Thursday, July 15, 2010

what dreams may come

I dream of predators more often than I dream of anything else. Recurring dreams, too; not just once or twice. Consistently, repeatedly, repetitively. My dreams like to remind me that no matter how far I think I've come there's still a small child inside me that is afraid of the monster under the bed.

No matter how many years I've trained myself to use that damn baseball bat.

Wolves show up a lot; so do coyotes. The predators change but the game remains the same: save the innocent. Sacrifice myself if I must, but the innocent ones are the ones whom I must protect at all times.

Freud would be bored with my dreams, they're so obvious. When I was younger and we moved from New Hampshire to Southern California we didn't know that we were supposed to bring our five cats in at night, that coyotes would come down into our backyards and snatch our furry little family members away. We learned the hard way as cat after cat disappeared, and I still dream at night that whole droves of coyotes are making their way down our old backyard slope and there's my cat, my orange cat Motley, who was the first to die, and he's scared and I'm trying to get him into the house as the coyotes are closing in. I can never move fast enough to get him inside, but thankfully, mercifully, sometimes I wake up before the coyotes get to him.

Last night in my dreams we were trying to decorate the house for Christmas, but a huge pack of wolves surrounded our house as a circle and attacked anyone who tried to put up any decorations. I clamped down a wolf's jaws as it struggled while someone hung Christmas lights off the roof and it snapped at me in vain as the red and green lights reflected in its hungry yellow eyes.

You have to admit, it's kinda funny.

He shows up more than anyone else, though. I know this game well; I've had this dream over 20 times. It's a house, sometimes one I've lived in, sometimes not. Friends and family are scattered all over, their bodies still warm in a pool of their own blood. I was unable to protect them. He moves through the house with a gun, always a gun because I do not like guns and no one is bulletproof anyways. There's one last person I have a chance to save, and she is scared and hiding and it is my responsibility to make sure she lives and that she's okay.

I find her, my mother, hiding under a staircase or in the back closet of a room, and I hold her and tell her it's going to be okay, and then he arrives and guns her down in front of me and I have failed. I wake up and life goes on and I try to eat breakfast and shake off the heaviness and I call my mother just to hear her voice and I have holes in my shoes so that I can pay to tell my therapist what I already know, what I will never be ready to hear, that there will always be those wounds inside no matter how much I dress them up as sardonic barbs or clever machines. There is only so much I can heal but my dreams will not change their relentless march through my head.

What dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause.

23 comments:

lakeviewer said...

This is ponderous! We all have these dreams, if it helps. We try to solve all the problems in our lives, times and times again, dream after dream.

I loved how you tried to save the kitties.

Eric W. Trant said...

My son had some bad dreams and I told him to use his Light Saber.

He did. Nothing stops a Light Saber, you know.

I dreamt of a monster last night, Daddy?

What did you do?

I cut him in half with my Light Saber.

See, boy, it works!

You should try that. You can even stop bullets with one, if you're fast enough, and they cut through anything -- and I mean ~anything~.

Me, I always dream I'm in my Tahoe and the brakes don't work and I'm going a hunnertunten in traffic, through the lights, swerving and stomping the brakes that don't work and trying to find a good song on the radio, you know, something appropriate to die to, like Metallica or Zombie, or better yet, Korn, preferably their song Yall Want a Single.

I think it's because we had a VW mud hogger buggy like that, growing up. We had to run into something to stop it, and my parents never let me listen to devil-worshiping music like KISS and ACDC.

Gimme some anti-lock brakes, and I'll let you borry my son's Light Saber. It's a red one, like Lord Vader (his middle name is Vader, he'll tell you, and he is one with the Dark Side of The Force).

- Eric

maggisaar said...

Dreams are stupid.

Like, really stupid. I hate that there’s no way to control them and when they are bad, you can’t do much about them other than just try to wake up. But once you wake up they aren’t gone. No, still there, still in your memory, still clinging to a part of your soul, usually the part that is the most fragile. Here I am, you’re fucked all day. Hahahaha!

Stupid dreams.

I have lovely dreams sometimes, but I rarely remember them. And I have weird ass dreams that make no sense and when you wake up and try to explain them to someone it’s just all, “and then the mop came in and started to attack the dog but instead of doing anything I wanted to finish my tea party with Walt Disney and this talking cookie.”

I used to dream about DJ, stupid man, and I would always let those dreams destroy me for an entire day. He’d appear, it would be all right again, and when I’d wake up and he’s gone, I’d be devastated for the whole day. All day. Because of a dream! Stupid dreams about stupid men are the worst. I don’t dream about him anymore. I don’t want to.

I’m sorry you have bad dreams. That sucks. Especially about and because of everything that’s happened before. I wish I could pop into your head while you sleep, shoo away the bad dreams, and give you lovely ones. Where you’re The Doctor’s companion or running around with Betty White and a talking muffin or random, nonsense dreams that involved whales, cheep taco stands, and a bucket. I’d sit next to your bed and punch bad dreams and wolves and Him and all other things in the face, while letting Betty White by to make it all better. (Because, I mean come on, who could punch Betty White in the face? The answer? No one.)

I hope sleep becomes more restful for you. *hugs*

Now that I said ‘muffin’ I really want a muffin…let’s go get one.

Barbara said...

Frightening, Phoenix. I got chills just listening to your dreams. I know I had a monster under my bed when I was little, but he's gone now. I rarely even remember my dreams anymore.
There are some advantages to getting older. Not many, but some.

Bathwater said...

Sleep should be a time for rebuilding, I'm sorry it isn't for you. Have you tried controlling your dreams. I can usually control my dreams unless like last night I am exhausted.

Last night's dream was a continuation of my evening with parts that seem so real now, I could get them confused with reality.

I find it is easier to control a dream when you are drifting in and out of light sleep.

Robin said...

I am going to tell you what you already know. You have a need to save everyone. You know that is impossible. Your subconscious works this paradox out again and again in an attempt to change this around. Of course, it never works. Even in your dreams, the truth remains the same. You need to save everyone. You know that it is impossible. You are still a superhero. You are still a lighthouse. Your work now is accepting the limitations of the job. ((hugs))

Marion said...

Oh, Phoenix! I've always heard that dreams are our how our subconscious works out shit that we can't face in the daytime. Sounds good, right?

I've had 2 amazing flying dreams in my life. Powerful, lucid and magical. I was in my 40's and both times I was flying over and along a river with my arms outstretched, exhilarated.

I have a recurring dream I've had since I was about 4 years old. I'm running down a long hallway (in the house we lived it at the time) and someone is chasing me. There are nails, glass and tacks all over the floor. I'm running in slow motion, my feet cut and bleeding, feeling pure terror. I always wake up right before whatever is chasing me catches me.

Fast forward to now and I'm dreaming of water: floods, rain, more floods, leaky roofs. No secret that water symbolizes our emotions and that I'm emotionally overwhelmed.

Wishing you some great, happy dreams. Love & Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I feel ya, girl. I have a recurring dream of being chased by my brother, who is just about to grab me by my hair, pull me down, and kill me. Hopefully next time, we'll remember Eric's advice and reach into our pockets and get out our light sabers.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

This is so interesting because, especially lately I'm having dreams with predators, death, horrible, horrible things- it's so interesting and terrifying....

Scarlet-O said...

Huh! I wrote about my dreams today too, just now... before looking at yours... maybe it's Ce chaleur!!!

I never have dreams about predators... I almost wish I did, cuz then I'd be happy to wake up.

Misery said...

okay so I know this is going to sound weird - but these dreams are not that bad! :) Of course that's only because I'm not the one who dreams them. I do agree with Robin, but I don't agree with you - Freud wouldn't be bored. I cannot imagine him being ever bored by this stuff. I think that he was always fascinated!

(as far as I'm concerned, my worst nightmare is always that I'm dying but I still am aware of what's happening. like, for example, I'm being cremated and maybe in the end you are right and Freud would be bored. My dreams are kind of obvious, too)

:)

Indigo said...

I've always said monsters are real, they're just real good at hiding in human guise. It's a rarity to sleep a full night, even less so since my deafness. To me it's one less sense to warm me of whats coming.

Your like me sweet friend, you awake from these horrors, and look around you and appreciate the little things. Some days that's all we can do - wake up and go in search of beauty to balance everything out. (((Hugs)))

Lydia Kang said...

It's funny how some of us have recurring dreams. I have a recurring dream of being in college again, and I'm stressing out about classes I've missed, or the key to my dorm room...it's weird.

Joker_SATX said...

If you think your dreams are disturbing...you should try mine. World Domination seems to be a recurring topic in my dreams!

Dawn Simon said...

You write beautifully.

My recurring nightmares are about losing my teeth OR having to take finals I somehow forgot and need to pass to keep my high school diploma or college degree. I have odd dreams regularly, sometimes scary and sometimes fabulous. The night before last: fabulous.

I hope your nightmares go away, though we all get them sometimes. Just never stop dreaming. :)

Ed Pilolla said...

you know so much about yourself. you are so in touch with that part of you which will never be satisfied. that's pretty valuable, i think. wish i was more in touch with the boy inside me whose wounds just won't heal.

Ida Nielsen said...

I used to have those monster dreams as a kid (the monsters were snakes in my case), at some point I began telling myself (in my dream) 'it's just a dream, it's just a dream' over and over again and I haven't had any nightmares in the last couple of years.
I can't imagine having such horrifying nightmares over and over again. Sounds awful!

S and O said...

You want to know something funny. I'm terrified of nightmares, just the thought that I might have one is enough to keep me up all night! but I've never had one :P
Crazy, huh?

Xoxo
Sarah

drollgirl said...

these dreams are awful. i hope they go away someday. someday soon.

Terresa said...

Dreams are trippy. Some of them stay and stay, like a bad head cold or heartburn.

Others are warm sun and kisses, those are the ones I wish would linger longer...

Purple Cow said...

Losing your cats as a child one by one must have been a horrific experience. I'm not surprised you have nightmares.

But maybe you should watch less thrillers also...

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

That must be exhausting to have these dreams so often-

Good thing you are sharing it here-it might help ease your nightmares.

Kris said...

Dude, go see the flick Inception and then tell us the dreams you have!!

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