I got started late today because of a nightmare that woke me at 3:15 am. It was an okay flying dream (i.e., didn’t feel like a nightmare at first) in which I was parachuting in a kind of sideways fashion, not dropping as much as coasting along three or four hundred feet above a half-suburban, half-wooded area. A run-of-the-mill metaphor for a high-wire act like writing a daily Hollywood column that’s half movies and half mood-pocket. That plus the idea of being more at peace in the air than on the ground. No biggie.

I suddenly felt like I didn’t want to coast along anymore so I steered the chute toward the flat roof of an unusually tall Victorian-era home. I grabbed hold of something or other and landed on the roof. The chute naturally deflated. I walked over and tried to open the trap door on the roof but it was bolted shut. Then I suddenly lost my footing (the chute tugged or suddenly half inflated due to a wind gust) and I fell off the roof. No chance that the chute would open as I plummeted head first. I was a second or two from landing and breaking my neck so I woke up with a “whuh!…no!” Yes, just like every actor who wakes up from a bad dream in every movie that’s tried to thrill or scare or spook, going back to Vertigo.

Sleeping was out so I got up and read and wrote “Boiled Down,” and then I began to feel overwhelming fatigue around 6:45 am and dropped off on the couch, and then woke up around 11:45 am, and all because of a simple flash of a thought about falling (or failing) that manifested in a standard boilerplate flying dream, which I’ve been having since I was eight and which are basically a dime a dozen.