Archived Story

Waking after a dream is strange sensation

Published 10:06am Monday, July 1, 2013

Pass the Hot Dish: By Alexandra Kloster

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this really weird thing that happened to me the other night.

Do you dread it when someone says to you, “You have to hear about the dream I had”?

I do. Dreams are profound, filled with layers of meaning, prophetic omens and keys to the mysteries of our own tiny universe. That is, our dreams are. Other people’s dreams are subconscious nonsense.

Enthusiastically repeating the details of dreams is like offering to make a pot of coffee with a used filter. It may have tasted great the first time around, but it’s watered down gibberish to the poor sap who’s trapped in somebody else’s land of make-believe. No, thank you, I do not want your used brain filter!

Conducting a play-by-play of sleeping shenanigans, it’s so self indulgent and egocentric. You’d have to be a newspaper columnist to think your dreams are interesting to anyone but you.

So let me tell you about the dream I had last night.

My family was gathered in Michigan for the funeral of my grandmother, Gertie. We were in Marquette, and since I hadn’t been in my hometown for ages, I decided to show the twins some of my old haunts.

First we needed a permit. Michigan passed a law whereby foreigners from, say, Minnesota had to correctly answer a series of question such as, If you seek a pleasant peninsula, what do you do? Please. You look about you!

When I asked the man in the orange hunting cap behind the counter at the Secretary of State’s Office about the new permit law, he looked at me with disdain and asked, “Where do you think you are, Canada?”

I tried to drive around Marquette, but all the roads were closed for sled dog races, in June. So I went to my high school cafeteria for lunch and found a bunch of older men in suits eating fish sticks off partitioned trays. One of them looked at me and asked, “Wanna buy a building?”

My sister, Barb, suddenly showed up and told me it was time to plan the funeral. That’s when I realized there was an extra child in the stroller, a little boy named Ezra. I told Barb, I have to drop Ezra at the cop shop first because I have no idea who this kid is.

It all made perfect sense because dreams always do. But wait! This is where the weirdness sets in.

I was updating my Facebook status about my grandma when a funny thought occurred to me. I asked my family, “Does anyone else find it odd that Gertie died over 20 years ago and again yesterday?”

Posting on Facebook thrust me into reality. How’s that for irony?

“I don’t think any of this is real. I’m either in your dream or you’re all in mine.”

I methodically ticked through every event in the last — two days? Two minutes? They were illogical. The more I dissected my experience the more I understood where I was and where I wasn’t. I wasn’t scared, but I was absolutely cognizant of my unusual predicament.

The conscious and the subconscious, connected yet disconnected, melded into one. My parents, sisters and I had a very reasonable discussion about how to deal with the situation. We decided going to sleep was the only way to wake up. The next thing I knew I was trying to doze in the back of my sister’s minivan as she sped across the bridge in Pensacola, Fla. Hey, it was still a dream.

Being completely aware that I was awake and dreaming is the strangest sensation I’ve ever had. It was like the movie “Inception” made real. So far, no one I’ve asked has experienced this. Has it ever happened to you, friends? Please let me know if it has because it’s lonely out here in Un-dreamland.

I fell asleep as Barb said, “I’d really like to get some shrimp before we all wake up.” The next thing I remember is hearing the voice of my husband, Graham, through the baby monitor, “Kloster, you up?”

Just as I’d predicted back in the dream, it was over as soon as I fell asleep. I’d never felt so awake. My surroundings had never seemed so bright. Back to my life as it should be, as it is. Ah, reality, the stuff dreams are made of.


Woodbury resident Alexandra Kloster appears each Sunday. She may be reached at, and her blog is at