Monday, January 3, 2011

The Bad, Bad Nanny

I'm obsessed with dreams right now. My dreams to be more specific. Why I'm having them and remembering them when for years I awoke feeling that I had dropped into a cavern in the center of the earth when I slept--or that I hadn't really slept at all--just lain there all night almost asleep, but not quite.

I tried to dream a dream for my friend Elizabeth last night. A dream of something light and healing for her and her daughter Sophie. All I managed was a setting that would be perfect for them--a fabulous beach house on a rocky cliff that dropped to the sea. Elizabeth sometimes says Sophie is like a mermaid or a selkie because she always seems better by the ocean. There were tide pools in my dream. A path. A wooden platform at the bottom for sunbathing and a ladder bolted to the rocks for climbing out.

I was a nanny in this house. One of two nannies because I needed time off to attend something that was very much like the MFA program in creative writing that I graduated from last year. Sometimes though the other nanny and I were both in the house together tending to a little girl and a little boy. And both of us were having  affairs with their father. The physical attraction I felt for this man was intense. We couldn't pass one another in the hallway without groping. If we both ended up at the refrigerator at the same moment, we'd stand there with the door open, the cool air and the light bathing us while we kissed with one hand on the carton of milk. He was tall and trim and movie star handsome. Straight sandy-colored hair with a craggy complexion. Not someone from my real life.

When I went off to write, I spent a lot of time walking around with a friend. A short skinny man with glasses and hair that fell across his eyes. We walked with our arms around one another, talking and  adoring each other platonically, and there was something we were worried about, but I'm not sure what. I have no idea who this man is either.

When I returned to the house, I came back with a poet I know named J. V.  J. V. was wearing a dark business suit and a tie. He went crazy with happiness when he saw the house. We walked along the cliffs, the wind blowing his black hair so it stood straight up from his forehead. He laughed and laughed because the beauty of the place made him happy. So happy he  ran down the steep slope to the water and jumped in business suit and all. I went down to the water by a more gradual route and slipped in too. We paddled around in the waves and climbed back to the house drenched.

One thing I know about J.V. in real life is that he's terrified of flying--like me. Once I gave him my instructions:  Hit the bar as soon as you get to the airport. Also bring your own little bottles of booze--the 3 oz. size that you can fit in your one-quart zip-lock bag. After you go through security, buy your mixer. Then you can fix your drinks on the plane without having to wait for the cart.

Three different men in this dream. An affair. Children. A house by an ocean. A refrigerator. A carton of milk. A ladder. A platform. A job.


@jencull said...

since you posted about your dream the other day I have been paying more attention, I dreamt about the time I burst my eardrum last night, have a sore ear today and think I may have an ear infection. Doesn't come close to your dream, I need to get more exciting!! Jen

Elizabeth said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. Thank you, for trying to dream of Sophie and actually having a bit of a dream for her. But the rest? Well, I want what you're having --