Nightmare

I had a nightmare last night. I haven’t had a nightmare since I was four. My dreams are frequented by horrible images – violence, death, bad guys chasing me through the streets – but these are not nightmares. They are my R-rated subconscious firing off obnoxious synapses. I wake up and think to myself, “Huh. That was disturbing.”

The dream I had last night was nothing especially awful, nothing violent or shocking, but it was somehow terrifying.

My cat had stayed outside too late, and I got out of bed around 3:00am to let her in. I was so tired that once she was in, I fell asleep standing at the door with one shoulder propped against the wall, one against the door, and my head hanging outside.

I woke up again and realized there was a man standing on my back deck, just inches away from me. It was still night and he was barefooted and pale. I tried to get a good look at him, but something was wrong with my eyes and they wouldn’t focus properly. I was afraid the cat would get back out, so I was trying to scoot the door closed (even with my head still sticking out) and this upset the man.

The combination of his protests and my not-working eyes began to alarm me, so I shut the back door and locked it. The man outside began shouting and waving his arms around and I knew something was very wrong. I tried to call to Dustin for help but my voice wouldn’t work properly. I knew that if I left the man alone at the back door, whatever I was afraid of was going to happen. I tried to bang on the door then, hoping the noise would wake Dustin, knowing he could sleep through just about anything.

I woke myself at this point, heart pounding, sweating, the whole works. The cat was inside (I really had let her in at 3:00… only, then I’d gone back to bed instead of standing around waiting to be accosted), I was in bed, no one was at the back door (not that I checked).

So why nightmares? Why now? I have driven myself off cliffs and died in fiery explosions in dreams before. I have, by my own hand, caused the horrible deaths of people I love. These things are awful but they are not nightmares. A man standing on my back deck is a nightmare? If there are any bored psychologists out there with suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

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