Have you ever dreamt of being Batman?

Once again, I have had one of those ‘invasion’ dreams.

Ever had one of those? You know, when the whole world has gone to heck, some force was threatening your home or family, and you’re desperately trying to do something about it? Yeah, I’m getting the sense the universe is trying to tell me something here.

My earliest invasion dream was some ten years ago, when I dreamt Martians stationed on the Moon were bombing my hometown of Kota Kinabalu. No, I don’t know what Martians were doing on the Moon either. I distinctly remember herding people into underground bunkers conveniently located around town (Bunkers? Do we even have those in Malaysia?) before the details became fuzzy.

Another time, I dreamt I was Batman fighting Joker and his pack of supervillains. As in, No, I was not some chick in a Batgirl suit. I really was the Dark Knight.

On another occasion, I was Ultraman battling Godzilla, where our mighty battle crushed the skyscrapers of a hapless city underfoot. And I haven’t even seen those movies recently! (Okay, so perhaps that doesn’t count as an invasion dream – A case of myself becoming the alien instead?)

The Giant Tidal Wave Dream

Another fairly recent dream was a little bizarre. Imagine this huge, HUGE tidal wave reaching up into the atmosphere, all the way up to space…and then crashing down towards the earth again, threatening to obliterate the rest of humanity.

We had about a week before the Giant Wave struck us, and so world governments were frantically evacuating people into shelters (I am beginning to see a pattern here). But some civilians were too lazy ass to give a damn. Like me. I was one of those in the group who decided for some inexplicable reason to potter around and…hmm, wait a minute, I do vaguely recall trying to get loved ones into bunkers. But when the time of damnation drew nearer, I remember hurriedly packing a suitcase of survival gear and hotfooting it to the nearest makeshift shelter, baby.

And then this same dream shifts, and I find myself in the company of a team of soldiers nestled in giant robots/mecha, ready to kick the ass of something. We were arguing/bantering as Big Tuff Soldiers do in movies, and after that, I don’t remember what happens. Bah.

My Latest Dream

This latest invasion dream begins in my childhood neighbourhood in which I ‘awaken’ to the knowledge that we have been subjugated and occupied by sinister forces. I can’t quite remember by what, but I do know it was an alien humanoid army whose faces we never see.

It sounds funny as I write it, but I clearly remember the wave of fear and grim determination from those of us making up the resistance army we formed to clash with these terrible forces. Fear, because it was the kind of world where death and pain were literally just a breath away. Friends and family could die just inches on the battlefield and you could do nothing about it.

The dream I inhabited was so vivid I could smell the drifting ash, see the clouds of smoke whenever the missiles or bombs struck the soil, feel the right of purpose from those of us standing in rows on this rocky grey battlefield, as we waited to charge the enemy, to be picked off, to die without a single thing to mark our passage.

But even now I remember it wasn’t fear that dominated my thoughts on that killing ground, but defiance. I was going to die – my dream self knew – or be seriously, seriously hurt. And yet I was there anyway, standing with those scores of silent soldiers, not because we were bound by some code of brotherhood, but simply because this was simply how it has to be. This has to be done. We either yield to the faceless enemy and die slow, or we go out in a blaze.

I remember getting out there, I don’t know where, some twilight land where I’d somehow survived a battle. So many of us had been picked off until those remaining swarmed the enemy. We likely withdrew in the end because we were losing, and even now details are slipping away from me and I struggle to remember the things once so rich in my mind. The dream had been so real I knew I was there, and there was simply no other world but this reality.

The latter part of the dream frustrates me, because there are gaps in my memory. I remember escaping from somewhere, with something important, to make my way to some final battle. Beside me, on this battlefield with a cliff behind us, were my fellow soldiers. Strangers, all of them, and yet we did not care. I recall thinking this has to be it. I might expire at any moment. My heart was beating very fast and my body was bracing itself, preparing itself, to be wounded or worse.

I had a weapon – not a gun, but something else, something crucial, and even now I get the vague sense that it was perhaps the key to everything. Or it could simply be nothing, a symbol of futility in an uncaring universe.

There we were, ready, quiet, a hundred of us waiting in that place of light but no heat. Waiting for the enemy to strike at us–

And that’s when my landlady turned on the radio outside my bedroom.

I woke up, startled. And in that instant I realised I had lost the dream. I would never know what happened.

A part of me was glad. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be that badly injured, or to be obliterated from the universe. All I wanted to know was…did we win? Did we?

What It Means

If only dreams were like movies you could pick up where you left off. I don’t really believe in those ridiculous dream dictionaries. I seriously doubt if Ultraman figures anywhere in them. It’s a bit like astrology. I do believe there is a sort of science to it, be it the Western or Oriental sort of astrology. But at the same time I think part of it involves reading a prediction and having the believer rationalise the details to make it true. Your mind, in short, makes it so.

For a lark, I did look up dream dictionaries online.  Nope, none of them had Ultraman, but a few did have entries on Alien Invasions, Superhero and even Batman:

To see Batman in your dream, suggests that you need to utilize your wits and resources in order to help yourself or others. Perhaps your are not maximizing your full potential. You need to unleash the power from within. Stop looking for shortcuts to get you where you want. Alternatively, the dream implies that there is some wrongdoing that you need to rectify.

What amuses me more is that enough people dream about Batman to warrant its own entry. I bet more people dream of being the Flying Undies Guy.

Personally I think that lately I have perhaps been feeling a little overwhelmed, by the stress of having no job, by the pressures of several writing deadlines. It’s kind of heartening to know that however dark my recent dream might be, I was handling it in some way. I was not blubbering in a corner nor whimpering in a ball. I was more like: “Do your worst, bastiges! You’ll never take me!”

There’s something comforting about that.



Filed under Depression, Fantasy, State of Mind, Triumph, Work, Writing

6 responses to “Have you ever dreamt of being Batman?

  1. “You need to unleash the power from within”
    Get your Batman on!

    I’ve never had these type of dreams before…in fact, I don’t really dream anymore. But I do have one recurring dream since childhood that scares the crap out of me….I usually have it during times of stress too. LOL. Im curious now too! I’ma have to follow you and find out what my dream could have meant…

    great post! and pretty cool dreams!

  2. Awww, thanks!

    The best dream I ever had was soaring across cities by moonlight, free and unbound. It’s like all I had to do was believe I could fly, and it would be so. Best feeling in the world 🙂

  3. The night is darkest before the dawn. =)

  4. Ashley

    Man, I wish my dreams were that epic! Sadly they haven’t been lately. In case it helps, here’s what my dreams mean – dunno if they’ll mean the same to anyone else, but hey, there’re a few things that’ve worked themselves out to making sense for me over time when they occur.

    Mummies: organized religion. No idea why, but every time I dream about a mummy, there’s something hidebound and ultra-religious going on. Swear to you, I once dreamed I found a mummy on Pluto. That was a weird one.

    Tornadoes: big change. Big, scary change. Huge storms ripping apart cities, five tornadoes in a field over yonder and if we go through that gate we’ll run into them… tornadoes are terrifying, man. I usually have tornado dreams when I’m about to do something drastic and possibly stupid.

    Fish: bills. No, really, when I dream about fish, or aquariums, or sardines or whatever, it means I’m worried about bills I can’t pay. I have fish dreams when I’m flat broke and the mortgage/rent/whatever is coming due again. Not like the fish are doing anything – they’re just swimming in that wall over there, being ominous.

    Beyond that, my dreams don’t have much in the way of commonalities. I figured those three out because of when they occurred and by taking into account the other elements of the dream. Dreams have to be understood in context. It looks like yours was fun. 😉

  5. Tsch. At least you have a bunker! My last invasion dream involved large toaster-meets-tank shaped robots out to stamp out humanity. I was a boy, for whatever reason (maybe females don’t make the cut in the epic dream genre–ratings, ratings, ratings) and I was running around my neighborhood, dodging tanktoasters.

    Now that I think about it, most of my epic dreams involve being chased.

    Chased: “Your actions in the dream parallel how you would respond to pressure and cope with fears, stress or various situations in your waking life. Instead of confronting the situation, your dream indicates that you have a tendency to run away and avoid the issue. […] The pursuer or attacker who is chasing you in your dream may also represent an aspect of yourself.”

    Tank-toasters, eh?

  6. Giant…toasters? Do they involve large pieces of bread somehow? 😉

    Someday I might describe the more disturbing dreams I have, the ones that involve ever-spawning puppies and kitties, and me and a knife and a wave of zombie-ish people. Ick.

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