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When dreams come true - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
When dreams come true
The first time it happened, I was about fourteen and wide awake. It was a vision or more likely, the product of an active adolescent imagination but it seemed so vivid that it hurt my head. It came to me with no warning and it started to happen with a regularity that frightened me. Sometimes it would come and I would take my fist and pound my head, trying to get it out of there. I never told anyone. No one.

The waking dream continued well into my twenties, so much so that I thought I’d write a script about it to purge it from my mind. The script never happened, not one word of it, and when I looked at its content, there really is no story to be told. It is just a quick and scary little thought that rattled around in my head for many years. In those intervening years, the dream has become more detailed and again, perhaps it’s just me connecting some dots. But when it happened the first few times, I was left in the sweat and stink of fear. It continues to this day, this dream, although it has taken on some horrifying aspects of truth. I warn you, it’s probably as dull as golf so feel free to move along.

With the setting sun blazing through his window, the boy sits up from his nap in a sweat and reaches for his dog that sleeps by his side. He bends at his waist, bringing his face close to the dog’s and he sleepily nuzzles the furry ear flaps. The dog stretches his legs straight out but doesn’t open his eyes, lost in his own sleep of chasing birds on the beach. The boy plants his feet on the floor, still groggy and not knowing exactly where he is going. He walks to his window and looks up at the sky. The big puffy loaves of clouds are floating by for a moment, blocking the sun. He stands there, scratching his behind and not taking his eyes off the clouds for one second.

A few years ago, he discovered he could daydream figures from cloud shapes but that’s when he was ten. I was just a kid then but it was fun. These clouds, however, were the most beautiful clouds in the world, he thought, big marshmallowy shapes that seemed to be moving at unusual speed. If his best friend had been standing beside him right then, he would have pointed skyward and said, “Look at that locomotive!” It made him smile, just a little, at how accurate the engine looked up there, way up there, floating in the sky. Its corners were sharp and defined. It was an engine, all right. There was no mistaking it. The train ran past the sun and for a second, the sky was clear and the light bounced off his cheeks. He paused and thought he had never seen a cloud with that much detail.

Just before bedtime that night, he went to his window and looked to the sky again, this time with anticipation and want. It was a half moon but there seemed to be even more activity floating above him than from his matinee. His dog was already on the bed, waiting, but the boy stood there and craned his neck. Here comes a good one. He held his breath as it started to land over the half pie of light in the sky. The cloud started to round and shape itself, and the boy couldn’t believe it was happening again. Wait a minute. Wait. It looks like…. He stopped himself from thinking it but out loud, he uttered, “Mom?”

The cloud was a beautiful pearly white, backlit from the moon, and its shape was unmistakable. A woman’s disembodied head had found its features, its character, and now it was turning to face the boy. The look on his cloud mother’s face was harsh and admonishing. He gulped back some air and ran to his bed. Instinctively he grabbed his dog and held him close. The dog responded to the spontaneous attention with a small lick on his arm. The boy sat in a bed for hours although it was really only a few minutes. He averted his attention away from the window, away from the clouds, away from his mother.

It didn’t last long, though. He needed to see the clouds. He needed to find out this wasn’t someone’s crazy idea of a joke. He needed to see them again. He felt his feet find the floor but had no memory of putting them there. As he reached his window, his head was already aimed at the sky. Another cloud was fast approaching and this time, it was a sight that made him smile. The dog’s head was just like his own, the one snoring behind him. He almost felt like reaching upward but stopped short when the cloud dog started to open his mouth. The boy froze. The cloud dog’s mouth stretched wide, impossibly wide, in a hideous smile. The boy started to convulse as he saw the cloud dog, the horrible smiling cloud dog, gripped in a deathly grimace. The boy started to scream and turned to his bed, to his dog, and he found his dog lying there, limp, dead, and wearing that same grotesque clown grin as the cloud dog.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up fearing and fully anticipating finding my mother dead. It was hammered into my head from an early age that at any time, it might happen. Especially if I was bad. Who knew that so many years later, with someone who I cared for and loved far more than my mother, it would happen? I didn’t see it in the clouds but I have to admit, I had the imagery firmly placed in my mind. Which begs the question: Can you think something to happen?

Current Music: random office shatter

4 comments or Leave a comment
fabulist From: fabulist Date: December 10th, 2003 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)

the question of agency

And it begs the answer, which is clearly no, or I'd have long since thought my way to a far different life than I have now, Terry, and I'd be thinking still, trying to wrench some sort of fairness out of a universe clearly designed for anything but justice.

"The wisdom to know the difference" is the key.
lapalomita From: lapalomita Date: December 10th, 2003 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Omigosh, that gave me chills. I had similar childhood fears of opening my shades & finding something on the other side staring back at me with a menacing grin. *frisson*

First off, I'm so sorry you had to grow up with that ominous feeling hanging over your head. No child should have to live in constant fear of someone's passing. That must have been very difficult & you deserved so much better.

I think the answer to your last questions is a firm, but gentle no. What you're feeling is something that most grief-stricken individuals think; if this particular action hadn't happened, then the consequence wouldn't have occured. That's a magical way of thinking & a way for the bereaved to try to make sense out of something that seems cruel & inexplicable. It's a coping mechanism that tends to do more harm than good. It leaves you with unanswered questions & worse yet most people internalize this magical thinking. Somehow it becomes your fault. Somehow you destroyed this beautiful thing. Please don't do this to yourself. Don't even entertain thoughts like these. They are incorrect & harmful.

*hugs galore*
quuf From: quuf Date: December 10th, 2003 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

No dice

I've read enough of your journal to have been inspired by your manner of grieving - it's brave, it's eloquent, it's unsparing, it's even imaginative.

Speaking of the imagination, there are thousands of 'reasons' why you may have had this waking dream, none of them related to what happened years later, even in a premonitory way. The coincidence of particulars endows the dream with special meaning - and how could it not? - but it would be a shame if you let it somehow implicate you. You don't deserve it - and neither does he.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 11th, 2003 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: No dice

Thank you for your exceptionally kind words. While I understand your last statement with all of the brain power I was given, sometimes my damned heart just gets in the way.
4 comments or Leave a comment