the dream

Two-thirty a.m., my eyeballs jerking and roving bathed in REM, the baby monitor hissing in my subconscious while dreaming of the President who is my good buddy. I built him a sculpture made of chicken wire and wax to take with him on vacation. Lucky guy.

I noticed Calvin in the corner of the room, under the window on the hardwood, as if he’d been tossed there like a rag doll just like the kid in the movie I’d watched earlier that night. His bluish face appeared like a little monster—jagged teeth, eyes half-crossed—and looked as if he’d eaten something rotten. Skinny arms and hands collapsed into a crippled pile in his lap, just behind his little drawn-up knobby knees. He was seizing.

Sharply, I awoke sweating, trying to shake off the dream hoping it was just that—a dream. And it was, but the fear and sour taste of it no different than the real thing, than any seizure I’ve seen my little boy have. These seizures gouge a pit in my stomach, carve deep into my heart, raise the bile in my gut. They’ve etched a loathsome pattern of worry into my skin—perhaps just under it—or maybe even into the marrow of my bones. No matter how many, they don’t get any easier and even if there are fewer I still wait for them around every corner, can’t let my guard down.

But I went on back to dreaming, thought afraid I’d dream of one again. Instead I think I dreamt of something like how Jemaine, from The Flight of the Concords, was my boyfriend, or perhaps I dreamt again of breathing underwater, or of my brother taunting and teasing me, or of my beautiful Calvin running to me across a golden field calling, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

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  1. No words except for those that suggest solidarity.

  2. I'm so sorry; those dreams are the worst. When I used to have seizures in my sleep, I would know that I was hallucinating in a dream in Inception-like confusion. Now, when I awaken from especially wild dreams, I always have to remind myself that I am alright. But seizures leave enough of a pit in your stomach to leave a trail of fear for a lifetime. I send lots of caring in your direction.