Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Even Worry in My Dreams

Last night I had a doozy of a dream. I was in a car with my husband, Eric, in a mall parking lot. We were trying to find our way to the exit, when suddenly some kind of gas was released into the atmosphere, enveloping us in a pinkish-white cloud. By osmosis, or some other process magically available in dreams, I immediately realized that this was the Viking flu, a deadly strain extracted by terrorists from formerly frozen explorers. I knew we had to get home, where I'd hidden (conveniently) a stash of anti-virals, our only hope of combating this deadly flu virus.

I thought of my kids and recollected, in dreamlike fashion, that in a fit of hyper-protectivity, I'd given them some of the anti-virals long ago. But you know kids—I was sure they'd left their stashes behind during their various moves from apartment to apartment. So, I was filled with worry about them. I considered calling my younger son, Alex, who lives in Brooklyn, and telling him to wear a surgical mask on the subway. Fat chance. And I wanted to urge Aaron, my older son, to stay home from law school, that cesspool of lecture halls and germs. Equally unlikely.

In my dream, Eric and I made it back home, where my worries continued. We always live on the edge, food-wise. I can't seem to shop more than two days ahead. Ergo, there's almost no food in the fridge or even on the shelves. So, if we had to stay home to keep from catching the flu or because we'd already caught it, we'd starve.

Then there was Cosmo, our toy poodle—who would feed him if we were in extremis with the flu? Not only would we starve, but poor Cosmo would, too. And where would he relieve himself? On our eleventh-floor terrace? This part of the dream was such a nightmare that it woke me up.

It was five o'clock in the morning. Not surprisingly, I was so disturbed by the dream that I couldn't fall back asleep. So now I have a new worry—if I have many more dreams like that, I won't get enough sleep and I'll come down with the flu.

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