Perhaps it's the lack of rich food eaten before retiring to bed, but I no longer appear in my own dreams. Apparently I have been left on sleep's cutting-room floor, so to speak. Consequently there are no sudden materializations of my dream self at high school in the middle of a trigonometry exam that I know nothing about; no nudist wanderings in and out of the office cubicles of contemporary colleagues; no recurring sensations of endlessly falling into a bottomless black void; not even the next morning's vague recollections of my teeth dropping out one by one while misspelling the word "Kafkaesque" at a subterranean, Grand Guignol spelling bee.
Alas, my dreams are mostly confined to weary appraisals of curious images by a sort of disassociated, long-suffering universal eye. It's certainly not my eye. It doesn't get distracted enough to be my eye. Subjects under scrutiny can include anything from an overstuffed armchair to an erupting volcano, and are usually influenced by minutiae encountered during the day. One wonders why my mind requires subconscious REM processing of such dull vignettes? Obviously it views me as an observer of inessential details rather than the romantic protagonist of an action-packed nightmare. Which is fine by me since I have no desire to wake up in a cold sweat each morning, gripping the sides of the mattress and fighting my bedsheets with my feet.
In fact, I fail to see how any sane person can be interested in these disjointed, nonsensical narratives dredged up from the deepest recesses of dormant minds. The ridiculous "work" of Sigmund Freud and his rabid acolytes proves my point beyond dispute. Freud believed that dreams are a form of wish fulfillment. This theory is clearly absurd, since I never dream that all his tedious books are mercifully transformed back into the trees from which their pages were wrought; a transformation I devoutly wish to be fulfilled. So, auf wiedersehen Sigmund. Don't let the symbolic door hit your Id, Ego and Super-ego on the way out.
According to the dream dictionary I consulted, to dream of saltpeter indicates sorrow and heartache. But how many meaning-seeking dreamers can distinguish saltpeter from regular salt? It's an important distinction because, according to the same book, to dream of regular salt suggests abundance and excitability, which is a rather different takeaway in the morning if you'd been actively amorous before falling asleep.
If you ask me, dreams mean nothing beyond the crude interpretations that curious and often prurient imaginations can associate with whatever objects feature prominently in them. So it seems fair to say that, in common with all forms of critique, dreams reveal more about the interpreter than the actual dreamer. I dream about static images of overstuffed armchairs and erupting volcanoes ... the ball is in your court.