03 January 2006

When sleep and dreams are at war

(3:55am) I couldn’t get to sleep last night—rather just a few hours ago—I shivered and trembled hard with cold. A long time past and I couldn’t get warm, not even if I snuggled up to Rob, who sleeps warm as a furnace. After a long time I gave up in despair and was going to go upstairs and sleep on the couch, but Rob said he’d find another blanket to put over me. I warmed up soon, but then just couldn’t rest. Finally I went to sleep, but fell into bad dreams and night terror. Suddenly something awful happened and Rob was dead in bed beside me, or so I thought, and I cried out and grabbed onto him. He woke up enough to quickly pull me close and hold me as I cried and my breath came fast and my body shook.

It took some time, but I made it back to sleep, only to have a horrible dream encounter with a pretty, petite, blonde girl, a teenager of maybe 17, who was a great manipulator. She was asking for something from me—I was somehow like a mother figure to her. I denied her, can’t remember why now, but she quickly turned nasty and demanding and, it seems now, very menacing. She seemed like a dangerous liar, as I recall now. Some kind of physical unpleasantness broke out—I can only remember a sense of horribleness and disgust about the scene, but I was suddenly gripped by a strange self-doubt—had I been wrong to deny her? She was trying any way she could think of to get her way, had the whole thing planned out, and intended to let no one interrupt her plan. She started appealing to others, to Rob, playing on his sympathy, it seemed to me, to accomplish her desires. He seemed to “know better” about her expressed needs and without noticing he did so, pulled rank on me and carried the apparently wet, lame, soiled girl around to answer her requests/demands. I tried to motion, ‘No, no! Don’t!’ The girl seemed malicious to me.

Just a few minutes ago, what awakened me was a dream about Gram. In the dream I was sitting at the computer, like I am now, typing on the keyboard. With great alarm I realized that Gram was standing close at my left, and she said, “Baby, I’m ready now.” She was standing up perfectly straight, in just her underpants and maybe some socks. Her nearly—88-year-old body was so wasted that there was really nothing left of her, not a bit of real shape. She had no breasts, not a trace of them, not even nipples; there were just blank sunken spaces where her breasts should have been. She wore a blank, dull look on her face and stood there, pointed toward me but not really looking at me. Part of my alarm came from the fact that she had noiselessly and seemingly effortlessly come down the long flight of basement stairs that have no railing, which she has never tried to do since moving in with us because they’re too difficult for her and she doesn’t want to fall. In a flash, I realized that she had been heedless of the danger, that really she’d been able all along to simply descend those stairs, and that now there was nothing keeping her out of every part of the house—there was no private place left for me. I wondered how long it would be before she started nosing through everything in my/our personal space in the basement the way she tries to upstairs. As I looked at her, I waited for her first notice of and wild curiosity about the imagined secrets in the messy basement and her familiar hard criticism, but she was so tranced out by her own condition that she didn’t seem to take notice of anything immedtiately, or ever, not even the fact that she was claiming to be ready but was standing 90% naked. It was obviously up to me to do something, but what? She sort of threw herself at me in an emotional sense.

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