I have a dream. I say “have” rather than “had” not because I think I’m Martin Luther King (although, yay equality) but because the dream is recurring. I don’t have it every night but I might have it tonight. It’s never exactly the same twice but the essential element is always there.
I’ve never tried to analyse the dream, never done any web searches for its significance. And if you’re reading this, please don’t look it up and tell what you now “know” about me. I’m not interested in any amateur psychologists thinking they know my inner secrets. Prior to now I’ve never even told anyone about it.
Originally I planned to write about the dream for a creative writing assignment. I’ve never written anything more than a few pages long and the major assignment this semester is supposed to be 20,000 words. Which has me freaking out. I think Professor Grivas (or GBH as we call him) saw the terror in my eyes because he pretty much taunted me about it being beyond my capabilities.
Then as per usual, he lumped the whole lecture into “your generation” and challenged us to do better than some trashy social media post and write not only at length but also without using internet slang, abbreviations or “memes”. Pretty sure he doesn’t get memes but nobody pulls him up on it any more because if we ever try to explain memes to him he goes on a huge rant about Marshall McLuhan and Richard Dawkins. Last time I’m pretty sure I saw spit foaming at the corner of his mouth.
When I told me dad about how GBH carries on, he said GBH sounded like a “typical Boomer prick.” So far as I know they’re only about 10-20 years apart in age but I never point this out.
So I’m writing longer than a tweet. No gifs, no listicles. And trying to not come across as if I’m on 4chan.
Back to the dream. I can’t remember the first time I had it. But I not only avoid looking up the meaning of it, I usually avoid facing why I don’t want to analyse it. But I know the reason. It’s the same reason I avoid tarot cards or having my palm read. I’m worried what I’m told will turn out to be true. And I’d rather not know.
It’s the blackness I don’t want to know about. Let’s get real, that’s bound to mean something. The blackness that hides something.
Another thing that’s always the same in the dream is I don’t see the blackness at first. It’s so black it’s like a void that my eyes (or my subconscious given this is a dream) skips over. It’s as though I’m simultaneously unaware of the void and aware that something is missing. The critical point is always when my brain goes “Hey, there should be something there…”
At that moment that something that most definitely is there reaches out and grabs me by the throat and I wake up in a cold sweat. So I suppose we’re talking nightmare rather than dream. It really scares me not because of the undoubtedly horrible monster that grabs me (and I have no memory of ever seeing what the monster looks like) but because it’s always so normal to start with. It’s never been in a haunted house or a scary cave – it happens in such everyday places.
The monster’s been under my bed (classic), in my wardrobe (ditto) and even in the back of my Volkswagen. That was the one that really got me, I mean, as if there aren’t already enough ways to die in a ’61 beetle with a hole in the exhaust pipe and bad brakes. I got such an old car because it was a “classic” and I thought it would make me look cool. It kind of does but it costs a lot to keep on the road and is a real bastard to drive. And I won’t even go into my friend Ben’s nickname for my German car which tries to gas me.
What I’m trying to say is that’s why I’m telling this story. When a dream like that slithers out of my unconscious and into the real world I get a bit jumpy. That’s how Karen was able to affect me so much in the dungeon. Oh wow, as soon as I wrote that I felt compelled to add a qualifier. We were playing Dungeons and Dragons – a “dungeon” is what we call an adventure even if it doesn’t involve a literal dungeon. Back to my point – seeing the blackness in the real world was the reason I was so jumpy the whole night, nothing else.
I’m sure of it.