I don't usually tell my dreams to my husband. I've tried, believe me I have, but they lose so much oomph on the journey from nighttime ethereality to daytime reality that I tend to let them go ahead and evaporate in silence. But night before last, well, this one was so vivid, I had to try. We were having coffee, mine whitened with soy milk, his black.
"I had an interesting dream last night."
He blew his coffee. "Umm."
"Okay, so there was this radical group of Canadians.
"Did you take the trash down?"
"Huh? Oh yeah, last night." I sipped my coffee, trying to see the dream again, to make sense of it. "Not sure how they got together, something about all being bench-warmers at ice hockey games back when they were in high school. And something weird, what was it? Prayer. They all thought everyone should pray only in a deep knee-bend position. You know, hold it, kind of sitting while standing, until the end of the prayer."
"Paul Schaffer said something about growing up in Thunder Bay last night, everybody playing ice hockey. You're so impressionable these days."
"Maybe. Anyway, these Canadians were fanatics and for some reason, they went to Mexico, not because they wanted to, but because they hated the Mexicans. I think it had to do with retried beans and the Spanish flamenco dances, you know, when they stomp real fast in those boots with heels?"
"That loud stomping, all herky-jerky."
"Oh, I don't know. I like it. It's sexy. Those tight pants." I glanced at him. "But they went down there and went into some theaters. Let's see, I remember all the theaters were crowded. I think it was a Saturday night."
"This much longer?"
"Huh? Oh no. Here, let me heat up your coffee."
"They blew them up."
"The Canadian fanatics. My dream. Dynamite in their hockey pucks."
"I thought they couldn't play."
"They couldn't. They blew up the theaters and killed lots of people."
"Oh, right. The flamenco." He cut his eyes at me. "With the sexy tight pants."
"Blew them up. No warning, nothing. Well, the Mexican government is furious about it and all the Mexican people were saddened, but they were angered also. Everyone demanding, screaming to get these hoodlums."
"The Canadian deep-knee bend sect of bad hockey players?"
"Right. So, the Mexican government sends all sorts of highly trained detectives and policeman and..."
"They don't need no stinking badges."
"Oh hush. All these Mexican officials go to Canada to find these guys, the fanatic group, but they search and search and can't find a one of them."
"Did they look on the hockey benches?"
"Said they looked all over, but, well, Canada is a big place, and they didn't have much to go on. Eye-witnesses said they looked like your normal Canadian kinda guys."
"Who hate flamenco and refried beans."
"Meanwhile, the Mexican government and all the people are getting madder and madder, all of them scared to go anyplace, you know, they might bomb here, better be careful, don't go there. And that makes them even madder, determined to get somebody for doing such a terrible thing to all those good, decent people."
"All of'em decent?"
"Well, they hadn't done anything to the Canadians and didn't deserve to die."
"You forgot about the flamenco dances, and the beans."
"So, the Mexican government decides to bomb some cities in the United States."
"Why? I thought the bad guys were Canadian."
"They were, but the government had to do something, everybody upset and all tense. So they bombed cities right here in the United States. Some of the Mexican people said, 'No, don't do that, that's not right.' But the Mexican government guys said, 'Well, the U.S. is closer than Canada and you know, most Americans look like Canadians. Hell, several of them walking down the street together, you can't tell the difference. Besides that, they all think pretty much alike and most Americans we know seem to like most Canadians. On top of that, we're mad and we're scared and we want to beat the hell out of somebody.'" My voice got louder, too loud for morning coffee time.
"Calm down, Honey. Maybe you should stop watching CNN. You know, this menopause thing you're doing causes your imagination to go overboard. Heat building up, cooking your nerves, making your brain work overtime. You see things all haywire."
I sighed. Frankly, even now, I felt more sane than most people, but I didn't want to argue. He kissed me good-bye and we went about our day, business as usual, except for the short crying jag. I only thought about the dream again when I looked at the maple tree out front late in the afternoon, while I was pulling up dandelions and wild onions.
I went to bed early the next night, overly tired from hours of yard work. I fell asleep quickly, but woke up around midnight, throwing the covers off. I was sweating and my heart was beating rapidly, an irregular throbbing. I tried to calm down, but visions of a dream, the one that had awakened me, flashed through my mind like those staccato slide shows they used to do back in the sixties, back when I was young and thought hot flashes were on the scene news reports. I couldn't make any sense of it. It was too jumbled, too surreal. A mother, calm, holding a baby, smiling. Muddle-aged white men in unsexy tight pants, dancing erratically in an odd shaped building. Dark children. Crying. Houses. Sand. Blasts. Rubble. Screams. Blood. Strange words I couldn't decipher.
I tried to breathe deeply and slow my heart rate. I could feel the heat surge all through my body, like a fever taking over. I got up and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to wash away the images etched in my mind. The dream was so real, so vivid, more vivid than the earlier Canadian-Mexican dream. I thought about waking my husband to tell him, but decided against it. It would be impossible to relate. There was no story line. It was schizophrenic. I knew if I tried to put it into words, to dramatize my dream, that my husband would insist on a doctor's appointment and intensified hormone therapy. Or worse, a mad rush to the emergency room in search of some new miracle potion to cool down the burning.