My Worst Nightmare (& other dreams)

“I had a nightmare that I bludgeoned a woman to death,” Becky was telling us.  “I hit her like three times, with a bat or a piece of wood or something.”

“Awesome!” I said in response.  “I was just about to write about the worst nightmare that I’ve ever had.”

The nightmare came when I was about eight years old.  At the time, I was living in New Orleans.

In the dream, there was a little yellow canary in a classic round-top golden birdcage.  The cage was hanging from the ceiling in the middle of a room unfamiliar to me.  Although I was just a small child, the cage hung at eye level.  There was a dream filter framing the scene like a vignette photograph, the edges blurry and fading out gradually.

I couldn’t see myself in the setting except for my arms outstretched as I approached the caged bird.  It sat on its perch silently.  As I got closer, I felt it was looking at me.  I saw sadness in its tiny black eyes.

Then, right as I was an inch away from the cage, the canary fell from its perch.  When it hit the bottom, the bird was instantly transformed into the insides of a raw egg.  It began to sizzle.  Right there before my eyes, it was frying.

I awoke in panic and ran up to my parents’ room crying.

Still, I do love to have nightmares.

Recently (and unfortunately not much of a nightmare), I dreamt that a dark liquid was slowly leaking out of a small hole in my bedroom floor.  Since our apartment is on a slant, the liquid was pooling at the base of one wall.  I touched it and rubbed my fingertips together.  Oil.  Jayme was in the den and I showed her.  It was oil.

I woke up.

More frightening (and therefore preferable) was a dream of late about zombies.  They were everywhere, and I was holding up in a house.  Like in the canary dream, it wasn’t a familiar place, but there was no confusion in my dream-mind about me being there.  I knew the zombies were outside, and I was terrified to leave.  So I stayed, alone.  One day a man showed up in the house.  I don’t know how he got in, but he seemed kind.  I was happy he came, and although I didn’t say it, he knew.

I woke up.

The latest dream somehow ties them together – the potential profit of the oil along with the luck in finding it (or it finding me), and the fear inside of a house with no escape, but after time finding company (or him finding me), and coincidentally, some sort of salvation.

I had traveled far in this final dream, across beautiful beaches and up dangerous heights.  At times friends journeyed with me, and other times I was alone.  No one was with there when I entered the house.  Inside, everything was hot pink and gold, from the ceilings to the floors and the furniture in between.  It was extraordinarily beautiful and immaculate.  Something about it made me feel young again.  My dream-mind knew that I couldn’t leave the same way I had entered. I would have to walk through the house and find an exit.

The only way out was farther in. This thought scared me greatly.

The rooms seemed to never end.  There weren’t doors between them, just hot pink archways trimmed in gold.  I walked slowly, feeling both admiration and horror.  I looked for an egress.

And then I saw an old, brown wooden door to my left.  I turned the doorknob.  There was a small, dingy standing area and another door made of iron, painted white.  I opened the iron door, and I was outside again.  I saw people in the distance.  It was a beautiful day.

4 Responses to “My Worst Nightmare (& other dreams)”

  1. Michelle Says:

    If that black oil was “THE BLACK OIL”…watch out! This is a form that an alien race takes on in several critical episodes of The X-Files. It is also referred to as the Black Cancer I believe. It sneaks in through peoples orifices and then you can tell if they are infected if it rolls across their eyes. It makes people violent and the only way to prevent getting it is to stitch your eyes, nose, mouth and ear holes close. Exciting, isn’t it?! Now, that’s what I call a nightmare.

  2. Adam Says:

    This is the best post in a while Ashleigh. I love nightmares too. Actually, I love all dreams because they’re free entertainment that you can be proud of, plus they have a hidden message that if you sort out, you get a prize. That prize is higher awareness of the self. Which equals beacoup mojo. The only nightmares I hate are night terrors, the completely unnecessary outpouring of fear hormones by the body right in the middle of sleep, which for me are always accompanied by dreams that bear no logical reference to terrific or frightening situations and leave me awake, paralyzed and breathless. Disgusting. Then there are dreams about continually waking up only to find myself in another dream — this can happen several times, more than a dozen at times. This wouldn’t be so bad except I’m always in the same place when I wake up, and the only goal is to wake up for real. Still, this scenario offers some food for thought, helps me to question reality in my waking life — what is genuine and what is antiquated routine, what is painted gold and what shines in a shitstorm. That sort of deal. The worst dreams I can say though are dreams of self fellation. That’s right. I said it. DO I need to say more about this? I mean, what’s worse — that there is a part of my subconscious that enjoys having a penis in my mouth or that the dream implies neediness and narcissism? I guess the latter part, but the former isn’t really any consolation. Ugh.

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