light of day, I go through a phase where I’m still dreaming but am also able to say out loud what is in my dreams. Back in graduate school, my wife started writing down the things I said in my sleep. She kept a notebook by the bed for a while. Sometimes she just jotted down what I said, and other times she would interview me, trying to get me to say more. Sometimes I would narrate the dreams, and other times I would express my annoyance at coming back to the land of the waking.

Since sleep-talkin’ man is in the news, it occurred to me to share these notes from my sleep-talking phase. I don’t swear (there’s one very mild profanity in there somewhere, for which I immediately apologize in my sleep), but I can’t say my attitude is exactly Christ-like at all times. My dreams are often pretty biblical and theological, but superheroes, the Simpsons, and beatniks show up a lot too.

Here is the first installment. Three more to come in this series. Please do not send me your psychoanalytic evaluations unless you are a licensed professional who can truly help.

–The sleep-talkin’ theologian.

***

Stars
On spaceship
Entertaining celebrities.
BOTH kinds of stars, thank you very much.

The mind of a tiger is a subtle and multifarious thing.

***

Playing chess
With Martin from the Simpsons.
No one is winning; the rules are wrong.
Nothing is working out.

***

Eastern religions.
They’re trying to sell stuff too.
Couches.
Like ours.

***

Scissors
Coming after me
Walking on their hindquarters.
[what else?]
Isn’t that enough?
[are there kittens there? what are they doing?]
Giving the order to the scissors

***

The Fantastic Four.
The Torch played a trick on the Thing.
He glued stuff all over his face.
The Thing is the big guy.

***

Bad guys are torturing the book.
A Cerebus comic book.
Making it publish itself.

***

Taking a picture
Of those two foreigners,
And two others.
And mostly it’s us loading our camping equipment into the car.

***

Robin Hood
The cartoon version.
Talking to kids.
Real life cartoon kids.
Stay in school… no drugs.

***

I am awake!
I’m working math problems in my head.
[what kind?]
Huh-uh. Too non-verbal.
[are they fractions?]
No. Fractals.
[are they theological?]
ALL math is theological math.

***

Chicago.
Bchew! Bchew! Bchew! [gun noises]
Getting shot at.
Unknown forces.
[will you die?]
No. It’s my dream.
[you can’t die in your own dream?]
It’s quite a quandary, isn’t it?

***

Sanctification
It’s like walking through the woods.
He tossed a coin, and I have to get the rest of the stick.

***

Am I a chemist?
I don’t know the chemical composition of a kitten’s overcoat.
Oh yeah, wood.
They’re die cast aluminum.
Put everything I say in quotes because I’m sarcastic.

***

Careful…
I’m realizing eschatology…
Ahhhhhhhhh.
[what’s it like?]
Wait… Ahhhhhhhhh.
It’s hard to describe.
[will you try?]
Mmmmmm. Guess there’s nothing to say.

***

Kittens.
Wearing curlers in their hair.
Dropping long rolls on the floor.
They were trying to blow up the lost mine.
[did they?]
Too clumsy.

***

That verse.
First Corinthians 8:4.
“Let nothing that is optional be made manual.”
[why?]
Might be in chapter 15.

***

A fifteen-dollar scouring pad.

***

That stupid spinach crap I was telling you about.
[what?]
I don’t know, a bunch of leaves.
[what?]
Open the can!
[what?]
Round and round we go… Spinach!

***

The sun
Beating down on me mercilessly.
[is this a good dream or a bad dream?]
I think it’s about the light bulb.

***

I was in Esau’s soup.
He was going to eat me up.
[how did you get out?]
You got me out.
[how?]
Cut up into little pieces.

***

Eye tests.

***

Deer
Slithering
They’re more like snakes, really.
In the woods.

***

You.
Trying to talk Joseph Slotkowski out of labeling everything.
No.
He has little cards.
In a Catholic bookstore.

***

The baptism.
[a mosaic?]
No, the oil one.
[which one? an old one or a new one?]
OIL one.
[but is it old or new?]
OIL

***

Talking dolls
The pull-their-string kind
[what are they saying?]
SCCRWAAASRCRAWTSASCR
[what does that mean?]
SCCRWAAASRCRAWTSASCR
[what does it mean?]
I’ve just told you twice.
[put it in people language]
S-C-C-R-W-A-A-A-S-R-C-R-A-W-T-S-A-S-C-R
[repeat entire process]
[I don’t understand]
How long will ye hold between two cabinets?
[what?]
How long will ye linger between two C-A-B-I-N-E-T-S?

***

It’s too ridiculous
Deconstructionists and study groups
Talking
Deconstructing stuff.
[do you like it?]
No.
Too silly.

***

More of the same.
A bunch of dull people.
There was a roller coaster right in the middle.

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