Not last night but the night before

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Occasionally I have vivid nightmares that leave me afraid to go back to sleep. (Probably PTSD from the LDS years.) The night before last, I had the worst I'd had in some time. It was one of those dreams that seems, while it's happening, to go on for weeks or years. It was also populated by a large cast of my friends—except that, in the way of dreams, none of these friends was anyone I recognized from real life.

These dozen or so friends and I were living on or visiting a subtropical island or peninsula of some sort. We were having a grand time doing incomprehensible things until a giant storm brought flooding. I climbed up a high stepladder to get out of the rushing water. One of my friends followed me up the ladder. I don't know if he was pulling me off or if he was going to make the ladder tip over or if I was just selfish or what, but I kicked him in the face until he fell off the ladder. The swirling water carried him away.

Soon enough things were sunny and dry again, and we were all living in a white multistoried house or possibly a beached yacht. All of us were having a grand time—all of us but our missing friend, of course. He turned up before long, though, not dead and hellbent on killing me for kicking him off the ladder. My other friends hid me downstairs in the house or boat, keeping a lookout from the upper stories.

Eventually, one of my friends came downstairs and told me the coast was clear. In a few minutes it would be time for me to meet the rest of the group out front and make my escape. He went back upstairs, and at the appointed time I slipped out of the house to the rendezvous point outside.

I found myself in a jungle clearing, but no one else was waiting for me there. That's when I realized that all my friends were hiding in the jungle, surrounding me. They had been on the side of the vengeance-seeker all along, and had lured me into this trap to kill me. I don't know whether they had knives or arrows or what, but just as they emerged from hiding to go to work on me, my alarm woke me up.

Okay, so that was pretty fucking scary (and maybe I'm thinking about it again today because I finally watched Episode Ten of Dollhouse, "The Attic," last night). I was glad it was time to get up, and that there'd be no question of going back to sleep.

But then something even worse happened. I made a pot of coffee, then set my first cup down on a piece of furniture while I picked up my laptop. I didn't see that the laptop cord was looped around my mug. Coffee all over the floor. I nearly wept.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on February 2, 2010 11:35 AM.

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