I mentioned a little while ago about having a nightmare about opening mail. At the time, it made me feel old. Last night I had my first adult nightmare. Gone are the monsters of my childhood, and now — looking back — I miss them. Monsters are so simple. You just tuck your head under your blanket and close your eyes really hard and they get bored. They leave. For really bad monsters you can run to your parents or flick on a light. They hate that.
Now I’m an adult. My monsters are real. Last night, I dreamed I was laying in my bed, in my apartment (which I was) uncovered and chilly (which I was.) It was dark, about 3 am when I heard the building door open. As far as I know, up until this point, this all happened. Then I heard footsteps in the hallway and someone jiggled my doorknob.
I became frightened, and with child-like innocence pulled the blankets over me. My adult side grabbed my cellphone from next to my bed to call 911. I figured the deadbolt would keep the intruder out. It was probably just my upstairs neighbor returning home drunk. He just went to the wrong apartment.
Then I heard the deadbolt turn. He had a key — to my place. I could see a flashlight beam come from the doorway into the apartment as he closed the door. He walked over to where I slept, as if he knew exactly where my bed was, pointing a flashlight in my face and a shotgun at my chest.
I had enough time to say, “What the heck?” before I woke up.
There I was, in my bed in a dark room. Uncovered and chilly. The phone sat nearby. It took me a long while to shake the feeling and even longer to finish cursing the fact that I live alone.