Once Upon a Dream

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I’ve been having awkward sex dreams about my male friends and colleagues lately. Of course, I am far too demure to recount the tawdry details of these dreams for you here. Let’s just say that they have featured acts ranging from simple embracing and stroking, to grinding, face-licking make-out sessions, to scenes of hard-core eroticism that feature at least 50 shades of pink (pardon the pun and the rather graphic imagery).

My pattern of behaviour following one of these dreams is always the same: I wake up in a post-coital daze, momentarily satisfied before I am forced to run bare-arsed through some kind of mental and emotional spanking machine of embarrassment and confusion. The embarrassment stems mostly from the complete strangeness of the acts that my subconscious has me perform with the various men in my life. The confusion lies in the awakening of a strong sexual attraction to these people as a result of the rampant dream-humping we have engaged in. From this embarrassed confusion ensues a cloud of awkwardness that proceeds to follow me around in all future interactions with these individuals, causing me to mumble responses to their friendly greetings whilst avoiding eye contact.

The biggest problem resulting from this unending circus of raunchy reveries is that they trick me into thinking I feel things that I don’t really feel. In the past 9 weeks I have developed no less than four completely overwhelming (and troubling) crushes on people I know. These crushes have all been fleeting, gone when the memory of dream-sex has faded beyond a gossamer image of tangled bed sheets and an intangible recollection of satiety; however, in the few days or weeks of their existence these crushes have been fervent, disorienting and completely mortifying, resulting in a disconcerting awareness of my body while any of these people are nearby and causing me to make increasingly awkward shapes with my arms and legs while simultaneously flicking my hair back in an effort to appear nonchalant and sexually appealing in a carefree, effortless way. Hard to achieve, but I think I pull it off. (I don’t.)

The worst thing about these crushes is there is no escape. I spend my waking hours obsessing over the current object of my affection, recalling every encounter I’ve had with them in the last fortnight, desperately searching for pieces of innocent banter that I can turn into signs that they totally dig me, like for real. (For example: “You look nice today” becomes code for “You, me, monkey sex. Now.”) My downtime is spent fervently stalking them on Facebook, playing down the flaws that make them completely incompatible or ineligible as a potential love interest, and staring into space whilst daydreaming about various scenarios where the two of us innocently hanging out as friends suddenly becomes a storm of sexual tension where clothing is ripped and bodies are mashed together as our friends and colleagues look on in horror. It’s all-consuming and thoroughly exhausting.

I don’t know why this pattern keeps repeating. I know that there are no compatible matches among my male friends or colleagues. Even as I stalk and daydream I am aware that I am being completely ridiculous; but it’s nice to have a crush. It’s nice to get that nervous, tumbling, I-just-swallowed-a-jar-full-of-sleeping-moths-and-now-they’re-waking-up-in-my-stomach feeling a few times a day. I’ve been in love before, and I’ve experienced the warmth and comfort of waking up next to the same person every day, knowing that they would do anything for you. But nothing beats that thrill of a new crush; that excruciating awkwardness that takes control of the simplest bodily functions and renders you incapable of remembering how to walk normally or carry out a conversation without nervously laughing after every sentence or agreeing far too emphatically with everything they say. There’s nothing like that bittersweet pain of simultaneously feeling devastated by the fact that they haven’t noticed you yet and blindly optimistic that they will one day.

I guess most people grow out of these crushes as their adolescence disappears behind them, but I think that’s a shame. We sacrifice so much in order to participate in ‘adulthood;’ why shouldn’t we hold onto some of the self-indulgent pleasures of our youth, as long as they’re not doing any harm? I am determined to keep allowing myself to develop intense and ridiculous crushes on men that are entirely unsuitable as potential partners…but hopefully not on any more coworkers. There are only so many photocopy room fantasies a girl can handle.

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