Dream a Little Dream

I remember my friend’s chilling account of her worst nightmare like it was yesterday. She was hosting an intimate soiree in her home, mingling with friends and family while proffering a selection of fine hors d’oeuvres. Her blond locks were pulled into a tight, sophisticated French twist. She walked confidently on thin, spike heels and wore a silky, white dress that flowed to a modest ankle-length… except that it was completely unzipped in the back. Her guests seemed oblivious to her fashion faux pas so she enjoyed her party, shamelessly exposing her backside.

She found herself in a conversation with her Papa, suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. When was the last time she’d seen him? She’d missed him terribly so why had she let so much time go by? The answer was a shocking realization: her Papa was dead. Wait… so how could he be here? she wondered.

Then she noticed her husband across the room engrossed in a conversation with a long-time friend. Her husband, who had died a few years before from an aneurysm, and the friend, no longer wheelchair-bound, who’d lost his fight with cancer just months earlier. A frantic scan of her guests revealed a frightening truth: everyone was dead. That explained her open dress: she was dead too. As is the custom, it had been cut down the back to more easily clothe her rigid, lifeless body when she was embalmed. (This jolting end to my friend’s nightmare reminded me of the eery flick, The Others.)

Sixteen years later I remember the night terror I had about Norman Bates from which I awoke with my heart thundering and my sheets drenched with sweat. Yet, I have also woken from dreams laughing, positive I conceived an idea for a sensational new gadget, or with a contented calm from some serene, mythical world. And though I try to remember the good dreams they fade to rags and tatters before I even get out of bed. It’s incredibly frustrating, like my own subconscious is keeping tantalizing secrets from me.

Being pregnant, I’m dreaming even more and still suffering from nighttime amnesia. Why do I care so much? Without a dream as her inspiration, Stephenie Meyer wouldn’t have penned the Twilight series. I wonder if I’m missing out on the inspiration of the next literary blockbuster… and I also wonder about the mystery behind some recurring dreams I’m having of which only one sketchy detail remains: that Jon Cryer features prominently. Yeah, Duckie from Pretty in Pink. Weirdness.

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