Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Caterpillar Hell

I’m having real trouble sleeping. Sometimes it’s just the nightsweats, waking up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head, oh, I’ve got a bad desire (sorry, Bruce). That’s one thing. And, honestly, I’ve gotten used to that, (it’s amazing what the human body can get used to), what’s been worse are the dreams.
It’s hard to capture in complete thoughts the contents of a dream. Lately, I’ve been dreaming about the caterpillars. They managed to slip in under the door in our bedroom. There’s just one small crack, the tiniest opening, but they found it and dozens of them crawled into our room, the bathroom, onto our towels, they’re everywhere. So, I have this dream and they’re crawling on me in my sleep and they snake through my nostrils and into my open fitful sleep breathing mouth into the cavity of my skull. They cocoon and sprout wings and start flying about my brain, but there is no brain, just a hollow head, so they start wriggling out between my teeth and flapping around the room. They try to get out the same way they came in, but they are trapped inside looking for a light to go to, but all they can see is the green glow of Soo’s cell phone charging. So, they dance around the phone, doing an aerial ballet as if in homage to modern communication.
I started thinking about the caterpillars as humans. There are millions of us billions of us and we wander around aimlessly looking for food and a place to rest. They really can look spookily cogent sometimes, the way they stop crawling and lift the front of their bodies, their heads (duh), and rotate it around as if they are looking for where to go next. Most of them will die. They’re dying already, some just stop moving and shrivel up in the sun, others do a death dance, I’ve seen them on the rocks thrashing about as if on fire. Some make it, some don’t. Nate is fascinated by them. Soo is repulsed. I’ve turned them into metaphor. Who will metamorph, who will sprout wings?

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