My head is jumping from topic to topic. Having a hard time settling in on just one.
I had this awful nightmare last night, a dream in which I was setting up for a performance in a big empty space that was like an airplane hangar, but was part of a school. Neither gymnasium nor auditorium, but perhaps a long cafeteria. There were musical instruments at one end, as though the space was also used part-time as a music room, and beyond those, a wall with sliding garage doors that house the costume and props warehouse.
While my group was rehearsing, I saw a ghost.
It terrified me.
The ghost appeared behind the stage area, above and maybe a bit behind the instruments. Looked like the girl from The Ring. And it changed appearances, fading out and reappearing as a horrible beast or monster, but by then I wasn’t looking close enough to get a really good understanding of its form. All I knew was that it made me want to scream.
I remembered that I’d dreamed about a haunted costume and props warehouse before, and that maybe the best course of action was simply to leave. But I had to go into the storage space to turn off the lights. Again, terrifying. I could feel its presence all around me, so I asked someone to come along. The fellow — can’t remember who he looked like, although he was black and had a thick moustache and a bald head, the face of an actor I’ve seen before (it’ll come to me, I’m sure. Too bad he wasn’t Denzel Washington! More of a young Louis Gossett Jr vibe?) — told me that the warehouse ghost was friendly, just lonely, but it didn’t seem like that to me.
I found myself wondering whether a lonely storage room ghost would want to trap a living being within those walls, so she wouldn’t be lonely anymore . . .
Sometimes I can get myself out of a scary or stressful dream. This one, I couldn’t. But I knew I was for sure dreaming when I tried to scream and I couldn’t. I tried harder, to scream myself awake and get comfort from my husband, who I knew was sleeping beside me, but I felt as though my mouth was wrapped in spider silk or cotton webbing, and I couldn’t jolt myself awake. Is it worse when you know you’re in a nightmare? Being caught up in the throes of frightening imagery is bad enough, but knowing where you are and that you can’t do anything about it — well, that nightmare happens often enough in tangible reality.
Just once, I would like to have a dream of something uncomplicated and peaceful, instead of endless roads and view-obscuring hills with steep cliffs and narrow passes. I’d like to dream myself lying on a beach instead of trying to reach the gas pedals of the vehicle I’m driving, travelling highways that are combinations of the streets in the various places I’ve lived. My mind gets filled with mazes of doorways, houses opening into or onto each other, so I’m endlessly apologizing to the occupants for invading their space while trying to get back to the path (or trying to avoid them so I don’t get charged with trespassing, break-and-enter — IN MY OWN HEAD) . . . Why can’t I find myself in a spa, enjoying foot rubs and facials and manicures? Why does my subconscious insist on making me contend with tornadoes, erupting volcanoes, oozing lava, giant puppets, hollow-eyed Lego muppets (yeah, that last one, shudder — came at the tail end of a dream about me as a young girl finding a magic crown that saved the world from the giant puppets but everyone wanted the crown, and as soon as she rendered the world safe and had a Cinderella-moment, the Lego muppets started being abused, chained and dragged across fields . . . she realized that the Lego muppets were really people — oh, that one was complicated).
I know the answer, of course. I bet you do, too. The symbolism is rampantly clear. All of the stressors of my daily life, spilling over and symbolically spelling themselves out. My whole body is telling me I need to cut myself a break, but that’s just not going to happen. Sorry, Brain. Although Spring Break starts at the end of this week, that doesn’t mean much. Just means I get a week where I don’t have to stand up in a classroom. The marking, the extracurriculars, the prep, the bills, none of it goes away.
But it’s a shift in the pattern. Maybe that will be enough to give me a peaceful night, for once.