Even though sleep should be a reprieve from waking life, I tend to bring the stress in my life into my unconscious moments, too.

In college, when I was burdened with essays, I'd go to sleep and dream about working on the essays to the point where I'd just decide to get up and work on them since it was consuming my every thought anyway.

When I started teaching, it overwhelmed me to the point that I sleep-dialed (the tired man's drunk dial) a friend to check on a student, and would routinely wake up and freak out that a giant bed had replaced the desks in my classroom until minutes later I would grasp that I was in my bedroom, not at school.

Another time, after considering the horrors of war, in my sleep I took off my sock and hung it on the wall as a sign of surrender.

And now it's happening again. Ever since the raid of Occupy LA, I dream a lot about it. Some of the Occupy delegates warned us beforehand that some people wouldn't be mentally strong enough to handle watching the scene unfold, but I didn't think that would apply to me.

I'm terrified of the police state. Last night I dreamt that my home was being raided by the police. So caught up in my dream narrative, I sleptwalked and put my wallet in my pocket so I'd have my ID on me when I was arrested. In the morning, my side hurt because I had actually slept on my wallet. I can't believe that the dream was so real to me that I got out of bed to do that.

Nightmares are generally an exaggeration of real thoughts, but it doesn't help to have my conscious mind corroborate my nightmares. I really do fret to see those in power overriding other's constitutional rights because they can get away with it.

A friend of mine agrees with the concepts of the movement but will not participate in any manner out of fear of repercussions. He very pointedly asked, "What if you don't succeed?" His feeling is that if the corruption is as systematic as some suspect, that makes you vulnerable should the powers that be stay in power.

I'm not really a conspiracy theorist, and I don't yet think things are that bad that protesters will start mysteriously disappearing on a grand scale, though I do believe we are setting the precedent to have such things happen in the future if we don't solve it soon. However, I do realize there's a risk in speaking out against the government... a risk, as I see it, that's worth taking.

The word "patriot" has been co-opted to mean not questioning authority and blindly declaring the US the best country in the world. And the only way to honestly believe that right now is to not pay attention to all of our country's problems. I believe that the US has the ability to be the best country in the world, but that's going to require changes. What's more patriotic than trying to improve your country?

So, yeah, I'm fairly scared, but not deterred. Any screaming in the night that may result from my participation just mirrors all of the screaming we should be doing during the day.

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