So. Who read the article about the virtual VCR for dreams (do we even talk in those terms any more? Should it be the DVR , or hard drive? The latter feels a bit Neuromancer for my liking… where was I?) that popped up yesterday with mixed feelings? Me, that’s who.

At first, I thought it was a great idea. Then I remembered some of my dreams.

Now, my Other Half, he rarely remembers the stuff that goes on in his head when he sleeps. But I can usually recall a good portion of my dreams, at least for a while after I wake. By lunchtime, the memory is normally buried under so much crap (“Ooh, shiny” or “Mmm. Biscuits” on a typical day) that it’s gone like smoke on the wind–but I know that for me to have a permanent record of my dreams would be a Bad Thing.

There’s the dreams which are designed to infuriate you. You know the ones: you’re talking to someone, but they’re really someone else, and you’re in a house which is also a pumpkin and if you touch it it will eat you and turn you into a goblin and you don’t know how you know that butyoujustdoOK? and then you’re suddenly back in your fifth form English class and the only homework you’ve brought is the Biology stuff. In Japanese.

Then there are the Other Dreams. The ones you’d rather forget. I’ve had my fair share of those, too–some of them, in all seriousness, quite horrific. I’ve had what we’ll refer to as (finger-quote) Episodes (finger-unquote) in the past, and these have always but always been preceded by a month of the kind of dreams which make me jealous of insomniacs. There’s no way I’d want those on record.

And then there’s the embarrassing ones, the ones that you wake up from and think, “No way. Not ever.” Fortunately, most of these were back in my hormone-raddled teens, but Christ, I bear the scars even at this distance. Would rather not know they’re knocking around on some hard drive somewhere.

Of course, I know the brain doesn’t work like that. Outside of Hollywood, you can’t just jack (hack?) into someone’s brain and download their dreams, however tricksy the tech. But the concept made me uncomfortable enough to realise I like the inside of my head to stay there.

Mind you, what do I know? Maybe there are dreams you’d want to keep, something you might like to look back on or show to another person… what would they be, I wonder–and what would you do with them?


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