The boy who suffers in my dreams, and es ...

The boy who suffers in my dreams, and escapes, for a while

Dec 09, 2021

I dreamt I was a bespectacled boy of 9
rounded up with dozens of classmates
headed for some Siberian nightmare solution
to overpopulation; I think they were going to
shoot us all but I fled into the unnatural ice
(it was yielding as marshmallow)
and sank face-first through the layers knowing
I was going to die anyway but it would be a
better death than theirs - but even dying
I knew I was merely going somewhere else
probably equally dangerous.

Cut to another me, a twenty-something version of
that boy, working as a journalist, undercover in
some combination cult-factory with a messiah that
could’ve been my doppelgänger and knew I was on his trail.
He caught me thanks to a girl who looked like Amélie,
and they dismembered me and stuck the pieces
full of electrodes to fuel some enterprise that seemed
to have to do with sending children off to die in Siberia.

That girl ended up in a Parisian café with her friends,
itching all over with some vague sense of evil, and the
café kept changing its layout and eventually she went
back to the cult-factory and found me in a little cell
where I was already in pieces, preserved in jars, that
were fueling some unknown enterprise. They were
working on it when I woke.


I wish I had more nightmares like this. They are horrible, sure, but I prefer them immensely over the ones where I'm lost on a bus, or I'm running away from (or to meet) something/someone that requires me to climb to ridiculous, rickety heights, or I've forgotten where I left my walking stick, or I'm looking everywhere for somewhere civilized to pee (thanks, MS!) I also find it interesting when I'm watching myself in a dream, like a movie, rather than simply living out the drama. That person is about 25% of the time a boy of 9, which totally makes sense to me.

The reason these sorts of dreams are rare, perhaps, is that I rarely have such a perfect storm of stresses for my brain to work with. At the moment, I'm looking at 1-3 more months of the purgatory that is the disability application process -- and that's just the "easy" one, my retirement pension; Social Security could take up to a year. There is a gnawing in my gut so constant that I should name it. ("Nidhogg" comes to mind.) Applications for Medicaid and FoodShare are also under review. We're waiting for my husband to be assigned a social worker to take some of his healthcare struggles off my hands (though I feel responsible for those struggles; we had good insurance while I worked). Add to this my father's ongoing battle with esophageal cancer, and you get some pretty rich compost for nightmares.

And those lovely waking bad dreams that ultimately turn into poems, stories, and books. I often feel that I like to write horror and dark fiction because there, I get to call all the shocks.


This is a free, public post; thank you for reading! I will be offering more exclusive writerly things here, so please consider a membership to get access to that and support my work. Or, if you'd like to throw just a few bucks in my typewriter case, that would also be appreciated!

Enjoy this post?

Buy Sun Hesper Jansen a coffee


More from Sun Hesper Jansen