Dreaming of the Wild West?

The Gunslinger

Image by Drewdlecam via Flickr

For the past several years, I’ve had dreams that fit a certain recurring pattern.  In many dreams, I found myself required to do a task I was entirely unprepared for and lacked the skills to do.  This could be as simple as being required to go on stage and play a part in a play when I’d never learned the lines.  Or this could be as fantastical as me trying to perform some super-human feat in a life-or-death situation.  (Imagine everyone thinking you’re superman and expecting you to fly up to catch Lois Lane when you’re really just an ordinary human.)  Such dreams often leave me feeling frustrated and disappointed in myself.

I thought of these kinds of dreams after I woke up this morning from another dream.  In many ways, this dream had all the makings to be one of those dreams.  In this dream, however, I was up to the task before me.  And it felt good, if a little weird.  (I mean, the task is so out of character for me.)

In this dream, I walked into an old tavern or saloon.  As I walked through the door, I took in my surroundings.  By the time I reached the table I had picked to sit at, I became aware that everyone in the tavern wanted me dead.  In fact, they were prepared to kill me at any second.  So I did what any self-respecting gunslinger (for apparently, that’s exactly what I was) would do:  I killed them first.

Just as I reached my table I drew my trusty guns (with an apparently endless supply of chambered rounds), and began firing in a measured and methodical pattern.  Each shot hit its mark and fell its target on the spot.  Few were able to respond in time before my bullet found a vital organ, and those who did missed.

I was amazed by the calm I felt during the entire experience, as though I was working entirely on automatic pilot the entire time.  In many ways, the entire experience reminded me of Roland from Stephen King‘s Dark Tower series.  In fact, i almost felt like I was Roland.  (This is interesting because King often compared his gunslingers from that series to the Arthurian knights, with a high code of honor and ethics.)

This was a pleasantly surprising dream in that this is precisely the kind of dream set-up where I’d normally be ill-suited and ill-prepared for the task and I’d know that I’m about to die.  So I felt a certain amount of triumph in the knowledge that I was perfectly capable of handling the situation.

I am a bit creeped out by the fact that the one thing I was capable of accomplishing is killing a room-full of people, though.

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