I Let Rats...
Dreamed 1994/4/22 by Chris Wayan
I'm walking with my friend Mark. I see a flicker at ground level. A covered nook. I kneel, and look in. A rat hole in back. Two rats in the open. They don't retreat into the hole.
We make eye contact. That rat looks me in the eye and sees me, really sees me. A shiver goes down my neck like ice. My face is only a foot or two away from it. The rat's not afraid, as it should be. It starts toward me. I move very slowly and say "Mark... help." I'm afraid to make any sudden moves, fear to provoke it--yet I can see that my slow movements convey helplessness and fear, and the rats see me as pinned meat. They scurry forward and bite my hands. Clamp on and start gnawing.
And I still stay quiet.
I let the rats eat me.
Sweating in horror, thrashing out of paralysis, I wake.
I'd like to tell you (and myself) "It was just a dream," but... it isn't. I did this to myself today--overworked long past midnight, till I was exhausted and shivering. Why'd I do it? To punish myself. To punish myself for daring to show my art portfolio today, when voices from my past forbid me to.
For I'm not supposed to be a success! Though I think that's a by-product of having been bashed a lot in school. The rule isn't "Be a failure" but "Be invisible"! I must stay still and hide--no matter what.
I just hadn't realized how far "no matter what" can go. No--has gone already.
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