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.


Dream #14 : To Burn Or Not To Burn


My parents, sisters and husband are running through the city.  There are “bad guys” dressed in military style garb scattered all about – on street corners, in buildings, driving tanks.  It is noisy and chaotic, people are yelling and screaming.  We get captured and are taken to sit around an outdoor fire pit.  There is an enclosure around the benches we are sitting on and the fire keeps swelling, getting larger and larger.  We have been instructed to sit there and not move, but if we don’t move, we will all burn.  (Apparently this is what the bad guys want – for us to burn).  My gut instinct tells me to RUN! ESCAPE!

Somehow I know that if we stay put, we will not all burn at the same time, one of us would go first, then the next, etc… and the idea of being the only one burning while the rest watched or being the last one to burn and watching the rest burn before me are equally revolting.  If I went first, would I try to suppress a scream, to make it less torturous to the rest of my family?  Would that even be possible?  How could one just sit there, watching your own skin bubble up and blacken?  I think we should run.  My mom thinks we need to just stay and burn, because what awaits us if we escape, and are caught, is much worse than being scorched alive.


FIRE:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream of being burned by fire suggests that I need to reign in my emotions. They tell me, and I quote, “Your temper is volatile”.  HA!  This is the most dead-on dream interpretation I’ve found yet.  Um, hello?  I’m Irish AND Italian.  Which basically means my innards are comprised primarily of volatile emotions. Volatile emotions sprinkled with a boatload of garlic and a healthy dollop of whiskey, and that’s about it.

Dream Moods counters with the argument that dreaming that I, or someone else, is being burned alive suggests that I am being consumed by my own ambition. I’m not even sure if being consumed by one’s own ambitions is a good or a bad thing.  On one hand, I have days where I am ambitiously (and sometimes manically) working on one of my several projects that I have going on, while at other times my greatest ambition is sitting my ass on the couch with my feet up,  consuming entire half-gallons of Chocolate Moose Tracks entirely independently.  Per usual, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal.  No real gray area with me.

ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS:  Preggo me has turned into a raging inferno that is emitting absurd amounts of body heat – so much, in fact, that my own body-generated temperature may cause me to have a dream about being burnt to death.


1)  My husband is a human furnace.  I occasionally call him “Furnaki” an English-Greek hybrid of a word that I made up in college, which means “cute little furnace”.   Since his internal thermostat is so high, and  his manly-Greek-pelt is so thick, he cranks up the air conditioning to blast-o-matic levels in order to cool himself down to a temperature that will not allow his brain to cook.

2)  The old me used to sleep in long pants, tank top and hooded sweatshirt, snuggled underneath two blankets or comforters.  Yes, even in the summer (see air-conditioning above).  I’ve always been a “cold hands, warm heart” kind of person.  But now?  Now, I sleep with my shirt pulled up to my boobs, a cold-pack resting on my side, with no blankets touching me whatsoever.  Since I am usually awake between the hours of 2.30a.m. – 4.30a.m. anyway, I swap out the warmed cold pack with a fresh one.  The cold hands are a thing of the past, and some would say maybe I didn’t really have a warm heart to begin with…so there probably hasn’t been much of a shift there.

3)  I guess we can add this to the ever-growing list of how pregnancy is turning me into my husband.  But no, in case you are wondering, he does NOT sleep with his shirt pushed up to his boobs.

My friend Rob tells me my blog is really “girly”. I imagine this post is no different.  Sorry, Rob!  Maybe there will be more bloodshed and porn in the next one.

Dream #12: Personified Cheesecake


Someone neatly slices a wedge out of a beautifully presented, shallow, plain cheesecake.  The Pac-Man shaped, almost whole, cheesecake (Big Cheesecake), and the smaller, pie shaped wedge (Little Cheesecake) are placed, together, in a large bowl of water, where they float on the surface.  Once in the water, it becomes evident that both pieces of cheesecake are alive, and have personalities.  Big Cheesecake moves itself, ever so slowly, closer to Little Cheesecake and bumps into the it.  This causes Little Cheesecake to get dunked underneath the water, and the edges of itself start to dissolve.  As every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction, Big Cheesecake ricochets off of Little Cheesecake and ends up on the opposite side of the bowl.  At a snail’s pace, Big Cheesecake again inches closer to Little Cheesecake, dunking him for the second time, and Little Cheesecake shrinks even further.  The cycle repeats, and as Little Cheesecake cannot defend himself, he just gets smaller and smaller, and smaller.  The water begins to turn milky.


I really don’t know what to say about this one, other than it has been haunting me for a couple of weeks.  Let me know if you’ve got an analysis for me.

Dream # 10: Greek Dancing on the Moon and Mononucleosis


The Greek Dance group is practicing at my house.  Apparently they decided to use my house since I have enough space, and I have many rooms in the shape of circles.  This is convenient, since most Greek dances are circular in nature.  It is a particularly important dance practice because the group has been invited to travel and dance ON THE MOON.  Exciting.  There is one girl in the dance group that everyone hates and who is constantly doing things contrary to the Greek Dance Group Code of Conduct.  She has already been kicked out of the group once.  She is late and so the dance group is discussing whether they should kick her out again.  In order to travel into space, to dance on the moon, there is a lot of teamwork and trust involved, and they are worried that she poses a safety threat.  People in the group are afraid of confrontation and don’t know if they will follow through on kicking her out, even though they know they should.  They ultimately decide they will indeed kick her out, but say they need one more person for the Kalamatiano (something about needing enough bodies and gravitational pull, since you don’t really need a certain number for this dance on Earth).  I offer to fill in, but I am worried that I am a little bit sick.  The girl everyone hates comes very late, after it has been decided that I will dance.  She says no one is stopping her from going to the moon.  The dance group calls a scientist/doctor who is an expert in traveling through space.  He confirms the idea that a team-based approach is needed and this girl won’t work.  He is concerned about our safety.  She continues to practice with us anyway.  He then turns to me and asks if I am experiencing a lot of tension, because he notices my foot and leg are constantly moving.  I tell him they are always moving, this is nothing new.  We then start talking about my illness and he looks in my throat, asks me some questions.  He says he is worried I might have mono.  I gasp, and tell him I’ve had mono in the past.  He nods solemnly, as to confirm this diagnosis, since mono can reemerge after lying dormant.


Ok, this is a dream with some attachment to reality!  My husband and his family have participated in traditional Greek dancing since they were young, and his cousins and sisters still perform.  I do know how to dance the kalamatiano.  I constantly move my leg/bounce my knee.  I have had mono (and it can come back).  And, there must be a kernel of truth to the idea that dancing on the moon’s cratered surface without the correct configuration/velocity/whatnot would result in people flinging off into the abyss.  I don’t know if I have ever had another dream with so many ties to my waking life.

SPACE:  Dream Forth tells me that to see or dream that I am in space indicates that I am a very inquisitive person who enjoys seeking the truth and that I form my own opinions and beliefs rather than adopting those of others.  I would like to believe this is true, even if the only evidence I have is my disagreement with my husband about how often the bathroom needs to be cleaned (Truth:  Not as often as he thinks) or my own opinion about how often the lawn and bushes need to be manicured (Truth:  Never.  Lawns and shrubbery are not important).  I refuse to blindly adopt the believe of my husband snooty neighbors in this matter!  I’m such a obstinate wife truth-seeker.

DANCING:    Dream Moods informs me that dreaming about attending or going to a dance indicates a celebration and your attempts to achieve happiness.  Hooray!  Celebrations are good (unless they are fake celebrations, like the kind we have at the beginning of staff meetings).  Let’s celebrate scrapbooking! And samosas! And bacon!  And fuzzy kitties that snuggle!  And coffee – oh glorious coffee!  And yoga! And Girls Weekends! And wine!  Oh yes, lots and lots of cheers for wine!  All things I indulge in for the sake of sanity.  And all synonyms for happiness.

MONONUCLEOSIS:  Dream Forth says that to dream of an illness signifies despair, objectionable adjustment, and an emotional collapse. The illness may be a way out of my incompetence in coping with a situation.  In this case does that mean my incompetence in coping with the weak gravitational pull of the moon whilst kicking up my heels?  In reality does it mean constantly being crouched in the shadow of the black dog?  Wait, wait, wait. Celebrate happiness, remember?!  That merriment seemed incredibly short lived.  Hm.  Maybe my attempts are futile.  Ah, to hell with it.  Let’s still celebrate a crack at happiness with some wine, shall we?  Or, should we just drown our sorrows in it?  Either way, cheers.


This post is a part of Love Links – if you like what you read, vote for me on Thursday!



Dream #9: Little Boy and Burning Blimps


We are traveling and part of our caravan involves several blimps.  From where we are we can see out in front of us through a large domed window.  There is an accident – people are screaming and scared.  There is a little boy about 8 years old by himself, crying.  We can tell things are going from bad to worse.  The blimp in front of us explodes, fire and gases are hurl towards us, break the domed glass and sweep over us.  I grab the boy and cover him with myself, hoping we don’t get burned too badly.


BLIMPS: Dream Moods informs me that riding in a blimp could indicate an inflated view of myself.  Alternatively, it could be a metaphor for my weight and issues about my physical appearance.  Hm.  Analysis Option A)  I have an over-inflated view of how much I am able to help my students.  Really, we can’t make that much of an impact, right?  Some days I think so, other days, not so much. 

Example: I teach my 4th hour some yoga breathing exercises to de-stress. One says he feels better, one writes a poem about breathing and de-stressing and one “macho” kid practices his breathing at home.

I made an impact! 

Counter Example:

Me:  You have 2 more class periods to finish this test.

X:  No I don’t.
Me:  You do.

X:  Why are you doing this to me?  You are so mean.  You’re dumb.

Puts test in random file cabinet

Me:  I’m not mean or dumb.  You know that.

X:  Your cat is ugly

Me:  Are you just saying that to be mean?

X:  Yes.  I don’t like you.
Me: That’s ok.  But that should also probably be an inside thought.

X:  PBBBBTTTT!  I can’t work 1st hour!

Me:  You have worked in here before in 1st hour?

X:  Well, I didn’t l…mumble mumble

X:   Opens my desk drawer, and pulls out 10 little laminated pictures of Norm from Cheers (long story).  X uses white out tape to cover Norm’s eyes (all 20 of them) and says “Look!  You can’t tell who he is now!  You can scrape that off, by the way”.

Me:  So, if you’re putting tape on those, you need to scrape it all off.

X:  I will.  YOU can do it too, you know.

Me:  I know.  But I don’t want to.  That’s why I didn’t put it on them.

X:  Scrapes all the white out tape off using a wooden popsicle stick, since it “didn’t feel right” on his fingers to scrape it off with his/her nail.

Me:  It’s 9.08

X:  You’re a 9:08!

X:  Dings bell with wooden popsicle stick.

Class ends.

Clearly, I make no impact.  

Analysis Option B) I’m going to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, where all of my family will be glammed up.  I’m not much for glamor, and anticipate looking somewhat like an awkward, hairy ungulate, clad in a black dress.  In a last ditch effort to not be both chubby AND utterly drab, I have purchased some new, sequined sling backs, and shiny baubles for my neck and ears.  Somehow we must convince my husband that these purchases were absolutely necessary

BURNING:  Dream moods suggest that burning means I need to take time off for myself, and relax, and maybe I am feeling “burned out”.  It adds that dreaming about being burned alive suggests that I am consumed by my own ambition. Ok, WHO doesn’t feel burned out?!  No, really.  I believe stress-free people are on par with unicorns and yetis and krakens.  Stop faking it, those of you who are pretending to be mythical beasts, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

LITTLE BOY: Dream Forth tells me that to dream that I see a boy, as a female dreamer, implies that I am in touch with the male traits of my personality.  Clearly.  This is why I am so good at growing a moustache and so bad at getting “glammed up” for family weddings.

How Could I Not Dream About The Accident?

I enjoy hearing other people’s dreams.  When someone tells me they had a strange dream, I pester  them until they describe it.  Some of my friends know this, and they email me their dreams, whenever they remember them.  This is quite considerate, since it saves me the energy from pestering.  Very often, their dreams have something to do with the activities or T.V. shows they indulge in, something related to their job, or something they are afraid of.  I hear a lot of dreams involving teeth falling out, being chased, falling, and being naked in public, which are all among the top 10 most common dreams people have.   In movies, people who suffer traumatic events have recurring  deams about that one catastrophe.  While I sometimes have a few dreams that fall into those categories (see teeth), more often than not, the dreams I remember do not seem to be connected, in any way, to what I’ve done, or what I’m currently interested in.  Instead, I have dreams about robot conspiracies.  This seems odd to me.  Why am I not dreaming about American Idol, or Vince Vaughn, or dark tornadoes smashing my house to smithereens?  If nothing else, you’d think I’d dream about something scary that happened when I was little.  Something I think about a lot, but have never dreamt about, is an incident that people in my family refer to as “The Accident”.

In 1983, my parents and I were in the car, driving home from Bath Middle School, where my mom was doing her student teaching internship.  My dad was driving our light blue Plymouth Volare, that they had purchased from my grandparents, and owned for 2 months.  My mom was in the passenger seat, and I was in the back seat, sitting behind my dad.  I remember being promised some McDonald’s fries from the drive-through.  This was a pretty big treat, since my parents were somewhat strict about what I ate (They only let me eat sugar cereal once per year, near Halloween.  How excited I used to get about Count Chocula! Note: They gave this strict nutrition policy up by the time my sisters were born).  It was dark out, as we were leaving a night-time event (School carnival? Curriculum night?).  As we were driving, I heard my mom draw a sharp intake of breath and then say my dad’s name “….CHUCK!”  From the way she sounded, I knew something was wrong.  But, I had no idea what it could be.  I was sitting in the back seat, so couldn’t see what was going on up front. My 3 year old brain imagined someone throwing a brick at the windshield.  A few moments later, a huge crash occurred, and our car stopped moving.  I didn’t realize it then, but we had been hit by a drunk driver, who swerved into our lane and hit us head on.  I also didn’t know that my mom wasn’t wearing her seat belt, but I did know that she wasn’t okay.  I couldn’t see her anymore, but I could hear her.  She was moaning.  “Ohhhhhhhh…………oohhhhhhhh”, a horrible sounding noise, over and over.  Her head had smashed into the dashboard upon impact.  I could still see the back of my dad’s head, and from that vantage point he looked okay (I couldn’t see the abrasions across his chest from the shoulder strap seat belt.  With his shirt off, you could see right where the seat belt was, even though he was wearing a thick suede coat when the accident occurred).

He asked me, “Christine, do you have your seat belt on?”.  I answered yes.  I was the only one in that car who was perfectly fine.  Then he asked me again, “Christine, do you have your seat belt on?”  I answered yes, again.  He kept asking…and asking…over and over.  I guess that’s one of the side effects of being in shock.   Scary, but a whole lot better than moaning.  I’m not sure how many times he asked, and I answered, until I yelled at him, “DAD!  I HAVE MY SEAT BELT ON!”  I don’t remember if he ever stopped asking or not.

Smashed car.

After the car had been sitting still for awhile, suddenly the back passenger side window shattered.  3 year old me thought it spontaneously fractured, but adult me knows that the emergency crew used a tool to break the window, since they couldn’t open my door.  A man reached in and grabbed me, pulling me gently through the window. The crew had already used the jaws of life to pry my mom from the vehicle.  I find it amazing that I don’t remember seeing them do this, since it must have taken some time.  I do remember seeing a guy in a blue coat, once we got out.  When I was little I imagined it was the drunk driver, but it is more likely that the man I saw was an emergency responder.  We went to the hospital, but I don’t remember too much about what happened there.  I only had a tiny bruise on my hip bone, and it didn’t hurt at all.

Emergency response team getting my mom out of the car.

My dad did a pretty good job of sheltering me from what was happening, or maybe I was just too young to understand what was going on.  My mom was in a coma, with a contused brain that caused one side of her body to be paralyzed for many days.  My dad met with the neurologist the day after the accident, who said the paralysis and coma could exist for a few days, a few weeks or a few months, but he expected it to go away.  Luckily, the coma only lasted for a few days.  Once she came out of the coma, her short term memory was gone for almost 2 weeks.  My dad remembers visiting with her in the hospital room, then walking out for a few minutes, and upon returning, her acting like she was seeing him for the first time that day.   She remembered what happened up to the day of the accident, but nothing after that, including what was going on around her every day while in the hospital.  My grandma told me she accidentally spilled hot coffee on my mom’s leg and, I imagine, may have been a teensy bit glad that my mom didn’t remember that.

She received 58 stitches across the right side of her head, through her eyebrow; they had to do two rows of 29 stitches, one beneath the surface of the skin, and the other to close up the wound at the surface.  She also had a torn bladder, and a fractured pelvis.  I remember seeing the major bruising and swelling of her right arm. If you know her, you might notice that her right arm looks like she once had stitches there, but she didn’t, the marks are just an indication of how much damage the muscle obtained.  My dad describes her arm as looking like a black man’s thigh.  The driver who hit us, who was driving on a suspended license, got 20 days in jail, plus probation.

Mom was in the hospital for about 2 weeks.   She should have stayed longer, but she wanted to get out.  They had her in a ward with other people who had “head problems” and it was driving her crazy.

Scientists tell us that we don’t remember a majority of our dreams, even when we have them, so perhaps I just remember the bizzaro ones, and can’t recall the ones about the T.V. shows I watch, or The Accident.  As much as I don’t like my bizarre dreams, I guess I’m pretty lucky, not to have dreams about this day.