The night before last I woke up with heart pounding after a dream in which I had calmly slaughtered my parents' beautiful sleek shiny furry black cat and chopped her up into tiny pieces, which I dumped into a paper grocery bag and mixed in with old rancid sliced sandwich meat in the hope that anyone who might look in the bag would just assume it was all the same kind of meat, and then I tried to carefully sneak the bag full of meat out to the big garbage can outside, but first I had to get past my mother and my brother without them trying to engage me in conversation or anything because then they'd notice the bag and ask me questions about what was in it and it would be awkward. I waited until the coast was clear, nobody was around anywhere in sight, and then I opened the front door and sneaked out into the dark evening. But my mother turned out to be just coming in from taking the dinner scraps out to the garbage can herself, and there was no way I could avoid her . . .
And then I woke up. It was quite a vivid dream and after I woke up it took a minute or two for the relieved realization to sink in that (a) I have never slaughtered a cat, and (b) I'm really truly not the kind of person who ever would slaughter a cat. Really I'm not!
I woke up after only three hours of sleep and was too disturbed to get any more sleep after that.
Last night I had three more violent/disturbing dreams, although I wasn't always the perpetrator. The first dream last night took place in an unnamed country, an unknown tiny island off the coast of southeastern Asia, near Viet Nam. It was a very small, very quiet, very peaceable and unprepossessing country, rather westernized but unusually unpopulated, and it had a woman president - a small quiet peaceable unprepossessing middle-aged Asian woman, extremely sensible and ultra-efficient at everything - she was a lot like my boss at the job I had in college, actually. Anyway, she was the president and I had been her head secretary for the past 20 years (incidentally, I was a middle-aged Asian woman too) and over those 20 years of working for her I had developed such immense, incomparable respect for her . . . she was like my closest friend, except I wouldn't have phrased it that way because it would have seemed too presumptuous for me as a secretary to call the president of the country my closest friend. But she was someone I respected a whole lot. And although she wasn't a dyke exactly, because there are no such things as dyke presidents (the island wasn't that perfect), she was the kind of woman who knows perfectly well she has the ability to choose to be a dyke, and she just chooses not to be because she'd rather be president. She wasn't hetero either though; she was just sexually unidentified, unavailable and alone by choice. (And I was pretty much the same, aside from my platonic matriotic devotion to her.) Anyhow, nothing much had ever happened in the small quiet peaceable country during my time there until this month, when we were suddenly invaded by a bunch of middle-aged white men from America who took the president prisoner. I was not important enough to bother with so they completely ignored me.
I followed them to the place where they took the president and sneaked in to try to help her escape, but they caught me and laughed at me, and just to rub in my face what a complete lack of threat I was to them, they hired me as her official prison guard. It was their idea of a joke. Still hoping to help her escape, I accepted the job. Mostly the job entailed making occasional treks to the new leaders' office and standing silently in the corner for ten minutes until they felt like acknowledging my presence, after which they would demand to know what I wanted and I would submissively remind them that they had forgotten to feed the prisoner anything for the past 48 hours, and they would give me a slice of bread to take to her and tell me to make it last another 48 hours, and then they would all laugh at me. They would also occasionally take her away out of my sight and when they brought her back she would be bruised and beaten. It was fast becoming apparent to me that I really was every bit as little a threat to them as they had implied by hiring me as her prison guard. So my delusions of a grand rescue were subsiding into depression and meanwhile my former president was starving to death and then I woke up.
I do not ever, ever, ever want to be a prison guard.
Back to sleep again for two more dreams. Next I found myself in a college chemistry class, sitting next to a really nice guy I was friends with in high school (actually he went to my college too for a while, but then sort of faded away and I lost touch with him, unfortunately). In the dream he was having some kind of horrible allergic reaction to something in the environment, and the chemistry professor used her chemical knowledge to make him an antidote. The antidote looked awfully unpleasant to have administered but it did work and he got all happy and talkative afterwards with bright energetic shining brown eyes. But then a little later this blonde cheerleader-ish woman in the back of the class (also someone I went to high school with) raised her hand in the middle of the lecture and said, "Professor, I can't breathe, you splashed some of that antidote on me and it's eating away at my skin and I think I'm dying, can I please go out in the hall and wash it off?"
I didn't want to believe her; I'd always found her annoying. But after I looked at her and saw what the antidote was doing to her, I realized that it was affecting me the same way to an only slightly lesser degree - in fact, it was affecting pretty much everyone on that whole half of the classroom except for the guy who it had been intended for. We all evacuated and then I woke up.
The final dream was the most realistic. I was living with my parents and they had both gone to bed but my little brother and I were up late and fighting over the television. (I never watch any television now but my parents have cable so when I lived with them I occasionally did, though still not very often.) There are two televisions, one in the living room and one in the family room, but we were both in the living room and to make matters worse, there were remote controls (one for the actual TV and one for the VCR, but both were sufficient to mess up each other's viewing preferences). I had been watching something I liked, I'm not sure what, probably VH-1, and my brother had come in and grabbed the VCR remote control and changed the channel to an all-blue screen to annoy me, because he absolutely hates all forms of music and feels a need to protest its existence anytime he catches me paying attention to anything remotely music-related. I lunged at him and wrestled the remote out of his grasp (side note: I invariably win all wrestling matches with my brother; we're quite similar in size now but it's against my principles to ever lose to him, so I simply . . . don't. It's really that simple. Want to win hard enough and you will win.) But he was so annoyed that he went in the family room and turned the volume on the TV in there up so loud that it woke my mother up and while I was trying to talk/wrestle him into turning the volume down so we wouldn't get in trouble, she got up and yelled at both of us, "YOU GODDAMNED STUPID IDIOTS, TURN THAT THING DOWN AND GO TO BED!!!!!!!"
Yeah. So then I woke up.
Now I'm afraid to ever go to sleep again. Every time I do, something scary happens.