I’m never using the word nightmare again.
Why? Because of its etymology: “denoting a female evil spirit thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers”, “night” + mere or incubus.
I’m sure there’s plenty of etymological sexism in everyday speech, but I know this one now, and sometimes the devil you know is the one knows you back.
Last night I dreamed a lot of crazy things that kept waking me up to an urgency that had nothing to do with evacuating my bladder. I kept thinking I had a schedule to keep to, an appointment to make or a some deadline. The only thing I was sure of was that I wasn’t sure of anything other than it had nothing to do with work.
But then it segued, like they do.
And then there was a suit (but no tie).
And a (big) band.
And a reception hall.
And then there was more. So much more, culminating, as most dreams do, in everything which failed to culminate. Except…
Except that there was something new: A Brand New Thing.
I told my Self a Secret about My self, one that involved someone else. For once I’m being literal: I did not know before I went to sleep what I knew when I had awakened.
And now I know even less, except that it’s a secret the details of which I now keep to myself.
And I am profoundly changed in an overnight.
And I am not new to this.
And I am not necessarily fine with this.
Although, I am rethinking the employment of the word “nightmare”. More to my liking? Maybe “mare” as Latin/Italian “Sea”: there are no bad dreams, just that in the night when there are no shores, it can be unsettling.
Better. Because I am unsettled.