I’ve been busy in my sleep of late. Dreams and dreams and dreams. I’m often pursued or pursuing. Nothing ever comes of this.
There are snakes, always snakes. Red and copper fanged adders that threaten but never strike. Frightening me into stillness when I know I must be moving on.
I’m peeing on a hollowed stump. A monstrous viper is perturbed by my micturition. I jump back and turn to grab a stick to kill it. When I turn back around it has vanished. This might be a problem. . .
I am an officer walking the lines during a campaign of some sort of trench warfare. Or maybe I am a camp counselor walking between a dry ditch and a creek, I’m not sure. “Check this out. There’s snakes down here.”
“I know there are snakes down there, that’s why I’m not in the ditch. Don’t lean over it, can’t you see it’s poisonous? ‘Red to yellow, kill a fellow’ and all that.”
“Oh, it can’t strike us, it has to coil in on itself to be able to strike. Plus it’s too cold for it to be active.”
Somehow I find myself sitting right next to the snake. It is frightened by my presences and winds in on itself to be able to strike. It won’t strike, though; my body heat is all that is keeping it alive. If I attempt to leave it will bite me. I’m afraid of being bitten, but am sure that it will never strike if I stay still. I know that more snakes will be drawn to my body heat throughout the night and I will be surrounded when dawn comes. I’m not as scared as I should be, mostly annoyed because there was someplace I was supposed to be. . .
I watched an oafish man visit prison hoping to be raped. The clown smearing shit on the walls, the sheets, the hands of those he lied to. “See! I was raped. He forced me and I couldn’t escape.” The warden, his wife, nobody believed him; everyone leaving, shaking their heads at this man’s foolishness. The inmate rejecting this idiot’s pawing, wanting only to shower and be left alone. That moron made everyone feel dirty.
Immigrant workers rolled out paths of AstroTurf in my backyard. My neighbors were claiming it as their own. I was angry about this, but not the AstroTurf. That seemed like a good idea.
There was a young boy always looking to me for comfort. A man would hold him back until I approached within a couple of paces. The child would be released and he would jump into my embrace. “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” I would repeat and after a time the tears or his fearful quaking would cease. He never explained, but would eventually begin laughing and run off to play. By morning he had grown heavy enough to necessitate my sitting while I comforted him.