Sounding the Alarm

the obvious dreams

I had a dream last night that all of my things were stolen. The thieves had left a note, basically along the lines of, “Ha! Try and get your work done now!”

The handwriting was very girlie, and I was pretty sure they had signed their own names. They had only stolen the electronic stuff I use to do my work (television, computers, TiVo, VCR, handspring), and some jewelry my grandmother had given me. They had placed all of these alarm clocks all over my house, all set to the same time. I had only gone out to get some food and when I came back the entire place had been robbed.

The strange thing is I remember the beginning of my dream when I had left the apartment thinking, “I think I forgot to lock the door.” I had dream foreshadowing.

My dreams are never very cryptic. It’s always pretty easy to figure out what’s bothering me by what I’m dreaming. Lately I’ve been thinking about where my life is right now and the people in it. I’m worried about losing people in a way that’s beyond my control. I’ve been thinking about my fears of getting hurt, of saying goodbye or of losing something special through time. People and places change, and right now I’m in a place where I like where everything is and I like where it’s headed. Because of that I’m having a hard time just letting it be.

I want very much to just be satisfied with things. But I end up thinking about the injustices. Not just my injustices, but everyone’s. They somehow all get wrapped up in my worries. Why does he have to prove himself to be a good writer to these people that couldn’t write directions for making tea? Why can’t she just be happy with the plans she’s made and just go with them and be proud of her life and where she is? Why can’t he just have the apartment he wants without having to go through so much crap to get it? I watch the lessons my friends are learning and I wonder how I’d handle their situations. I see my own fears in theirs. I see my own insecurities in their triumphs. They are stronger than I am sometimes. Other times I just want to shake them. Make them make decisions and actions that will get them out of their pain.

The truth is there are some people that are just happier in some level of pain. They enjoy having something so large in their lives that it’s all consuming, and they can’t think of simple tasks like going to the store or buying a new couch because they don’t know “If he loves me” or “If she needs me to be free on Saturday in case she wants to hang out.” We put all of our hopes and plans into other people so that if things don’t work out the way we want them to, then they aren’t our fault at all. If you end up unhappy, it’s because someone else wasn’t willing to make you happy. That person wasn’t strong enough for you. Wasn’t good enough for you. You can’t just be happy with your own life because you’ve invested too much of yourself into someone else.

I see this behavior in other people. I see it in myself. I get angry when I see it in other people. Then I go right ahead and excuse it in myself. I sit there and look at all of the alarm clocks that the thieves have set and I think that there’s nothing I can do but wait for them all to go off at the same time. I’m too paralyzed with fear to just shut them off one by one. I don’t know where to start. So I let them all go off, sounding the alarm, hurting my ears and shaking me. I let them all make their noise instead of leaving the room. Somehow I feel I’ve deserved it. I left the door unlocked, so I deserve to have my apartment broken into. I wrote about what I do for a living, so people know what kind of technology I have. I bragged about my TiVo, so someone’s going to take it. I let them in. I showed them were the clocks were. I even had a feeling it was going to happen, but I did nothing to stop it. I even had a few minutes there where I could have changed things, but I didn’t. I just watched the time pass, waiting for the pain.

In my dreams, I’m my weaker self. I’m always getting rescued or pampered. I’m always running from something or someone. I’m getting chased all of the time. And I’m never the one who can fix things. I call 911 or I beg the help of strangers, or a friend shows up who helps me out. I’m always at the mercy of someone else. One time. Just once was I able to get myself out of a situation. I realized I was dreaming and made myself jump over the monster running towards me. The problem was I jumped too high and went past the Earth’s atmosphere and I flew away and couldn’t come back down. I needed someone else to save me and there wasn’t anyone around. When I try and take care of myself, I go too far. I end up regretting it.

Like I said, my dreams are never very cryptic. It’s just out there, telling me exactly what I already know about myself.

So last night I dream that my place has been robbed and my parents are happy because I’m not hurt and they say that my things can just be replaced and I shouldn’t worry. My parents were there for some reason, to comfort me. They said that things aren’t as important as people and at least nobody was hurt. My cats were okay. But all I could do was look at this letter and think that the crime was intentional. It was personal. It was malicious. It came out of me trusting someone too much. Or trusting myself too much. Being too confident. Being too open, maybe. I was so angry at women. I was so upset that the police didn’t think the case was important enough because I had rental insurance and because nobody got hurt. I was angry because I was the reason this happened. I left the door open. These people knew where I lived because I told them. They knew what I had because I had told them. I practically left my things on the curb while I was gone, saying, “Watch these for me, would you? But leave them here when you’re done.”

How can I be angry at someone for doing what anybody with a moral weakness would do?

My justifications for imaginary thieves sickens me, by the way. I’m co-dependent on people that don’t even exist. I’m allowing dream thieves to steal my shit and I’m all, “Well. I shouldn’t have left the door open.”

My imaginary criminals had left hundreds of reminders all over my house that it was time to wake up. It was time to take control. I could stop the alarms or I could listen to them go off and then do something about it. The noise would stop if I just unplugged them. I wouldn’t have to hear anything if I didn’t want to. The choice was mine. I woke up before I found out what I was going to do. I think I was supposed to. I think that I’m supposed to stop the alarms in my real life. It’s not time to sound them yet. I’m finally starting to wake up. I’m recognizing the things I do and don’t do and I know more about what I want and what makes me happy. It’s time for me to drop grudges and get over the petty crap that keeps me from just being happy. I need to stop obsessing over things that are completely out of my control. I do that often. Do you have any idea how terrified I am of The Earthquake? This is completely out of my control. It doesn’t stop me from trying to figure out exactly where I should go in every building in case the quake hits while I’m there. One day I thought I felt a tremor while I was in a key shop. I thought, “Oh, God. I’m going to be killed by hundreds of keys pelting my face.”

My apartment is very cool except for late at night on Fridays and Saturdays. I live above a rather popular area of Los Angeles, and on these evenings most people are driving by my street screaming the word, “Woooooo!” Last night around one in the morning I heard the sound of glass breaking. I couldn’t tell if it was someone breaking a bottle outside or the sound of someone knocking out the light bulb next to my front door. I heard the glass getting kicked on the ground. I don’t always feel safe here at night. Ray said that last night he found three people sort of just sitting behind a bush on our street. People just hang out here in the dark at night on weekend evenings and it makes me very nervous. It’s my only problem with this apartment.

Wait. There’s one other problem. For the past three days we’ve had small flies flying out of the drain in the sink. Not the drain but the part that keeps the sink from overflowing. I have no idea how to get rid of them. I keep pouring water and bleach and cleaners in there. Yesterday I hit one with some Dow Scrubbing Bubbles and it melted right there on the porcelain. But the flies keep coming back.

So, I spend the evening killing flies and listening to sounds outside my door and then I dream about people coming in and taking things while I’m not here. They leave notes behind and set a gigantic alarm clock bomb for me to see when I get back.

It’s really no wonder I slept until noon today.

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