Monday, November 2, 2009

The stuff of nightmares

I rarely remember my dreams. I might have a vague thought when I first wake up but the minute my feet touch the ground, zzzzt, gone. The only dreams that seem to stay with me are the bad ones, which are themselves few and far between (or so I remember).

One of the worst dreams I ever had involved being trapped in a garage at Lagoon (exciting UT amusement park - what, you've never heard of it?). There was a pit in the garage a la every oil change place in the world. And for some reason I was trapped on a thin ledge between the wall and the glooming pit. Ooook.

Another dream starred a small witch puppet who I'm pretty sure was going to kill me. She'd appear over the edge of my bunk bed and glare menacingly.

Metallica inspired a nightmare once - that damn song "One" with the Johnny Got His Gun footage in the video? All it takes is hearing the first few notes of that song, and I'm instantly returned to a nightmare where I'm the man who can't move or see or talk.

Until last night, the very worst dream of all time happened shortly after I accidentally saw The Elephant Man when I was young (6-ish? 7-ish). I dreamed that I was turning into the Elephant Man, complete with misshapen limbs. In all likelihood, it was probably related to the fact that my hand had gone to sleep, but I woke with a start with a hand that seemed 10 times its normal size. Ever since, all it takes is Tyler whispering, "I am not an animal" to send me screaming under the covers.

I don't know why these are the dreams that stayed with me. But I can say, with some certainty, that they have now all been surpassed. (Even though just typing "I am not an animal" [gaaaah, again] gives me goosebumps.)

Last night I had what can only be described as the queen of nightmares. I was at my parents' house, and for some god-forsaken reason, my leg was rupturing into X's, all along the skin. The left side of the X split to reveal fat and the right side to reveal muscle. (And hi, I knew it was a dream and not reality because seriously? Me in shorts? Not happening.) I was mildly freaked out about this, understandably, while simultaneously intrigued by the appearance of the muscle, but then, apparently, I was supposed to be going somewhere with my father. He started harassing me about being a little squeamish about my leg, so I grabbed a tissue, pressed it to my leg, which holyfuckingshit spewed blood, and threw the tissue at Dad. I wish I could remember what I yelled at him, I'm pretty sure it included the terms "fuck" and "you" and "eat bloody shit." But I could be wrong.

That goddamn dream has stayed with me all day. I keep seeing the skin rupture, the purple color of the leg. And I can feel it.

I never thought I'd long for the Elephant Man, but I do.

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