I had the worst nightmares last night. Some nights I am plagued by them; last night was one of those nights. Usually they seem at least somewhat fitting to my waking life, but last night they were wild and random and just plain peculiar. In one of them, my husband, our son, and our dog and cat (I actually have no dependents, human or otherwise) led this horrible existence. We woke up every day, went through the same shitty routine, hated every millisecond of it, and just surrendered to our mundane reality. Time crept on and on. My son really had it in for me. He was around two years old. He kept trying to do me in by suffocating me, and my husband either didn’t believe me or didn’t care. I wasn’t quite sure. It was a lonely and terrifying existence.
Then I discovered that we were all dead, and had been living as ghosts. It suddenly made sense as to why we were so isolated and scared all the time. We kept trying to go places but never arrived, and we couldn’t interact with anything material outside of our own home. Everything that was real and solid and consequential to the living took on a phantom characteristic to us. All we had to eat was this miry slop of murky poppyseed goo…hmm. My husband kept handing me bowls of it, and I didn’t want to eat any more of it. The dream was crisscrossed by lots of strange railroad crossings with ghostly trains occupied by the living that blew past in terrifying blurs. At the end, my family and I were on an outing to a gray calcified beach on an overcast afternoon (perhaps that’s the kind of summer vacation ghosts are limited to?). On the way, we were rapidly approaching a crossroads that plunged fear into my throat. There was a practically translucent Civil War-era soldier mounted on an ashen horse (pale horse, pale rider?) approaching from our left. I don’t think he had seen us yet, but our meeting was inevitable at the junction. I awoke in a sweat with my heart pounding. I was sooo relieved we didn’t have to meet that guy.