We all know the movie cliche about a character having a nightmare. The vibe gets more and more intense until the person wakes with a start — bolting upright, eyes wide open, damp-faced. I remember complaining about these scenes a year or two ago in the column (can’t find the link), but damned if this exact thing didn’t happen to me a couple of nights ago. I was submerged in a dream in which something scary or threatening happened (ducking an oncoming truck, trying to avoid falling off a cliff), but it happened so suddenly that I flinched. So severely that it woke me up, and so suddenly that I experienced some kind of whiplash spasm that gave me an aching neck. (What the hell just happened?) The pain subsided a few minutes later but talk about your James Stewart-waking-up-from-a-nightmare-in-Vertigo moment. I haven’t experienced anything like that since my early 20s, when I dreamt I was in a propeller airplane that had lost a wing or been hit by a missile and was tumbling in a tailspin. I remember that dream like it was yesterday.