The way we said we loved each other, always stayed the same. It meant "I love you dear. You know...as a friend." It was routine. A pattern. Every night. Every morning. I love you dear. Have a great day. We never needed any implications of what our words could mean. They meant you're on my mind. Be happy today. Lines were never crossed with these three little words. They held safety and trust, sprinkled with bits of envy and lust. I love you dear. The meanings soon changed. It started out simple, but it became about something bigger. A kiss on the lips. We aren't just friends anymore. But I have my life, and you have yours. I love you dear. I really do. Please one day, say you love me too.
Rats have always produced an intense amount of fear in me. Growing up in New York City, I would see rats the size of cats and dogs, crawling thru trash bins and scurrying through grey dark alley ways.
I was about six years old, my parents and I walked home from late at night dinner party held at my Grandmothers, Park Avenue apartment. My parents, walked several feet ahead of me, I straggled behind walking slowly, mindfully distracted, with my eyes to the ground. I heard a rustling sound coming from a chain linked bush, surrounded by overgrown grass, to my left on the sidewalk. I paused in my step; curiosity clasped my youthful attention, I focused my eyes on the bush…and waited. The pulse of my tiny heart beat increased in tempo, adrenaline chilling my veins. The rustling of bush leaves becoming more urgent. I saw it. The parting of this organic green matter; something was coming…frozen with fear, excited by the unknown, I continued to watch the bush. A startled rat barrels out of the bush, careening recklessly toward a pile of garbage bags stationed directly to my left. Before reaching the pile of trash, the rat, blinded by surprise, t-boned at full speed, straight into my ankle bone. After a quick recovery, from what I would assume was shock, the rat hopped hastily over my feet and dove, head first into the safety of street litter.
Blanketed by my own fear and shock, I yelled at the top of my lungs for my father. Quickly my father lifted me up into his arms, scanning around for the cause of my terror. “Daddy, a rat bit my foot!” I yelled thru a streaming flush of tears and draining nasal mucous. My dad peeled off my shoe with frantic haste searching for a wound; an undisguised, gracious sigh of relief beamed from his eyes at finding no such wound, on his child.
In my six year old mind, I was infected with disease and bleeding profusely from a gaping hole in my foot. I thought I was dying, mauled a by hairy New York City street demon.
I've been afraid of rats for as long as I could remember. These days I live in the Southwest, so I don’t see them as often; thankfully! Last night, I dreamed of a large white rat the size of a dog, two enormous clean white teeth protruding from its mouth. In my dream, I felt compassion and love for a toothy, snow white Muroid. My dreams are very lucid, there had been no doubt in my mind, what I was witnessing in my dream, had not been real. I was safe in this dream world, with my large white rat. A rat which I lovingly beckoned toward me; to feed it treats, to bestow it with some reassurance. The large white rat from my dream hopped and pranced around me like a puppy out to play. A slight sliver of fear coursed thru my veins each time, my hand inched nearer those large rodent incisors. Still, I lifted my hands to feed the rat and pet its head.
What does this dream mean to me?
I think it means, I've conquered a hidden fear from deep inside my psyche, but the caution is still ingrained in my mind.
Move past the fear, yet exercise caution around the sharp protruding teeth, and find another way around the dangers.
Scars and circles moving around the circumference of dizzy drivers. We plod along, no longer reacting to the whip. Immune to the vicious productivity prods of our driven masters. Our ambitious shepards. Our hard-hearted bastards, who listen to flat music and drink harsh liqueurs. Lights and bells, whips and carrots. We plod along with our plows, immune to the harness sores. Sour from our energy beverages. Scars remind us of our failed tasks. We see the forest on the other side of the technology fields. We reap the technology field. We long for the forest. We plot our escape. Our masters stroke their blade. Shepards of productivity. We conspire a distraction tactic. We execute a diversion plan. We need the help of our fellow workers. They have to execute correctly or we will fail. They need incentive. You must beat them until they get it right, or else you'll never escape.
I don't know what the circles mean, but they've been there for as long as I can remember. Is there, perhaps, a meaning at all? It doesn't seem like something true--they're just circles, after all. Spinning, whirling, in the night sky, our people don't even call them circles anymore. They say that the speed of the circles dictate our lives, that slower spins mean slower days, and faster spins mean faster deaths. Someone put them there, we know. But I don't know why they would do such a thing. The fire burns in circles of its own, but not comparing to those above.
Today another one left.