Almost all 7 billion of us earthlings dream from time to time. I think it’s actually all of us, but some are too shy to talk about their dreams or perhaps they feel unnecesssarily guilty about them.

Some dreams are so embarrassing we hesitate to discuss them even with our closest friends. And, after all, listening to the long narrative of a weird dream or nightmare can be crushingly boring anyway. However, if we’re attentive and think about the recited details, we might begin to understand the complex workings of the dream world. I’ve started doing that now and I’m getting a strange notion about what’s going on.

There might be a Dream Control Center someplace, a mysterious phantasy headquarters, producing these episodes and even assigning casts. That dream you had last night might not have been your own private show. It might have been an Interhead production of Dream Central.

About the casting. We’re not usually alone during these phantasies. Sometimes we have a co-star or two and often the scenes are full of extras. For instance, there’s the student crowd you have to push through when you’re running to your old high school home room, expecting you’ll fail the biology final if you can’t get to the text book for a quick review. Do some of those kids look just as worried as you? Could at least one of them be having the same dream and also be turning and tossing on his or her bed hundreds of miles away?

You could use Facebook to test this theory. If you dream some night you’re with a group of strangers helplessly lost in downtown Manhattan (One of my regular dream plots), mention that in a Facebook post and describe a few of your fellow wanderers and see who responds. Don’t get upset if it’s a psychiatrist.

On a more personal level, you might dream of a friend that you encountered carousing with a pretty girl on Dream Street in Greenwich Village while singing a vulgar song. You could mention this to him in a diplomatic way the next day and, if he doesn’t laugh it off, but gets very angry, you’ll have a definite clue and the bloody nose will be worth it.

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