Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Little Boy Lost, Revisited

My sister has very vivid dreams and can always recount them in great detail. She's always telling me about some crazy dream she had and it always amazes me how much she can recall.

I don't dream a lot, and when I do, my dreams are somewhat hazy and amorphous. They leave me almost the instant I'm awake. Every once in a while I have a vivid nightmare, but the only thing that really stays with me is the starkly realistic terror. The boogeymen that populate my dreams are rarely able to penetrate my waking hours with their darkness.

Even my sex dreams tend to be anonymous and focus usually on an act rather than a person, which can, at times, be disappointing. I'd love a somnolent romp with George Clooney or Hugh Laurie.

Once or twice, I've had dreams so horrific that they stayed with me for years. Almost without exception, they have been about the death of someone I love. Once, during a time when Pre-Pubescent One was experiencing sexual harassment at the hands of a troubled peer, I dreamt that he had been sexually brutalized by a huge, slavering fiend. I doubt I'll ever forget that one.

Last night I had one of those dreams.

I'm exhausted and a little stressed about getting everything ready for my parents' visit. My mother is chronically ill, and I worry about her health and comfort while she's here. I worry about her being worried that she won't be able to do something we want to do because of her physical limitations. I worry about having enough oxygen on hand and getting more if we run out. It's silly, because she copes very well day to day. She works, she grocery shops, she babysits my neices and nephews. But still, I worry.

So I think my state of mind probably contributed to my troubled sleep. But apparently, I am also far more worried about Little Boy Lost than I realized, because it was he that walked the landscape of my dreams last night.

And it was so damn REAL.

I can still, this morning, remember the heart pounding terror at finding him in a crumpled heap in his front yard, beaten and bloody. I can remember how my hands shook as I dialed 911. I can hear the blood gurgling in his throat as he whispered "Coming. He's coming."

Here's how it went:

I was driving down the road, marvelling at the pleasantly cool temperatures, savoring the way the friendly sunshine kissed my skin through the windows of the van and enjoying the rustle of leaves in the gentle autumn wind.

I turned onto the main road in the neighborhood, rummaging in my purse with one hand as I did so, trying to find my sunglasses.

I looked up and saw what appeared to be a heap of clothing lying near the mailbox in the weed choked yard of Cory's house. Huh. Typical. I snorted with irritation.

But then the heap of clothing moved, and I noticed blond hair glinting in the sun. I realized, with sick horror, that it was a person lying there, a child.

I stopped the van, jumped out and rushed over to the forlorn little heap. I was very much afraid of what I would find. I knelt down and saw that a hood covered the face of whomever it was lying there. With a trembling hand (I can still feel the way my hand shook) I pulled it away.

I gasped and felt tears spring immediately to my eyes. The face beneath the hood was a hideous caricature of humanity. Swollen, bloody, blackened with bruises, the nose crushed, the lips split. It was only the blonde hair and the single, frightened, imploring blue eye that sparked recognition.

"Cory! Oh my God, Cory. What happened to you?"

"Hit me." His voice was weak, his breath shallow. It scared me badly.

"Who? With what?"

"Him."

"A kid?"

He didn't answer me.

"Cory! A kid?"

But he wouldn't say anymore and I assumed he was unconscious. I reached for my cell phone to call 911, but realized that it was still in the van. Though I didn't know if he could hear me or not, I told him I had to go get my cell phone and would be right back.

"NO!" he said. Though his voice was barely a whisper, the panic was evident. His hand shot out and gripped mine, hard. "Coming. He's coming."

"Cory, I've got to call an ambulance. I'll be right back. I promise."

I dashed madly to the van, grabbed my phone and dashed back. My heart was pounding harder than I thought possible, but not from the exertion. I was scared out of my mind that this kid was going to die right there in front of me before the ambulance arrived.

"Cory, hold on, hon. Be strong. I'm going to get some help."

"He's coming."

"There's nobody here but me. It's okay."

The words had scarcely left my mouth when the front door to the house exploded outward and a large man with a baseball bat in his hand lumbered down the steps.

The bat was bloody.

"CORY!" He bellowed. "You little sumbitch! I TOLD you to cook some goddamn supper! You worthless little piece of shit. I'll teach you to disobey me, boy!"

The man bore down on us with frightening speed. It was obvious that he was drunk, but even so, he moved with terrifying swiftness.

I screamed at him to stop. I begged him not to hit Cory anymore.

"He's just a little boy!" I sobbed.

"Shut up bitch. Don't you tell me how to raise my kids. It's time he learned who's boss."

He raised the bat above his head and Cory screamed. It was the scream of a creature in mortal terror. I threw myself over Cory and when the bat came down upon my back it felt as if every vertebrae had been shattered. It was so horribly real. I can still remember the bony crunch, the deep sickening thud that reverberated through my whole body. I felt myself battered and bludgeoned and carried away on a tide of pain.

I screamed and screamed. And then I woke up. My screams were not echoing through the house, because in reality, I was shrieking in a thin, hoarse whisper.

It was a long time before I went back to sleep and when I did, it was the tentative sleep of one who fears their subconscious.

That dream really rattled me.

To be fair, I have no reason to suspect that Cory's stepfather is a drunk or that he is capable of violence. As far as I know, his only brand of abuse is simple neglect.

Maybe the violence is a metaphor for something. I just don't know. And I don't know why I would dream about him. I'm really not very savvy when it comes to dream interpretation or the symbolism therein.

I haven't even seen the kid since summer, except for the brief encounter at the park.

Clearly, he has gotten under my skin in some respect. I hate to think that I have another kid to worry about. I really have all I can handle worrying about my own two.

Great. Just great.

11 Comments:

  • At 3:45 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I hate that you had this, but I just think it speaks volumes about you that you protected Cory.

    It really does.

     
  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Dreams are hard, especially when they're so real. It probably does mean something but I hope it doesn't stick with you for too long.

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    I've been haunted this week by a dream too. I was walking down a stairway with the Pie beside me and then she slipped and fell. It was one of those staircases with slats, so she slipped between them and tumbled about a story and a half. As I ran down the stairs to get her I thought things like, "I'm not hearing any crying. That's a bad sign" and "I'll just pick her up and she'll be all better, like she always is" and "So this is how it ends. It's over, just like that." And then I got to the bottom of the steps and saw her struggling to move, her face scarlet - and I jolted myself out of the dream before I could reach her.

    So, yeah. Big hijack there - but they don't go away, dreams like that. I wish I knew what they meant.

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger cndymkr said…

    I wish I had something to add. Something to help set your mind at ease. But dreams are so personal and sometimes so painful. Maybe this boy just needs someone to think about him and by some cosmic force, you've been chosen?
    jean

     
  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger jen said…

    whoa.

     
  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    wow. that was hard even to read.

    but i think flutter's right.

    you saved him.

     
  • At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Pgoodness said…

    My dreams are always vivid...and strange. I know exactly that feeling of the dream being SO REAL and I feel for you - it's haunting and scary. But flutter is right - you protected him and it says a lot.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger Tela said…

    I should not have read this post so close to bedtime. Now I'm going to be scared to sleep.

     
  • At 11:11 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    Maybe he has been put in your path for a reason. Maybe the dream was the undoing of the bad and you get to carry it instead of him.

    just a thought.

    damn tho. the power of that dream.

     
  • At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Manda said…

    Your dream gave me chills. =0( I Hope you unveil the meaning to it so it doesn't bother you.

     
  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    i think that when you are given the opportunity, you will help this Cory - hopefully not in the way described in your dream, but as a calm and reassuring presence, as a welcoming mother who lovingly enforces the rules of her home, as the person who feeds the kids in the neighborhood with good food and good love.

     

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