Haibun: Theater Seating

Today on Toads, Brendan has an involved prompt about dreams, writing a poem about your dreams.  First off, most of you know I am a chronic insomniac sleeping about two to four hours a day, usually the two hours with an occasional nap.  My sleep is peaceful and undisturbed by dreams I do not remember.  I kept a dream book for a week in the ’70s when it was stylish but quit after a week, having nothing to add to it.  So, here is the best I can do without making something up and telling a lie.  This is one of the few dreams I remember.  Haibun are of course not flash fiction or a work of fiction.  It is a true accounting, usually one to two paragraphs ended with a haiku.

 Theater Seating
“They’ve promised that dreams can come true – but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.”
Oscar Wilde
The theater is huge. Flickering light comes from the screen and peoples’ heads, like dark balloons bob and weave in front of me; some of them lean towards each other, others are tilted upward watching the movie, others are firmly down avoiding the vision playing out in front of them. I am sitting there in my underwear and slightly shivering in the cold air conditioning. I have to pee – badly. We were told not to get up during the movie that we would lose points if we did. I had already lost a thousand points according to the lighted tablet in front of me. My score read -1364. But man, I really had to pee. Finally I give up and let it go, rushing from my body streaming down the seats to pool at the bottom of the auditorium. Nobody noticed. I suddenly awoke afraid I had wet myself. My waking thought is: I have to pee! I got up and stumbled to the bathroom. What relief! I was dry and now my bladder had been emptied. I look out the bathroom window at the moonscape outside and go to sit on the back porch.
the lawn looks flat
in the moonlight – outside
the song of a mockingbird

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brendan
    Jul 21, 2018 @ 17:43:00

    In our tribe, some are flooded with dreams, others are dreamless, and the rest of us fare on in between. You pose an interesting question: what is the dream haibun of one who does not dream? The one you use here is telling, driven by the body’s necessity: Yet the conflict is primal, and its truth something many are unwilling or unable to see. Is insomnia a defense against dreaming, or the result of no dreams? And that mockingbird’s song, does it signal where the dream went? Who knows, but its a fascinating read. Thanks for joining in with this, Toni.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 21, 2018 @ 17:59:17

      Thank you Brendan. I have been an insomniac since I was a child, always wandering about the house at night and outside. I prefer the night as well to the day. I never thought about not dreaming or not remembering. It just hasn’t loomed up in my consciousness.

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    • kanzensakura
      Jul 21, 2018 @ 18:13:26

      I guess in your tribe I would be among the dreamless but to be honest, animal-like, it is something I never considered or thought about, just accepting the cards I am dealt. and sometimes, the song of a mockingbird is just the song of a mockingbird.


  2. coalblack
    Jul 21, 2018 @ 21:17:03

    Sometimes our dreams act as guardians to keep us asleep. When I need to pee, sometimes I dream that I am searching for a restroom but they’re all out of order, or filthy, or occupied, or any other obstacle you can think of. Or I’ll dream that I’m thirsty and drinking Cokes and water and juice and I’ll wake up to find that i really am thirsty. Or I’ll dream that something is biting my hip and I will wake to find out that a ;piece of a dog toy is in the bed, and under my hip.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 21, 2018 @ 21:36:53

      I totally agree. Dreams can be guardians. Sometimes I think outside things contribute to our dreams. I will dream if being very thirsty and wake up with my mouth open. And dry. Dreams are weird.

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  3. kim881
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 03:11:21

    I love the Oscar Wilde quotation, Toni; sometimes its hard to tell the difference between dream and nightmare. You’ve made the theatre sound quite ominous, with ‘peoples’ heads, like dark balloons bob and weave in front of me’. And how familiar this dream is – I’ve often had the ‘pee’ dream.The haiku gives the haibun a satisfying sharp edge.


  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 04:00:28

    Like others, I’ve often had the dream where I can’t find a suitable place to pee and finally wake up in time to get to the bathroom. But the dream recounted here is much more dramatic. The mocking bird makes a lovely finish.


  5. sanaarizvi
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 05:00:51

    I too can relate to this dream .. love the reference to the song of the mockingbird at the end. 💞


  6. annell4
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 09:43:47

    Wow, what a dream. Perhaps one is enough? I enjoyed the read.


  7. anmol(alias HA)
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 10:16:26

    Oh, that dream is oddly evocative, for the bodily need makes it way through the subconscious. I have had one too many similar dreams. What mysterious ways our minds work!
    That haiku pairs so well with the prose – the song of the mockingbird speaks to me of a certain peace, even if the sleep has also fleed along with the dream.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 22, 2018 @ 12:58:12

      Thank you. I have had several women express the same thoughts to me but you are the first man. It is interesting to note this. I asked my husband if he had ever had such dreams. He said now that he was older he did. And yes I do feel peaceful when I awaken and go to sit on my back porch. I love the night.

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  8. MrsBednar
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 16:39:00

    Love that quote and the Mockingbird at the end… being told we can’t do something and deliberating what to do… dreams prolong time and it is interesting how one can feel so vulnerable in a dream.


  9. purplepeninportland
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 19:57:07

    Love the Oscar Wilde quote, and truly relate to it. Maybe dreams are hard to remember, when there is not enough continuous time for them to play out.
    As a middle-of-the-night bathroom runner, I have experienced this same feeling.
    Mockingbird was a wonderful finishing touch.


  10. Sarah Russell
    Jul 22, 2018 @ 23:31:09

    I”be dreamed I had to pee too, and felt relief as you did that you woke before the event. It sounds like you use your insomnia to advantage. Accepting it, even embracing it, seems the perfect solution.


  11. Vivian Zems
    Jul 23, 2018 @ 03:59:11

    Oh boy, we’ve all dreamed this..some of us (no names) with catastrophic results!
    Love the feel of this and an enchanting haiku.


  12. Sherry Marr
    Jul 23, 2018 @ 12:52:08

    I have had reality-based dreams like this too……..causing me some hilarity in the middle of the night. I love the haiku, looking out at the night, hearing the song of a mockingbird. How wonderful. I have never heard one.


  13. Sherry Marr
    Jul 23, 2018 @ 12:53:11

    I lust remembered dreaming one night that my whole bed was vibrating. It was quite scary, till I woke and realized Pup was urgently batting against it, telling me he needed to go out RIGHT NOW. LOL.


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