Dreamland was a favorite place—curious inkblots representing our waking hours. Then COVID hit, and like many people, my sleep became disorganized. My dreams became chaotic and dystopian.
Last night, I dreamed four men broke into my house. I heard them. They were dark outlines, dominoes arranged in a darkened triangle. The lead man was apple-cheeked, with a pear-shaped body, and had black curly hair, like an over-stuffed Greek god. I thought, how stupid to break into my house. I have nothing to steal. But he wanted something from me and was coming up the stairs. Not stomping and not tiptoeing. Not even pretending to hide the sounds. There wasn’t malevolence coming off him like it did in waves from the men following him.
He stopped on the little square of carpet three-quarters of the way up with the men on the stairs behind him. I had an urge to smack him. But really, I wanted to know what he wanted from me. He wouldn’t answer, so I threatened him. I’ll knock you down. I have a book in my hands that’ll take you out, and you’ll knock over the men behind you. He looked confused like I shouldn’t want that. How dare I threaten him? He lifted his foot towards the next step.
Wait a minute! This was the book I wrote. I was going to clobber him with my ideas. Ha!
I tossed the book at him. He wobbled, falling back onto one of the men who careened into the other two. They fell ass over head down the stairs. The tumbling was completely quiet. Very strange. Another book appeared in my hands.
Then a decorated sword from my deceased husband was in my hands. I needed two hands to hold it, so I dropped the book. The blade was dull but heavy enough to cause some damage. I stood on the same carpet square, feeling each tuft of fabric under my bare feet. I swung the sword over my head like my imagined Scottish ancestors. There wasn’t any urge to call the police. I had this.
The weight in my hands grew lighter. The sword fell next to the book. I was wearing boxing gloves. Finally, all those boxing videos would pay off.
The men scrambled to their feet.
I screamed at them to leave, but it came out as a whisper like a cat does before it pounced.
Then I woke up. While flicking on every light and checking the doors, I wondered what it meant.
Has the pandemic infected your sleep and dreams, too?
(First image by Nadi Lindsay/pexels.com. Second image by EmmiP/morguefile.com)