Last week I had a somewhat disturbing dream. Not for what happened in it, per se, but for what I felt.
So I was walking down the street—it was my mother’s street—and outside of her building was a loitering stranger. The front door was wide open, and I was immediately suspicious. That’s when a sudden blast exploded in my ear. It felt like the sound of incredibly loud speaker feedback at close range—that is, deafening, shocking, ringing, unbalancing. In my dream, I had been shot in the ear by some sort of ear-blasting dart that rendered me deaf in the left ear.
Livid, I ran up to the man and began to yell: “WHAT THE F— WAS THAT?! F—ING HELL THAT HURT! OUCH! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST DO TO ME?” (Yes, I have a potty mouth even in my sleep!)
He didn’t answer, and I went inside to make sure my mother was OK. I remember talking to someone and saying I couldn’t hear out of my left ear. Slowly, it started to get better, and eventually my hearing returned. I woke up, unsettled, a few minutes before my alarm.
What happened? Maybe nothing. I may never know. But that pain was so real, so ridiculously amplified and tangible, that I find it hard to believe I dreamt it. My ear felt fine when I awoke, but a little tingly. Not painful, for sure, but… off. Still—at 5:57 a.m., it’s hard to tell what’s on and and what’s off.
A week later, I can still imagine that pain in my inner ear when I recall the dream. I feel it down my spine and in the back of my head and, when I yawn (this is the oddest thing), I feel that tingly, pressured numbness. It’s almost like I’m on an airplane and the damn thing is popping from the pressure drop.
Dreams are so odd. I guess it doesn’t matter whether o not the ear-blasting dart happened in real life—it really hurt. And I hope it (whatever it is) doesn’t happen again.