Dave’s shades serve a purpose other than shielding his eyes from the sun; as a present from John, they make him feel safe. This is crucial for an individual like Dave, who suffers from anxiety.
Dave can only sleep when he’s clinging on to something. After he turned eight, he wasn’t allowed to sleep with Bro any more - and as a result, he had no one to hold on to and couldn’t fall asleep. It was a Serious Problem because, with no sleep, Dave eventually became a huge wreck and it freaked Bro out.
He asked Dave why he couldn’t sleep and Dave said it was because he felt uncomfortable in his bed, so Bro used the last of his “rainy day” money to buy him a nice pillow.
Then Dave had two pillows, and for the first night in a long time, he finally slept. He drifted off to sleep with his arms and legs wrapped around the pillow and he didn’t have sleeping problems ever again (until right before and after Sburb) because he had something to cling on to.
When John sent Dave a picture of himself for the first time, Dave had to log out of pesterchum and shut down his computer and draw the shades and lock his door and crawl into bed and hug a pillow because holy shit his best bro is and he couldn’t even mentally say cute or adorable like no that’s too gay calm down Liberace he’s your best friend don’t screw this up you fucking homo holy shit.
After winning Sburb, every Dave left alive by the end of the game merged to become part of a singular “original” Dave. That is to say, Dave’s psyche is a patched mixture of Alpha Dave’s psyche, Alternate Timeline Dave’s psyche, and the psyches of any doomed Daves lucky enough to be alone in their timeline instead of dead.
Being ‘reassembled’ like so, early post-game Dave had numerous identity crises. The fragmentation of his memories and sense of self increases the severity of his PTSD tenfold. He frequently has panic attacks, characterized by intense fear of abandonment or failure.
When Dave misses John, he sits at the window and smokes and listens to piano instrumentals and flicks the ashes at people down on the sidewalk because he’s a fucking loser.
gotta get this out of the way eventually why not now
Dave scores a 5 on the Kinsey scale, which is to say that he is predominantly homosexual and only incidentally heterosexual.
The song “Earth Angel” is to Dave as “How Do I Live” is to John.
As I’m quite certain that absolutely no one in the Homestuck fandom is privy to this fact, “How Do I Live” is played in Con Air when Cameron Poe reunites with his loving wife and daughter. Yes it’s true I bet you didn’t know that.
Similarly, “Earth Angel” is played in Back to the Future during a romantic juncture of the film, when Marty McFly helps the Starlighters perform “Earth Angel” as his parents dance together at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance because if there’s no music, they can’t dance, and if they can’t dance, they can’t kiss, and if they can’t kiss, they can’t fall in love and he’s history, which is to say that the scene is incredibly important because none of it would be necessary if Marty’s mom didn’t want to bone Marty so badly/time travel.
Regardless, it is a very touching scene and the only romantic movie scene that Dave can watch without ejecting gross amounts of crude commentary or criticism because he’s an Incredibly Stoic Coolkid Without A Heart That Doesn’t Get Sappy At Movies Ever.
Dave first got into photography by ‘borrowing’ one of Bro’s cameras and taking a picture of himself to see what the whole picture-taking fuss was all about. When Bro went to use that camera, he found the picture that Dave had obviously forgotten to delete and teased Dave mercilessly about it. Instead of owning up to being super embarrassed about it, Dave started taking more and more pictures of himself, and would develop and display them everywhere.
Dave is now the patron goddess of the myspace angle shot.
As a kid, Dave was bullied, but he bullied others too. Now that he’s in high school, he’s kind of invisible because he doesn’t like any of the other students enough to strike up a conversation or carry one out. No one really ever thinks he’s cool, but he’s not uncool either. He’s just weird because he doesn’t have friends and doesn’t want any.
Dave has anxiety.
He has panic attacks often, up to several times a day. His chest tightens and his muscles stiffen, he trembles and has difficulty speaking. He sometimes feels nauseous and pukes because of stress. He is absurdly self-conscious and has an incredibly heightened fear of what people think of him. He is easily overwhelmed and shuts down via depersonalization. Under pressure, he has difficulty concentrating and his mind can get ‘stuck’ on phrases or ideas. He complains about how how his mind ‘never shuts up’. He’s abnormally jumpy, from years of ambushes and sneak attacks at Bro’s hands.
He might not dream on Derse any more, but he is still plagued by nightmares (which are typically bizarre). He occasionally suffers from sleep paralysis.
It’s not uncommon for Dave to find himself completely preoccupied by his fears, many of which are irrational. When he finds himself in situations that have caused him anxiety in the past, he withdraws and isolates himself.
His nervous habits include chewing his lip, cracking his knuckles, fidgeting, smoking, etc.
He doesn’t always eat, and he doesn’t always sleep. He hasn’t told anyone about any of these things, simply because he refuses to think that there’s anything wrong with him. A lot of the hesitation and paralysis is residual from a (presumably) conquered childhood stutter, and a common theme to his fears is the feeling of impending death.
It overlaps with PTSD.
Dave’s wake up alarm is set to repeat ten times.
He doesn’t wake up until about an hour after the last repeat.