Childhood Dreams

Dreams that I had as a kid that I still remember vividly.

My mother, sister, and I are on the Walt Witman Bridge headed into Philadelphia to visit my grandparents, like we did every Friday.  My mother drives a 1984 Cadillac Coup DeVille.  The view starts from my perspective inside the car, but I gradually float away until I am above the suspension cables of the bridge.  A car driving in the opposite direction crosses into my mom's lane and hits her head on.  The other car bounces up over the hood of our Cadillac and slams through the windshield.  I wake myself up yelling and run into my mother's room to see if it was real.

I am standing on the banks of a lake or the bay near the water's edge.  The ground is somewhat sandy and the water is very gently lapping against my bare feet.  My parents are standing back further and having what seems like an important adult conversation.  As I turn back to the water, an alligator lunges forward and locks on to my foot.  I feel no pain, but I am screaming bloody murder.  My parents are unphased.  As I am trying to prevent the alligator from pulling me into the water, I turn to my parents and yell for help.  They give me a dirty look and return to their conversation.  I step on the alligator's head with my other foot and push down with all my might.  I keep stomping.  His skull has caved in and I can feel viscera each time I bring my heel down, but he still won't let go.

My family and I are going to our favorite Italian restaurant.  It's very late and I feel uneasy about this.  As we cross the parking lot, we meet an army of zombie C3PO people.  They are dressed in full body gold armor except for the face.  They have human faces.  The closest one to us is a black woman.  All of the Star Wars zombies have the skin on their forehead sliced at the brow line and peeled back over their helmets.  They walk slowly and stiffly, like C3PO and mummies or zombies from old movies.  This image haunted me for more years than I would like to admit.

I am standing in front of my fourth grade class.  I am naked.  I am showering.  There is a showerhead and a clear shower curtain in the front of this classroom.  No one notices.  I watch my classmates do their work as I become increasing aware of my nudity.  As I become aware, so do they.  I am horrified.  Oh my god, they can't see my budding pubescent body and unshaved armpits!