Monday, September 22, 2008


Category: Issue 13

I’m standing in the dark.  I know where I am.  I know where the bedroom and the bathroom are.  I’m on my way to the bathroom.  I reach for the light switch.  I might be eleven years old.  I might be thirty-two years old.  I might be almost sixty.  It doesn’t really matter.  It’s me.  It’s a dream.  Other people are sleeping here; nothing is particularly wrong.  I’m just going to the bathroom.  I’m wearing a flannelette night gown. 

This is a house trailer.  A mobile home, a pretty nice one.  There’s a tree and a fence outside.  Plants.  My cat is in the bedroom, waiting for me and purring.  He’s kind of irritating and insists on sleeping under the covers with me.  It’s just a true story, nothing to write home about. A dream.  It’s dark and I’m just going to the bathroom.  I reach for the switch, which is on the right; and I click it up, I guess it would be.  Whatever it needs, to be turned on. And the world explodes in flames.  It just does; then I wake up.  “A propane issue?” is my last thought before, um consciousness.  “Maybe because it was a mobile home?” 

I’m in a car.  I think we’re trying to get somewhere, my friends and I, who are anywhere between eleven and almost sixty years old.  I can’t imagine anything past that, older than that, yet.  It doesn’t really matter.  Nothing is particularly wrong.  It’s just one of those typically harmless joy-rides, one of the truly harmless ones that you never hear about, where you really don’t get hurt and you don’t wreck your dad’s car.  We’re not doing heavy drugs.  Somebody may have a beer, but nobody is doing anything much.  We’re just driving around, and suddenly I am apparently driving.  Maybe it’s MY car.  No big deal.  We, I, pull up at the edge of a precipice.  It’s no longer clear why we are at the edge of this stupid precipice.  Maybe we are here to see the view and neck, or maybe we have been pursued by the cops (but we weren’t doing anything bad…).  In any event we’re at the edge of it.  And we start to slide off.  We hit the edge of it too hard when we pulled in, and the whole thing just kind of evaporates. 

The car does this kind of hump hump thing towards the edge.  It really happens very fast.  I can’t tell whether I’m fifteen or forty-five or coming up to seventy years old.  Probably around thirty, I’m thinking.  Rapidly.  As it slides.  I slam on the brakes but that doesn’t work, we just start to move in the wrong direction, that being towards oblivion, or whatever… over, over.  Faster. 

Someone from the back seat screams, shouts, bellows, to turn the wheel the other way.  I do.  But apparently, too late.  We’re going down.  Into blackness, and expecting a big thud:  something horrible.  I miss the ending.  I wake up. 

My dog is sick.  My dog is dead.  I wake up.  She isn’t.  She’s still alive after all. 

Wait.  She’s not.  She died several years ago.  Sometimes the relief of waking up is tempered by the fact that your goddam dog is dead, after all.  You just thought your dream was just a dream. 

Gordon, my first boyfriend.  Well, let’s face it, a whole series of boyfriends.  I’ve made up with most of them by now, even though we’ve broken up, and many of us may never see or talk to each other again.  In my dreams, I do, though.  The ones who don’t talk in real life are the ones who are most likely to turn up in dreams.  I must say, they remain a bit non-committal, though. 

The one person who mattered the most, who is Dead, seems to have recovered, incrimentally, in my dreams.  I don’t dream about him anymore since last time, when he seemed fine.  I would like to think that means something. 

Of course, my teeth keep falling out in shards, in public situations, and I keep having to wedge them back in, as best I can, in the ladies’ washroom.  Of course, I have eternally forgotten to attend the math or history classes at my high school or college and must now (and forever) find the room in which to take the exam.  I’m lost, I’m nine years old, on my own, passing the drinking fountain in the hall and thinking, “I can do this.”  It’s absolutely amazing how many times I have revisited the same college and tried to retake all of my college courses, considering that I have already actually taken them and have never revisited the same college and tried to retake them.  In real life, I don’t have to retake them.  Do I? 

Of course, my donkey got squished when I left him in the van that time I was looking for the room in which to take the math (or was it history?) exam.  Somebody hit the van while I was gone.  But it was just a dream.  That was awful, though. 

I especially like meeting people in my dreams who are wittier and kinder than I am.  There is a nice lady in the basement of the university, she’s kind of chubby and really helpful.  I think she has on a red sweater.  She has to be real.  Why then, if she is real, do I wake up?  Am I just insecure, or what?  If she isn’t real, then I must be awfully witty and chubby and helpful, goddamit.  To have invented her. 

Many years ago, I dreamed that I was standing in line at a concession stand in the college that I was going to, and that I could not decide between a Coke and a Sprite.  I had to stand there for such a long time, and it was so boring, that I woke up.  I don’t even know which drink I actually ending up getting.  I am still traumatized by how boring that was (based on how boring that was).  I will never find out whether I got a Coke or a Sprite.  Even if I have another similar dream, it might not be the same Coke or Sprite. 

I can’t fly.  Either I go way too high, as if in an uncontrollable hydrogen balloon, just straight up, and I can’t control it, and end up waking up out of panic—or I just hover above the ground, about three feet up, peddling madly and getting nowhere, and the cartoon evil-doers snap at my heels until I wake up.  I can’t fly without waking up. 

Once, many years ago (but I still vividly remember), I think I had a series of recurring dreams about Evil.  There was this Thing in the other room.  It was just Evil.  It had no shape or form.  It stalked and lurked and scared the shit out of me, it had this Presence:  and I did not wake up usually until it was too late and I was traumatized.  I did not (until the Last Dream) realize that I had had several dreams about it until the Last Dream, in which I woke up and went, “Hey, I’ve been dreaming about this a lot!”  After that, it stopped. 
Did I have several dreams about this, or did I just dream that I had?  I did not know about all the dreams until the Last Dream. 

Maybe I am still having these horrible dreams about Evil and just not remembering them, again.  Or maybe I just dreamed the entire sequence of dreams in one fell swoop. 

Based on my dreams, I think it’s possible that I read too much.  Or, have done so.  Also I may be typically insecure about various things.  One thing I can probably say for sure is that I am not an axe murderer, but that may be just because I can’t remember those particular dreams.