Get out of my dreams and into my memory for as long as I live

Dreams are weird. Some days you wake up not remembering a thing you dreamed about. Other days a dream leaves such an impact,  it can keep you melancholy or elated the entire day.

The dreams that stay with me for long periods of time tend to be the scary ones. Go figure. I can still remember two from my childhood – maybe not in their entirety, but enough for them to earn a place in the forever spot in my brain.

The Mummy of Oakdene Avenue
I don’t remember how old I was, but I couldn’t have been more than 8. I had a dream that my block, dotted with houses, fences and yards, was as it once was back in the early days of my hometown. History tells that my house was the first on the block, and the surrounding land was orchards of some sort. I’ll think apple, but I can’t be certain without research that I don’t feel like doing right now.

In this dream I was in my yard looking up at the rows and rows of trees. Up the hill I could see movement…after a moment I realized it was the mummy. Not the Brandon Frazier version…the scary, tattered black and white Boris Karloff mummy. I remember how scared I was at the realization that the mummy was in pursuit of me as the fog rolled in. When I turned to run, I couldn’t seem to. I had the famous quick sand feet – the feet with cement Manolo Blahniks  – not matter how hard I tried to run, I was getting nowhere fast.

As I stole a panicked glance behind me, the mummy was gaining – moving slow and steady. He knew he was going to get me…in time. I think this is why I get so scared of this one scene in the movie “Halloween.” When Jamie Lee is running down the street trying madly to get away from the killer formerly known as M. Myers, he is not running. He is calmly walking towards her. He has no doubt in his twisted, mask covered mind that he is going to get his prey.

To this day I can still see the mummy stumbling down the hill amongst the orchard trees…towards me.

The Killer who Could Not Kill Me
I had a really bad nightmare once when I was in my teens. A killer came to our house…a killer who looked like Carrot Top. Now, I don’t even think Carrot Top was around professionally when I had this dream. I’m sure at that point he was some annoying kid somewhere in the USA trying very hard to be the “class clown.” In any case, I know the killer had pale skin and lots of curly red hair – my brain has morphed this killer into Carrot Top over the years – it’s my only way to accurately describe him.

In this dream, killer Carrot Top has grabbed me and tied me to a tree in my backyard. I can recall the exact tree – one way in the back, close to the rear fence…it used to be our 2nd base during games of wiffle ball or kick ball. He took an axe and cut off my left arm. As I stared in horror, he squeezed my shoulder and a big glob of gelatinous red stuff came out. My blood was not liquid. It was more like jam. It didnt’ hurt either. I just knew I was in deep trouble.

Next he cut my head off, and ran towards the house to maim and torture the rest of my family. In true nightmarish-things-don’t-make-sense-fashion, I picked up my head with my remaining serviceable arm and held it up like a lantern (so I could see where I was going – duh!) and ran to the house to warn my family. Funny how I was suddenly not tied to the tree anymore.

Now that’s weird.

The Re-occurring Roller Coaster of Death
Another dream that haunts me is not one dream in particular, but rather a re-occurring theme. The crazy coaster. For most of my life I have been plagued with dreams of engineerically (new word!) impossible coasters that menacingly call me to ride them. I am almost never up close to them…they tend to be far in the distance. Some times I get a close up look at them and they scare the living shit out of me.

Jersey Had It’s OWN Cyclone

I think my fear originates from a trip to Palisades Amusement Park in my early youth. I was really young when that place was still operational, but I remember the parking lot my dad used was right next to the Cyclone…the big wooden coaster. The only thing that separated the coaster from the parking lot was a flimsy chain-link fence. I remember holding my moms hand walking right beside that fence as the cars rumbled by, the screams of the passengers fading back into the hot summer day.

It scared me out of my fruit of the looms. It was too loud and too close and too TALL. Looking up at that fucker distorted it until it almost bent over you. I remember stories about folks falling to their death by trying to stand up. Falling right where I was walking. Hell, I still recall my dad telling me a story of a friend his father had. This friend ran the octopus ride…until it malfunctioned and he lost his middle finger up to the knuckle.

Is it any wonder I still have bad dreams about roller coasters? It’s a miracle I have ever been on any amusement  park ride to date.

In these dreams the coasters are monstrosities…structures that could never be built. They are so twisted and evil that there is no way the car could possibly stay on the track. And they never do. The always de-rail. And I almost always know someone on the ride when it crashes. They laughingly go on the ride, while I shrink back in horror. I watch the ride start, and somewhere along the way, the car careens off the track and everyone dies. I, in true B movie fashion, grab my head on either side and scream, horrified.

Other times I can see that part of the track is missing, but fail to warn anyone in time.

Yes, these Horrific scenarios are part of my life…part of my history. There may be more to come. Who knows? I can still recall a dream that is just a few months old where my youngest plunged into a lake while riding a carnival train…ooooh…another malfunctioning amusement ride.

Why can’t I just dream about going to school in my underwear?