Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I was telling you about that apocalypse dream I had. Do you remember? The one where everybody from work got blown up by a bomb- everybody but you and me. You were smiling with your sea-moss eyes and paying close attention to every word I said. You seemed to like the way I used my hands to portray how huge the explosion was and you laughed when I threw in sound effects.

You told me I have the craziest dreams of anyone you know, and I should write them down in some sort of dream diary and take it to a psychiatrist to be analyzed. I tried to tell you about the blog, but for some reason, I stopped short of telling you how to find it, because I remembered what had been written there.

The goblins giggled as they passed us by on their makeshift raft made of a refrigerator door. They teased us with a childish playground song about k-i-s-s-i-n-g. You stuck out your stick to push the annoying little bastards further away. One of them grabbed it and tried to take it from you, but you were prepared for that kind of devilry from them. Two smacks to the head, and that goblin was mermaid food. I never imagined that goblins can't swim, although I seem to recall some rule about not getting them wet. Or maybe that's gremlins.

Satisfied, you nested the stick into the special crevice you'd made for it and asked me to tell you another dream.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Other people's dreams

I fell into somebody else's dream last night- a man with two wives, one white, one black. He'd kept them secret from one another, but one had discovered his deceit.
The white wife, who'd always demanded the best of everything from him, followed him to his other house and discovered that he'd been keeping another wife with two sons in a small, dingy, inner-city, two bedroom house with only one wall heater and no curtains.
The black wife was beautiful and loved her husband and sons very much. She struggled at a job waiting tables and gazed out her windows when her husband was away.
The white wife saw her husband enter this strange woman's home with a smile on his face and arms open wide to embrace his family. Oddly, this had no effect on her. She spotted the bare carpet, worn down by time; she noted exactly four presents under the Christmas tree; she crinkled her nose at the tuna casserole on the kitchen table.
She backed away slowly, ignoring the laughter of the children, returned to her Audi and drove home to her mansion. Once there, she instructed the cook to prepare a four course meal, complete with dessert.
Her husband would no doubt be very hungry for some real food when he got home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Somewhere in the back of my mind I could hear my grandmother's voice shouting out, "You'll fry your balls off!"

I didn't have any balls to speak of, but she said it with such determination, I understood that if I continued with my pursuit, vital parts of my body might become seriously maimed.

This seemed to be of no consequence to me. I needed to get to the other side of that chain-linked fence. I was making good progress, despite the barbed wire curled into the top and the electric wire that ran right through it. This was not a fence designed to keep anything in. No hardened criminals prowled the perimeter searching for weaknesses in the construction. No gun-wielding, sharp-shooting guards were placed strategically in corner towers. This was a fence whose purpose was to keep everything in the world out. Mainly me, I supposed.

My aim was dead on. It took me a long time to figure out how to use the neighboring tree limbs to my advantage, but eventually, I was able to climb up high enough that gravity and a little bit of luck set me down in the middle of the old lady's back yard. I lit on the flat top of the tree stump in the middle of the yard. My toes curled over the edges, as if peeking down and taunting the broken shards of glass that covered the barren ground. I curled my self into a ball and braced for the attack of whatever snarling creature lurked in the shadows. No such thing happened, but I wasn't about to tease the poor thing. I opened one eye and scanned my surroundings.

The creature lay in the corner of the yard in a massive heap of matted black tangles. I knew it would be there. I'd seen it before, from the other side. Although I watched it steadily for what seemed like an hour, I detected no movement of fur, no rise and fall of steady breathing, no quiet grumblings of dreams it might be having. Several possibilities crossed my mind. It could be lying in wait for me to make a move, ready to pounce the moment I stepped off the tree trunk. Or it could have already eaten for the day and wasn't interested in an afternoon snack. Or it was dead from starvation.

I know it's hateful, but I was hoping for Option Three.

After the initial wave of paralyzing fear dissipated from my body, I was able to slowly uncurl myself and stand upright, hands on my hips, chest thrust forward. I'm not sure who I was trying to convince of my fearlessness, the creature or myself. I should have worn a cape. All the best superheroes had them.

But even with a cape, I couldn't fly like a superhero. I was left to my own devices to figure out how to get from this stump to the back door of the house. (Something you may not know about me: I had a lot brothers growing up, so I was a Boy Scout.) I came prepared.

I'd fashioned a sturdy wooden dowel with a metal hook embedded in the end, and I used it to reach out and grab the electrified clothesline that ran the length of the yard. There was no time to speculate whether or not you could actually use that clothesline to hang your clothes. I wasn't able to stop and snicker at the idea of a whole load of crispy undies waving in the breeze. I hooked my big stick onto the line, gave a little jump and I was whizzing off toward the screen door to the mudroom of my grandma's house. The glass shards beneath my feet seemed to come alive as I passed over them, undulating in perfect rhythm, reaching up for my bare toes and all parts connected to them. I'm sure I could identify the unique color of dried blood encrusted on the edges of those razor sharp pieces.  I slammed into the screen door, and from the corner of my eye, I saw a bulky black blur rushing toward me. Its snarling was loud enough to vibrate my entire body.

I guess it had been Option One after all.

No worries. I was in the door, and I shut it in his face just as he reached me. The handy 2"x6" nested into its brackets just as the beast was throwing itself into the door, determined to have his meal. I watched and waited for the thumps to subside. The deafening snarls eventually faded away.

"You're late," Aunt Mary accused me. I turned to see her standing in the doorway to the kitchen, looking down at me with a glint in her eye.

"And you're dead," I reminded her. She threw back her head and laughed at me. We hugged and sat down around the kitchen table with the others.

Somebody handed me a beer, and Aunt Mary dealt me in.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mood Swings

My first get-together at the new place on a warm night with a light breeze. A few friends from work and a few friends from out of town. We were all having a good time sitting in a circle in the garage with the overhead door open so we could enjoy the beautiful weather. Some edgy, raw music played in the background in contrast with our unified laid-back mood. Each guest had his favorite drink in hand.

Bubbles floated by, and we realized that as they popped the music became louder. We made a game of this, reaching up and popping as many as we could. Amanda used the cherry on her cigarette to stab them. When she did this, the song changed, and then the mood changed.

Something was wrong.

My guests started to hustle about and crowd around the edge of the garage, looking at something out in the neighborhood. I pushed through them. Bryan grabbed my arm to hold me back. His black eyes met mine with a fear, not of the scene he saw, but for my reaction to it. I pulled away from him, now desperate to see what had caught everyone's attention.

A freezing gust of wind shot through the garage and we pulled our heavy coats around us. About two inches of snow blanketed the ground, giving the neighborhood a false sense of peace. The world was dark and silent. I stepped into the snow, and then I was alone.

My house was gone. My friends were gone. There had never been a party. There had never been music or bubbles.

There was nothing but snow and silence.

Until I heard the gurgle. A familiar sound that I couldn't quite place, but soon enough I saw the man unconscious in the snow. The crunch of my shoes in the hardened snow echoed in my ears like the beat of my heart as I approached him.

I fell to my knees, distraught at the condition of my son. Blood pooled into the ice around him. Steam rose like fog, obscuring us from the rest of the world. A bestial, guttural roar ripped through the air, and a moment went by before I realized that the sound had come from somewhere deep within me.

My son lay lifeless on a freezing blanket of ice. When I scooped him into my arms, his pieces fell away. Somebody had chopped him up and now his arms and legs were rolling away like discarded shoes and socks. I grabbed at them and tried to put him back together in my arms. He could be fixed if we acted quickly enough, if I could scoop all the blood back into him fast enough, everything would be okay. Blue steam shot from his mouth, and one last gurgle rose from his throat. All the life escaped him then, but there was no convincing me.

I woke in the warm darkness of my bedroom, scooping the blankets toward me, scooping  the blood that wasn't there, grasping at air where my son's lifeless body had been.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Out There


That's what I was, and I was thankful that I'd practiced being blind as a child...just in case.
But this, this was not the same as toe-ing my way across my safe bedroom, bumping into soft, upholstered furniture, giggling at my own awkwardness.

I crawled sightlessly across a strange, cold, cement floor on my stomach. The coppery, pungent smell of thick blood filled my nostrils, and I realized that the blood was mine. There was little pain at this point. I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't hurt as badly as I made myself out to be, or because my subconscious was repressing the pain in an effort to keep me sane enough to escape this increasingly perilous situation.

Somebody had done something bad to me, and now that it was over and the Bad One had gone away, it was time to find my way back home. Blindly.

My fingertips traced the cracks in the floor. I pushed into them, using them for leverage to pull my weak and damaged body along. The slipperiness of the warm blood helped me to slide myself more hastily.

I had no idea where the exit was. A welcoming waft of air blew past me. I turned my face into it and smelled the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins.




I followed. I grunted as I scooted, scaring myself by not crying. Surely I should be crying. How inhuman could I be that I didn't think this was worth a few sobs?

Fuck it, I thought. I'll cry later when I'm safe at home with my mom and a basket full of muffins.

But that couldn't happen either. Mom was already gone. Much more gone than I was at that point, and I almost cried at the memory of that, but stifled it when I remembered that I was wasting time thinking about this nonsense. I should have been concentrating on getting the hell out of there.

A wall. I bumped into it and felt along the bottom, struggling to reach a doorway. It seemed to take a very long time, but the closer I came, the louder the low hum of an air conditioner became. I don't know why I didn't notice that before. I could have used it as a guide.

I think I was in a garage. I began to notice the stench of my father, like motor oil and cigarettes swirling in my head. This made sense to me, because he had been a mechanic all the years I lived with him growing up. Nowadays, he's a truck driver, and I have no idea what he smells like.


The passageway was there. I felt along the bottom where the door meets the threshold, and I pulled myself up by grabbing the knob and hoisting my body against the wall. I was heavier and weaker than I had ever been. I wasn't sure if I would be able to walk after this. Just my luck to be blind and crippled in one little outing. This is why I should never have left the house. These are the kinds of things that happen out there.

The light spilled over me like pink, silk ribbons.




Friday, October 21, 2011

Two Lost Souls

The world was ending.

Well, I think I'll rephrase that.

Our world was ending; the world as we knew it was coming to a violent and abrupt cessation. The population had already gone violent, and the ocean levels had begun to rise. The sirens had long been silenced by an angry mob of looters, rapists or killers. No humans were expected to survive.

Sadly, there were no zombies.

I've always wondered what the end of civilization would be like. What could have caused it? A T-virus? Global warming? Unfortunate planetary alignment? The Bomb?

And how would I react to the knowledge that these were the last days? What would I do? Who would I call? Would there be tears? Would I suddenly develop certain conviction in my so-called faith? Would I repent and pray?

Of course not.

I spent it cuddled up on a couch with that green-eyed, prank-playing, cigarette smoking hero who's been the star of too many of my dreams lately. If he ever bothered to read this, he'd recognize himself in a heartbeat, and probably think I'd become some kind of obsessed stalker, but he'd be wrong. My subconscious picks him because he's safe. My subconscious understands that I'm afraid of commitment, and he's afraid of commitment, so he's been listed permanently under the "Fantasy Only" column. Safe. No commitment- no heartache. Safe.

Yet, there we were, doing the crossword together in the middle of the swirling ocean, floating past pieces of debris that used to be structured buildings and vehicles that we once called part of daily life. I knew it was crazy to be doing that thing with that person, even as I dreamed it, but it didn't keep me from enjoying the situation.

"Twelve down, a dead person, five letters, second letter O."

"Goner," I said, and laughed. and then he laughed too, because were were pretty much all goners at that point.

"You're so sexy when you do that," he said, and I pulled back a little to look him square in the eye. He's never said anything like that to me. He never gave me any indication that he thought I was attractive at all. He was supposed to be safe. Calling me sexy was not safe.

"What is wrong with you?" I asked him.

"I'm trying to flirt with you." He grimaced.

"We are sitting on a tipsy couch floating in the middle of a trash-filled, turbulent ocean with an undetermined amount of time left on this disintegrating planet, and NOW you want to try and flirt with me? Where are your priorities?"

"I must not be very good at it. I've been flirting with you all along. You just never noticed."

I wasn't horrified by his confession, but I was dumbfounded. Had I really dismissed him so easily? Have I been moving through life blind to his affections? As I turned back to my crossword to think more about it, he wrapped a strong arm around my shoulder and kissed my temple. We floated along, content with the warmth of each other.

"The brownies are done," he told me. And then I woke up. The kitchen timer was beeping.
Thank goodness. It was just a dream after all. Of course it was just a dream, I knew that, silly me. He hadn't actually been flirting with me.

I'm still safe.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just When I Least Expect It

I don't remember why I had that half-man, half-monster face down on a cold, concrete floor with my knee shoved into his back. I can vaguely recall some sort of wild chase, some violence and shouting. The one thing I do remember for sure was that I was scared and unsure that I would be able to handle the situation on my own. The creature had uneven, nasty, sharp teeth protruding from his face, and my hand was inches from being devoured. I knew I was going to need that hand for later. I struggled to maintain the hold I had.

I was concentrating on that when my green-eyed hero showed up to rescue me. I had dreamed of him before, but he had never done much more than keep me company.

He charged in and made quick work of the monster. I can still hear the snarling and snorting and grunting. Some from the monster, some from him. His focus was more on disposing of the creature, not on saving me, but that didn't keep me from being grateful to him and his beautiful sea moss eyes.

When it was all over, I wrapped my arms around his neck to thank him. He seemed stunned at first. He hesitated. I could feel his confusion, but it only lasted for a moment. His arms wrapped around me, not only to return the hug, but to comfort me. I could feel his face turn into my neck. I felt the quick kiss against my hair.

Then I froze.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've been comforted by a hug. It always throws me off when somebody does it simply to make me feel better. It is a kindness I do not receive often and never expect when it happens.

Even in my dream, it threw me off kilter, but at least in the dream, I was able to relax. I laid my head on his shoulder, closed my eyes and accepted the warmth.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I am a fifty foot giant, traipsing around the supermarket where I earn a regular paycheck, and the grocery aisles are arranged like a maze for laboratory rats. I can see the shoppers, racing around, finding their prizes and ringing their bells. They're stocking up on the must-haves and arguing over the want-it-bads.
This woman needs her roast; there's been a death in the family. That woman needs her cake; her granddaughter is turning five. That man has to have the Official Dallas Cowboy beer cooler; the game starts at three.

Each person's event is the most important event, and if we don't meet their needs, their lives will crumble.

I am a small ghost. I slip in between them and fill their carts.They don't see me. They don't hear me; even if they do, they don't recognize me. They don't need to.

I am a person. I need three o'clock. If it doesn't come soon, my world will crumble.

Friday, September 9, 2011


"This doesn't seem right."

I knew, not just in my heart but with every muscle in my body what was right and what was wrong. I understood that later I might have to answer to a more powerful, more vengeful authority, but standing next to you, I couldn't seem to pull myself away from the act. You were the only one who seemed to matter at that moment. I had craved your affection for so long, and now, here you were, looking at me as if I were beautiful. I clicked the arrow into place and raised the crossbow to aim.

"They're just puppies. They don't have souls."

Your breath blew against my hair, tickling my cheek, warming my ear. Your fingers had rested on the curve of my hip. I was completely aware of how close you were to me, and I never wanted you to move away.

It took me a few seconds to line the first one in my scope. He was so cute, so cuddly, a big ball of energetic, clumsy, black fluff. He jumped around in the group with his pink tongue sticking partway out of his mouth. I didn't want to kill him. I wanted to scoop him up and take him home with me. I wanted to rescue the entire bunch.

"What's wrong?"

"I can't..." An unexpected tear rolled down my right cheek. The cheek you couldn't see. I didn't want you to be disappointed in me, but I couldn't bring myself to do this. This was wrong. I knew it in my heart that we shouldn't be randomly choosing things to kill. I didn't care if a puppy had a soul or not.

I had a soul, and that's what mattered.

"You can. Just squeeze the trigger." You seemed so sure of me. I wondered if you had ever known me at all.

Maybe you were the one without a soul.

I squeezed the trigger, just as you asked, but the arrow went wild and embedded itself into the trunk of a tree, just above the cluster of puppies. I watched the puppies jerk back in surprise and fear. They scattered at first and then decided on a leader among them. They disappeared over the hill, presumably to the safety of their mother's teat.

I didn't sigh with relief until you were halfway to the tree, cursing at my bad aim.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


   It's supposed to be the end of all things. It's the mind-shredding fear of being out of my own control; the sensation of helplessness; the desperation of reaching out to steady myself and finding nothing but the smoky air clouding up my dreams. I usually fall facing upward, staring at the ridge where I once stood. Maybe there is somebody there, reaching out for me, calling for my return. Maybe there's an empty universe swirling in on itself, and I'm falling away from it. Maybe I should turn myself over and see if there's anybody below with arms outstretched, awaiting the soft impact of my arrival.
   That's not usually my luck.

   I once dreamed the sonofabitch shoved me so hard that I fell out of the car and off the side of the road. There was no drainage ditch. As it turns out, that ditch is just a mirage. If you care to walk up to it and press your hand firmly against the dirt and the sticks and the rocks, you'll find it ripples for a moment and then dissipates into a mighty nothingness. That's where I fell...into the nothingness.

   It's useless to scream. Nobody can hear me, but that doesn't keep me from doing it. I scream all the sound out and then I'm not falling anymore so much as floating, and now, it's not just me. There are Others. Some are like me, they float and look around in wonderment. Some are plummeting, screaming with abandon as they whoosh past me. There they go, and I stare after them hoping they'll discover the floating thing. The floating is so much more pleasant, but it's not really what I want to be doing. I'd rather be floating up. That's not what we're doing in the nothingness. There seems to be no upward movement.

    Hands grab at me and pull me downward. I'm afraid of this, but I quickly understand that this Other is not pulling me downward, but climbing over me.

   They are me.

   We are all me, and we see this simultaneously, and instantly know that we are the only way out of this. We clasp hands and use one another as purchase to climb back out of the drainage ditch. It is a great effort to climb over my own back and shove myself upward and cheer myself on. I can only think that some other me, somewhere below must have hit the bottom, and now we are all standing on the shoulders of the Me down there.

     We climb out of the nothingness, and he is still there waiting for our return. He grins and fantasizes that he'll be shoving us back into that void again, but we are ready for it this time.

    We have the feeling he'll scream all the way down.


Friday, August 26, 2011

I can't go where you go.

Remember that time we were just two kids sitting on the curb, tossing rocks into the street, talking about the future and where it would take us? Or the time we perched ourselves on top of the railroad car, wondering if we stayed there, where would we end up? On Halloween, we terrorized the town, shooting shaving gel on the windshield of every parked car. It turned cold and windy that night and we sat on your porch swing and shared your jacket.

That bridge we used to cross isn't there anymore. They tore it down and put something more stable further down the way.

That last night the world had frozen over. A thin sheet of ice covered everything from the wooden bridge planks under our feet to the heart barely beating in your chest. We watched the icicles fall one by one. They shattered on the frozen stream below and echoed against the rocky walls of the ravine.

You swung your legs over the railing, turned to face me from the other side and dared me to push you. I told you to fuck off and quit playing around. You were trying to scare me and it worked. You said if I didn't push you, you'd jump anyway. I tried to act nonchalant. I shrugged my shoulder and said whatever. 

I knew you were just crazy enough to do it.

You laughed and called me a wuss.  I tried to distract you with a kiss. You were so cold, but the kiss was so warm, I melted into it. I didn't notice you were pulling me with you until it was too late.

I tried to hold on, I swear I did. I spread my wings to fly, but I wasn't strong enough to carry you. FLY, damn you! I screamed. But you wouldn't spread your wings.

When you hit the stream below, there was no echo against the rocks, no scream of regret, no blackbird's lonely call. There was nothing but the dull thud of hopelessness hitting bottom.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Moving On

We're not that close these days. You ran off to New Mexico, and now you're on the verge of getting married to a girl I've never met, but I'll probably like. Or maybe you're already married. If so, I guess we really have grown apart.

I can't even remember if you called to wish me a happy birthday. You haven't missed one yet since we split up, not even when you were in Fallujah. For some reason, though, you just weren't at the top of the list of people I wanted to hear from.

To dream about you now seems ridiculous. I'm not at a point in my life where I need a friend who really understands me. I'm not missing you lately, and I haven't met anyone who reminds me of you.

But there you were in my dream, smiling, teasing me with your empty promises.

Your mother was there, in the dream, and she was pissed at me. She's been pissed at me for this entire time, I think. She always wanted to be my friend, but I couldn't bring myself to do much more than tolerate her. So into the dream she goes.

My hysterectomy was in the dream, and the kids were there, waving from the side of that crazy cruise ship with the wings flapping. What was that all about?

I stood on the dock, half-way waving goodbye to the kids with one hand, clutching an I.V. stand with the other. I wondered for a second Where are the babies? My grandsons? And then reminded myself they hadn't been born yet. After all, the kids on the ship were only small children themselves.

And then we were back at the resort.

He was waiting for me in the lobby. In the dream I knew he wasn't real, but he could be real, if I could learn to open up, give myself over to him completely. His smile lit me up. His tender touch ignited me in a way you never had. As much as I loved you back then, I never gave myself to you fully. I always kept part of my heart in that safe place, scared you would stomp it to death.

And you would have. I was right to guard my heart from you.

I climbed those stairs to your room and laid on the bed beside you. I watched you snore and wondered where you'd been, what you'd been up to. Why don't I know? Weren't we supposed to still be friends? Isn't that a promise we made to each other?

You opened your eyes and looked right into me, and I knew then, that yes, we'll always be friends.

But you won't always call to wish me a happy birthday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can't rest, can't hide

Dreams about snakes are the worst. I hate snakes. I'm afraid of snakes, and when I dream about them once, they will ususally sprout up again in another dream, teasing me, taunting me, scaring the fuck out of me.

This morning, just before I woke, I dreamed I was on some sort of mission with my ex's dad and my grandson and a guy from work who I used to have a major thing for, but not so much anymore since he married some pregnant girl.

We were on a road trip. I guess we needed to travel in order to achieve our mission. We ended up having to share a motel room.  I suppose there were no other rooms available, or maybe we were just simple poor folk and couldn't afford two rooms and still have enough gas money to get home.

I slept on a cot in the room and my ex's dad and the guy from work slept on the big bed with my grandson between them. (Everybody kept their clothes on. This is not a sex dream.) For some reason I got the impression that were were trying to protect my grandson from some unknown evil out there in the world. Something was after him, and it was our duty as his guardians to keep it from getting him.

I was sleeping and dreaming in the dream. I dreamt about my old high school friend who killed himself several years ago. He was trying to talk to me in the dream, but he couldn't form words because he was little more than a small cloud of black smoke, but I knew it was him, and I knew whatever he was trying to say was very important. I felt like he was trying to pass through me, as if he could get his message across by some kind of weird ghost osmosis, but it wasn't working. I could feel his presence and his urgency, but I couldn't translate it into a recognizable message. Perhaps if we had been better friends in life, I would have known what he meant, but we weren't, and thanks to his fatal actions, we never would be.

In that dream, just as he was beginning to be able to talk, a group of demons slithered out of the Universe, grabbed him and pulled him down to Hell. As they were pulling him, he corporealized, and their talons tore into his flesh as he screamed and struggled to free himself. His blood was gushing out. As he was sucked down into the crevice that had opened up for him, his blood spattered across my face and began to burn me like acid. I screamed in pain for myself and in fear for my dead friend's soul.

When I dream inside a dream, I will sometimes be able to fool myself that the dream I'm waking into is reality. Sometimes, I know the difference. I woke on the cot in the motel room, kicking at the sheets and yelling my friend's name. When I realized I had been dreaming, I felt foolish and tried to hide myself under the sheet, but the guy from work was already awake and crawling into the cot to comfort me. At this point, he turned into my ex-boyfriend. For about a half of a second, I wondered about that, but my thoughts were quickly interrupted by a loud rattling sound.

Turning, we both saw a large yellow snake head poking up through a hole in the ratty carpet. It was laughing at us. Laughing! It had found us, and it was about to devour us. We hopped up, and my ex's dad hopped up to deal with this increasingly dangerous situation. My grandson had crawled under the bed. He was giggling at the bright yellow snake head. It looked so funny to him, and if we didn't know it was trying to kill us, we might have thought it was pretty bizarre.

My ex's dad tried to stomp on the body of the snake that was still trapped by the carpet, but the snake was too quick and slithered out, toward my grandson. My heart was beating so hard, I couldn't hear anything else.
Thankfully, my ex-boyfriend snatched my grandson away and kicked at the snake's head, sending it through the air toward the guy from work. (I wondered only for a millisecond about why the two of them were there at the same time, when just a minute ago, one of them had actually transformed into the other. Something to ponder later, since we had more pressing issues to think about at the moment.)

I reached for a weapon, but only found a fork I'd been using before the dream began. When the snake came for me, I plunged the fork into its face, but it retracted and pulled away. It slithered under the cot. I was desperate to kill it. When it sprang itself at me again, I let out a war cry and sunk that fork right into the meaty flesh of the snake. I stabbed it into the floor and twisted the fork so the flesh tore away from itself. within seconds, the head popped off. There was no blood.

My ex's dad, for some unknown, ridiculous reason, grabbed the snakehead and bit into it, feasting on it like corn on the cob. Disgusting, I thought. But not near as disgusting as watching his face corrode from the venom. The skin around his mouth was eaten away and fell from his jaw in bloody chunks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Don't Try to Find Us

As far as I'm concerned, there are no definite, die-hard, one-size-fits-all rules for dreaming. Each dream is as unique as the dreamer. Some folks say you only dream in black and white, and others claim you can't read in your dreams, but I know both of these are false statements. Some folks say you always know when you're dreaming. Some say they never suspect it until they wake up and sigh with relief.

The other night I had a dream that was as real to me as the keyboard under my fingertips. I could see every vivid color, every slinking shadow, every trick of the light from the corner of my eye. I could smell every tantalizing aroma, and every acrid odor. I could taste the honeyed kisses on my lips and feel the liquid heat and the sharp cold and the rubbery floor under my feet. I could read the love notes written on cerulean paper and the words across the window backlit by a periwinkle sky. I could hear every baby's cry.

It was the baby's cry that woke me. I was startled by it because I realized in the dream that I was hearing a sound that came from the depths of my real house. I sat up and stared into the darkness, confused by the heavy silence. I struggled to hear the cry again. Lyric, my grandson must have awakened, turned over, and gone back to sleep. I waited, stretching that part of my mind out to him, that mother's intuition that strengthens with the addition of grandchildren. He didn't make another sound, but the shuffling I heard from the kitchen, just off my bedroom, worried me.
I threw the sheet back and ventured out.

In the space beside the refrigerator, I found her.

A small, blond-haired, blue-eyed child, malnourished and dirty, as if she'd been sleeping wrapped in newspaper under a bridge.

I was shocked to see her there. My hand automatically covered my mouth to keep myself from scaring the poor urchin with my gasps of horror. I reached for her, but she curled into the space between the fridge and the wall. It took quite a bit of coaxing to convince her I wasn't going to hurt her, or eat her. She stared at me with those giant sapphire eyes, unblinking.

Who had left this girl here? Had they been in my home? Were they still here? Or had she simply wandered in the back door, which is often left unlocked for the ones who return home late?

I carried her in my arms like a baby as I searched the house. She must have been at least two years old, but I thought she was closer to three. She was all knees and elbows. She might not have eaten for days.

Content with my cursory search of the house which yielded no invaders, I fed the child.
Not too much, I thought to myself. Her stomach might revolt and she'd end up puking it all up.

I read once that after the Jews were rescued from concentration camps in WWII, many became ill or died because their bodies had become accustomed to starvation, and the sudden nourishment was too much of a shock to their skeletal bodies. I didn't want that to happen to my new little friend.

I gave her a bath next, wondering if I should call the police or social services. Somebody was missing their child. Surely they had reported it. But on the other hand, this child was a skinny sack of blood and bones. She had scrapes and bruises. She had a look in her eyes that said she'd been through hell.

Whoever'd had her hadn't bothered to take very good care of her. Why should I attempt to return her?

I dressed her in one of my daughter's shirts which fit her like a dress. She smile and patted her hands down the front of it. She was starting to feel more comfortable with me. I guess she'd decided I wasn't hungry enough to feed on human toddlers.

When I turned her around to brush her hair, I found the note. Actually, it was a tattoo. I rubbed my hand across it a few times trying to get the ink off her skin, but it remained etched into her permanently.
 Her brothers had done this to her. My blood boiled and my skin heated with with growing fury. Why would they scar her like this? How could they defile her this way? What were they trying to prove?

Please, save our sister. Don't try to find us. Our mother will hurt her again.

And suddenly, I knew exactly who this child was. I could see her mother's face. I could feel her brothers' desparate love. I could taste the bile in my throat as the realization of this tiny angel's life unfolded in front of me.

I wrapped my arms around her and sobbed into her  soft, freshly washed hair. She cried with me.

It was the baby's cry that woke me.

It was the most realistic dream I've ever had.

Friday, July 15, 2011


We let the demons in.
We might as well have slit our wrists to dye the carpet red, we were so accomodating. We invited them to sit comfortably in the parlor and offered them iced tea.
Nevermind that it was laced with incrimination. It had no effect on them whatsoever. They greedily drank down the poison, wiped their mouths and politely asked for more.
While we whispered secretively in the kitchen, they were perusing our family photographs, taking stock, making plans.
While we were arranging petit fours on a tray, they were drugging the dog and conferring with the cat.
By the time we returned, tray in hand, smiles pasted across our faces, they had returned to their seats on the cushioned sofa, skirts pulled down to cover their scandalous knees.
We knew what they were. We knew they were there, not to kill us, but to destroy us just the same. We knew they would do it so skillfully, and quietly that we might not even notice the bombs they'd planted.
We looked at one another, raising our eyebrows in acknowledgement.
At that moment, we both understood that we would not go down without a fight.
So what do you do with a group of skirt-wearing, kitten-petting, bible-thumping demons?
You invite them into the parlor and offer them cake and tea.

I Could Hear You Laughing

I had a dream last night that you and I were chasing each other through a house that had never-ending rooms. I could have dealt with it better if there had been hallways. It might have given the house more definition. Perhaps I would have felt I had more choices, this door or that? Kitchen or bedroom?
It wasn't like that at all. Once I opened a door, my eyes immediately focused on the next doorway, and I had to get to it to go through it into another room that had a doorway into yet another room. The doorways faded away as soon as I passed through. There's was no going back, only forward.
I could hear you laughing in the distance, calling for me. I was looking for you. You were looking for me.
The gremlins and pixies were everywhere, tripping me, snorting giggles, distracting me with bubbles and funeral music.
When I finally caught up to you, you were staring out the window toward the soldiers on the battlefield.
You couldn't see me at all. You'd forgotten to keep looking for me.
Somebody had wrapped you in duct tape, like a mummy. It covered your entire body in neat, silver lines all the way up to your neck. Your wild, red tendrils of hair snaked out and up and seemed to writhe with your every breath. You smelled of gunfire and gasoline and carefree adolescence.
"Are you going to die now?" I asked.
You turned to me with those deep black, crazy eyes and said, "I will if you will."

Evidence of Violence

I must have had that dream before because when the car pulled up next to me, the man was in the back seat, but I thought to myself, Last time, he was driving. He must have gotten a promotion. He no longer drives, but he is driven.
The reflective window rolled down slowly with the whir of a power motor, and for some reason or other, Irish Mike (from work) was awaiting my report. Under cover of darkness and more silently than whispering shadows in the trees, I confessed the goings on of my little operation. He nodded once in understanding and the window whirred back into place.
Because timelines in dreams do not follow the same guidelines as real life, I immediately found myself leaning against the doorframe of my daughters bedroom, watching her brush her hair in the vanity mirror. And when I say that, I mean, she was inside the mirror reaching through through the quicksilver surface to the hairbrush on the vanity. Mirror Sara smiled at me and brushed her long blonde hair, making me realize that this was Mirror Child Sara, not Mirror Grown Sara. Grown Sara had chopped off all her hair and dyed it so many colors, I had forgotten it was blonde to begin with.
My sister reached from behind me, to grab the duct tape (another dream trick. I was now seated at the vanity, Mirror Child Sara gone from view.) My sister ripped off a piece of the silver tape, pushed her dangling eye into her socket and secured it with the tape.
"How's that?" she asked.
I could see the shape of her eyeball bulging behind the tape, moving around as if trying to escape.
"Great," I lied.
My cousin Christy moaned from the bed, and Aunt Brenda pushed past me to tend to her daughter.
There was blood, but it wasn't Christy's. I supposed it was left over from the last wounded soldier. Or woman. It was hard to tell the difference in this dream.
"Did you hear from Mom?" I asked. Aunt Brenda pursed her lips together and shook her head at me. I could tell she was lying, but I didn't push it. She would tell me what she knew, sooner or later.

Beyond the Dream

I haven't been feeling well for a few days. As always, this means that my dreams have been totally screwy. I woke myself up this morning screaming at my mother who presumably passed away three years ago. I kept reminding her that she was dead, and, of course she argued with me simply for the sake of arguing. She was like that when she was alive, and I suppose it carried over into the next level of existence.
Our argument, however unordinary, was typical. I was tired and cranky after a night of soaring over treetops in my two-man collapsible car. I wanted to rest, but she wouldn't let me. She kept insisting that I wasn't folding my car correctly. I didn't give a hoot. As long as it fit in my pocket and I could take a nap, right? But nooooooo....she made me completely undo it and fold it all over again with perfect corners.

Sheesh, MOM!

Part of it was a memory

And the rest of it was just my sick imagination going out of control.
I tend to have anxiety nightmares when I'm sick. I'm worried I won't wake up in time for work or for Thursday/Friday carpool to get the kids to school. I dream about trying to reach that goal, whatever it may be, but I never can quite make it. I wake up frustrasted several times during the night, only to find that I have several more hours before the alarm rings. And then I go back to sleep and dream it all over again.
The same thing happens if I go to bed drunk.
Not today, though. I'm off on Fridays, so I didn't have to go to work. It's Christmas Break, so I didn't have to get kids to school. I don't have to watch the grandkid today, and David doesn't have to work, so I didn't have anything to keep me worried all night.

Instead, I dreamed about violence.
Blistered children's skin.
Chopped up staircases.

And it was one of those dreams that lasted forever, and had all the qualities of an actual memory of an actual event. A whisper from the back of my head kept saying, "I remember this place. I remember this thing."

But I woke up. And I've gone over it a couple of times.

I'm pretty sure I don't remember it.
It never happened.
Not to me, anyway.

It was just my fever and my overactive mind creating horror stories without my permission.

A backlit, red canopy and your smiling face...

I had one of those weird real life dreams where you wake up absolutely relieved to learn that it was all a dream because it was ONE CRAZY NIGHT. However, there were parts of it that I would like to have been true.
The red blanket on the bed that somehow became a huge red umbrella to segue into the next scene in traffic, and yet again became a big lit up red tent over that wild heavy metal concert. I don't know who the band was, but I did enjoy my date.
And he enjoyed me as well.
But that's not even the part I wish was true.

I sure would like for somebody to smile at me like that.

In real life.



just him...



I had the weirdest dream that I was moving back to Alaska to stay there and spend my time watching the ocean slam against the rocky cliffs. I would ponder why it was called the Pacific Ocean, which means "peaceful," when it was clearly angry, violent, even.
I had to sell all my stuff here, for whatever reason...
I had an old Curtis Mathis TV in one of those heavy, wooden cases, and as I was moving it, I found a trinket box that had several locks of hair in it that were labeled "DNA Evidence." And they had my name on them.
I told my daughter to call the police to ask them if they needed their evidence back. I didn't understand why it was behind my old TV.
The police came to investigate, and they found my dead body stuffed into the back of the old TV. This was mind-boggling to me, as I couldn't remember dying.