I’ve had terrifyingly vivid dreams for as long as I can remember. I’m talking run-to-cuddle-with-my-older-brother-when-I-was-fifteen nightmares. I’ve been in the middle of the Atlantic treading water, watching with panic as shark fins slowly approach. I’ve drowned in gallons of Jamba Juice in the middle school cafeteria. I’ve even been held captive in a tattoo parlor with needles all over my body while I beg the artists to stop. (This is why I have no tattoos.)
So a few weeks ago, when my occasionally panicky sleep became an almost nightly appointment, I didn’t think much of it. One night, I dreamt I was the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar (yes, playing Jesus) and couldn’t remember my lyrics. The night after that, I dreamt I was on the Titanic as it was sinking. And no, Jack Dawson wasn’t there.
That weekend, I shared my latest horror story with a few friends on Zoom. I made it through the details—a human-sized lobster tail, curiously stuffed with radishes, which morphed into a family of snow leopards (I attribute that to a certain Tiger King binge), which quickly became a family of murderers dressed in snow leopard onesies—with less laughter than expected. Instead, they sang a chorus of “me too!” and our virtual birthday party turned into a Jungian share circle.
My friends recalled botched haircuts and ex-boyfriends and forced re-enrollment in high school at the age of 30. And while no one else was dreaming of radish-stuffed lobster tails morphing into murderers, it does seem like everyone is dreaming more frequently and more vividly right now. According to the New York Times, “why am I having weird dreams lately” has quadrupled in Google search in just the past month. News outlets have even started calling them “quarandreams.”