Thursday, January 15, 2009

Death in the Family

This was late last week, or maybe the weekend. I’ve been having trouble sleeping but on this morning I slept in, woke up for a minute, then slept another hour.

Over breakfast I said: “I had the weirdest dream this morning.”

Staying with my parents, some kind of pre-Christmas celebration, and I’d given them a present: really expensive modelling clay. It came in bright colours and had special properties.

At night I stepped into the garage to take off my shoes. In the lamp light I saw the place was crawling with big insects. An orange beetle, a lime green praying mantis, a bright yellow butterfly. It was the modelling clay, of course. I called my parents to come and look. No-one had shaped it that way, it had come alive and shaped itself. I’m always nervous around big insects, but I had to admit it was a special moment.

One thing bothered me - later on, when I went to bed, I thought about the black clay. I remembered someone taking it upstairs. I almost went upstairs to check, but I was too tired, I couldn’t rouse myself.

I slept and slept. When I woke up it was afternoon and the house around me was silent, everyone else had left.

I went upstairs – in my parent’s house the bedrooms are on the ground floor, the kitchen and lounge upstairs – and stopped at the landing. Someone had cut Monty, my parents’ bichon freise, in half. Monty’s rear half had been stitched onto the rear half of a pit bull, and this hideous creature with four legs, two asses and no head was trying to cross the landing towards me. It was growling, but it couldn't walk properly, both sets of its knees facing inwards.

I found a spade downstairs, ran back up and lopped it in half, right along the stitches. It fell apart into its two pieces. The empty cavities inside (its bowels were missing) let out puffs of humidity. It was dead. It smelt like a butcher’s.

I found Monty’s front half in the next room – pieces of glass or crystal had been studded into his body in a precise grid. His face was an expression of anguish and death. No sign of the pit bull's front half.

The black clay. I looked around the room, but it had either hidden itself or fled. I knew it wasn’t safe to stick around, so I took the car and drove off.

My plans for the afternoon were to attend a concert in the Hutt. Some of my friends were going to be in the concert. I met up with everyone outside the auditorium, and we hung out in the sun while we waited.

“You were there,” I told Quincey. She likes it when she pops up in my dreams.

But all the while I was worrying about the situation at home. I’d fled the scene, I hadn’t called anyone. It would look like I’d gone crazy and killed my parents’ dog. I loved that dog! I couldn’t get it out of my head, but on the other hand I couldn’t bring myself to get home before my parents. I had a child’s trust that they'd sort everything out when they got home: bury the dog, find the black clay and destroy it.

Quincey listened through the whole thing. Afterwards she said: “You have some pretty disturbing stress dreams.”

Stress dreams, I thought. Yeah. It’s stressful being in a new country, no job, no friends, dwindling financial resources. Maybe when I find work I’ll go back to having regular dreams.

1 comment:

  1. but U'Luvka vodka isn't the right colour to be an aspect of the black clay.