Life isn’t fair. Nothing new, right?  Well, apparently, nightmares aren’t either. I’ve just learned this. Yes, I know; I’m a very slow learner.

So my sis calls me yesterday to check in. She knows I’ve been upset over the news that my poodle’s health may not be optimal. Rocket-man is away again (he’s been gone most of the week) on business travel.  Sis wants to cheer me up.

I’m on my spin bike when she calls. I’m not really spinning hard as I just don’t have it in me. It’s another dreary day out; in fact, it’s freezing rain and forecasters are calling for a dusting of snow. Poodle is sleeping comfortably on the sofa just in front of my spin bike.

“How are things today sis?”

“I’m doing OK,” I say.  I just had one little crying spell this morning with The Poodle; he’s my best friend and I don’t want him to be sick!  And, furthermore, on top of that, I didn’t sleep well last night due to a bad dream.  Well, really it was a nightmare.”

“It’s going to be OK CC,” says sis. “You’ll probably see good results from changing Poodle’s diet so don’t worry too much. Everything is going to be OK and besides, he is not in… like… stage four kidney disease or anything. He’s got years with you.”

“Thanks sis,” I say. Now…if I can just get that stupid nightmare out of my head and get on with my day!

I proceed to tell my sister my dream. “I wrote it down this morning at 2 a.m. when I awoke with such a start,” I tell her. “I couldn’t get back to sleep so I am in a zombie-like state this morning.”

Here goes:

I’m on a bus with my husband. It seems to be a crowded bus; lots of people. I hear babies crying and think “oh boy, this is going to be a long trip.” I don’t know where I am going or what purpose there is to me being on this particular bus but my feeling was that it was something I did often; something familiar to me. Then the bus fills with smoke. It is a white, dense, smoke that curls this way and that, with almost an artistic flair. For a moment it even looks beautiful. smoke Everyone starts coughing; it is difficult to see even my hand in front of me. There is panic, of course and everybody rushes to get off the bus. My husband is staying close to me as we get off. He takes my hand as we try to figure out what to do. People are going in all different directions and it is dark. It is also silent.

Then, we find ourselves in this large building. It seems to be a school with long, wide corridors and thick gray steel doors at some points. We see people in haz-mat suits cleaning the floors with a sudsy solution that looks pinkish…sort of the color of Pepto Bismol® (side note: I loathe Pepto Bismol®). In the chaos I see a woman take a running leap; plunging herself into the Pepto Bismol®-like liquid on the floor, much like a child does on a yard sprinkler slippy-slide on a hot summer day. The woman turns her self over and over bathing in the sudsy solution in an effort, I suppose, to decontaminate herself.

Husband and I keep moving through the halls. People are running everywhere but the crowds are silent and seem to be thinning. I wonder where everyone is going. I keep thinking about the woman on the floor. We’ve got to do the same thing to ourselves….our clothes, I think. I see a bucket with the solution near a doorway. I start to clean off my lovely brown leather Dooney & Bourke purse (I know…how absolutely ridiculous is that?). For some reason, I stop. I think it is because I see my husband continue on without me. The crowd is growing once again and I don’t want to lose sight of him. For a moment I panic. I’m now calling out to him because I’ve lost sight of him. I’m running through crowds of people frantically searching and calling for him.

I run out of the building into what looks like a large parking lot area. It is still dark outside. There is another building close-by…or is it a large military-type vehicle? It’s doors are open wide and I see people gathered around high bar tables and long counters inside the place. I see my husband!  I can make him out by his brown Kangool hat and his green Beretta sweater, the one I gave him for Christmas two years ago.  I’m instantly relieved. He’s talking to another man; it looks to be someone he knows.  As I make my way across the parking lot I can see that my husband is just fine. In fact,  I think my husband is having a beer with the guy!  Yes, in fact, he is. Really? (My sis laughs over this…and I tell her, just wait for the rest…it really is a nightmare).

I try to make my way to him but something powerful happens; it’s as if some supernatural force picks me up, thrusting me upwards into the skies just above the building. The earth is spinning violently and I’m literally flying through the air just above where my husband stands. He cannot hear my cries. He’s laughing and drinking beer as if he hasn’t a care in the world! It’s freezing cold and pitch-black dark and despite the spinning I see stars twinkling around me. I’m terribly nauseous….I don’t feel well at all.  I am fighting some force which feels supremely evil….(Sis interrupts: Oh my God sis, how awful!. I tell her, just wait).

I'm sure this saber tooth cat wants me for dinner!

I’m sure this saber tooth cat wants me for dinner!

Within a blink of an eye, it seems, I find myself grabbing, barely, onto the side of a cliff. It is now daylight. In fact, the sun is a ball of fire, scorching hot. Beads of salty sweat burn my eyes. There is nothing lush and beautiful about the scene. The earth is dry, cracked, brown…in fact, barren. parchedearth There is not a speck of green in sight. As I grip for life on the side of this ragged cliff I turn my head and see that there is a brown, bat-like creature within inches of my face to my right. He’s hanging by a dead limb protruding from the side of the cliff. I’m frozen in fear. Oh my God! Where am I?  In front of me, from below, there is a large cat creeping towards me, his eyes locked on to mine. Oh Shit! Really? It looks prehistoric! I am seized by fear and panic but I cannot move to save myself! I open my mouth to call out for help but stop before a syllable releases into the dead air.  I see a man and a small boy dressed in animal skins walking down below…(yes, I kid you not.)

Then I wake up.

Thankfully.

When I’m through with my account my sis is just as upset over the dream as I was. “What an awful dream! For goodness sake, what did you have for dinner last night? It had to have been something you ate!”

I tell her I just had a baked potato with cheese, onions and some black beans and cilantro scattered on top.  And, I only had one short pour of red wine (a good Cabernet, in fact). It could not have been my dinner.

“Well, no more baked-potatoes for you CC!” my sis exclaims, laughing, Truthfully, I had to laugh too. I’m glad that my sis called and was able to get me out of my head even as I recounted the dream.  Our laughter together certainly brightened my mood and set the rest of the gloomy, winter day right-side up.

Still, can you believe that Rocket-man is off having a beer with his buddies and I end up hanging, within an inch of my life, on the side of a cliff, probably to end up as supper for some prehistoric saber tooth cat?!

Even nightmares are not fair!