*Bukowski. Notes of a Dirty Old Man
I had a horrific nightmare. Nightmares are exceedingly rare for me. I sometimes have trouble falling asleep but it’s nothing that a mug of hot milk + honey won’t fix. Once I’m out, I’m out. But nightmares? Never get them. Ever.
In New Jersey we have a type of wasp that builds its nests in the ground. They look like this:
They’re big and scary. Almost as big as your thumb. If you step on a nest, you’re fucked x 100.
The house I grew up in wasn’t a nice house. It was a farm house that was much older, smaller and more run-down than the Cleveland suburb that sprung up around it. The house was an anomaly. It didn’t look like it belonged there because it was built ages before the neighborhood was born. It stuck out, and not in a good way.
In my dream, I was sitting in the tiny dining room. The walls and door frames were crawling with ground wasps. Five or six at a time would land on me. They wouldn’t sting, but they’d bite. I’d grab one and try to pull it off but it would cling to my clothing and skin. In my dream, they were bigger. They were so big that as I closed my hand around one, the head would stick out of the top of my fist and the tail with the stinger would stick out of the bottom. I’d yank one off, crush it, throw it to the ground and another would take its place. The biting was relentless.
I ran into the bathroom. I had a can of insecticide in my hand. I started spraying them. I put the nozzle right up to their face, sprayed, and covered their heads with foam. Still, they kept coming. I grabbed one, went to the bathtub, turned the water on and held it under the tap. Its mouth opened wide and I could hear it fill up with water, like when you fill up a bottle. The water kept pouring in and pouring in.
I woke up tangled in my sheets. I remembered my sister running into that bathroom and locking the door behind her. I don’t remember exactly how old she was. A young teenager. Maybe 12 or 13. My father pounding the door with his fist, yelling at her to open the door. Her crying. He kept pounding and eventually we heard the wood split. Then he stopped. My sister, crying behind the locked door.