I keep waiting for my dreams to give me answers. Answers to questions I always hoped I'd never have to ask. If not answers, at least some guidance as to the decisions I am facing. They are, without hyperbole, matters of life and death. If not answers or guidance, at least a little inspiration then please!
But when morning comes, I usually find I've had a dreamless sleep and I'm still more confused than ever. The one exception to my dreamlessness was this memorable one I had several nights ago.
I was in a house. A dimly lit house with wood paneling, old carpet, and many corridors. A few other people were milling about, as if it were a small party. The kitchen was filled with the low murmur of people conversing, and I was with them, yet not completely a part of them.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a muscular man in wrestler's panties began moving slowly towards me. I knew he wanted to kill me. Without even breaking a sweat, he quickly got the others out of the way by punching them or pushing them against the walls. I knew my husband was down, lying to my right on the floor of a hallway. There were other bodies as well, strewn along the path in which he had come. In no time at all, there was no one left but me.
The only thing I had to defend myself with was a small pocketknife, which I took out of somewhere, flipped open, and waved in front of my face. With my tiny metal implement, I slashed at his neck, his arms, his face, whatever I could find. With each cut, he would stumble back a few steps, sometimes he even fell. When he was down, I would slice his thighs, his calves, his toes even! But he always came for me again. We moved through the labyrinthine house, with me moving slowly backwards but still fighting.
Interestingly enough, I never tried to run away. He was slow, and injured... I could have easily turned tail and escaped. In scary dreams, I always run. Always have. I still remember distinctly a dream I had while I was reading The Red Badge of Courage in which I hid behind a tree and then deserted the line of battle. I'm not a fighter. Never have been.
But this time I stood my ground, armed only with a Swiss Army knife, and kept slashing and stabbing at a man twice my size. I was violently angry. Yelling. I just kept hacking and stabbing and slashing and he kept bleeding and faltering and recovering again and again. At one point, when he was lying slumped against the wall and I thought he was down for good, I went for his chest wall. I can still hear the noise and the crunch of the little knife as it pierced his tough flesh. But I didn't just poke him gently as if he were a potato headed for the oven. Nope. I put the knife in, then yanked it down, or to the right, or to the left, watching the blood and guts come spurting and slurping out. It reminded me of the time I cut open Stretch Armstrong when I was a girl so that I could see what was inside of him. Over and over I relentlessly thrust my little knife in, hoping that the next hit would finally be the one that would make him stop for good.
When I finally awoke in the middle of the night, covered in sweat, I lay there trying to remember the last moment of the dream. He was dying, unable to get back up, that's for sure. But I'm not quite sure he was 100% dead. I was exhausted. From a dream! But alive. Really, really alive.
Cancer moves. It has taken out many who have come before us. We cut and burn and poison, and yet it still moves. I will be fighting, now, for the rest of my life. And I shall need to use every tool at my disposal to do so, because a knife, clearly, is not enough. Yes, I do have "an army of friends" (thanks for that phrase, Sarah!), as well as a loving, supportive husband, but in the end, the only one who can make the decisions about my life and do the fighting that is necessary......... is me. And that's not something I can't handle.
I like this dream. I like this dream a lot.