Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nightmare on Amity Street

Last night I had one of those horrible nightmares that start with my "waking up" in my apartment and wandering around in a half-daze. If I didn't know better I'd think that maybe I was sleep-walking, but I'm nearly positive that is not the case. (I live alone. So maybe I am deluding myself. Maybe I really do wander around the place in a stupor.)

In the dream I heard noises in the kitchen so got out of bed and then heard the doorbell ring so stood in the hallway outside the bathroom and pressed the buzzer to let the person in (although there is no intercom or buzzer in the bathroom hallway, and even in the dream I knew I was just pretending to do this.) Then I heard people talking and walking up the stairs (how, when I faked it?) and so I tiptoed into the kitchen and peered through the small slit in the door's peephole (not opening the whole peephole, which would be obvious) to see my neighbors across the hall walking into their apartment. Okay.

But then there were others, still in the hallway, and one came right up to my door and started pounding. I backed away, all freaked out, and now my mother was sitting up on the sofa bed asking, "What's going on?" (My mother is not here, and when she was, she slept in my bed and I slept on the sofa bed.)

I told her to call 911 and there was more pounding on my door. "Who is it?" I asked, but there was just more pounding. Then the door burst open and three men came in.

"What do you want?" I said. "I'm calling the police."

One guy said, "Tape and condiments."

I said, "Noooooooooo" and somehow managed to push them back out into the hallway and push the door closed, but of course it was now broken off its hinges so they just pushed back inside. One opened the refrigerator and started grabbing food and eating it, and the other two just wandered into the living room, ignoring my mother who was holding my open cell phone toward me.

I grabbed it. She'd reached a 911 operator but didn't know how to tell them where we were, so I gave the address and started to describe what the guys were doing. "They are eating my food and asking for tape." Even in the dream I realized this didn't sound urgent enough so I stepped it up, talking about how three burly men had forced themselves into my apartment and were ransacking the place.

The men ignored me.

I woke up.

Two hours later, I'm still awake. The dream sounds pretty harmless, almost comical, when I write it down, but at the time it was terrifying. I really felt like I had gotten out of bed and these guys were in my apartment. About an hour ago I went into the kitchen for something to drink and paused at the door to the hallway, and then peeked through the peephole slit. Of course nobody was there.


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