We (decided that staying awake)

October 10, 2003

…we decided that staying awake as late as possible was the way to write new and creative things. This to be accomplished without the aid of stimulants since the goal was to be as sleepy as possible. In ideal circumstances we would actually fall asleep while typing without stopping, finding ourselves squatting in a gray hypnogogic landscape still tapping on the keyboard finishing up priceless new thoughts. The dream-laptop could then be carried along throughout the night as a powerful and modern spirit guide, helping us to keep appointments with buried archetypes and instantly add new dream symbols to our address books, in addition to the obvious utility of taking dictation during the dream, before the veil is torn on waking and the dream story scattered. The major obstacle was the discovery that waking has the same effect on the laptop as on the mind, leaving the hard disk fragmented and the contents of RAM corrupted, necessitating re-installation from a backup. The solution was to email or IM dreamnotes before waking, a nerve-racking business since the passage of realtime during dreams is so uncertain, and any moment might bring the noise of the alarm. We would therefore type our dreamnotes directly into the mail or chat window, leaving one finger always poised to tap the Send keystroke should we be startled awake. Proper proxy server setup was key, since strange firewalls surround the dreamworld, and the outgoing messages often took unconventional routes. On waking one learned to expect their arrival in places like fortune cookies or smudged flyers handed out by bored youths at street corners. You would skim one of these and realize it to be a sharply detailed eyewitness account of a dream you’d had a week ago and completely forgotten. Or sometimes it would be an email from the waking domain, reminding you that you were dreaming and that you’d best haul out the laptop and start taking notes…