"I begged her...I begged her!" He cried. "She turned away from me, covered in a veil of silence; walking out the door into the cold night air." His body trembled as he relayed the events of his evening to me. What do I say in a moment like this? What could I do to take his pain away? Nothing. I stared at him, blank-faced and squeezed his big toe, as he lay helpless on the hospital gurney in physical and mental pain. "They will do what they can to save your thumb".
You wake up to find yourself floating face down in a pool of dark water surrounded by hungry Alligators. Alligators,feeding off your water logged body, for years, slowly chomping you to bits. Eyes blinking wearily, your semi-conscious mind jolts into a birth of panic.
The frozen block of fear begins to cracks, chip, and slips off your soul. Gently, quietly, motion is willed thru your splayed fingers, gliding you to safety.
The shore draws nearer. A desperate, hungry alligator clamps its mighty jaw to the cuffs of your jean. Jaw locked tight, the alligator violently jerks its massive head, and over-sized reptilian form to and fro, aggressively driving you back in to the murky waters. Paddling faster, energy summoned from the bowels of your soul, your eyes on the shore. A voice whispers, "Don't turn around, don't look the alligator in the eye, it feeds on your fear and your attention, it's time to starve the monster out!".
It's warm out this morning, the dew point is climbing up; a light rain will come down at any moment. Your lights on, I assume you hadn't step outside to walk your dog yet; it's so early. I walked my dogs, on our usual morning route. My head looking up at the fading moon, mentally confirming positive hopes for my day. The eerie howl of the coyote startled me, afraid to go any further in the dark, I could almost see him, sitting in the middle of the lush green grass of hole number 9. Time to head back home. Startled again, I had not, expected to see you, your red coat and your sad brown Shepard. Pausing at the street corner to look at me, looking at you. Swelled with the comfort of your presence, I whispered, under-breath "Good morning, I love you".
The King of everything trot's his way thru the neighborhood. Stopping to smell various corner of buildings and bushes. The king of everything trot's with his nose in the air...sticking so far up toward the scent of the road, he doesn't notice the sharp shards of clear glass on the side walk. The king walks over the glass unharmed and unfazed. The King of Everything flexes on his hunches ready to pounce on the peasants on their tethered straps of varying materials, lead as slaves are so cruelly lead. The King of Everything sees the bright green tennis ball in the middle of the basket ball court, the King makes his dash at full speed to snatch up the ball.
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.
I see you everywhere. I think of you all the time. I dream of you, while I sleep.
I see you everywhere.
You walk with your Shepard, your eyes cast down at the ground, failed invisibility.
I still see you.
The Sun burns brighter, even at midnight, when you glide by to pass me, in the courtyard. My heart is smiling…can a heart smile? Apparently yes, a heart can smile.
I’m afraid of you, afraid you will shout in anger at me, for witnessing your beauty, desiring your companionship. There is a strong, relentless magnetic pull, hailing deep from within my life force, warbling a song at light speed to reach you.
You’re a secret; the Universe has kept patiently hidden from me. A buried treasure locked deep in the open wilderness of the Universe. I have a key, I’m awaiting the courage to turn, free the lock and unravel your mysteries. I know your name and you know mine.
I pulled in through the back alley, parking my truck near the dumpster. I licked my lips in anticipation. What will I get this afternoon? I walked around the side of the small building structure, following the gold sticker arrows, pointing to the entrance. The air suddenly filled with the strong aromas of coffee, spices, and sweet chocolaty tobacco. Looking down at my watch, I could see I only had twenty minutes, to shop around and pick out something new. I enter the cigar shop, and was greeted by an attractive man in his 40's, salt and pepper haired slicked with pomade, combed neatly to the side. He smiled, his warm dark eyes somewhat taken aback; I would assume, by a self-assured middle aged female in his cigar shop. I returned the smile with a gleam in my eyes and a question on my lips "Are you the proprietor?" He paused for a moment; looked down at the ground concentration pressing his brow, before responding. “Yes, I'm, what can I get you today?" I'm looking for NUB". The proprietor chuckled and said "I should let you know, NUB doesn't work here". I laughed uproariously; as I do with most clever retorts delivered to me. "Is this cigar for you?" he asked. Confidently I responded "why yes, I've been an unapologetic cigar smoker since the age of 18". He subconsciously clasped his hands in glee. "Well welcome to my shop". The proprietor shared with me the many potential ways, my patronage to his shop could benefit me and my passion. I made my selection at his suggestion, shook his hand after introductions were made, and waved goodbye as I headed to the exit. I stepped out into the sunshine with a sealed tin canister containing my NUB; anticipating the evening Sunset, when I will light my treat and melt my cares away.