As a girl I was plagued with bad dreams, so much so that at some point I stopped crying out in the night unless the visions were particularly stunning. There was one nightmare I had repeatedly and it was the one that came to mind whenever a bad dream was mentioned. I wrote about the first portion of it last year. The second part of the dream which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t involves a good deal of me being dragged around, a grave yard, mist, wet grass and a looming tower. Thinking of it sends me reeling. Not the worst nightmare I’ve heard but it’s frequency always disturbed me. It has always been the nightmare.
As of today that is no longer the case. Last night I had a worse dream. One that, with such simplicity, has caused a knot in my stomach…
It’s a lovely day, sun is shining and it’s just the perfect temperature for jeans and a t-shirt. I step out my front door onto our little patio with a cup of tea and see a man getting out of a compact car. I smile absently until I realize it’s someone I know. I haven’t seen him in years but it is quite certainly him. I call out his name and wave but his back is turned and he doesn’t seem to hear. I dash down my stone steps feeling their coolness beneath my naked feet and yell his name again. Just as I’m about to catch up to him he turns and smiles at me. His arms are loaded with food. Potato salad, fruit, bread. He’s on his way to a barbecue. He smiles and we exchange pleasantries but then I decide to turn back to the house.
On my way I scrape my bare foot on the sidewalk so as I continue to the house I leave a trail of bloody footprints in my wake. Inside the house I can’t find K. I call to her, I search each room, I look in the yard. Gone.
That’s when the phone rings. It’s that friend, the one I’ve just seen with potato salad and he tells me they’ve taken my washing machine. I’m a little confused. I step down my basement stairs and peek into the laundry room only to discover he’s telling the truth. They’ve taken it and they’re holding it for ransom. The cost they’re asking I can not afford. Besides I think, “I could buy 100 top of the line washers for that”.
“It’s not your washing machine you’re paying for” he whispers into the phone. His voice brings me back to the dreams reality. My daughter is gone. I notice that the agitator and other guts of the washer are lying on the floor and I suddenly realize what they’re saying. They have K.
I don’t know if it was my strength of will or a need to pee but I woke up right then. I was sweated and breathing hard and I immediately jumped up to check K’s room before I realized at some point she’d climbed into my bed and was curled up just an inch from where I was having that horrible dream. I went to the bathroom crawled back to bed and watched her sleep for hours.
Now I wish the old nightmare was the nightmare… I also wish I knew why the hell I dreamed up the washer bit… Oddity.