I have always been a person who has had vivid dreams. I dream in color. I dream in plots and subplots. I swear, sometimes I have foreshadowing in my dreams.
Several years ago, I got some books on dream interpretation as gifts. I took to the books with reckless abandon, starting a dream journal, looking them up, and trying to make some kind of sense of my bizarre nocturnal shows.
I came to the conclusion that dream interpretation is complete bunk. One of the books was a little too...Freudian. (I'm pretty damn sure that if I watch Harry Potter and then I have a dream that I am on the Hogwart's Express going through a tunnel, I'm simply recapping the movie.) The other book was just plain strange. Why would that horrible naked dream that everybody has mean that I'm trying to hide something? OR a dream about running in mud mean I have low self esteem? Or a dream about a horse lead back to sex?
I came to the conclusion that dreams are just dreams. Rarely do I wonder about them anymore.
But this week, I had a dream that made me start wondering again.
I dreamed that I got a pet hamster. Or gerbil. Is there a difference between a hamster and a gerbil? Does it really matter? Anyway, he was little and furry and fuzzy and cute. And he had a prehensile tail. Which I'm pretty sure hamsters and gerbils don't have. (That would be an opossum, right?) But he did. He was special that way.
I named him Buddy.
I got Buddy a plastic cage with colored tunnels that he could climb through. I got him a wheel so he could run inside the cage and a ball so he could run outside the cage. I filled the bottom with wood chips and shredded paper. I gave him an empty toiler paper roll so he could hide. And I threw in ripped up pages of the arts and entertainment section in case he wanted to bone up on movie news. And pages from the food section in case he wanted to do some experimenting in the kitchen while I was out.
I was so happy with my gerbil/hamster/opossum thingie! I watched him burrow down in the wood chips a lot. We played some ripping games of hamster ball. It was great fun.
Then one day, I came home from work to find that Buddy had escaped from his cage.
"Crap." I thought. I needed to find him and quick! Hamster/gerbil/opossum thingies always make a dash for the heating ducts. They climb in and die. And when the heat comes on, the whole apartment smells like dead rodent. I could not let this happen to my little Buddy!
I tore the apartment apart searching. Finally, I found Buddy behind the dresser. He had turned into a white albino mouse by this point. How I was sure that this was, in fact, Buddy and not some other random rodent --who knows? But it was a dream, so I just went with it.
I pulled albino Buddy out from behind the dresser by his (still) prehensile tail to put him back into his cage. Buddy ran up my arm, across my neck, down my shirt, and then down my leg to my foot. Buddy then proceeded to scratch and bite the hell out of my leg repeatedly.
"Get it off! Get it off!" I screamed to my friend Shan, who had mysteriously appeared next to me. Even though she lives in Texas. And clearly would not be able to hear me if I screamed for help, much less transport herself into my rodent infested apartment to help me. But it was a dream, so I went with it.
We got Buddy back in his cage. Shortly thereafter, I gave Buddy away for obvious reasons. (Possibly to a friend with a snake) Just kidding. I still loved Buddy even though he viciously attacked my leg and wanted to kill me.
He almost did, too.
Because my foot became really painful and swollen. I was on antibiotics and prednisone and rabies shots. I had IV antibiotics. I soaked my foot in Epsom salts and...bleach. All to no avail.
And I HAD MY FOOT AMPUTATED!!!
It was a horrible dream! I wonder what the dream interpretation books would say about that?
I'm not sure. But I am sure that my real life pet? Is a cat.