This past Friday night, I found myself in the midst of a second fear-filled sleep for the toddler who must imagine terrible slime monsters on the walls of my parents’ basement, where the crib is stationed. (It sounds worse than it is, by the way. The basement in my parents’ house is finished with its shelves covered in my mother’s bright, happy Pez collection. Though I guess a multitude of Pez dispensers could be extra freaky to a 22 month old.)
I was half asleep, carrying the boy back to my bed, knowing that it would result in the next night’s Act III of the same event. Boy cries. Mama wakes. Mama is incapable of standing next to crib singing boy to sleep when she’s tired and her feet are cold, plus her husband is home in California so why not take the opportunity to let the snuggly, squishy child sleep in bed with her?
Here’s why. Because snuggly, squishy boy is really the mini version of the smelly, long legged, floppy armed teenager he will be soon enough, and he cannot control the incredible splat his limbs make when he rotates across the bed. Nor could he control his head Friday night when it smacked straight in to the metal bedpost at the head of the guest bed the two of us were “snuggling” in. Head slammed. Crying. I rocked him for a couple of minutes until the pre pre-pubescent man-child that he is shook it off and immediately feel asleep.
(I would find out in the morning, after we woke, talked, and scooted ourselves to my parents’ kitchen that he actually bore a black and blue right eye. Yes, Mama should have turned the light on.)
I should also say that I was dealing with the mini curse of my own plugged-sinus-mouth-breathing that night. There’s something about mouth breathing that, combined with a toddler flopping around my bed, made the night full of awakenings. When I finally slid into sweet unconsciousness, I realized:
I was in Russia. Yes, my husband’s job had moved us yet again. But this time, it was not to an awesome, more hipster, eco-friendlier version of New York. No, it was to a Russia completely fabricated in my “how could I NOT have learned that in high school?” mind. Meaning, I don’t know a lot about Russia. All I know about Russia I know from movies. So this Russia (city unnamed) was a movieland Russia. And in it, I had a received a parking ticket.
Big surprise. I will not tell you how many parking tickets I have received in my current city. However, know that I didn’t get any of them on purpose.
At first the parking ticket scenario was not a frightening one. I would pay it; we’d all be annoyed and move on. But as I went to pay said parking ticket, I was accosted by Russian Mafia, all speaking English in a scary Mafian-like Russian accent. Somehow, I was then in a smoke-filled, sketchy bar, at a table with the Mafia men and my husband, trying to bribe our way out of their scheme of killing me off like one of those cheap Bond girls.
My husband assured me that the scheduled date of my execution (two weeks away) was plenty of time to get some money into the hands of the right people. But the dream suddenly fast-forwarded and I was staring down my next-day execution, thinking,” I should probably call my mom and tell her that I’m being exterminated.”
We had not met the right people and we were at some undisclosed (at least to my brain) sporting event, looking for a certain Mafia man, our last hope. He brushed past me, spilled his drink on my shirt, and suave-like whispered in my ear, “There’s nothing I can do. Tomorrow you will hang.” (Actually, I don’t remember what he said, just that he was creepy and we left knowing I would die.)
Chris and I walked along the cold, shadowed streets of the fake Russia of my mind, talking about our son and our life together, how much we would miss each other, when suddenly, a musical cue! Some quickening melody in the dream told us to run!
From there, I was in the presence of Frank, the helicopter/airline pilot from Lost who was promising me a way out of my impending punishment: Air school!
“Of course,” he said, “You’d have to be okay with flying a plane.”
“ Yes.” I said. “Absolutely. I’ll fly a plane if it means I don’t get annihilated in the morning.”
But it turns out that Frank knew a lot more than the fact that somehow being in Air School could save my life. He also knew I was a “candidate.”
(At this point, if you don’t watch the show Lost, my dream will mean nothing to you. I apologize. If you do watch Lost, you recognize the utter awesomeness of Frank’s revelation.)
My being a “candidate” meant my life was saved. Smoke Monster Locke would rescue me from the Mafia if only for his own purposes of getting off the island!
I woke before all this news could be fully celebrated in the dream. Therefore, I’m asking you to celebrate it with me now. Awesome dream, right? Yes.