5 Dreams/Nightmares I Had In 2013


Frederick Barthelme and his son were in an urban area in South America in a giant truck they’d painted orange. I was watching this like a movie. They parked. Frederick Barthelme got out (he didn’t look like Frederick Barthelme but like a cartoon version of KFC’s Colonel Sanders) and panicked and got back in the truck, which seemed to become invisible as it drove away.

Frederick Barthelme was born in 1943 in Houston, Texas and is the author of ten novels. I’m a fan of his writing. I don’t know if he has a son, or if any other details about people in these dreams/nightmares are accurate.

The only reason Frederick Barthelme and his son were together was because the son had invented the ‘invisibility’ feature, which they both felt highly interested in utilizing somehow. The truck had other work done on it also, to a degree that it was three-stories tall, or at least had three layers.

Frederick Barthelme expressed concern as the truck went down a mountain on a curvy street with dense forests on either side that his son was driving too fast. I couldn’t see their faces because my perspective was from 80-120 feet above (and a little behind) the truck, which was going so fast it was sometimes unintentionally using the street like a ramp, becoming airborne for seconds at a time, and for increasing amounts of time. It finally became obvious they’d completely, egregiously lost control of the truck.

At this point I watched an extended scene—which, after it ended, felt like it had lasted something like 5 minutes—of the truck crashing down the mountain (mostly through the air in a kind of flying, but sometimes landing and destroying other vehicles and structures and trees) into a body of water, where it floated.

After a pause, which seemed deadpan in retrospect, there was something like voiceover narration. I realized it was the son’s disembodied voice. (I couldn’t see him or his father from my perspective high above the scene.) The son said he wanted to fix the destruction he’d caused but he didn’t want to stay in South America the entire time, seeming to convey he would physically help for maybe a few days but after that would hire other people to fix the situation so he could return to his life in America.


I was myself but in an alternate reality, living with two males in a three-person apartment in which I didn’t have my own room. My roommate was showing me his movie-in-progress, which I was praising in a manner that I strongly felt was not how I felt about the movie, but I also distinctly had a feeling that it would be ‘immoral’ and that I shouldn’t continue to be alive if I didn’t exert energy to appreciate and encourage what I was seeing, regardless what I thought I felt.

At some point I realized I didn’t have a job anymore. I felt a premonition of the rest of my life gradually worsening but, due to tolerance/acceptance/resignation, me actually feeling the same, until I died. Then I remembered the reason I didn’t have a job, which had been at a restaurant, anymore. On the same days I’d been calling in sick, and I think on one day when I’d unexpectedly just not appeared, I’d also, at least once, forgotten that I worked at the restaurant and called to order takeout.


I was on a train going to a party to give my friend, who was currently withdrawing from many types of drugs, drugs. I lost the ‘roxy’ I was going to give him, but at the party I kept finding pieces of drugs on the carpet. I think I collected these pieces to give my friend.

At some point I discerned I was inside Lena Dunham’s second movie, which was Gosford Park-like. I found my friend talking to a person known to be into drugs. My friend seemed to be withdrawing big-time from opiates. He seemed a little angry (understandably, I felt) that I lost the ‘roxy’ I was going to give him.

I wandered aimlessly in Lena Dunham’s second movie through a sushi restaurant and multiple scenes including a wedding scene. There were around twenty characters in the movie. I was sometimes a character in the movie. I realized the movie was over and that I was considering ‘watching it again’. Then I was on a fast-moving train with no walls on either side of where I lay supine on a surface only a little wider than my body. I lay motionless from fear of falling off the train, which moved unsteadily through a winding, mountainous area.

Then I was in a part of Lena Dunham’s second movie in which Kevin Costner is driving a small boat toward a large boat, both of which he owned. Voiceover narration said something about how Kevin Costner was very distracted at the moment. He accelerated his small boat backwards into his large boat, which functioned like a ramp, so that his small boat went airborne, flying over the large boat. I noticed that the Dan Aykroyd character from Coneheads was also in the small boat, which then sunk.


Leonard Cohen and his girlfriend or wife were talking to my dad and one other person. Leonard Cohen, using the word ‘horseshit’ or something like the phrase ‘that bullshit’, was saying he told Joan Didion not to include that she’s ‘now doing fine’ or ‘doing okay now’ in her memoirs in which she’s not doing fine or okay. I was trying to tweet this but I wasn’t sure if the person was Leonard Cohen. I was thinking I should image search ‘Leonard Cohen’ before I tweeted anything.

At one point during this dream I realized I had shot an arrow across a room using a bow and almost killed a tiny spider, for which my prize was $12,000, which I felt worried I wouldn’t receive. There was more, but I like ending here. I’ve ended most of these dreams/nightmares before their original endings.


It was set in a dystopian future with a desert-y, Dune-like, outdoor environment. We had to choose a basketball player to ingest Adderall and kick a football as far as possible. The back-up person to do this was Conor Oberst because presumably we knew he was ‘good with Adderall’.

While I was standing around, waiting for people to get everything ready and be ready, so we could do our job and I think film someone kicking a football while on Adderall, a puma lazily attacked me by biting the back of my jacket. I pulled myself out of my jacket to barely escape.

This entire dream/nightmare was set during my work hours. I was at work the entire time, assisting in the football-Adderall project or walking aimlessly in the same environment as where I worked and where pumas and lions seemed to live. My non-work life in the dream was never shown. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image –  Kevin Dooley

More From Thought Catalog