Welcome to Van Winkle’s. No, I Don’t Want to Hear About Your Dream.

My wife and I aren’t persnickety. We don’t have a chore board. We don’t leave notes and to-do lists for one another. By and large, our daily rhythm unfolds naturally and without much fuss.

We have just one deal, one single arrangement made with a proper handshake several years ago: I won’t discuss my daily trials of parking the car legally (no small feat in New York City); she won’t tell me about her dreams.

I’m sure plenty of perfectly nice people keep dream journals. No doubt dream therapy has helped at least one person in the world. And when my son starts telling me about his dreams in gibberish toddlerspeak, my heart will surely melt.

But dreams are profoundly mundane, idiotically random and fundamentally meaningless. They are interesting only to you.

There’s a great scene in Living in Oblivion, a largely forgotten indie from 1995, starring a young Steve Buscemi playing an indie film director. When Buscemi’s Nick Reve hires a young Peter Dinklage specifically to add weirdness to a dream sequence, the future Tyrion Lannister unloads with an epic rant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXlRG73ciaA

“Why does my character have to be a dwarf? Is that the only way you can make this a dream — put a dwarf in in? Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who’s had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don’t even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I’ve ever seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this. “Oh, make it weird, put a dwarf in it. Everyone will go, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, it must be a fucking dream because there’s a fucking dwarf in it.’”

Welcome to Van Winkle’s, a new website obsessed with sleeping, waking and everything in between. After all, for every hour we spend with our eyes closed, roughly two waking hours are impacted.

We’re vastly more curious about brain chemistry, parasomnia, hotel room hacking and how much Adderall will kill us, rather than dreams. You’ll also find a wide range of advice, reviews and resources.

Sleeping + waking = living.

At Van Winkle’s, we want to learn more about balancing this equation, maybe even gaming it to our advantage. And, my personal policy aside, we’ll certainly examine dreams in the course of our exploration. Just don’t corner me at the bar and try to tell me yours.

Jeff Koyen is the editor-in-chief of Van Winkle’s.


Originally published at medium.com on August 18, 2015.

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