I exploded off the couch like an M-80 was about to go off in my pocket. My son smiled at me. “You’re funny.”
“Nothing funny about this buddy,” I said. I stomped to the kitchen, and poured myself a glass of water. I was mad at myself for falling asleep, but strangely I did feel better. It also confirmed to me that time did slow down when I was over here. Still, I had no idea when that thing was coming back, or why had it ran off like that? It could have been mention of the “Administration,” whatever the fuck that meant. I really didn’t like the sound of that, to be honest. It shattered the vague lie that I had been telling myself that this was all so much craziness, the result of an over active imagination.
I was bothered by nightmares dreams in the past, before any of this started I mean, so when I forced myself to consider the situation I couldn’t help but see that I really had no reason to think there wasn’t another world out there, just beyond my eyelids. A world that might have different extents and limits.
I don’t think people dream anymore. That’s the problem. Imagine if you were getting a good 9-10 hours of sleep a night, exercising regularly and not using caffeine or anything like that. I think it would be very easy under those circumstances to have an extensive experience of dreaming. Maybe if this ability and practice was truly appreciated and say one started a dream journal, and started developing other so-called lucid dreaming techniques, couldn’t we imagine this person having a greater connectedness to this other place, than they felt to the real world?
In my situation, it’s sort of an irrelevant point. I chug coffee by the pot and have little ones, so rarely do I get more than six hours of sleep anyway, and as you can probably guess I have a bit of an excited tendency, which is not conducive to peaceful rest. I get into to this dream world like a shotgun blast, a bucket of ice cold water to the face. It just happens.
These were the type of considerations I was engaged in as I drank my water and tried to figure out what to do. Like over there, how do I defeat a werewolf? I’m a somewhat largish man, but by no means some tough guy, and just a glimpse of the snout told me this thing was huge, so I wasn’t excited about trying to fight. It’s funny you know, the interconnectedness of things. As I paced my kitchen thinking about it, that’s what I kept coming back too. That’s weird, huh? The interconnectedness of things? What the fuck does that even mean? What made me think of the phrase was something that happened when I was seven years old.
There was this Great Dane named Domino, at the neighbor’s house. It was a friendly dog, but the one stipulation was that you shouldn’t run away or the small horse was likely to give chase.
In hindsight, a reasonable adult might ask, well then Domino better be kept on lockdown, but this was pre-helicopter parenting days, wild-west days of the Mid-90’s, not all bubble wrapped and safe like today, I guess. Point is back then I just had to contend with Domino, and remember the simple rule, no running away. So of course, one day, I went running up the block, happy, naive, and I heard this yelling to “stop!” I looked back and all I saw was the top of Domino’s massive head as it reared down on me. Like a bull, he scooped me up, and tossed me into the air.
Now all that is to say, I’m predisposed to thinking about how does one take down a large beast like a rushing dog? Later, misguided and disastrous forays into wrestling, which we will not go into here, provided the clue. The one powerful phrase I retained from my grappling studies was “where the heads goes, the body will follow,” meaning if you can drag something by the head, then you had control of it.
Despite my encounter with Domino, I always have been and will be a lover of animals. I have two great dogs myself, ignoring their inability to protect me from cosmological entities. It is with these dogs, Old Boy Dante and the one with papers Cujo, that I have somewhat tested my theories. These test have been done in play, and this werewolf is clearly no labor-doodle, but my experiments have been positive. A dog, and werewolf I hope, are all about the mouth. They’re like a ragging set of teeth, propelled by a body. Just like the mighty alligator, once head/neck control is established we pray, it will become easier to clamp down on the jaws, which have great biting force, but not great opening force. And let’s just forget about those claws, and jagged edges…
The plan was clear. Get this thing in a headlock, hold its mouth shut, and perhaps bludgeon it with my small hammer? Where was the small hammer, now that I thought of it? I went back to the living room and it was nowhere in sight. Strange? Was it possible I left it over there?
I pried the DS from my son’s hand and put it on the charger. Then we both flopped back on the couch. He could tell I was stressed. I had to lie to him again and told him it was nothing. Really I was freaking out. We both knew that.
I wondered if I could make it through the night without falling asleep? I wondered if that was even the right play? How could I guarantee my safety? I needed some help.
The whole day was this mixture of the mundane, making PB&Js, playing with Play-doh, wiping butts, starting dinner, and then just worry and plotting about what I was going to do with the wolf. By the time bed came I was exhausted. Britney could definitely tell something was up. “You all right babe?” She asked, getting her clothes ready for the next day.
“No,” I said into the pillow. “No, I’m not all right at all. It’s the dreams again. I’m so goddamned tired, but too afraid to go to sleep.
“I thought things were going better,” she said.
How could I explain that the last ten days or so had been the worst ever, and that what she took for doing better was me at my lowest? “It was,” I lied. “But the wolf is finally here.”
“What? You’ve seen the wolf?”
“Just it’s snot and an eyeball.”
“Get out of here?”
“That’s fucking freaky.
“I know,” I said. Silence. The usual silence. Like always, I feel mostly bad for my wife talking to her about this stuff. If I have no clue what’s going on, how can I expect her to? I don’t want to tell her about the tablet, but it comes bubbling out. “There’s something else too.”
“I touched the tablet.”
“Shut up,” she said, slamming her underwear drawer shut.
“I did and there was this weird picture, bunch of old people dressed up, priests and monks and stuff, and then there was one other app and it didn’t do anything, but dropped all the power.”
“Why in the hell did you do that?”
“I don’t know.”
“This is bad.” For the first time in all this she seemed honestly worried. This made me feel like crap. Why did I touch that freaking thing?
“What are you going to do?” She asked, arms crossed.
“I don’t know. I’m going to try to stay up tonight and tomorrow. Maybe I can nap tomorrow when you get home.”
“No, come on. I don’t want to be mean but you look like a wreck. You need to sleep.
“I can’t sleep.”’
“You have too.”
Marriage is wonderful. One aspect of this is the prevalence and potency of honesty. My damn tiredness betrayed me. “I think it’s gonna bring the ‘Administrators’?”
“Administrators?” She had an insulted look on her face that I couldn’t really explain.
“Yeah, I think I told you about them once. I don’t really get it to be honest. Sounds like their form of government. You know I naturally get the need for–”’
“Wait,” she interrupted. “I’m not following you.”
“What do you mean”
“Well, if it’s a dream world, why is there a government? That sounds stupid.”
Indeed. What could I say to that? We enjoyed a comfortable silence for a moment. I rolled in it like a warm sauna. She didn’t believe me. That’s fine. I didn’t necessarily believe me either. There’s was a sour little ping of moral angst at that. A lil splash of depressive melancholia, which was seeing all this as my fault.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’ll try to sleep.”
My wife got the shivers and looked away for a second. “I don’t know what to do, but you have to figure something out with this? We can’t have your lurking around here like a zombie. How about this though. How about you lay down right now, it’s a little after nine, and I’ll crochet next to you for an hour or two and wake you before I sleep. Maybe the little catnap can help you, and if you start acting weird, then I’ll just wake you up?”
“Have you ever seen any Freddy Kruger movies? Because that’s exactly what they do before one of them offs it.”
“Oh my god,” she said. “I’m just trying to help.”
“I know,” I said.
Silence. “Fine,” I said, snuggling up to her with a pillow. “But you promise you’ll wake me up?”
“I promise,” she said.