Last night it was so good
I felt like crying, I felt like crying
Last night though you looked so old
I felt like smiling, smiling while I’m dying
You left me cold, you left me cold…
— “Needles in My Eyes”, The Beta Band
My college dreams are less concrete than my normal dreams, and that’s really saying something. It might have something to do with my final years being a combination of the last face-to-face battleground with my parents, the first place they started stalking me, and the beginning of the quiet periods when I first experienced PTSD symptoms.
There are a lot of other nasty things there too: my first experience of true betrayal, which would repeat until I learned better who to trust, if at all; being caught in the middle of a group of Christian students who didn’t know if I should be turned in to my parents because of one of the Ten Commandments or if this situation was different, the story of Abraham not strictly excepted; and my first experience with the U.S. court system in combination with the police, which left much to be desired, but there’s only so much the law can do about stalking.
My dreams in that place tend to feel significant, even when they’re not. Even after all these years, it’s as though my subconscious is still trying to make sense of all that happened. It doesn’t help that I was having nearly constant waking nightmares for a large percentage of the time back then, so my memories and sense of time have always been really whacked. I’d say I don’t dream of my undergrad years, but the time dilation makes it hard to say for certain.
These dreams are almost always ambiguous. They aren’t nightmares (which always seem to be set either before college or during the years I was on the hot run). They’re just… strange. I actually don’t meet people I know in them, but that’s probably for the better.
I suppose they are ambiguous because, even though they did still go wrong with respect to my parents, those years were my first respite from hell. A sort of purgatory, really, when I hadn’t yet decided on a course of action to get away from the constant threat of my parents post-separation, because any such course would be quite hard and possibly just hasten death if my parents caught me out.
Sometimes I dream back to these times when I’m listening to Terry Pratchett books being read. They were an escape hatch for me during those years—not the audiobooks, the paper books, I couldn’t afford audio books back then and Audible was still a gleam in somebody’s eye. I left them all behind when I had to go in quite a hurry. It’s odd, or perhaps not so odd, that they seem to serve as a portal back to those times as well.
So yeah. I’ve been having these dreams. They definitely have the mood that “Needles in My Eyes” provokes in me. They aren’t good dreams. But they aren’t nightmares. Actually, they are sort of boring, but almost always precede a period of… I don’t know. More of the same, some worse. Waking nightmares, perhaps, but melancholy at the very least. It’s the holidays so it’ll probably get worse, but I am always strangely optimistic before my falls.
If this were a Neil Gaiman story, something truly fucked up would happen tonight, probably involving totem animals, anthropomorphic representations of dreams, and maybe owls.
Oh. I’ll post bento a bit later.
Needles in my eyes won’t cripple me tonight, alright
Twisting up my mind, please pull me to the light, alright