As I think I've written here before, I don't think that I usually remember my dreams. But I've had to realize over the last few years, I think, that I have a recurring dream in which my primary mode of locomotion is hopping on one foot.
Undoubtedly, my other leg is asleep or something, and my dream is just my mind processing some sort of physical sleep phenomenon. But it's fascinating: it has taken me a surprisingly long time to realize that this is actually a dream, because every time it happens, I feel like the dream is actually real. So each time it happens again, I just feel like I'm experiencing a very familiar series of real events, in which hopping is just how I get around.
(Oh, and by the way, I hop around because my other leg is cramped up, or twisted up like a withered limb, and sometimes the bad leg actually hurts: it's these things that make me think that what's 'really' happening is just that my leg hurts in a non-dream way.)
But anyway, I just think in my dream “Oh, yeah, hopping: that's just how I do it,” and it seems real.
And anyway, sometimes when I'm not paying any attention to whatever the hell is happening in my waking life, I remember these dreams like real memories, and I think, in a kind of half-conscious way, “Wow, today I can get around fine without all that hopping. That really is a pain when it happens.” Then I stop myself, and I remind myself that I can't recall a single time in my waking life where I really did get around by hopping because my other leg was a withered limb. At least I don't think I can remember any—and I always feel a little uncertain, because the dreams seem so much like memories.
And even more: my hopping has some special dream properties: I can take some really long hops, where, really, I just float across the ground for eight feet, ten feet, twelve feet, maybe twenty or more, and then I can just kind of put my foot back on the ground and take another smooth, low long-jump hop. And I have the feeling that if I just didn't put my foot back down, I'd keep gliding along. I always hear that flying dreams are among the most common dreams, and maybe this is my kind of flying dream: low, slow, close to the ground, and requiring regular effort to keep moving along: it's probably the kind of flying dream I'd have, after all.
In some of the fantasy novels I've been known to read, dreams give one access to a kind of real alternate world, where unicorns get devoured by wolves and things like that. In my fantasy dream world, I get around by hop-floating. And in that world, it's totally normal. Somehow, I don't think there's a best selling fantasy novel in there. Too bad.
But for today, I guess I'm just as happy I'm not in a hopping dream, and I'm vaguely comforted that the next time I am, it will seem familiar, comfortable, and right.