Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Under Siege

Completely unrelated to the fact that I haven't written on here in months, I've been having nightmares. Not every single night, but almost. When I was a kid, I had them every time I was sick, especially if I had a fever, and it was always the same.
Above me was an unending desert. Not populated by cacti, fragile dry brush, and lizards - just flat sand, as far as the eye could see. In the middle of it all was a round metal table, coated with the sort of glossy white paint that would make the faintest squeak when you rubbed your hands across it. There were four chairs (metal, white), and coming up from the center of the table a large sun umbrella with thick red and white stripes... and under all of this desert, was me, in a tunnel.
I never saw the desert in my dream, but I knew it was there. I only saw the end of the tunnel ahead of me as I was digging toward the table. The horrifying part was that every shovelful of sand got heavier than the last, until one grain of sand on the shovel was too heavy to bear, and I woke up terrified. Why? I have no idea. I get the feeling if I went to therapy they would simply say, "well, why do you think heavy sand is terrifying?", and I'd break down into some terrible mess on the floor.
Anyway, the kids and I were out to dinner, and the subject of nightmares came up. We were talking about them (I told my gripping story of the sand tunnel, and was thoroughly mocked), and Sam told us his - He was trapped in a video game store, when three creatures tried to break in and kill him. There was a guy with really weird eyes (yawn), a guy with two heads and Medusa-like snakes for hair (ok, creepy), and Lyle Lyle Crocodile wearing a top hat and long coat (what?)... and in the dream they finally break in and have a fight to the death. Pretty decent dream, I thought, and Lyle Lyle Crocodile really adds a nice eerie twist.
Last but not least, Lily calmly takes a bite of her burrito and tells us her dream in graphic detail... She is standing on a weathered dock with her friend Paula, overlooking a tangled swamp. A man behind them tells her that he has thrown a golden coin into the water, and if they can find it, they'll win an amazing prize (I can't for the life of me remember what the prize was), so they both jump in. She wades around for a while, pushing her way though the sopping undergrowth, when all of a sudden she sees a pale figure, with a slightly triangular shaped hairless head, and sharp pointed teeth slowly rise out of the water behind Paula. She screams to warn her, and the two of them stumble out of the swamp just ahead of the ghostly figure, and run to the car. They reach the car, lock the doors, and just as I am starting the car to make our getaway, the vampire-toothed figure silently rises up from the back seat, lean toward me, and licks my arm.
I know. Wtf, right? Keep in mind she told us this with a completely straight face. I was pretty freaked out.
Anyway, I've been having nightmares. Not the sand thing, they're mostly about the kids these days. There's always some sort of danger - last night the kids were going to get hit by a train - that happens over and over all night. The only way I can seem to make it stop is if I can wake myself up enough to talk myself out of it... last night I actually sat up in bed and said to myself "the kids are in bed, they can't get hit by a train" over and over until I believed it... some nights it's easy, and some it's like turning free fall into flight. I don't suddenly feel more protective of them that I used to be, so I have no idea where all of this is coming from, but if I'm still having the same nightmares when they're away at college, I'm gonna be a little pissed.
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