Tuesday, May 10, 2011

iFriends and Weird Dreams

I mentioned, in comments on another blog, that I am privileged to have quite a number of friends who brighten my life in various ways. A substantial portion of these are "Imaginary Friends" or "iFriends": people I know online, but have never met in person.

Online relationships really are relationships. (I doubt that's news to most of my readers, and these days it seems to be a fairly common understanding among the general public as well.) And after interacting with them for years, there are quite a number of my iFriends whom I know fairly well. Oh, I wouldn't recognize voice or mannerisms; but I know their moods and attitudes, what sort of music they like, what issues they care about, and what sorts of things infuriate them. I have, in other words, a strong sense of their personalities.

Strong enough, in some cases, to dream about them.

This has happened before. Generally there's nothing odd or skeevy about it; I dream of iFriends in the same way that I dream about other people I know.

This one, however, was an extremely weird dream. Not only was I in college, but I was rooming with one of my fellow bloggers and her husband - which, I know, sounds a bit dodgy, but in the dream it was a perfectly ordinary living arrangement. Now, I have only a vague idea of what this particular iFriend actually looks like, and I don't know her husband at all. (Actually, waking-me is a little surprised that they didn't have their dog with them; I've seen enough pictures of that dog that I might actually recognize him if I encountered him in real life.) My own wife and children had no presence in this dream whatsoever.

So far, that's not too weird. If it had stopped there, it would just have been an interesting little reminder of the courtesies required for coed living arrangements in a none-too-large dorm room. But, no: this is one of my dreams, and my dreams don't let well enough alone.

The first (and least important) bit of strangeness was that it was a very snooty college. The other students were all dressed in suits and ties, and seemed very aware of their position and importance. This was odd mainly because none of us are particularly snooty people, nor was our fourth roommate. (He wasn't anyone in particular; just one of the NPCs that sometimes show up in dreams to fill in the bit parts. I hope they get paid decently for doing that; it must be a difficult job. But I digress...)

Fourth Roommate was also convinced that the Chupacabra was roaming the campus. This seemed very tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory-ish (even in the dream), but as soon as I agreed to hear him out, the beasty came looking for me. Apparently it kept getting spotted because it was roaming the campus trying to make sure that nobody knew it was there. It was a pretty scary thing, too: spindly limbs and long claws, a wide mouth with a lot of very sharp teeth, and something like wings under its arms. Oh, and it could talk, which is how I know what it was doing.

So: I dreamed I was rooming at a University with an iFriend and her husband, and the University was haunted by a talkative but not-too-bright urban legend in the flesh. I know people who dabble in dream interpretation, but the meaning of this one should be clear to anybody:

I need a vacation.


  1. I'm not sure what to even say about that. My dreams are always primarily NPCs. People I know will make strange little cameos, usually as I'm running away from something trying to kill me. "Oh, hi, Faith, sorry about the creeping darkness trying to eat your flesh, but I'm really busy glazing this unicorn. Bye!"

    I'm a little disappointed that we were so normal in your dream. Next time, we should be doing something fun. Like penguin ranching!

  2. Well, if I dream of penguin ranching tonight, I'll know who to blame!

  3. Though I'm quite fond of my ifriends, I don't believe I've had any dreams about them before. I do talk about them sometimes like I know them. That sometimes gets a weird look from people, but whatever. I'm kind of weird at times I think.

  4. Well, iFriends are basically the modern incarnation of Pen Pals. I used to get weird looks for talking about my iFriends, but people seem to find that a lot more normal now than they used to.


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