It was not so much that My Lovely Wife got what’s called an undercut haircut — a style favored by “the youth” that features a partly shaved cranium — or that she dyed the resultant stubble on the right half of her head purple. It’s that she didn’t tell me about it beforehand, leaving me to discover her rather alarming new do at a barbecue we were attending.
As hamburgers sizzled on the grill, Ruth tilted her head to the side and the long hair she’d brushed over her undercut fell away, revealing that periwinkle fuzz.
That this happened in a dream and not in real life did not lessen the shock.
I woke up in a snit — Couldn’t you at least have warned me? — and spent the morning angry at my wife. At breakfast, I seethed silently.
I couldn’t say, “Don’t tell me you don’t know what you did.” She didn’t know what she did. Also: She didn’t do it.
Scientists don’t actually know why humans experience sleep mentation, a fancy name for dreaming. On his dreamresearch.net website, researcher G. William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz notes that dreaming is most likely “the accidental by-product of the coincidental intersection of adequate brain activation and the brain’s ‘Default Network,’ ” that is, the part of the brain that is active during passive moments.
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