My wife tells me that she very often has dreams in which she is forced to diffuse bombs. My wife, of course, has no experience diffusing bombs and in her dreams this is no different. What she knows about bombs all comes from the movies — there are wires of various colors and they must be clipped in a careful and exact order to render the bomb inert.
On mornings after having this dream, my wife is understandably tense. She is also often irritated with me. Not sharing my wife’s specific dreams, I myself am never present at the bomb diffusion sites. I am evidently present during these dreams but of little help. In fact, I stand near my wife and constantly tell her to stop doing whatever she’s doing and wait for the authorities.
She told me that in this latest incarnation of the dream, I was wearing a basketball jersey, holding a basketball, and carrying tickets to an important game.
“Just give it up, Becky,” she tells me I said. “You can’t do this. You’re not trained and you’ll get us all killed.”
So Becky, the morning after the dream, complains to me for nagging her, especially in such a tense situation.
I apologize for my behavior in her dream, but I insist that my dream-self and my regular-self are not the same, in an attempt to distance myself from him.
“He doesn’t make sense anyway,” I say. “Why would I have an actual basketball if I’m only going to a game? Am I expecting to provide an extra ball if all of the official balls run out?”
“I don’t know,” Becky says. “You’re just not supportive.”
Despite his obnoxious persistence, I tell her that he makes some valid points.
“What do you mean by that?” she asks me.
“Well,” I say, “do you know anything about diffusing bombs?”
“In my dream, no. I have so many of these dreams, I feel like I’m learning more. In the dream last night, I was pretty confident I could’ve done it, if you would have just given me space. But regardless of all that, I do know stuff from movies and TV shows.”
I assure her that the way they diffuse bombs on TV and movies is not the way they do it in real life, though I realize I have no idea as to whether or not this is actually true.
She echoes the sentiment I am thinking but have not yet said. “What if the scenes on TV are totally accurate? Maybe they are the most accurate representations of things on TV and movies,” she suggests.
I can’t deny this logic, but I’m not sure what point it proves. Still, I worry about her. She has this dream all the time.
I ask her how often she’s had it lately.
She tells me it was probably the fifth time this year. We aren’t exactly deep into the year yet.
“Do you think there’s something wrong with me?” she asks earnestly.
I pause. This isn’t the most effective response.
She crosses her arms and refuses to look away
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