Whether it’s the hot, humid weather, which forces me to stay indoors much more than I’d like, or the fact that there’s an intruder in our bedroom these days (my husband is using a bi-pap machine for treatment of sleep apnea and it makes its own rhythmic breathing sound) I’m definitely not getting a good night’s sleep. Last night was particularly horrible. I’d taken an allergy pill earlier in the day, and it might as well have been an amphetamine. I kept dozing off, and then jerking awake, troubled by strange dreams which were related to the book I was reading.
I’ve had nightmares about books on occasion, one in particular that was so horrific I shudder whenever the book is mentioned. This time, I was actually inside the story – Southern Family, by Gail Godwin, which I hauled up from the basement yesterday to re-read. It’s a sprawling tale of -what else – a troubled southern family, and it begins with a murder-suicide involving the 28 year old son. I kept dreaming vignettes where I was talking to the characters, particularly Clare, the dead man’s older sister. We were discussing how difficult it would be for Lily, their emotionally fragile mother, to deal with this latest tragedy.
Periodically my dreams of the Quick family got intertwined with characters from the other book I’m reading – The Lake Shore Limited, by Sue Miller. In this one, a group of characters explore different relationships and how they were affected by the loss of one of their own on September 11. Somehow, in one of my dreams, Billy, whose partner died in one of the planes, was part of the scenario between Clare and Lily, and they were all discussing how to handle a violent, unexpected death.
Certainly not the stuff which good dreams are made on.
I think I’ll spend today searching for something totally innocuous to read – just in case tonight is another troubled night.
Now tell me, do you ever dream yourself into the books you’re reading?