Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004 | 7:08 a.m.

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Never Let Steve Buscemi in Your Dreams

All right, so I hear you. I've thought about bundling relevant entries into "A Year of Madness, Laughter and Tears," or something like that. You know, losing a child, moving across country, that sort of thing. I'll think about it. Thanks to Marcy for that link and cat, it would be great if you could share that info you mentioned. The book on pagan grief isn't a lost project -- I just want to give myself a year before I start writing it. Of course, the notes for it are largely contained in this journal. I just have to stop telling myself stories (because I'm a good storyteller, heh) about my mediocre writing ability.

Last night I had a very bizarre dream that is still puzzling me. Normally I can figure my dreams out, but this one... well, it was vivid and had the feeling of importance, if I can just figure it out.

I had a hard time falling asleep. Jeff got in with the cats yesterday, and last night was full of new noises, mostly of the cat variety. Rosie kept yowling in the upstairs hallway, which is open to our family room downstairs, creating quite the echo with the cathedral ceiling. At first I thought she had gotten trapped in Gab's room and had visions of inappropriate use of the carpet, so I got up to let her out, only to find the door open and Rosie simply standing in the hallway, making a ruckus.

Freak Dog (formerly known as Persephone) did her nightly rounds of pacing and sticking her nose against the windows in our room and Gab's room, which are at the opposite ends of the second story. Jewel kept trying to merge with my arm, and mewing whenever I tried to move. She also pinned my arm at least once and started licking it. Jewel has some weird licking fixation -- she licks more than any dog I've ever owned. On the rare nights I get to sleep nude, I have to make sure my butt is covered, or I get the rude awakening of a cat tongue on my ass cheek. It may sound all exotic and sexy, but the reality is, it's annoying when you're trying to sleep. If you'd like to experience it, just have someone take a wet piece of sandpaper to your posterior -- you'll see. Try to remember you asked for it and not deck the perpetrator.

This dream is of the bizarre and disturbing variety. If you don't want to read it, I understand. I'll even leave "spoiler" space.





Anyway, when I finally drifted off, I found myself in an office, observing from above, kind of like a movie. Steve Buscemi was working there, except that he wasn't Steve Buscemi the actor, he was Steve Buscemi the office guy. A co-worker of his -- a mom -- was telling him about her kid's spelling test, about how she helped this kid (can't remember if it was a boy or a girl) learn to spell "investigate." When she said "investigate," Steve got a glazed look on his face. Apparently it was some kind of key phrase, because he went berserk and started killing people. A man and a woman -- a couple -- managed to escape the carnage by hiding on top of bathroom stalls, which were made out of thick concrete. Somehow, in the process of killing, Steve let loose with some kind of phrase or mojo that made other people do the same thing. It was sort of like 28 Days Later, except that it seemed to be purely psychological and not an infection.

For whatever reason, the people most affected initially were older people. And the violence spread through this little community of small houses. My consciousness drifted outside and I watched as the killing and turning of people spread through the homes that had no fences, yards all joined in a jumble of green grass and clotheslines. Gradually, the age of the berserker murderers started to get younger and younger.

My consciousness drifted into a house full of young people who had not yet been changed. I was pulled into the body of a girl who was acting as their leader. She saw the berserkers coming to the house and tried to shut all the doors. Problem was, the doors were mostly made of glass. She knew they weren't going to keep the berserkers out for very long. So they broke in, and the kids scattered, and the girl heard the leader of the berserkers (a scary-looking bad Willow sort of girl in burgundy velvet with darkly shadowed eyes) say, "Change!" and all the berserkers, who had simply broken in, but not yet starting killing, went nuts and starting swinging blades all around and making animalistic yodeling and yipping noises, sort of like hyenas. My mind blocked out the carnage, as if I were shutting my eyes at a movie.

The girl whose mind I was occupying realized that they were so animalistic that they might miss someone if they hid well enough, so she ran into another room and hid in the closet. The berserkers were busy killing everyone who had holed up in the house. She hunkered down against the back of the closet, covered herself in clothing and shoes, closed her eyes and waited. The berserkers opened the door to the closet and she began breathing very shallowly, trying not to be heard. Her heart was pounding and she was petrified. Several hands patted over her and she felt it through the layers of clothing and shoes. Still she didn't move, and the berserkers left, leaving the closet door open. There was a little crack through which she could see out the door, to the outside of the house through the busted out front door. She locked eyes with one of the berserkers, but was unsure whether or not he could really see her. He said, "Eyes, eyes," but the others ignored him and they drove away.

Then my consciousness drifted back to the original couple who had escaped ol' Steve. They were in a house in the same community, but all the berserkers had left. They were sleeping on a bed, and again, I drifted into the woman's body. She heard a sound outside and stood, looking out the window. Outside several old white buses pulled up at a diagonal, parking and opening their doors. People started filing out and standing next to the buses. One bus was literally right out their window. She thought they looked normal and opened the window. None of them looked towards her. Her partner was still very leary of them -- he knew about the "change" command. And then I woke up.

The things that feel important are the words "investigate" and "change," that the berserkers progressed from the very old to the very young, and that the buses were white. I woke up feeling disturbed and unsettled, kind of like I would at the end of a movie that ended with a question.

So there you have it. Welcome to my nightmare. I'm glad I didn't have that dream while Jeff was gone.

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