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.