Dreams you can’t live with




Writer’s convention

One of the difficulties of being a writer is Over-active Imagination Syndrome. 

Yes, I just made that up.

No, I don’t think it’s hugely original. 

Were I to care, I might make up a name for it that’s humorous.  Unfortunately, tonight’s dream hammer is so far from funny, I’m trying to make sense of the left-side headache that’s threatening to gnaw a hole from my eye to the back of my head.

Some days it doesn’t pay to think.

So far, I’ve had 3 hours sleep tonight.  During that 3 hours, I’ve had the exact same dream so many times I can’t give you a decent number.  I’ll make something up If you want.

Here’s the dream:  

I’m living in a world where going through time is as ho hum as flossing your teeth. 

Most people shrug their shoulders at it.  Most people don’t worry that they’ll never know what life they’re living when they wake up in the morning, or who they’ll wake up next to.  

I’m not the type of person who does well with that kind of change.

I’m a raw nerve wrapped up in a mummy of skin.  I don’t like getting up every morning and wondering if I’m going to be the same person that day as I was the day before.

I’m walking down a stairway with the guy who is my husband in the reality for that day, or should I say “that rendition of the dream.” The entire planet isn’t just a war zone, there’s nothing left.  It looks like Dresden, Germany in 1945 after the allies bombed the hell out of it. 

“Where is your son?”  A woman asks. 

I don’t have a son,” I reply (well…not in this dream world)

She runs into the ruins yelling the alien equivalent of “all is lost!!” 

If I remember correctly, the statement varied from dream to dream: “We are lost.”  “It is lost” “We are destroyed.”  Etcetera, etcetera…

No matter how it’s said, the meaning is clear:  “Without your son, we’re screwed.”

I’m imagining a son who is morally and ethically strong, a man capable of great wisdom and  leadership…stalwart, tall, intelligent…a man any mother would be proud to call her own.


I’m standing in ruins one second and a thriving city the next.  A man who looks like he ought to be at the back of a physics class eyeball deep in equations comes running toward me, gun in hand.  If he was 5’4” tall and weighed 120 pounds I’d be shocked.

Endowed with blonde, wavy hair, milk-toast skin, and eyes so dark they contained no shred of soul, he says, “You are my mother and father.  I was ordered to save your lives.”

What if you weren’t ordered to save our lives?”  I ask.  (Every. Single. Dream!!!)

“You would be dead,” he says with the same enthusiasm as a store clerk who has told yet another unruly customer, “Have a good day” for the 20 millionth time.

This is my son?  A psychopath robotish thing with the compassion of a turnip?

Every dream tonight contains this introduction somewhere within it, and the one constant in the dream seems to be that with every minute my world becomes darker while the world around me is saved by this celebrated hero.

I want to love this child, but there is nothing to love…

…because some @$$hole has taken great care to cut out everything about him remotely human.

We descend the stairs, our protector clearing the way.  At the end of each dream, I’m waiting. 

  • Waiting for the moment that our “savior” becomes our assassin.
  • Waiting for the moment that I can say, “It was worth all this pain.” 

As soon as I post this fiasco, I’ll be going back to sleep.  I hope that in the next dream I’m not running from the same man who was trying so desperately to save our lives.

Can I have a dream where I’m on a beach filled with white sand, looking out at a pristine ocean?  If I did, it might last until Godzilla rears its ugly head.