I’ve noticed that lingering jet lag makes for very vivid dreams.
During a fitful on-and-off sleep, I dreamt I was making my way late at night, in a strange city, looking for the entrance to where I was staying, when suddenly the two random people walking by were no longer random. They were there to rob me. At first they said “just give us something, and you can go”, but soon their demands escalated, and the threat of violence became palpable.
I was genuinely frightened, and realized I had no idea how far this could go. I saw a group of people coming down the alley, and I shouted for help, only to realize that they too were part of the gang. At this point my survival instincts kicked in. I began to talk about why I was here, and of the presentation I was preparing to give in two days. Looking into the nearest faces for some spark of engagement, I described our computer graphics community, and tried to convey our excitement at what we do.
My little ramble had an effect — not on them, but on me. Hearing myself talk about my real life hopes and passions must have jostled something in my mind, for it suddenly occurred to me that I was in a dream. At which point I simply shifted over to another dream, now perfectly calm and ready for whatever might come next.
I wonder now whether this dream was just my mind’s way of helping me prepare for my upcoming presentation.