I moved a year ago this weekend so I could avoid living out (or more accurately, dying from) a childhood nightmare.
The first time I had my terrible waking dream, I was in the 4th grade. That evening, was just like most of the other nights that year: I laid in bed, jiggling my leg to stay awake while my parents slept through News Channel 4’s nightly broadcast, woke when the Tonight Show’s brass band intro started, kicked their leather reclining rockers shut and stood up, sighing. I listened to the water running while they brushed their teeth. As soon as I heard thier snoring start, I slid out from under my eyelet bedspread, careful not to disturb my little sister, asleep in the twin bed next to mine.
I tiptoed to the adjoining bathroom and slid the pocket door closed, pushing up slightly to keep the wheels from squeaking on the brass rails. Only then did I turn on a light. I pulled my well-read copy of Anne of Green Gables from its hiding spot beside the laundry hamper and curled on the rose shag bathmat, my chin resting on my knees.
“One day, I’ll have a house full of books,” I whispered. “No! A house built of books!”
And in my dream house, I would read all night, no risk of any parents telling me to go to bed and no little sister to complain about me waking her up. I could see myself sitting crosslegged in the middle of a room lined by stacked hardbacks. They would arch into a multi-colored, cantilevered ceiling. Anne would be the keystone.
Then I saw myself lean back against a stack. It swayed. It shifted. It toppled. The weight of my house of books came down on my head, Anne landed last, impaled by my fractured and protruding breastbone.
The vision became my most vivid, realistic and lasting nightmare. If you’d visited my last apartment, a one-bedroom in Nashville, you might have thought I wanted the vision to come true. ... Read More Here