Dream 9-5-13

(Happy Birthday Mom!) Though I know I spent a majority of the night having “normal” (read: not scary) dreams, the last one I remember, the one I woke up to, is of course the one that sticks to my brain. Of course it is also the most terrifying.

We are all on a bus, my extended family and I. We are driving above and through a city together. We spot several people we know out and about walking their dog, playing in a park.  I joke that it feels like we are the opening sequence to The Simpsons, they laugh in agreement.

Finally the large school bus squeaks to a stop and we unload to a small back alley. It is a grassy patch, maybe fifty square feet, tucked in between two large buildings. Everyone is there. We busy ourselves, unpacking coolers and setting up tables. It is for a wedding or a picnic, maybe even a family reunion since I see so many family members I don’t get to see very often. I spot my mother. She smiles and gives me a hug.

“Happy Birthday,” I say smiling, knowing she thinks I forgot.

The rest of the family chimes in with their birthday cheers behind us and her grin is wide. People rub my cousin’s pregnant belly while she stands by with maternal patience.

As we stand in the grassy patch the members of my family fade to people I can’t say look like family but know that they are. Except now I stand not on a sunny piece of land, but I’m wading in waste deep ice cold water. The people surrounding me are in the same positions but the environment has shifted. Old, mossy trees arch over us, blocking out the sun and the patch of grass is now a black pond. It is not very deep but I am instantly uncomfortable. I cannot see anything beneath the inky surface. I want to get out of the water. I make my way to the edge of the water, hoping to pull myself out onto the safety of land.

I cannot remember if I spot it first or I hear the screams of someone else, but when I look up I see the thick, black bodies of two water moccasins. They are poisonous I remind myself and so I freeze not wanting to draw attention, but mad I am still in this water. They float on the surface of another pond that is only a few feet away and separated by only a small strip of soaked land.

“Everyone be still.” My voice is calm and demanding.

I think that there is no way they will come towards a group of people. I continue to hold out hope as their bodies follow their narrow, fierce heads out of the water and over the strip of land.

Everyone is still. Everyone is silent.

Even the surface of the dark pool is still like an onyx stone, save the area where the snakes slip into the water. They undulate over the water as smoothly as though it were land, releasing tiny ripples that break across our bodies.

They move towards me.

They are just trying to get across, I tell myself. If I don’t move I will be fine.

They pass me so close I can see individual scales along their bodies tensing and relaxing.

I let out a steady breath as the first one gets up onto the bank and the second one follows.  Before the second one is completely out of the water my uncle, the jokester, slaps the surface of the water and yells “and stay out!”

Why would he do that, I think but it is too late. The water is gone but I stare down and see the snake latched onto my foot. Now that I see it I can feel the burning pricks from the sharp fangs.

I stare up in disbelief. “I have been bitten. Someone please call 911.”

My voice is calm. I do not want to upset the snake anymore. It remains clenched hard onto my foot. I’m afraid to pull it off for fear it may strike my hand. I’m afraid to move for fear the poison pump through my body faster.

Nobody moves. They all just stare at me slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

“Someone call 911.” I repeat but this time the words come out garbled together. I realize my tongue is swollen and my jaws pinch as if I ate a sour candy. I wonder briefly, if I can recall what the poison of this snake does, but I cannot remember.

Still nobody moves. One woman, whose land we must be on, says something. I can’t quite make it out. Her arms, like everyone’s are still lifted in the air as if the water still surrounds us, but it is gone. She mumbles something about protecting the land.

I don’t understand. I plead, still so confused. “I’m not trying to kill the snakes. I just need to get to the hospital.”

She looks away, as do several others. My heart quickens. The poison spreads faster. My vision blurs and I feel my body sway.

“I need to go to the hospital.” I say to a different, kind looking woman next to me.

She shakes her head sadly. Until the very last moment I cannot comprehend what is happening. Until I get what they are doing. They are a united front.

The snake is deadly. I am dying. It’s too late. I look around at each one of their faces with pleading eyes, if only they could feel some sympathy, see my pain, then maybe one of them would take me to the hospital. They avoid my stare.

I’m dying.

The alarm goes off.

Current Song: "Satin in a Coffin," Modest Mouse

Murphy’s Law

Not to sound like I’m starting a poorly written college paper, but Murphy’s law states: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” To say that the hubby and I experienced a cold dose of Murphy’s Law last night may sound extreme, but I struggle to find another term that accurately fits the serendipitous series of events that lead up to me soaking wet, mostly naked, covered in dog crap, and breaking and entering.

Let’s start from the beginning shall we?

Most Sunday evenings around our house are generally saved for relaxation and mental preparation for the work week ahead. Rarely do we ever leave the house, however this Sunday we had a very important little person to meet, who just made her grand entrance into this world.*  We traveled to the other side of town while angry, monsoonal clouds collected over the city. Soon thunder rattled the house and we were treated with a torrential downpour*. Treated, I say, because we live in the high desert and are going on record for a twenty-year drought.

Soon, as we cooed and coddled the new baby, we learned that the power was completely out in the area of the grid that was our neighborhood.* Worse things have happened. Sure it would be hot, but we could open all the doors and windows and get some air. Living with the world’s most prepared man had its perks in times like these. We had roughly twenty flashlights stowed throughout the house at any given time, and not that long ago Hubby spent a day in the garage making forty-hour candles. Some food may spoil, but hopefully the power would be on before we had to worry about that. Theoretically even it was the End of Days we’d be good for at least a few weeks.

After a nice visit, we made our way back home around dusk, driving through a post-apocalyptic cityscape where the power was gone and only lightning lit the sky. Incidentally, if you ever really want to worry about the state of mankind, turn off traffic lights and see how people handle four way stops - not very reassuring. We made it home safely, but it was just about the we were turning into the driveway realized we had a bigger problem.

We were locked out of the house*.

How, you may ask, do two grown ass people, one of whom is a well-known prepper for any and all unlikely situations, get locked out of their own home? Well I won’t go into the hairy details, but because we took my car out (which we rarely ever do*) we had no keys (because I recently took the spare out of my car*) so our only way into the house required power*, which we still did not have. Well I guess that’s the all you need to know. We sat in the driveway in dumbfounded silence just staring at the garage door. Rain continued to bang against the roof of my car, mocking us. I  pressed the garage door opener every couple of seconds, thinking maybe this time it would work, much to the chagrin of my hubby.

"Do you have your car keys? Maybe there's something in there we can -"

He stopped me, "Babe, if I had my keys we could just go in the front door*."

"Right. Want me to break in through a window?"

"We turned off the swamp** before we left*."

"There's got to be a way in."

"This house is a fortress. You have no idea how many hours I spend imaging different ways someone could try and break in and then correct those flaws*."

"Maaww" I gave him a smooch. "You’re so good.”

“Too good, it seems.”

We sat and thought for a few minutes more, until I saw the lightbulb turn on above his head.

“I have a plan.”

I was given explicit instructions not to give the Internet a detailed plan on how to break into our  house but I will say this, it required a lot of awkward maneuvering around pokey bushes and McGyver like engineering skills.

Tools acquired:

-One flashlight from the glovebox of my car.

-One spatula left out on the grill.

-One creative husband

-One soaking wet wife

(I forgot to mention that I was wearing a new skirt and top, which may not seem like a big deal but I NEVER shop and if I do I RARELY buy anything, so of course this would be the day I wore an outfit that I actually gave a shit about.*)

We jumped out of the car and into the ran as we made our way to the side gate. Our neighbors were out sitting on their porch watching the rain. We reassured them that we in fact lived there and were not breaking in. As we rounded the corned into our own backyard we discovered the once dried out sand pit, was now a muddy swamp strong with the scent of re-hydrated dog -

“Crap!*”

“It reeks back here.”

Every step sent my thin soled, sparkly sandals a little deeper into the stinky “mud.” I rubbed my arms for warmth, shaking like a wet poodle as Hubby manufactured a way into the house.

“Here, babe can you fit through here?”

I squared my shoulders and stuck out my chin, I was just the woman for the job.

“I can do this. Just push me up a little. Oh and I don’t want to ruin my new skirt.”

I started pulling the skirt over my head and felt Hubby assisting me. The skirt got caught for a moment, then popped off. I looked down to discover that I was now topless as well.*  The look I gave Hubby was one he was very familiar with. Here it is as represented by an emoticon " :-| ".

“What? I wanted to make sure your shirt didn’t get ruined.”

“Sure.”

Moments later after struggling against sharp stucco and gravity, I fell into the house, muddy, scratched, still cold and still wet, but in! I felt my way through the darkness, tripping on confused doggies, and piles of laundry until I reached the back door.

“We made it.”

It was SECONDS after our congratulatory high-five that the lights flickered back to life*.

Whatever we did to upset the balance of life has hopefully now been corrected.

 

Current Song: “Oceans” by Jay-Z, Frank Ocean

*Indicates a leading event

**For those who don’t live in a dry climate, a swamp cooler is used in place of air-conditioners. Air is sucked through a pad soaked with water, outputting cool air that is blown throughout the house. Swamp coolers are rendered useless in rain and humidity.

Dream 6-29-13

This one was straight out of a movie. Every scene felt as though I ripped it straight from the Day After Tomorrow, Titanic or some other big blockbuster. I would like to take the time to write it out as if it were scenes in a book but I’m dying to finish “Wet” and get cracking on this new YA book about Lena.  I will fill it out later and maybe repost it. So here is a very rushed, detailed outline:

-From what I can tell it starts with me in an office building - a very high sky scraper. Everyone in the office is scrambling and worried because reports of devastating storms about to hit the coast. We stand at the window watching the ocean from our birds-eye view. One, long straight wave stretches across the entire surface without breaking formation. The sky is black and the water is smooth except that single tidal wave. The wave breaks across the shores with minimal damage - it was big but not like we thought. People around me relax and giggle with relief. Suddenly far out in the sea it looks as if the bottom of the ocean-floor just collapsed, as though a shelf fell. The water falls in on itself. When the water compensates for the sudden shift it will create Tsunami waves. All these buildings along the coast will be knocked down. I scream and everyone runs for the elevator. There is no time for me and I know it is not safe. I find a stair case that allows me to drop level by level very quickly to the bottom. I run out of the building and hear the screams of those trapped in the elevator as the waves crash against the building and bring it down.

- I run fast for a long time until I find a building I think is safe. An old warehouse with a lot of steel supports and high stairs. I climb to the top of one. Several other people are there too with the same idea. We work together and help those struggling. We use massive rolling, steel staircases to create one massive web of safety. We hold each other by crossing our arms around the bars of our staircase and the bars of a nearby one. We are very high up and the steps move around - but they are safe. Safer than being down there.  We brace ourselves as massive waves hit the building. The water fills the room. We manage to stay above the water line until the entire building is knocked loose and we begin flowing down the street as a dangerous rate. Many people lose their grips and fall into the water.  As we rush through the city we see many people and cars get swept away. It is very scary but I feel lucky to have such a strong grip on the metal stair structure. It is keeping me safe.

- Then I am in a mall. I spot my husband. We hold each other for a long moment but know we don’t have a lot of time. We rush through the mall story after story trying to get higher and higher. There is an amusement park type ride that twists to the sky that massive crowds are desperately crawling up to beat the rush of water that will hit at any moment. My husband and I don’t want to deal with that so we find a thick twisting pole that climbs high above the mall, but still inside the building. We climb it quickly without any effort, however when we get to the top we realize what a mistake it is. With both of our weight it sways slightly and we know once the water comes it will break and we will fall many stories. I look back, my husband is gone. Now he is on the ground looking up at me with sad eyes. He wants me to be safe at the risk of his own life. I can’t leave him. “We are in this together” I say and climb back down to him. Scared, but glad to be in his arms for a another moment.

-I am naked. My clothes and shoes are gone and I know once the water hits I will get badly injured if I don’t protect myself. We find a candy store, it is still in business for some reason. I try to cover myself. We are running out of time. I find a baggy shirt and put it on. We leave without paying. I still don’t have shoes. I see them cut up and bloody, trudging through dirty water. “We have to go I say.” Time is wasting. We hear screams letting us know the water has hit. We find escalators -an Ecsher like maze of stairs, that may lead us to safety. People are running and screaming all around us. We don’t let go of each other’s hands as we run up the escalators. I find one that looks like it goes very high up, I run at full speed. A man is running down it bloodied and screaming. “He is going the wrong way,” I think. I don’t understand until it is too late. The escalator ends with out warning. I begin to fall many feet to my death when my husband grabs me and pulls me back up. We jump across to the next level and keep going up. The floors never seem to end. Now the area we are at is desolate. We are going to make it out. I can feel it, we are close to the roof. If we could just get to the roof, then we would be safe. I hear crying. A little boy in fireman costume is huddled by a potted plant sobbing and rocking himself. I go to grab him and take him with us. The boy wails. My husband looks torn, we have to go. I tell the boy "We want to help you."  He tells me his daddy said to meet him here at one and that he will be right back. My chest aches. I hear the water rushing towards us. The clock says three. “We have to take the boy with us” my husband nods and we both know this will slow us down. I pick up the boy, he doesn't fit me. I tell him we are going to find his daddy.

I wake up.

Current Song: "Mad World" by Gary Jules