Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's that witching hour on a Monday night when the whole house is asleep at 2:30 a.m., and yet here I am, woken up and unable to sleep.
I've been having these nightmares lately.
I thought I had grown out of those sweat-breaking, waking you up with dry mouth and a pounding heart type of dreams. The ones that haunt you for weeks, months, and never lose their sense of terror even over time.
But for the past week or so, I'll be dreaming- quite peacefully and enjoyably- and then it will work it's way around to the same scenario. It's winter, middle of the day, with lots of deep drifts of snow. I'll be in the woods, just like the ones where I walk my dog every day, hardly any people just trees and steep banks of shrub. And I'll be lower down the bank just walking, when I'll look up and see this guy in an Oiler's hockey jersey (ok, so that part is kind of funny) slowly walking above me and obviously looking for something. At this point, I always get a whiff of panic, or that something's wrong, and I'll duck and hide behind a bush, staying as still as possible so he doesn't see me. Because it soon becomes clear that what he's looking for is me.
He always gets almost all the way gone, and I think that I'm safe, but at the last minute he turns his head and -impossible! I'm lying there so still!- he spots me. And starts down the bank towards me, and I get up, try to shout for help but- typical- my throat is dry, and I can barely speak. And as he gets closer I see his face: it's ugly, dead-behind-the-eyes, and he reminds me of the boorish louts I encounter sometimes when they come down from working the oil rigs.
I always wake up before he actually gets to me.
Wake up with twisted sheets, t-shirt stuck to my body with sweat, uncomfortable pillow, tense shoulders. Wake up with the intention of never closing my eyes again, of consciously thinking of bright light happy things in order to not go down that road again.
Anyways, I needed to get up. So I wandered downstairs, checked my email, and my dad comes on Skype. He is in Nepal right now, and so with the time difference it was his afternoon. I haven't talked to him since he left 3 weeks ago, so I give him a call. And when he answers I am 5 years old again and sleeping on my parents bedroom floor because I am too scared to stay in my own room. I start crying, and tell him I had a bad dream.
Hahaha, I haven't told him that in a very long time.
It made everything better, but now I miss him.
Come home safe Dad.

1 comment:

  1. I meant to comment on THIS one earlier, too.

    I'm not a lucid dreamer. I hardly ever remember what I dream about. But every so often I have a dream (or a nightmare) that was SO REAL, so INTENSE, I guess, that I wake up and feel horrible. Sometimes I remain utterly convinced of the reality and truthfulness of a nightmare even ten seconds after I wake up. It takes me that long to realize that I was dreaming, and that I AM in my own bed, and that my hair HASN'T fallen out, my town HASN'T been destroyed by a nuclear explosion, I HAVEN'T been fired from my job, I'm NOT a galley-slave...

    And so on, and so on.

    I used to have this one recurring nightmare where I was running from something (I only ever got a glimpse of it once or twice...most nights I was too chicken to even turn and look) and NOT BEING ABLE TO MOVE FAST ENOUGH. I kept slipping and tripping and falling down and sliding into potholes and whatnot. It was utterly terrifying. I'd be scrabbling at the ground with all four limbs, digging trenches in the dirt with my fingernails, and I could hear this THING pounding up behind me...

    I say this just because when I read your post, I thought, "WOW! She described that never-gets-any-less-scary recurring-nightmare feeling EXACTLY. I know PRECISELY how she feels."

    That thought crosses my mind often when I'm reading your work...

    I hope your Dad made it home safe.