Last night I dreamed I drank dish soap. For some reason I thought the bottle of "Joy" contained water. I was very thirsty so I tipped the bottle up and guzzled. My hand fit nicely in the curve of the plastic bottle, and it felt so good when the parched feeling was gone. Then the soapy burn hit the back of my tongue and my throat. Omygod, I just drank dish soap. No wait, I think it was a dream. I dreamed I drank dish soap. Wasn't it? No, really, I drank dish soap and I have to get up right now and drink a whole lot of water because that's important if you drink dish soap, right? Rinse it down. But I was tired, oh so tired, and I couldn't get up no matter how much I tried to talk myself into it, and it wasn't until this morning at dawn (no pun intended) when I woke and was finally sure that the dish soap had been a dream.
I don't know why I dreamed what I did. I don't even have dish soap sitting on my kitchen counter because my sink came with a built in soap pump and the dish soap is in there. I never had my mouth washed out with soap as a kid. I don't think I went to bed particularly thirsty.
I remember this though--back when I was newly married a little sample of dish soap arrived in our mailbox in a package shaped like a lemon, or a package with a lemon pictured on it. There was no question in my mind that it was dish soap--and yay! it was freeeee! A week or so later I read in the L.A. Times that there had been several cases of kids bringing the stuff to school in their lunches because their non-English speaking parents thought it was a beverage. The company agreed to repackage their samples. I had grown up in a place so homogenous that nothing of the sort could have happened, and the newspaper article made me think about how strange it must be to begin life in a new culture, a new country, and how we stumble and struggle when there is so much we don't know about our new lives.