Mar 062011

Apparently I haven’t been watching enough television or something, because last night my brain provided me with this little drama.

In my dream, my youngest son and I were walking home together. He was younger than he is now, maybe ten or twelve years old. We approached the house from the back, and we saw that one of the back doors was open slightly. We immediately knew someone had broken into the house. I told my son to stay with me in case they were still inside.

We entered through the kitchen door, and I picked up my cast-iron skillet. (In real life I have often thought that thing would make an excellent weapon.) I called out loudly that we were home, and if someone was still there they should leave now.

We started through the house, checking the rooms one by one for intruders. As we started down the hall I heard a noise from the bathroom; we looked in to see a man outside the window, looking in at us with surprise. I went closer to the window to talk to him. He was a thin young black man, looking uncomfortable and a bit embarrassed. Behind him was a white 4×4 pickup I’d seen lurking around the neighborhood.

I asked him if there was anyone still in the house, and he said there were two other guys. I told him if they left right now, I wouldn’t call the cops. I didn’t care about any stuff they’d stolen, I just wanted my son (and myself) to be safe. As we were talking, the other two came outside as well, two heavyset white guys who looked a little older. The younger guy turned and repeated my offer, adding, “C’mon, let’s just go.”

One of the older guys said, “No, she’s seen us now,” and they both turned to come back in.

I said to my son, “Go call 911.” He vanished down the hall. I stayed in the bathroom.

One of the intruders passed the bathroom door on the way to the kitchen, following the sound of my son’s voice. As he went by, I stepped out behind him and brained him with the skillet. He went down in a heap, and I turned to face the second guy, who was staring at me in surprise. Behind me I could hear my son reciting our address to the 911 operator.

The second guy turned tail and ran back the way he came. A moment later I heard the 4×4 peeling out and driving away.

Then I woke up.

The whole thing was very vivid and detailed. I remember the general clutter of the kitchen as I got the skillet, how shiny and new their 4×4 looked, how the black guy looked neat and trim and the white guys looked kind of scruffy and unkempt. I remember thinking the older men had somehow roped the younger one into this idiocy, as he didn’t look like he wanted to be there at all. I remember the meaty crunch the skillet made when it connected with the man’s head. In the dream I probably killed the guy, because I was swinging for the fences—he’d been heading for my child.

What the hell, brain? Have I been watching too much nightly news?

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