The woman in the dream

Last night I was falling asleep. I was in that period between wake and sleep where time goes fast — you may look at the clock and it is eleven, and the next moment it is fifteen minutes later.

A woman with big eyes and a big, smiling, but closed mouth was looking at me. Close, just inches away from my face. Her face was round and full without being fat, her eyes were black.

I was looking at her with my mostly closed eyes, seeing her without any features being distinct. Time passed and I was still there, and she didn’t move.

I felt the realization later, but the woman does not look like anyone I know. She looked vaguely oriental — but her skin was fairer than a south-east Asian’s, and her features less distinct than a Chinese. Her lips were naturally red, but not overly so, and her eyes were black without being deep. Nor, and again I realized this later, was there a reason for her just to be there. Or just to smile.

She was not heavy. I felt no weight from her. I got the impression she was sitting somewhere on the bed, probably to the left of my knees.

Time passed. And that is what wass strange: nothing changed. She remained there, smiling her closed-mouth, big-eyed smile.

I got up to try identify her and I felt and saw my eyelids open while I was still seeing her. Then in that instant I didn’t.

My first thought, or maybe my second, was that she looked a lot scarier than I thought just a second ago. But none of her features were scary: no sharp eyes, no teeth, no grimace, no coldness. Only the smile, still but not frozen.

The room was darker than it had been a second before, too. Seeing her, I had the impression that a weak but warm light bulb was on somewhere on the other side. Then awake, the room was of course black: lit only by the odd electronic light, and the street lamp outside.

But seeing her at the time, I did not feel peaceful, or scared, or relieved, or frightful. Only, and I guess this is why I woke up, just every so more tired at the effort of not closing my eyelids in social obligation not to fall asleep while someone was looking.

I think the same thing may have happened later that night, but that may only have been a memory of the dream.

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4 thoughts on “The woman in the dream
  1. An interesting, if a bit creepy dream. Given the amount of stress you (and your family) have suddenly shouldered odd or even unpleasant dreams might well increase.

    I've taken to keeping a notepad by the bed (a trick learned from my mom) so that I might jot down the details of a particularly lucid or frightening dream before the “contaminates” of the conscious can sully it. I've found the analysis of my own dreams to be both interesting and therapeutic.

  2. A.E., any scene in particular? I enjoyed the movie, but had to give up on the book — I normally enjoy King, but his writing seemed off in that work to me.

  3. I agree that the book was rather stupid.

    The scene I'm thinking of actually is the one where the child meets the murdered woman in the bathtub.

    You know what's really funny about the book though? Stephen King was originally going to call it, “The Shine,” but he found out that the term was a racist slur for African-Americans. Hence the name “The Shining.”

  4. Well, did some Web dredging, and it appears that you've experienced not so much a “dream” as “hypnagogia,” or a “hypnagogic state.”

    The “style” of this “dream”–or “hypnagogic state”[?]–seems familiar–it's *almost* like the “hag attack” dreams that many folks have experienced. However, you never stated that the woman was “ugly,” nor did you state that the woman was “old,” and hags that appear in these experiences are supposed to be old and ugly; you said that there was something “scary” about her, but you admitted that she had none of the “typical” scary features (i.e. “no sharp eyes, no teeth, no grimace, no coldness”), and hags are supposed to have “obviously” scary features. Nor did you feel any weight or pressure from her. So… no, I guess this can't have been a “hag” experience.

    But I'm willing to guess that you've experienced “hypnagogia”; and I'll venture further that this woman's image was a composite image of women you've known or seen (much like anything else “imaginary”).

    Some questions (if you won't mind):

    What age did the woman appear to be?
    Can you recall what color was her hair?
    Was her hair long? Short? Curly? etc.?
    Can you recall the outfit she was wearing?

    Don't know what else might be learned from answers to these questions, but I'm merely curious, and besides, one never knows what could be learned, right?

  5. Jayson,

    When I woke up I thought of old hags, but this didn't seem to fit. I wasn't afraid in the dream, the woman was not on my chest, it was not hard to breathe, and I was able to move when I wished to (that was what ended the state).

    To your questions
    a) she was in her early 20s
    b) her hair was dark — probably black
    c) straightish longish hair,
    d) she was very close to my face, so her clothes and body would have been outside my field of vision.

    Thanks for your research!


    I once said “tdaxp's Data Acquisition & Extrapolation Program” [1], but that, of course, is a lie 😉


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