One morning recently while sleeping on my back I dreamed I was cradling a young female leopard, about the size of an adolescent bobcat, while seated in a chair in my office (even though I don’t work in one in “real” life). The cat was well-behaved and docile in her purring splendor as I stroked her like Blofeld or Dr. Evil, feeling peace of mind at first.
Then it occurred to me that this was a wild animal. How was I to know what she might do? She was staring at me. Didn’t staring signify attack mode?
I noticed that both her ears had matching brown spots.
As I reclined in the chair, it turned into a bed. I lay down on my side and the leopard rested her paws against my bare back. I assured myself I’d be okay. She felt like such a gentle creature.
Then I remembered: Wait a minute–this is a carnivore. What if she’s hungry?
My heart started beating faster and faster, like a tin can falling down the steps before the Lincoln Memorial. Panic spread throughout my body. My nerves turned to lightning. If I got up and made a run for it, I risked awakening her slumbering claws. If I stayed put, I might get mauled and eaten alive under the indifferent glare of the buzzing fluorescent lights.
As Oliver Hardy would say to Stan Laurel as they hang from their crosses in the parody of Spartacus directed by Ingmar Bergman, “Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!”
Finally, I decided to do the one thing that was guaranteed to save my life without doing any untoward harm to the cat, who, after all, was only trying to take a nap (in my lap). I opened my eyes, got up, and went to use the toilet.
As Nicholson Baker says in A Box of Matches, the rural version of his masterpiece The Mezzanine, nightmares are our friends; they save us from the pungent, ignominious humiliation of wetting the bed. That’s not the kind of wet dream John Lennon is referring to in the Beatles’ song I’ve Got a Feeling.
And that’s not the kind of feeling anyone over the age of three needs to have.
(P. S. Apologies for screwing up the punctuation at the end of the last entry. The period should go outside the closing parenthesis instead of inside; maybe I was subconsciously afraid the period would get lonely. As a result, I violated a cardinal rule of grammar, committing a crime against God, a sin of the highest disorder. Not that anyone with half a life has time to notice such things anymore in our busy-busy wacky kooky nutty wonderfully weird and wounded world.)
(I hope the period in the above paragraph appreciates her inclusion with the words she puts a brake on; I figured it was the least I could do after making such a colossal fuss.)
(And that time too.)
So, how ’bout them Hawks (that’s the name of a football team in the American midwest)?
(See how tough a gig a question mark can have?)
(Although not always, as you can see from the last interruption.)
Please revive Adam Lanza’s corpse and ask him (it?) to shoot me as a public service.