Dream #16: Death By Freshwater Mussel

I haven’t written a dream post in awhile.  I started this blog writing and analyzing my crazy dreams.  I’m not totally sure why.  It wasn’t until about a year ago that I posted what I consider to be my first few Pieces of Writing.  Actually, these were the first pieces of writing that I had written since… ever, really, other than assignments for classes.

A Bit of Gray Peeking Out

The Accidental Marathoner

Depression is Analogous to Treading Water

I can hardly fathom that, since writing is such a huge part of me, now.  I guess I just never had a place to put my writings, so I never wrote.  I can be strange like that.

Anyway, here we are, back to where this blog came from.  I don’t have as many crazy dreams as I used to, but this one was a weird one.  And this is also the first time I”ve ever had a dream about someone who I know almost exclusively from the blogging/Facebook page world, Liz, from Pounding Pavement.  She (justifiably) might be a little creeped out by that fact.


A few of us go to her parents cottage, which is on a lake, in the late fall or early winter.  It’s pretty cold outside but for some reason we think it’s a good idea to go swimming.  I’m i the water for only a few minutes before the bottoms of my feet are killing me.  Apparently while walking into the lake, wading deeper and deeper, I was stepping on some sort of bivalve.  A freshwater mussel perhaps?  The mussels are about 1 inch long, and I have around 20 or so packed into the bottom of my feet.

Liz has seen this type of mussel before and said to me, “We need to get them out, really fast!”  The problem is, these suckers clamp their little shells together and chomp at your skin, enough to make you bleed.  And they multiply.  They multiply faster once you take them out, so while you pull them out of your feet/body, you have to rip them apart to kill them.  If you pull them out and don’t kill them instantly, they could multiply fast enough to bite you to death with their teeny white shells.  They’re starting to bite our legs, so Liz and I are both pulling mussels out of my flesh and tearing them to shreds, so we don’t end up succumbing to death-by-mussel in the lake.


BITING:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream of being bitten symbolizes a situation that has been frustrating me. I apparently feel helpless and am unsure how to overcome my hurdle.  This sounds pretty typical of every day.  This is why I like wine.

LAKE:  Dream Forth says that dreaming of a lake symbolizes my current emotional condition. A clear and calm lake represents inner peace and serenity. On the contrary, a disturbed lake signifies the presence of an emotional battle.  Not sure about this one, since the lake water was calm, and we were relatively calm, but the damn biting mollusks were not calm.  They were ferocious.  I’m getting bored with all of these analyses saying I have “an emotional condition”.  I think I’ve figured that out by now.  Emotional  (in)stability blah blah.

MUSSEL:  Inspired by Dreams informs me that mollusks are often closed so dreaming of these sea creatures can be a message about the need to open in order to claim the potential of the ‘inner depths.’ Associated with water, the message can relate to feelings or how letting go of past pain allows for greater fulfillment.  Issue with this analysis:  the mussels were NOT closed.  They were open-closed-open-closed-open-closed, very fast and bitey-like.  The only thing I can think of at all remotely related to this is the fact that I’ve been completely disgusted by shrimp since I’ve been pregnant.  I can’t look at it, smell it, eat it.  Write about it (GAG).  No matter how hungry I am.

Thanks For The Chuckle, Even Now, Ed.

I recently posted about my happy-go-lucky great-grandfather, Ed, passing away.  So, here is an update.  Ed was cremated and his ashes recently arrived at my mother’s house.  I went over tonight for a visit and when I put my purse down, by the couch, my mom pointed out that Ed was located nearby, in the box under the end table.  I said, “Oh!  Hello, Ed!” and smiled as I patted the box.

She wondered if I was interested in seeing Ed.  I told her that whenever she opened the box, I would love to see Ed.  And, perhaps take a little of Ed home?  Who knows.  She said she was ready to open the box, right then.  So, we took the box upstairs (just in case my grandmother arrived, who would not get the same pleasure or amusement out of seeing Ed out of the box…).

We opened the tightly bound package, and inside was a thick, green plastic case labeled “Temporary Container”.  Opening the case was a bit of an enigma and I fiddled around a bit, trying to figure out how to open it up.  Suddenly, with a THUMP, the side of the box popped out and Ed started to emerge.  My mom gasped as she reached out her arms, in a desperate attempt to catch the dust and pebbles that used to be Ed.  My eyes bulged out.  We started to laugh, as we realized that we weren’t going to have to vacuum Ed’s ashes up, that microscopic pieces of Ed weren’t going to rise into the air and choke us, since they were tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, marked with a small, round, numbered, metal tag.  My mom was laying on the floor, on her back, laughing, in relief.

After we shoved Ed back into his temporary container, we thanked him for giving us a chuckle, just like he always used to.


Sleeping On Your Deathbed or Yes, Those Are My Great-Grandfather’s Teeth In A Jar, On My Shelf

Recently my happy-go-lucky, remarkably polite, phenomenal great-grandfather, Ed, passed away.  (How it came to be that someone my age still has (had) a great-grandfather is a story for another day.)  As usually happens, this resulted in a family reunion, of sorts, and a lot of quality time spent with aunts, uncles and cousins we don’t generally get to see much of.  While at my grandmother’s house, a few days before Ed died, we were talking about our individual visits and how Ed looked when we went to see him at the nursing home.  My Aunt Gia said something along the lines of, “What struck me most was how his mouth was gaping open“.  My uncle made a “Hm” noise that seemed to indicate he had no clue what she was talking about.  I didn’t say anything at the time, but I knew immediately what she meant.  I had visited Ed the day before, and when I walked in, I saw him sleeping with his mouth open.  But it was more than that.  His mouth was wide open.  Really wide.  And his jaw was slightly crooked.  His skin clung to his jaw and his lips were invisible.  I actually thought he might have passed away, and no one had yet noticed.  I moved closer, put my hand on his chest – and his chest raised.  We both exhaled.  There was something about that mandible posture that just looked…..deathly.  As his end neared, and his dentures were removed, this just became more pronounced.  His lips were now completely gone, sucked into the chasmal opening of his mouth, his face more skeletal, and the gape even wider.  Still about the same amount of crooked.  It made me wonder, “Is this what my mouth will look like when I am on my deathbed?  Is this just what happens?  Or, did he always sleep like that?”

A few days passed by and then lovely Ed was gone.  But, our brief family reunion continued.  My uncle from California had just knocked out his front teeth (no fun story there, he has had a bridge since childhood, and it broke when he was eating cereal, of all things.  How boring).  As a joke, my dad thought it would be funny to bring him Ed’s dentures. Get it?  He needed teeth? (Sidebar:  There are two types of people.  People who find this type of joke hilarious and people who find this sort of thing repulsive.  If you are the type who finds this repulsive, I probably don’t like you very much.)  Since everyone in my family has a demented good sense of humor, we all got a good chuckle out of this.

But, then I asked, “What will become of the dentures?”  I mean, I’m not a sentimental collector like my grandmother (who would save an empty tissue box for 25 years if someone she loved told her they liked it), but I mean…  these are his teeth.  You can’t throw them away.  He just had them in a couple of days ago.  They were basically a part of him.   These are what could be used by the police to identify Ed, as Ed (I think, although this made me question, could you identify a body from dentures?  Are they as unique as real teeth?  I really don’t know!)  So, the question was asked, “Do you want them?”  I looked around.  Was anyone else looking like THEY wanted them?  I wouldn’t want to take them from someone who maybe was closer to Ed than I was.  Shockingly, no one jumped to claim them.  I scooped them up and put them in my purse.

Incidentally, this all happened right before I was on my way to my cousin’s fancy schmancy wedding shower.  I so respect my cousin, that I followed all of the fancy rules of etiquette and I didn’t even take them out.  Not even once, just to take a peek.  Once I got home, I went into my craft room.  I have about 30 Ball jars on shelves, used as decoration and as beautiful storage vesicles.  I gently placed the teeth in one of the empty jars, as a memory of Ed, and a reminder that even during sad times, it is okay to enjoy one another and to even make a joke.

Do you see them?

Zoom in.

Hello there, Ed!

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