My family and I checked into a hotel. It was fantastic beyond imagining, trapeze artists swinging from ceilings so high above they tore through clouds as they leapt for the next swing, lions held only by thin golden chains roaring as we passed. Las Vegas on steroids and fairy dust. I didn’t recognize any of the people I knew were my family but one. Eliza and I had gone to high school together, and I haven’t seen her in over a decade.
We were circus performers, and the staff at the front desk sneered at us when we asked for our room, clearly annoyed at waiting on entertainment rather than real guests. An old woman with tall pink hair and tight red clothes reluctantly agreed to lead us, tucking our room keys into the grey and wrinkled cleavage spilling over her bustier too quick for me to see the room number.
She was quick despite the staggering high heels she wore, and we scrambled together our bags and hurried after, gaping at the odd sights as we went. I felt distinctly provincial, a naive performer getting her first shot at the big time, thrilled and terrified at the prospect. In the confusion of twinkling lights and pressing crowds I lost sight of the old woman. It was a mix of luxurious hotel and carnival midway, fountains and marble alongside merry-go-rounds and dunk tanks.
I told my family to try to find her while I went back to the front desk. It took me a bit to find my way back, hallways and promenades rearranging themselves as I stumbled across the gaudy carpet, careening off enormous guests that towered over me and spilled giant neons drinks as they laughed, ruining my clothes and making my makeup run. When I finally found the front desk, the staff shrugged when I told them we’d lost our guide. No one else was willing to show me where to go or even tell me the room number. I lost my temper and demanded a fucking map. A smarmy thin man, around my age, pushed back from the desk and told me he didn’t have to put up with my abusive language. I swore again and demanded to speak to the manager. The grinning young man next to him (who looked a lot like Neil Patrick Harris) told me he was the manager and wouldn’t allow me to yell at his employees. Then another staff member showed up with the menus for tonight, and they all turned away to study them while ignoring me.
I was so upset I starting crying. No one would help me, and not only was I tired and wanted to go to my room before the performance I knew I had tonight, but now I’d lost my family as well. I stood there for what seemed like hours, apologizing and begging for someone to help me. Periodically I’d leave and begin searching, but kept coming back to the front desk when I realized I’d just get more lost. The staff mocked me and rolled their eyes.
Then a hand slipped into mine, and Eliza smiled up at me. She calmly told me they had found the room and had been waiting for me. She wiped off my face and led me away, promising that everything would be okay now.
The third cat looked more like a fox than a cat, sitting smug on a cat tower grooming a front paw. It was the only cat we allowed in our bedroom, and the other two were meowing and pawing at the door in protest at being left out. I was sitting on the bed watching it when Mark came in and told me he wasn’t feeling well and we needed to go to the hospital.
There was no travel, just a dissolve and we were sitting in the waiting room of a sparkling clean, very modern emergency room. All of the other patients wore opaque plastic masks that made their eyes look like dark wet holes. The light was too bright.
I was hiding my sickness from Mark so he wouldn’t worry. I excused myself and went to the restroom to take my medicine. The hospital was in the bottom level of a huge complex that contained a movie theater and stores and restaurants The restroom was on the level above, and it seemed like everyone I passed could see my disease, my skin rotting away. I’m not sure if they had faces.
The bathroom was old and dark, with leaking pipes and weird pink mottled walls that I didn’t want to touch. I went into the handicapped stall, which was huge and included enough space for a brown velvet couch. There were two women sitting on the couch watching me. They were wearing flapper dresses and hats with beaded veils. I knew it would be bad if they knew I was sick, so I pretended I needed to pee. The toilet had fabric, antlers, and broken jewelry clogging the bowl. The water was murky, and I could just make out what might be a hand or a claw, maybe bones, in the bottom. I thought it moved.
I really did not want to sit down, but the women scared me more than the hand, so I pulled down my underwear and sat. The women turned back to each other, not talking but somehow communicating. I fumbled out my medication, half turning so they wouldn’t see. It was a monstrously huge stainless steel syringe filled with pre-measured doses. I put it against the inside of my elbow and pushed the plunger. Nothing. So I moved it to where a vein was popping out, throbbing and too high above my skin. This time the needle shot out and stabbed into my skin. I watched the vein turn black and knew the women had fallen silent again, staring at me. More of my veins were turning black, tracing up and down my arm. I tossed the syringe into a pile of trash in the corner so I wouldn’t be caught with it, pulled up my underwear, and ran out of there. My arm was turning black and I tried to hide it by pulling down my sleeve. I stopped at the top of the stairs leading down to the hospital. I knew then that Mark was worried and wondering where I was, but I realized I had just thrown away the medicine that was supposed to keep my skin from rotting off. I slowly turned around to go back to the bathroom, terrified of facing those women again.
Last night I dreamt one of the earrings in my left lobe was so badly infected I had to cut it out. The dream skipped over the actual cutting, but I had somehow cauterized the wound and had this big hunk of flesh missing from the back of my ear. It felt rough when I touched it, and I could almost see my fingers through the skin when I looked in the mirror. Then I was in this glittery spun glass carriage with a bunch of masked people who claimed to be my friends on our way to a masquerade. They were very upset that the hole in my ear somehow caused my party mask not to fit, and exclaimed over how everyone would be looking at it instead of the costume I worked so hard to make. Two of the women fussed with my hair to try and cover it, tugging and pulling so hard they began to tear chunks of my hair out, and the rest just laughed and laughed as they watched.
Last night I was a bad ass cop, the kind they had in cheesy TV shows in the late 80s. I think I even had big hair. I was the main character, the one who always caught the bad guy, and the rest of the cops were angry and jealous. They didn’t like me.
My partner and I were driving around, making too-accurate jokes about each others sexual abilities, when we got a radio call reporting some disturbance at a nightclub. There was a flash of noise and light, and we were there. It was a two story green Chinese monstrosity, foo dogs out front and a lacquered red arch with the club’s name, which I couldn’t read. There were big picture windows along the side, and some were broken. People in shiny, too tight clothes stood outside, and it must have just rained, red and blue neon reflecting in puddles on the pavement.
Other cops were arriving by then, and we tried to get the people to back up. Some of them were hurt, holding their sides or arms, and all had a shocked expression as they stared at the building. There was a loud crash behind me, and I turned to find a kappa, a Japanese water spirit, but it had a bull’s head instead of a man’s. It sneered at me with its thick bull lips somehow, eyes sunken beneath a low brow. And then it vanished.
It reappeared a moment later in the crowd, charging into people as they screamed. It was terrifying as it made these deep, animal grunts, and everyone scattered as the kappa continued to teleport around. There was a small strip mall next to the club, and my partner and I ran into it. He started running down the aisles grabbing cans of deodorant. My partner was babbling how it wouldn’t be able to find us if it couldn’t smell us, and began spraying deodorant everywhere, a can in each hand. He sprayed me in the face. It didn’t hurt but I couldn’t see, rubbing my eyes and catches brief flashes of chaos and flickering lights and screams. When I was able to open my eyes, the kappa stood over me.
Last night’s dream involved ghosts kneeling beside my bed, chewing on bloody flesh while they watched me sleep. I woke up terrified to open my eyes, and grinding my teeth so hard my jaw still hurts.
Last night’s dream was a product of bad sleep, too much beer and gaming.
Heapfrag and I were living in a large, open house with both cats and an unnamed dog. I looked out the window and saw a lion pacing around the back garden. Immediately I yelled for him and ran outside to get both cats and dog inside while trying to call 911. Heapfrag seemed unconcerned, which made me very upset. We got the pets inside. The 911 operator was arguing with me, saying I must have seen something other than a giant cat. It made me so angry I stormed out of the house and ducked into a greenhouse (this was a pretty lavish property we were living in) to try and get another look at the lion.
Instead it appeared that an entire zoo had been released. I walked outside, a bit in shock, trying to take in the giraffes and various animals strolling casually through the yard, when I remembered there was at least one lion and took off running back to the house. Once inside, I couldn’t find Heapfrag and began frantically searching for him, afraid he had gone back outside. I found an underground passage leading from the house’s basement. I knew it went to another part of the yard.
I saw Heapfrag up ahead of me and hurried after. The passage let out onto a yard filled with rhinos and people playing some sort of cricket. When I caught up to Heapfrag and started yelling at him about the cats and animals and leaving me alone with them, he laughed and grabbed a pillow off a nearby bed sitting on the grass. He threw the pillow at me and told me not to be silly, the animals were our guests.
I bought this really amazing coffee recently. It’s so good, I can drink it cold. I’ve been drinking so much of it that it has invaded my dreams.
I was yelling at someone, just really laying into them in this amorphous gray space. Just absolutely crazy mad, at this person in front of me I couldn’t quite see. Suddenly I was the person being yelled at, and I very defiantly told myself that I should lay off as I hadn’t even had any coffee yet.
The night before last I dreamed that I went to go see the new Twilight movie. I have never read the books or seen the movies, and all I know about it is from friends who like it and websites making fun of it.
I sat in the theater, surrounded by dark silhouettes of people without faces, watching as the vampires slowly bit chunks out of Kristen Stewart’s head. They kept nibbling away, her skull slowly collapsing into itself and warping her face as she mumbled through her lines. No one mentions or made any reference to this in the movie, and when I started screaming to the other people in the theater that this was seriously fucked up, the actors on screen turned and looked at me.
I was very, very glad to wake up.
In last night’s dream, I was a serving wench in a large medieval castle (this is no doubt due to @heapfrag’s suggestion right before bed that we go to Medieval Times sometime. I have never been). It was night time, and we all stretched out giant feather mattress and thick quilts along the hallways, since that is where the servant slept. I was almost asleep when I felt a weight on my cover. I wrestled something about the size of a large cat, trapping it with one hand behind its head and the other between its shoulder blades. It had the body and neck of a iguana but a human face. Once I pinned it, the monster looked up at me and hissed, showing hundreds of tiny sharp teeth. My mother sat up in the space next to me, presumably also a servant in the castle, and helped me hold it down while telling me I had to twist its head around until it popped off. I grabbed the thing and began yanking on its head, while it whimpered and begged me not to in the saddest voice I’ve ever heard.
I woke up convinced this was really happening, as somehow the covers had all migrated to my side of the bed so there really was a weight on my blanket.
Last night I had a dream that one of the air purifiers came to life and attacked me. It was possessed by a demon, complete with red light shining from the vents and bat noises as it swooped around my head. Exactly like a cheesy 80s horror movie. I actually woke up terrified. It wasn’t the only nightmare I had last night, but it was the clearest.
I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me.