What an idiot nightmare*

*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.

32 thoughts on “What an idiot nightmare*

  1. Now that sounds like an interesting dream that needs analysing..Those wasps are nasty! What is the actual point of a wasp except to make you run, screaming from your dinner al fresco.

  2. This is one of the most Horrible nightmare’s I’ve ever heard or read about! Frightening as hell!!! I’ve always been told that it isn’t important what a dream is about, but how it made you feel….! Well, just reading about it made me scared out of my wits! Did you wake up in a cold swet?? All I can say is OY VEY!!!

    • I typically don’t remember this sort of thing but I though it might make a decent post so I hung onto the memory and jotted some notes down in the morning. Just LOOK at how this idiot blog has taken over my life! More than I care to admit. Surprisingly, I fell asleep again. I thought it’d keep me up until morning.

  3. Siobhan texted me this morning: If you’re dreaming, send me your dreams. If you’re laughing, send me your smile. If you’re singing, send me your song.I replied: I’m sitting on the toilet, do you still want me to send you something?

  4. I’ve known some people who endured nightmares for years. An uncle who spent time in a POW camp on Crete came home with some horrors and believe me, they were horrific. But most dreams are, as GB says, a mechanism for mental house keeping and filing.Your sister running from your father concerns me more.

    • The funny thing about my dad was that even though he was an exceedingly angry, unhappy guy, he never laid a hand on us. Lots of strum sturm und drang but no physical violence. And he couldn’t drink because of the ulcer in his stomach. Thank god.

  5. dreams are simply how we file all of the nuggets of experience. hallucinogenic filing system on occasion, but i wouldn’t get too worked up about it.for what it’s worth, if the wasps come back – in dreams, or in life, the best way to deal with them is DEFINITELY with that can of pesticide. and a lighter. makes a damn fine flamethrower…

    • I don’t put a lot of stock in dreams. I consider their secret hidden meanings about as plausible as astrology and UFOs. I actually DID the aerosol flamethrower trick when I was a kid. I think it was a can of Aqua Net. I was copying James Bond in Live and Let Die. I didn’t realize I could have lost a hand doing it!

  6. Sounds like an anxiety dream to me. It’s the type of dream I would have before an event that had me a bit nervous … A client meeting or tetchy conversation to be had with a family member. What’s going on in UB’s life, I wonder. 😉

    • I only WISH I could write about what’s going on! These posts are heavily edited and filtered. I operate under the unwritten law that once something is out in the ether, you can never get it back. But, boy, could I give you an earful.One could just as easily ask YOU the same question!

  7. I sometimes dream about hornets or spiders. UGH.I often have a reoccurring dream about missing a train, or having my bag stolen… meaning I end up running around chasing people… or trains… obvious meanings going on here… BUT the thing is that I now know how to wake myself up so that I don’t waste my time in restless dreams.Sx

  8. i tried writing about my dreams of the last 2 days and couldn’t, so i linked to your recounting. just the idea of putting mine down on paper/the screen made me shiver! xoxoxo

  9. Vivid nightmares are the worst, and this one sounds particularly freaky. My recurring nightmares are: being lost in a giant house that is like maze, with the Nutcracker music in the background (something to do with being traumatized by my grandpa’s spooky ocean side home as a kid); and crashing in a plane. Haven’t had these in a while but they used to be a regular thing.

    • Ah. Crashing in a plane. Hence, your aversion to travel. Well, I suggest you try to rise above your fear of flying. Don’t you ever want to see Europe? Or Asia? Or New York City, for cryin’ out loud? You can always medicate yourself. They don’t call it ‘comfortably numb’ for nothing.

  10. I just want to know which sister? He did hit us once (well the 3 olders ones anyway)…with his VERY LONG belt for not cleaning the garage. That one I remember glad you forgot.MTWinopants-“grandpa’s spooky ocean side home?” That sound is music to my ears I think Unbearable would agree with me on that one. Sorry it damaged you for life.

    • Talk about forgot…that was you, dear. Actually I got the belt for playing with matches in the garage near the lawn mower gas can. Kind of understandable. Funny you should say that. I, too, I blocked out the “grandpa’s spooky…” and only heard “…oceanside home.”

  11. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!Feel free to surf to my blog; registry cleaner software

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