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November 15, 2006

Tough Dreams

2006-11-14 17.jpg

My mind has been bubbling with nuggets of information for you, such as how I managed to fall flat on my face the other morning while chasing Irving around the apartment for his daily Prozac pill, or how Alexis got a new computer and we spent way too much time warping his face on iPhoto, or how on the day after the election my father left me a voice mail message pretending to be Donald Rumsfeld looking for a hip apartment in trendy Red Hook.

But mostly, all I can think about is the nightmare that I had on Monday. I do not have nightmares anymore; at least I did not think that I did. I have bad dreams, for sure, but not that kind of terrifying, yelling aloud experience where you wake up petrified and it follows you for days afterward. For whatever reason, one of these crept up on me, which, in addition to just being really frightening, reminded me of a story of my past.

When I was about eleven years old a man attempted to break into our house. I was home alone, as the summer had just began, and was watching television in our den, which was located on the side of the house and equipped with a sliding glass door that led out to the backyard. At some point, I heard a car in the driveway and, like the well-taught latchkey kid that I was, I stayed put, as no one was expected to drop by and it was a bit odd that the person had pulled all the way up our very long driveway to the rear of the house.

I went back to watching the Price is Right until I heard a knock at the back door. Muting the television, I listened. There were footsteps, as if the person was walking away. Then, just as I went to pump the sound once more, there was a loud, cracking thud that could only be attributed to someone trying to break a window. It was one of those moments when you freeze and anything you have been taught about proper procedure falls to the wayside. I dropped to the ground, lay flat on the floor and proceeded to make one of the dumbest, fear-motivated maneuvers on my personal record: I unlatched the sliding glass door, opened it and peered outside.

In a flash, the man fled from our patio into his car, revved the engine and sped away. It took me nearly ten minutes to get up enough courage to crawl into the kitchen, grab the phone and call...my father. His secretary then contacted the police. I cannot tell you how lucky I was in this situation. The man ran, the window did not actually break and he was dumb enough to leave the brick that he used on our doorstep.

So anyway, my nightmare recounted this experience to some degree, except the outcome was not as rosy, and at some point, just before I woke, I yelled out "STEAKHOUSE!" in a weird, childlike voice, which freaked Alexis out and scared all of the cats off of the bed. I have no idea how this memory was uprooted and brought to the surface, but now I am less than enthusiastic about sleeping and even less spirited about the front door to our apartment building, which for some reason is now refusing to close automatically (read: people actually have to pull it closed, which they rarely do).

Posted by callalillie at November 15, 2006 1:07 AM | Random


omg- terrifying! one summer there was a rash of break-ins in my neighborhood while i was home alone, but no one ever tried to get into our place. even now when i am visiting and an home alone when the doorbell rings, i slither to the window on hands and knees and pretend i am not home.

Posted by: lesterhead at November 15, 2006 10:16 AM

oh, goodness. Did you change your routine at all in the days and weeks after? I'd imagine it would be scary to be home alone after.

Posted by: beth at November 15, 2006 11:00 AM

you know, for the life of me i don't remember. i think that i went to summer camp and that my mother was home, as she was a teacher and i think i was only by myself for a day or two while she was finishing up with work for the year.

Posted by: corie at November 15, 2006 11:04 AM

steakhouse?? sounds like someone needs a steak dinner.

at least in your apartment you can use the peep hole and don't have to open your door. plus, who would want to hike up all those stairs.

Posted by: tien at November 15, 2006 5:13 PM

Earlier this year I could have sworn I heard the distinct sound of our backdoor being forced open. This happens regularly because of the way our house has settled, so I figured it was my mother or my stepdad, but when I checked, they were both in bed.

CREEPY! So to this day I do believe someone tried to get into our house, however scary it may be.

Posted by: Seton at November 15, 2006 5:25 PM

I cannot imagine how terrifying that experience must have been. :(

I have been having very odd dreams myself lately, though I blame it on the paint fumes I've been inhaling as we finally paint the "library." :P

Posted by: gina at November 16, 2006 12:58 PM

I know the dream must have been terrible, but the fact that you yelled "Steakhouse" and scared everyone is really funny.

Posted by: Liz at November 16, 2006 5:51 PM

the next day i became convinced that i yelled "popcorn!" which was tiny fey's safe word when she played misty peppers at a key party on a snl sketch that lex and i laughed about for months...well, let's face it, we still laugh.

Posted by: corie at November 16, 2006 7:15 PM

That's so funny!!! The "popcorn" thing, not the dream. Because Greg and I also still laugh at that skit--and just about anytime someone says the word popcorn, or eats or buys it... It's a weird inside joke. That I guess isn't so inside. Or maybe the 4 of us are on the same strange side...

Posted by: kar at November 17, 2006 4:37 PM

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