…lovely images, images that make you smile or laugh, images that change reality and distort it to an unrecognizable shape.

But let me ask you, what about nightmares?  What defines a nightmare for you?

Desperately trying to run somewhere and being stuck in the mud?  Trying to answer a ringing telephone but your hands are heavy as lead and you can’t move them?  Showing up at school for a very important final exam several hours late?  Showing up at school for that very important exam, late and naked?  Shudder.  Moving right along.

What about the dreams where you dream of something you desperately want and in your dream you get it?  It’s perfect, it’s wonderful–it’s too good to be true.  And then you wake up, realize it was all a dream and are depressed and sullen for the rest of the day.  Or the dreams that haunt you when in reality you have lost something or someone of tremendous value but in your dreams it or they are returned safely to you.  Oh the relief!  Then you awaken and discover with heart-sinking rapidity that all is not as it seemed and you are once again alone, without the thing or person you most want near you.

I have had all these types of dreams, as, I am sure, have most people.  But two nights again, I had a new dream/nightmare experience.  I had a nightmare that was so horrible and awful that I began to sob.  Now, I have cried in dreams before.  The cries seemed so real that I awoke, but it was to a dry face, and I was so relieved it was over that I quickly went back to sleep.  This time was different. 

In this dream, I had had an argument with my mother and went into a closet where I promptly sat down and sobbed my heart out.  Tears streaming down my face, shuddering sobs, the whole deal.  Then I woke up…and I was still sobbing, tears were still streaming down my face and I could not quit crying.

It was horrifying.

I knew it was not real.  I knew I was awake and could stop crying but I could not shake the sensation of pure and utter sorrow.  I lay in bed for several minutes before the sobs finally died down and I was able to take a steady breath. 

It stayed with me for the rest of the day.  My mother & I even laughed about it.  But I could never quite forget that moment when I awoke and found my face wet with tears and my body aching from the wrenching sobs.

Remember the mean reds?  I think they manifested themselves in my dreams…and they were not sweet. 

They were true to their name.

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