Symbolism: Martyr = Mother? Or Perhaps I Just Really, Really Hate BushLast night I dreamed that I was on death row for a crime I most certainly did commit. The details as to which crime are hazy, but suffice it to say, it was something death row-worthy. I believe I may have said the “F” word in a library (punishable by death in my dream state), or I may have thrown a bag of cat poop at the president (punishable not only by death, but also public name-calling by the secretary of state, administered while undergoing lethal injection). Whichever one, I was screwed.
Now, in this dream I also was a fairly well-known writer with some standing in the literary community, specifically the horror community, and I became something of a symbol in these circles. A symbol of the covert persecution and outright censorship many Americans must endure in their present day lives? A “fight The Man” symbol? A sex symbol? I’m not altogether clear on what I actually symbolized to these folks, but I definitely symbolized something, for there were posters hung all over the place with my picture on them, and a big black X over the word “oppression,” which was superimposed over a skull face. Hmmm.
Peculiar that although I was on death row, I was allowed to roam freely about the country. I made many an impassioned speech about the virtues of true democracy and free speech, traveled widely with my entourage, which included names like Jennifer Lopez, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King. Apparently, the government trusted me not to flee my death sentence, and it never occurred to me that I could, that I should. However, the dread that followed me throughout the dream was horrific.
But bless my soul, the dream ended with an unexpected fizzle instead of the anticipated strap-down and bye-bye cocktail I’d feared…The record store where I’d made my last appearance was packed with adoring fans, many of them writers, some celebrities (I waved, all cool and shit, to John Travolta, and his lovely blue eyes twinkled merrily), some low-level politicians (mayors, congresswomen and men) most of them carrying “Free Lori!” placards, the familiar black X and skull face bouncing above my sea of admirers. So overcome with self-importance and bowel-loosening fear, so happy to be an icon, a suffragette of sorts, a proud symbol of…something, I openly wept while Dean Koontz patted my back and dried my tears with a white Kleenex, and the crowed roared with love, sang songs of treason and coup d’états. Then an army of suits rushed in wielding big shiny guns, my terrified face reflecting off their big shiny seventies-style aviators (?). With dignity and grace, I stepped from the podium and surrendered to my fate…
I woke to the screaming of my boy; unfortunately, he’d been having a nightmare of his own, one that involved abandonment and hopelessness and monsters lurking about, not unlike my own dream. I held him close, rocked away his nightmare as best I could, hummed quietly in his ear, grateful for his presence, for “saving” me, and I thought to myself, what a wonderful world.