I’m dreaming. A bed store is delivering a new mattress to our house and Tom Cruise is one of the delivery guys. I’m thinking to myself, gee, things in Hollywood must be tough. He is carrying the mattress into the bedroom, explaining to Peter and I about all the features of this inner spring. Someone from his team flicks a cigarette and my slippers catch on fire. Nobody does anything except watch the bookcase catch fire too, and I’m screaming, “Peter, get the fire extinguisher!” I’m running for a bucket of water while Tom is trying to put out the fire with his feet.
I wake up. What was that all about? I get up, all cranked from the dream. Do I need to worry about fire? What does fire represent in a dream? Maybe I should check the house. I look out the window. All is calm. All is not bright, it’s dark out there. The clock says it’s 3:30. I get up and go to the bathroom and then get back in bed.
We have three clocks in our room – a wall clock, and Peter and I both have alarm clocks. In the middle of the night they seem really loud. They play a strange, relentless rhythm, and the more I try to ignore them, the more their hypnotic beat begins to make me crazed. I start to imagine things as I attempt to shut them out.
I see a band of tiny, psychotic drummers, playing the same beat over and over. Actually, they’re a band of mice. In the attic, above the bed. Mice wearing little black turtlenecks, and berets, passing a reefer. They all have bongos, and every now and then one says in a high voice, “Cool.” “Yeah, cool,” the rest agree. They sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.
As the jungle beat continues, a slinky girl mouse enters the drum circle. She is wearing a long, bright yellow dress with one shoulder strap. She gyrates and sings in a shrill soprano voice, like a rodentian Yma Sumac impersonator. Here’s some links to ol’ Yma if you don’t know who I’m talking about: Jivaro, Ataypura and Tumpa.
I’m watching the mice begin a conga line now, Little Yma and the Bongo Mice men, da da - da da - da DA! Da da - da da - da DA! The clocks don’t change their beat at all. I squeeze the button on my little alarm clock light and see that it is now 4:30. I’ve been watching this show in my head for an hour.
I wonder if the clocks will stop ticking if I drown them in the toilet. No, I’ll regret it if I do that. I see myself fishing them out of the toilet, washing them with soap and water, spraying disinfectant on them. Trying new batteries. Then, in disgust, I decide to throw them away. I see myself driving to Target to buy new clocks. No, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. Instead, I get up. I glance at the bump in the bed that is Petey, unaware of all the fun I’m having.
I go downstairs and the dog is glad to see me. Her ol’ tail is at it, like one of the clocks. My heart is warmed by the affectionate greeting. After all, I wasn’t doing anything important anyway. It was just a bed delivery. Well, actually I was sleeping. But as my son, Tymon, says, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” I put the kettle on and I watch Yma Sumac on YouTube. Now this is a valuable use of time!
Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.