when brni goes on the road, i have a little ritual. i bolt all the doors, keep my car keys and my black jack by my pillow and i keep the bedroom door open halfway so that i can hear what happens and see shadows pass by–just in case.
and then i usually have a whopper of a nightmare.
I was lying on the floor when a man came in. He looked alternately like Jimmy Smitts, Peter O’Toole, my first ex-husband and some other actor who’s name I can’t remember. A face and posture that morphed one into the other as the mood changed. There were two men there who were also being held captive but they were in cages. I couldn’t remember exactly how I’d landed here, in this situation, but it seems no one was aware of my disappearance. As a slave, i was expected to do whatever this man wanted, including sex, stealing and wearing a wire to spy on his enemies. I should have been scared but I wasn’t. I was plotting my escape, but at the same time I knew this was all just a game and I could quit at any time.

I was kept naked except for a full length fur coat. The wire was a quite visible clip on the collar. I wondered why other people couldn’t see it. I was supposed to be getting ready to go out and get some vital information for my master, but things weren’t going well. He was raving and angry, complaining about the condition of the place and how incompetent we all were. I had done something wrong and was now required to clean up a bunch of dog piss that was all over the floor. No one was allowed to help me and he was watching to make sure I was doing it right.

Events are all a jumble. I’m lying down on the floor again. He’s leaning over me and asking if I know anything about the slices of liver he just found on the floor. I said yes, they are slices of my liver. He asks what I’ve done. I tell him, I sent the liver slices to a lab to see if I have a disease. He is angry and is yelling and beating me. One of the men speaks up and tells him to leave me alone, to have pity on me since I only did it because I was scared.

As I lie on the floor, I think, this isn’t a joke anymore. Maybe I really am a captive. No, this IS a game and I’m done playing. I get up and go into his room. He’s at the computer and I say, now I want to ask you a question.
He turns around and says, what do you want to know?
I make a joke. Are we going steady now?
He laughs the laugh of an insane man and then I ask, when are you going to let me leave?
He turns menacing (face changes to Peter O’Toole) and yells, you will never leave me for someone else.
I say, not for someone else — for something else — for my life.
I ask, if this were real life, is this the way you would treat your wife or your mother?

He rushes at me and just as he reaches for my throat, I wake up.

I look towards the half-open bedroom door and a bright pinpoint of light flies in and frantically flits around, bumping the ceiling several times and then flies out.

a firefly?
a faerie?
an omen?

4 thoughts on “captive

  1. lsaboe says:

    i’m not very adept in dream interpretation. on the surface, it seems that i’m being held prisoner by pain. how i break out of that is one question. another is why the increase in intensity now, after i finally managed to leave my horrible job and begin a new life of my own definition? kind of a lousy joke to be playing on me, dontcha think? and how do i opt out of this stupid joke, this stupid game? how brave do i have to be to get free? why are all the players in this dream men? that’s not so hard…men are the ones in my life that have kept me “in my place” and “at their disposal.” my father, my boys, a couple of husbands in past lives. brni is the only man in my life who has not tried to keep me in line–the only one who has encouraged me with no thought for his own interests. no power play there–but the others, well…i guess i resent them to some degree.
    other than the obvious bits above, i have no clue as to what it all really means. but the firefly in my room was a real treat…a little light of hope, yes?

    1. Anonymous says:

      why now?
      Hi Linda,
      Why now? Well, maybe now that you’re free from the repressive job, now that you’ve declared your sons grown-up and responsible for their own lives, maybe now that you don’t have to keep pushing all that stuff down –because how else did you get through every day with all you had to do? — now the fears are finally free to bubble up to the surface … and dissipate. Of course, they’re not going without a fight. What self-respecting fear would do that??? So they have to shake you up, disturb your sleep, put on one last horror picture show … But I have the feeling that they’re just make-believe monsters now …soon they’ll be reduced to pussycats swatting at fireflies.

      1. lsaboe says:

        Re: why now?
        well now, that makes sense. kinda like right before a big event you go go go and then when the work is finally done, you succumb to a cold or flu. i think i can deal with pussycats…so long as tom jones doesn’t start singing.

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