Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nightmare




This nightmare is rapidly fading from my morning mind, so before it fades into complete vagueness, I will attempt to recapture its essence.

I was living in the back room of my parents' house. I walk into the living room, and I notice something is wrong with them--they seem possessed, automatons with some terrible intention reflected in their zombie-like expressions. I notice that my mother is carrying around what looks like a huge hose with a gaping hole at the end. She is aiming this hose at some of her most precious possessions, and as she does so, they melt in the intense heat this awful device emits. I try to make sense out of this bizarre situation, but all I can really understand is that they are getting rid of everything that they no longer want, and apparently they don't want much, since they are melting everything in their path.

I sense the danger immediately; I don't know what they did exactly, but I think it had something to do with a threat to all of my possessions, in the name of clearing out the house. I run into my room and fill a bag with socks and underwear. I have to run away. Before I do, however, I need to save two items from the house: old love letters and picture albums from my past. I run out into the living room to retrieve these things, and I see that my parents are in the process of destroying nearly everything they own; I am terrified, for clearly their intention is to harm me. I don't know how I make this leap in logic, but I escape the house pursued by my mother who loses track of me and returns to her grim chore.

What follows are strange travel destinations; I am in Madrid, frantically calling the phone number of an ex-boyfriend (460-40-66) who apparently is the only one who can save me from all of this, yet as usual in my dreams where he appears, I cannot reach him--my fingers cannot dial the number correctly, I forget the city and country code, the pay phone doesn't work, and so on. I continue traveling, to and in places I cannot recall, and I end up back at my parents' home, this time with my stepdaughter, who I am desperately attempting to protect. I don't know why I am returning; I suppose I think that I can stop this madness of theirs, appeal to logic, bring them back to reality, anything but what I actually encounter. I am hiding in the closet with Imanya when they open it and aim the heat gun at me. In that terrible moment, I realize that they intend to kill me. The heat is intense, and if I don't so something soon, I will die. They simply stare at me with fixed eyes and a numb expression. I decide to divert their attention: "why don't you melt the car--that would be really fun!" and lo and behold, my father is convinced, and both of them head off to melt the car.

I grab Imanya, and we run like crazy out of the house and down the street. This time, I finally understand that I cannot go back, and that the situation is completely out of my control. My parents have destroyed almost the entire house, and nothing will be spared, not even me. I will have to start my life completely over, since I cannot take anything away from my house, I cannot pack anything, I cannot save anything.

This realization ends the dream.

The meaning of all this has something to do with understanding that returning to the past is not only futile, but dangerous. The people you thought you knew are irrevocably changed, and may not even know you anymore. There is nothing to salvage from the past, since you are creating your life as you live it, taking with you only that which you already possess. Saving Imanya is really about saving myself, saving the child that I was; could I go so far as to say there was something unhealthy and potentially deadly to me in my childhood home? I could; I can't and won't define it, since the specifics don't matter. What matters is the necessity of self-creation and understanding in the present.

The hoses belching intense heat, destroying anything at which they were aimed, could be seen as cleansing the past and recreating something new from its ashes, yet the process was horrifying and threatening, which makes me think that it was more about fear and anxiety. Why my parents? Were they the source of fear and anxiety in this dream? Obviously; but there is something that I am missing here, something important, and whatever it may be, it is beginning to fade along with the details of the story.

I only take away this: don't go back. Don't ever go back.

2 comments:

Frosty said...

Whoa. That's really intense. I'm glad you wrote about it.

Kitty said...

Intense is right! I woke up feeling really strange . . . I still don't understand it. I don't know if I want to understand it!