“In the nightmare of the dark – All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate”

27 Jul

I toss and turn and toss some more. I feel my eyes pried open ala Clockwork Orange and I stare at the musty shadows dancing on the ceiling, the moonlight sparse, the odd reflection from a passing car. A dog barks, kids giggle past the house, timeless. I refuse to turn the clock so I don't realize just how slowly the night is going.

To sleep, perchance to die within.

For years I dreamed in blood. I dreamed in death, in fear. Angry, frightening men, huge men would chase me from building to room to basement, my life on their fingertips, my name on their lips, my pain wrapped in their desire. I could do nothing more than run, frantic, my own fingers trembling on a trigger I could never aim and pull, my legs pumping and straining to disappear away from them. I would hide, feel my lungs labor, and my body scream for release and shortly before waking, he would loom large and I would bellow and rouse myself from my slumber.

For years, fear chased me at night, growing worse and more painful as time went on. With children came awful dreams of watching their death, pictures that I can never erase from my mind, the helplessness which I could taste once I woke, the sheer terror of not being able to stop it.

Wound me. I can take it. I've taken worse. But my children? My small people, my incidental tourists in this life-even in dream, I cannot harbor their pain.

Some nights I stay awake, trying to chase down these dreams, keep them at bay before they begin. I'm blessed with fewer and fewer as I age, my brain wiping itself clean, fixing connections, finding peace. But there are days when I can feel it coming, when there's a shadow behind the wall I can barely smell, when I hear his footsteps following me, his hands on the shoulders of my daughters….and I stare into the stucco void to stun him into insensibility.

I know why he followed me for so long. I know my fears have been swallowed by the snake which is age, which is growth and settling and finding my own two feet on this precarious orb. I know I've made him smaller, weaker, and never again will he shoot me with my own gun, standing over me with a grin as he slowly squeezes the trigger as he grows harder. I know my guns are larger, my voice is louder and I can run faster than ever before.

But that he exists at all….that keeps me staring.

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6 Responses to ““In the nightmare of the dark – All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate””

  1. Bethany July 27, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Your writing is just absolutely stunning.

  2. bon July 28, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    ouch. this is exquisite and awful in its truth. the snake which is age, a strange comfort in what it swallows, takes away. and yet, yes, it does not all disappear.

    i love the line about your guns. i totally saw you/me/all of lined up in fifties-style pointy bras. 😉

    • Kimberly July 28, 2010 at 8:08 am #

      Bon sent me here. Wow. Now that I have kids, I worry about them AND I worry about DREAMING about them. I don’t actually dream about them. Maybe the worrying about it DOES keep the dreams at bay.

  3. Cheeky Monkey July 28, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    In my dreams about my children, I’m always losing them. Sometimes the subconscious can be so unsubtle, which is disappointing.

  4. that girl July 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    hate dreams about my kids, ’cause for some reason they’re always terrible..

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