nightmare on me street
it’s early in the morning, and i am afraid to go back to sleep. afraid i will dream again.
i’ve been watching a TV show, which is now off the air. my sister watched the last few seasons of the series before it went off, but since i’d missed the first few, i told her i’d wait and catch the episodes later. so here we are, working our way through the storyline, DVD after DVD. it’s an amazing, addicting, fascinating show. and surprisingly difficult for me.
this show is all about war, and survival. the end of the human race. and maybe you know it, but i’m afraid to write the name down. because it is such an amazing show, and i’m feeling so very besmirched by my own dark side, i wouldn’t want to sully it. because the show’s intensity, and fear, and tension; the dire circumstances, the threat of death at every turn…it all reminds me of childhood. it reminds me of home.
i dreamt a horrible dream last night. a dream where horrible things made me take flight. i was lucky enough, because in this dream the horror wasn’t happening to me, which was not true in my childhood. but i blew the whistle on the situation, and then the flight was mine, and the fight as well. i drew attention to myself, like i’ve done too many times in my life. i don’t know why i can’t just shut myself up. and because i was trying to protect someone else, my life was suddenly being threatened.
so i raced down the hall, knowing that my life was in eminent danger, and tried to bury myself in a room, as if locks and doors could keep away those in power. i ran to the windows to try my way out, but the two in the room were the tiny, slanted windows you find in basements. they were long, foreshortened, narrow and opened up at the top, while staying hinged at the bottom.
and in the dream, it is just like it was in real life: the hard beating of the heart as i try to squeeze my body into a tiny space. the heat of my skin, as my body revs up, preparing itself for a fight to the death. my head pounding, vision unsteady, eyes betraying me and wanting to cry, while my breath is ragged and forcing itself out of my chest. my hands shaking, as i try to do some task – take the screen off the window, HURRY! – while my brain is racing twelve steps ahead, and my body feels like it is running through a field of molasses. i’m wild. i’m feral. this is the place i call “scritchy”. i could claw someone’s eyes out. i could climb myself out of a cavernous pit, just using the chewed-down nails on my fingers to pull myself up with. i’m so goddamned determined to live.
it would have been easier if i’d just laid down and died. in the dream and in real life. it would have been an easier outcome if i’d just ended the whole journey somehow. but in the dream, as in real life, i truly manage to get out the window. and in the dream, as in real life, i still can’t manage to get away in time. i’m caught in the back yard of the house, thinking i will be able to be free finally, of the nauseating scene from inside the walls. but i find this woman outside. she’s one of the bad people, and it doesn’t seem she expected me, but i don’t think she cares. i think she’ll be happy to kill me, surprised or not. so i take my long handled scissors, and plunge them into her.
THAT i never got to do in real life. and thank the gods, because it’s messy. and reminds me a great deal of the TV show i am watching. somehow this show seems to capture it. the horror. the fear. the intense anger. the craziness of it all. and then the need to proceed on to the next day, where it will all start over again, and you will have to continue the same fight, with the same players, and pretend that you have the strength for it, and pretend that you aren’t so tired that if you blink too long you might stay asleep forever. so you pick up your weapon, wipe the blood off of it and your face, and you have yourself some breakfast. corn flakes, perhaps, because those are nice and predictable.
and when you think you are crazy enough, you try to go back to sleep, and tell yourself this time you will dream about marshmallows and dancing colored teddy bears, instead of the life you lived so long ago, that you’ve been trying so desperately to avoid.